Marantha has stated it will take WOLC dark on Tuesday, August 18 until the sale to WBOC closes later this year to allow the station’s equipment to be moved into the television station’s building.
Original Report 8/13: Draper Holdings, the owner of CBS affiliate WBOC-TV Salisbury, MD, is entering the radio industry with the purchase of Christian AC “Joy 102.5” WOLC-FM Princess Anne, MD from Marantha, Inc.
Draper will flip WOLC-FM to an undetermined secular format upon closing of the sale. They have retained a consultancy to help determine a format which will utilize the WBOC brand. WOLC-FM operates with 50kW at 152 meters and covers much of the central Delmarva Peninsula (Coverage Map).
WBOC-TV is the CBS affiliate for the Salisbury/Ocean City market. It also operates a Fox affiliate “Fox 21” on its DTV subchannel. A purchase price for the station has yet to be released.
WBOC, which began serving the Delmarva Peninsula 75 years ago as WBOC-AM radio, is returning to its roots with the acquisition of WOLC 102.5 FM from Maranatha, Inc. The purchase was announced today by WBOC-TV Vice President & General Manager Craig Jahelka.
“We are humbled by the trust people on Delmarva put in us every day” says Jahelka. “We’re dedicated to providing the best news, weather, information and entertainment available. With the addition of 102.5 FM we will be able to serve our audience and advertisers anytime and anywhere on Delmarva, even when they’re in their vehicles, on a boat or operating a combine.”
WBOC-AM, originally owned by Peninsula Broadcasting, signed on the air seventy-five years ago on September 13, 1940 and expanded to television in July 1954. In 1980, current owner Thomas H. Draper, CEO & President of Draper Holdings, purchased the stations. It is also a return to radio for him. “My start in broadcasting began in 1967 at WTHD in Milford,” says Draper. “I’ve come full circle with the addition of WOLC. The fifty-thousand watt signal can be heard across much of Delmarva and is a perfect fit for our family and our company.”
“We’ve retained the services of a firm which specializes in radio programming,” says Jahelka. “So while we haven’t yet decided on a format for 102.5, I can promise the station will reflect the WBOC brand, serving our family, friends and neighbors here on the peninsula.”
“After a long season of prayer and discussion a decision has been made to sell the 102.5 frequency,” said Gordon Marsh, President of Maranatha, Inc. “We are very pleased to be able to work with WBOC, an organization which is both trusted and respected here. Maranatha, Inc. will continue to operate as the Christian Leadership and Community Foundation, established to provide and build leadership and support within the Christian community.”
The sale, contingent upon regulatory approval, is expected to close later this year. WBOC-TV is owned and operated by Draper Holdings, which also owns FOX21, WBOC Classics, wboc.com and Loblolly LLC.