STAY TUNED: Will 'Bob Harden Show' be a 'net gain' with new platform?

BILL GREEN
Robert Harden, host of the 'Bob Harden Show'

Robert Harden, host of the 'Bob Harden Show'

In late May, we first brought you the news that Bob Harden and WGUF 98.9 had parted ways over a contract dispute, silencing his morning radio show.

Well, he’s back, and to paraphrase Ol’ Blue Eyes, he’s doing it his way.

Harden’s new show will be live from 7 until 8 a.m. every morning and the format will be much the same as before, with one MAJOR exception. A radio station won’t be involved.

You’ve totally lost us now, you say? Hold on to your hats; this story is exciting and innovative.

Harden’s last radio broadcast was May 13. In mid June, while considering his next move, Harden met up with a listener who was talking about how much he missed the show. He suggested that Harden take his program to the Internet.

So Harden put all doubts aside, enlisted a friend and overcame — in his own words — a huge learning curve. And after a few short weeks and some hardware upgrades, violá!

Beginning Aug. 1, his new show will stream live every morning from BobHarden.com. A podcast will also be available for download, so you can listen at your leisure. And he’s doing it all from the comfort of his home.

Harden says there may be a few glitches along the way, but he truly believes the Internet is the future for local talk radio. And he’s happy to be the master of his own destiny now, as radio is a fickle mistress, he says.

“I was doing this financial show in Boston when the station manager came in and said we had been bought by a religious broadcasting group. So I said, tomorrow’s my last show then? And he said, ‘No, today was.’ ”

Adding my own two cents here: The Internet is a great way for everyone to get their message out there and has become a great destination for all types of local content. Still, it’s a shame that so many local broadcasters would rather fill up their broadcast day with mostly national programming. Smart broadcasters know that their future depends on local content.

But you know how this works, I tell you what I think, then you return the favor; so … Do you think Harden’s new show will work on the Internet? Will you listen? Do you think there’s a future for web content such as this? What are your feelings on local broadcasters? Send your responses to bgreen@naplesnews.com.

Harden’s first episode will feature another edition of “Cop Talk” with Cpl. Carmine Marceno of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Harden will also discuss the markets and the economy with Bob O’Brien, stocks editor of Barron’s Magazine, and current events with Jack Tymann, who writes commentary for www.newsbalance.com.

Harden spent three years as a daily talk show host for WGUF. He hosted a weekend show on the station for five years prior to that.

WINK reporter sent to hospital

While I might be the Daily News’ resident couch potato, no one in our newsroom knows more about the inner-workings of local TV news than our very own Tom Hanson, who you’ll find most days on the breaking news desk.

He contributes the following to this week’s column:

While covering a story, WINK reporter Nick Spinetto had to be taken to the hospital July 15 after a carbon monoxide incident.

Spinetto was covering the closure of Interstate 75 when overcome by the carbon monoxide fumes from a leaky generator on a live truck, according to Russ Kilgore, WINK news director.

Spinetto was treated and released on the same day, Kilgore said, and is “feeling better.”

“We hope to have him back soon,” Kilgore said Tuesday.

Kilgore said the leak is being repaired.

It’s a boy for local personalities

On Tuesday, fox4now.com broke the news that news anchor Amy Wegmann is expecting her first child.

According to the site, Wegmann is due at the beginning of December, and it’s a boy!

Wegmann’s husband is Fox radio personality and former WINK news anchor Trey Radel. He can be seen weekdays from 5 until 7 a.m. on CW 6.

Reader comments

Carol writes: “I read the article about watching soaps on the web and I agree with you 100 percent. I’m almost positive this is not going to work. I am (was) a loyal viewer of ‘All My Children’ and I would have much preferred it if they let it die a natural death on the TV rather than prolong it on the web. I am not computer-savvy at all and I don’t believe that all these fanatics are either. They act like it’s all going to be peaches and cream – boy, are they in for a surprise. Count me out.”

Jim writes: “Hello Bill! Great piece on the soaps. This is a very good idea and will save a lot of programming that was destined to be canceled. (That was a funny quote by) Flo DiBona. Apparently Flo doesn’t realize that no one gets to watch a canceled soap. So they go online, or we lose the soaps. I know a lot of older folks who watch soaps religiously. None of them will stop watching these programs if they go online. In fact my Gram is excited to watch on her tablet ... and so is Grandpa … LOL.”

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.

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