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Tracy Frank, Published September 06 2013

Locally produced daytime TV show called "North Dakota Today" to start airing on Monday

FARGO – A new show is coming to local television.

“North Dakota Today” is a live lifestyle show geared toward women, similar to the “Today Show” or the old “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” show but focused on local topics, said Jim Wareham, Valley News Live president and general manager.

The hourlong show, which will air on NBC stations across the state at 9 a.m. starting Monday, replaces “Live! with Kelly and Michael.”

“We were paying a substantial amount of money to Disney Corporation to run that show in that time period and as television evolves we’re realizing that content, content, content is everything,” Wareham said. “We saw no reason why we couldn’t produce a locally produced daytime show that would have more content from the valley and from North Dakota.”

“Live! with Kelly and Michael” has moved to WDAY. WDAY is owned by Forum Communications Co., which also owns The Forum.

Andrea Larson, a Valley News Live anchor who will be one of the new show’s hosts, said she doesn’t worry about going up against an established, national program.

“This is an opportunity for local content to shine against a nationally syndicated program that is produced elsewhere,” she said. “North Dakota Today is about local, local, local.”

The show is a joint operation among all NBC stations across North Dakota, Wareham said.

The first part of the show will involve local personalities and news content specific to each region of the state.

Larson and Chris Berg, co-host of the Valley News Live television program “6:30 Point of View,” which airs on KXJB, will host the show on KVLY, covering eastern North Dakota and Western Minnesota. Monica Hannan, news director and anchor for KFYR, the Bismarck affiliate, and Kevin Stanfield, KFYR anchor and producer, are the Bismarck hosts and will cover western North Dakota.

“It’s always fun when you get to do something that hasn’t been done before,” Larson said. “This is that time. We are building something from scratch that is going to be around for a very long time.”

The second part of the show will feature content that will air across the state. It will include topics such as pets, relationships, family, self-improvement, health, gardening, crafts, food and events.

There will be also opportunities for audience interaction through things like quizzes and birthday, anniversary and pet pictures.

“We’ve built up a pretty good selection of experts in a wide variety of areas,” Wareham said. “Hopefully, our audience will identify with these people and they’ll become regulars on the show.”

Larson said they’ve spent months preparing.

“This show is a first for this market,” Larson said. “It is a huge undertaking, but we are almost ready and we just hope everyone watches it and comes back for more.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526