KDLT Celebrates 55 Years

The History & Future

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KDLT’s history actually takes us back to the days of radio, a former big band musician turned radio station owner. Ray Eppel ignored many of his fellow radio station owners who thought television was just a fad. He started KORN TV in Mitchell in 1960. Jeff Logan worked for Eppel for almost a decade and describes him as a frugal businessman who cared about his community.

“I think he saw TV as an up and coming medium,” said Logan, “He thought he had an opportunity here and this area his goal I think was to serve the Mitchell Huron this market.”

One of the ways the station served the area was providing local programming from news and talks shows to an afternoon cartoon show hosted by Kernel Korn.  Eppel believed in the future of TV and continued to expand.

“After a few years in the business he really saw the opportunity and this is getting towards the end of his career so I have to give him a lot of credit,” said Logan, “he invested in the high 2,000 foot tower in Salem and went into the Sioux Falls market and in that way brought the station into one of the top one hundred markets.”

That meant national advertisers became interested in KORN and so did other station owners.

Eppel agreed to sell to a Texas company and KORN became KXON,
A few years later the station would change hands again and the new owners from California would change to call letters to KDLT, which stood for Dakota Land Television
The studios in Mitchell are now gone, a shopping center sits on the original site. In 1987 the station moved to Sioux Falls and our current location on Westport Avenue near the Empire Mall. In 1994 Red River Broadcasting of Fargo purchased KDLT and has since guided the station through a number of improvements.

Meagan has more on that.

Those improvements have happened both behind the scenes and on-air.
KDLT started broadcasting in high definition in February 2014. Giving our viewers the best possible picture in 1080i..
With our transition to HD, we also got a new set for the news desk, new graphics, new robotic cameras and new editing equipment.

Over the past year, we’ve added the KDLT Orange Couch and the KDLT Kitchen Making our newscasts a little more fun and light-hearted.

In the past few months, KDLT launched a brand new app and the fully re-designed kdlt.com.
The new website is more user-friendly and allows you to interact with us through social media.
It’s easier to find the news you want, with tabs for local news, weather and sports, and a separate section for our videos right on the homepage.

Our new mobile app brings you breaking news as it happens and has your up-to-the-minute local forecast.
Viewers can also use the app to connect with us, by sharing photos and videos or by submitting story ideas to the newsroom.

All of our changes over the past few years help us bring you the news that matters to you.