John Westacott, Nine TV personality, dies at Vaucluse


Channel Nine TV legend dies after suffering a medical episode and falling from a boat on Sydney Harbour despite paramedics desperately giving him CPR for 30 minutes

  • John Westacott was a TV legend who ran 60 Minutes for 16 years
  • He died on Sunday after a suspected medical episode on a boat
  • Paramedics gave him CPR for 30 minutes but were unable to save him
  • Westacott worked at the Nine network  for more than two decades
  • He became the subject of  sexism allegations when a reporter sued Nine

TV legend John Westacott – who ran 60 Minutes for 16 years and was a controversial media figure – has died after a suspected medical episode on a boat in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

A keen yachtsman, Westacott, believe to be in his mid-70s, had to be pulled from the water by NSW Police Marine Area Command after falling from a boat and into Sydney Harbour about 1.30pm on Sunday. 

Watched on by alarmed crowds, NSW Ambulance paramedics treated Westacott at Vaucluse wharf for 30 minutes, but were unable to save him.

The television titan was on the vessel with another man around the same age who looked visibly disturbed and who was shrouded in a blanket, plus an 18-year-old man.

At one point, an emergency services worker put a consoling arm around the man in the blanket as they offered him water. 

Westacott was a legend in Sydney’s TV industry and considered the master of chequebook journalism while working at 60 Minutes until 2010.

In 2007, the then long-time executive producer of 60 Minutes became Nine’s director of news and current affairs, replacing Garry Linnell. 

TV Legend John Westacott who ran 60 Minutes for 16 years and was a controversial media figure has died after a s suspected medical episode on a boat in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

NSW Ambulance paramedics treated him at Vaucluse wharf for 30 minutes, but were unable to save him

NSW Ambulance paramedics treated him at Vaucluse wharf for 30 minutes, but were unable to save him

By that time, he had been at Nine for 23 years, and was regarded the most experienced TV news person at the then turmoil-riddled network.

In 2008, Westacott hit the headlines after he was accused of making offensive and sexist remarks to female journalists.

Westacott was alleged to have told a group of female journalists at a book launch last year that they were hired only for their sex appeal.

Paramedic at the scene of the incident on Sunday when TV legend John Westacott fell from a boat at Vaucluse and could not be revived

Paramedic at the scene of the incident on Sunday when TV legend John Westacott fell from a boat at Vaucluse and could not be revived

A man who was on the vessel with Westacott was comforted by an officer afterwards as paramedics failed to revive the retired TV executive

A man who was on the vessel with Westacott was comforted by an officer afterwards as paramedics failed to revive the retired TV executive 

‘To make it in this industry, you gotta have f***ability. To make it in this game, women have to be f***able,’ Westacott is alleged to have said.

The allegations were made by the former Nine’s Los Angeles correspondent, Christine Spiteri, in an unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination claim in which she sought damages of $500,000.

Westacott denied making the comment, or saying that with her name, Spiteri would be better for working for SBS.  

Former Nine correspondent Christine Spiteri sued the Network after she was sacked and she claimed Westacott had made sexist remarks about women in TV

Former Nine correspondent Christine Spiteri sued the Network after she was sacked and she claimed Westacott had made sexist remarks about women in TV

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk