Chester Reiten has died at the age of 89. Reiten built the KX Television Network beginning in 1958 when he purchased KXMC-TV in Minot. He added stations in Bismarck, Dickinson, and Williston and also bought radio stations in the region. Eventually, he sold the radio stations and turned over the television stations to his children.
One reason he made those changes was to devote more time to the festival he founded in 1978, the Norsk Hostfest. The Hostfest has become the largest Scandinavian festival in North America - attracting major entertainers and more importantly, as far as Reiten was concerned, thousands of people with a desire to celebrate their heritage.
Reiten also was mayor of Minot for 14 years and served as a state senator for 16 years. He is one of only 38 recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award - the highest honor given by the state of North Dakota.
Chester Reiten died Tuesday afternoon with his wife Joy at his side.