FOX 21 KQDS-DT is the FOX Broadcast Network affiliate for the Duluth-Superior market, which covers northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and the western portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We are owned by Red River Broadcast Co. of Fargo, North Dakota.
Our market area:
The Duluth-Superior market is about the size of the state of West Virginia. It includes Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Itasca, Lake, and St. Louis Counties in Minnesota, Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Iron, and Sawyer Counties in Wisconsin, and Gogebic County, Michigan.
The market includes the cities of Duluth, Cloquet, Hibbing, Virginia, Grand Rapids, International Falls, and Grand Marais in Minnesota, Ashland, Hayward, and Superior in Wisconsin, and Ironwood, Michigan.
In addition, FOX 21 reaches portions of Aitkin, Crow Wing, and Pine Counties in Minnesota, Burnett and Washburn Counties in Wisconsin, and Ontonagon County, Michigan through broadcast and/or cable coverage.
FOX 21 blankets the market with nine transmitters. KQDS-DT, broadcasting on channel 17 and remapping to channel 21.1 on digital receivers, transmits with 1,000,000 Watts from Duluth. It is the only transmitter in the market operating at 1,000,000 Watts, the maximum power allowed to any digital U.S. TV station.
In addition, FOX 21 is seen on eight analog "translator" stations: channel 47 Virginia, channel 15 Hibbing, channel 29 Grand Rapids, channel 39 Aitkin, channel 45 International Falls, channel 45 Ashland, channel 31 Hayward, and channel 32 Ironwood. These stations will transition to digital at a later date. Through its translator stations, FOX 21 provides the only city-grade TV signal to Ashland, Hayward, and Ironwood.
FOX 21 is also carried on every cable system in the market, as well as both satellite providers.
The station that is now FOX 21 KQDS-DT signed on as KNLD in 1994 under different ownership. Things changed drastically in 1999 when Red River Broadcast Co. purchased the station, increased its power, and turned it into KQDS-TV, the Northland's first primary FOX affiliate.
KQDS-TV signed on in 2003 and upgraded to 1,000,000 Watts in 2006. The analog KQDS-TV channel 21 signal left the air on Feb. 1, 2009, as part of the nation's transition to digital television.
FOX 21 News at 9 launched March 12, 2007, and was nominated for numerous awards in its first year on the air. A Sunday newscast was launched in August 2007, followed by a Saturday newscast in November 2008 and fox21online.com in March 2009.
Our news philosophy:
FOX 21 believes in quality, in-depth, local coverage. We strive to deliver a high-quality newscast with the look of a large market but with a local hometown feel.
We are the voice of the people of northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and the Twin Ports. Because there are plenty of other places to get national news, we fill our newscast with local news.
The FOX 21 News team includes veterans of every other commercial station in Duluth, plus several veterans of Minneapolis TV stations.
Red River Broadcast Co. and KQDS Acquisition Corp. are privately-held companies. They are owned by Curtis Squire, Inc. (85%) and Ro Grignon (15%). Curtis Squire, Inc. is owned by the Kunin family.
Red River Broadcast Co. also owns the FOX affiliates in the Fargo market and the NBC affiliates in the Sioux Falls market.
Red River's sister company, Red Rock Radio, owns 19 radio stations in northeastern and north-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. These stations are located in Duluth, Aitkin / Brainerd, International Falls, Pine City/Siren, Amery, and Hayward.