Draper Media, owner of WBOC-TV in Salisbury, has agreed to purchase WRDE, an NBC affiliate based in Lewes serving the Delmarva Peninsula as Coast TV.
"I began my Delmarva broadcasting career at WBOC, so I am very pleased, and it seems fitting that WRDE and I rejoin the WBOC family,” said Bob Backman, president of WRDE-TV.
“We’re looking forward to bringing more local news, weather and community information to viewers here on Delmarva,” said Molly Draper Russell, CEO of Draper Holdings Business Trust, parent company of Draper Media.
“Coast TV’s NBC lineup reinforces our commitment to serving the Delmarva Peninsula with the absolute best information, entertainment and sports programming available,” Draper Russell said. “Along with my sister and brothers, we are proud to carry on the legacy of our late father and company founder, Thomas H. Draper, who was fond of saying we have a moral obligation to serve Delmarva.”
With the acquisition of WRDE, Draper Media, based in Salisbury, Md., now owns WBOC, a CBS affiliate; FOX21; Telemundo Delmarva; and four radio stations. The transfer of ownership is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is subject to Federal Communications Commission approval.
“WBOC is unquestionably one of the great stations in America,” said Louis Wall, president of Sagamore Hill Broadcasting Corp., a partner with Draper Media in the sale. “The union of Coast TV with WBOC will serve the viewers of the Delmarva Peninsula better than ever. We are delighted with this agreement and the prospects it holds for the station’s future.”
Draper Media consists of WBOC-TV, FOX21, Telemundo Delmarva, Antenna TV, WBOC Digital, WBOC-FM, WAAI-FM, WTDK-FM, WCEM-FM and WCEM-AM with satellite offices in Cambridge, Md., Dover and Milton.