WINK-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Southwest Florida that is licensed to Fort Myers. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter north of Fort Myers Shores near the Lee and Charlotte County line in Punta Gorda. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 5 and in high definition on digital channel 433. However, unlike other stations in the market, it does not identify itself on-air using its cable channel location. It is locally owned by the McBride family and their Fort Myers Broadcasting Company along with several radio stations. It has studios on Palm Beach Boulevard (FL 80) in Fort Myers. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Inside Edition, Oprah, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

Its coverage area includes Lee, Collier, Sarasota, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte, DeSoto, Highlands, and Hardee Counties. In the Tampa Bay market, WINK-TV is one of two Fort Myers stations carried by Comcast in Venice and Wauchula. It is the only Southwest Florida-based station on Comcast in Sebring. This is due in part because Tampa Bay's CBS affiliate WTSP has a signal that cannot be seen that well in Sarasota, Hardee, and Highlands Counties (all part of the Tampa Bay DMA) because that station's transmitter is in Holiday in the northern part of the Tampa Bay area.

In general, WINK-TV's aerial coverage area extends as far north as southern Polk County. The station clears almost the entire CBS schedule. Due to an hour-long newscast at noon during the week, it airs two of CBS's soap operas out of pattern. The Bold and the Beautiful airs at 10:30 in the morning (normally airs at 1:30 p.m.) and The Young and the Restless airs at 1 in the afternoon which is half an hour later than most CBS affiliates.

Fort Myers / Naples, Florida
Branding WINK-TV (general)

WINK News Now (newscasts)

Slogan Southwest Florida's

News Leader

Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Subchannels 11.1 CBS
Owner Fort Myers Broadcasting Company (McBride family)
First air date March 23, 1954
Call letters' meaning "WINK" (refers to

CBS eye for affiliation)

Sister station(s) WINK, WINK-FM, WNPL, WTLQ-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:

11 (VHF, 1954-2009)

Former affiliations DuMont (1954-1955)

NBC (1954-1968) ABC (1954-1974) all secondary

Transmitter power 20 kW
Height 444 m
Facility ID 22093
Transmitter coordinates 26°48′2.8″N 81°45′46.2″W / 26.800778°N 81.762833°W / 26.800778; -81.762833


WINK-TV was founded in March 1954 as sister to WINK radio (1240 AM, now WFSX; and 96.9 FM). The station aired an analog signal on VHF channel 11. It was the first television station in Southwest Florida and is currently the fifth-oldest surviving station in the state (behind Miami's WTVJ, Jacksonville's WJXT, Orlando's WKMG-TV, and West Palm Beach's WPTV). At the time of its beginning, Southwest Florida was underpopulated and people had to rely on television stations from Miami and Tampa Bay. Stations from these markets were and continued to be obtainable with large outdoor antennas. WINK-TV was the only station in the area for 14 years and is still the only full-powered VHF station in the market even after the analog to digital switch.

Due to Fort Myers being sandwiched between Miami to the east and Tampa Bay to the north, WINK-TV was fortunate to gain the only VHF license allocated to the area. As such, it originally carried programming from NBC, ABC, and DuMont along with CBS. That network folded in 1956 and it lost NBC when WBBH-TV signed-on in 1968 but continued to share ABC with WBBH until WEVU-TV (now WZVN-TV) signed-on in 1974. WINK-TV's broadcasts became digital-only at noon on February 17, 2009. The station has a construction permit to move to channel 50 on the UHF dial because of viewer reception issues on channel 9.[1]

News operation

[2][3]Its morning news open.WINK-TV has been the dominant news station in Fort Myers for nearly all of its history. This is largely because its status as the area's only VHF station. Until cable television came to the area in the 1970s, it was the only station that put a clear signal to much of the area. Due to the duopoly of WBBH and WZVN, WINK-TV primarily competes with WBBH. Starting on March 26, 2007, WINK-TV established a news share agreement with Sun Broadcasting (owner of CW affiliate WXCW) and began producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on that station.

On October 20, WINK-TV became the first station in Southwest Florida to broadcast local news in high definition. It purchased new high definition studio cameras, field cameras, weather computers, and graphics to complete the launch. The newscasts on WXCW were included in the upgrade. Back on July 12, WZVN began to broadcast its local news in 16x9 widescreen standard definition calling it "enhanced digital definition". However, this was not true high definition compared to WINK-TV. WBBH followed soon after with its own launch of news in the format. On January 7, 2008, several programming changes were made on WINK-TV. It started showing The Early Show in its entirety because CBS now requires all of its affiliates to do that. The Early Show received a makeover and hopes to compete against its rivals, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America. Originally, WINK-TV had preempted the first hour of that show to air an extra hour of local news known as Hello Southwest Florida. The station moved this broadcast to WXCW and expanded it to two hours. In addition, WINK-TV launched a 7 o'clock newscast. To coincide with all of these changes, it began branding its newscasts as WINK News Now.

On July 19, 2008, WBBH and WZVN started broadcasting their local newscasts in full high definition becoming the second and third stations respectively in Fort Myers to do so. In addition to its main studios, WINK-TV operates two news bureaus. The Charlotte County Bureau is in the Charlotte Sun newsroom in Charlotte Harbor while the Collier County Bureau is on 8th Street South in downtown Naples. The station's weather radar, called "SKY Tracker Doppler HD", is located next to the its studios. During the spring training season for the Boston Red Sox, WINK-TV shares its coverage of the team with fellow CBS affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston. It also cooperates with FOX affiliate WFLX in West Palm Beach on some occasions. On September 8, 2009, WZVN began airing a weeknight broadcast at 7 known as The 7 O'Clock News to compete with WINK-TV's prime time show. Both news departments of WZVN and WBBH contribute to this show. At some point in time, this station began airing a weekday 11 a.m. show on WXCW to compete with WBBH.

WINK-TV's 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts are simulcast on WINK radio (1200 AM) and WNPL (1460 AM); both stations carry a news radio format that utilizes WINK-TV's resources, as well as those of The News-Press and the Naples Daily News, for local news.

\News team


  • Stacey Adams - weeknights at 10 and 11
  • Chris Cifatte - weeknights at 5, 6, 10, and 11
  • Jeremiah Jacobsen - weekends at 6, 10, and 11 and weekday reporter
  • Kyle Jordan - weekdays at 11 a.m. and weekday morning reporter
  • Lindsay Liepman - weekday mornings
  • Lois Thome - weeknights at 5, 6, and 7
  • Cayle Thompson - weekdays at noon and 7
  • Rob Spicker - weekday mornings
  • Jennifer Stacy - weekdays at noon

WINK-TV SKY Tracker Weather Team

  • Lauren Casey - weekends, 11 a.m. and Noon Thursday & Friday
  • Jim Farrell (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - Chief seen weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
  • Brian Monahan (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - weekday mornings, 11 a.m. and noon Monday-Wednesday
  • Scott Zedeker - weeknights at 7 and 10
  • Janine Albert (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - fill-in and hurricane landfall coverage


  • Clayton Ferraro - Sports Director seen weeknights at 6 and 11


  • Judd Cribbs - features and "Cribbs Notes" segment producer
  • David Bodden
  • Robert Burns
  • Christina Hernandez
  • Haley Hinds - Charlotte County bureau
  • Anjuli Lohn
  • Erin Maloney
  • Nicole Papageorge - Collier County bureau
  • Lauren Pastrana - morning traffic anchor and reporter
  • Sarah Pusateri
  • Nick Spinetto
  • Renee Stoll - Collier County bureau
  • Carlos Suarez
  • Mike Walcher - Senior reporter
  • Melissa Yeager - Call For Action

Former on-air staff

  • Jim McLaughlin -anchor/reporter (1977-2005) now with WGCU Public Media and freelance owner/photographer [1]
  • Trey Radel - anchor
  • Amanda McDonald - weekend weather
  • Lisa Mishler - anchor
  • Althea Paul - reporter at WFLX
  • Sarah Augusthy
  • Kirsten Olsen - weekend sports
  • Randy Scott - weekend sports
  • Melissa Cabral - reporter
  • Laura Kadechka - reporter
  • Nadia Ramdass - reporter
  • Beverly Francis - reporter
  • Maggie Crane - reporter
  • Cristin Severance - reporter
  • Dustin Chase - "Naples/Collier Bureau", now at WFTS in Tampa
  • Joe Capasso - "Naples/Collier Bureau"
  • Heather Overton - webcast
  • Josh Carroll - fill-in reporter, WINK Radio weekday afternoon anchor
  • Holly Wagner - weekend mornings anchor
  • Michael Francis - now at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, WI

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • WINK-TV News (1960s–1970s)
  • News Eleven (1970s)
  • Action News 11 (1970s–1980s)
  • WINK News (1980s–2007 & 2013–present)
  • WINK News Now (2007–2013)

Station slogans

  • Southwest Florida's News Leader (1983–present)
  • We've Got the Touch on WINK-TV (1985–1986; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Share the Spirit with WINK-TV (1986–1987; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Look to the Leader (1985–1988)
  • The News Station (1988–1990)
  • The 24 Hour News Station (1990–mid 1990s)
  • The Spirit of Southwest Florida (mid 1990s–?)
  • We've Got You Covered (early 2000s)

[4] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.


External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.