|Branding||Eastern and Central Maine's CW (general)
WABI-TV 5 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Dare To Defy (general)
Spirit of Maine (secondary)
|Channels||Digital: WABI-DT 13.2 (VHF)
Virtual: 5.2 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||The CW (via The CW Plus)|
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
|Call letters' meaning||see WABI|
|Former callsigns||"WBAN" (1998-2006)|
|Former affiliations||The WB (1998-2006,
via The WB 100+)
|Transmitter power||12 kW (digital)|
|Height||391.4 m (digital)|
|Facility ID||17005 (digital)|
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: (digital)|
WABI-DT2 is the CW-affiliated television station for Central and Eastern Maine. It is part of The CW Plus which a special CW feed broadcasting on cable and/or over-the-air on a digital signal. The station is a second digital subchannel of CBS affiliate WABI-TV that is owned by Gray Television. Over-the-air, WABI-DT2 broadcasts a 720p high definition digital signal on UHF channel 13.2 (or virtual channel 5.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Peaked Mountain in Dixmont. It can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 10, DirecTV channel 14, and Dish Network channel 19. Known on-air as Eastern and Central Maine's CW, its parent station has studios on Hildreth Street in West Bangor.
WABI-DT2 started broadcasting in late-1998 and had the fictional call letters "WBAN". It was part of The WB 100+ cable group as The WB required over-the-air affiliates above the top 100 markets to be on cable. WBAN gradually replaced low-powered WBGR-LP as the WB affiliate in Bangor. That station is now with America One and Ion Television. On Adelphia systems, this station was on channel 4 and known on-air as "Bangor's WB 4". In early-2006, it swapped channel positions with low-powered Fox affiliate WFVX-LP but continued using the same branding. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced the two networks would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. There was no UPN station in the market so Boston's WSBK-TV and Portland's WPME were piped in through cable.
On July 28, WABI announced it was creating a new second digital subchannel to become part of The CW. On the station's website, an announcement said Time Warner (which was in the process of taking over cable coverage in the Bangor area for bankrupt Adelphia) would have "WBAN" on its system. This station would then become a simulcast of WABI-DT2 to provide off-air viewers access to the new network. The arrangement was part of a three-year deal with WABI which also let the main station be on the system as well. The CW launched on WABI-DT2 (call sign used officially) September 18. On January 10, 2007, WABI introduced redesigned websites for itself and WABI-DT2.
The CW Plus is a similar operation to The WB 100+. The service provides the affiliate with programming 24/7 but allows the station to preempt certain blocks for local programs or locally acquired syndicated programs. In addition to morning and prime time pre-emptions designated for local news, WABI-DT2 preempts the allowed two hours in daytime (noon to 2) for syndicated fare. The channel also pre-empts some CW Plus overnight infomercials in order to provide additional syndicated shows and movies. It occasional preempts on Saturday afternoons in the fall to air SEC on CBS college football games preempted for local programming on the main station. On June 15, 2012, WABI-DT2 upgraded to high definition as part of a national upgrade of The CW Plus. In October 2012 Time Warner Cable, the major cable television carrier in Eastern Maine began carrying WABI-DT2 in HD on Ch. 710. DirecTV and other cable companies inside the Bangor market do not yet offer the station on their HD tiers. Dish Network began delivering the station to its HD subscribers in January 2015.
Corresponding with the launch of The CW on September 18, 2006, WABI-DT2 added local news and weather cut-ins during its airing of The Daily Buzz from 6 until 8. A simulcast of the weekday noon news was also added. This was subsequently shifted to a rebroadcast at 12:30 in September 2008. A new half-hour weeknight newscast at 10 known as WABI-TV 5 Prime Time News on The CW debuted on its schedule featuring a modified set and "CW" labeled mics. That show competes with a 35-minute broadcast seen at the same time on WFVX which is produced by WVII and is aired an hour later as the 11:00PM–11:35PM newscast of WABI-DT1.
In January 2008, WABI-DT2 replaced the first half hour of the second hour of The Daily Buzz with a thirty-minute extension of the main station's weekday morning show (and that 7:00AM through 7:30AM morning newscast of WABI-DT2 is now an hour-later re-airing of the 6:00AM through 6:30AM segment). Known as WABI-TV 5 Morning News on The CW, this production is taped in advance and competes with live local news seen at the same time on WFVX (which is also produced by WVII), initially airing in the 6:00AM through 6:30AM time slot on WABI-DT1 before later being aired over on WABI-DT2 an hour later. On October 11, 2010, WABI became Maine's first station to upgrade newscasts to high definition level. Unlike sister station WCJB-TV in Gainesville, Florida which revamped its on-air appearance when it converted to high definition newscasts back in January 2009, WABI's newscast elements stayed the same except for slightly updated on-screen graphics. Newscasts seen on WABI-DT2 were not included in the upgrade because the subchannel only aired in standard definition at the time. In addition to its main studios, WABI operates a Central Maine Bureau on Main Street in Waterville.
All three newscasts of WABI-DT2 getting aired also (in one way or another) over on WABI-DT1 is the most likely reason why the decision had been made for all three of the WABI-DT2 newscasts to not be integrated into The WABI on Livestream Online Streaming Services Page (via livestream.com), as evidenced by the fact that the listed Streaming Schedule for WABI-TV does not mention any of the newscasts of WABI-DT2.