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Hennen taking his show to Grand Forks after being booted from Fargo station

Scott Hennen, shown here in 2008, is working out a deal to appear on KNOX Radio in Grand Forks. Forum file photo

GRAND FORKS - Scott Hennen, who started his radio career in Grand Forks 27 years ago, is bringing his show back to town and to the same broadcasting company.

"I'm ecstatic about it, I really am," the conservative talk-show host said Wednesday. Having spent much of his adult life in Grand Forks, and marrying a Grand Forks woman, he said he considers the city his "adopted hometown."

Starting May 31, Hennen's talk show will be on KNOX 1310 AM from 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays, the station confirmed. It'll also be syndicated for broadcast in other markets.

"Scott, having worked in this market for 18 years, he's certainly considered a household name here in Grand Forks and up and down the valley," said Jeff Hoberg, general manager of Leighton Broadcasting, which owns, among others, KNOX. "It was certainly a perfect fit."

Until this past Monday, Hennen's syndicated show, "The Common Sense Club," was broadcast from Fargo-based The Flag 1100 AM, the station he originally founded. His last show was supposed to be Friday, but he was canceled mid-show by station management.

Hoberg said he'd heard there were some issues for Hennen in Fargo and reached out to him to offer him a slot here.

Hennen said he's essentially bringing "The Common Sense Club" to KNOX, but he'll adapt it to its new environs. He said he plans to get re-acquainted with the community and listeners here, broadcasting a third of his shows from different parts of the region.

But Hennen won't be coming back to his adopted hometown anytime soon.

He and his wife would love to do it, he said, but his three children - the youngest is in second grade, the eldest in ninth - would frown on the move. Instead, he said, he's building a studio in Fargo, where he'll broadcast a third of the time.

The remaining third, he said, he'll go wherever the stories take him, such as the times he broadcast from Bismarck during this recent legislative session.

Terms of Hennen's contract, such as how long he'll be at KNOX, aren't available. Hoberg said it's still being worked out and Hennen declined to talk about it.

Hennen, a native of Montevideo, Minn., came to Grand Forks in 1984 at age 20 to work as a disc jockey at KYCK 97 FM. Two years later, he started what he called North Dakota's first radio talk show at sister station KCNN 1590 AM. His "Hot Talk" program was known for featuring nationally known guests.

In 2001, he left for Fargo, taking at job as general manager of WDAY 970 AM radio. In 2008, he and a group of investors bought 1100 AM for $720,000. The powerful 50,000-watt signal could reach Grand Forks, prompting Hennen to call it a homecoming.

Last September, though, he was ousted as CEO of the company that owns The Flag. He returned to the station under a syndication contract in November, but was given notice in April that he would be canceled in two months.


Tu-Uyen Tran writes for the Grand Forks Herald