Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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KIMT-TV, Mason City, Iowa
KIMT-TV celebrated their 50th anniversary in broadcast on Saturday, May 15, 2004. President and General Manager Steve MARTINSON states, "For those that have watched KIMT over the years they will remember Bart's Clubhouse, a local children's program that aired from 1958-1976, and watching Bob CLAUSEN and his Shell Weather Tower. It is absolutely amazing what innovation and technology has brought to broadcast television, giving us abilities they couldn't have dreamed of 50 years ago."
More than half a million dollars was spent to build and equip the television station and the new home of KGLO AM and FM radio and KGLO-TV. The building that had occupied a former radio chapel, originally built by an intenerant evangelist was gutted even of it's floor and plastered walls during the remodeling. Lee LOOMIS, president of Lee Radio (a division of Lee Enterprises, owner of the Mason City Globe Gazette signifying the GLO of the call letters), incorporated pressed the button during a opening ceremony, which put KGLO-TV on the air at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, 1954. The opening ceremony featured a special 10-minute puppet show contributed by Bil BAIRD, native Mason Cityan, and his wife, Cora. The New York puppeteers had their puppets speak directly to prominent Mason Cityans. A Columbia Broadcasting System and DuMont television affiliate, KGLO-TV first broadcast on channel 3 with 100,000 watts effective radiated power, the maximum in its day permitted on that channel. The audience included a population of more than half a million persons and the signal blanketed what was referred to as "The Golden Triangle" including Mason City, Iowa and Austin and Albert Lea, Minnesota. Signals were reported as far away as Gary, Indiana and Rochester, Minnesota reported, "You are hitting Rochester real good."
Among the regularly scheduled CBS and DuMont network television shows, programming opening night included, The Goldbergs, DuMont network program, Let's Go Fishing, a 20-minute feature on the opening of fishing season in North Iowa that day, followed by The Nightcap, a full-length moving picture chosen especially for the first night program. Among the regularly scheduled and featured programs were, Jack Benny, Ann Southern in Private Secretary, Edward Murrow's Person to Person, Arthur Godfrey and his friends; Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnes in "I Love Lucy, Red Buttons, Ford Theater, and Gene Autry, Amos and Andy.
In an editorial in the Mason City Globe Gazette dated May 10, 1954 the view on television during that time is reflected with a bit of caution, "While it isn't to be discounted as a medium of entertainment, its possibilities for disseminating education, culture, good citizenship and good will are of vastly greater importance. TV is obviously quite closely related to radio. But there is no reason in logic or on a basis of experience to believe that one is inimical to the other. TV is a jealous claimant of the viewer's time and attention. You can, for example, read and listen to the radio. About the only other thing you can do successfully while viewing TV is eat!"
In August of 1977 FCC regulations required the combined ownership of the Globe Gazette, KGLO radio and KGLO-TV to be separated as it would no longer be allowed to own a television and a radio station in the same community. KGLO-TV was sold to BY Communications and with this change in ownership came the change in the call letters to KIMT-TV the "IMT" representing "Iowa-Minnesota Television".
In June of 1980, Daily Telegraph Printing Company based in Bluefield, West Virginia purchased the station. The station was again under new ownership effective June 29, 1984 when it was acquired by Spartan Radiocasting Company (later to become Spartan Communications). Spartan was later bought by Media General Broadcasting of Richmond, Virginia. In 2006, KIMT was bought by its current owners, New Vision Television.
In Memory of Jodi
Jodi HUISENTRUIT, morning and Noon News producer and anchor at KIMT-TV, Mason City, Iowa, failed to arrive at the station at her usual time [4:00 a.m.] early on the Tuesday morning of June 27, 1995. Producer Amy KUNS reached Jodi on the phone. Jodi said she had overslept but would be at the station within a few minutes. Jodi never arrived and has not been heard from or seen since.
Jodi still had not arrived at the station by 6:00 a.m. KUNS filled-in for Jodi on her morning show, Daybreak
Jodi's co-workers called the police about 7:00 a.m. when she still hadn't arrived at the station and they were unable to contact her by telephone. The police immediately launched an investigation, finding some of Jodi's personal items scattered near her car, still parked in the lot of her apartment complex. It appeared as though there had been a struggle near Jodi's red Mazda Miata. Jodi's car keys were also found near her vehicle. The key had been bent. An unidentified palm print was recovered from Jodi's car.
The Mason City Police Department, Iowa Department of Criminial Investigation, the FBI, volunteers and search dogs from the Iowa Search and Rescue Group, along with many other local law enforcement agencies and volunteers, have been involved in the search. In September of 1995, the HUISENTRUIT family hired private investigators. Over 1,000 interviews relating to Jodi's disappearance have been conducted.
Law enforcement believes that Jodi was abducted.
Throughout the years there have been what turned out to be false tips and false leads in the case. Jodi's disappearance remains as much of a mystery as it was early on the morning of June 27th, 1995.
Jodi, born June 5, 1968, grew up in Long Prairie, Minnesota. "Jodi's this upbeat, friendly, outgoing, very lovely person," said Ray GOVE, her former band director in Long Prairie, where she twice was a member of the state champion high school golf team. "You always knew when she was in the room."
Jodi was twenty-seven-years-old at the time of her disappearance. She was declared legally deceased in May of 2001.
A scholarship endowment fund was established at Jodi's alma mater - St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, in Jodi's name.
UPDATE: Jodi's case remains open and under active investigation.
Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2011
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