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Carney’s exclusive interview shines light on DE.TV

Katie Tabeling
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Kerwin Gaines, left, interviews Gov. John Carney on Good Morning Wilmington in late April. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DE.TV

WILMINGTON — When Gov. John Carney was planning to officially launch his candidacy for Mayor of Wilmington on a sunny Monday afternoon, it was to be surrounded by supporters and heavy-hitters in the Delaware political scene at Delaware Technical Community College’s campus in the city.

Instead, eight hours earlier, he confirmed the worst-kept secret of the 2024 election to Kerwin Gaines on DE.TV. The video has been watched thousands of times on the media company’s YouTube and Facebook accounts, according to DE.TV Founder Ivan Thomas. The exact viewship numbers are hard to pin down, since DE.TV does not track live feed numbers.

“It was the Friday before he was planning the launch and we heard from his [Carney’s] team that he would love to come on. It was almost like, ‘is this really going to happen, is it going to fall through at the last second,’” Thomas told the Delaware Business Times. “But we thought Good Morning Wilmington was the best venue for it because we knew he was going to make it official that night. And lo and behold, the conversation happened.”

The first interview with Carney confirming his run for Wilmington mayor was an exclusive for the rising Delaware news broadcast station which includes a studio out of the I.M. Pei building that overlooks Rodney Square. Thomas launched DE.TV in 2015 to share positive stories and news about Wilmington. Over the years, the organization has grown to include political talk show the Agenda, Good Morning Wilmington, DETV Kids and more.

Thomas has also landed exclusive broadcasting rights to the Delaware Blue Coats basketball games and management of the Wilmington Public Access/Leased Access television station.

Today, DE.TV airs in all three counties through streaming platforms and has hit 550,000 viewers at home and 30,000 through social media platforms, including Facebook Reels.

Carney told DBT this week that he thought DE.TV had the right breadth of material to draw a large platform of viewers across the city, noting that the company crosses sports, arts and news.

“We need that kind of media in our city and Ivan does a great job,” Carney said. “Cities are about the people who are doing the work here, like him. It’s not just about buildings and operations. It’s about the people you serve.”

Carney confirmed that someone on his team recommended pre-empting his own campaign announcement on Good Morning Wilmington. During the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, DE.TV shared Carney’s press conferences and the governor himself visited for a few live broadcasts in 2020.

“Media today is a lot different than it was when I started 20 years ago,” said Carney, who first ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2000. “It’s important to support people like Ivan and the work he’s doing. It was an opportunity to say this is a campaign about everyone across the city. It’s not about one neighborhood.”

Meanwhile, for Thomas, the interview with Carney also signaled that the 2024 election was a prime opportunity for DE.TV. Earlier this week, the station even streamed one of the gubernatorial debates hosted by the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.

“We really are looking to build cohesively our news coverage to become a premiere news channel that truly covers the state of Delaware. There’s not one yet besides us,” he said.

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