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Fort Myers-Naples

WFTX Anchor Amy Wegmann Takes Leave as Her Husband Runs for Congress

Anchor Amy Wegmann is taking a leave of absence from WFTX as her husband, Trey Radel, runs for congress.

Wegmann, who anchors WFTX’s 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts, has been on maternity leave from the Fox-affiliate since giving birth in December.  According to the Naples News, Wegmann is now taking an indefinite leave of absence as Radel campaigns.

Radel, a former anchor at WINK, announced his bid for Florida’s 14th Congressional District in early January.

The move allows Wegmann to support her husband during his run while also protecting WFTX from potential conflicts as the station covers his campaign. Read more

Former WINK Anchor Trey Radel Running For Congress

Trey Radel, a former anchor at WINK, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Naples News reports.

Radel left Fort Myers CBS-affiliate WINK in 2010. At the time, he said politics was his passion and he had never “felt more compelled than right now to get involved.” He went on to become a conservative host on a local radio station.

“I am running because I love this country, I believe in this country and I believe in you,” Radel said on his radio show Friday. He stepped down from his position immediately after he announced his Congressional run.

Radel seeks the seat held by Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), who recently announced plans to run for the U.S. Senate.

Former WBBH Anchor Craig Wolf Says He’ll Take a Polygraph Test to Refute Rumors About His Firing

It’s been eight months since Craig Wolf was abruptly fired from WBBH and the veteran anchor says that rumors about what led to his dismissal have hurt his reputation and his family.

In order to refute the rumors–which have included the assertion that he had an affair with a co-worker–Wolf told the Fort Myers News-Press recently he would go so far as to take a public polygraph test.

Wolf contends that he still doesn’t understand why he was fired and, since WBBH has declined to comment publicly about his dismissal, industry insiders and viewers in southwest Florida have been floating potential reasons for Wolf’s abrupt exit after seventeen years with the NBC-affiliate. Read more

WINK Adds Reporters Amanda Hall and Colby Robertson to News Team

Fort Myers CBS-affiliate WINK has added two reporters to its Collier County bureau, according to the News-Press: Amanda Hall (pictured) and Colby Robertson.

Hall joins the station after two years at WDHN in Dothan, AL, where she was the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchor. She is a native of Sebring, FL.

Robertson, who will be a freelance reporter for WINK, joins the station from WAOW, the ABC-affiliate in Wausau, WI. She has been a reporter there since 2007.

WINK Adds 10 a.m. Newscast to Daily Programming

As we told you this morning, good things are happening in local news: stations are regaining advertisers, staffing up, expanding local newscasts. Now WINK — the CBS affiliate in Fort Myers — is becoming the latest station to add more news to the daily programming lineup.

The station will debut a 10 a.m. newscast on September 6. “We think it’s an opportunity because nobody else is on in that time period right now,” WINK news director Russ Kilgore told The Fort Myers News-Press.

The 10 a.m. news will be anchored by Jennifer Stacy and Rob Spicker, with an as-yet-unnamed meteorologist contributing weather reports. Kilgore noted past success in “nontraditional” time periods would indicate an appetite for news in the later broadcast.

“There are people out there in front of their televisions [at these times],” Kilgore said. “Maybe they didn’t get to watch the traditional morning news — getting their kids off to school or out walking the dog. When they get home, they are looking for news.”

Former WBBH Anchor: ‘Television News is Dying a Desperate and Ugly Death’

Jim Walker, a veteran local television anchor with more than 25 years of experience on air, was cut loose at the beginning of August after just a year at WBBH, the NBC affiliate for Fort Myers. And just like his former colleague Craig Wolf, who was fired from the station in March, Walker is not going quietly.

Walker took to his Facebook page to express his distaste with the station’s decision, noting that he would not disclose the details of his confidential separation agreement. According to The Fort Myers News-Press, Walker wrote that the broadcasts he helms — 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. — have all gained year-over-year viewership. Walker also shared his gloomy view on the “brutal business” of local television:

I’m not angry or depressed, but more disappointed. I expected I would retire here. I expected to have years for viewers to get to know me, and me them. Television news is a brutal business and as the pie gets smaller and smaller, stations are going to get more desperate with salaries getting smaller and people working harder and harder. [Anchor and reporter] talent is getting younger and younger because older, experienced people aren’t willing to work for $25k per year. Television news is dying a desperate and ugly death.

WINK Reporter Nearly Dies Inside Live Truck

WINK reporter Nick Spinetto certainly didn’t expect to end up in the hospital when he went out into the field last Friday afternoon. But through an unusual set of circumstances, that’s exactly what happened.

Spinetto was in the live truck preparing a story for the CBS-affiliate’s 4 p.m. newscast when he started to feel strange.

“Dizzy. Disoriented,” is the way Spinetto described the feeling in a recent email exchange with TVSpy. It turns out that he was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“My photographer (who was also feeling sick) suspected carbon monoxide,” Spinetto told TVSpy. “He ordered me out of the truck, which is when I collapsed. He called 911. I was taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. I was treated with oxygen then released after about 6 hours. The photographer was treated at the scene. I’m lucky he realized it was carbon monoxide. His quick actions saved my life.” Read more

TV Director Asks WFTX’s Amy Wegmann to Do Something She’s Never Done Before

WFTX‘s Amy Wegmann wasn’t nervous about her recent acting gig on Lifetime’s “Army Wives” because her role was one that she’s been working on for most of her life: TV news reporter.

A couple of months ago, the producers of “Army Wives” invited her to film a scene in Charleston, SC after Wegmann, who currently anchors WFTX’s 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts, sent in a video audition.

She had about six lines of dialogue in the episode, which aired in late May, and says that she was comfortable with the shoot until the director instructed her to do something that she’s never done before as a TV reporter. Read more

Lindsay Logue Joins WBBH’s Weeknight Newscasts

Lindsay Logue, who has been working as a weekend anchor for WBBH since last summer, has been named co-anchor of the Fort Myers NBC-affiliate’s 4 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

She started on Tuesday, alongside Len Jennings and meteorologist John Patrick. Logue, 30, had just returned from her honeymoon in Europe.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Logue joined WBBH in 2009 as a reporter covering Collier County.

On the Heels of New Afternoon Newscast, WINK Prepares Weekend Expansion

A month after announcing that it would replace “Oprah” with a new, 4 p.m. newscast, WINK, a CBS-affiliate in southwest Florida, is set to expand its local news programming further by offering a weekend morning newscast.

The new newscast will air from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“I think there is a demand for local news and weather on weekend mornings, just like there is during the week,” said WINK news director Russ Kilgore. “And coming on at 7:30 a.m. is a time when we think a lot of people are looking for that kind of information.”

WINK has promoted reporter Erin Maloney (right) to the weekend anchor desk. She will work the new newscast, which is scheduled to debut on June 11th, alongside meteorologist Katie Walls, who recently joined WINK from WSIL in southern Illinois.

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