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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 21, 2011, 09:53 PM

Gene's TV Clinic closing its doors

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A TV, once a luxury in the home costing about a month's worth of wages. Today you'll pay what many make in two days. That's what's muscling out the local TV repair man.

A TV, once a luxury in the home costing about a month's worth of wages. Today you'll pay what many make in two days. That's what's muscling out the local TV repair man. This week a sign of the times right here in Fargo, saying goodbye to a TV repair shop after more than 60 years of business.

Hundreds drive by it daily. But that’s just it now days. Gene's is becoming a landmark with less and less business.

Mike Beaton – Owner of Gene’s TV: "I changed my mind 30 times and I said we should be able to, we can do this, but its just not going to work out."

After its original owner, Gene opened it in 1948 it was sold twice. Mike Beaton has been owner since 1976, but has worked here since 1966.

Mike Beaton: "When I was a junior in high school, oh yea been in this building all my life."

Today, Beaton's just cleaning out what's left of his shop. At the height of his business, Beaton had 8 employees fixing more than 400 VCR's a month. Countless stories to tell from this old shop. Some customers turned to Mike for just about anything, as employee Laurie Boone explains.

Laurie Boone – Employee Since 1993: He was a trucker and he had this little Christmas decoration on his front grill of his truck, and it blew a fuse or something. So, can you fix my Christmas tree."

Today’s TV sets are just getting cheaper says Beaton. The parts to fix them, more expensive, leaving little room for the loyal customer needing a tube touch up. The TV business is sure to go on without Gene's TV Clinic.

Mike Beaton: "The 3D-TV and stuff, they're all coming."

But it just wont be the same without this hometown TV repair man.

Mike Beaton: "Just unfortunately we won’t be here, it’s been a great career, I love it."

Mike says his biggest worries are his employees and if they can find another job. As for his future plans he says he'll be spending more time with the grandkids at the lake.

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