Breaking news and timeless rock hits: Welcome to Fort Erie Radio

There’s a new one-stop shop for all the music, news, and entertainment Fort Erie residents desire.

Fort Erie Radio (FER), a new internet radio station and digital news media site, launched today. On the news side, visitors can expect daily updates on everything that matters to Fort Erie, from council meetings to local events and new businesses.

“The idea is to create an online hub where Fort Erie residents can find real, credible news about what’s happening in our town,” said founder and program director Brent Jones.

On the radio side, listeners will be treated to rock music from every decade, with live programming beginning in May, including a cast of local broadcasters hosting shows from FER’s Queen Street studio in Fort Erie.

“The format will be familiar to most listeners, I think. Call-in segments, a text line, contests, news, sports, and weather at the top of the hour, and just plain fun. Lots of reasons to keep listening,” Jones said.

A well-known Realtor in the area, Jones entered the media world with the launch of his Fort Erie Podcast in 2019. Amid a struggling Canadian media landscape, leaving many communities like Fort Erie with limited ways to get the news that’s closest to them, Jones decided to launch FER.

“First we lost the Times. Then we lost the Post last fall and that came right on the heels of Facebook banning news links. And this, of course, is all happening at a time when Fort Erie is growing, yet it’s becoming a total news desert,” he said, referring to the closure of two local print publications and the decision by Meta–the company that owns Facebook–to ban links to news articles in Canada in response to the federal government’s Bill C-18, also known as the Online News Act.

“I created and hosted The Fort Erie Podcast for several years and that got a great response from our community. To me it highlighted a real need for locally-focused content.”

Anyone with an internet connection can listen to FER through its app, on Alexa devices, or simply by visiting the website and pressing play. As an internet radio station, FER will have no terrestrial broadcast. However, Jones sees that as a positive.

“Very few people have AM/FM radios anymore outside of their cars. But so long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to Fort Erie Radio anywhere,” he said.

Joining Jones will be a team of dedicated authors and show hosts. Andréa Jones, who runs a social media agency and hosts a successful marketing podcast, will have her own show this spring, as will former town councillor and mayoral candidate, Stephen Passero.

More shows will be announced shortly, according to Jones.

Authors for the website include longtime Niagara journalist Luke Edwards, along with Robert Van Ryswyck, a product of Fanshawe College’s broadcast journalism program with previous radio experience, and Kamora Morgan, a senior and elite basketball player at Fort Erie International Academy who will be shining a light on the academy’s basketball program as a student contributor.

To stay connected with what’s happening in Fort Erie, download the Fort Erie Radio app. The station can be contacted at (289) 931-8400 or hello@FortErieRadio.ca.

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