WDSE-TV celebrates its 55th anniversary this month. This short video gives an overview of the early history of Duluth’s public television station.
From muckraking journalism to neighborhood fluff, sports and hobby content to political and spiritual propaganda, Duluth has seen its share of short-lived, themed newspapers and magazines. Previous posts on Perfect Duluth Day have delved into music ’zines and literary/arts ’zines; this post features the less (or bizarrely more) artsy publications.
When Maija Jenson transitions out of her role as interim station manager at KUMD in August it will mark the end of an era that started in 2008 when she was one of three major hires there. What the next era holds will likely be decided in the coming months.
The 62-year-old public radio station at 103.3 FM, operated by the University of Minnesota Duluth, is expected to learn soon whether the college will seek to hire a new general manager to guide it. Whether it does or doesn’t, KUMD will likely continue with its usual programming, but not hiring a new GM leaves its leadership in question and might put grant funding at risk.
“We have not made any final decisions yet,” UMD Marketing and Public Relations Director Lynne Williams said in a statement today. Williams is the university’s administrator of KUMD and reports to UMD Chancellor Lendley Black.
In addition to the various (“legitimate,” if you will) literary and arts magazines and journals in the Duluth area, past and present, there is a long tradition of renegade ’zines circulated for short periods of time. What’s technically the difference between the two? Well, a magazine or journal tends to have a glossy cover and be governed by an institution or a nonprofit board of directors. A ’zine tends to be printed on a photocopier for limited circulation and produced by an individual or disorganized group.
Changes to broadcast television channel offerings used to be rare. From 1966 to 1999, Duluth had four channels. From 1999 to 2009, there were five. In the ten years since the switch from analog to digital channels, the total has climbed to 18.
In 2011 Perfect Duluth Day chose as its official slogan “Duluth’s Duluthiest Website.” It was a statement we felt pretty confident making. Maybe other Duluth websites are better, but certainly none are Duluthier.
But this week we’ve been wondering if PDD truly is Duluth’s best website. This line of thinking was prompted by the Duluth Reader weekly newspaper conducting a poll and ultimately publishing in its Jan. 31 “Best of the Northland” issue that PDD won the title of “Best Local Website.”
Last night’s episode of Supernatural took place Duluth, as seen in this featured clip. The episode “Gods And Monsters” aired on the CW network.
This isn’t the first time Duluth has been featured in the long running show. The second season’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” episode had a character who was working at a Duluth bar. Several episodes have featured other Minnesota towns, such as Hibbing and Stillwater.
Two longtime, Duluth-based media organizations with a combined 66 years in existence are now under the same ownership following the Aug. 31 sale of Lake Superior Magazine and its associated books and merchandising operations to the publishers of BusinessNorth and Scenic Range News Forum. The entities announced the sale in a news release today.
The way Ana Marie Cox describes Duluth in her article “A Night Among the Trump Believers Way Up North” really needs its own genre. Here’s a quote from the original piece to give you a sense of it:
Lake Superior’s merciless beauty crashes up against a town whose shoreside skyline is dominated by stolid, brutalist mid-century relics and precarious-seeming industrial shipping contraptions, rusty and mostly silent. Downtown, every surface is covered with a thin layer of grime. It is, in other words, Trump Country.
Genius, right? In the comments, leave your ideas for how Ana Marie Cox would describe other things in Duluth!
The Duluth/Superior radio market is characterized by two striking characteristics — an uncommon number of public-interest stations and an uncommon number of Christian stations. The commercial broadcast signals that fill out the rest of dial are mostly owned by two entities — Midwest Communications and Townsquare Media — although there are a few smaller station owners, like Northwoods Radio and Twin Ports Radio.
As far as blogs go, obviously Perfect Duluth Day isn’t the only show in town. And it must be noted the line where a blog crosses over from one person’s musings into becoming an online magazine is a fuzzy one. In spite of the inherent problems associated with labeling anything, below is PDD’s updated list of Duluth-area community blogs — an every-couple-of-year salute/guide to the individuals and small groups who crank out content like it’s 2007 instead of (or in addition to) just Facebooking, Instagramming and whateverelseing.