|Rehoboth Beach/Dover, Delaware
|Branding||WRDE Coast TV
My Cozi TV (DT2)
|Slogan||Delmarva's Own NBC Station|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 31 (PSIP)
(SagamoreHill of Salisbury Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||May 5, 2004|
|Call letters' meaning||Rehoboth Beach,
|Former callsigns||W59DZ (2004–2005)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
59 (UHF, 2004–2009)
America One (2006–2007)
|Transmitter power||7.1 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WRDE-LD, virtual channel and UHF digital channel 31, is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Delmarva Peninsula that is licensed to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. On its digital subchannel 31.2, the station airs Cozi TV and secondarily MyNetworkTV. The station is owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting. WRDE maintains studio facilities located on Munchy Branch Road in Rehoboth Beach, and its transmitter is located on Wil King Road, southwest of Lewes.
The station first signed on the air on W59DZ on May 5, 2004; originally broadcasting on UHF channel 59, it operated at a low power, before upgrading its signal in 2005; that year, the station changed its call letters to WRDE-LP. Initially, the station ran a scroll with the callsign and city of license as a station identification, in order to meet the deadline for Federal Communications Commission approval to keep the station's license. The station's original transmitter was located at the Nassau Valley Vineyard, directly off of Delaware Route 1 (Coastal Highway) by the Nassau Bridge. The station was originally an affiliate of Urban America Television; it changed its affiliation to America One after UATV ceased operations on May 1, 2006; WRDE-LP began airing programming from MyNetworkTV and the Retro Television Network on November 1, 2007. Then in early 2014, the RTN programming blocks were replaced with COZI TV. The MyNetworkTV line-up shifted to 31.2 in June 2014 when NBC programming debuted on 31.1.
Originally, it planned to broadcast its digital signal from the Nassau Valley tower, but station officials decided instead to install its digital transmitter at a tower southwest of Lewes, that is also used by radio station WGMD (92.7 FM). (The station's over-the-air signal reaches as far north as Milford; as far east as Cape May, New Jersey; as far south as Ocean City, Maryland; and as far west as Seaford.) In October 2008, WRDE-LP was added on the digital cable tiers of local cable providers, including Comcast.
In early 2014, the station dropped Retro Television Network programming, replacing it with competing classic television network Cozi TV during time slots when MyNetworkTV programming was not airing.
On April 23, 2014, it was announced that WRDE would become an NBC affiliate in June of that year. Station president Bob Backman approached NBC for an affiliation agreement after watching one of the out-of-market NBC affiliates on cable a few years earlier, dissatisfied at the lack of local news coverage focusing on the Delmarva region. The switch gave the Delmarva Peninsula market not only its first full-time NBC affiliate, but also its first major network affiliate based in Delaware (the market's other network affiliates originate from and are licensed to Salisbury, Maryland – including ABC affiliate WMDT and CBS affiliate WBOC-TV). The only Delaware-licensed station in the market was Seaford-licensed PBS member station WDPB, which operates as a satellite of Philadelphia's WHYY-TV.
Delmarva had been one of the few markets in the country that still lacked full service from the Big Three networks. With the affiliation switch, the station rebranded as "WRDE-NBC Coast TV," and moved the MyNetworkTV and Cozi TV affiliations to a new shared second digital subchannel.
The switch has resulted in Comcast's Sussex County system having four NBC stations – WRDE-LD, network-owned WCAU in Philadelphia and affiliates WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia and WBAL-TV in Baltimore. Before WRDE's switch, WCAU had served as the default NBC outlet for the Delaware side of the market, while WBAL-TV served the Maryland side.
Throughout 2014, as WRDE began its affiliation with NBC, the station's cable coverage was expanded beyond Comcast to reach Mediacom, DirecTV and Dish Network customers in Sussex County, Delaware and Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties in Maryland. Most of the station's viewership comes via cable and satellite; the main over-the-air signal is spotty at best outside Sussex County.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|31.1||1080i||16:9||Stream1||Main WRDE-LD programming / NBC|
|31.2||480i||4:3||Stream2||Cozi TV & MyNetworkTV|
Syndicated programming on WRDE-LD includes RightThisMinute, Extra, TMZ, and Access Hollywood. The latter two also include their live counterparts. In addition, the station carries college basketball, baseball and football games from the Atlantic Coast Conference through the Raycom Sports syndication service ACC Network, as well as Major League Baseball games from the Philadelphia Phillies via fellow NBC affiliate WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.
WRDE's 6 and 11p.m. studio talent is outsourced from the small-market news production service Independent News Network in Little Rock, Arkansas (and nominally produced videos with that market's NBC affiliate KARK-TV). The reporters, as well as the morning anchors, are based at WRDE's studios.
- Channel 9 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 31 low-power TV stations in the United States
- Channel 31 virtual TV stations in the United States
- Bleiweis, Jon (April 25, 2014). "Rehoboth TV station to become NBC affiliate". The News Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Delaware Beach Community Gets NBC Affiliate". Broadcasting & Cable. April 24, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- "Meet Delaware's New NBC Affiliate". Multichannel News. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WRDE-LD
- "NBC comes to Delmarva". The Daily Times. April 26, 2014. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- WRDETV.com - WRDE-LD official website
- WRDEARTS.com - The WRDE Arts & Entertainment Report With Michael Sprouse
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WRDE
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for WRDE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WRDE-LD