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WDIO-DT, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Duluth, Minnesota, United States, serving north-central and northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. WDIO-DT's studios and transmitter are located on Observation Road in Duluth.

WDIO-DT
WDIO-WIRT 2019 Logo.svg
Me-TV WDIO.jpg
Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin
United States
CityDuluth, Minnesota
BrandingWDIO (general)
WDIO News (newscasts)
SloganWith You for Life
ChannelsDigital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
Subchannels10.1 ABC
10.2 MeTV
10.3 Ion Television
AffiliationsABC
OwnerHubbard Broadcasting
(WDIO-TV, LLC)
First air dateJanuary 24, 1966 (53 years ago) (1966-01-24)
Call letters' meaningDuluth
Channel IO (10)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
10 (VHF, 1966–2009)
Digital:
43 (UHF, 2002–2009)
Former affiliationsDT2:
RTV
The Sportsman Channel
Transmitter power45 kW
Height297 m (974 ft)
Facility ID71338
Transmitter coordinates46°47′15″N 92°7′22″W / 46.78750°N 92.12278°W / 46.78750; -92.12278
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile
CDBS
Websitewww.wdio.com
WIRT-DT
(satellite of WDIO-DT)
Hibbing, Minnesota
United States
Brandingsee WDIO-DT infobox
Slogansee WDIO-DT infobox
ChannelsDigital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels13.1 ABC
13.2 MeTV
13.3 Ion Television
TranslatorsSee below
AffiliationsABC
OwnerHubbard Broadcasting
(WDIO-TV, LLC)
First air dateAugust 31, 1967 (51 years ago) (1967-08-31)[1]
Call letters' meaningIron
Range

Television[2]
Former channel number(s)Analog:
13 (VHF, 1967–2009)
Digital:
36 (UHF, 2002–2009)
Former affiliationsDT2:
RTV
The Sportsman Channel
Transmitter power13 kW
Height204 m (669 ft)
Facility ID71336
Transmitter coordinates47°22′53″N 92°57′16″W / 47.38139°N 92.95444°W / 47.38139; -92.95444 (WIRT)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:
(
satellite of WDIO-DT) Profile

(
satellite of WDIO-DT) CDBS

WIRT-DT, virtual and VHF digital channel 13 in Hibbing, is a full-time satellite station of WDIO, serving the Iron Range including Grand Rapids, Virginia and Chisholm. WIRT-DT's transmitter is located at Maple Hill Park south of Hibbing.

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
The station's former logo from 2013 to early 2019; the "10/13" element was used for decades.

WDIO-TV first went on the air on January 24, 1966 and has transmitted from its first day in color. It immediately joined ABC, which had previously been relegated to off-hours clearances on CBS affiliate KDAL-TV (channel 3, now KDLH) and NBC affiliate WDSM-TV (channel 6, now KBJR-TV). It was owned by Frank Befera, a trained engineer who owned a chain of radio stations across northeastern Minnesota. WIRT went on the air on August 31, 1967. Befera sold channels 10 and 13 to publishers Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1977,[3] but remained as president and general manager. HBJ sold the stations to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1986, and Befera retired a year later.

The station utilized a longtime logo from the 1980s until 2019, when it switched to a callsign-only logo. The lettering used in the logo (which blends a number "10" into the "IO" lettering) dates back to as late as the early 1970s. Changes to the 10/13 logo until 2019 merely depended on changes to ABC's logo and branding guidelines.

On April 11, 2008, a blizzard swept through the Northland. This caused power outages in Duluth causing WDIO, KDLH, and KBJR all to lose their signal at times.

On November 28, 2011, MeTV replaced RTV on 10.2 and 13.2.[4] At the end of September 2017, WDIO/WIRT added Ion Television programming to their third subchannels, and all three signals now run in 720p high definition.[5]

Digital televisionEdit

Digital channelsEdit

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6][7]
10.1
13.1
720p 16:9 WDIOabc
WIRTabc
Main programming / ABC
10.2
13.2
WDIO-Me
WIRT-Me
MeTV
10.3
13.3
WDIOIon
WIRTIon
Ion Television

Analog-to-digital conversionEdit

Both stations discontinued regular programming on their analog signals, on February 17, 2009, to conclude the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[8][9]

  • WDIO discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 10; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 43 to VHF channel 10.
  • WIRT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 36 to VHF channel 13.

ProgrammingEdit

In addition to the ABC network schedule, syndicated programming featured on WDIO/WIRT includes Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Rachael Ray Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, CSI: Miami and Blue Bloods.

Every New Year's Eve, WDIO often cuts in to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve to broadcast the SMDC New Year's Eve Ball; which was a fundraiser for the hospital. In 2008, after 17 years of televising the event, WDIO announced that it would stop its annual broadcast. This decision, along with declining attendance, led to the decision to cancel the event. The Ball itself ran for 23 years and at its peak hosted 4,000 guests.[10]

Eyewitness NewsEdit

WDIO/WIRT's newscasts were branded throughout the 1970s and 1980s as Action News. The station changed its branding to Eyewitness News in the early 1990s; it shared this branding with sister station KSTP-TV in Minneapolis–Saint Paul. However, the Eyewitness News branding was the station's only resemblance to KSTP. WDIO uses its own graphics and music packages.

WDIO and KSTP team up when breaking news happens (example: the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis) or for major election debates.

Longtime WDIO news anchor Dennis Anderson joined the station in 1969, initially as anchor of the nightly news' "Action Line" segment. He was promoted to chief anchor of the evening newscasts in 1970;[11] he later was the first local TV anchor to announce the sinking of the ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.[citation needed] Anderson retired Wednesday, May 25, 2011, after 42 years with the station.[12] Darren Danielson, previously of WDSE, replaced Anderson as anchor the following day, Thursday, May 26.[13]

In October 2009, 20-year veteran Deborah Anderson stepped down from being the lead anchor of the weekend newscasts. The station management filled the vacancy with reporters already employed with the station rather than searching for a replacement.

At some point in late 2010 or early 2011, WDIO became the third station in the Duluth area to broadcast its local newscasts in 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen.

The Eyewitness News branding was retired in January 2019 in favor of WDIO News along with a new logo and broadcast set.

RatingsEdit

Soon after sign-on, WDIO shot to the top of the local news ratings and has remained there more or less ever since. During the 1970s and 1980s, WDIO dominated competitors KDLH and KBJR.

In the May 2007 ratings race, WDIO took first place in all timeslots except at 5 p.m., where they fell to NBC affiliate KBJR. In February 2008, WDIO won with number of viewers in the morning, and at 6 and 10 p.m. KBJR once again came out slightly ahead at 5 p.m. In July 2009, WDIO topped the ratings again. The 10 p.m. newscast had about 7,000 more viewers than second place KBJR. WDIO also won in the weekend ratings.[1][permanent dead link]

In November 2009, WDIO doubled the ratings of KBJR at the 10 p.m. newscast with a 12 share compared to KBJR's 6 rating and KDLH's 3. The station also swept the 5 and 6 p.m. time-slots and with a 14 and an 11 rating respectively. KBJR rated a 10 at the same timeslots according to the Duluth News Tribune[permanent dead link]. Take note that this ratings period marks one full year anniversary of WDIO's market dominance.

Outlying translatorsEdit

Besides WIRT, WDIO is seen on several outlying digital translators in the Iron Range of northeastern and north-central Minnesota. All of these translators are licensed as repeaters of WIRT; via PSIP virtual channel numbering, each translator station remaps to channel 13.

Call sign Channel City of license
K16JD-D 16 Northome
K26KM-D 26 Orr
K31MA-D 31 Big Falls
K32JZ-D 32 Kabetogama
K36KZ-D 36 Max
K40MU-D 40 Birchdale
K47MY-D 47 Red Lake
K49BU-D 24 International Falls

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says September 1, while the Television and Cable Factbook says August 31.
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110604153157/http://home.earthlink.net/~nelsonbe/origins.call-list.html
  3. ^ Television and Cable Factbook, 1988 edition
  4. ^ WDIO: "WDIO/WIRT-DT to Launch Me-TV", November 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "WDIO/WIRT Brings ION Television to the Northland" (Press release). WDIO/WIRT. September 27, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WDIO
  7. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WIRT
  8. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  9. ^ Tuesday Night at Midnight WDIO and WIRT-TV Analog Signals End, WDIO-TV, February 16, 2009
  10. ^ "SMDC says the New Year's Eve Ball is over". June 18, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008.[dead link]
  11. ^ WDIO biography: Dennis Anderson (via archive.org)
  12. ^ WDIO: "Dennis Anderson: Celebrating a Career"
  13. ^ WDIO: "Danielson Named Anchor on Eyewitness News at Six and Ten", March 29, 2011.

External linksEdit