First chance to watch local tv news from Ft. Myers. 4 local network affiliates, all claiming to be “Southwest Florida’s News leader” according to their websites.
Now I realize that I’m judging these stations on a holiday. But it is the ratings period.
First: WINK, the CBS affiliate. I’ve watched WINK every time I’ve visited the Ft. Myers area. Maybe it’s the station call letters that draws my attention. Tonight’s broadcast was nothing special. I watched, and flipped.
FOX4 seems to have the smallest staff. NBC2, WBBH seemed to phone in tonight’s newscast. The two anchors looked to have a combined age of 40. Sure enough, a check on their website revealed both anchors are regular general assignment reporters, filling in for the regulars. The male anchor looked so young I wonder if his mom has to pick him up after he signs off. The female reporter graduated from college in 2003!
If I had to guess, I’d say the ABC affiliate, channel 7 is the real #1 station in town. The anchor is a very professional and experienced woman who had great command of the desk. She’s attractive, very conversational and pleasant. If I lived here I’d watch Sharon Gregory every night. She did have a moment tonight after introducing a vo/sot. When the soundbyte was finished I could hear her microphone open as she coughed. There was some silence…and then some more as the video continued to roll. Then, they took a weather graphic and I could hear Sharon coughing from across the studio. The weatherman picked it up and they carried on.
ABC 7 had a very good newscast. Straight forward, good stories, good reports from the field. NBC’s fill-in anchors made me feel they were going to call their friends during the commercial breaks to make sure they were recording their anchor debuts. Someone must have told them to look down at their scripts frequently, especially when they were reading someone’s name or a number because it looked very obvious that they jerked their head down to their script and back up to find their place on the prompter.
WINK and FOX4 was nothing special tonight. I also did a quick check to find out if there were any reporters or anchors that came from Huntsville or Memphis or Birmingham. But no. Ft. Myers/Naples is the nation’s 68th market. Slightly smaller than Mobile but fairly larger than Huntsville. But it doesn’t look that way.