WRDE-LD, virtual and UHF digital channel 31, is a low-powered NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, United States and serving the Salisbury, Maryland television market. Owned by Draper Holdings Business Trust, it is a sister station to Salisbury-licensed dual CBS/Fox affiliate WBOC-TV (channel 16) and Georgetown, Delaware-licensed low-powered Telemundo affiliate WBOC-LD (channel 42), as well as five radio stations. All of the outlets share studios on North Salisbury Boulevard in Salisbury; WRDE-LD's transmitter is located on Dutton Lane, southwest of Lewes, Delaware.
|Rehoboth Beach/Dover, Delaware/|
|City||Rehoboth Beach, Delaware|
|Branding||WRDE NBC Coast TV|
WBOC News (newscasts)
My Cozi TV (on LD2)
|Slogan||Delmarva's Own NBC Station|
Coverage You Can Count On (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)|
(to move to 26 (UHF))
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
|Translators||WRUE-LD 19 (UHF) Salisbury, MD (CP)|
31.2: Cozi TV/MyNetworkTV
|Owner||Draper Holdings Business Trust|
|First air date||May 5, 2004|
|Call letters' meaning||Rehoboth Beach, DElaware|
|Sister station(s)||TV: WBOC-TV, WBOC-LD, WSJZ-LD, WRUE-LD|
Radio: WBOC-FM, WCEM-FM, WTDK, WCEM, WAAI
|Former callsigns||W59DZ (2004–2005)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
59 (UHF, 2004–2009)
|Transmitter power||7.1 kW|
15 kW (application)
|Height||93.5 m (307 ft)|
248.3 m (815 ft) (application)
|Public license information||Profile|
The station first signed on the air as W59DZ on May 5, 2004; originally broadcasting on UHF channel 59, it operated at a low power, before upgrading its signal in 2005; that year, the station changed its call letters to WRDE-LP. Initially, the station ran a scroll with the callsign and city of license as a station identification, in order to meet the deadline for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to keep the station's license. The station's original transmitter was located at the Nassau Valley Vineyards, directly off of DE 1 (Coastal Highway) by the Nassau Bridge. The station was originally an affiliate of Urban America Television; it changed its affiliation to America One after UATV ceased operations on May 1, 2006; WRDE-LP began airing programming from MyNetworkTV and the Retro Television Network on November 1, 2007. Then in early 2014, the RTN programming blocks were replaced with Cozi TV. The MyNetworkTV line-up shifted to 31.2 in June 2014 when NBC programming debuted on 31.1.
Originally, it planned to broadcast its digital signal from the Nassau Valley tower, but station officials decided instead to install its digital transmitter at a tower southwest of Lewes, that is also used by radio station WGMD (92.7 FM). (The station's over-the-air signal reaches as far north as Milford; as far east as Cape May, New Jersey; as far south as Ocean City, Maryland; and as far west as Seaford.) In October 2008, WRDE-LP was added on the digital cable tiers of local cable providers, including Comcast.
On April 23, 2014, it was announced that WRDE would become an NBC affiliate in June of that year. Station president Bob Backman approached NBC for an affiliation agreement after watching one of the out-of-market NBC affiliates on cable a few years earlier, dissatisfied at the lack of local news coverage focusing on the Delmarva region. The switch gave the Delmarva Peninsula market not only its first full-time NBC affiliate, but also its first major network affiliate based in Delaware (the market's other network affiliates originate from and are licensed to Salisbury, Maryland – including ABC affiliate WMDT and CBS/Fox affiliate WBOC-TV). The only Delaware-licensed station in the market was Seaford-licensed PBS member station WDPB, which operates as a satellite of Philadelphia's WHYY-TV.
Delmarva had been one of the few markets in the country that still lacked full service from the Big Three networks. With the affiliation switch, the station rebranded as "WRDE-NBC Coast TV," and moved the MyNetworkTV and Cozi TV affiliations to a new shared second digital subchannel.
Throughout 2014, as WRDE began its affiliation with NBC, the station's cable coverage was expanded beyond Comcast to reach Mediacom, DirecTV and Dish Network customers in Sussex County, Delaware and Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties in Maryland. Most of the station's viewership comes via cable and satellite.
On August 21, 2018, it was announced that WRDE would be sold to the Draper Holdings Business Trust, pending approval by the FCC; this would make WRDE a sister station to dual CBS/Fox affiliate WBOC-TV (channel 16). The sale was completed on January 1, 2019.
In the spring of 2019, a simulcast of WRDE began being broadcast on WBOC-LD on channel 31.3 and on WSJZ-LD on channel 31.4.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|31.1||1080i||16:9||WRDE-HD||Main WRDE programming / NBC|
|31.2||480i||4:3||WRDE-SD||Cozi TV & MyNetworkTV|
Syndicated programming on WRDE-LD includes RightThisMinute, Extra, TMZ on TV, and Access. The latter two also include their live counterparts. In addition, the station carries Major League Baseball games from the Philadelphia Phillies via fellow NBC affiliate WCAU-TV in Philadelphia. Until 2019, WRDE-LD aired college basketball, baseball and football games from the Atlantic Coast Conference through the Raycom Sports syndication service ACC Network.
In addition to NBC programming, WRDE-LD operates the Delmarva market's Cozi TV affiliate on its LD2 subchannel. On weeknights, WRDE-LD2 also carries programs from the MyNetworkTV programming service, filling in programming for all time slots outside of the MyNetworkTV programming schedule with the Cozi TV schedule.
In 2016, the station added a 5 p.m. newscast, WRDE News Live at 5, anchored by Anne Imanuel and Mark Edwards.
Under WBOC's ownership, the station's newscasts are expected to be produced and anchored locally from studios in Milton, Delaware beginning in Fall 2019. Currently, WRDE simulcasts WBOC's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on weekdays and weekends.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WRUE-LD". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
- "Home". WBOC Radio. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
- Bleiweis, Jon (April 25, 2014). "Rehoboth TV station to become NBC affiliate". The News Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Delaware Beach Community Gets NBC Affiliate". Broadcasting & Cable. April 24, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Holland, Liz (August 21, 2018). "WBOC parent company to acquire WRDE". Salisbury Daily Times. Gannett Company. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Consummation Notice", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, 3 January 2019, Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "WRDE Now Available Over-the-Air in HD". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WRDE-LD
- "Get Cozi TV". CoziTV.com. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Meet Delaware's New NBC Affiliate". Multichannel News. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "NBC comes to Delmarva". The Daily Times. April 26, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.