Former WDEL newsman Allan Loudell passes away at age 64
BEAR – Praise from inside the WDEL newsroom and from outside came pouring in July 6 after news spread of the death of longtime Delaware radio newsman Allan Loudell.
Loudell passed away at the age of 64, and funeral attendees were asked to “wear their favorite T-shirt in honor of Allan.”
Gov. John Carney took time during his weekly press conference Tuesday to say how sad he was to hear the news.
“I tell people that in my 30 years of public service I’ve developed a personal list of good guys and gals who were really good to work with,” Carney said. “[Loudell] knew the issues in a very detailed way and was very fair about his questions. He always covered his subject matter in a way that most reporters didn’t.”
Carney said he particularly liked Loudell’s 90-minute Del-AWARE podcast.
“He got below the surface [to get at] the underlying causes of a particular issue,” Carney said, adding that even if a question was tough, it was asked “with a certain level of respect for the process. He was just a really interesting guy, a real gentleman.”
Loudell was part of a group of 10 WDEL staff members who were laid off in March as part of cost-cutting measures by Forever Media, which finalized its purchase of WDEL and nine other radio stations in May 2019.
WDEL published its obituary earlier today with a number of newsroom staffers reflecting on his life and career.
“Allan Loudell was one of a kind,” said DBT and Delaware Today Publisher Michael Reath, who worked with Loudell when he was vice president and general manager of WDEL from 2006 to 2017. “He was passionate about relentlessly covering stories from across the state and around the world. Allan was a true newsman who had mastered his craft and generously gave his time to mentor high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. Allan’s passing leaves a hole in Delaware’s media landscape that won’t soon been filled. I will miss Allan as well as his compelling interviews, unique reporting style and wonderful commentary on the news.”
Loudell joined WILM Newsradio in Wilmington in 1987, working there for 18 years as program manager before joining WDEL in 2005, hosting morning and afternoon magazine-style programming during his time as an anchor and host before his departure in 2020.
Loudell was recognized a number of times over the years as Best Radio News Anchor by Delaware Today readers and editors in its annual Best of Delaware compendium, and was labeled as “Man of a Million Sources” from the publication in 2011.
Delaware’s two U.S. senators also weighed in Tuesday with their memories of Loudell.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper said, “I’ve known Allan for decades and he was a very special person and a great interviewer. He was always interested in having a good conversation, and that was his style of interviewing. Allan faithfully, every year, came to my Toys for Tots party with a toy in hand and I think it brought great joy to him. I hope Allan’s legacy inspires other journalists to go into the field with the kind of passion he had.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said, “I’m heartbroken by the news of Allan Loudell’s passing. Allan was an institution in the state of Delaware, and he will be sorely missed. Allan cared deeply about our state, and he threw himself into the issues that mattered most to Delawareans. He was a trusted and respected local voice whom generations of Delawareans relied on to keep us informed about our state and our communities.
“Allan also appreciated the big picture; he discussed everything from foreign affairs to scientific breakthroughs on his airwaves, keeping his listeners both informed and entertained,” Coons added. “Most importantly, Allan was a good man. He was a friend to everyone he met, and he personified Delaware’s pride in community. I’ll never forget the many times I’d see him at parish festivals and working with student journalists. Annie and I are praying for his wife, Barbara, and his children, Michael and Allison.
By Peter Osborne