Folk Alley Coming to WSDL 90.7 FM

Next month, WSDL is getting a new vibe for the New Year. While we’ll still be providing the Rhythm and News you’ve come to love and rely on, we’ll be switching up our scheduling. Unfortunately, even though we’ll be gaining some new programming, we’ll end up losing 1A.

DPR aims to position itself as a distinct, sustainable, and forward-thinking public radio station in the Delmarva region, which is why we are transitioning WSDL to an  Adult Album Alternative (AAA) format.

To preview the new schedule, click here

If you have questions or comments, please leave them here.

What is going on?


In 2010, both WYPR in Baltimore and WAMU in Washington, D.C. placed repeater stations of their main signals on the Delmarva Peninsula. Since that time, WSDL, 90.7 has seen a steady erosion of listening audience numbers. This is mainly because the majority of our programming was being duplicated by WRAU 88.3 (WAMU’s signal on the Eastern Shore). Additionally, WRAU’s tower location allows their signal to reach a larger portion of the entire peninsula than WSDL.


While WSDL’s audience (and thus financial listener support) has declined, the costs of airing nationally syndicated NPR news and talk programs has remained steady or in some instances increased. We simply cannot continue to air duplicate programming on a signal that reaches fewer ears than WAMU’s.


Why a format change?


The Delmarva Peninsula is rather unique in public radio markets in that WESM 91.3 in Princess Anne, WDDE, 91.1 in Dover, WRAU 88.3 and WPYO 106.9 in Ocean City operate in addition to our own WSCL and WSDL. That means five public radio operations are competing for the same pool of listener contributions in what remains a largely rural area.

Audience for WSCL, our classical music signal, has remained stable where as WSDL’s audience has dropped. Of the five public radio operations, no one is programming in the AAA format. Therefore, it only makes logical sense to be different in order to attract an audience that the other public radio stations are not serving.


What is a “AAA” Format?


AAA, or Triple- A, means “Adult Album Alternative” is a format that features a broad, diverse playlist. Selections and programming can come from rock, folk, jazz, Americana, blues, and world music.


Who is the target audience?


The typical listener is aged 35 plus.


I can hear rock music anywhere! Delmarva has plenty of rock stations, plus there is Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, etc. Rock music has no place on public radio!


The music you hear on WSDL is not music you can just “hear anywhere else”. One of the goals of public radio in general is to provide a home for music and voices that are unserved by the commercial market. That is why we have a strong commitment to classical music on WSCL, 89.5.

Online listening platforms like Pandora and Spotify are not curated streams of music. Pandora works by finding what elements of music you like, and then feeds you more and more of the same. Programs like Folk Alley and Undercurrents are vehicles for music discovery, with knowledgeable hosts who will help you on your music journey.


Why “Folk Alley” during the day?


Folk Alley, as the name implies, features mostly acoustically based music in the genres of contemporary and traditional folk, Americana, Celtic and roots music from the latest releases, classics, exclusive Folk Alley in-studio and live concert recordings.

Folk Alley has the broadest possible appeal across the widest demographic.