Radio and Television, 1975
President and CEO, Illinois
Although he credits his current-day work ethic to spending his "Wonder Bread" years as the youngest son of dairy farming parents in Harvard, Illinois, Dennis Lyle knew early on that dairy farming was not a career of his choice. Dennis would spend those many summers in the mid to late 1960s doing farm-related chores with his small transistor radio tuned to Chicago rock stations WLS and WCFL booming rock n' roll at his side dreaming of someday working in the broadcast profession.
While Dennis' passion for broadcasting may have been nurtured on dairy farms in McHenry County, it was Southern Illinois University that allowed Dennis the opportunity to pursue his dream of a career in broadcasting. Barely unpacked for his 1971 freshman year at SIU, Dennis stumbled upon campus carrier current radio station WIDB, and the rest, as they say, is history.
While WIDB allowed Dennis to perfect his craft as an on-air announcer, it would be local Carbondale stations WCIL-AM/FM that would provide Dennis with his first paycheck for announcing on the radio. Dennis' role at the Carbondale radio stations grew throughout his four year undergraduate years at SIU, eventually leading to additional positions of sales, sales management, General Management, and remarkably, ownership of the locally owned stations.
Rather than leave the community, Dennis and his elementary school teacher wife Paula (Ritchey) would make Southern Illinois their home and eventually purchase the stations with their newly formed company; Lyle Broadcasting. Shortly after purchasing WCIL-AM/FM, the Telecommunication Act of 1996 came to pass, providing an opportunity for small broadcast companies like Lyle's to sell to larger regional and national broadcast companies. As sole partners in their company, Dennis and Paula decided to sell their stations, with Dennis returning to his alma mater to complete a Master’s degree in Telecommunications, which he completed in 2000.
On track to become Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, an opportunity in 1999 was presented to Dennis to instead assume the role of President/CEO of the association. Dennis was awarded that position in June of 1999, a position he holds to this day. In 2008 Dennis was elected to the position of President of the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations.
Always one to believe in giving back to his community, Dennis has been an advocate for economic development for Southern Illinois, having served twice as Carbondale, Illinois' Chamber of Commerce President, as well as a term as Carterville's Chamber of Commerce President, and is currently an advisory member of Williamson County's REDCO (Regional Economic Development Corporation) board of directors and an active member of the Marion, Illinois Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee.
A registered lobbyist in the state of Illinois, Dennis resides in Carterville, Illinois with Paula, his wife of 28 years. Dennis and Paula are the proud parents of two sons (Kristopher and Matthew)