WDBO, virtual and UHF digital channel 27, is an Independent television station licensed to Orlando, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Pivot Television. WDBO's studio facilities are located on North Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando, and the station's transmitter is located in Christmas.
Station History Edit
WDBO-TV's original construction permit was issued as early as 1990, but financial difficulties and change in ownership halted any progress on launching the station. In 1993, then-owners Reese Broadcasting sought to launch the station as an independent station with a news-intensive schedule, first-run talk shows, and programming from the Prime Time Entertainment Network. These plans ultimately never came to fruition, with the PTEN programming block eventually going to future UPN affiliate WUPO-TV (then WOGN-TV).
In November 1996, Georgia-based Pivot Television purchased the construction permit and channel 27 allocation from a bank holding company that had acquired the property during Reese's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Nearly a year later, the station signed on from a studio facility in Daytona Beach but was licensed to Orlando and maintained transmitter facilities in Christmas. In 2002, the station moved to its current downtown Orlando facility. The station continues to improperly identify as Daytona Beach-Orlando in some legal identification, despite having no legal or ethical reason to claim Daytona Beach.
Initially, the station ran primarily on off-network sitcoms and dramas for much of the day each day. Almost immediately following sign-on, the station launched its news department and an hour-long 10 p.m. nightly newscast titled TV27 Ten O'Clock News.
In 1999, long unhappy with its Central Florida affiliate's performance, the UPN network signed a deal to move the affiliation to WDBO. WDBO became UPN 27 on September 1, 1999, starting with a rerun episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation (the restructured original Viacom, which acquired UPN, after CBS and Viacom split and spun off a separate company carrying the Viacom name in December 2005) and Time Warner announced that UPN and The WB would be shut down, and replaced by a new network that would feature some of the higher-rated programs from both networks called The CW Television Network.
The CW's initial list of stations did not include WDBO as an affiliate. As a result, WDBO removed all network references and branding to UPN and began referring to itself as "Action TV27". WDBO's website, however, retained the "UPN 27" logo until just over a week after the change. On March 1, 2006, WBCF-TV (the market's WB affiliate) was announced as the Orlando area affiliate of The CW. The CW's management was on record as preferring to affiliate with the "strongest" stations in terms of viewership among UPN and The WB's affiliates. Despite WDBO having a news department and WBCF did not, WDBO was one of UPN's weaker affiliates in terms of programming and viewership.
On February 22, 2006, less than a month after the formation of The CW, Fox announced the formation of MyNetworkTV for UPN affiliates now displaced from the merger. WDBO passed on the affiliation, even though the station was said to be the network favorite. The affiliation eventually went to former UPN affiliate WUPO who by this time had been running primarily religious programming outside of some off-network sitcom and drama reruns.
On September 15, 2006, the final night of UPN, WDBO-TV opted to not carry the network's final night and started the night with the rerun Star Trek: Voyager episode that started the station's tenure as a UPN affiliate and followed it up with an off-network rerun of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which would run in that time slot for the next couple of years. At 10 p.m., WDBO used the UPN network's closure to launch their newscasts in high definition, becoming the second station in the market to do so. With the switch came new graphics and a new HD-ready set. The newscast featured a "retrospective" look at the UPN network and a look at future plans for WDBO.
Station Brandings Edit
- TV27 (1997-1999)
- UPN 27 (1999-2006)
- Action TV 27 (2006-2016)
- WDBO-TV 27 (2016-Present)
Newscast Operations Edit
Almost immediately following sign-on, the station launched its news department and an hour-long 10 p.m. nightly newscast titled TV27 Ten O'Clock News. This was, in addition, to top-of-the-hour news updates throughout the day. The hourly news updates were largely discontinued by the time the station became a UPN affiliate in 1999.
It was uncommon for a UPN affiliate to have its own news department, and WDBO continued expansion after picking up UPN by launching a 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. newscast by 2001 to compete directly with Big-3 affiliates in the market. The 5 p.m. newscast would prove to be a failure and would be cancelled by 2004, while the morning newscast proved to be successful and was expanded several times. By 2007, the station was airing morning news from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekday mornings and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekend mornings. Ratings at the station were initially strong, especially for an independent station. The station regularly beats
other offerings at 10 p.m. on weeknights and has done so for years. Despite the strength of the 10 p.m. newscast, the station's morning newscast had a weak start, and had been retooled several times over the years. Action News This Morning now regularly competes for second and third in its time slot with other stations in the market.
In 2016, the station started doing webcasts called "Action News Now" at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each weekday distributed via the station's website and on Facebook Live. The webcasts were additionally expanded to weekends in 2017. The webcasts were discontinued in February 2018 upon the launch of an 12 p.m. newscast.
In February 2018, the station launched an hour-long newscast at 12 p.m. in an effort to bridge the on-air gap between the station's morning show and 10 p.m. show. An hour-long 5 p.m. and 30-minute 6 p.m. newscast additionally debuted in April 2018.
Newscast Brandings Edit
- TV27 News (1997-2002)
- 27 Action News (2002-Present)
Newscast Themes Edit
- Millennium 3 - Shelly Palmer Music (1997-2000)
- News 2000 - Music Partners (2001-2004)
- U-Phonix - Stephen Arnold Music (2004-2006)*
- Pride - IntheGrooveMusic (2006-Present)*
Newscast Voiceovers: Edit
- David Kaye - (1997-2017)
- Chris Corley - (2017-Present)
*WDBO was an original client for this package
Current On-Air Staff Edit
- Eric Levy - weekday mornings 5-9 a.m.
- Cheryn Stone - weekday mornings 5-9 a.m.
- Tammie Fields - weekdays at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Caitlyn Jones - weekdays at 12 p.m., also breaking news reporter
- David Bodden - weekdays at 5, 5:30, 6, and 10 p.m.
- Marla Weech - weekdays at 5:30, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Holly Gregory - weekend mornings from 7-9 a.m.
- Rick Elmhorst - weekend evenings at 10 p.m.
- Ybeth Bruzual - weekend evenings at 10 p.m.
The Weather Experts Edit
- Maureen McCann - AMS Certified Meteorologist, weekday mornings
- Bryan Karrick - AMS/NWA Certified Chief Meteorologist, weeknights
- David Heckard - AMS Certified Meteorologist, weekend mornings and Wednesday-Friday at 12 p.m.
- Mallory Nicholls - AMS Certified Meteorologist, weekend evenings and Monday-Tuesday at 12 p.m.
- Jeff Allen
- Stephanie Bechara
- Jackie Brockington, also fill-in anchor
- Julie Gargotta
- Ryan Harper
- Jerry Hume
- Brittany Jones
- Troy Kinsey
- Angie Moreschi
- Bailey Myers
- Greg Pallone
- Sarah Panko
- Dr. Randy Shuck
- Allison Walker Torres
- Caitlin Wilson
- Erin Murray
- Greg Angel
- Krystel Knowles
- Deborah Souverain
- Matt Fernandez
*The station does not operate a sports department.
Station Schedule Edit
|12:00am||The Big Bang Theory|
|2:00am||How I Met Your Mother||Paid Programming|
|2:30am||How I Met Your Mother|
|4:00am||The 700 Club|
|5:00am||27 Action News This Morning|
|6:00am||Litton Go Time E/I Programming||Hometime|
|6:30am||P. Allen Smith Gardens|
|7:00am||27 Action News This Morning|
|9:00am||Rachael Ray||Litton Go Time E/I Programming||Central Florida Focus|
|10:00am||Pickler & Ben||Inside Edition Weekend|
|11:00am||Hot Bench||Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures (E/I)|
|11:30am||Hot Bench||Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller (E/I)|
|12:00pm||27 Action News at Noon||Steve (repeat)||Pickler & Ben (repeat)|
|2:00pm||Daily Blast Live|
|3:00pm||Judge Judy||CSI: Miami||Forensic Files|
|3:30pm||Judge Judy||Forensic Files|
|4:00pm||Steve||CSI: Miami||CSI: Miami|
|5:00pm||27 Action News at 5||Haven||CSI: Miami|
|5:30pm||27 Action News at 5:30|
|6:00pm||27 Action News at 6||Haven|
|7:00pm||Family Feud||Blue Bloods|
|8:00pm||Pawn Stars||Blue Bloods||Family Feud (repeat)|
|8:30pm||Impractical Jokers||Family Feud (repeat)|
|10:00pm||27 Action News at 10||27 Action News at 10|
|11:00pm||Mike and Molly|
|11:30pm||Mike and Molly|
Digital Subchannels Edit
|Channel||Picture Format||Aspect Ratio||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|27.2||480p||WDBO-ME||MeTV Central Florida|
WDBO-TV shut down its analog signal on February 17, 2009 and began broadcasting exclusively on digital channel 27 the same day.