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Posts Tagged ‘WDAY’

Grand Forks Viewers Want Local Newscast and Anchor Back

wdaz_abcFargo ABC affiliate WDAY and Forum Communications are hearing from viewers angry about the decision to take over the production of the 5:00 p.m. newscast on sister station WDAZ in Grand Forks, ND.

One viewer started a petition at change.org which, as of this writing, is 156 signatures shy of its goal of 1,000. The petition calls for the station to bring back the Grand Forks version of the 5:00 p.m. news along with anchor Terry Dullum.

Fargo NBC and CBS affiliate KVLY and KXJB reports on its website:

A call today to WDAY/WDAZ General Manager Mari Ossenfort was not returned and WDAZ News Director Julie Moravchik has been told to not comment on the matter.

In a published interview Ossenfort defended the decision saying she believes the station should concentrate on producing more content instead of producing more shows. Ossenfort also claimed she has received some positive feedback on the change however most comments on WDAZ’s Facebook page regarding the switch has been overwhelmingly negative.

Former anchor Terry Dullum wrote on his blog Monday about the change that “The decision was not made by anyone in Grand Forks. Certainly, not by me.” He went on to say, “A long-time broadcaster said it best to me years ago. He said television will break your heart. Every time.” Read more

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WDAY Reporter Kay Cooley Arrested For DUI

kay cooleyWDAY reporter Kay Cooley was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports:

The trooper pulled Cooley over as the result of a citizen’s driving complaint, [Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse] Grabow said. A preliminary breath test showed Cooley had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving of 0.08 percent.

Cooley was booked into the Becker County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, which is a misdemeanor.

WDAY-TV News Director Jeff Nelson declined to comment on Tuesday. He said Cooley is still employed at the TV station.

WDAY Launching Statewide Morning Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY in Fargo is launching North Dakota’s first statewide morning newscast.

Beginning April 28, WDAY’s morning newscast will air on stations in Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Williston and Dickinson, N.D. The newscast, which runs from 5 to 7 a.m. and is anchored by Travis Skonseng and Rebecca Lebak, will also be available on WDAY-AM and online.

Earlier this year, WDAY launched a statewide weekend newscast.

Daryl Ritchison Signs Off From WDAY

daryl ritchisonDaryl Ritchison, the morning meteorologist at WDAY in Fargo, is leaving the station for a job at North Dakota State University.

“I’ve never actually had a ‘day job,’ so to speak, in my adult life,” Ritchison told The Forum. “So it was just an opportunity that I just thought I would take.”

Ritchison has worked at WDAY for 18 years. Before that, he worked at KSFY in Sioux Falls, S.D. and KEYC in Mankato, Minn.

WDAY news director Jeff Nelson said Aaron White and Rebecca Lebak will fill in until a permanent replacement is named.

“It’s too bad. I wish he was staying, but I understand that working, getting up at 3 a.m. every morning and doing it for that long has got to be tough on a person,” Nelson told The Forum. “I wish him nothing but the best. He was always the consummate professional here.”

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Fargo Station to Launch Statewide Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY is about to launch a newscast that will be seen throughout all of North Dakota.

“WDAY News will broadcast on all the ABC affiliates in North Dakota on Sunday’s at 530P,” Forum Communications director of broadcasting Mari Ossenfort told TVSpy. “We will deliver the news, weather and sports that is important to ND and the region, since our signal also reaches Canada, western Minnesota, the northern peak of South Dakota and the eastern fringe of Montana.”

Forum Communications, owner of WDAY plans to use its other owned stations WDAZ in Grand Forks, ND, KBMY in Bismarck, ND, and KMCY in Minot, ND. Read more

Fargo’s KVRR Transitions to HD

kvrr setFargo Fox affiliate KVRR made the transition to high definition this week, the Forum News Service reports:

The switch required purchasing high-definition gear, a studio redesign and a lot of work, said Kathy Lau, general manager of KVRR and chief operating officer of Red River Broadcast and Red Rock Radio. “From a management point of view, it’s been almost like building a station from the ground up,” Lau said. “It’s been no simple task, but we’re very excited. We’re looking to give our viewers the best product possible.”

In Fargo, ABC affiliate WDAY was the first station to switch to HD, according to the Forum News Service. KVLY-KXJB also broadcast in HD.

Mari Ossenfort Joins Forum Communications as Director of Broadcasting

forum communications companyMari Ossenfort has been named director of broadcasting for Forum Communications. In her new role, which begins in November, she will has oversight of four Forum Communications stations: WDAY in Fargo, WDAZ in Grand Forks, KMCY in Minot and KBMT in Bismarck.

Ossenfort, who grew up in Fargo, comes from KDLT-KDLV in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she has worked since 1995. Since 2005, she has been general manager and general sales manager. Before that, she worked at rival KTTW as an account executive.

“I’ve had other opportunities (to advance), but nothing felt right,” Ossenfort told the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is also owned by Forum Communications. “This opportunity that was presented to me just felt right.”

Ossenfort replaces Mark Prather, who recently retired after 23 years with WDAY-WDAZ.

WDAY Anchor TJ Nelson Joining Rival KVRR

Anchor TJ Nelson is leaving Fargo ABC affiliate WDAY for rival KVRR, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

Nelson, who produces and co-anchors the 5 p.m. newscast on WDAY, will anchor the 6 and 9 p.m. newscasts for Fox affiliate KVRR. He replaces Austen Schauer, who is leaving the station for a job at Park Christian School in Moorhead.

“It was not an easy choice,” Nelson told The Forum. “But these main anchor gigs don’t open up very often.”

On WDAY, reporter Todd Kurtz will replace Nelson as the co-anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast.

Former Fargo Anchor Marv Bossart Dies

Marv Bossart, former anchor for Fargo, ND, ABC affiliate WDAY, has died after battling Parkinson’s disease for several years.

“He had a great heart and he really empathized with people who were affected by our news,” WDAY reporter Kevin Wallevand told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead “And that’s rare.”

Bossart started at WDAY in 1958. He began anchoring the 6:00 p.m. and then 10:15 p.m. newscasts in 1963 and anchored for the station until his retirement in 2000. You can watch the station’s tribute to Bossart by clicking here. Read more

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