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A red rounded rectangle with the ABC network logo overlapping it in the lower right corner. In a blue rounded rectangle beneath, white letters W M D T.
The CW network logo in green. Above it, the word Delmarva. To the right, a numeral 3. Beneath, the words "Digital 47.2" with 47.2 in white on a green box.
OwnerMarquee Broadcasting, Inc.
First air date
April 11, 1980 (43 years ago) (1980-04-11)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 47 (UHF, 1980–2008)
  • Digital: 53 (UHF, 2000–2008)
  • 47 (UHF, 2008–2020)
  • Secondary: NBC (1980–1992)
Call sign meaning
Maryland / Delaware Television[a]
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID16455
ERP246 kW
HAAT307 m (1,007 ft)
Transmitter coordinates38°30′6.4″N 75°44′7.4″W / 38.501778°N 75.735389°W / 38.501778; -75.735389
Public license information

WMDT (channel 47) is a television station in Salisbury, Maryland, United States, affiliated with ABC and The CW Plus. It is the flagship television property of locally based Marquee Broadcasting, and has common ownership with low-power MeTV affiliate WGDV-LD (channel 32). Both stations share studios on West Main Street (mailing address is Downtown Plaza) in Salisbury, while WMDT's transmitter is located in Wicomico County northeast of Mardela Springs.

WMDT was the second commercial station to serve the Delmarva Peninsula, signing on in April 1980. It struggled financially and was placed in court-appointed receivership less than 18 months after beginning broadcasting. From 1982 to 2013, it was owned by the Brechner family. Marquee Broadcasting acquired WMDT in 2013 as its first TV station property. In local news ratings, WMDT has long been a distant second-place station to WBOC-TV.


Construction and early struggles[edit]

In early 1978, the MDV Television Company petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to insert a second commercial television channel at Salisbury, then served only by primary CBS affiliate WBOC-TV (channel 16) and a Maryland Public Television repeater. In its application, MDV claimed that Delmarva was inadequately served by the Philadelphia and Baltimore stations and that WBOC-TV's local news coverage was also inadequate.[2] The commission assigned the channel in July 1978, allowing potential owners to apply for a construction permit to build and operate the station.[3]

Even though MDV Television received the permit in May, it spent part of the year fighting with local authorities in Wicomico County over the construction of a transmitting tower; some nearby landowners feared its construction would affect their property values.[4][5] Wicomico County approved construction of the tower in June.[6] The station announced it had obtained ABC affiliation in July; this was in part because among its stockholders were William Sheehan and Walter Pfister, former president and director of special news events, respectively, at ABC.[7] WMDT set up in studio facilities that once housed a Rite Aid drug store and restaurant on Salisbury's Downtown Plaza.[8][9] Shortly before launch, it picked up a secondary affiliation with NBC.[1]

WMDT began broadcasting on April 11, 1980, but it was another two months before the station aired local news programming.[10] The station struggled in its early years from technical issues, low ratings against WBOC-TV (the only station on Delmarva for 26 years[10]), and consistent rumors of financial trouble. In March 1981, MDV announced an infusion of new cash into the business.[11] President J. Paul Audet, who had previously been involved in the startup of TV stations in New Mexico and South Carolina,[7] noted that the station was three months late in getting on air, leaving it undercapitalized. In June, a receiver was appointed on a petition from the First National Bank of Maryland, which it owed $3 million plus interest.[10]

Brechner ownership[edit]

In 1982, a court approved the sale of WMDT to Mid-Florida Television, which owned a partial stake in WFTV in Orlando, Florida.[12][13] The sale received an objection from the station's law firm, which claimed it was owed money,[14] but it was finalized in July.[15] Joseph Brechner, the president of the company, died in 1990,[16] followed by his wife Marion in 2011.[17]

WMDT launched a bureau in Dover, Delaware, as well as translator W27AJ there, in 1987.[18] The next year, the station debuted Newswatch 27, a newscast specifically for Dover and Kent County, produced from a studio in the city and only aired on the translator; the long-term goal was to have television ratings agencies assign Kent County into the Salisbury media market, thereby making it larger and increasing revenues.[19] The Dover translator remained with WMDT, later under the call sign WEVD-LD, until later owner Marquee Broadcasting swapped it for three low-power stations owned by Lowcountry 34 Media in 2020.[20]

WMDT launched "WBD", a cable-only affiliate of The WB as part of The WB 100+ Station Group, in May 2000.[21] This service affiliated with The CW in 2006, when The WB and UPN merged,[22] and was broadcast as a subchannel of WMDT by 2008.[23] Upon the launch of The CW, it began carrying a midday and 10 p.m. newscast.[22]

Marquee Broadcasting ownership[edit]

Brechner Management Company announced the sale of WMDT to Marquee Broadcasting on August 8, 2013.[24][25] It was the first broadcast property for the company, owned by Brookeville residents Patricia and Brian Lane, who had sought to buy a TV station for five years.[26]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Technical information[edit]


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of WMDT[31]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
47.1 720p 16:9 WMDT-HD Main WMDT programming / ABC
47.2 CW Delmarva CW 3
47.3 480i MeTV MeTV (WGDV-LD)
47.4 480i Ion Ion Television
  Simulcast of subchannels of another station

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WMDT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal on September 22, 2008.[23] This enabled work to conclude on relocating WMDT's digital signal from its pre-transition channel 53 to channel 47.[23][32] WMDT relocated its signal from channel 47 to channel 29 on March 13, 2020, as a result of the 2016 United States wireless spectrum auction.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The owners had hoped to name the station WMDV, with a V for Virginia, but that call sign was already in use.[1]


  1. ^ a b Leonard, Tom (March 30, 1980). "WMDT-TV: New Salisbury Station Will Soon Be On The Air". The Sunday Times. p. D1. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Dalecki, Kenneth (April 5, 1978). "New TV Outlet Proposed Here". The Daily Times. p. 11. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Dalecki, Kenneth B. (July 15, 1978). "FCC Clears Way For New TV Station". The Daily Times. p. 6. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Tower Snag Is Delaying Things: New TV Station Gets FCC Approval". The Daily Times. May 8, 1979. p. 2. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Tolbert, Glenn (April 13, 1979). "TV Group Seeks New Hearing". The Daily Times. p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Television Tower". The Daily Times. July 3, 1979. p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b Carter, Bill (July 18, 1979). "New Shore TV station gets ABC affiliation". The Baltimore Sun. p. B6. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Messick, Kent (December 23, 1979). "Shore Will Soon Have 2 Television Stations". The Sunday Times. p. D1. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Restaurant Is To Be Closed". The Daily Times. January 10, 1980. p. 10. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b c Corddry, Mary (June 12, 1981). "Injunction deals latest of many blows to Shore TV station". The Baltimore Sun. p. C3. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Channel 47 Battling Financial Problems". The Daily Times. March 8, 1981. p. C13. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Robinson, Bill (February 2, 1982). "Court OKs Sale Of Channel 47 Station". The Daily Times. p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Groer, Anne (July 2, 1981). "Channel 9 ownership approved after 24 years". Sentinel Star. p. 2-C. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Bedard, Paul (June 20, 1982). "Judge Denies TV-47 Suit Seeking $17,000". The Daily Times. p. A2. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Salisbury TV unit sold". The Evening Sun. July 9, 1982. p. C7. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Jean, Charlie (February 27, 1990). "Brechner, founder of Channel 9, dies". The Orlando Sentinel. pp. B-1, B-4. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Marion Brechner". The Daily Times. January 9, 2011. p. B2. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Station expands". The Morning News. July 16, 1987. p. D2. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Mullinax, Gary (July 11, 1988). "Dover gets its own TV newscast: Station looks northward from Salisbury, Md., for new business". The Morning News. p. B1, B6. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ Miller, Mark K. (April 3, 2020). "Marquee, Low Country Media to Swap LPTVs".
  21. ^ "WB on the air". The Daily Times. May 9, 2000. p. 3. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ a b "WMDT to add noon, 10 p.m. newscasts". The Daily Times. September 1, 2006. p. 35. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ a b c McLain, Kathleen (September 22, 2008). "WMDT digital switch is on, starting today". The Daily Times. p. A5. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Marquee Broadcasting To Acquire WMDT-TV". WMDT 47 News. August 8, 2013. Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  25. ^ Malone, Michael (August 8, 2013). "WMDT in Salisbury, Md. Sells for $9 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  26. ^ "WMDT station sold for $9 million". The Daily Times. August 8, 2013. ProQuest 1418711576.
  27. ^ "Bernstein is CBS-bound as reporter". Asbury Park Press. June 19, 1998. p. C5. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ Cain, Brooke (August 2, 2020). "Fishel's leap of faith' leads him away from his North Carolina home". The News and Observer. pp. 1A, 4A, 5A. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Stanglin, Doug (May 23, 2014). "Pills possible factor in Fox News anchor's arrest". The Daily Times. USA Today. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  30. ^ Roache, George (July 14, 1995). "A forecast for success: Salisbury's Mike Seidel turns childhood hobby into a career with The Weather Channel". The Daily Times. pp. 11, 12. Retrieved May 6, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "TV Query for WMDT". RabbitEars. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  32. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  33. ^ "FCC TV Spectrum Phase Assignment Table" (CSV). Federal Communications Commission. April 13, 2017. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.

External links[edit]