Calling All Car Phones

McCaw Cellular Communications is already the largest operator in the seven- year-old cellular-telephone business, controlling franchise areas with more than 50 million residents throughout 127 small and medium-size markets across the U.S. Last week the company sought to build up its metropolitan business by making a $5.9 billion bid for New York City's LIN Broadcasting, which reaches 18 million potential phone subscribers in such major cities as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

For Craig McCaw, the 39-year-old chairman of the company, which is based in Kirkland, Wash., the bid for LIN caps a stunning sprint of growth. Since 1973, McCaw...

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