WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 18, 2013, 06:49 PM

WDAY through the ages

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - No one tells a story like Kevin. And tonight, he gives us a look back at our stations storied history.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - No one tells a story like Kevin. And tonight, he gives us a look back at our stations storied history.

This is what you or your parents watched us on when we came on the air in the 50's. Imagine getting up from the davenport, to switch the channel. Over the years, some amazing changes.

As the Red River Valley marked the end of World War II, a new era, and a new toy to witness history: the television.

On June 1 of 1953, we hit the air. WDAY used many of our seasoned radio stars to bring live shows and entertainers during the afternoon and evening.

To start with, local TV stations only came on the air in the late afternoons and evenings. Early on, news was often read without any pictures. Film took so long to process.

With so many women working as homemakers in the 50's and 60's, live afternoon shows like Party Line had a cult following. Hosts had celebrity status.

So big was WDAY TV, we had our own newspaper, Mic Notes. Feature stories about our talent, some who moved on to Hollywood and New York.

We had our own Rat Pack back then. Marv, Dewey and Boyd. News, weather and Sports were pure and simple joy to watch. They sure had fun.

The TV ads alone would make anyone watch back then. Often live, and shot in studio.

Back then we used type set letters arranged by hand for our ads. Slide projectors, simple weather maps, even flip charts.

Since the first anchor in the early 50's...only a handful of men and women have sat at the anchor desk. In weather at 6 and 10, it has been Dewey and John. Dewey used flip cards and chalk. John uses doppler,

So much has changed. In the early days, we gave you election results using adding machines and telephones.

Our news gathering abilities expanded dramatically over the years.

As technology advanced, so did we. We moved from NBC to ABC in the early 80's. A satellite truck allowed us bring you news from anywhere.

We brought you news of local men and women fighting in Iraq. And locally owned WDAY has traveled to all parts of the world to bring you heart-warming and moving documentaries that gained national acclaim.

From film to clunky and expensive video tape. And now the digital and HD era. We shoot on chips the size of stamps. Edit on laptops and send stories anywhere in the world with a click of a mouse.

60-years of informing, entertaining you, our viewers in the valley. It has been a good marriage. Let's renew the vows.