Mix 98.2

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Mix 98.2
Broadcast area Auckland
Slogan Auckland's local station
First air date 1970
Format 80s and 90s
Owner NZME Radio
Webcast Livestream on iHeartRadio
Website Official website
Corporate website

Mix 98.2 (previously known as Radio i 1332, Easy Listening i98FM, Viva and Easy Mix) is a radio station in Auckland, New Zealand, broadcasting music from the 80s and 90s in Auckland. The station's only host, Mel Homer, presents a four-hour programme of editorial fashion, entertainment, food, health and beauty from 8am each weekday morning. The station is targeted at "busy everyday fashion-aware 39-45 year old women" and is affiliated with the New Zealand Herald.

The station was previously branded as Easy Mix and broadcast a similar format of easy listening music on the same frequency, with additional stations in Tauranga, Hawke's Bay and Wellington. During regular programming, Easy Mix followed a similar format of a "50-minute continuous music mix" each hour, and the station continues to broadcast a news and sport update from Newstalk ZB at the top of every hour.

The head office and studios of Mix 96.6 are located on the corner of Cook and Nelson Streets in Auckland City, along with the other seven stations of NZME Radio.

History[edit]

Radio i[edit]

The History of Easy Mix dates as far back as the 1960s when a company called Radio International started Radio i in Auckland. The station started originally leasing air time on 1ZM as at this point the NZBC had a monopoly on the New Zealand airwaves preventing private broadcasters from operating.

Radio i was granted a broadcasting licence in 1970, the same year Radio Hauraki was granted the very first private commercial licence in New Zealand, Radio i originally broadcast on 1590AM in the Auckland region and moved to 1330AM in 1978 and later that year to 1332AM. When the station switched to FM in 1990 the name was changed to Radio i92FM broadcasting on 91.8FM. After 3 months on the air on 91.8FM the station moved to its current frequency on 98.2FM and became Radio i98FM and later Easy Listening i98FM.

Easy Listening i[edit]

Easy Listening had several changes of ownership and in 1996 Easy Listening i in Auckland was sold to The Radio Network.[1] It began broadcasting in Hamilton in 1993 when local station Easy Listening 97FM was rebranded as Easy Listening i97FM with the station remaining local until 1995 when programming was replaced with Auckland-based programming.

In 1996 the station was sold to The Radio Network and in Hamilton reverted to local programming with a format mirrored that of Easy Listening i98FM in Auckland. In 1999 Easy Listening was dropped from the Waikato market and replaced with Newstalk ZB on this frequency.[2]

Viva[edit]

The Easy Listening network was rebranded as Viva FM in 2005. During this time, Simon Dallow was the morning host.

Easy Mix[edit]

The station was subsequently rebranded in August 2007 as Easy Mix, and began broadcasting its networked programme in Wellington on 93.5FM. The line-up included Lorna Subritzky in breakfast, Mark Woods in the daytime slot, Greg Prebble in drive and weekend mornings, Mark Branley on weeknights and the John Tesh Radio Show on weekend afternoons. Outside of these times the station was fully automated.

On 8 June 2012 it was announced that all Easy Mix's FM frequencies would be replaced with Radio Sport on 22 June 2012.[3][4] This would enable Radio Sport to be heard on FM in many markets where it was previously unavailable. Some of Easy Mix's music was shifted to Coast FM and Classic Hits FM.

Mix 98.2[edit]

In June 2014 The Mix returned to 98.2 FM with a new format, playlist, programme line-up and branding. The new station Mix 98.2 is limited to the Auckland region and broadcasts on the frequency previously used to broadcast Easy Mix. Mix 98.2 contains a 4 hour morning show (08:00-midday) presented by Mel Homer but at all other times contains no announcers. The format is music of the 1980s and 1990s.

Stations[edit]

Auckland[edit]

Mix 98.2 and its previous formats have broadcast in Auckland on 98.2 FM since 1990. The frequency was briefly used by Radio Sport between 2012 and 2014.

Tauranga[edit]

Easy Listening began broadcasting in Tauranga in 2000 as Easy Listening i99FM with all programming networked from Auckland. It was replaced by Radio Sport in 2012.[5]

Rotorua[edit]

Easy Listening launched in Rotorua in late 1996 as Easy Listening i94.3FM and operated as part of a franchise agreement with local Rotorua station Triple X 99FM. The station featured a local breakfast show but outside breakfast programming was networked from Auckland. The station closed down in 1998 but The Radio Network brought Easy Listening i back to Rotorua in 2004 as Easy Listening i95.1FM with all programming now networked from Auckland. On 31 March 2010 The Radio Network sold the 95.1FM frequency and as a result Easy Mix went off the air.[6]

Hawke's Bay[edit]

The Alligator 90FM (later renamed The Alligator 90-100FM) was a radio station broadcasting in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, from 1994 to 1998. The station initially went on air on 90.3 FM from temporary studios on Station Street, Napier, before relocating to a new building on the corner of Carlyle and Craven Streets. The Alligator ran an adult contemporary format, filling a hole in the market. Positioning statements included "Better Music Variety and Less Talking", and "The Original FM Music Station for Adults". The station's first programme director was Andrew Jefferies. Other announcers included James Milner, Virgil Troy, Julie-Ann Barnes, and station manager Graeme Parsonage. Later, Mark Bramley joined the radio line-up.

Within months of the station's launch, a second transmitter was installed on Bluff Hill and relayed the programmes to Napier Hill and Port residents on 99.9 FM. At this time, the station was renamed "The Alligator 90-100FM". Eventually, The Alligator hit hard times and was sold. The station was replaced with a satellite programme from Hamilton and renamed "Easy Listening i90". The 99.9 frequency broadcast a new programme for youth - Xtreme 100. These stations continued to broadcast for a few years before they were bought by The Radio Network.

Easy Listening was started in Hawke's Bay in 1996 when The Alligator 90-100 FM|The New Alligator 99-100FM was rebranded as Easy Listening i90FM broadcasting on 90.3FM and 99.9FM, as part of a franchise agreement. The station was originally local but this was soon replaced with Auckland-based programming. The stations was taken over by the Hawke's Bay Media Group during the middle of 1996 and the 99.9FM frequency was used to start local station Xtreme 100. At the end of 1997 the station reverted to local programming, ceased using the Easy Listening i name and became Easy Listening 90FM and in 1999 was renamed again to 90.3 Cool FM.

In 2000 Independent Radio (formally Hawke's Bay Media Group) was sold to The Radio Network and the station reverted to Easy Listening i90.3FM but now networked from Auckland.[7] On 31 May 2011, the Hawke's Bay station was closed down, and the frequency switched to Newstalk ZB. On 1 March 2012, it briefly returned to Hawke's Bay on 96.7FM, replacing Flava for several months.

Wellington[edit]

Easy Mix broadcast in Wellington between 2008 and 2012, networked from Auckland on 93.5FM.

South Island[edit]

Easy Listening also broadcast into Christchurch on 94.5FM (during the mid-1990s) as a completely local station, this station was operated by C93FM Limited and was rebranded as Lite FM in 1998 after C93FM Limited was sold to Radio Otago, this station was eventually rebranded as The Breeze. Easy Listening made a return to Christchurch in 2003 now broadcasting on 1593AM and now as the network based product instead of their own local product, and was also networked into Dunedin in 2003 on 954AM. Both stations did not perform well and as a result were replaced with Coast in 2004.

Frequencies[edit]

FM Frequencies[edit]

Market City Transmitter Frequency (MHz)
1. Auckland Auckland Sky Tower 98.2

References[edit]