NAPLES — All news, all day.
It’s what a new radio station promises to offer to listeners in Southwest Florida.
Fort Myers Broadcasting Company will launch the new station Monday, Aug. 2. It will be an expansion of its WINK News TV brand.
The station will be the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida. It will be simulcast on two stations: 1200AM, covering Lee and Charlotte counties, and 1460AM, reaching Collier County.
The channels currently feature sports talk radio and that format will change. However, the new format will provide sports news at least twice each hour.
The station has been in the works for several months.
The station’s hosts will get local news from the WINK-TV news team and two local newspapers, the Naples Daily News and the News-Press, which have agreed to sharing partnerships.
Through the WINK TV news team and the newspaper partnerships, the station will be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of more 200 news professionals to provide the most up-to-date local news and interviews with local newsmakers.
National news will come from many national partners: Marketwatch.com, Bloomberg Radio and CNN Radio News. And within the next two weeks WINK plans to announce a major sports franchise that will be a part of the lineup.
“This format is done mainly in larger markets, in Tampa, Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York, because of the resources that are required,” said Wayne Simons, vice president and general manager for the Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. “This is a very expensive format to put on. You would have to hire a lot of reporters to get content. It’s easier to just hire a D.J.” That’s why the sharing agreements with the newspapers work out so well, he said.
“We will have hosts in the studio. It will be no different than if you are watching TV, with reporters out in the field,” said Chad Rufer, WINK News Radio program director.
Now, the only other option is news talk radio, which doesn’t offer news as it happens, Simons said.
“Anybody who wants to find out what’s going on will be able to punch in this radio station and find out what is happening,” Simons said.
The station will offer all types of news, including sports, weather, traffic and political news.
“The whole idea is to have an objective, balanced, unbiased product,” Simons said. “We don’t see ourselves as doing commentary or editorial. It’s basically we just want to deliver the news.”
Fort Myers Broadcasting Company also owns and operates 96.9 WINK-FM (Hot Adult Contemporary) and Latino 97.7 FM (Latin Pop).
Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden.