Draper Media to Acquire Delaware NBC Affiliate WRDE

Draper Media and SagamoreHill have agreed to buy WRDE Rehoboth Beach, an NBC affiliate serving the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) Peninsula. Terms of the deal were not divulged. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Draper Media owns WBOC, which is based in Salisbury, MD and has bureaus in Milton and Dover, Delaware. Craig Jahelka is president of Draper Media and WBOC general manager.

WRDE is known as Coast TV. Bob Backman is president. The station became an NBC affiliate in 2014. Viewers in the region get a mix of Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia local news along with southern Delaware happenings.

"We're looking forward to bringing more local news, weather and community information to viewers here on Delmarva," said Molly Draper Russell, CEO of Draper Holdings Business Trust, parent company of Draper Media. "Coast TV's NBC lineup reinforces our commitment to serving the Delmarva Peninsula with the absolute best information, entertainment and sports programming available. Our family's history of service through free over-the-air broadcasting goes back more than half a century. Along with my sister and brothers, we are proud to carry on the legacy of our late father, and company founder, Thomas H. Draper, who was fond of saying we have a moral obligation to serve Delmarva." 

Thomas Draper was killed in a bicycle accident last year.

"WBOC is unquestionably one of the great stations in America," said Louis Wall, president of SagamoreHill Broadcasting Corporation. "Tom Draper built what all true broadcasters strive for, a well-resourced television station that could stand up against the competition in a market of any size. The union of Coast TV with WBOC will serve the viewers of the Delmarva Peninsula better than ever. We are delighted with this agreement and the prospects it holds for the station's future."

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.