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Reinventing Delmarva Public Radio

A lot can happen in a year.  Just ask the staff and supporters of Delmarva Public Radio as they enter the future with new management, new equipment, and new opportunities to serve the classical community on the Eastern Shore.

DPR’s stations WSDL and WSCL received their proclamation of doom back in 2012.  Their Licensee, the Salisbury University Foundation had covered a few consecutive years of financial shortfall  before consulting with Public Radio Capital for a solution to keep the stations afloat.  Part of the solution would include converting classical station WSCL to a minimally-staffed repeater for Classical 24, but the community promptly objected.

Thanks to collaboration between Salisbury University and a grassroots group Friends of Delmarva Public Radio, the stations were able to maintain their formats while seizing opportunities to reinvent through programming and community partnerships.  In an article dated Nov. 6, new general manager Dana Whitehair shared his programming strategy with Henry J. Evans, Jr. of the Cape Gazette:

The character of WSCL has been expanded to reflect a broader spectrum, encompassing arts, culture and the spoken word, Whitehair said.

“A goal for the future is to record regional live performances for later broadcast on DPR. . .There’s a place for local musicians on these airwaves.”

True.  Among other local quality, the Delmarva peninsula has its own professional orchestra, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and according to the Maryland Coast Dispatch, plans are in place to construct a new performing arts center in Ocean City, MD.

DPR will benefit from construction too, as Salisbury University is investing 500K to outfit the stations with modern broadcast equipment.  The University will also use DPR to provide students with practical radio experience, a rare opportunity in higher education today.

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