The “KFI” Antenna in San Francisco

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Although KFI has always been located in Los Angeles, it had its own antenna in San Francisco for many years.

There was a fierce level of competition between Earle C. Anthony and Don Lee. They were competitors in the auto business, as Anthony was the Packard dealer in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, while Lee sold Cadillacs in the same cities. They also were competing broadcasters, Anthony operating KFI and KECA in Los Angeles, while Lee owned KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco.

The Earle C. Anthony Building at 901 Van Ness in San Francisco as it looked in 2004.
The Earle C. Anthony Building at 901 Van Ness in San Francisco as it looked in 2004.

The Earle C. Anthony Packard dealership in San Francisco was directly across the street from the Don Lee building, which was crowned with the impressive KFRC antenna, a status symbol in the 1930s. Even though Anthony didn’t own a radio station in San Francisco, he was not to be outdone. He constructed these towers on the roof of his building, and hung the call letters “KFI” on them. The antenna, shown above in 1970, stood over San Francisco for nearly four decades, even though it was never used for broadcasting!

Voices Out Of The Fog

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All articles copyright © 1997-2006 by John F. Schneider. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with the generous permission of the author.

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