The Don Lee Radio Network

Don Lee, the wealthy owner of the Cadillac automobile dealerships in San Francisco and Los Angeles, purchased KFRC in San Francisco and KHJ in Los Angeles in 1926.  These two stations became the flagship stations for the Don Lee radio networks on the West Coast.  From 1930 to 1936, the stations distributed CBS programs to affiliated stations up and down the coast as the Columbia-Don Lee network.  After Lee's death in 1934, the relationship ended when CBS purchased KNX in Los Angeles and took direct control of its West Coast program distribution.  But the Don Lee organization continued on, as KFRC and KHJ became the key stations for the Don Lee-Mutual Network, which continued operations into the late 1940s.

Don Lee Cadillac  Don Lee Cadillac

Left:  Don Lee delivers a new Cadillac to the Shriners, 1930.    Right:  Don Lee network radio stars Edna Fischer and Janette Dunn enjoy the comfort of a new Cadillac limousine.

Don Lee network  Don Lee Don Lee obit      Tommy Lee

Left:   The Don Lee network at its height controlled the distribution of the Columbia (CBS) network programs to 31 stations on the West Coast.   Center:  Don Lee Obituary, 1934;  Right:  Don Lee's son, Tommy Lee, took over the company but showed more interest in racing cars than running an automobile and radio empire.

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John F. Schneider & Associates, LLC