On the afternoon of August 10, 1983, John Lyle watched his business burn to the ground. The warehouses that housed Dale Insulation’s entire inventory – as well as multiple other businesses – had caught fire. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported on the devastation the next day.
The publication that would later become Cityview began as the Home Living Guide. Dale Insulation had recovered from the fire – a feat John attributes to the support of the local community – and he had reached out to the News Sentinel for a follow-up story. But the newspaper just pointed him to their advertising department.
“It was a shame,” says John. But rather than be discouraged, he and his wife Nancy came up with a solution. “If there was nowhere to get our story published, why not create our own publication?”
The very first issue of the Home Living Guide featured 16 home improvement companies, including Dale Insulation, each telling the story of their own business with the help of the Lyles and their new publisher, Joseph Bruner.
“When the first Home Living Guide was mailed in fall 1983, we had no idea how unique a publication it was,” writes Bruner in his fall 1985 publisher’s letter.
For a decade and a half, John and Nancy were the heart behind the Home Living Guide, which became Cityview in 1986. But by the end of the 90s, the Lyles were ready for their next chapter, and so was Cityview, but they still look with pride on what they created.
“It’s still a high point for us when people see the magazine in our office,” says John.
For the full story of Cityview’s early years, you can read Sarah H. Clark’s 30th Anniversary Retrospective, recently republished in honor of the 40th.