BEMIDJI -- Two local businesses were making plans this week to host conservative broadcasts in conjunction with President Donald Trump’s visit to Bemidji.
Fargo-based radio talk show host Scott Hennen broadcast his “What’s on Your Mind?” program at Bemidji Woolen Mills on Friday morning, hours before the president arrived. for a rally at Bemidji Aviation Services.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, Pete Hegseth of Fox News is planning to broadcast part of the “Fox & Friends” show from Countryside Restaurant west of Bemidji. Hegseth, co-host of Fix & Friends Weekend, regularly visits eating establishments around the country for the "Breakfast with Friends" segment of the program. It airs from 5 to 8 a.m. weekdays.
Bill Batchelder, fourth-generation owner of the Bemidji Woolen Mills business, said he has known Hennen since 2012 when they met at an event for presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. The Woolen Mills made about 1,000 sweater vests for Santorum that year.
“It's wonderful because I met Scott back in the early months of 2012 in Alexandria when the Santorum sweater thing was going hot and heavy," Batchelder said. "We've been friends ever since. He thought the Rick Santorum sweater vest deal was one of the coolest things ever.”
Batchelder said he is hoping some of the Republican candidates and dignitaries who are in town for the Trump rally will stop in during the morning broadcast.
Hennen is a partner at Flag Family Media and Fieldstone Group of Fargo. His show is aired on four stations throughout North Dakota.
Susan Mistic, owner of the Countryside Restaurant, was excited to get a call from a “Fox & Friends” producer. The initial plan was to have Hegseth here on Friday in advance of the president’s visit, but Hurricane Sally put an end to those plans, and arrangements were made to do the show next Thursday.
“It’s still exciting,” Mistic said, “kind of a big deal to have in town. Obviously I think it would have been a bigger deal if it had been on the same day the president was coming to town. Not much you can do about that.”
Mistic said she plans to have extra staff on duty that day. The restaurant is following state guidelines with only 50% occupancy because of COVID-19 concerns.
“Business has been pretty good, considering,” she said.