(Entry rundown is included at the end)
From breaking news to in-depth reporting on issues affecting our community to feature reporting that highlights the unique stories of Delaware, we are WDEL News.
WDEL is Delaware’s most listened to station for news and information and the second largest news website based in Delaware. Although we were the first radio station in Delaware and one of the first 100 in the U.S, we have long believed we are not necessarily in the radio business, but in the news business. Thus, WDEL provides Delaware with news on the radio, on the web via our website which offers in-depth reporting for which the constraints of commercial radio don’t allow, video, podcasts, e-mail updates, and breaking news alerts which we deliver directly to cell phones.
The Wilmington metro, an umbrella market to Philadelphia, has no commercial TV stations and one daily newspaper. Therefore, with very few outlets for purely Delaware news, WDEL believes it is our mission to keep our listeners informed about what’s happening locally, while keeping them abreast of national and international developments.
And, as you’ll be able to tell from our entry, WDEL offers more than just newscasts. WDEL provides listeners with live coverage of breaking news, major storms, local press conferences & major speeches, plus creative feature reporting which captures the flavor of our town.
WDEL is unique in our market in several ways:
- WDEL produces seven hours of locally-originated all-news product each weekday, with another three consecutive hours on Saturday mornings.
- WDEL produces a three-hour local news magazine show – ‘Del-AWARE with Allan Loudell’ – each weekday from 9 a.m. until Noon. In addition to in-depth and live interviews, the show features weekly reports produced by WDEL journalists on health, technology, arts & culture, business and travel.
- WDEL has its own in-house traffic reporters.
- WDEL is the only radio station in the state of Delaware that has full-time sports reporter.
- WDEL is the only radio outlet to offer live broadcast and web-based coverage of the Delaware Governor’s annual State of the State address, New Castle County Executive’s State of the County address, and Wilmington Mayor’s State of the City address.
- WDEL produces semi-regular “High School Journalists and Communicator” shows – giving local high school students the opportunity to talk about issues in their schools and how “real world” issues are affecting them.
- The WDEL News team was proud to participate in our annual Help Our Kids Radiothon fundraiser for A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. Over the course of the broadcast’s two days at the hospital, WDEL’s news anchors and reporters presented compelling stories and interviews with children and parents who have unfortunately needed to use the hospital’s services. At the end of our 25-hours on the air, we are proud to say $265,202 was raised for the hospital – money that is desperately needed as the cost of operating the hospital continues to rise. 100% of the money was being designated to care for children.
2019 included several big stories for WDEL:
Delaware’s Opioid Crisis – Throughout 2019, as many Delawareans continued to struggle with addiction to opioids, WDEL used long- and short-form reporting to provide in-depth coverage of the efforts to fight the epidemic and the struggles faced by addicts and their families. WDEL’s ongoing coverage can be viewed here.
Halloween tornado – WDEL provided extensive coverage that hit our listening area on Halloween night.
The cleanup continues in the wake of the Halloween tornado across the state line in Glen Mil…
Fighting Fire with Fire – WDEL's four-part series “Fighting Fire with Fire” digs deep into toxic “forever chemicals” like PFAS and PFOA, prior to the release of the Hollywood film, Dark Waters.
WDEL's four-part series “Fighting Fire with Fire” digs deep into toxic “forever chemicals” like PFAS and PFOA prior to the release of the Holl…
USS Delaware – WDEL sent a reporter to Newport News, Virginia for the christening of the new USS Delaware Virginia-class attack submarine.
After a five-year wait, the USS Delaware has been christened in Virginia.
Dela-bear – A black bear, dubbed Dela-bear, was seen roaming the urban streets of Wilmington, before disappearing in a Delaware state park – sending the local community into a tizzy. WDEL News provided complete coverage.
The state of Delaware is 0-2 in its chase to capture an elusive black bear that was first sp…
WDEL also prides itself in being a leader in the broadcast journalism community. WDEL Director of News & Programming Chris Carl is a former Chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association/Foundation, three-time past-president of the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association, past president of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, and three-time chairman of the Bar-Bench-Media Conference of Delaware. WDEL Assistant News Director Amy Cherry is a past president of the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association and a former President of the Society of Professional Journalists Delaware Chapter. WDEL Senior Correspondent Allan Loudell is a past president of the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association and vice-president of the Delaware Press Association. WDEL reporter Mark Fowser is a three-term President of the Delaware Press Association and past president of the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association.
WDEL Digital News
In 2019, WDEL continued its tradition of digitally providing high-quality news coverage, and built upon a solid foundation of providing access to engaging, breaking, and updating information online via WDEL.com, or any of the most popular social media and podcasting platforms.
The dissemination of timely news is the primary reason for WDEL’s existence, and following an upgrade to the overall look and feel of the website to a responsive, more mobile-friendly format for the site, we’ve continued to build on the tools and presentation used to provide that news to our listeners, viewers, readers, and followers.
For example, by taking advantage of cost-effective solutions geared toward use in journalism, the implementation of DataWrapper code makes an already important community-focused story--Survey shows lack of trust, commitment among Delaware correctional officers more than 2 years after fatal riot--much more visually appealing.
WDEL is also an around-the-clock news reporting agency, and is on the scene whenever there’s breaking news. From early morning train derailments to late night car accidents that may affect morning commutes, reporters are consistently reporting live from the scene, and social media has helped increase the impact we can have on the audience we reach. On a hot Saturday afternoon in July, an elderly man who’d been separated from his wife after she was admitted to an assisted living facility walked into that establishment, took her life, then his own. We reported live as details broke, and followed up with in-depth coverage of the difficult, heartbreaking details that came to light in the wake of the shooting in UPDATE | Shooting at Manor Care in Brandywine Hundred leaves 2 dead.
Social media also allows us to spread word about great things WDEL is doing in the community while giving it an area to breath that isn't occupying the strictly news-focused space on the website. A gallery of images captures at the Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children displays WDEL engaging in the community and brings people an enticing look at the activities going on while fundraising for the hospital, and doesn't take away from news operations.
WDEL entry rundown
This entry includes samples of WDEL’s expansive coverage in 2019:
00:00 - Hard News Reporting
- Prison sentence for arson fire which killed firefighters
- Patients are moved into new hospital
- Storm damage at a church carnival
- Firefighters funeral
3:07 - Longform Investigative/Enterprise Reporting
- 3:07 - Firefighters cope with effects of using dangerous chemicals
- 7:42 – High School active shooter drill
- 15:32 - Investigating a high ranking police commander
- 18:35 – Freed prison inmate speaks to WDEL (excerpt for time)
23:56 - Feature reporting
- US Senator celebrates his American-made minivan’s durability
- Motorcycle Santa visits children’s hospital
- War vets restore a 70-year-old piano
- Police dog’s heartbeat lives on in stuffed animals
- American Idol contestant from Delaware
28:14 – Longform Feature reporting
- WDEL’s ArtsWatch – a weekly feature on Delaware’s arts community
35:17 – WDEL’s High School Communicators and Journalists Night
- A semi-regular one-hour program featuring the views of Delaware high school students
36:34 - Newscast - Delaware’s Afternoon News – 10/30/19
The newscast features WDEL local reporting on:
- A phony abduction attempt of a child
- Communities debating moving trick-or-treating from Halloween due to inclement weather
- A retaliation complaint filed against the Delaware Dept. of Insurance
- A revitalization project in one local neighborhood
- The family of a missing woman who was found dead thanks the community for their efforts to find her
- Potential effects on climate change/rising sea levels on coastal communities
- and a kicker story on a restaurant dealing with an infestation problem
The newscast also features reporting from WDEL’s in-house traffic reporter.
The half-hour began with an update on world and national news from CBS Radio News (not included in this entry).