Dean Sorenson

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Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Dean Sorenson

Inducted 2007

Fifty years ago, KORN AM in Mitchell, South Dakota, was looking for a new engineer/announcer because the famous Gary Owens was leaving the station.  A high school senior named Dean Sorenson got the job.  It was the start of a long and distinguished career marked by leadership and a commitment to using radio stations to make their communities better places to live and work.

Sorenson continued at KORN and did weather and sports at KORN TV while attending college, then left to study at Brown Institute.  He returned to South Dakota and worked in radio sales in Rapid City and Pierre, and by age 23 was the general manager of Pierre’s 200-watt KGFX AM. 

In 1971 he founded Sorenson Broadcasting with his friend Jerry Simmons.  Since then the company has purchased or constructed 22 radio stations in Grand Rapids, Red Wing, and eight other communities in North and South Dakota and Iowa.  He has also owned stations in Nebraska and is now building two new FM stations in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  Highly regarded by his peers, he has served on the boards of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau, and received the 2007 Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.