Coast (New Zealand)
|Broadcast area||12 markets in New Zealand|
|Format||60-80's Hit Music|
Coast is a New Zealand radio network playing a mix of easy listening, pop and R&B music from the late 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and more recent years. The network includes 17 stations in major cities and provincial centres from studios in central Auckland, owned and operated by New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME). Its programming includes a live network breakfast programme with Bay of Plenty identity Brian Kelly.
The Coast network reaches an estimated 189,000 listeners each week - many of them baby boomers and the parents of adult children. Its format is smooth, with short hourly news bulletins, succinct voice breaks, minimal ad breaks and limited clutter. Its target listener is 40 to 64 years old, has reached their highest-earning potential, owns their own home and spends disposable income on luxury items and travel. The audience is almost equally male and female, with a 52% female skew.
The current Coast format was launched in 2004, and includes music from the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Smokey Robinson, Joe Cocker, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and Elton John. Other unrelated stations also carry the Coast name, including the independently and operated Coast FM network based at Westport on New Zealand's South Island West Coast. Coast Access FM, a community radio station, broadcasts to the Kapiti Coast and Horowhenua.
Coast originally started in Hawke's Bay in 2002, as a local station. The history of this station dates back to 1995 as The Wireless Station broadcasting on 1530 AM and playing music from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The Wireless Station was started/operated by The Wireless Station Ltd for three years from November 1995 and was then leased or sold to Hawke's Bay Media Group in 1998 and re-branded as Goodtime Gold, playing music from the 1960s and 1970s. In 1999 it was renamed simply Gold 1530.
Gold 1530 was leased (or sold) to The Radio Network in 2000 and was rebranded as Jammin' Oldies 1530 AM or JO 1530 in June 2000. In 2002 the station became the very first station under the Coast brand name and in 2004 Coast began producing their programme from Auckland networked back to Hawke's Bay on 1530 AM (then on 1584 AM from 2011), and later to the rest of New Zealand.
The final rebranding of the station was to the current name Coast 1530. In 2004 the station became voice tracked from Auckland in preparation for its launch in the Auckland market on 26 April 2004. The network expanded beyond Auckland and Hawkes Bay to other markets later in the year.
The network rose to third place in the Auckland radio survey ratings in 2006, just two years after it began. Then programme director Mike Regal credited the station's success to serving the baby boomer gap in the market that had previously been ignored by marketers, advertisers and media companies. He said the station was a fine balancing act between being neither a station for the young or a station for seniors. "We don't want to be too cool and hip with it and risk alienating people, but on the other side we didn't want to sound too old either," he told the New Zealand Herald.
Classic album tracks from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dusty Springfield have been a cornerstone of the network's playlist. Regal said tracks might have seemed "daggy" to some people, but they were songs people over 30 years old would know, recognise and sing at a karaoke bar.
In 2011 the original 1530AM frequency leased by The Radio Network and used to start the first Coast Station in Hawke's Bay was returned to its original owners. Coast moved to 1584AM in Hawke's Bay and currently 1530AM is being used to once again broadcast The Wireless Station, with a format of music from the 1930s to the 1970s.
In a radio survey in late 2014, Coast recorded more than 105,000 listeners in Auckland each week and a 7.8 percent market share, putting it on the top six highest-rating radio stations in the highly competitive Auckland radio market. The network has been even more successful in the Bay of Plenty, maintaining a number one ratings spot, with 23 thousand listeners and 15 percent market share, since breakfast host Brian Kelly moved from local station Classic Hits in 2011.
Coast's breakfast programme is hosted by long-time Tauranga broadcaster Brian Kelly, the former host of the Bay of Plenty's Classic Hits breakfast programme. Kelly has been with what is now New Zealand Media and Entertainment since 1970, having worked as a programme trainee and sports broadcasting before hosting the local breakfast show for 33 years. He continues to live in the region, where he remains well known for his support of motorsport and his commentaries and Bay of Plenty Times columns on locals issues.
The breakfast host since the station's foundation, well-known veteran announcer Mike Oliver, left in early 2011 before passing away from illness in 2014. Oliver had previously worked as a host on Radio Liberty and a voice over artist on Prime TV.
All Coast stations take the same networked programme from Auckland, with Auckland taking local voice-breaks. For a period, Hawera had its own local breakfast show called The 1557 Breakfast. This show was originally aired on Newstalk ZB in the Hawera region when Newstalk ZB used the 1557 AM frequency. After Newstalk ZB in Hawera changed to frequency 1278 AM, the show was dropped and replaced with the Auckland-based programme, but it was later picked up by Coast. The 1557 AM frequency in Hawera has since been reassigned to Hokonui.
Lorna Subritzky has hosted the weekday timeslot on Coast since 2015. The former Easy Mix breakfast host also serves as a traffic presenter for Newstalk ZB  During more than 25 years in the media industry, she has appeared on Shortland Street and Interrogation and a host of advertisements and advertorials like Family Health Diary. Founding daytime host Jacqui Taite left the station at the end of 2011. Gael Ludlow filled the role in 2012 and Murray Lindsay hosted in 2013. During 2014, the station ran with an automated morning show and an afternoon show hosted by Nik Brown.
Drive, the afternoon show on Coast, is currently hosted by Murray Lindsay, formerly the long-running day time host of Classic Hits. Drive was hosted by Rick Morin until 2012. During 2013 Southland radio identity John "Boggy" McDowell hosted the drive show after a 33-year stint as host of Southland's Classic Hits 4ZA since 1979. The move had been prompted by a desire for more leisurely mornings and the chance to broadcast to a national audience. He told The Southland Times certain things had "fallen into place that made it a perfect time to move to a new time slot". However, despite dropping his Southland nickname "Boggy", McDowell was moved to Gore's Hokonui radio station in 2014, swapping places with Nik Brown.
Rick Morin hosts Coast's Night Show between 7pm - 11pm. Before 2013 the night programme was automated. Brian Kelly hosts Saturday mornings, Murray Lindsay hosts Saturday afternoons, and Saturday Night Fever plays automated on Saturday night. Jon Dunstan hosts Sunday mornings. That's the Story with Ronnie Mackie previously aired from 7am to 8am on Sunday mornings. Overnight and during weekend nights the station is automated.
Coast's station group has expanded rapidly since its Auckland launch in 2004. It was initially introduced in coastal markets before being introduced provincial inland markets like Rotorua in 2008.
Coast has news, sports, traffic and weather bulletins at the start of every hour, followed by music, comments from the announcers on the music being played and issues of the day, and ad breaks of no more than 60 seconds each.
During breakfast Coast has half-hourly news and sports updates and quarter-hourly news teasers. During weekdays there are hourly news and sports updates and local weather read out by announcers. Business news airs at 6.30, 12.30 and 5.30, and traffic updates air regularly during the day. During weekend days, there are hourly news and sports updates and pre-recorded regional weather forecasts.
Coast regularly runs competitions giving away CDs, books, holidays and gardening equipment. It has also given away travel, accommodation and tickets for concerts in New Zealand and Australia for bands like Sol3 Mio and The Eagles.
The Coast website features a music survey, music quiz, events guide and charity guide. There are also recipes and editorial content on travel, technology, health, fashion, home improvement, music, money, motoring, real estate and safety. The site receives nearly 2000 unique browser views each day, and the network's Auckland stream is also available on the iHeartRadio website and app.
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