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New DTV Dubbed WMDE, Sister Station WACP Caught On Air

WASHINGTON: The newest full-power TV station in the United States will have the call letters WMDE. The Federal Communications Commission granted the Seaford, Del., station its call sign June 14. WMDE’s new sister station, WACP in Atlantic City, N.J., remains under construction but has been detected on air by DXers—hobbyists who search for distant TV signals. (See YouTube video below.) The WDME contour map is shown at right.

Both stations will be transmitting on licenses created in the wake of the digital television transition, when New Jersey and Delaware were left with no VHF TV signals. Federal law requires that each state have at least one. Both licenses were won at auction last year by Western Pacific Broadcast LLC, a company formed by Richland Towers in Tampa, Fla. Construction permits for both expire May 4, 2014. WMDE is licensed on Ch. 5 in Seaford; WACP on Ch. 4 in Atlantic City. Both will transmit at a 10 kW effective radiated power.

Both construction permits are for commercial stations, but no network affiliations or programming plans have been announced. Western Pacific paid $3.8 million for the Ch. 4 license and $210,000 for Ch. 5 in Seaford. The firm received a 35 percent bidding discount because it owns no other TV stations.