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Kevin Wallevand, Forum News Service, Published May 23 2013

VIDEO: WDAY Television celebrating 60 years on-air

FARGO - In just days, we will be celebrating an important milestone here at WDAY. We are marking our 60th year.

WDAY has been on the radio dial for 91 years, but six action packed decades on the television screen.

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 come over to television, bringing live shows and entertainment.

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 just 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. The hosts had celebrity status.

So big was WDAY television that we had our own newspaper, Mike Notes. Feature stories about our talent, some who moved on to Hollywood and New York. Faces and voices back then were many.

We had our own Rat Pack back then; Marv, Dewey and Boyd. News, weather and sports was pure and simple joy to watch. They sure had a fun following.

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 50s, only a handful of men and women have ever sat at the anchor desk here at WDAY.

In weather at 6 and 10, it’s only 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 80s. A satellite truck allowed us bring you news from anywhere.

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

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