January 18, 1944: Birth of Denny Anderson, the “Voice of the Northland”

On this day in 1944, at precisely 9:39 a.m., future Duluth television news anchor Dennis “Denny” Anderson was born in Eveleth, Minnesota. While in high school he joined the radio broadcast club and after graduating went on the air for Virginia’s WHLB radio, beginning a lifetime as a radio and television broadcaster. Denny was just 19 when he nervously broke the news about President Kennedy’s assassination to radio listeners throughout Minnesota’s Arrowhead region. He anchored the WDIO-TV news from 1970 to 2011, covering every major regional story and interviewing a number of politicians and celebrities. In 1975 he was the first journalist to break the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s sinking. Over the years Anderson received many honors, including two Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award, and three Eric Sevareid awards for his coverage of the plane crash that took the life of Senator Paul Wellstone. Anderson has been called “The Voice of the Northland” (Duluth News-Tribune), “the dean of television broadcasting in[the Northland” (Duluth Budgeteer), and “the Walter Cronkite of the Northland,” (Neill Atkins, KDAL-Radio). He retired from WDIO in 2011 and now co-hosts “Almanac North” on Duluth’s WDSE-TV every Friday evening. There’s much more to Denny’s life, and he writes about much of it in his memoir, Good Night, Everybody…and be Kind, which you can preview here.

Denny Anderson behind the anchor desk in 2011. (Image: WDIO-TV)