Bye, bye Everly Brothers. Hello Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
WNTY Oldies 92.5 FM is gone. It is now Fox News.
That means the call letters change from WNTY 92.5 FM to WFSX 92.5 FM.
Owned by Meridian Broadcasting, Fort Myers, the station switched its format last week.
Meridian’s Director of Programming Randy Marsh said the decision to change to news was made shortly before the transition.
FM talk news is a growing trend, Marsh said. In a perfect world, the company could provide both, but there wasn’t an extra FM signal available.
Meridian also operates WARO 94.5, classic rock; WTLT 93.7, easy listening; and WINK 1240/1270, which carries Fox News.
Marsh also hosts the afternoon show on 93.7, the light FM easy listening channel.
Ratings and research over the years has shown that listeners have a strong appetite to be informed, Marsh said. Advertisers aren’t exactly complaining about the change.
“It was a bit of a surprise, but it still works out to our advantage,” said Candi Hilton, co-owner of New Leaf Construction, Naples, residential remodelers who opened shop in March. “I think it’s fantastic. It is a really good change for them.”
Hilton started advertising on 92.5 in June.
Her clients may listen to oldies but they definitely listen to talk radio, Hilton said.
While the oldies format might be missed in the market, someone will likely come along and fill the gap, Hilton said.
Marci Seamples, vice president of communications for the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, said many businesses are changing their marketing strategies for several reasons.
“First and foremost, and most obviously, the economy has them reviewing their plans. ‘Business as usual’ may not be the best solution,” Seamples said.
“A good business leader needs to look at (the company’s) strategic plan and adjust to accommodate actions that will help ... business survive and prosper in difficult times.”
Seamples grew up in Naples and Marco Island. The local landscape has been changing, she said.
“This is not the same community it was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago,” she said. “That doesn’t mean the change is necessarily bad or good, it simply means as a community we are different. We have grown and evolved. What worked back in the day may not be right or relevant now. In business and life, change is inevitable.”
Since 2005, 92.5 FM has changed its format five times, according to an online radio message board: active rock, mainstream rock, country, oldies and now Fox News.