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General Tire and Rubber Company

The General Tire and Rubber Company was founded in 1915 in Akron, Ohio by William O'Neill[?]. Its primary business was manufacturing tires for motor vehicles.

In 1943 General Tire branched out from its core business by purchasing The Yankee Network[?] and its owned radio stations from Boston's Shepard Stores[?], Inc. Thomas P. O'Neill, son of General Tire founder William O'Neill, served as Yankee's chairman with Shepard Store's John Shepard III serving as president.

General Tire continued its move into broadcasting by acquiring General Teleradio[?] (the former Thomas S. Lee Enterprises[?]/Don Lee Broadcasting System[?]) in 1952, adding KHJ[?]-AM/FM/TV Los Angeles, WOR[?]-AM/FM/TV New York City and other stations to its stable from the Yankee acquisition.

General Tire's final move into entertainment was the acquisition of RKO Radio Pictures from Howard Hughes in 1955 for $25 million. General Tire was not interested in operating a film studio, just the RKO film library, so it sold the RKO lot at Sunset and Gower in Hollywood to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Productions[?] in 1956 for $6 million. The remaining assets of RKO were merged with the broadcasting interests to form the RKO General division in 1958.

General Tire became a holding company in 1984, renaming the corporate parent GenCorp[?].

GenCorp would sell its General Tire and Rubber Division and spin off the scandal-ridden RKO General division in 1987.

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