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David Lyle dies at 67

David Lyle, the veteran television executive, has lost his fight with cancer aged 67.

David Lyle

Lyle died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles following a long struggle with the disease.

He was many things in the television business, most notably the man who took American Idol to Fox in the US when president of entertainment at FremantleMedia North America.

The silver-tongued Australian was always quick with a joke and commanded enormous respect from the television business.

He finished his career launching Pact US, the American arm of the UK independent producers’ association, most recently merging it with the Nonfiction Producers Association to form NPact. He also served stints heading National Geographic Channels, Fox Look and Fox Reality Channel. He started his career as a television host in Australia.

Lyle was a founder of FRAPA, the formats rights protection agency, and worked closely with C21 on the creation of The International Format Awards.

Close friend and formats industry veteran Phil Gurin said: “David was a champion for the underdog creators, a passionate advocate for formats and a true believer who inspired countless producers, format creators and channels the world over.

“He co-founded FRAPA many years ago to help bring order out of the chaos of the formats industry, where copying was no longer seen as the sincerest form of flattery but more like what it is: copyright infringement and IP theft.

“He was a dear friend, confidante, raconteur and legend. He shall be missed here, there and everywhere – especially at the bar at the Carlton Hotel with a dram in his hand, a smile on his face and a story in his heart. FRAPA and the entire industry have lost one of the greats.”

“David Lyle was a rare breed, in our industry and in the world. A true ‘bon vivant,’ he brought light and life into every room, along with a passion for the creatives of this business,” added John Ford, general manager at NPact. “We will all miss David’s maverick mettle, along with his vitality, brilliant insights and humour, and offer our deepest condolences to his wife Janne, his children Sam, Polly and Joanna, and his many friends and colleagues.”

C21 also extends its condolences to friends and family and mourns the loss of this most special man. He will be greatly missed.


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