Ted Crosbie has been remembered as “a true pioneer of modern Irish media” and a “mighty man” with a great personality.
Tributes to Mr Crosbie were led by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ted Crosbie, a man whose life was woven into the very fabric of his home city of Cork for more than nine decades.
“Ted was one of the nicest people you could ever meet; witty, erudite, and insightful. He was good company always,” Mr Martin said.
The Taoiseach described Mr Crosbie as “a true pioneer of modern Irish media, with a keen scientific and business mind, and a passion for enriching the charitable, cultural, and social life of his city and country”.
“Ted’s rich legacy includes the first full-colour national newspapers produced in Ireland, as well as innovations in print and digital technologies that were years ahead of his competitors.
“I know his love of newsprint and ink was matched by his love of sailing, and a long association with the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
"A true gentleman, Ted will be sorely missed in his native city and beyond.
“My sympathies go to his children Tom, Liz, Andrew, Ed, and Sophie, and all his wider family and friends,” Mr Martin said.
Mr Crosbie was the chairman of Thomas Crosbie Holdings, later Landmark Media — parent company of the Irish Examiner, The Echo, and other newspaper and radio interests — until its sale to the Irish Times group in 2018.
Paying tribute to his father, former chairman of Landmark Media, Tom Crosbie described him as a “great newsman and a great newspaper man”.
“He knew the importance of professional journalism, the importance of independent journalism — independence with a small ‘i’,” he said. “He grew up in the business.
“There were three generations before him and when we talk about Dad’s legacy, he was continuing what was passed down from previous generations,” he said. Outside of his love of media, Tom said his father had two other great loves, “his love of his family” and “his love of his homeplace, Cork”.
Maurice Gubbins, editor of The Echo, said it was a privilege to have known Mr Crosbie.
“Although Ted was a great age, his death comes as a shock,” he said.
“On behalf of everyone at The Echo, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to Mr Crosbie’s family on the loss of their beloved father, brother, and grandfather.
“It was my privilege to have worked with Ted since 1978.
“He was a mighty man, a supportive boss, and a brilliant leader. Also, he was a great colleague and was fun to be with on any occasion,” said Mr Gubbins.
“He was a fearless champion of independent journalism, of press freedom, and of the Cork region.
“He was a technical innovator of significance and ensured both The Echo and Examiner were at the forefront of newspaper development in Ireland.
“I sat opposite him in negotiations as father of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ] chapel many times and beside him later as a member of the management team.
“I always found him to be thoroughly decent and respectful of all. His personal charm and mischievous sense of humour enriched our lives,” he said.
Tom Fitzpatrick, editor of the Irish Examiner, said Mr Crosbie “leaves an enormous legacy to Irish media”.
“Our staff and readers will remember Ted as a good man, a newspaper man to his core,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
“He was an imposing and colourful newsroom presence who believed in the principles and integrity of journalism and supported them every day.”
Mr Crosbie was announced as the first Hall of Fame recipient at the prestigious Cork Person of the Year awards in 2018.
Manus O’Callaghan, Cork Person of the Year Awards organiser, said he was “very sad” to hear of Mr Crosbie’s passing.
Paying tribute, Mr O’Callaghan said Mr Crosbie had a “very warm personality” and was “always a delight to meet”.
“He made a huge contribution to the newspaper industry in Ireland and to business in general in Cork,” he added.
Foreign Affairs Minister and Defence Minister Simon Coveney described Mr Crosbie as “one of life’s great gentlemen” who was an “iconic” figure in Cork.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Coveney lauded Mr Crosbie’s contribution to Irish media, which he said was “very significant”.
“I knew him very well through sport and through media,” he said.
“He loved the water. He loved sitting on a boat in Cork harbour. I think that’s where he found most peace and relaxation, that, and time with his family, who he was very, very close to.”