PIERRE, S.D. (KCCR) — The state of South Dakota is recognizing a South Dakota radio icon today. Dean P. Sorenson is celebrating 80 years today and as such, Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed today as Dean P. Sorenson Day in South Dakota. Sorenson’s broadcasting career began as a freshly minted adult at age 18 in 1957, where he moonlighted on hometown station KORN in Mitchell as an evening announcer, filling the gap left by one Gary Owen of “Laugh-In” fame. A graduate of the now closed Brown Institute in Minnesota, Sorenson moved to Pierre to manage KGFX at age 23.
In 1971, he created Sorenson Broadcasting after buying KCCR. At one time he owned 22 stations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.
His advice to the newbys coming into radio broadcasting?
Sorenson also spent time as a state Representative and served Pierre as a volunteer, leader, employer, mentor and adviser. He also has held positions on state and national boards, including the National Association of Broadcasters. Over the years he has stayed engaged in radio, Sorenson is an early recipient of the Tom Brokaw and South Dakota Broadcaster of the Year awards along with the Broadcaster’s Foundation of America’s Pioneer Award. Sorenson was also inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007.
Today, Dean Sorenson is semi-retired, but remains active in the radio industry as a partner with Bob Faehn at KXLG.