“We are incredibly moved by this transformational gift of a new studio and office facility in Granite Falls,” said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. “Since digital television became the standard several years ago, we knew that our Appleton studios were not adequate for modern, high definition production and that we had to make a change. We have been working to raise funds to build a new studio and the Fagen’s gift makes that dream a reality,” Heen added.
“We are very excited to be the catalyst in the upcoming relocation of Pioneer Public Television, said Ron and Diane Fagen. “Bringing a company known for their excellent programming with a long term commitment and high quality jobs is important for the growth of the Granite Falls community. We look forward to this project and are ready to welcome this new company and their staff to our community.”
Construction of the all new facility near the intersection of Highway 23 and 212 is planned for 2016 with the building ready for occupancy by Pioneer staff by early 2017. Pioneer currently employs 23 full time staff. When the new facility is completed, Pioneer expects to have a staff of 26 employees working in Granite Falls.
Pioneer will continue to maintain a tower, transmitter and microwave relays near Appleton as part of its service to transmitters near Worthington and Fergus Falls. Pioneer also hopes to maintain the 1895 era Opera House (located above its current studios) as a music recording venue for the station.
“We have greatly appreciated the support of the Appleton community for these many years,” said Pat Kubly, the Chair of Pioneer’s Board of Directors. “We also look forward to a new era of producing quality television in Granite Falls.”
A Community Listening Session will be held on Monday, December 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Pioneer Public TV at 120 W. Schlieman Ave. in Appleton, Minnesota. Anyone who wants to learn more details of the decision and to discuss its implications is encouraged to attend.
About Pioneer Public Television
Pioneer Public TV is an award winning, viewer supported television station serving western and southwestern Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northwestern Iowa. For more information, visit www.pioneer.org or call 1-800-726-3178.