The Rock (radio station)

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The Rock
The Rock FM New Zealand logo.svg
Broadcast area New Zealand
Branding The Rock
Slogan "We play rock..."
Frequency Various
First air date 1992
Format Music (Rock)
Class Terrestrial/Internet
Owner MediaWorks New Zealand
Webcast [1]

The Rock is a New Zealand rock music radio station. The station is known to broadcast material of a controversial nature, and has in the past had some issues with the Broadcasting Standards Authority with a number of complaints upheld against it. The station is targeted exclusively towards males aged 18–35, but in spite of this also has a significant female fan base. It plays a broad range of rock music, from old favourites right through to newly released rock singles, and commits a notable amount of airtime to showcasing up-and-coming New Zealand rock acts.

The Rock's major competitors are Radio Hauraki, ZM and The Hits. The Rock have a number of weekly features and countdowns which distinguish it from other radio stations, including The Rock 1000, in which the biggest 1000 rock songs in history are voted on and counted down annually; and previously "Wind Up Your Wife Wednesday", during which afternoon announcers Robert and Jono conducted prank calls with the aim of annoying or enraging a nominated 'target'.


The Rock began on 1 December 1991 in Hamilton as The Rock 93FM by Grant Hislop, Joe Dennehy and Martin Dempster trading as Nevada Resources Ltd. The original line-up included Chris Clarke on breakfast (replaced by Mark Bunting after 2 months) and Roger Farrelly on Drive. Originally, The Rock 93FM was based in the basement of Radio New Zealand Broadcasting House in Hamilton, this headquarters was the studios for ZHFM. The transmitter was originally located on the top of Waikato Hospital. In 1993 The Rock moved to their new premises at 564 Victoria Street in Hamilton

Grant purchased a collection of FM frequencies from the Christian Broadcasting Association and transferred them to Nevada. Using the first of these frequencies a local version of The Rock was started in Taranaki in 1993, this station was originally broadcast on 100FM but after Nevada Resources Ltd and Energy Enterprises merged, The Rock in Taranaki moved to 95.6FM. A third The Rock station was started in the Bay of Plenty in 1996 with local programming. In 1997 The Rock created a regional network by replacing the Taranaki and Bay of Plenty stations with the Hamilton based The Rock station and also networked into Rotorua.[1]

Nationwide expansion[edit]

In 1998 The Rock began networking to other regions in the North Island. In 1999 The Rock relocated their studios to Auckland and began broadcasting there, later that year Energy Enterprises and Radio Otago merged to form RadioWorks and as a result the station was networked into the South Island. In Christchurch, Radio Otago had already been operating their own rock station called C93FM and this station was networked to Dunedin and Invercargill, C93FM actually played a Classic rock format similar to Radio Hauraki. RadioWorks replaced C93FM in Dunedin and Invercargill with The Rock and kept C93FM operating in Christchurch but changed its format to Adult Contemporary and launched The Rock on a separate frequency. C93 no longer operates as the station failed to attract new listeners after the format change. Today The Rock broadcasts in almost every market in New Zealand.[2]

The only remaining original members of The Rock crew are Rog, Tracey Donaldson and Paul Martin aka The Axeman. Tracey started at The Rock in 1991 and left for her Overseas Experience in 1996 but returned to The Rock in 2003. The Axeman is the longest-serving member of The Rock, having been with it soon since early 1992, hosting his show "The Axe Attack" every Sunday night. Other DJs to have left include Greenman, who went on his OE to the UK, Beachy (Christopher Beach) who moved into sales, and Julie Mofett, who now works at Radio New Zealand[[3][4]


The Morning Rumble[edit]

The current morning radio show is known as The Morning Rumble, the member of which are currently Roger Farrelly (Rog), Leah Panapa and Bryce Casey. The show is aired weekday mornings between 5:30am and 9am. Rog is the longest-serving member of The Rumble, having been a co-host on the show since its inception alongside Nick Trott. Trott left the show in 2006, when he moved back to his home town of Hamilton in Waikato to work on the morning show on More FM. Leah Panapa also began working on the show in its early years, reading the news. Simon Doull also spent several years as a co-host, reading the sports news.

Until 2011, Paul Ego was part of the show, and initially worked as the show's producer, and in addition to his duties on The Morning Rumble is an accomplished comedian, who fronts comedy TV show 7 Days. Paul left in March 2011, replaced by host of Prime TV's The Crowd Goes Wild, Andrew Mulligan. Bryce has attempted to break two world records during his tenure on the show, his most notable attempt being to break the record for the longest time ten-pin bowling continuously. He fell short by only a few hours.[5]


Former host Simon Doull.

Roger, or Rog as he's known, joined the Morning Rumble in 1994 when The Rock was still broadcast from Hamilton and has been there since. Prior to that he had worked during the afternoon shift also at The Rock. Rog serves as a 'leader' of sorts for the Morning Rumble crew, and his ongoing banter and power struggles with Bryce provide a lot of the show's entertainment. Leah Panapa reads the news, while Bryce is the youngest member of the show. The current producer of the show is Jeremy Pickford.

Paul Ego previously hosted as the older, more mature member of the show, and is also a well-known comedian within comedy circles in New Zealand. He also fronts TV comedy show '7 Days'. Nick Trottco-hosted the show with Rog for 14 years, in Hamilton and Auckland, but returned to Hamilton in 2006 and worked on morefm before being restructured out by 'manager of the year'. Simon Doull, an ex-New Zealander cricketer, was with The Morning Rumble from 2003 as a sports reader and became a co-host in 2004, but left due to cricket commentary commitments. Special Jimmy (real name Jimmy Pattillo) has also been part of the show.[6]


On Fridays during The Morning Rumble, a section of the show was called 'Do Stuff To Jono Fridays'. This formed a large part of the entertainment value of the station and one of the early distinguishing features of The Rock. Nick & Rog would think up stunts to do to fellow Rock Jock, Jono. Some of the stunts were 'The Human Slushy', 'The Pyramid of Fire', 'Human Coleslaw', 'Sleigh of Fire', 'The Skater Ramp of Doom', a full body wax, and giving Jono a tattoo on his bottom but not telling him that it was a love heart with Nick and Rog's names.[7]

In 2006 when Jono got his own slot with Robert on weekday afternoons, the show then became "Do Stuff To Jimmy". Stunts included putting electrodes on his nipples, and other assorted painful and humiliating acts. Jimmy is no longer working at The Rock, and there is currently no 'Do Stuff' segment. A one-off 'Final Ever Do Stuff To Jono' stunt was planned and executed in September 2009, during which Jono performed a 'Mega Stunt' - riding a BMX bike down a steep slope, through pyrotechnics and a pane of glass, and finally scaling a ramp to jump over a parked ute.[8]

"The Rock" organized a "win a wife" competition in early 2011. The winner would travel to Ukraine to meet a girl via the "Endless Love" dating agency. In response the Ukrainian group Femen organized a topless protest against this competition (in March 2011). A Femen activist advised: "Femen warns the 'lucky' winner of the New Zealand competition that he can expect an unhappy ending in Ukraine".[9][10]


Tracey Donaldson takes over on-air from 9:00am – 3:00pm, fronting the 'Workday' show which is mainly request-based. Tracey performs the majority of the music interviews the station manages to procure, and these are usually played during her show.

Jono and Ben Drive[edit]

Since April 2014, Jono and Ben has been The Rock's drive show in the 3:00pm – 7:00pm slot. The show is hosted by Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce and is an extension of the satirical news and entertainment show they currently host on TV3 on Friday nights at 10pm. Jono Pryor has been hosting the show with long-running drive host Robert Taylor since 2006 and was previously the host of The Jono Project from 2008-2011. Ben Boyce was one half of the popular long running series Pulp Sport, previously appeared in a Pulp Sport show on The Rock and briefly hosted his own TV series, WANNA-BEn.[11][12][13][14]

Other times[edit]

Mike Garvey hosts Rock Nights from 7:00pm – 12:00am. From 10pm - 12am Mike hands the playlist over to the listeners and nothing but requests air for The Takeover. There is then a 12am - 5:30am dawn show which is sometimes hosted by a slew of Rock staff, including Dan Webby. Saturday nights are an ad and announcer free all request party show from 8pm til 1am. Previous hosts, self-styled as "Rock Jocks", including Christopher Beach (Beachy), Greenman, Julie Moffet, Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce (Bill and Ben), and Jason Mac.

The Axe Attack[edit]

The Axe Attack
Genre Heavy Metal
Running time 180 minutes
Starring Paul 'The Axeman' Martin (1987 - present)
Johnny Brookes (1987)
Creator(s) Max Christoffersen
Writer(s) Paul 'The Axeman' Martin
Recording studio Hamilton, New Zealand
Air dates since 1987
Website Official website

Paul Martin hosts his own show called The Axe Attack on Sunday nights from 8pm. Paul is one of The Rock's longest-serving DJs, presenting, programming and producing his hugely successful weekly metal show The Axe Attack on The Rock since 1992. He is one of NZ's staunchest ambassadors of Kiwi music (no less than 25% per show). The show includes no less than 25% New Zealand music.

The Axe Attack was first conceived in July 1986 by Max Christoffersen. By Feb 1987 it was on air Tuesday evenings on Hamilton station Contact 89FM hosted by Paul Martin and Johnny Brookes. In August 1987 Johnny left and from then till this day, Paul has been hosting the Axe Attack solo. For three years running the Axe Attack was voted most popular show on the station. In early July 1992, Paul approached the new radio station in Hamilton, Rock 93FM. Programme Director Grant Hislop was more than enthusiastic to have the Axe Attack on air. The Tuesday night two-hour spot was agreed upon as being crucial the shows success and Paul Martin and the Axe Attack became a professional entity on Rock 93FM Tuesday 14 July 1992.[15]

Music variety[edit]

The show is primarily hard rock and heavy metal, although does touch on grunge, thrash, soft metal, speed metal, progressive metal, industrial, classic and contemporary hard rock/metal. Emphasis is given to NZ acts (no less than 25%), new releases, rare and collectable music, listeners requests and current touring acts. Paul has interviewed members of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Suicidal Tendencies, Van Halen, Filter, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Judas Priest, Sepultura, Kittie, Pantera, The Tea Party, Yngwie Malmsteen, KoЯn, Deftones, Clutch, Slayer, Slipknot, Steve Vai, Lita Ford and Rob Halford.

The policy of the Axe Attack is to promote interest in the hard rock/heavy metal music genre. It aims to: feature new and exciting local and overseas releases; keep people informed and up to date with news, releases and goings on in the rock world; give NZ artists equal status to international acts, and foster a genuine interest and faith in local music; promote interest and stimulation for the live rock scene; culture a healthier profile and a better understanding of an immensely popular genre of music that is largely being ignored by the New Zealand music industry as a whole and especially the New Zealand Radio industry; and cater to a large body of the market that are currently not catered for.[16]

The Rock 1000[edit]

The Rock 1000 is an annual]chart show, counting down the 1000 biggest rock songs ever. The show is created a variety of DJs. The chart order, including which bands and songs feature on the countdown, are determined by listeners via a voting system on the station's official web site. The countdown typically runs on weekdays over a two-week period and is broadcast nationwide throughout New Zealand. The number one song for The Rock 1000 in 2011 and 2012 was "One" by Metallica.[17]

Past winners[edit]


North Island frequencies[edit]

Market Location Frequency
Northland Whangarei FM 90
Auckland Rodney FM 104.9
Auckland Auckland FM 90.2
Coromandel Mercury Bay FM 105.5
Bay of Plenty Tauranga FM 94.2
Waikato Hamilton FM 93
Rotorua Rotorua FM 92.7
Taupo Taupo FM 94.4
Gisborne Gisborne FM 94.1
Hawke's Bay Wairoa 94.1 FM
Hawke's Bay Napier FM 95.1
Taranaki New Plymouth FM 95.6
Whanganui Wanganui FM 95.2
Manawatu Palmerston North FM 95.4
Wairarapa Masterton FM 95.1
Kapiti Paraparaumu FM 91.9
Wellington Wellington FM 96.5

South Island frequencies[edit]

Market Location Frequency
Nelson Nelson FM 94.4
Marlborough Blenheim FM 91.3
Canterbury Christchurch FM 93.7
Ashburton Ashburton FM 97.3
South Canterbury Timaru FM 91.5
North Otago Oamaru FM 104.8
Central Otago Alexandra FM 98.3
Queenstown Wanaka FM 89.8
Queenstown Wanaka FM 93.0
Queenstown Queenstown FM 100
Dunedin Dunedin FM 93.4
Southland Invercargill FM 90.8


External links[edit]