KELOLAND Media Group launches into a new era


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Exciting things are happening here at KELOLAND Media Group.

As you know, we’ve been broadcasting our news from an alternative news set, we affectionately call ‘Studio B’.

It’s because we are in the process of putting the final touches on our new million dollar state-of-the-art news set.

We also invested in a piece of equipment that’s going to take our news coverage to new heights.

In the early years of KELO-TV, the anchor desk and weather sets were pretty black and white.

“They were sit behind the desk; do the news, do the weather, do the sports,” Huizenga said.

KELOLAND Media Group General Manager Jay Huizenga says a lot of the commercials were live.

“Way back in the early days there were a lot of advertising, sponsors, and news people who were doing commercials right on the set, so many of the sets were built with advertisers and sponsors as part of the deal,” Huizenga said.

But as time went on, our sets slowly evolved with the technology.

In Don Jorgensen’s 30 years of working here, he’s only anchored on two different sets.

The last one was when we converted our studio and floor cameras to get ready for high definition television.

Jorgensen: We’re not quite ready to show you our newest state of the art set, but I can tell you this, it wasn’t built overnight.

“It was literally stripped of everything, all the wiring came out, all the lights came out, all of the set came out; we even put in a new floor,” Huizenga said.

KELOLAND News’ assignment editor, Dexter Gronseth says with our new set, viewers will notice a new approach to telling stories.

“It’s going to open up a big tool box for us and in that tool box there are a lot of tools and it’s going to make for easier story telling so it’ll be easier for the viewer to follow the story that might lack visuals, we’ll be able to put stuff in the monitors and tell stories that way,” Gronseth said. Another big investment this year?

KELO has added a pilot; a drone pilot. Tory Stolen, who is one of our news photojournalists, recently became FAA certified to fly our new drone and launch KELO into a new era when it comes to covering news.

“It took jumping through a lot of hoops,” KELO News photojournalist Tory Stolen said.

While KELO spent the money to buy the drone, Stolen has spent a lot of time learning how to fly it by taking classes in Denver, Colorado.

“You know news crews have had helicopters in the past and things like that for traffic in bigger cities, but I think having a drone makes it super simple and it’ll offer a new perspective for viewers,” Stolen said.

“I think about the stories we covered with the spring flooding, can you imagine what that’s going to look like? We just have an angle that nobody else has,” Gronseth said.

“We’re always so used to seeing everything shot at ground level, so when we’re able to see things from the sky, automatically you know that’s a drone shot,” Stolen said. “I’ve been a photographer for most of my life, but I’ve never gotten to get up into the sky and see things from that new perspective.”

But keep this into perspective. Huizenga says a new million dollar set and a new drone isn’t what news is ultimately about.

“I think we always want to remember is that content is still the most important thing, if you’re providing good content, it doesn’t matter what the set looks like, now if you’re providing good content and you’re able to show it in a way that’s more entertaining or at least visually impactful for the viewers that’s great, but if you do not have good content it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you have,” Huizenga said.

Huizenga says that’s what’s going to keep us grounded.

“That’s a perfect landing.”

Be sure to tune in Sunday night at 10 p.m. as we launch our new state-of-the-art set to our viewers.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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