Befera, a true broadcasting pioneer, has led a distinguished career
capped by founding and building two television stations in northern
Mr. Befera was born in Hibbing, MN, and first demonstrated his interest
in broadcasting by building his first crystal radio set in 1931. By
age 17 he had constructed a ham radio transmitter. His burgeoning interest
in radio, however, was interrupted by World War II . Mr. Befera was
an officer in the famed "Merrill's Marauders" in the Far East
Theater, where he walked 3,000 miles across China from Kinming to Canton.
He was decorated with the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
Returning to Hibbing in 1946, Frank returned to radio as an engineer
at WFMG-AM. Two years later he owned the station, and purchased WHLB-AM
in Virginia, MN as well. In 1965 he expanded his holdings into cable
TV, starting Range TV Cable, which he still owns and operates.
In 1965, Mr. Befera moved to Duluth and started WDIO-TV, the ABC affiliate.
Determined to serve the Iron Range as well, Frank also constructed WIRT-TV
in his hometown of Hibbing. He remained President and General Manager
of these two stations until 1987.
After leaving WDIO-TV, Frank concentrated his efforts on operating the
Range TV Cable system. Not being one to rest on his accomplishments,
he started another radio station, WUSZ-FM, in Virginia, MN in 1987,
which he moved to Duluth in 1994.
During this mercurial career, Frank also found time to act as President
of the Hibbing Curling Club and played a leadership role to build the
Duluth Curling Club. He was also instrumental in developing the Duluth
International Airport and served as the Airport President
Frank has left an indelible mark on the broadcasting landscape in northern
Minnesota, and continues his legacy to this day as owner of Range TV
Cable. All Minnesota broadcasters can draw inspiration from the storied
career of Frank P. Blefera.