Radio Nelson was a radio station in Nelson. The station was first started in 1932 broadcasting on 1340AM with the callsign 2ZR. The station changed call signs to 2YN followed by 2XN and finally 2ZN. In 1978 the AM band in New Zealand was adjusted from 10 kHz to 9 kHz, as a result 2ZN moved to 1341AM. The station became known as Radio Nelson in the 1980s and in 1985 began broadcasting in Takaka on 1269AM with the call sign 2ZT. Radio Nelson began broadcasting on 89.8FM in 1992 (around the same time as opposition station Fifeshire FM) as well as on the existing AM frequencies. In 1993 Radio Nelson was rebranded as Classic Hits 90FM when the station became part of Radio New Zealand's new Classic Hits brand. During the mid-nineties the 1341AM frequency was used to broadcast specialty programming such as talk back before the frequency was eventually used to launch Newstalk ZB into the Nelson region. Classic Hits began broadcasting on 90.4FM in the greater Tasman Bay and Golden Bay areas.
In 1996 the station was sold to The Radio Network after Radio New Zealand sold their commercial operation including all stations part of Classic Hits. Programming on the station was then reduced to 4 hours a day of local programming from 1999 onwards; like all other Classic Hits branded stations, programming outside of breakfast originates from the Classic Hits Auckland studios.
In 2002 the station was renamed to Classic Hits 89.8 & 90.4 and Classic Hits 89.8 in 2006 after the station began broadcasting only on 89.8FM.
In 2006 Radio Hauraki was introduced on the 90.4FM frequency which at the time was occupied by Classic Hits, leaving Classic Hits to then broadcast only on 89.8FM.
Radio Nelson Limited was struck off the New Zealand Companies Office Register in 2008.
In 2010 the government realigned radio frequencies in New Zealand, which altered all FM station frequencies for both The Radio Network and Mediaworks. As a result Classic Hits 90FM moved from 89.8FM to 89.6FM. All AM frequencies remained unchanged.
In 2012, an application was made to the Companies office to register Radio Nelson as a newly incorporated company, by former Radio Network employee, Murray Leaning. This company was registered but struck off in 2013. Negotiations were apparently underway between a group of local investors and the owners of a radio frequency in the district, with a view to Radio Nelson recommencing broadcasts as a private radio station in 2014 however this did not eventuate.
On April 28, 2014 all stations part of the Classic Hits network were rebranded as The Hits. A networked breakfast presented by Pauline Gillespie and Grant Kareama was introduced to almost all The Hits stations with the former breakfast announcer moved to present a 6 hour show between 9am and 3pm. The local 9am-3pm show is presented by Emma Helleur.
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