Arbitron market #62 is about to get its own All-News radio station, an expensive format usually seen in much larger markets. The new station owned by local broadcaster Fort Myers Broadcasting Company will draw on the news resources of a TV station and two local newspapers.
WINK News Radio 1200/1460 will operate on two AMs already owned by Fort Myers Broadcasting Company, WPTK (covering primarily Lee and Charlotte Counties at the north end of the Ft. Myers-Naples market) and WNPL (covering Collier County to the south). The stations currently simulcast a mostly syndicated Sports format.
Come Monday, August 2nd the pair of AMs will launch the “All News All Day” format, drawing on the resources of sister station WINK-TV (CBS), Gannett’s Ft. Myers News-Press and Scripps’ Naples Daily News. “This makes the station Southwest Florida’s largest news operation powered by the knowledge and experience of over 200 local news professionals providing the most up to the minute local news, national news, breaking news, weather, traffic, sports, financial news, political news, and interviews with local news makers. This in addition to the stations national partners: Marketwatch.com, Bloomberg Radio, and CNN Radio News will give the station the credibility as Southwest Florida’s ONLY Radio News station,” said the announcement from Fort Myers Broadcasting Company.
“The WINK name has been synonymous with news in Southwest Florida for over half a century and now is the perfect time to expand that brand to radio. When news happens, Southwest Florida shouldn’t have to wait for details; they should get the information immediately and that’s what WINK News Radio is designed to do,” said Fort Myers Broadcasting Company Vice President/General Manager Wayne Simons.
“We’re in a day and age where we have little patience and want information on our time; NOW,” says WINK News Radio Program Director Chad Rufer. “Now, radio listeners can get the information they need while they’re on the move. Breaking news as it happens, CNN Radio News and local news at the top and bottom of every hour, Marketwatch.com business update at :20 and :50 every hour, WINK News Sports at :15 and :45 and even traffic and weather together every 10 minutes on the :8’s during the day,” he added.
RBR-TVBR observation: This demonstrates the plus side of multiple station ownership in a single market that so many in Washington, DC just don’t get. It’s too bad that more station owners aren’t so creative in leveraging their news assets across multiple outlets and teaming up with other media companies to everyone’s benefit. But then, there aren’t a lot of strong local owners left like the McBride family which has owned radio stations in the market since 1939 and put WINK-TV on the air in 1954.