Respected broadcaster, journalist and businessman David Beatson has died after a long illness.

Beatson was born in Dunedin in 1944 and began his career in journalism as a cadet at the Otago Daily Times in 1962.

His career spanned newspaper, magazine, radio and television journalism, current affairs and involvement in the development of media policies, legislation, regulations, ethics and codes of practice.

He also worked in several other industries including tourism and aviation.

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At various times he was a senior current affairs host for some of New Zealand's most influential television programmes and a presenter and interviewer on both radio and television.

His resume included work at Current Affairs, News at Six and Ten and Eyewitness News.

He was also editor of the Listener, chairman of New Zealand on Air, chief press secretary for Prime Minister Jim Bolger, deputy chief executive of New Zealand Tourism and chairman of the 2000 Taskforce which organised New Zealand's Millennium Celebrations.

He is survived by his wife Lesley Miller, two children, three stepchildren and 11 grandchildren.