• Register

Former WXRT Owner Danny Lee Seeking Kidney Donor

The original owner/operator of WXRT-FM/93XRT is seeking a kidney donor in order to save his life. Daniel Lee (referred to by all he worked with as simply Danny) found himself with esophageal cancer in 2002. The chemotherapy he used to help beat that cancer damaged his kidneys. For the past year, he has been on dialysis due to his failed kidneys. A living donor is now being sought before it is too late for Lee.

Lee has already been approved as a kidney recipient by Northwestern Hospital in Chicago.

Since August 2015, Lee has been undergoing long dialysis treatments three to four days each week in order to stay alive. Dialysis is less than half as effective as a replacement kidney would be. The wait time in the Chicago area for a donated kidney from a cadaver is well over five years. Those transplants do not always succeed, and even when they are accepted by the body of the patient in need, are only about half as effective as a kidney donated by a properly-matched, healthy, living donor.

Humans come with two kidneys and can survive with only one. Neither of Lee's kidneys properly function any longer. What Lee and his family are looking for is a donor who still has two healthy kidneys and would be willing to donate one of them to him. The donor also must have Type O+ (preferred) or O- blood.

A website was set up last month that offers more information about Lee's situation, and how the public can help not only Lee, but others in his situation. That website is KidneyDonorForDan.org.

Wrote Lee on the website: "I rarely ask for favors -- whether it is borrowing a tool or asking for a ride somewhere -- because I dislike imposing on others, but this is the ultimate request for a life-saving favor. Can you help me?"

Danny Lee's father, Louie Lee, owned an appliance and electronics store on Chicago's north side. In the mid-1950's, Louie Lee also purchased WSBC-AM, a radio station on the west side of Chicago that featured all ethnic brokered programming. With WSBC-AM being so popular that he had to turn away programs due to lack of airtime, Louie Lee purchased a second radio station in 1958: the little-heard college station WFJL-FM, which Lee changed to WSBC-FM. Those call letters were changed to WXRT-FM in 1964.

In the early 1970's Louie Lee's son Danny began taking over operations of the stations, which were legally owned by the Lee family corporation Diamond Broadcasting. In 1972, WXRT-FM stopped having ethnic programming in the overnight hours and instead experimented with a progressive rock format. That rock format slowly grew, starting earlier in the evening, and then in the afternoons, before finally going 24 hours a day in April 1976, becoming the WXRT-FM that Chicago radio fans know and love still to this day.

In addition to WSBC-AM and WXRT-FM, Danny Lee and his Diamond Broadcasting also owned the original WSCR-AM (then on 820 AM), Chicago's first all-sports talk station which launched in January 1992.

Lee sold all of the Diamond-owned Chicago stations in the mid-1990s. Westinghouse/Group W purchased WXRT-FM and WSCR-AM for nearly $60 million in 1995. In 1997, Lee/Diamond sold WSBC-AM to Fred Eyechaner's Newsweb Corporation for $5.5 million.

Although he never again fully owned any Chicago radio stations after those transactions, Lee did keep busy quietly helping out many media projects nationwide.

Lee has been married to his wife Karen for 46 years and is now grandfather to five children.


Danny and Karen Lee

The CHICAGOLAND RADIO & MEDIA website is the #1 resource for news, information, discussions and celebrations of all things related to Chicago radio, television, newspapers and more. Please help support the website by clicking on the "Donate" button below! THANK YOU for your backing!

CRM Website Information

The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!