DULUTH, MN – Thursday marks CBS 3 Duluth’s 65th birthday.
In honor of the milestone, Dave Anderson sat down with the last surviving member of our original news team of 1954. Here are just a few of the memories of our first weatherman, Carl Casperson.
In 1954 there was a space race between America and Russia to get the first satellite into orbit. Here, there was a race to get TV on the air first between KDAL 3 and WDSM 6.
“It was a brand new technology back then,” Former CBS 3 Engineer Larry Erickson said.
WDSM won the race, but on March 14 1954, KDAL 3 got on the air, too.
One of the station’s first personalities was Ashland native Carl who got his start in radio in high school.
WWII put that on hiatus when Casperson joined the merchant marine where he delivered supplies to Omaha beach.
A trip inland to see the action had GI’s thinking Carl was a local.
“An army soldier looked at me and said you sure do speak good English for a Frenchman.”
After the war, Carl worked his way to the Twin Ports.
“I hitch hiked to Duluth with 65 cents in my pocket and auditioned at KDAL and worked there then for 25 years,” Carl said.
After six years on the radio, Carl and other KDAL perosnalities were assigned TV duties. One of those people was commentator Bill Kreuger.
“Bill Kreuger went on to be the Edward R. Murrow of Duluth,” Carl said.
Singing radio cowboy Eddie Williams also got a lot of work on the new TV station.
“Eddie Williams was a great fellow. I compare him with people like Gene Autrey,” Carl said.
And Carl was given the job of first Channel 3 weatherman.
“I did the Shell Weather Tower where a piece of film panned up to the top of the Weather Tower but the top of the Tower was really on the floor of the studio on the second floor of the Bradley Building,” Carl said.
Other notable personalities of Channel 3’s early days included Dottie Becker, Earl Henton and sports legend Marsh Nelson of Tower.
Carl left Channel 3 in 1973 but at age 94, still has vivid fond memories of his former colleagues.
Though the faces have changed over the years and the technology has advanced, CBS 3 news still lives by a comittment to quality started by Carl and his colleagues and will continue to do so for years to come.
When CBS 3 first went on the air in 1954, we were actually an NBC affiliate.
But in October 1955, we swapped networks with Channel 6 and have been part of CBS ever since.
“There will always be a place for local news, Dave,” Erickson said.