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|WDIO: Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin
WIRT: Hibbing, Minnesota
|City||WDIO: Duluth, Minnesota
WIRT: Hibbing, Minnesota
Channels 10 and 13 (general)
Eyewitness News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Northland's News Leader|
WDIO: 10 (VHF)
WIRT: 13 (VHF)
WDIO: 10 (PSIP)
WIRT: 13 (PSIP)
xx.3 Ion Television
|First air date||WDIO: January 24, 1966
WIRT: August 31, 1967 
|Call letters' meaning||WDIO:
Channel IO (10)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
10 (VHF, 1966–2009)
13 (VHF, 1967–2009)
43 (UHF, 2002–2009)
36 (UHF, 2002–2009)
The Sportsman Channel
|Transmitter power||WDIO: 45 kW
WIRT: 13 kW
|Height||WDIO: 297 m (974 ft)
WIRT: 204 m (669 ft)
|Facility ID||WDIO: 71338
|Public license information:||/ WIRT-DT Profile
/ WIRT-DT CDBS
WDIO-DT, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is the ABC, MeTV and Ion-affiliated television station for north-central and northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin in the United States. Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, the station is licensed to Duluth, Minnesota, and its studios and transmitter are located on Observation Road in Duluth.
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, but remained as president and general manager. HBJ sold the stations to Hubbard Broadcasting in 1986, and Befera retired a year later.
The red 10/13 disk logo is the oldest TV logo in Duluth, having been in use since the 1980s. The lettering used in the logo (which blends a number "10" into the "IO" lettering) dates back to as late as the early 1970s. Since the 1980s, changes to the 10/13 logo have merely depended on changes to ABC's logo and branding guidelines. The most recent change was in fall 2013 upon ABC's newest rebranding, which saw the 10/13 ball take on the same subtle reflection of the current ABC logo.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|Main programming / ABC|
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:
- 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.
In addition to ABC network programming, 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.
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 shares this branding with sister station KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. However, the Eyewitness News branding is 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; 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. Anderson retired Wednesday, May 25, 2011, after 42 years with the station. Darren Danielson, previously of WDSE, replaced Anderson as anchor the following day, Thursday, May 26.
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.
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.
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. Take note that this ratings period marks one full year anniversary of WDIO's market dominance.
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|
- The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says September 1, while the Television and Cable Factbook says August 31.
- Television and Cable Factbook, 1988 edition
- WDIO: "WDIO/WIRT-DT to Launch Me-TV", November 7, 2011.
- "WDIO/WIRT Brings ION Television to the Northland" (Press release). WDIO/WIRT. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WDIO
- RabbitEars TV Query for WIRT
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- Tuesday Night at Midnight WDIO and WIRT-TV Analog Signals End, WDIO-TV, February 16, 2009
- "SMDC says the New Year's Eve Ball is over". 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-06-19.[dead link]
- WDIO biography: Dennis Anderson (via archive.org)
- WDIO: "Dennis Anderson: Celebrating a Career"
- WDIO: "Danielson Named Anchor on Eyewitness News at Six and Ten", March 29, 2011.
- WDIO.com - Official WDIO-TV Website
- MeTVDuluth.com - Official MeTV Duluth Website
- Northpine's 10&13 screengrabs (including a rare look at a 1973 newscast)
- Rabbitears.info query - WDIO
- Rabbitears.info query - WIRT
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDIO-DT
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WIRT-DT
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K16JD-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K26KM-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K31MA-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K32JZ-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K36KZ-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K40MU-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K47MY-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for K49BU-D
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDIO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WIRT-TV