Thursday, June 25, 2009

Delmarva Peninsula

The Delmarva peninsula is an odd piece of geography. to the North it sprouts from Wilmington, via the Philadelphia metro. It borders not only that market, but also Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News. the argument can even be made that stations in the southern part of the Atlantic City-Cape May market have some coverage. The region is hideously cut up into separate markets losing counties to the above but then also containing the Salisbury-Ocean City MSA. RELATED LINK: Why is Delaware so oddly shaped?

Route 13 South cuts straight through it giving me a fair sampling of the radio landscape. as you start in Wilmington, most of the radio stations are either Philly stations, pretending to be Philly stations or are at least audible in Philly. They're less than 30 miles apart so this stands to reason. Key differences are WVUD which today was playing Reggae, and high school station WMPH. WMPH was running an all 80s program I couldn't bear.

Route 13 South cuts straight down Delaware through Smyrna, Dover, Harrington, Seaford, Laurel and then on the border Delmar. Smyrna has a local station, WRDX. It's branding claims it's the only station serving the entire state of Delaware. That's pretty clever actually. But Tom-FM is just another AC station; the programming is not at all novel.

Dover it's capital has no more the makings of a market than Smyrna. They have WRTX (a WRTI simulcast) WDSD, WDOV-AM and WDPZ-AM. on 96.1 is a LP-FM station WIHW but they run religious sat-cast programming from FBN the fundamentalist Broadcasting Network. WDOV-AM carries a few shows of note such as Susan Hite, it can at least be said she's only on 7 stations total. Keep in mind that at this point you can still hear WXPN on 88.5 and if you go any farther south you get WAMU. We are wedged between major markets.
In Seaford is a standards station WJWK-AM, and the Salisbury University station, all-classical 89.5 WSCL. but after Laurel the dial opens up as you are entering a real market Salisbury-Ocean City, MD. 98.1 WOCM is a legit AAA station, and WLBW is an acceptable oldies outlet. It's not all Jones Radio Network, they do still have air staff. On the south side of Salisbury you start to hear the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore station 91.3 WESM a fine all-jazz outlet. You can also catch 540 WGOP-AM former home of radio legend "Choppy" Layton. It's conservative talk now but I didn't' recognize the host.

After Pocomoke City options are scarce. There are literally fewer stations than you can count on your fingers; mostly country, gospel and Religious talk. By the time you get to Exmore your local stations can book in Norfolk such as WROX. I was definitely in the south long before the bridge.. I saw a Stuckeys.