December 1, 1961: Denny Anderson hits the airwaves for the first time

On this day in 1961, future Duluthian Dennis Anderson sat behind the microphone at the studios of WHLB Radio in Virginia and broadcast for the first time. The Virginia native was only 17 years old and still a high school senior. Two years later he would break the news to Iron Range listeners that President Kennedy had been killed. In 1968 Anderson took a news director and anchor job with KTHI-TV in Fargo, North Dakota. A year later he was in Duluth, hosting the “Action Line” news segment on WDIO-TV. In 1971, after Anderson filmed Duluth police officers apprehending a man suspected of breaking into the Ski Hut on East 4th Street, his camera was confiscated by the department, an action that led to a landmark federal court decision prohibiting police from prior restraint of reporters gathering news. A year later during a live broadcast of the “Peggy Chisholm Show,” Anderson was fitted for a toupée for the first time. He then took over the anchor desk at WDIO, signing off with “Good night, everybody, and be kind” at the end of his first broadcast. The phrase, first used by Denny during his radio days, would become his trademark. Except from a period between 1980 and 1985, Anderson held that anchor chair until May 25, 2012, when he signed off for the last time and began a busy retirement.

Denny Anderson behind the mic at WHLB Radio in 1965. (Image: Dennis Anderson)