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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 22, 2009, 11:48 AM

Boyd Christenson, one of the giants in North Dakota broadcasting, has died

(WDAY TV) - He had a contagious laugh, an unmatched work ethic, and a love for the Valley. Tonight, one of the giants in North Dakota broadcasting has died. 73- year old Boyd Christenson had been battling Alzheimer’s the last two years.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - He had a contagious laugh, an unmatched work ethic, and a love for the Valley. Tonight, one of the giants in North Dakota broadcasting has died. 73- year old Boyd Christenson had been battling Alzheimer’s the last two years.

When Boyd Christensen came to WDAY back in 1964, he auditioned for a job left by a TV legend, Bill Weaver, a personality so popular WDAY led their news with his sports. Once hired, Boyd left the critics and doubters in the dust.

“He worked himself to the bone and he was good at everything he did.”

Longtime friend and colleague Marv Bossart: “Give him an assignment he would take care of it. I always said he could have done the Today Show and Tonight Show. He could ad lib anything.”

He covered high school and college sports thru out the Valley and you won't see this anymore, our sports anchor pitching beer brewed by our sponsor back then, Schmidt beer. But more than anything, his chemistry with Anchor Marv Bossart is legendary. Boyd is the one singing…

“A special person we had more fun in those years, a pleasure to work with him. We go back 45 years. That is what makes it so tough.”

Long time Anchor Marv Bossart not only worked with Boyd for years, they were the best of friends.

“And it is because we liked each other. You cannot fake that. People, if you are on TV, they will know if you like the person sitting next to you.”

Marv recalls Boyd was the king of practical jokers. One night Marv bought a six pack of beer he left in the lobby to bring home after the news.

“Boyd leading the way opened all of them and the studio crew drank them.”

Sometimes Boyd’s practical jokes backfired, literally. Like the time he wanted to scare a school librarian standing on a book ladder.

“He crept up to her and poked her and she passed gas right in his face.”

Some of Boyd’s widespread popularity came from the wildly popular WDAY afternoon show Party Line. Think Good Morning America Fargo style in the 60's and 70's. Teaming up with Verna Newell who just recently died, tens of thousands tuned in daily.

Retired WDAY Radio personality Don Dresser worked with Boyd for years…

“Well, Boyd was a North Dakota guy, he never had an inkling that he wanted to move.”

Boyd also worked at Prairie Public doing interviews. He also had his own radio show, Viewpoint, at WDAY in the late 1980's. He was a broadcaster and legend who was here to be part of television in its infancy, leaving behind for us laughs and a legacy.

“And I want to thank the city of Fargo that made this such a great place for me and my family to live.”

Boulger Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Boyd is survived by his wife Marlene and two children and 8-grand-children. His daughter Laura preceded him in death.

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