A longtime Pocomoke City radio station was destroyed by fire Thursday.
The call came in at 11:30 and units from Worcester, Somerset and Accomack Counties responded to 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 the Maryland Fire Companies and reported smoke coming out of the attic of the building upon arrival. Greenbackville moved equipment to cover the Pocomoke Fire Department as it fought the blaze. Firemen remained on scene for over three hours.
The station began in 1955 and 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.
The 540 AM frequency signed on in 1955 with the WDVM call sign which in later years 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, ultimately becoming one of the principals in a new FM Station in Ocean City, Maryland, WKHI.
After divesting himself of his interest in that station, “Choppy” returned to WDMV/WGOP several years ago and lends his voice to commercials and other programming, including a live interview show, broadcast from various businesses in Pocomoke on Friday mornings until he retired several years ago.
WDMV was 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 not insured and was a total loss.