Radio Delaware Valley expands public radio lineup with two stations

    Listeners in the Lansdale, PA and Berlin, NJ areas can now hear an eclectic mix of 20th century nostalgia with recent additions of 105.7 FM and WTHA-FM 88.1 to the Radio Delaware Valley non-commercial public radio station family. The expansion brings the unique format, which features the old standards of the 20s, 30s, big band, the early days of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country, soul, polka and more beyond the greater Philadelphia core currently served by WRDV-FM 89.3 in Hatboro, eastern Montgomery County; 107.3 in Philadelphia; 97.1 in Bensalem, lower Bucks County; and 91.7 in Bristol and Levittown, lower Bucks County.

    “We considered it part of the Delaware Valley,” said Charles Loughery, who serves as president of Bux-Mont Educational Radio Association, the nonprofit organization formed to operate the radio station. “We felt it fit in.”

    Loughery was a 20-year-old communications student in 1979 when Centennial School District in Bucks County shut down the previously dubbed WCSD 89.3 radio station. By 1980, Loughery had established a nonprofit organization which allowed for the station’s transfer from school district ownership. For a time, he and other volunteers operated from the basement of Warminster Township’s municipal building, eventually relocating to its current home on York Road in Hatboro in 2000.

    “We’re still here today,” Loughery said.

    Under his leadership, the station transformed from a membership organization to being managed by a Board of Trustees. In the late 80s, the station’s call letters morphed from WCSD to WRDV. Soon after, the station “dramatically changed” the music format from acid rock and heavy metal to the standards in regular rotation today.

    “We’re trying to target stuff that people remember that’s good stuff,” he said.

    General Manager Fred Rice said RDV strives to stay away from the “tried and true formats.”

    “How many more classic rock stations do you need?” Rice asked.

    Unlike most radio stations, RDV DJs choose their own music, according to Public Information Officer and Voice Talent, Laurie Jacobson. The station has a pair of turntables, as well as a CD player that DJs can use, along with their laptop, to play music on-air.

    “Even within each format the shows sound different,” she said of the station’s staff, which consists of more than 40 volunteer DJs. “We’re kind of a mix of old and new with the music.”

    The station offers training for individuals seeking a career in broadcasting. Jacobson’s son, Anders, a senior at Central Bucks South High School and Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, serves as the station’s Production Director, recording and editing underwriting spots and promos, editing public service announcements, assisting with remote broadcasts and more.

    “It felt natural,” Anders said of his RDV volunteer time.

    In addition to playing a vast collection of music every day, Radio Delaware Valley features public affairs programming, a community bulletin board which highlights local nonprofit events, as well as area church services Sundays from 7:00am to noon. RDV continues to see its listener base grow through streaming, which has broadened its reach as far away as England, Germany, Florida and for locals on their travels to the Jersey Shore.

    The station is funded solely through its annual fund drive, as well as business and corporate sponsors. Given the age range of fund drive contributors, Rice said millennials comprise a large segment of their listening base.

    “We’ve got listeners in their 20s and 30s,” Rice said. “They’re devoted to the station.”

    Radio Delaware Valley will hold its annual fund drive from October 15th through November 4th. RDV will host an open house on Saturday, November 11th from noon to 4:00pm at its studio, 126 S. York Road in Hatboro. For more information, visit

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