WisBusiness: Ashland TV station to go from ‘silent’ status to broadcasting on the air programming

By Gary Fisher

Hank Martinsen Sr. of True North T.V. 25, 101 W. Main St. has acquired a fledgling television station in Ashland.

Martinsen said WAST-TV Channel 25 is expected to be on the air July 1. His daughter, Jessica Nuutinen, is the general manager.

The station has been licensed to ESI Broadcasting of Florida and a variety of investors since 1995.

Martinsen recently bought the station from David Neitzke, of Resource Recovery of Wisconsin, 2200 Lake Shore Drive, Ashland. Neitzke was formerly with a consortium of businessmen that recovered sunken logs from Lake Superior and turned the century-old timber into expensive paneling and other valuable wood products.

Nietzke is currently a principle agent of Timeless Timber Co.

The Federal Communications Commission in December 2003 approved the transfer of ownership of the NBC-affiliated low-power television station. Mirtinsen hopes to compete with the TV stations in Duluth, Minn.

The cost of the deal was not disclosed.

Martinsen is also the chief executive of Martinsen Investment & Land Co., Ashland.