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Petition launched against WDAZ format change

An online petition to bring the local 5 p.m. newscast back to WDAZ TV in Grand Forks has attracted more than 470 supporters.

The station announced earlier this week that the 5 p.m. newscast would be anchored by WDAY in Fargo. Both stations, as well as the Herald, are owned by Forum Communications Co.

“Let’s send a message to WDAZ that we, the people of Grand Forks, have spoken and we want our Dullum back!” the petition on said, referring to longtime 5 p.m. anchor Terry Dullum.

It was posted by Grand Forks resident Nancy Hennen.

As of 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the petition had 472 signatures.

The 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts are still anchored at WDAZ in Grand Forks.

Mari Ossenfort, the general manager of WDAY and WDAZ, said Thursday she had not seen the petition. She said she’s received some positive reaction to the format change.

Ossenfort said the change will give reporters more time to generate stories.

“Instead of spending our time on producing shows, we’d like to produce content that can air in the (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts),” she said.

The 5 p.m. newscast will have a more regional focus, she said, while the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. will focus on local stories.

Ossenfort said WDAZ is interviewing for two open reporter positions, and the station is getting some physical updates.   

“We are investing in the station,” she said.

“I’m just bowled over by the support the community has shown,” Dullum, who still works at WDAZ, said Thursday.

On the Web: Hennen’s petition is at WDAZ is at

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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