In 1975, Avco decided to exit broadcasting. As a result, WLWD lost its grandfathered protection, and had to be sold off separately from WLWT and WLWC. WLWD ended up being the last of Avco's television stations to be sold off, going to Grinnell College in Iowa for $13 million in June 1975; the acquisition made Grinnell College one of the few universities to own a commercial television station. The school changed the call letters to the current WDTN shortly after the sale closed in spring 1976, and introduced this "flower 2" to go with the change.
Logo with callsign
On January 1, 1980, WDTN and WKEF swapped network affiliations with channel 2 joining ABC. Five months after joining ABC, Grinnell College announced that it would sell WDTN to the broadcasting division of the Hearst Corporation. The sale was finalized over a year later, in September 1981 for a price of over $47 million.
Station ID (1984–1989)
"Turn to 2" ID (1989–1993)
Station ID (1993–1996)
Bank Gothic Avenir Black ("2")
In August 1997, Hearst's television group merged with Argyle Television Holdings II to form what was then known as Hearst-Argyle Television. Argyle had purchased WDTN's former sister station, WLWT, that January, as part of a trade deal between Argyle II and Gannett which caused WLWT and its Oklahoma City sister station, KOCO-TV, to swap ownership with WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan and WGRZ in Buffalo. For the same reason that forced the breakup of Avco's television group 20 years earlier, Hearst-Argyle could not keep both stations (common ownership of stations with overlapping city-grade signals would not be allowed until 2000). It opted to keep the larger WLWT and trade WDTN, together with WNAC-TV in Providence, to Sunrise Television for WPTZ in Plattsburgh, WNNE in Hartford, Vermont, and KSBW in Salinas. The sale was finalized on July 2, 1998. In February 2002, LIN Broadcasting purchased WDTN alongside six stations from Sunrise in other markers.
The 'red oval' 2 has been used by the station since 2002, surviving a network affiliation swap.
WDTN returned to NBC on August 30, 2004, reversing the 1980 affiliation swap; WKEF would return to ABC.
1Nexstar operates these stations owned by Mission Broadcasting. 2Nexstar operates this station owned by Cunningham Broadcasting. 3Nexstar operates this station owned by White Knight Broadcasting through an SSA. 4Nexstar operates this station owned by Vaughan Media. 5Predecessor company of LIN Media. 6Currently a repeater for WWLP. 7Joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery in which Nexstar owns 31% while Warner Bros. Discovery owns the remaining 69%.