A longtime Pocomoke City radio station was destroyed by fire Thursday.
The call came in at 11:30 a.m. and units from Worcester, Somerset and Accomack counties answered WGOP radio on Dun Swamp Road near Pocomoke City. The station, formerly WDMV, was broadcasting at the time of the fire.
The New Church Vol. Fire Company joined Maryland Fire Companies and reported smoke coming out of the building’s attic upon arrival. Greenbackville moved equipment to cover the Pocomoke Fire Department as they fought the blaze. Firefighters remained on the scene for more than three hours.
The station is owned by Birach Broadcasting and has long been under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) with Mike Powell.
The station began in 1955 and has featured many notable announcers including but not limited to Eddie “Mama’s Country Youngun” Matherlly, Johnny Walker, Choppy Layton, Jerry Nicholas Barbarari Roland “RT” Twigg and many more. others.
The 540 AM frequency signed in 1955 with the WDVM call sign which later was changed to WDMV (“Wonderful Delmarva”) and an older MOR music format imaged as “Delmarvarama…America’s Best Loved Music And Song”. In the late 1950s, local radio legend “Choppy” Layton began his association with WDMV at the age of fifteen. He left the station for several years, eventually becoming one of the managers of a new FM station in Ocean City, Maryland, WKHI.
After losing interest in that station, “Choppy” returned to WDMV/WGOP several years ago and lends his voice to commercials and other programs, including a live interview show, which has aired from various Pocomoke businesses on Friday mornings until he retired several years ago.
WDMV went silent for several years in the mid-1990s. In 2013 the call letters were changed to WGOP and several format changes followed.
It is reported that the fire was caused by an electrical wire in the attic. The building was uninsured and was a total loss.