Sunday, March 05, 2006

Naples, Fla., daily launches daily 15-minute news video TV and podcast - Naples Daily News - Naples, Florida
Sunday, March 5, 2006 | Updated at 2:05 a.m.

By Tim Richardson (Contact)
Naples (Fla.) Daily News

The pioneering days of cable television in Collier County featured a
newscast catering to local residents. Two decades later, another program is
about to fill that void.

And thatÿÿs where the similarities end.

Collier and south Lee County residents who feel slighted by broadcast
television coverage from Fort Myers-based stations are about to get a
program of their own. And industry experts said the public has never seen
anything like it.

The Daily News will launch a 15-minute program next month that will make its
Internet and television debut April 3. The program, called ÿÿStudio 55,ÿÿ will
give viewers the top local news, sports and entertainment headlines ÿÿ but
with a twist not seen on local broadcast news, said Rob Curley, new media
director for the Daily News.

The Daily News has offered news and sports podcasts for several months.
Curley said the ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ vodcast, or video podcast, was a natural

ÿÿOur reasons for doing this are so simple,ÿÿ he said. ÿÿNaples needs its own
newscast, and if you were going to grow a newscast from scratch, you might
not do it the way itÿÿs been done for decades because you can take into
account that the technology has changed and will continue to evolve.ÿÿ
Denise Spidle is producer and anchorwoman of the upcoming Daily News
newscast, "Studio 55," which will air on Comcast channel 35 at 4, 4:15, 6
and 6:15 p.m., as well as on and

Photo by Garrett Hubbard / Naples Daily News

Denise Spidle is producer and anchorwoman of the upcoming Daily News
newscast, "Studio 55," which will air on Comcast channel 35 at 4, 4:15, 6
and 6:15 p.m., as well as on and

Curley said the ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ vodcast ÿÿ so named because the Daily Newsÿÿ newly
constructed studio is located at 55 12th St. N. ÿÿ wonÿÿt be a traditional
local newscast. He said the production value will be on par with programming
from national networks, a feat accomplished by bringing a team of graphic
artists, producers and journalists from around the country to Southwest
Florida. The show will be anchored by multimedia journalist Denise Spidle.

Visitors to or can view ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ online
each weekday at 4 p.m.

The show also will be available four times each day on Comcast Channel 35.

The first show will air at 4 p.m., then repeat at 4:15 p.m. The program will
be available again at 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. with updated local news coverage.

ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ is also portable. Viewers will have the ability to watch the
program on their video iPods, Sony PSPs or other mobile media devices.

The program also will be available online for viewing at anytime and each
episode will be archived at Even before the launch of the
vodcast, ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ has received national attention from USA Today,, Red Herring, and Editor and Publisher magazine.

John Fish, publisher of Naples Daily News and Bonita Daily News, said the
program will use the news-gathering strengths of the Daily News to tell the
stories of Southwest Floridians in a new platform.

ÿÿI believe ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ represents one of the most innovative newspaper
projects in the country,ÿÿ he said. ÿÿThe show will introduce a new type of
newscast on the Internet and a unique partnership with Comcast. We are also
very excited because ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ will provide more news and content about
Collier County through video than any other source in our region.ÿÿ

Larry Schweber, vice president and general manager of Comcast in Southwest
Florida, said the cable company created Channel 35 last year after hearing
customers report a lack of local programming on the cable lineup. He said
his companyÿÿs partnership with the Daily News is the first of its kind in
Southwest Florida.

ÿÿI think itÿÿs going to be wonderful for the folks in Naples to be able to
turn their TV on and be able to get up-to-date news specific to where they
live,ÿÿ he said. ÿÿI think thatÿÿs phenomenal.ÿÿ

Daily features on ÿÿStudio 55ÿÿ will include traffic, news, weather and sports
from the programÿÿs videographers and Daily News reporters.

James Gentry, a University of Kansas journalism professor and
internationally known converged journalism expert who focuses on altering
media company strategies that involve cross-media platforms, said the Daily
News is taking a leap that few other newspapers have crossed.

ÿÿYou are one of very few, if not the only one, doing this,ÿÿ he said.

Rob Runett, director of electronic media communications for the Newspaper
Association of America, said the Daily News is among a growing number of
newspapers striving to be the primary news provider in their market
regardless of medium, such as print, online and television.

He said other newspapers have created brief newscasts that appeared on their
Web sites or formed partnerships with television stations in their market.
The Daily News/Comcast relationship is more progressive, he said.

ÿÿThis, to me, is impressive,ÿÿ he said. ÿÿItÿÿs a really strong message that
you are sending not just to other local media companies in the area, but
also to advertisers who are saying, ÿÿWhat is this company going to look like
in the future?ÿÿ It shows them that you guys are going to be a place where
they can turn to for all kinds of content assets.ÿÿ


©2006 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. Published in Naples, Florida,
USA by the E.W. Scripps Co..

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