The station signed on in 1993 as W44AR channel 44, owned by a local religious organization, Detroit World Outreach.
The station went silent in July 1999, due to WWJ-TV starting up its digital signal on that channel, but returned to air on channel 18 on February 25, 2000, under TCT ownership. The station was sold, apparently since DWO couldn't afford keeping the station, or enduring any expenses to move the channel.
The station also has a rebroadcaster on channel 27 in Ann Arbor, which now uses the callsign WHDA-LP having been sold and signed off the air pending new studios and programming. That channel was originally "W59CA" channel 59, a repeater of Saginaw's WAQP, serving Jackson, which was relocated to Ann Arbor in November 2000 and rechristened as "W27CJ". In November 2007, the repeater was sold to SMG Media Group and the call sign changed to WHDA-LP (W High Definision Ann Arbor) which has since been sold and is currently silent. When the station returns to the air it will broadcast all local programming from Ann Arbor in 100% high definition.
On cable, WDWO can be seen on Comcast Detroit digital channel 297; it is not seen on Bright House Livonia or Cogeco Windsor. WDWO's over-the-air signal can be seen throughout Detroit's west side, as well as in Highland Park, most of Hamtramck, and the innermost western suburbs.