WDIO-DT (digital 10) and WIRT-DT (digital 13) are the ABC and RTV affiliated television stations for North Central and Northeastern Minnesota, and Northwestern Wisconsin. WDIO-TV first went on the air on January 24, 1966. WDIO's transmitter is located in Duluth. WDIO/WIRT have broadcast in color since they first went on the air - however, due to the unavailability of color studio cameras, they used B&W cameras for over 9 months.
|WDIO: Duluth, MinnesotaWIRT: Hibbing, Minnesota|
Channels 10 and 13(general)
|Slogan||The Northland's News Leader|
|Channels||Digital:WDIO: 10 (VHF)Virtual: 10 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||10.1/13.1 ABC (HDTV)10.2/13.2 RTV|
|First air date||WDIO: January 24, 1966WIRT: August 31, 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||
WDIO: Duluth Channel IO (10)
WIRT: [http://web.archive.org/20030505111958/home.earthlink.net/~nelsonbe/origins.call-list.html Iron Range Television]
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
WDIO: 10 (1966-2009) WIRT: 13 (1967-2009) Digital: WDIO: 43 (2002-2009) WIRT: 36 (2002-2009)
WDIO: 45 kW
WIRT: 13 kW
WDIO: 297 m
WIRT: 204 m
|Facility ID||WDIO: 71338WIRT: 71336|
WDIO and WIRT, along with KBJR, terminated analog broadcasts on February 17, 2009, the date originally mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to switch to digital. KQDS-TV discontinued its analog broadcasts at an earlier date.
WDIO's original owner was Frank Befera, a trained engineer who owned a chain of radio stations across northeastern Minnesota. He sold channels 10 and 13 to publishers Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1977, who would later sell the station to Hubbard Broadcasting.
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 dates back to as late as the early 1970s. Since the 1980s, changes to the 10/13 logo has only been minor and cosmetic -- the most recent change was in fall 2007, when to go with ABC's redesigning of its logo from one resembling a flat disc to one with a clear glass ball effect, the station also added the ball effect flair to the 10/13 disc.
The blizzard of April, 2008
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. WDIO supposedly went the longest before they started losing signal.
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 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; and as a result, WDIO usually does better than its sister station in the ratings.
WDIO and KSTP team up when breaking news happens (example: the I-35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis) when WDIO ties its feed into KSTP's or when a major election debate takes place, WDIO, KSTP and KAAL all join together.
WDIO news anchor Dennis Anderson has been with the station since 1970 and 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.
In October 2009, 20 year veteran Deborah Anderson stepped down from being the lead anchor of weekend newscasts. The station management is filling 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.
In the May 2007 ratings race, WDIO took first place in all timeslots except 5:00 where they fell to NBC affiliate KBJR.
In February 2008, WDIO won with number of viewers at 5–7 am, and 6 and 10 pm. KBJR once again came out slightly ahead at 5:00.
In July 2009, WDIO topped the ratings again. The 10:00 show 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 10:00 newscast with a 12 share compared to KBJR's 6 rating and KDLH's 3. The station also swept the 5:00 and 6:00 time-slots and with a 14 and an 11 rating respectively. KBJR rated a 10 at the same time-slots according to the Duluth News Tribune. Take note that this ratings period marks 1 full year anniversary of WDIO's market dominance.
Current on-air staff
- Dennis Anderson - weeknights at 6 and 10PM
- Samantha Mehrotra - Good Morning Northland
- Renee Passal - Eyewitness News at 5PM
- Renee Passal - general assignment reporter (also host of This Week in Mining)
- Alan Hoglund - newsroom/field reporter
- Paige Calhoun - newsroom reporter
- Katey Rusch - reporter/weekend anchor
- Justin Liles - Chief Meteorologist (AMS Certified); weeknights at 5, 6 and 10PM
- Phil Johnson (Member; AMS) - Meteorologist; weekends at 10PM
- Ben Dary - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "Good Morning Northland"
- Josh Zenner - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10PM
- Laura Kennedy - Sports Anchor; weekends at 10PM (also sports reporter)
Former on-air staff
- Sandy Drag - Eyewitness News at Five (Now at Cliffs Natural Resources)
- Charlene Malin - Good Morning Northland Weather Anchor 2008-2010 (now meteorologist at KCRG in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Deborah Anderson - weekends at 10PM, 1989-2009
- Kyle Underwood - Reporter 2002-2005, Chief Meteorologist 2005-2008. Now at WOOD-TV
- Tyler Jacobson - Sports Director 2007-June 2008
- Dick Wallack - WDIO's 1st anchor
- Jack Mckenna - WDIO's 1st weather forecaster- would eventually leave for KBJR
- Louren Sandquist - 1st sports presenter
- Collin Ventrella - Weather
- Steve LePage - Sports
- Ray Higgins - Sports
- Randy Howe - Sports (Now at KVBC Las Vegas)
- Erik Osberg - Sports
- Dan Schutte - 5:00 News Anchor/Producer
- Steve Long - Good Morning Northland Anchor (now Anchor at KPTH)
- Lisa Neitzel - Good Morning Northland Weather
- Chris Nettleton - Sports (Now at KQDS)
- Gavin Moberg - Weekend Sports
- Julie Hill - Reporter
- Dana Larson - Reporter
- Nick Blair - Reporter
- Ken Chapin - Weather
- Cassie Limpert - Good Morning Northland Anchor
- Kim Johnson - Reporter/Anchor fill-in
- Katie Lange - Reporter
- Julie Moravchik - Reporter (Now News Director at KQDS)
- Deb Shold - Good Morning Northland Weather
- Margaret Clevenstine - Reporter (Now anchor/reporter at WSET)
- Colleen Mahoney - Iron Range Reporter (Now reporter at KSTP- Still appears on-air to report events in the Twin-Cities and southern Minnesota)
- Julia Bobodillia - Reporter
- Michael Kulstad - Reporter
- Bill Sherck - Reporter
- Mary Tan - Reporter
- Eric Svoboda - Weekend Weather (Now at KDNW)- Still fills in when weather department is off.)
- Emily Oz - Reporter
- Dawn Mikkelson - Reporter
- Adam Young - Weekend Weather (Now at KAMC)
- Jeff Beamish - Weekend Weather (Now at KVOA)
- Ryan Carmel - Good Morning Northland (Now news anchor & weather anchor at KEYT-TV)
- Lance Parthe - Weather
- Amy Cook - Reporter
- Katie Nordeen-Reporter
- Sarah Frakes-Sports
- Sandy Drag-5pm Anchor
- The Northland's News Leader (2006-present)
Besides WIRT, WDIO is seen on several outlying digital translator stations in northeastern and north central Minnesota. Via PSIP virtual channel numbering, each translator station is displayed as channels 13.1 and 13.2 since each translator rebroadcasts WIRT.
Additionally, there are two northern Minnesota translators rebroadcasting WIRT via analog.
|K65BN||Red Lake||65||Main WDIO/WIRT programming / ABC|
|K69BT||Red Lake||69||Retro Television Network|
New Year's Eve
Every New Year's Eve, WDIO often cut 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.
In addition to ABC network feed, WDIO/WIRT offer the following syndicated shows.
- Live With Regis And Kelly - 9:00 AM
- The Rachael Ray Show (HD) - 3:00 PM
- The Ellen DeGeneres Show (HD) - 4:00 PM
- Entertainment Tonight (HD) - 6:30 PM
- The Insider (HD) - 1:06 AM
- Desperate Housewives (HD) - Saturdays 11:05 PM, 12:35 AM
- Into the Outdoors - Saturdays 8:30 AM
- Discover Wisconsin - Sundays 5:30 PM
- Boston Legal (HD) - Sundays 11:35 PM
- Numb3rs - Sundays 10:35 PM
WDIO/WIRT ended analog broadcasts and relocated their digital signals to their original VHF channels on February 17, 2009.
|x.1||Main WDIO/WIRT programming / ABC HD|
|x.2||Retro Television Network|
- WDIO's Website
- Northpine's 10&13 screengrabs (including a rare look at a 1973 newscast)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDIO
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WIRT
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDIO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WIRT-TV
- ^ The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says September 1, while the Television and Cable Factbook says August 31.
- ^ "Television and Cable Factbook", 1988 edition
- ^ "SMDC says the New Year's Eve Ball is over". 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-06-19.[dead link]
- ^ Tuesday Night at Midnight WDIO and WIRT-TV Analog Signals End, WDIO-TV, February 16, 2009