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WMDT is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Delmarva Peninsulamarker that is licensed to Salisburymarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 47 from a transmitter in rural Wicomico Countymarker near Spring Grove. The tower is the second tallest structure in the state of Marylandmarker. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 7 and in high definition on digital channel 210. WMDT operates a low-powered analog repeater in Dover, Delawaremarker, WEVD-LP channel 27. It has a transmitter northeast of the city and DE 1. Owned by Brechner Management Company, WMDT has studios at Downtown Plaza in Salisbury. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, and Kim Possible. WMDT operates the area's CW affiliate on its secondmarker digital subchannel. It is part of The CW Plus and is known on-air as Delmarva CW 3. WMDT-DT2 is also offered on Comcast cable channel 3 which is where it gets the branding from.

History

WMDT logo used from 1997 until 2002.


WMDT-TV initiated broadcast operations in the Salisbury market on April 11, 1980. It was a primary ABC station with secondary NBC affiliation. It was the brainchild of the late Jean Paul Audet, a television pioneer who spent some of his early years in the Albuquerque, New Mexicomarker and Charleston, South Carolinamarker markets. In its early years of operation, WMDT won AP and UPI awards for its then innovative ENG efforts. In 1992, WMDT became a sole ABC affiliate carrying that network's programming as well as a mix of syndicated programs.

In July 2003, WMDT's transmitter tower experienced a fire after a severe storm caused extensive damage to the transmitter. The analog UHF channel 47 signal was unavailable for many weeks although its cable channel, digital signal, and cable-only WB station were unaffected. In 2002, the station dropped the -TV suffix and its current logo debuted. In 2004, WMDT won the top "Service to Children" award for small market stations from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Education Foundation. The station also has a "Teachers Who Make a Difference" program and a "Summer Reading Challenge" among other community-service activities.

Programming rights

WMDT has twice filed a petition seeking a waiver of the FCC's network non-duplication and syndicated program exclusivity rules. The petition involved the carriage of two stations, WMAR-TVmarker (filed in 1999) and WTTGmarker (filed in 2000). The petitions were filed by Comcast, the cable provider in the area that WMDT is located in (within a 35-mile / 56-km radius of its studios). WMAR and WTTG carried programming that WMDT held exclusive programming rights for, either by syndication or by network distribution, within its market catchment area. In both cases, the FCC ruled in favor of WMDT in that: the stations in question (WMAR and WTTG) failed to meet the criteria set by the FCC for "distant stations" with "significant" level of over-the-air viewership. The effect of the ruling resulted in that when WMAR and / or WTTG broadcast programming which WMDT has exclusive rights to (specifically in the communities of: Salisbury, Delmarmarker, Fuitlandmarker, Hebronmarker, unincorporated areas of Wicomico Countymarker, and unincorporated areas of Sussex County, Delawaremarker), Comcast would have to black out those channels while the programs were being shown. Today, WMDT carries the full line-up of ABC network programming and a number of popular syndicated shows. For many years, the station was the only one in the market to broadcast Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Both shows have since moved to WBOC-DT2marker.

WMDT-DT2 "Delmarva CW 3"

In 2000, WMDT launched a cable-only WB affiliate. It was part of The WB 100+ as a result of the Salisbury market having a DMA rank of 148. The station had the fictional call letters "WBD" and was known on-air briefly as "WB 14" (as it replaced WPHL-TVmarker's slot on cable channel 14). Several months after its launch, it was relocated to channel 3 and renamed "WB 3". For some time, it was only available on Comcast as well as Mediacom (on channel 14 then 2). WBD frequently aired cross-promotions for WMDT's main channel and its evening news programs. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would cease broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents: CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner.

UPN was offered via WBOC's second digital subchannel and on Comcast cable channel 5. It was announced on March 28 that WBD would become an affiliate of The CW via The CW Plus (a similar operation to The WB 100+) and WMDT would create a new second digital subchannel for WBD to be broadcast over-the-air for non-cable viewers. WBOC announced on May 9 that its UPN subchannel would become a FOX affiliate beginning on August 21. On September 18, The CW debuted on WBD (now known officially as having the WMDT-DT2 calls). The station then began to be known on-air as "Delmarva's CW 3". WMDT-DT2 recently added the live late night interactive show Text Me TV to its schedule which is produced at Lansing, Michiganmarker's ABC affiliate WLAJmarker.

Newscasts

WMDT's news department from its inception used electronic news gathering instead of the commonly used 16 mm film (which was still in use on the Delmarva Peninsula in 1980). The station began broadcasting its first weekday Noon news, known as Midday Live, on July 26, 1982. When WBD became WMDT-DT2, it began to simulcast their Noon newscast on that station. It also began to air a nightly 10 o'clock newscast. It competes with one that airs at that time on WBOC's second digital suchannel. The 5 A.M. hour of WMDT's weekday morning show is also simulcasted on WMDT-DT2. Some well-known television personalities started their careers at WMDT. Among these are: Bonnie Bernstein (of ESPN), Mike Tobin, and Gregg Jarrett of the FOX News Channel. WMDT does not operate a sports department. It airs a pre-recorded public affairs program, Good Things Delmarva, on Sunday mornings.

Current personalities

Anchors
  • Stacy Sakai (Weekdays 6PM,10PM,11PM Sun. through Thursday)
  • Katherine Amenta (Weekdays 6PM, 10PM, 11PM, Sun. through Thursday)
  • Linda Kurtz (Good Morning Delmarva & News At Noon)
  • Terrence Lee (Weekends)


Reporters
  • Amber Watson
  • Michelle Hinkle
  • Innae Park


Meteorologists
  • Marc Adamo (Good Morning Delmarva & News At Noon)
  • Stephanie Allison (Weekdays 6PM, 10PM, 11PM)
  • Tami Payne (Fill-In)


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • NewsWatch 47 (1980s-1997)
  • WMDT 47 News (1997-present)


Station Slogans

  • The News Station (1980s-2002)
  • Delmarva's Choice For More News in Less Time (2002-present)


External links




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