(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 award-winning website which offers in-depth reporting for which the constraints of commercial radio don’t allow, video, podcasts, e-mail updates, and 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 News produces weekly features on fitness, commuter issues and profiles of local high school athletes.
- WDEL has Delaware’s only three-person, on-the-road team of traffic reporters.
- WDEL is the only radio station in the state of Delaware that has full-time sports reporters.
- WDEL is the only 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.
2017 included several big stories for WDEL:
Deadly Prison Uprising - WDEL’s continuing coverage took into a story that made national headlines. The two-day ordeal unfolded over February 1 and February 2, 2017, when more than a dozen inmates overtook the maximum security prison in Smyrna and held correctional officers, a counselor, and other inmates hostage. Correctional Officer Lt. Steven Floyd was killed in the riot.
Trooper killed – WDEL News was on the scene covering the shooting death of a Delaware State Trooper and the ensuing standoff with and shooting of a suspect in the case.
Earthquake! – Delaware shook during a rare earthquake in November. WDEL provided coverage, while also serving as a sounding board for listeners to talk about what they felt.
Welcome home Joe! – WDEL News provided live coverage of a welcome home celebration for Joe Biden – hours after the Trump/Pence inauguration.
Chopper down – WDEL News provided team coverage of a fatal helicopter crash near New Castle County Airport.
Elected official accused of harassment – A WDEL investigation uncovered claims of harassment by New Castle County Council President Karen Hartley-Nagle. WDEL’s reporting led to council members approving a request for Hartley-Nagel’s resignation.
“Reading, Writing, and Recovery” – this WDEL News series tells the story of two Delaware families who went the distance and paid the price so that their children could attend a recovery high school in Northeast Philadelphia after repeated attempts in traditional high school settings led to relapses.
County app hacked – A WDEL investigation revealed an app supported by New Castle County Police as a place to safely store private information was vulnerable to hackers.
Gov. Carney inauguration – WDEL provided live coverage of the inauguration of John Carney as Delaware Governor.
WDEL ElectionWatch candidates debate - WDEL was the only broadcast outlet to produce a debate between candidates in a closely watched Delaware Senate district.
Help Our Kids Radiothon – The WDEL News team was proud to participate in this annual radio 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 $345,982 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.
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 the President of the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Assoc. and a former President of the Society of Professional Journalists Delaware Chapter. WDEL Senior Correspondent Allan Loudell is a vice-president of the Delaware Press Association. WDEL reporter Mark Fowser is a two-term President of the Delaware Press Association.
WDEL Digital News
Delmarva Broadcasting Company made great strides with WDEL.com and continued to innovate and present compelling, rich content in new, attention-grabbing ways through 2017.
Our highly customizable home page continues to be the best destination to feature what WDEL has accomplished in the digital realm daily. Whatever is important and happening in Delaware is happening on our homepage. We have:
- Banners and special sections for snow alerts or breaking news which can be enacted or deactivated based on necessity
- Multimedia-rich highlights like livestreams of debates or town halls featured prominently on our landing page
- Fun content like polls, images, or data trackers
These items are presented to visitors so they can quickly find the information they came for, or engage with what they wouldn’t have otherwise expected.
The 2017 Total Eclipse: Everything you need to know | http://www.wdel.com/news/the-total-eclipse-everything-you-need-to-know/article_055e88d0-8101-11e7-a1d9-4b7f14acd4f6.html
A highlight of WDEL’s continuing efforts to localize national storylines for our audience members, this is a breakdown of our eclipse coverage, which was unique enough to provide us the opportunity to tell the story in a multitude of ways using a variety of methods. This collection is digitally complete with multiple stories compiled in one location so readers could easily track developments, and featured a variety of interactive and multimedia elements. It lets us have fun and explore ways to tell stories that aren’t so gravely serious.
The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center Fatal Prison Riot and Hostage Situation | http://www.wdel.com/news/the-james-t-vaughn-correctional-center-prison-riot-and-hostage/collection_677ca4f0-e98c-11e6-9ef9-cb5834598a3a.html
Arguably the biggest story of the year for our coverage area, this is the reverse of the eclipse coverage. It is WDEL.com’s presentation of a local story that would garner national attention, and is of the utmost importance to present with a careful attention to detail and respect for all individuals involved. Being the kind of story that lingered as the year grew longer, this is a collection of our coverage from the moment the story broke up to present day, where WDEL continues to track the fallout of an investigation into how and why this happened.
The death of Cpl. Stephen Ballard | http://www.wdel.com/news/delaware-s-biggest-storylines-in-the-death-of-cpl-stephen/article_f4f564be-e5b9-11e7-86a6-83fa3b238665.html
Another of the year’s biggest storylines, this story was a major incident in one of Delaware’s smaller, closely knit communities. It was a shocking incident, and every reporter grasped its importance from the moment they heard the call go out over the scanner. This entry encompasses all of WDEL’s coverage laid out in a timeline which displays how this story developed and grew, from the moment it broke through its completion. Everyone in the newsroom was laser-focused on this story through the initial 24 hours, and it became the subject of some of our most compassionate reporting as we documented the ripples felt through the community following the loss of Cpl. Ballard.
WDEL journalists favorite stories | http://www.wdel.com/news/wdel-journalists-explain-in-their-own-words-their-favorite-stories/article_abac273e-debb-11e7-a249-9be7540fb143.html
Highlighting some of our ongoing efforts to connect with our audience on a more personal level and put on display our humanity, we took a moment--following a year filled with some pretty difficult stories--to share with our readers some of our favorite moments to cover for the year. Maybe not the most newsworthy items, but the things we most enjoyed putting together were highlighted here: an escaped pet Macaw flying through the neighborhoods while the community came together to track and eventually save it; the story of a Wilmington firefighter who battled back from grave injuries suffered in an arson that claimed the lives of three of his brothers and sisters; to our digital editor donning the mascot suit for our local minor league ball team, we put these feature-packed stories together with full hearts.
WDEL entry rundown
This entry includes samples of WDEL’s expansive coverage in 2017:
00:00 Breaking news/ Deadly Prison Uprising
07:30 Breaking news Trooper killed
11:09 Breaking news Earthquake
12:59 Live coverage Welcome home celebration for Joe Biden
15:46 Breaking news Fatal chopper crash
19:22 Investigative reporting Elected official accused of harassment
21:44 Live coverage WDEL ElectionWatch debate
22:58 Hard News report Victim to Victor
24:35 News Series Reading, Writing and Recovery
26:24 Feature reporting Academy surprise
26:50 Feature reporting Finding Freddie
27:47 Special events WDEL Radiothon
28:31 Special events WDEL High School Journalist Night
29:51 Newscast Delaware’s Afternoon News