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David Lyle Foundation launches to support next generation of content creators

Pact is honoured to be a founding partner of The David Lyle Foundation, which launched at MIPTV on Saturday 6th April 2019. Set up in memory of the much-loved TV industry veteran and Inaugural President of PACTUS, the foundation aims to provide guidance and opportunity to individuals who show extraordinary talent, integrity and drive to work in the entertainment business.
David Lyle had been a mentor to many in the industry globally during his 40-year career. Founding partners alongside Pact include Broadcast, C21Media, EMC, FRAPA, NATPE, NPact, Realscreen, Reed Midem and TBI.
Each year these partners will provide guidance, mentoring, financial support and access to their combined resources to two young recipients, who will each receive a scholarship that provides an annual programme to connect them with the global business.
Support will be provided to travel to a variety of industry events to network and build contacts and to help understand the many opportunities at large in the content industry.
The two successful candidates will be chosen by The David Lyle Foundation’s board of advisors from submissions made by industry outlets, television schools and training organisations worldwide. Successful nominees will be mentored during the year by key executives on the board.
Submissions will be made through the website davidlylefoundation.org which will also provide information and resources to anyone interested in a career in the content business.
The foundation will unveil full plans in May 2019. Applications will open for the 2019 David Lyle Foundation Scholarship between June and August and will be assessed during September and October, with the scholarships granted in November for the first full programme to run between January and December 2020.
The initiative is backed by David’s wife, Janne Dennehy and The David Lyle Estate. Janne said: “David would be thrilled to see the level of support that these fine organizations have given to the foundation that aims to continue on the Lyle tradition of mentorship in the global TV industry, to provide encouragement and opportunity to the young who demonstrate curiosity, who take initiative. To encourage and develop independent thinking, to maintain an adventurous outlook, to welcome and recognize success but to remain kind, inclusive and supportive of others post success.
“From my point of view I appreciate the support these organizations have shown David personally and professionally in health and sickness, in life generally and now, sadly, in death. I am thankful that they are joining together to help keep his legacy alive.”
More about David
David Lyle was a much-loved entertainment industry executive who championed the underdog and built a career on doing things in the right way and with humour.
David graduated from The University of Sydney after which he worked as a high school chemistry teacher and exploration geologist in his native Australia before working in radio and television as a writer and producer in radio at Sydney's 2UE and 2GB and for Australia’s ABC, Ten and Nine TV networks. At Nine he worked up to become an executive producer and programme creator and later advanced to Head of Development and Acquisitions.
During the 1980’s and ’90s David hosted and produced the weekly TV anthology series, The Golden Years of Television for both the Ten and the Nine Networks.
In 1999 David moved to London, to Pearson TV, to serve as Head of Worldwide Development and Acquisitions. That post led him to relocate in 2001 to Los Angeles, where he became President of Entertainment for FremantleMedia North America until 2004. Here he helped launch American Idol on Fox.
In 2005 he launched and developed Fox Reality, a channel that specialized in acquired and original unscripted programming and in 2010 he launched Fox Look, an international distribution group in unscripted entertainment in both finished product and underlying formats. In 2011, he was named CEO of The National Geographic Channels based in Washington DC.
In 2015 David served as Inaugural President of PACTUS, an association of television content companies in the US whose members consist of producers in all genres and for all platforms; an advocacy organization for unscripted TV producers and a job he relished! 2017 saw PACTUS merge with NPA (the Nonfiction Producers Association), becoming NPACT with David named President Emeritus.
David always brought great competitive zeal to his work and didn’t shy away from taking on provocative industry issues in public forums. In 2017 he penned a column for Variety addressing the conflicts that independent producers were facing amid the growth of cable programming giants.
In 2000, he was among the co-founders of the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA), which aims to protect producers against unauthorized copying of proprietary TV formats. He was also on the board of The Entertainment Masterclass.
David Lyle died in LA in September 2017 aged 67 after a three year bout with cancer. His ashes are buried beneath a flowering gum overlooking the ocean at his beloved Moonrise, at Sydney's Palm Beach.