The Breeze (New Zealand)

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This article is about the New Zealand radio stations. For the former southern England radio stations, see The Breeze (radio station).
The Breeze
The Breeze NZ radiostation logo.svg
Broadcast area 18 Markets in New Zealand
Branding The Breeze
Slogan More Music, Less Talk
First air date 1993
Format Music (Adult Contemporary)
Class Terrestrial/Internet
Owner MediaWorks New Zealand
Webcast Auckland
Christchurch
Waikato
Wellington
Website www.thebreeze.co.nz

The Breeze is a group of New Zealand adult contemporary radio stations owned by RadioWorks, a MediaWorks New Zealand company. The Breeze plays music from the 1960s to the present day, aimed at a 35–54 year old female audience.[1] There are 18 stations currently broadcasting throughout New Zealand, with each station presenting a mixture of local and network shows.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The station first started in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington in 1993 when then owner Independent Broadcasting Company rebranded local stations 91FM (Auckland), Kiwi 898FM (Waikato) and Windy FM (Wellington) to The Breeze. The Auckland and Waikato stations previously played a Hit Music format and were changed to a Hot AC format using the slogan "Not Too Heavy, Not Too Soft". Wellington was different where Windy FM had been playing Classic Rock prior to rebranding and changed to the Easy Listening format that would be used on future The Breeze stations. All three The Breeze stations operated separately from each with local shows in each market.

Change of ownership[edit]

In 1995 The Breeze in Wellington was sold to the MORE FM Group and in 1996 the parent company of The Breeze in Auckland and Waikato was sold to Prospect Limited. Prospect Limited was then at the end of 1996 sold to The Radio Network. In 1997 The Radio Network closed down The Breeze in Auckland and Waikato and used these frequencies to start 91ZM in Auckland and 89.8ZM in Waikato. For Auckland this was a return of ZM as the station had been absent from the Auckland market since 1987.

The Breeze continued to broadcast in Wellington after the Auckland and Waikato stations closed down, by 2000 the station was now owned by CanWest along with MORE FM and Channel Z, CanWest then purchased RadioWorks and in 2001 The Breeze became part of RadioWorks collection of local once off station known as LocalWorks. RadioWorks later became known as MediaWorks Radio.

Expansion to other markets[edit]

The Breeze made a return to Waikato in 2003 when local station Y 99.3 was rebranded as The Breeze retaining Y 99.3 local announcers but changing music format from Adult Contemporary to the Easy Listening format used on The Breeze in Wellington. In 2004 MediaWorks decided to nationalize their local stations in each market, in regions where MediaWorks operated just one local radio station the station was rebranded as MORE FM and if a second local station was operating in the region that station became The Breeze.

Networking[edit]

Originally all The Breeze stations were local 24x7 with the exception of Dunedin which was local during the daytime but took the Christchurch breakfast show and Christchurch night show. In 2006 The Breeze was started in the Auckland market as a completely new station, establishing a presence in Auckland allowed MediaWorks to later network The Breeze to other markets. In April 2007 Dunedin and Palmerston North were the first 2 regions to replace local programming with network programming, for both markets programming was reduced to a local breakfast only, Queenstown also took a network night show and Waikato took a network daytime show. Creating a network allowed The Breeze to then launch in other markets such as Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty and Southland. For most regions where The Breeze launched after 2007 the breakfast show was local but not a live show instead a pre-recorded show featuring mostly music and very little talk from the announcer and in most cases actually presented by the RadioWorks Programme Director for that region.

In March 2009 a live networked breakfast show was introduced the show was presented from a second studio in Auckland separate from the main The Breeze studios as Auckland continued to present their own local breakfast exclusive to Auckland, this show first presented by Pete Ashdown and later Tony Murrell. The networked breakfast could only be heard in regions that previously had a local voice tracked breakfast show, regions with a live breakfast show were not affected. In 2010 the networked breakfast was replaced with the Auckland breakfast show presented by The Two Robbies.

Local programming was further reduced from 2009 with local night shows removed from Christchurch and Wellington, local shows outside breakfast removed from Waikato and Queenstown losing all local programming after swapping frequencies with MORE FM in Queenstown.

Format change[edit]

Traditionally known as an Easy Listening radio station, The Breeze dropped this dated title in 2011 in line with many other stations globally.

Stations[edit]

Network[edit]

City/Town Frequencies
Auckland 93.4 MHz
Waikato 99.4 MHz
Tauranga 95.8 MHz
Mercury Bay 96.6 MHz
Rotorua 91.9 MHz
Taupo 100.8 MHz
Hawke's Bay 97.5 MHz
Taranaki 92.4 MHz
Manawatu 98.6 MHz
Wairarapa 99.9 MHz
Kapiti Coast 100.7 MHz
Wellington 94.1 MHz & 98.5 MHz, 891 kHz
Nelson 97.6 MHz
Marlborough 89.7 MHz (Blenheim)
98.7 MHz (Picton)
97.1 MHz (Kaikoura)
Christchurch 94.5 MHz
Dunedin 98.2 MHz
Queenstown 99.2 MHz (Queenstown)
96.8 MHz (Wanaka)
Central Otago 96.7 MHz
Southland 91.6 MHz

Wellington and Christchurch are currently local from 6am until 6 pm at the weekends, while Waikato's local weekend programming runs from 6am-midday. While most content in Dunedin was originally networked from Christchurch today this is networked from Auckland.

Auckland[edit]

Launched on 12 June 2006 on the former Solid Gold FM frequency with Solid Gold moving to 93.8 MHz. The Auckland station was to replace the struggling Kiwi FM, Canwest's 100% NZ Music Station. However, the New Zealand Government has stepped in to give Kiwi FM another chance. With Kiwi FM given another frequency The Breeze launch was unaffected. The Auckland studio is where network shows are produced from announcers produce a local show for Auckland, with voice breaks tailored to the Auckland audience, and separate voice breaks for those regions joined to The Breeze network.

Waikato[edit]

This station was originally Waikato's Y99.3 playing an Adult Contemporary Music Format. The station was changed to an Easy Listening format and relaunched as The Breeze in April 2003, this was the very first station to be rebranded as The Breeze. The Breakfast show originally started at 5am with 'The Farming Hour', however in mid-2012 this feature was disestablished. The breakfast show now starts at 5:30am. Originally all shows on this station were live and local but in April 2007 the local daytime show was replaced with a networked show and in August 2009 all other weekday shows except breakfast were replaced with networked shows. Weekend programming initially remained unaffected with the Waikato station continuing to run local shows from 6am to midnight on Saturday's and Sunday. This local programming was reduced from the end of 2010. In April 2014 an announcement was made that MediaWorks had hired Mark Bunting to work on the breakfast show, at the time Bunting was doing the breakfast show on Classic Hits Waikato. [2] Bunting did not start on the breakfast show until 2015 however. At the same time The Breeze Waikato reintroduced a local drive show with previous breakfast announcer Ronny Phillips filling this position.

Mercury Bay[edit]

The Breeze broadcasts in Mercury Bay on 96.7 MHz and is also available in Pauanui/Tairua on 90.3 MHz and Whangamata on 99.5 MHz.

The station was originally with the last local presenter on the station being breakfast presenter Mike Bain. A decision to extend the coverage of the Coromandel Breeze, seen the closure of the Mercury Bay studio. Mike Bain can now be found based at Mediaworks Coromandel based in Thames as Programme Director for Coromandel FM and has oversight of the companies network products operation, The Breeze and The Rock

Tauranga[edit]

The Breeze launched in Tauranga around September 2007 on 96.1 MHz, a frequency previously used by Radio Pacific, (now 873 kHz), then by Radio Live, (now 1107 kHz).

Rotorua[edit]

The Breeze launched in Rotorua in 2008 broadcasting temporarily on 96.7 MHz. Previously 96.7 MHz had been used to broadcast Mai FM into Rotorua, RadioWorks purchased Mai FM in March 2008 and replaced Mai FM with The Breeze. However, when The Radio Network purchased the 96.7 MHz frequency in July, it switched frequency to 91.9 MHz, formerly used by Radio Live. Before switching to the Network Breakfast Show with The 2 Robbies, Rotorua broadcast a pre-recorded breakfast show (with little talk and more music).

Hawke's Bay[edit]

Commenced broadcasting 6 August 2007, on 97.5 MHz, the frequency previously used by Radio Pacific (now 549 kHz), then by Radio Live (now 1368 kHz). The station originally generated its own pre-recorded local morning show before switching to the Network Breakfast Show with The 2 Robbies in 2009.

Taranaki[edit]

The Breeze originally launched in Taranaki in February 2008 broadcasting on 100.4 MHz, a frequency not previously used by any other station, however after less than six months on the air this frequency was taken over by student station The Most FM. The Breeze was relaunched on 92.3 MHz, a frequency that ironically was previously occupied by The Most FM. Before switching to a live networked breakfast in March 2009, a local pre-recorded breakfast show was produced.

Manawatu[edit]

This station was originally Manawatu's Magic 98.6 MHz. It was relaunched as The Breeze in 2004 when RadioWorks rebranded all their Easy Listening stations as The Breeze. In May 2007, locally generated programs outside of breakfast were replaced with a network program from Auckland.

Wairarapa[edit]

The Breeze began transmission across the Wairarapa from the Popoiti transmitter southeast of Greytown and northeast of Martinborough in March 2010. It originally broadcast on 99.8 MHz, a frequency which had been previously been used by More FM Wairarapa's Martinborough infill (which moved to 105.5 MHz). In October 2010, the frequency was altered slightly to 99.9 MHz as part of the nationwide realignment of FM frequencies.

Kapiti Coast[edit]

The Breeze began transmission across the Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua regions in late 2004. This occurred when RadioWorks replaced all of their local stations with the More FM brand. Subsequently, local station 90.2 2XX FM was rebranded as More FM, however as there was already a local More FM station in existence on 99.6 MHz, that frequency became The Breeze 99.6. The Breeze in Kapiti is a relay of the Wellington programme with locally generated commercial breaks.

Wellington[edit]

Wellington is the home of the very first The Breeze radio station under the Easy Listening format. The history of this station dates back to the 1970s as Radio Windy and later Windy FM when the station switched to FM. Radio Windy changed formats several times from Easy Listening to Adult Contemporary to Classic Rock before changing back to Easy Listening when the station became The Breeze in 1993. The format of The Breeze in Wellington was then rolled out to other stations in 2003 and 2004, however The Breeze in Wellington was not networked to any other station at that time. The Breeze in Wellington was previously local 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but now the night show is the Auckland based network night show.

Nelson[edit]

The Breeze launched in Nelson in March 2008 broadcasting on 97.8 MHz. Previously this frequency was used to broadcast Radio Pacific and more recently BSport, however these stations actually broadcast on 97.6 MHz, and now broadcast on 990 kHz. The Breeze is now on its old Radio Pacific frequency 97.6 MHz.

Marlborough[edit]

In January 2008 RadioWorks purchased Malborough Media, which operated two local stations Sounds FM and Easy FM. Later in 2008 Easy FM was rebranded as The Breeze broadcasting on 96.1 MHz.

Christchurch[edit]

This station was originally Canterbury's Lite 94.5 FM. It was relaunched as The Breeze in 2004 when RadioWorks rebranded all their Easy Listening stations. Programming on this station was local 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when the Night Show was replaced with the Auckland based Night show.

Dunedin[edit]

The Breeze began in Dunedin at 7 pm on 3 December 2004 a week after the frequency's former 98 More FM switched to 97.4 MHz. Initially the program was a simulcast of The Breeze Christchurch, with the only local content the commercials. In May 2005 9 am till 7 pm weekdays and 6 am–1 pm weekends were presented locally with the evening and breakfast shows still being fed from Christchurch. In April 2007 Tracy Chambers (the daytime announcer) was moved to the breakfast show to present a local breakfast show and all other shows were replaced with the Auckland based network shows. Breakfast in Dunedin was not live but voice tracked, this show was later presented by Anita Cumming before being dropped in March 2009 when The Breeze began their networked breakfast show.

Queenstown[edit]

Radioworks purchased Queenstown radio station Q92FM in March 2006 and later rebranded the station as Q92 The Breeze. Originally Q92FM played Adult Contemporary Music but was changed to the Easy Listening format used by The Breeze when the station was rebranded. Q92 The Breeze could also be heard in Wanaka on 96.8 MHz and previously in Central Otago (however Central Otago now takes the networked The Breeze). Programming was originally local 24 hours a day 7 days a week but in 2007 the Night show was replaced with a networked show and in September 2009 the local Drive show was axed. In late 2009 the station traded places on the FM dial with 99.2 More FM with the More FM station becoming Q92 99.4 More FM (the 99.4 MHz frequency is for Wanaka). At the same time the local breakfast show that was on The Breeze in Queenstown was moved to More FM with The Breeze in Queenstown now running networked shows at all times.

Central Otago[edit]

The Breeze began broadcasting in Central Otago in 2007 originally this station was a relay of the Queenstown programme with Queenstown advertising. In 2009 this was replaced with the Auckland based network feed with local Central Otago advertisting.

Southland[edit]

The Breeze launched in Southland at 11 pm on Sunday 28 October 2007 on 91.6 MHz, a frequency previously used by Radio Pacific. Radio Pacific was rebranded as BSport the following morning and in Southland moved to 1224 kHz. For a short time, Bruce Stewart hosted a local pre-recorded breakfast show between 6 am–10 am was broadcast, but was later dropped in favour of a breakfast show networked from Auckland, hosted by The 2 Robbies. For a while afterwards, Bruce Stewart could be heard on Southland's 89.2 MoreFM as the Workday Host, but now that role has since been replaced and he is now working as a fill-in, on top of his current role as General Manager/Programme Director for RadioWorks Southland.

References[edit]

External links[edit]