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TV On the Radio

CBS affiliate WINK Fort Myers is expanding to radio, reports, as it launches a mix of news and sports on a pair of AM stations August 2. Fort Myers Broadcasting Company is the parent, and the radio venture will be an extension of WINK TV.

WINK’s newsroom and a pair of local newspapers will provide the news content.

“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’re seeing lots of local TV and radio working together these days. The CBS owned stations have, of course, make such synergies a pillar of the group’s local strategy; longtime 1010 WINS guy John Montone is now doing regular segments for WCBS New York.

Upstate a bit, Albany’s news channel YNN has been simulcasting its audio feed on AM 900 radio for a few years.

“We’re tough to hide from,” News Director Gary Holmes told me recently. “It’s one more way for us to beat you over the head with our message.”

WINK was a close second in revenue to Waterman’s WBBH in DMA No. 64 last year, according to BIA/Kelsey.