KELO-TV will soon be broadcasting in central South Dakota with our new 1,000 foot tower.
For years, our KPLO tower was on Medicine Butte near Reliance. But that land has always been sacred to the Native Americans. So out of respect to their culture, KELO-TV and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe made the decision to move it off Medicine Butte to another location six miles to the southwest.
For over five decades, our KPLO tower has been transmitting our signal all over central South Dakota from atop of Medicine Butte.
But when an ice storm in January of 2010 knocked our tower down, work immediately began to not only replace it, but move it all together off the butte that's long been sacred land to the Lower Brule Tribe.
"We started talking to them and found out we were on an area that was culturally significant for them, both culturally and spiritually significant," KELO-TV General Manager Jay Huizenga said.
For three and a half years, KELO-TV used a temporary tower in its place, but work was underway to find a permanent home.
Huizenga spent months meeting with tribal members and others to get a better understanding of their concerns.
"When it came time to put a new tower up and get permits to get a new tower, we just didn't think it was the right thing to do, to put a tower back there out of respect to the Lower Brule Tribe and the Native Americans in that area," Huizenga said.
Huizenga says moving our tower was right thing to do for both the Lower Brule Tribe and KELO-TV. Now that our new tower is up and about to be turned on, Huizenga says it not only fostered a good relationship with Native Americans, but put KELO in a better position to reach even more viewers.
"We're virtually broadcasting at the same height, with a higher power, so we should reach out a little bit further than we had with the old tower," Huizenga said.
While we are making the switch to our new tower, our Pierre viewers will temporarily lose our signal as we switch our signal and transmitter to the new tower. We will begin broadcasting again from the new and improved tower in five to seven days.
Viewers in the Pierre area who watch us on cable or satellite will not be affected. You can always watch our newscasts online right here at KELOLAND.com.
We'll begin dismantling the old tower and transmitter December 1.