WBOC to Buy WOLC-FM - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -


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SALISBURY, Md.- WBOC, which began serving the Delmarva Peninsula 75 years ago as WBOC-AM radio, is returning to it roots with the acquisition of WOLC 102.5 FM from Maranatha, Inc. The purchase of the radio station, which is presently based out of Princess Anne, Md., was announced Thursday by WBOC-TV Vice President & General Manager Craig Jahelka.

"We are humbled by the trust people on Delmarva put in us every day," Jahelka said. "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 75 years ago on Sept. 13, 1940, and expanded to television in July 1954. In 1980, current owner Thomas H. Draper, CEO & president of Draper Holdings, purchased the stations. Acquiring WOLC is also a return to radio for him.

“My start in broadcasting began in 1967 at WTHD in Milford,” Draper said. “I’ve come full circle with the addition of WOLC. The 50,000-watt signal can be heard across much of Delmarva and is a perfect fit for our family and our company.”

Jahelka said WBOC has retained the services of a firm that specializes in radio programming. He said that while no decision has been made yet 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.”

"There's no doubt WBOC's news, weather and sports information will be a vital part of this operation," Jahelka added. 

WOLC's radio operation will be moved to WBOC's main building in Salisbury and located in space that used to house the former WBOC-AM. Jahelka said additional staffers will be hired to operate WOLC.

"Our goal is to make it the best radio station on the Delmarva Peninsula," Jahelka said.

Gordon Marsh, president of Maranatha, Inc., said the decision to sell WOLC was made after a "long season of prayer and discussion."

"We are very pleased to be able to work with WBOC, an organization which is both trusted and respected here," Marsh said. 

According to Marsh, Maranatha, Inc. will continue to operate as the Christian Leadership and Community Foundation, which was 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, Jahelka said. 

WBOC-TV is owned and operated by Draper Holdings, which also owns FOX21WBOC Classics, WBOC.com and Loblolly LLC.

Click here to view a press release about the WOLC acquisition.

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