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Danville / Roanoke / Lynchburg, Virginia
Branding WDRL-TV
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Affiliations independent
Owner Melvin Eleazer
(MNE Broadcasting, LLC)
First air date August 18, 1994
Call letters’ meaning Danville
Former callsigns WDRG (1994-1997)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (1994-2008)
41 (2001-2008)
Former affiliations independent (1994-1995)
The WB (1995-1997)
UPN (1997-2006)
Transmitter Power 63 kW
Height 378 m
Facility ID 15507
Transmitter Coordinates 37°0′37.5″N 79°34′16.2″W / 37.010417°N 79.571167°W / 37.010417; -79.571167

WDRL-TV, is an independent television station licensed to Danville, Virginia and serving the Roanoke/Lynchburg, Virginia market.

WDRL used to broadcast on analog channel 24 from a tower in Pelham, North Carolina, and its signal from there was directional toward Greensboro, North Carolina.

Today it broadcasts its digital signal on channel 24 from a tower on Smith Mountain, giving predicted city grade coverage of Lynchburg and Roanoke, New River Valley and all of the south side of Virginia. Digital coverage is predicted to extend into the northern North Carolina counties of Caswell, Rockingham, Person, and Stokes. The station moved its digital from channel 41 in mid December 2008.

WDRL is owned by Melvin N. Eleazer, who is also the General Manager. It was announced on October 30, 2008 that Living Faith Television, whose flagship station is WLFG, would buy WDRL, pending FCC approval, for $5.25 million.[1] According to the FCC, the application of the sale was dated August 7.[2]



The channel 24 dial position was once occupied by WBTM-TV, which operated in the mid-to-late 1950s. The station only lasted a few years before attempting to become a hybrid commercial and educational station. This request to the FCC was denied, and the station went off the air not long after.

WDRL signed on the air August 18, 1994 as WDRG, (for Danville-Roanoke-Greensboro, and gained the WB affiliation for Roanoke DMA in November 1994.

When the FCC switched from using Arbitron's ADI to Neilsen's DMA system of determining which remained to the market of Roanoke-Lynchburg (market #67). In 1997, WDRL changed its call letters to WDRL-TV (for Danville-Roanoke-Lynchburg) and became the UPN affiliate for southwestern Virginia. Shortly after this change, WDRL put a translator on the air in Roanoke, W54BT on channel 54, to bring WDRL's signal and UPN programming into Roanoke, Lynchburg, and the New River Valley.

On March 31, 2005, the FCC ordered the Roanoke translator off the air to make way for cellular phones. The transmitter was soon returned to broadcast on channel 24 with the same amount of power, but with a more directional antenna to protect WDRL's primary analog transmitter in Pelham.

On May 1, 2006, it was announced that WDRL would become an independent station as a result of UPN's pending shutdown.

On March 11, 2007, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University agreed to purchase WDRL; the station would initially continue to operate out its current studios with Eleazer serving as general manager, but would eventually move to Lynchburg, where it would be based along with WTLU-CA. In May 2008, Liberty University and MNE Broadcasting dissolved the agreement, for unknown reasons.


Most of the shows aired by WDRL is syndicated programming. Daytime programming mainly consists of reality shows such as Judge Hatchett, Family Court with Judge Penny, Jury Duty, and Cheaters. Sunday morning programming is dominated by evangelical Christian programs, including shows hosted by Joyce Meyer, James Robeson, Perry Stone, Mike Murdock, and Arnold Murray. The station also airs the religious Harvest Show talk program produced by World Harvest Television.

Sports programming

WDRL is currently the regional free-to-air home of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team, Baltimore Orioles baseball, and SEC, Big South, Mid-American, Big East, and CIAA collegiate sports, with other local sporting events (including high school basketball and football). WDRL also broadcasts some CBS Sports events on a seasonal basis only.

Digital television programming

WDRL-DT began broadcasting digital in 2001 at its Pelham site, at low power. In 2004, the station won permission to move the digital transmitter to Smith Mountain. This location was chosen as it is the highest point east of Poor Mountain, where most of Roanoke's other television stations transmit from. WDRL-DT's Smith Mountain transmitter went on the air in May 2006.[3] In December 2008, WDRL-DT moved from channel 41 to Channel 24 with a higher transmitter output of 63 kW.

WDRL-DT will soon air .2 Network, a new digital subchannel that will feature general entertainment and movies. Its inclusion may be pending on the outcome of WDRL's purchase by Living Faith Television, whose stations broadcast exclusively Christian programming.

External links




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