WRDE, licensed to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, begins life as an NBC affiliate in early June. Currently a mix of MyNetworkTV and Cozi TV, the low power station will shift that lineup to channel 31.2 to make way for the new “Coast TV.” The station will debut 6 and 11 p.m. news, along with cut-ins during the Today show, covering Sussex County, Maryland’s eastern shore and the Salisbury (Md.) DMA.
Salisbury is about 47 miles south of Rehoboth Beach.
“I’ve been privileged to have lived in Rehoboth Beach for six years and to be a member of this wonderful community,” said Bob Backman, WRDE president and general manager. “The people in Rehoboth Beach deserve their own NBC station with in-depth coverage of the concerns of the coastal community. Well, now they have one!”
Southern Delaware residents currently get a range of NBC affiliates in different corners of the market, including WBAL Baltimore, WCAU Philadelphia and WHAG Hagerstown.
Backman is a former regional VP with Pax TV and general sales manager with WBOC Salisbury. The station will be located in the Delaware beach town of Lewes. “I believe every area deserves its own NBC station,” said Backman, who added that he is “heavily interviewing people” for newsroom jobs. Local news debuts on or close to Coast TV's June debut, he says.
Coast TV represents Delaware’s only Big Four affiliation, according to Backman. Salisbury, which is market No. 142, features CBS and ABC affiliates, while Fox airs on the dot-two channel of WBOC. WBOC, the CBS affiliate, has bureaus in Dover and Milton, the latter in southern Delaware.
“[It’s] fantastic news for any chamber of commerce!” said Carol Everhart, CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not just music to our ears, but a symphony.”