WOI-DT is the ABC affiliate television station licensed to Ames in the Des Moines, Iowa market. Its studios are in West Des Moines. Its transmission tower is located near Alleman.

Ames-Des Moines, Iowa
Branding Local 5 (general)

Local 5 News (newscasts)

Slogan We Are Iowa
Channels Digital: 5 (VHF)
Subchannels 5.1 ABC HD5.2 RTN
Translators 50 (UHF) Ames
Affiliations ABC
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group

(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)

First air date February 21, 1950
Call letters' meaning reverse spelling of "IOWa"
Former callsigns WOI-TV (1950–2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

4 (1950–1952) 5 (1952–2009) Digital: 59 (2003–2009)

Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1950-1955)Secondary:NBC (1950-1954)DuMont(1950-1955)

ABC(1950-1955) NET (1952-1959)

Transmitter power 11.5 kW
Height 566 m
Facility ID 8661
Transmitter coordinates 41°48′33″N93°36′53″W


WOI-TV signed on the air on February 21, 1950. It was Iowa's second television station, following WOC-TV (now KWQC-TV) in Davenport. Originally on channel 4, it moving to channel 5 in 1952. Programming came from ABC, CBS, NBC, and the DuMont network during the station's early years, but it was a primary CBS affiliate. NBC disappeared from the schedule when WHO-TVsigned on in 1954, and CBS disappeared when KRNT-TV (now KCCI) signed on in 1955 owing toKRNT radio's long affiliation with CBS radio, leaving channel 5 as the ABC affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

WOI-TV was originally owned by Iowa State University in Ames along with its noncommercial WOI radio stations (AM 640 and FM 90.1), making it the first commercial television station in theUnited States to be owned by a major college. As such, it carried some educational programming from sign-on until the Des Moines Public Schools signed on KDPS-TV (channel 11, now KDIN-TV) in 1959. The startup costs for WOI-TV were paid by the remaining monies from a federal grant awarded to the university for work on the Manhattan Project.[2] WOI's facilities were used by the university to deliver lectures by satellite.

On June 17, 1992, the Iowa Board of Regents voted to sell WOI-TV to Capital Communications (a joint venture between Citadel Communications (unrelated to radio station owner Citadel Broadcasting) and Connecticut's Lynch Corporation)[2] for $14 million. A lawsuit immediately came against the Board of Regents filed by "Iowans for WOI-TV, Inc." arguing that the station was a benefit to the university in an attempt to expostulate with the university. On March 1, 1994, WOI-TV was finally sold, while the university kept the WOI radio stations, and Capital moved WOI-TV's studios to a temporary location in Des Moines later that year. In 1998 WOI-TV moved to its current studios on Westown Parkway in West Des Moines.

WOI-TV was home to America's longest running local children's program, The Magic Window. The show ran continuously from 1951 through 1994, and was hosted by Betty Lou Varnum for the last 40 of those years.

Channel 5 has spent the better part of the last half-century as a distant third in the market, in part because ABC wasn't on par with CBS or NBC until the 1970s. When long-dominant KCCI saw its ratings slip in the mid-2000s, WOI-TV reaped little benefit.

On September 11, 2006, WOI dropped the Eyewitness News brand (which the station had used for five years) and rebranded itself as "ABC5", using a rendition of the circle logo.

For the last three years, the ABC5 Weather team, led by Chief Meteorologist Brad Edwards, has been certified by WeatheRate, an independent weather rating service, as providing, "Central Iowa's Most Accurate Forecast". Edwards was previously an on-air meteorologist for the Weather Channel. On Monday December 1, 2008, WOI-TV launched an affiliation with Retro Television Network on its DT2 subchannel and Mediacom digital cable channel 245.

On October 8, 2010, WOI-DT became the second commercial station in Des Moines (behind WHO-DT) to launch local news into high definition. New graphics and as well as updated music from the "ABC Affiliate News Collection" (also known as "Eyewitness News") were part of the switch to HD.


In addition to ABC programming, WOI-DT airs syndicated programs such as Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Martha, Judge Judy, andreruns of ER and 24. The station also airs Iowa State University football and basketball games. WOI-DT does not carry ABC World News Now, instead the station signs off each night; one of the few remaining stations in the country to do so.

Transmission aerials

Main article: WOI Tower

Digital television

WOI-DT's signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels

VirtualChannel Physical

RF Channel

Video Aspect Name Programming
5.1 5.1 720p 16:9 WOI-DT main WOI-DT programming/ABCHD
5.2 5.2 480i 4:3 RTV 5 Retro Television Network

Analog-to-digital conversion

WOI-DT ended programming on its analog signal, on VHF channel 5, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. [3]The station then moved back to channel 5 for its post-transition operations. Also, the "WOI-DT" callsign was legally transferred from the pre-transition digital television channel 59 to the post-transition digital channel 5 and the "WOI-TV" callsign from the now-defunct analog channel 5 was permanently discontinued, which is the polar opposite of what most TV stations in the United States did at the digital transition, as most stations removed the "-DT" suffix and transferred the callsign from their former analog channels (with or without the "-TV" suffix) to their digital channels.

On-air staff and programming

News team


  • Stephanie Angleson – weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jack Miller – weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Sabrina Ahmed – weekday mornings on Good Morning Iowa (5-7 a.m.) also co-host of This Week in Iowa
  • Elias Johnson – weekday mornings on Good Morning Iowa (5-7 a.m.)
  • Ashley Carrasco – weekend evenings

ESP: Live Weather

  • Brad Edwards (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Bree Sullivan –
  • James Peterson –
  • Sam Schreier –

Sports team

  • Jon Schaeffer – sports director;
  • Jordan Furbee – sports anchor; weekend evenings


  • Joe Augustine
  • Whitney Givens
  • Lisa Martone
  • Hillary Mintz
  • James A. Swierzbin

Former staff

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • WOI-TV News (1950s–19??)
  • Newsfive (1970s–1980s)
  • 5-TV News (1980s1989)
  • Channel 5 News (19891996)
  • News 5 (1996–2001)
  • Channel 5 Eyewitness News (20012006)
  • ABC 5 News (20062015)
  • Ten at 10 (10 p.m. newscast; 2008–2014)
  • Local 5 News (2015–present) 

Station slogans

  • Take A New Look (?)
  • Iowa's Choice For News (early 1980s)
  • We're With You on 5-TV (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • You'll Love It on 5-TV (1985-1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We Belong Together and Together on 5-TV (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Something's Happening on Channel 5 (1987-1990; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Iowa's Watching WOI-TV (1990-1992; localized version of "America's Watching ABC" campaign)
  • If It's Iowa, It Must Be Channel 5 (1992-1993; localized version of "It Must Be ABC" campaign)
  • Watched By More People in Central Iowa, Channel 5, ABC (1993-1996; localized version of ABC campaign)
  • Nobody Does It Like WOI Channel 5 (1996-1997; localized version of ABC campaign)
  • Real People, Real News (mid 1990s-1998)
  • News You Need to Know (1998-2001)
  • You'll Say I See (2001-2006)
  • Clear. Concise. Complete. (2006-present)



  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
  2. ^ a b "Campus Journal; Vote to Sell TV Station Splits Iowans." New York Times 22 July 1992: p17.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  • Stein, Jeff, Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting (ISBN 0-9718323-1-5). Cedar Rapids, Iowa: WDG Communications, 2004.

External links


  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
  2. ^ a b "Campus Journal; Vote to Sell TV Station Splits Iowans." New York Times 22 July 1992: p17.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^