Broadcast Pioneer Carl Lee Dies at 96
Carl Lee, a true broadcast pioneer in Michigan, has died. He was 96.
Lee was at the helm at Fetzer Broadcasting when I broke into the business in the 80’s. I was lucky. Fetzer was a classy, top-shelf company, mainly because of people like Carl Lee and founder John Fetzer. When radio stations started in the 20’s, they were built and run by engineers. As those engineers started to retire, they handed over the reins to younger engineers, like Carl Lee. Lee was a product of the Golden Age of Radio. Down to earth, practical and a true leader, who by all accounts had a great respect for the people who worked for him and the people served by the radio and TV stations he was associated with.
He graduated from the Michigan Academy of Radio Science in 1939, running WKZO radio and TV in Kalamazoo for many years. He was a founding member of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, serving as President of the organization in 1956 and continued his service and support of the MAB until his death as an active Honorary Board Member on the MAB Foundation Board of Directors.
Carl Lee died on Sunday, February 22. A public memorial service is set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Memorial donations may be made to the Carl E. Lee Broadcasting Scholarship fund through the MAB Foundation (819 N. Washington, Ave. Lansing, MI 48906; 517-484-7444) to continue his legacy by awarding a scholarship annually to a WMU broadcasting student.