From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Salisbury, Maryland/Dover, Delaware
United States
Branding WBOC 16 (general)
WBOC News (news)
FOX21 Delmarva (on DT2)
Slogan Delmarva's News Leader
Channels Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
Subchannels 16.1 CBS
16.2 Antenna TV
21.2 Fox
Affiliations CBS
Owner Draper Holdings Business Trust
(WBOC, Inc.)
First air date July 15, 1954; 60 years ago (1954-07-15)
Call letters' meaning We're Between the Ocean and the Chesapeake
Former channel number(s) Analog:
16 (UHF, 1954-2009)
Former affiliations DuMont (1954-1956, secondary from 1955)
ABC (secondary, c. 1955-1980)
NBC (secondary, c. 1955-1980)
UPN (on DT2, 2003-2006)
Transmitter power 740 kW
Height 279 m
Facility ID 71218
Transmitter coordinates 38°30′17″N 75°38′37″W / 38.50472°N 75.64361°W / 38.50472; -75.64361
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.wboc.com

WBOC-TV, channel 16, is a CBS affiliate based in Salisbury, Maryland, USA. WBOC-TV is owned by the Draper Holdings Business Trust, with its main studios in Salisbury, secondary studios/office facilities in Dover and Milton, Delaware, and transmitter in Laurel, Delaware. The station primarily serves the four easternmost counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as Sussex County, Delaware. However, its signal covers the entire Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia, as well as the southern two-thirds of Delaware, a region known as the Delmarva Peninsula.

WBOC also airs Delmarva's Fox on its second digital subchannel. This station is branded as FOX21 Delmarva after its over-the-air digital channel, and is also available on local cable systems.

On December 17, 2013, WBOC began airing Antenna TV programming on its third digital subchannel under the "WBOC Classics" brand name.


WBOC-TV began operations on July 15, 1954, owned originally by Peninsula Broadcasting, which started WBOC radio (960 AM, now WTGM and 104.7 FM, now WQHQ), the first successful radio station on the Eastern Shore, in 1940. It is the fourth-oldest television station in Maryland, the first outside Baltimore, and the oldest on the UHF band.

It was originally an affiliate of the DuMont Television Network. However, around 1955, it picked up a primary affiliation with CBS, relegating DuMont to secondary status until that network shut down in 1956. It also picked up secondary affiliations with NBC and ABC.[1] The station also featured local programming consisting of variety shows, talent contests, and children's programs.

In 1961 Peninsula Broadcasting merged with the A.S. Abell Company, which published the Baltimore Sun and owned Baltimore's then-CBS affiliate, WMAR-TV. WBOC-TV gradually increased the CBS programming on its schedule, though it continued to "cherry-pick" the highest-rated ABC and NBC shows either in pattern (on schedule with the rest of the network) or on a tape-delayed basis.

For example, channel 16 regularly carried the Today Show and The Tonight Show from NBC, and weekend sports coverage from all three networks. Primetime programming consisted of at least one night of all CBS; other evenings with programs from both CBS and ABC; and others with shows from CBS and NBC. Select CBS programs displaced by the scheduling method would air in times outside of primetime. Despite carrying Today (which pre-empted CBS' numerous attempts at morning news programming and Captain Kangaroo), WBOC-TV aired all of CBS's other newscasts, as well as most of CBS's daytime programming and Saturday morning cartoons. The cherry-picking arrangement also affected primetime network sports coverage. However, Delmarva viewers didn't have to worry about missing their favorite shows once cable came to the area. Local cable systems on the Maryland side of the market supplemented the area with the Baltimore stations, while cable systems on the Delaware side supplemented it with the Philadelphia stations. Accomack County, Virginia is part of the Hampton Roads market, though WBOC has long claimed it as part of its primary coverage area.

In April 1980 WBOC-TV received competition for the first time when WMDT (channel 47) signed on as a dual ABC/NBC affiliate, allowing channel 16 to become a full-time CBS station. In November of that same year, local ownership of channel 16 returned when entrepreneur Thomas H. Draper purchased the station. Since Draper took over, local news coverage increased, as well as local advertising revenue which allowed for technical upgrades, such as a new four-million-watt tower located near Laurel, Delaware.

Example of "cherry-picking"
The following schedule grid is used to describe WBOC's cherry-picking method of prime time programming. This example is from Fall 1977:[2][3][4][5]

PM 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
Mon Local Little House on the Prairie (NBC) The Betty White Show (CBS) Maude (CBS) Rafferty (CBS)
Tue Welcome Back, Kotter (ABC)
(one-week delay)
Happy Days (ABC) Laverne & Shirley (ABC) M*A*S*H (CBS) One Day at a Time (CBS) Lou Grant (CBS)
Wed Local Hee Haw (syndicated) Charlie's Angels (ABC) Baretta (ABC)
Thu Local The Waltons (CBS) Hawaii Five-O (CBS) Barnaby Jones (CBS)
Fri Good Times (CBS)
(two-day delay)
The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (CBS) Logan's Run (CBS) Switch! (CBS)

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
16.1 1080i 16:9 WBOC-HD Main WBOC-TV programming / CBS
16.2 480i 4:3 WBOC-CL Antenna TV
21.2 16:9 FOX21 WBOC-DT2 / Fox

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WBOC-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21,[7][8][9] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 16.

Unlike most digital subchannels, WBOC-DT2 is one of the few that identifies with its physical digital channel number (21) rather than a virtual channel (16.2) through PSIP. This station is known on-air as Fox 21 Delmarva. It can also be seen on Comcast and Mediacom channel 5, and in high definition on Comcast digital channel 213.

Cable & Satellite availability[edit]

Since November 2010, WBOC and FOX21 have been available on DirecTV and Dish Network in their primary five-county coverage area.[10][11] For WBOC viewers outside this area, satellite subscribers may request a waiver to receive New York City stations if they can't pick up the Delmarva stations over the air.[12] Before 2010, Delmarva was one of the few markets where local stations weren't available on satellite.

From the 1970s to the 1980s, WBOC was carried on cable as far north as Cape May County, New Jersey and New Castle County, Delaware and as far south as Northampton County, Virginia.[13]

On July 23, 2014, DirecTV announced it was in a carriage dispute Draper Holdings, owner of WBOC-TV. It was announced that if Draper and DirecTV could not reach a fair deal before July 31, 2014, DirecTV would no longer be permitted to carry Draper Holding's stations.[14] WBOC and Fox 21 said they were asking for far less money than what DirecTV pays for national networks like ESPN – even though they claim their combined ratings are much higher than ESPN's ratings. DirecTV stated Draper wants seven times more in their new contract.[15] On August 1, DirecTV and Draper Holdings reached a settlement, and the channels remain on the air with no blackouts.

Local Programming[edit]

WBOC operates two bureaus in Milton and Dover, and a third "virtual" bureau in Cambridge[16] in addition to its main studios in Salisbury. All news broadcasts, except those seen on WBOC-DT2, can be seen via live streaming video on WBOC's website.

WBOC produces also produces a daily talk show called "DelmarvaLife".[17]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]


  1. ^ WBOC's 50th anniversary
  2. ^ Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter (1982). Watching TV: Four Decades of American Television. McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-010268-6. 
  3. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television (4th Ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-024916-8. 
  4. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows (8th ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-345-31864-1. 
  5. ^ TV Guide (Radnor, Pa.: Triangle Publications) (Washington–Baltimore edition). 15 October 1977.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WBOC
  7. ^ WBOC's switch to digital TV delayed by FCC, Deleware News-Journal * February 12, 2009
  8. ^ The Digital TV Transition: What Is DTV? dtv.gov. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  9. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  10. ^ WBOC WBOC/FOX21 Now Available on DIRECTV in 5 Delmarva Counties
  11. ^ WBOC WBOC/FOX21 Now Available on DISH Network in 5 Delmarva Counties
  12. ^ WBOC waiver information
  13. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/coals7/forms/search/cableSearchNf.cfm
  14. ^ WBOC and FOX21 Could Disappear From DIRECTV Channel Lineup After July 31 WBOC-TV, July 24, 2014
  15. ^ WBOC-TV16, FOX21 could leave DIRECTV
  16. ^ About WBOC-TV Delmarva's News Leader
  17. ^ DelmarvaLife

External links[edit]