Newstalk ZB

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Newstalk ZB
Broadcast area New Zealand
Frequency List available below
Format News and talk
Owner NZME Radio
Webcast Auckland
Website Official website
Corporate website

Newstalk ZB is a nationwide New Zealand talk radio network operated by NZME Radio. It is available in almost every radio market in the country, and has news reporters based in many of them. In addition to talkback, the network also broadcasts news, interviews, music, and sports (sometimes in partnership with its sister network Radio Sport).

Most of the network's programming is produced in Auckland, in the NZME Radio building on the corner of Cook & Nelson Streets. Wellington and Christchurch produce some local programming and most markets produce their own local news and weather updates.


Newstalk ZB started in 1987 when Auckland's 1ZB changed to a talkback format and was originally known as Newstalk 1ZB. During the late eighties and early nineties Radio New Zealand switched many of their local heritage stations to FM but retained the AM frequency in each region running the same programme on both frequencies, however some stations ran separate programmes at certain times(such as talk shows) on the AM frequency.

In 1993 and 1994 the local station in each region was rebranded with the Classic Hits name and the AM frequency was used to roll out Newstalk ZB across New Zealand. In Christchurch and Wellington local stations 2ZB and 3ZB changed to a talk format around 1991 and new local stations Goodtime Oldies B90 FM (Wellington) and Goodtime Oldies B98 FM were created. Around 1994 2ZB and 3ZB were rebranded as Newstalk ZB retaining local announcers at first but in recent years as local announcers have left shows have been replaced with network shows. Wellington and Christchurch still have a local show in the mornings between 9 am and 12 pm.

In February 1993, in Auckland, Newstalk ZB began broadcasting on 89.4 FM as well as the original 1080 AM when local station 89X (formerly 89FM) ceased to operate, Radio New Zealand purchased this station a year earlier and chose to close it down and use the frequency for Newstalk ZB. The Newstalk ZB nationwide 0800 number (0800 80 10 80) actually comes from the original 1080AM frequency in Auckland that is still in use today. In 1996 Radio New Zealand sold their commercial operation and Newstalk ZB, along with Classic Hits and ZM, became part of The Radio Network.

Canterbury earthquakes[edit]

Following the Christchurch earthquake on 4 September 2010 and the major aftershock on 22 February 2011 programming in Christchurch was greatly affected. After both earthquakes the station broadcast in place of other radio stations in Christchurch operated by The Radio Network, the local studios located in Worcester Street in Christchurch were evacuated. Local news services in Christchurch were replaced temporarily with the network news feed which mostly contained news stories related to the quake heard by all of New Zealand.

Local news readers reported news about the quake for all of New Zealand. The local morning show remained on the air but was broadcast from a temporary location and following the first earthquake this was at the Whitebait Studios in Christchurch and after the earthquake in February from a hotel in Christchurch. After the February 2011 earthquake The Radio Network Christchurch never returned to their Worcester Street premises and eventually setup in a new location. The building was taken down in August 2012, in New Zealand's first ever controlled building demolition with explosives.


Newstalk ZB's talk radio format has been established over a number of years, and its schedule has remained consistently successful, and hence fairly unchanged, since a major relaunch in 1987.

KPMG Early Edition[edit]

One hour news and business programme with Rachel Smalley.

Mike Hosking Breakfast[edit]

Former breakfast host Paul Holmes

Breakfast on Newstalk ZB is presented by Mike Hosking. Susan Wood is the substitute host and Tim Dower hosts the show on summer and public holidays. The show is made up of news, interviews, commentary, reports and occasionally talkback. At other times, the show features interviews with the day's newsmakers, guests or Newstalk ZB reporters, as well as Hosking regularly providing comment on the day's issues or happenings.

The show provides news updates every half hour presented by Bernadine Oliver-Kerby and sports updates with Matt Brown. On the half hour, many local markets air a local news segment during a window between national news and sport, and each market broadcasts a local weather forecast. Larger towns also provide traffic reports during the show. Newstalk ZB's stations in Christchurch and Wellington both provide full local bulletins, instead of airing the network bulletins. In Christchurch, local news bulletins are presented by Scarlett Cvitanovich with sport from Brian Ashby, and Katrina Bennett and Jason Pine (sport) present local bulletins in Wellington.

Newstalk ZB's breakfast show has historically had a well-established reputation for news, and has been top-rating for a number of years. Mike Hosking took on the role of breakfast announcer at the start of 2009, taking over the reign of Paul Holmes who presented the show since 1987. The show has consistently remained the highest-rating breakfast programme on commercial radio in New Zealand. Paul Holmes remained with Newstalk ZB presenting Saturday mornings, but had to resign at the end of 2012 due to his ailing health after already taking an extended period of leave. From January 2013 he was replaced by TVNZ US Correspondent and popular journalist Jack Tame, who broadcasts the show from New York.

Until the end of 2008, Christchurch opted out of the nationwide breakfast show, presenting their own local breakfast with John Dunne and Ken Ellis, which topped the ratings regularly. Wellington also aired a local breakfast show, presented by Lindsay Yeo, however this was replaced with the network show in the mid-1990s.

The Leighton Smith Show[edit]

The morning slot on Newstalk ZB is primarily news-related talkback, with some interviews with newsmakers and regular guests. Most stations broadcast a talkback programme with host Leighton Smith.

During this timeslot Wellington broadcasts a programme with Tim Fookes. Sean Plunket hosted the show in 2012.

Christchurch broadcasts a local talkback show hosted by Chris Lynch. The Christchurch show, then hosted by Ali Jones, was dropped at the end of 2009 and replaced with the network show. After much complaint from listeners and a major drop in listeners The Radio Network decided to bring back a local show to Christchurch in mid-2010. The new show was initially hosted by Mike Yardley who had hosted the same show on the station in the past, but left in November 2012 and was replaced by former TVNZ Close Up producer Chris Lynch as of January 2013.[1]

Danny Watson Afternoons[edit]

During the afternoons, between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm, Danny Watson presents a talkback programme that also includes regular special interest discussions with specialist journalists and contributors. The show was previously hosted by Chris Carter.

Some regions opt out of this show between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm and instead broadcast The Farming Show, which is produced by TRN's Dunedin studios. These regions are Alexandra, Gisborne, Oamaru, Queenstown, Tokoroa, Wairarapa and Wanaka.

Larry Williams Drive[edit]

For three hours between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm Larry Williams presents a programme on current affairs commentary. There are brief updates of news, local news, sports, weather and traffic every twenty minutes, with longer news updates every hour. Williams also interviews political editor Barry Soper, and offers personal commentary on news issues. Between 6pm and 7pm Larry Williams concentrates on Business matters. Williams political commentary leans to the right of the New Zealand political spectrum.

Substitute hosts include Susan Wood and Greg Boyed.

Kerre McIvor Nights[edit]

From 7pm, Mark Watson (Monday-Tuesday) or Tony Veitch pres (Wednesday-Friday) present an hour of sports-related talkback and interviews, simulcast live on Radio Sport

Between 8:00 pm and 12:00 am, the network broadcasts four hours of nationwide talkback, hosted by Kerre McIvor (née Woodham) from Monday to Thursday evenings. On Fridays from 8pm til midnight, a Friday Night edition of Tim Roxborogh and Tim Wilson's radio show 'The Two' airs. Previously Bruce Russell hosted a Friday night talkback show. Substitute hosts include Andrew Dickens and Tim Dower.


The daily 00:00 to 0500 am timeslot features talkback on current affairs, music and hourly news, sports and weather updates. On Saturday the Super Sport Saturday programme airs. The 5 hour talkback show have a heavy reliance on audience participation. The overnight radio programme is hosted by Bruce Russell on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings; Tim Roxborogh hosts Wednesday, Thursday and Tim Beveridge hosts Saturdays; and Gary Denvir hosts Sunday.

Substitute hosts include Peter Wolfkamp and Tim Dower. Previous hosts included Pat Brittenden, Alf Rose, John Peachey, Noelle McCarthy, James King, Nick Robinson and Pat Brittenden.

Weekend Mornings[edit]

The All Sports breakfast from 6:00 am till 9:00 am on Saturdays encompasses a Garage Sale segment for the first half hour, and then features on Local sport, sports panels, and interviews with Athletes and sports journalists. The All Sports Breakfast has local versions in many regions, the Auckland version with Nigel Yalden is simulcast in regions that do not have a local version. Christchurch's version is hosted by Lesley Murdoch and Craig Kerr.

From 5:00 am till 6:00 am on Sundays, a 'best of' show is played, with highlights of the Mike Hosking breakfast between 6:00 am and 6:30 am, and Highlights of the Leighton Smith show, or Local morning shows in Wellington and Christchurch, between 5:30 am and 6:00 am done by morning hosts during the week. Between 6:00 am and 8:00 am on Sundays, Pete Wolfkamp presents an two hour-long DIY talkback programme, previously hosted by Ruud Kleinpaste. Between 8:00 am and 9:00 am on Sundays, Daniel McHardy hosts The Sports Power Hour, which has his and others' commentary on the weekend sport so far.

Saturday and Sunday mornings are dominated by discussions on hobbies and personal life. Jack Tame presents the Saturday Morning Programme between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm throughout New Zealand, except Wellington which broadcasts 'Wellington on Saturday' sometimes known as 'The Great Weekender', The show had previously been hosted by Garry Ward for 26 years. The history of this show dates back to 1983 on Wellington's 2ZB and all this time had been hosted by Garry Ward, Ward died suddenly on 17 September 2009. His replacement was later announced as former Weekday Morning host in Wellington Justin du Fresne. Andrew Dickens presents a similar programme called Andrew Dickens' Sunday Café, at the same time on Sunday morning, all shows featuring interviews and sponsored regular guests segments.

Veitch on Sport[edit]

Tony Veitch presents Vietchy on Saturday, a combination of live sports updates and commentary and sports-related talkback. The programme, which is usually simulcast on Radio Sport, includes interviews with major New Zealand sports people.

Wellington previously broke out for a local Scoreboard show hosted by Daniel McHardy, focussing on local sports issues like the Wellington Phoenix and local club sport updates. For over 40 years, Christchurch also broadcast a Scoreboard show for its region, hosted by Malcolm Ellis for over 15 years, however the Christchurch show was discontinued at the end of 2009 due to cost-cutting and now takes Veitch's show with local breakouts three times an hour.

Murray Deaker presented a show for the network on Sunday afternoons with a similar format, called Deaker on Sunday until his retirement on 22 December 2013. Willie Lose and Peter Montgomery also previously hosted Saturday afternoons.

Weekend nights[edit]

On Saturday evenings, Bruce Russell hosts a music-and-memories show called In My Day from 6pm until midnight. Previously, Jim Sutton hosted Nostalgia, a show that showcased music from yesteryear. The Saturday Night Nostalgia show was retired on Saturday 13 April 2013.

On Sunday evenings, a show hosted by Sam Bloore and Jax van Buuren, Total Recall, airs from 6pm to 7.30pm. This is followed by Real Life with John Cowan, featuring one well known/successful person each week being interviewed by John Cowan about their lives.

Tim Roxborogh and Tim Wilson host The Two from 8pm until 11pm. This is followed by Mike King's talkshow The Nutters Club, until 1am on Monday. Former Sunday night hosts include Oliver Driver, Petra Bagust and Pat Brittenden.

Holiday talkback[edit]

During the Christmas and New Year holiday season, the schedule changes, with a single nationwide morning shift from 9am until 1pm, an afternoon shift until 6pm and a 6 hour evening shift until midnight devoted almost entirely to talkback.


Newstalk ZB operates one of the largest news operations in New Zealand, with over 50 newsreaders, reporters and editors nationwide. The four main news hubs are in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Parliament, along with regional newsrooms in Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill.

The Auckland news centre produces live bulletins for the national Newstalk ZB network, as well as local Auckland bulletins at breakfast time. Welington and Christchurch both broadcast live local news bulletins during the breakfast show. The remainder of Newstalk ZB's markets air the live network bulletins, however the regional newsrooms around the country provide each station with local news segments during the breakfast show.

Network weekday newsreaders include Bernadine Oliver-Kerby (Breakfast), Malcolm Jordan (Mornings), Niva Retimanu (Afternoons), Juliette Siverstsen (Evenings/Overnights). Weekend and fill-in newsreaders include Joe Gilfillan, Tim Dower, Bruce Russell, Lucy Walker, Eric Young, Freda Wylie and Josh White. Sports newsreaders include Matt Brown, Rikki Swannell, Andrew Alderson, Brenton Vannissleroy, Guy Heveldt, Andy Rowe and Elliott Smith.


Newstalk ZB News began as Independent Radio News, a news service played on most independently owned and operated radio stations in New Zealand during the 1980s and 1990s. The majority of New Zealand radio stations not owned by Radio New Zealand used this news and sport service usually followed by the station's own local news and weather forecast.

In 1996 Radio New Zealand sold their commercial operation and The Radio Network was formed, at the time The Radio Network purchased IRN. The Radio Network branded the news service on their own stations as Radio Network News while the news service continued to be called IRN on stations not owned by The Radio Network despite the news coming from the same place. Radio New Zealand continued to operate their own news service on Radio New Zealand National and Radio New Zealand Concert, the two non-commercial stations that were not sold.

By 2000 a large number of radio stations had been taken over by RadioWorks, which didn't like the idea of paying for a news service operated by its main competitor and chose to start their own news service. After CanWest purchased RadioWorks the news service became known as the Global News Service (Global is the same name as Television network in Canada operated by CanWest), and in 2005 it was again renamed to Radio Live News.[2] Similarly, IRN News later became Newstalk ZB News.

Affiliate Service[edit]

The Newstalk ZB Affiliates Unit is based in the Auckland newsroom, and records a variety of hourly bulletins for other stations of NZME Radio and sells its bulletins to a number of external clients including Radio 1XX - One Double-X in Whakatane and the Eastern Bay Of Plenty. Lucy Walker presents these bulletins during weekday mornings, with Juliette Sivertsen presenting drivetime bulletins. At all other times the main Newstalk ZB Network newsreader also records the Affiliates bulletins.

On the internet, The Affiliates Unit also provides a continuously-updated wire service of text articles and streaming audio of Newstalk ZB's stories for websites such as XtraMSN, TelstraClear, NZ City and the New Zealand Rugby Union. It also supplies a news wire service to Prime TV, Sky TV, Sky News Australia and TVNZ.

Timesaver Traffic[edit]

Newstalk ZB also operates its own Timesaver Traffic Centre, which produces and records traffic information to all stations of NZME Radio. The centre in Auckland records reports for 6 different areas around the country - Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin. All of NZME Radio's stations in these markets air these reports every 15 minutes during peak times(breakfast & drive), with Newstalk ZB and The Hits airing reports hourly right throughout the day and weekends.

During weekends and public holidays, the Timesaver Traffic Team also record a 30-second "Weatherwatch" forecast for each of TRN's 26 markets across the country. Some markets choose to use these tracks for the local Newstalk ZB forecast, and other stations such as Easy Mix and Radio Sport use these forecasts and network them by satellite to play simultaneously in each market on the station.



While the Newstalk ZB network has a long history on AM, its FM frequency for Newstalk ZB began as 89FM, a local FM radio station in Auckland between 1983 and 1994. The station was originally branded as 89 Stereo FM broadcasting on 89.4FM using the callsign 1ROQ, and was one of the very first radio stations to broadcast on FM in both Auckland and New Zealand. The first FM station in New Zealand was Whakatane station, FM 90.7 in January 1982 but this station was only a temporary summer radio station. The other station to start around the same time as 89FM was Magic 91FM in Auckland.

In 1984 the station became part of Triple M and was rebranded as Triple M 89FM using the same logo and station imaging as the Triple M stations in Australia, all programming remained local, at the same time the stations callsign was changed to 1MMM. In 1988 the station dropped the Triple M branding and became 89FM. Station branding included Auckland's Music Leader and in 1991 The All New 89FM. In 1991 the station changed format to a Rock format was rebranded as 89Rock and in 1992 was once again changed to become 89X. In 1992 the station was sold to Radio New Zealand. On 10 February 1993 Radio New Zealand closed down 89X and used the frequency to broadcast Newstalk ZB on FM.


AM frequencies[edit]

Market Transmitter Frequency (kHz)
Kaitaia Waipapakauri 1026
Kaikohe Ohaeawai 1215
Whangarei Otaika 1026
Auckland Henderson 1080
Waikato Eureka 1296
Tokoroa Wiltsdown 1413
Bay of Plenty Paengaroa 1008
Rotorua Tihiotonga 747
Gisborne Wainui 945
New Plymouth Bell Block 1053
Stratford/Hawera Rotokare 1323
Hawke's Bay Pakowhai 1278
Wanganui Kaitoke 1197
Manawatu Kairanga 0927
Wairarapa Waingawa 0846
Wellington Titahi Bay 1035
Nelson Stoke 1341
Westport Cape Foulwind 1287
Christchurch Ouruhia 1098
Ashburton Winchmore 0873
Timaru Fairview West 1152
Oamaru Weston 1395
Dunedin Highcliff Road 1044
Southland Dacre 0864

FM frequencies[edit]

Market Transmitter Frequency (MHz)
Auckland Sky Tower 89.4
Waikato Ruru 97.0
Bay of Plenty Kopukairua 90.2
Taupo Tuhingamata 96.0
Taranaki Mount Egmont 96.4
Hawke's Bay Mount Threave 90.3
Manawatu Wharite 100.2
Kapiti Coast Forest Heights 89.5
Wellington Kaukau 89.3
Blenheim Cavalier House 92.1
Greymouth Paparoa 103.5
Christchurch Sugarloaf 100.1
Ashburton Somerset House 98.1
Wanaka Mount Maude 90.6
Queenstown Peninsula Hill 89.6
Alexandra Obelisk 95.1


  1. ^ "Cantabs win war with radio station". 
  2. ^ Morris William Shanahan, Karen Neill (2005). The Great New Zealand Radio Experiment. p. 175. ISBN 0170124800. Retrieved 2008-01-08.