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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, northwestern Wisconsin, and the far western portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting. WDIO-DT's studios and transmitter are located on Observation Road in Duluth.

WIRT-DT (virtual and VHF digital channel 13) in Hibbing, Minnesota operates as a full-time satellite of WDIO; this station's transmitter is located at Maple Hill Park south of Hibbing. WIRT covers areas of Minnesota's Iron Range (including Grand Rapids, Virginia and Chisholm) that receive a marginal to non-existent over-the-air signal from WDIO, although there is significant overlap between the two stations' contours otherwise. WIRT is a straight simulcast of WDIO; on-air references to WIRT are limited to Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-mandated hourly station identifications during newscasts and other programming. Aside from the transmitter, WIRT does not maintain any physical presence locally in Hibbing.

History[]

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 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. 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.

News operation[]

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; 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. 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 elsewhere 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.

Newscast titles[]

Station slogans[]

  • The Northland's News Leader (?–2019)
  • With You for Life (2019–present)

References[]

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External links[]

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