David H. Knutson

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Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

David H. Knutson

Inducted 2008

Dave Knutson was only going to try radio for three months, but stayed for 34 years. Born in Crookston, he joined the US Navy at 17 and served in the Pacific Theater until 1948. He was working in sales in Detroit Lakes in 1956 when he was offered the position of sales manager at KDLM. He realized early on that community involvement was the key to success and worked with new owner Al Leighton to make it KDLM’s mission to serve its clients and the community. Turning walls into pathways, he attracted new listeners by offering coverage of the popular Pine to Palm Golf Tournament, which continues to this day. He was named General Manager of KDLM and KVLR FM in 1975, and became a partner in Leighton Enterprises, retiring in 1990. Throughout his career, he continued the close connection with the community, serving as President of the Jaycees, Rotary, Detroit Lakes Boys Club, two terms as Chamber of Commerce President, and was also Admiral of the very successful annual Detroit Lakes Water Carnival. He served several years on the Salvation Army Board and continues gathering Bell Ringers during holiday seasons. But, Dave’s most satisfying impact is his role in bringing young people into the challenging broadcast business. He is justly proud of the many he trained who later owned or managed stations of their own.