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Lisa Wilkinson breaks down on air

Today presenter Lisa Wilkinson tears up on air while reporting the death of a close colleague, Ian Frykberg. Nine News.

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Today presenter Lisa Wilkinson has broken down on live television while reporting on the death of a colleague.

Journalist and sports broadcasting rights agent Ian Frykberg, affectionately known as "Frickers", was the Today Show's founding executive producer and also worked as head of current affairs at the Nine Network for many years.

Wilkinson was paying tribute to Frykberg on Monday morning when she teared up naming Frykberg's surviving four children.

Dearly departed ... Former <i>Today</i> show founding producer turned sports consultant, Ian Frykberg, in 2011.

Dearly departed ... Former Today Show founding producer turned sports consultant, Ian Frykberg, in 2011.

"He was a formidable force in the media game, he served under Kerry Packer during his tenure at Nine, heading up sport and current affairs as well as running both Sunday and Business Sunday," Wilkinson said. "He was greatly loved by us all.

"He watched this show every single day, sent us messages told us when we were falling behind and when we were in front. He was just really a beautiful man," she added.

Wilkinson's co-host Karl Stefanovic also paid tribute to Frykberg, describing him as a wonderful man.

"He was a great man and a great man of our show and great friend of Lisa's and mine and he will be sorely missed. He had a big influence on us personally," Stefanovic said.

Frykberg who also worked as head of news and sport at British broadcaster BSkyB, was widely regarded as one of the most powerful men in media and sport having brokered broadcast deals for the AFL, NRL and the English Premiere League.

He died on Sunday at the age of 68 and is survived by his wife Caroline and their four children.

AAP