SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Friday is a very special day here at KELOLAND TV. It’s our 70th birthday.
KELO signed on as South Dakota’s very first TV station on May 19th, 1953.
We recently sat down with Joe Floyd, the son of the man who first started it all, the place we call KELOLAND.
When KELO first signed on the air, it was the start of something big.
TV news was about to change people’s lives.
At first, the news broadcast wasn’t live. It was pre-recorded and then played back on air. They jokingly called the process live film.
Joe Floyd remembers working for his dad as a teenager and playing a key role in delivering the newscast. Not like you might think.
“I’d take that film and go downstairs drive it over to the back of Harold’s Photography Shop, take it downstairs and they would develop it,” Floyd said.
Floyd would then drive it back to the station where crews would splice in commercials.
“When they finished doing that then it was a master reel, I’d take it back downstairs put it in the car and drive to Schindler because that’s where our projection equipment was at the time,” Floyd said.
It was then played back on air at 10 o’clock.
Floyd recalls those early years as TV stations across the country were looking for the next big thing.
His dad was all about producing entertaining shows that would captivate an audience.
“He’s the guy who discovered Lawrence Welk, Lawrence Welk was playing across the studio and he got a hold of some guys from ABC who were looking for a program and said here’s your guy,” Floyd said.
Floyd’s dad also wanted a children’s program, so he started Captain 11 and picked Dave Dedrick to play the part.
“We copied it from WTCN in Minneapolis and then got Dave to do it, and we just kind of developed how it was going to work,” Floyd said.
As we all know, it worked out very well.
“We can all stand back be proud of how KELO has maintained its reputation and grown with the industry you can look back and say we did a pretty good job,” Floyd said.
The Captain 11 show became the longest-running children’s show in America.