MediaWorks Radio

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MediaWorks Radio
Division of MediaWorks New Zealand
Industry Radio
Founded 2004, New Zealand
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
Owner Ironbridge Capital

MediaWorks Radio (formerly known as RadioWorks) is the radio division of MediaWorks New Zealand. MediaWorks operates 7 radio brands nationwide across New Zealand with the majority of the programming on these stations based from Auckland, in addition to the nationwide brands MediaWorks also operate several local radio stations in certain markets.


MediaWorks radio has its origins as a Taranaki-based radio company Energy Enterprises. Energy Enterprises was started in the 1980s when local station Energy FM was started in Taranaki. During the 1980s and 1990s Energy Enterprises expanded their operation by starting up new stations around the North Island of New Zealand or taking over existing privately owned stations. In the late 1990s Energy Enterprises amalgamated with Radio Pacific and became known as Pacific/RadioWorks Group. The company purchased seven North Island stations owned by Dunedin based Radio Otago in 1997 allowing Radio Otago to expanded their operations to other markets in the South Island. The two companies Radio Otago and Pacific/RadioWorks group merged in 1999 to become RadioWorks.

The merger of RadioWorks and Radio Otago allowed RadioWorks to expand their North Island stations into the South Island. By 1999 RadioWorks consisted of The Edge FM and The Rock (two stations that were originally Hamilton based), Solid Gold, Radio Pacific and a collection of local one-off stations in each market. Some markets even had more than one local station. From 1999 onwards all of the local stations were marketed as LocalWorks stations.

Between 2000 and 2001 CanWest purchased RadioWorks, awaiting company restructuring before completing the year-long takeover, and moved its existing MORE FM group assets, including Channel Z and The Breeze Wellington, into the company.

Since its inception in 2004, MediaWorks has moved its local stations over to More FM and The Breeze network; all these stations now carry the network branding and some or all of the network's programming. At the same time, MediaWorks have rolled out new networks Radio Live and Kiwi FM, converted Radio Pacific to LiveSport, and purchased networks Mai FM and George FM. MediaWorks owns Times FM in Orewa, Coromandel FM on the Coromandel Peninsula and Radio Dunedin in Otago.[1]

All MediaWorks-owned and -affiliated stations read or carry Radio Live News updates hourly or half hourly during their weekday breakfast programmes. Most also carry pre-recorded news and sports updates hourly at other times. Radio Live News took over from the RadioWorks news service, Global News, with the launch of Radio Live in 2005.

Nationwide stations[edit]

George FM[edit]

Main article: George FM

George FM is an Auckland dance music radio station operated from Ponsonby Road headquarters and relayed on Freeview Channel 70 and radio frequencies around New Zealand. Seventy-five presenters present the station's twenty four hour mix of house, breaks, drum and bass, electro, soul, downbeat, jazz, funk, indietronica, hip-hop and other dance and electronica music. The station is targeted at the 25 - 44 year old age group.

George FM was set up in 1998 as a volunteer-run low power station based in a Grey Lynn spare bedroom. George FM began broadcasting on a high powered FM frequency in 2001 and became a commercial station with paid staff in 2003. The station was relayed to other centres in later years through the use of low powered frequencies. George FM was available for a while on Sky Digital and since 2007 has broadcast on Freeview. The station was purchased by MediaWorks on 16 February 2009. However, it continues to retain a laid-back style: news is limited to informal Auckland-specific news, weather, traffic and surf reports hourly during breakfast and drive shows and the choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts.

George broadcasts on Auckland 96.6 FM and on low powered FM frequencies in other markets around New Zealand. The station will be turned into a nationwide brand in 2015 following the purchase of additional frequencies. [2]

Kiwi FM[edit]

Main article: Kiwi FM

Kiwi FM is a station that plays 60% New Zealand music. The station is targeted at the 25 - 44 year old age group. Kiwi FM has its origins as Channel Z, a station that played mostly alternative rock music. Channel Z began as a local station in Wellington and separate stations were later started in Auckland and Christchurch. In 2001 the Wellington and Christchurch stations became networked from Auckland and Channel Z saw a format change in 2003 to include 30% New Zealand music as well as a change of presenters. The changes made were not popular and the stations lost a lot of listeners. As a result RadioWorks replaced Channel Z with Kiwi FM, a station that originally played 100% New Zealand music. This station did worse in the ratings, however instead of closing down the station the government gave Kiwi FM the use of government-owned frequencies to broadcast on. Today Kiwi FM still broadcasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

In February 2012 the station reduced the quota of Kiwi music played from 100% to 60% in an attempt to increase ratings.

Mai FM[edit]

Main article: Mai FM

Mai FM is an Auckland-based Māori radio network which plays mainly hip hop and R&B music. The station is targeted at under 35-year-old listeners. Mai FM was operated as an iwi radio station by Ngati Whatua subsidiary Mai Media Limited between 1992 and 2008,[3] but MediaWorks New Zealand gained ownership and control of the station from 31 March 2008.[4] Today Mai FM can be heard in six markets around the North Island and in Christchurch in the South Island. Programming originates from the studios in Auckland however Northland has its own local breakfast show.

MORE FM[edit]

Main article: More FM

MORE FM is an adult contemporary music station catering to the 25 - 44 year old listeners and is local during the daytime in all markets. MORE FM has its origins as local radio stations broadcasting in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin - the original station was established in Wellington in May 1991. Each station was live and local 24/7 except Dunedin which took Christchurch programming at breakfast, evenings and overnight. There was also a More FM station in Kapiti which relayed programming from Wellington. In December 2004 RadioWorks began rolling out MORE FM nationwide by rebranding their local adult contemporary stations as MORE FM; these were stations operated under the LocalWorks brand name. Most programming remained local on each station but a networked night show and overnight show were introduced in January 2005. Today all markets are local between 6am and 1pm weekdays, then most markets take a networked drive show followed by the networked night show in all markets. Today MORE FM can be heard in 22 markets across New Zealand.

Radio Live and Live Sport[edit]

Main articles: Radio Live and LiveSport

Radio Live is a talkback radio station catered at the 35 - 54-year-old audience and LiveSport is a sports talk station aimed at the 40+ year-old male listeners. LiveSport is used to broadcast Radio Trackside during horse racing hours. Both stations have their origins as Radio Pacific which was an Auckland talkback station that began in the 1970s. Radio Pacific expanded across all of New Zealand in the early 1990s. Radio Pacific was originally independently owned but merged with Energy Enterprises in the late 1990s to form Radio Pacific/RadioWorks. In 2005 a new talkback station, Radio Live, was created. The station was networked across all of New Zealand from the first day of broadcast and in most regions broadcast on frequencies used to broadcast Radio Pacific. At this point Radio Pacific then moved to another available frequency in each region and changed format to broadcast Radio Trackside during racing hours and run a music and talk format during mornings. In 2007 Radio Pacific was rebranded as BSport and changed format to become a sports talk station. In 2010 BSport became LiveSport bringing the station's branding in line with Radio Live. Both stations broadcast across New Zealand to more than 30 markets.

The Sound[edit]

Main article: The Sound (radio)

The Sound is a classic rock station playing music targeted at the 35 - 59 year old age group. The Sound began as Solid Gold in Auckland in 1997 originally as an oldies station playing music mostly from the 1960s and 70s, 1950's music was also on the playlist during the early years. Solid Gold began expanding across the North Island in 1997, some of the local North Island stations purchased by Energy Enterprises from Radio Otago in 1997 were closed down and replaced with Solid Gold. Following the RadioWorks and Radio Otago merger local stations in the South Island were closed down and replaced with Solid Gold. On 1 January 2012 Solid Gold FM was rebranded as The Sound, the name change saw the station expand from mostly 1960s and 1970s music to now include music from the 1980s and shift from a Rock N Roll format to a Classic Rock format. Today The Sound can be heard in 25 markets across New Zealand.

The Breeze[edit]

The Breeze is an easy listening music station catering to 40 - 60-year-old listeners and is targeted mostly at females. The Breeze began in 1993 as an easy listening station in Wellington, there were also local The Breeze stations in Auckland and Hamilton but both stations were closed down and returned some years later. The Breeze in Wellington was originally independently owned and has its origins as Radio Windy which had been on the air since the 1970s. The Breeze was purchased by the MORE FM Group in 1995 which later became part of CanWest and then RadioWorks. In 2003 RadioWorks began rolling The Breeze out across New Zealand by rebranding local Easy Listening stations owned by RadioWorks as The Breeze. Hamilton was the first market with Christchurch and Manawatu following in 2004. Each The Breeze station was originally local 24/7 except Dunedin which was mostly broadcast from Christchurch. After The Breeze began broadcasting in Auckland a network was established with Dunedin and Manawatu now taking programming from Auckland except breakfast programming. Networking allowed the station to be expanded across New Zealand. Today most markets are networked except those original The Breeze stations where Wellington and Christchurch are local until 7pm and other markets such as Hamilton and Manawatu are local during breakfast only. The Breeze can be heard in 18 markets around New Zealand.

The Edge[edit]

The Edge is a pop music station catering to 15 - 34-year-old female listeners. The station plays music in the current Top 40 as well as some older tracks. The Edge began in 1994 as a local Hamilton radio station taking over from Buzzard 98FM, both stations actually broadcast on 97.8FM. In 1998 RadioWorks began expanding the station across the North Island and in 1999 following the RadioWorks and Radio Otago merger The Edge was networked into the South Island. In 2001 The Edge was moved to Auckland but did not begin broadcasting there until 2003. Today The Edge is available in 22 markets across New Zealand.

The Rock[edit]

The Rock is a modern rock music station playing rock music from the 1980s to today. The station is aimed at the 25 - 44-year-old male audience. The Rock has its origins as a local radio station in Hamilton which began broadcasting on 1 December 1991. The Rock expanded into Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty as separate local stations during the mid-nineties and later began networking to regions around the North Island, replacing the local programming in Taranaki and Bay of Plenty with programming from Hamilton. In 1999 The Rock moved to Auckland and with RadioWorks and Radio Otago merging The Rock was able to expand into the South Island. The Rock is currently available in 26 markets across New Zealand.

Regional stations[edit]

Neither of the MediaWorks Radio's regional stations were affected by the More FM rebranding.

Coromandel FM[edit]

Coromandel FM is a regional Coromandel Peninsula radio network with a Hot AC music format and hourly Radio Live News updates. It was officially launched by station manager Warren Male in December 1992, but began as short trial broadcasts on Pauanui-Tairua and Whitianga-Whangamata during previous summers.[5] Under a contract with MediaWorks New Zealand, independent affiliate Coromandel FM Limited operates Coromandel FM, The Breeze Mercury Bay and The Rock Mercury Bay from Thames as part of MediaWorks Radio. The daily breakfast programme is hosted by Rex Simpson and includes the Carswell Construction Rural Hour, political commentary from MP Scott Simpson, Thames-Coromandel Mayor Glenn Leach, and Hauraki Mayor John Tregidga, birthday announcements, and horoscopes. Alan Beagle hosts mid-mornings and Mike Bain hosts afternoons.[6]

Radio Dunedin[edit]

Main article: Radio Dunedin

Radio Dunedin is a Dunedin radio station broadcasting easy listening music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to 40+ audiences on 1305 AM and 99.8 FM. It claims to be the first radio station in New Zealand, the fifth oldest station in the world and five weeks older than the BBC. Announcers on air during the daytime between 6am and 7pm are employed by MediaWorks and are paid announcers. On weeknights and weekends the Otago Radio Association leases air time to broadcast a variety of community radio programming, announcers during these times are unpaid volunteers.

The station first went to air on 4 October 1922, and celebrated 85 years in 2007. It has previously been known as DN, 4AB, 4ZB (not part of government ZB network), Pioneer Radio and 4XD and has previously broadcast on 1431 AM and 1305 AM. The station was operated non-commercially and voluntarily by the Otago Radio Association until 1990, became a commercial station and was sold to Radio Otago Limited in 1993, and subsequently became part of MediaWorks Radio. On 6 May 2008 it began broadcasting on 99.8 FM and in mid-2007 it began online streaming. All programming is broadcast from studios in Radio Otago House in central Dunedin.

Times FM[edit]

Times FM operates from Orewa. The station was purchased by RadioWorks in 2002. It broadcasts on 88.9FM and 97.8FM, serving the Rodney District and the Hibiscus Coast, to the north and north-west of Auckland.

External links[edit]