Remembering Allan Loudell: “Radio was his life”

(Photo: WDEL)

Tuesday, many of us in the shortwave and DXing community learned about the unexpected passing of our good friend and veteran radio reporter, Allan Loudell.

I got to know Allan via the Winter SWL Fest community. Allan attended every year and was well known for being not only wonderfully good-natured, the sort of guy who is liked by everyone, but also one of the most knowledgeable DXers on the planet. As a mutual friend recently noted, his knowledge of the domestic and international broadcasting scene was very nearly “encyclopedic.”

Dan Robinson (left) and Allan Loudell (right) at the 2020 Winter SWL Fest (Photo source: Dan Robinson)

I made a point of chatting with Allan each year at Winter SWL Fest. This year, we all noticed that he had lost some weight, but otherwise seemed fine and, as usual, in great spirits. He mentioned to me that he had been through months of medical issues and rehabilitation, but believed he was on a positive track. I only wish that might have been so.

It was among my favorite things to do at the Fest––and I got to enjoy this a few times–– to page through albums of QSL cards with Allan that he and other Fest attendees like Dan Robinson brought to share. Allan’s eyes would light up as he turned each page.  Not only did he know each card and each broadcaster, but––if you asked––he could take you on a deeper dive into the nuanced history of each station.

WDEL

Allan interviewing a young lady in the studios of WDEL. (Photo source: WDEL)

Clipped from the February 1994 issue of Pop Communications

As our mutual friend, Tracy Wood, put it: “[Allen] was a giant… radio was his life….and thankfully he shared his passion with us.”

Moreover, Allan was a longtime Delaware radio newsman, having spent 18 years with WILM and most recently 15 years with WDEL.

In a typical year, I make at least a couple of trips through the mid-Atlantic states, and each time I do, I tune to WDEL to hear Allan’s voice.

Yesterday, WDEL posted an announcement about Allan’s passing.

The subtext is plain:  he was a well loved at the station and, indeed, in the community. The station included the following quote from Delaware Governor John Carney:

“I’m very sad to hear that Allan has passed away. I tell people that, in my thirty years of public service, I’ve developed a list––just a personal list of good guys and gals, people that were really good to work with…Allen was one of those guys…He was always very fair…He always covered his subject matter in a way that most reporters didn’t. And he used the radio media as a way of communicating, and having public officials like myself communicating, with the people that I worked for, the people in northern New Castle County. I particularly liked his show DelAWARE, because…he did, in very intense kind of way, various subject matter that got below the surface…”

Governor Carney continues:

“[Allen] was just a really interesting guy and a very real gentleman…and I enjoyed being with him…I know that the people in the WDEL, WILM listening area here in northern New Castle County and, actually, across our state now will miss his programming, will miss him as as a media person, and it’s sad to hear that he’s passed.”

Click here to read the full article at WDEL.

We’re going to miss you, Allan…rest in peace, friend.

Broadcaster tributes

CBS Tribute To Allan Loudell (via WDEL):

Allan Loudell tribute from WDEL’s Peter MacArthur (via WDEL):

Spread the radio love

1 thought on “Remembering Allan Loudell: “Radio was his life”

  1. Tracy K Wood

    Esteban Parra and Jeff Neiburg of the Delaware News Journal also wrote a story about Allan’s life. The URL is here:

    https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2020/07/07/iconic-delaware-radio-newsman-allan-loudell-has-died/5392275002/

    Allan thankfully exploited his deep knowledge of shortwave news broadcasts to fill his Rolodex with hundreds of worldwide contacts for call-out interviews . Whether it was Jerusalem Post writer or a radio news person at Deustche Welle, Allan gaves his audience a true global perspective during his days at WILM and WDEL.

    Our radio friend had a fascination with geographic, political and linguistic “oddities.” I remember at one SWL Fest he provided me a detailed lesson about Delaware’s own geographic oddiity , the Delaware River Nature Reserve next to Fort Mott on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River. (The Reserve lands were formed by river channel dredgings.) Allan could recite numerous political enclaves such a Spain’s Llivia, a city surrounded by France, or why certain languages or flags were deemed “official”. Allan made all our more interesting and certainly richer.

    Reply

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