Petition launched against WDAZ format change

Here’s a link to a Grand Forks Herald story this morning about a petition drive launched against the News @5 change.

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WDAY now airs 5 p.m. news

WDAY now airs 5 p.m. news

By Garrett Richie

Herald Staff Writer

For the first time since the flood of 1997, viewers of WDAZ’s local 5 p.m. Monday broadcast didn’t see local Grand Forks anchors.

According to a press release, the 5 p.m. broadcast is now being anchored by WDAY in Fargo.

WDAZ and WDAY began collaborative weekend newscasts in 2011, which gave WDAZ more time and resources to cover more local news on weeknights and 10 and more regional news on the weekends, the statement said.

“We want to give North Dakota and Minnesota viewers the best we have to offer,” WDAZ and WDAY General Manager Mari Ossenfort said in the release.  ”By combining our teams, we’ll be able to make it happen.”

Anchor Terry Dullum was sad to see the broadcast go, as were his Facebook friends and followers.

“We’ve focused on local, regional and community news and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way as well, “Dullum wrote in a Monday blog post.  ”We put a lot of energy into the broadcast in those seventeen years including a little bit of our heart and soul.”

The elimination of WDAZ’s local 5 p.m. broadcast will bring WDAZ’s weekly count of 30-minute newscasts to 10, when in the past it had been as high as 18.

The two stations are part of Forum Communications, as is the Herald.

 

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Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

Astute viewers of WDAZ News @5 will notice something different about the broadcast tonight.  For the first time in the better part of two decades, I won’t be on it.  Instead, my buddy Robin Huebner will be anchoring the newscast from Fargo.   What you won’t see on News @5 from now on is Stacie Van Dyke, Pat Sweeney or me.

The decision was not made by anyone in Grand Forks.  Certainly, not by me.

We created News @5 (from scratch) shortly after the 1997 flood, nearly seventeen years ago, and we’ve had an insanely devoted following ever since.  For that, our sincere thank you.

We’ve focused on local, regional and community news and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way as well. We put a lot of energy into the broadcast in those seventeen years including a little bit of our heart and soul.

One thing this will do is free up more of my time, which I fully intend to use in creating even more mayhem at work than I do now.  Stay tuned.

A long-time broadcaster said it best to me years ago.   He said television will break your heart.  Every time.

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The Fat Lady Sings

Not only did the fat lady sing this evening, but now she in her dressing room having a cup of tea by the fire.  (This will all become more clear to you Monday.)

A very special evening with some very special people.

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Meeting The Beatles

Tomorrow on WDAZ News @10, we’ll introduce you to the Grand Forks native who met The Beatles at the height of their early fame in the summer of 1964.

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Tom & Kermit

This evening on WDAZ News @5, we’ll chat with the host of Dancing with the Stars, Tom Bergeron, and the star of Muppets Most Wanted, Kermit the Frog.

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Kermit

Tomorrow on WDAZ News @5, we’ll chat with–none other than–Kermit the Frog.

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Glenn Miller

File under:  I never thought I’d see the day.  The day the the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra would perform at the Grand Forks County Historical Society gazebo in Grand Forks.  Today was that day.

As a fan of music from the 1940′s, it was nothing short of a thrill for me.  I listen to big band music every day of my life.  No joke.  I was in hog heaven.

The society’s beautiful gazebo never looked better.  The music coming from it never sounded better.

Thank you to the Grand Forks County Historical Society for bringing this tremendous event to us.

To paraphrase the immortal Marilyn Hagerty, this is why we live here.

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My Milk Mustache

Below are a couple of shots from the 5th annual Milk Mustache Contest in Grand Forks yesterday.  More of this sort of thing on the Dullum File Friday on WDAZ News @6.

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Thank You

Last night on television I said our viewers have never let us down, not one time.   It’s true.

Certainly they didn’t let us down yesterday when they filled the big Whalen’s truck with Food For Friends in WDAZ’s first ever one-day food drive.  So much food I wouldn’t have believed it was possible to collect it all in a single day.

Every donation tells a story.  From the single can of vegetables donated by a man yesterday, to the three hundred dollar check given by someone else, it will all go a long, long way in helping St. Joseph’s stock its food bank and feed hundreds upon hundreds of kids in its summer lunch program.

Today some of us will help unload the donated food.  It will take awhile.  There’s a lot of it.

We didn’t get to thank everybody personally yesterday for their donations.  We’ll be doing that on television soon.  But please know we are simply overwhelmed by this community’s generosity.

Our viewers have never let us down.  Never.

 

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