WDIO/WIRT-TV Becomes Major Media Sponsor of Grandma's Marathon

Eyewitness Sports
October 05, 2017 03:23 PM

Duluth, MN --- WDIO/WIRT-TV has signed on as a major sponsor and the exclusive TV station of Grandma’s Marathon, Inc.

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In addition, WDIO/WIRT will also sponsor the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), a Grandma’s Marathon program, focused on the promotion and development of healthy and active lifestyles for youth in the region.

Debra Messer, WDIO/WIRT Vice President & General Manager, had this to say about the announcement, “Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, in addition to all the other races throughout the year, have become so important to the area. It’s exciting to be able to expand on our coverage and bring people – near and far – the stories, the action and the results. While we have been involved with the Young Athletes Foundation through grants and donations, we are looking forward to expanding our participation with the YAF to further fund and highlight the outstanding work they do with youth athletics.”

Shane Bauer, Grandma’s Marathon Executive Director, said, “We’re really looking forward to the addition of WDIO/WIRT-TV on our event production crew! Considering our mutual partnership with Town Square Media, this broadcast team should be a great benefit to our runners, spectators and race enthusiasts in the coming years.”

Grandma’s Marathon weekend will take place June 14-16, 2018. Registration opened on October 1, 2017 for all weekend races, and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has already reached full capacity. The race weekend attracts runners from all 50 states and over 50 countries each year. For more information on the 2018 Grandma’s Marathon, please visit For additional information on WDIO/WIRT-TV, please visit, and follow then on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (


Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977, when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, MN. Established in 1986, Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is now a self-governed nonprofit organization with a 17-member Board of Directors and a nine-person staff. Race weekend generates over $10 million in economic impact for the region annually.


WDIO-TV began operation on January 24, 1966. WDIO-TV’s northern Minnesota coverage is augmented and enhanced by a signal simulcast on WIRT-13, Channel 13 serving communities across the Mesabi Iron Range. WIRT-13 began operation on August 31, 1967.

In September 2017, Eyewitness News on WDIO/WIRT-DT received six (6) Regional Emmy Nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest Chapter. With the most recent recognition, Eyewitness News has been honored with 66 Emmy Nominations since 2000.

WDIO/WIRT has two (2) additional over-the-air free digital channels. Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), launched in November 2011 on Channels 10.2 in Duluth and 13.2 in Hibbing. ION-TV, “Positively Entertaining,” launched in September 2017 on Channels 10.3 in Duluth and 13.3 in Hibbing.


Eyewitness Sports

Copyright 2017 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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