Left to right above: New Lake Superior Magazine owners Beth Bily and Ron Brochu, former owners Cindy Hayden and Paul Hayden
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.
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 noted for 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.
Gay Haubner’s memoir about growing up in Duluth during the 1960s has been running as a weekly serial in The Saturday Evening Post since May 24, 2017. It’s at 36 chapters and counting, indexed on the page linked below.
It was ten years ago that KBJR-TV news reporter Julie Pierce made her famous slip-of-the-tongue while referring to the 1,000-foot motor vessel Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The video clip above, viewed more than 200,000 times in the past decade, also shows KBJR misspelling “McCarthy” on its graphic; so it goes.
Duluth appeared briefly on CBS This Morning‘s story “Heavy snow and winds wreak havoc for holiday travelers.” At the 1:46 mark in the video above, Duluth is shown as reporter DeMarco Morgan notes “Minnesota had windchills as cold as 35 degrees below zero.” (CBS forces a commercial at the front of the video; PDD apologizes for it.)
WEBC 560 AM is the oldest radio station in the Duluth-Superior market, dating back to 1924. These days it feeds the 106.5 FM translator branded as “Sasquatch 106.5.”
The audio clip above includes commercials broadcast between songs on Nov 18, 1967. In addition to station promos, the clip includes spots for Ski Hut, WEBC / Jeno’s Pizza Battle of the Bands, and the Big Bash with Dave Gordon and the Expressmen.
Above are the letters that adorned the exterior wall near the entrance to Morgan Park School. They are for sale at Bauer Brothers salvage in Minneapolis. Below is an old WDSM-TV camera discovered at Axman Surplus in St. Paul.
The number of broadcast television stations in Duluth has reached 14. Keeping track of them started getting confusing in 2016, when reorganizing at KBJR/KDLH led to “CBS 3” broadcasting on channel 6.2. In an effort to prevent the whole thing from turning into an Abbott & Costello routine, Perfect Duluth Day periodically provides an updated list of channels.
There have been two changes since the 2016 KDLH/KBJR shuffling. In early 2017 WDSE-TV dropped its “2nd Chance” programming on channel 8.2 and adopted a new broadcasting stream, PBS Explore, which is focused heavily on programs for children. On Sept. 27, WDIO-TV added subchannel 10.3, broadcasting the Ion television network. An updated list is below.
It was shot just a few hundred feet from Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge, but it evokes the spirit of being in a far more remote part of the planet. Hansi Johnson’s “photo that won’t die” is so-named because in recent years it’s been in Outside magazine, the Red Bulletin, the Italian news magazine Panorama, a few calendars and as Johnson notes, it’s “been ripped off and passed around more times than I care to admit.”