Paradegate 2013: The rest of the story

By KBJR News 1

November 27, 2013 Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Once a year, a week before Thanksgiving, downtown Duluth turns into a Christmas City.

Thousands line the streets to see dancers, hear local marching bands and of course wave to the big man in the red suit.

If people don't want to brave the usual cold weather that greets the parade, many watch it at home on KBJR 6 & Range 11, which has the daunting task of organizing the event.

Viewers know over the years the hosts sit in a little booth outside the station.

But some viewers, with a keen eye, noticed things didn't seem quite right during the 2013 parade last Friday.

Yep. You guessed right. We sat in front of a green screen, the same thing a weather guy uses.

Boy, did word spread fast.

Radio stations, national media blogs, MPR and even the Huffington Post ran articles. FOX & Friends also poked fun at us Wednesday morning.

Everyone asked, "what was that Duluth station thinking?" "Was it ethical?" "Are those anchors scared of the cold?"

Of course we weren't scared. We're Northlanders. We would have been just fine.

"The cold and exterior temperature has nothing to do with why we made that decision. We made it entirely, so we could cover the UMD football playoff game the next day and that our production team and engineers could reset and get ready for that game," said David Jensch, station manager of KBJR 6 & Range 11.

Did we mislead the audience about being outside? No.

We made that point very clear several times during the broadcast as we tossed to each other inside and outside the studio.

Next question. Why did we wear the jackets inside?

"The illusion of the anchors, keeping their jackets on, and went back inside, I could see how somebody who really wasn't watching the parade might have been confused. We haven't gotten a single complaint from people who watched the parade. They understood," said Jensch.

The parade is all about the community and has been for more than 50 years.

Kevin Jacobsen
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