There were some high fives at WDEL as spring ratings came out for the Wilmington-area market.
A few years ago the news-talk station and Delmarva Broadcasting under then-president Pete Booker acquired an FM station and made the conversion, despite having a powerful AM signal. AM has been makingits last stand in the news and talk niche in many large and small markets.
“We want to thank everyone who is listening to WDEL. We’re thrilled that our recent programming changes toDelaware’s Morning News, Del-AWARE, The Rick Jensen ShowandDelaware’s Afternoon Newsappear to be resonating with listeners, as the numbers for all dayparts are higher. In fact,Delaware’s Morning News with Peter MacArthurhas surged to the #2 Wilmington-based morning show, behind our colleagues across the hall at WSTW. We’re truly grateful to everyone who is making WDEL a part of their day,” said Chris Carl, DEL’s director of news and programming.
The ratings were also good news for new owner Forever Media, which purchased WDEL, WSTW and other Delmarva Broadcasting stations in an $18.5 million deal.
The deal led to fears of cutbacks at one of region’s and perhaps the nation’s largest news departments in a mid-sized market. The operation has become more vital to the community as the News Journal continues to operate with a small staff that could shrink further with the announced merger of parent company Gannett and Gatehouse.
WHYY scuttled its nightly TV broadcast several years ago and Comcast didthe same, later acquiring NBC and its Philadelphia station. Of late, NBC10 has stationed correspondent Tim Furlong in Delaware, but Furlong often travels to other locations in the Philly area.
Many radio stations these days operate with no news department or perhaps one or two people. And unlike most mid-sized markets, northern Delaware has no TV news departments that could help fill the gap.
Southern and Central Delaware are in better shape, with Draper Media dominating that market.
Draper took some heat after acquiring an NBC affiliate based in Delaware. Still, the company is known for investingheavily in a news operation that has big city features like a news helicopter.
Click here for the ratings.
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Public info changes at Correction Department.
Change is in the air at the Delaware Department of Correction under new Secretary Claire DeMatteis.
A small change in the direction of transparency came with the appointment of Paul Shavack as a deputy corrections chief.
Shavack is now serving as a spokesman for the department, a position he held at one point in his career at the Delaware State Police. He was respectedby members of the media as the DSP upgraded their publicinformation practices to reflect the realities of the digital world.
As reported earlier,Jason Miller is moving from New Castle County government to the position of Chief of Communications and Community Relations. He joins the department later this month after serving as the spokesman for the county and County Executive Matt Meyer.
Responsibilities will include social media, an area where reports and rumors about the corrections system can spread quickly.
Miller comes with a resume that also includes stints at the Attorney General’s Office and the Correction Department.
We have already seen what appears to be an uptick in press releases, not only on absconders who don’t return from supervised programs, but also in terms of overall news what had been a state agency with an inward-focused culture.
Critics will continue to question whether new blood from outside the state’s tight-knit law enforcement community is needed at the department. We’ll see if DeMatteis agrees.