SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - As KDLT and KSFY each celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2020, a new era of local news is starting with Dakota News Now. Susan McGowan was the first female newscaster in Sioux Falls. Her family started KSOO before the station became KSFY, but she was never involved in the operations.
She was working at a travel agency next door to the station when one of the anchors popped over and asked if she wanted to do the noon newscast over her lunch break. She agreed to it and was paid $5 per show.
"The impact on me was probably just a really bad case of nervousness once they told me that this was the first time a woman had done an anchor," McGowan said. "I didn't think of myself as anything other than who I was. I wasn't treated like anybody else. Nobody babied me or anything like that."
She eventually moved to the evening news where she worked with Tom Rooney.
"It's been fun to watch from my perspective to see the advancements, especially in the last several years here, where KSFY has really been on the cutting edge of some new technology," Rooney said.
McGowan and Rooney said a lot has changed in the news industry since they started in the 1970's.
"The whole world is faster than it used to be, so I don't know how today you do that," McGowan said. "You just have to keep moving, I assume."
It is faster and KSFY and KDLT are trying to keep up by doing something McGowan and Rooney never thought would happen.
"This is unheard of. Regulatory environment didn't allow for that when we were in business, and you didn't ever think about that happening because it wouldn't, and it wouldn't have been allowed. It was illegal," they said.
As KDLT and KSFY become one, we're carving our own path, looking back on where we started and looking forward to what's ahead for Dakota News Now and the opportunities it's bringing to viewers.