The Sound (New Zealand)

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The Sound
The Sound (New Zealand Radio Station) Logo.jpg
Broadcast area New Zealand
Branding The Sound
Slogan "The Soundtrack of our Lives"
Frequency see frequencies
First air date 1 January 2012 at 9am
Format Classic rock - 60s/70s/80s
Class Terrestrial
Owner MediaWorks New Zealand
Webcast Online streaming
Website Official website

The Sound (formerly known as Solid Gold FM) is a New Zealand radio network owned by MediaWorks New Zealand. It features "the greatest music of all time" from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The station has a classic rock format. Solid Gold began broadcasting in late 1997. It was rebranded as The Sound on 1 January 2012. The station appeals to an older market than most popular and rock music stations in New Zealand.


Early years[edit]

Solid Gold FM started in Auckland on 13 October 1997 broadcasting on 93.4FM. Previously this frequency was used to broadcast Kool 93, a station that played a similar format to Solid Gold. After The Radio Network purchased Kool 93's parent company, Prospect Media Ltd, the Commerce Commission ruled that The Radio Network had to sell or dispose of some of their Auckland frequencies as a condition of the sale, and as a result they closed Kool 93, with the frequency going to Energy Enterprises.

For several months during 1997, 93.4FM was used to play temporary programme advising listeners of the launch of a new station coming soon. Solid Gold's original line up was Blackie for Breakfast, Adam "Boom Boom" Butler (10 am - 2 pm), Big Tony Amos (2 pm - 7 pm) and Brian Staff (7 pm - midnight). Following the launch in Auckland, Energy Enterprises (which later became RadioWorks) rolled the station out across New Zealand as they were able to secure frequencies in each market. In some markets local stations were closed down and replaced with Solid Gold, as there were markets where RadioWorks had taken over more than one local station. Today Solid Gold is heard in 25 markets across New Zealand.

Departure of Kevin Black[edit]

During the station's early days the playlist featured mostly music from the 1950s and 1960s. Music from the 1950s was dropped in the early 2000s, with the station focusing on 1960s and 1970s music for most of the decade. The station has run several promotions sending listeners overseas, for example, to see Bruce Springsteen, to Graceland, 10 friends to Fiji, 10 friends to the Gold Coast, the 1000 Greatest Hits of the 60s and 70s countdown and more.

In 2009, long-term Breakfast host Kevin Black retired, and Blackie's Big Breakfast (featuring Alan (AJ) Whetton and David Burke-Kennedy) was replaced by Muzza in the Morning, with host Murray Inglis. A former breakfast host on Auckland's Radio Hauraki, Black was once the highest-paid private radio DJ in New Zealand.[1][2] His 12-year spell with Solid Gold between 1997 and 2009 was his last on-air role until he died in 2013, just short of his 70th birthday.[1]

The Sound[edit]

Murray Inglis left the breakfast show in late 2010 and was replaced by Mark McCarron. From 25 December 2010 the station changed their positioning statement to "The Greatest Hits of all time", meaning they were no longer restricted to just 1960s and 1970s music. Daytime announcer Macca had his last show with Solid Gold on 30 December 2011 and was not part of the new rebranded station, after being part of the station since 1998. Afternoon host Rick Rennie and former night host Peter Dakin lso moved on. The last song on Solid Gold FM was "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. The first song played on The Sound following a 5-minute profile intro was Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend". Breakfast host Mark McCarron hosted the first show on The Sound. The Sound features a classic rock format, which broadcasts on all existing Solid Gold frequencies over the country.[3] The change was made in response to competing stations Classic Hits and Radio Hauraki choosing to play newer music. The change fills the gap in 1970s and 1980s music no longer played by these stations.


The Sound Breakfast (06:00-10:00) is hosted by Mark McCarron alongside Leah Panapa & Geoff Bryan. Other programmes include Days with Tracy Donaldson (10:00-15:00), Afternoons with Robert Taylor (15:00-19:00) and Nights with Mark Smith (19:00-24:00). Weekend programming includes Mark Perry (10:00-14:00) and Evenings with Mike Currie (19:00-24:00). Daily features include the Ten at 10 every morning, and the Midnight Album Showcase every evening.[4]

Mark McCarron left the breakfast show in June 2014, to make way for The Kennedy and Staufer Breakfast with Mark Kennedy and Mark Staufer.[5] However, the show was cancelled in July 2014, after co-host Mark Staufer reportedly used foul language during a late-night talkback slot he was co-hosting with Ian Wishart on Radio Live. The talkback slot also included frank and explicit discussion about masturbation and teenage abortion, with his co-host blaming his poor choice of words on tiredness. He immediately lost his place on the late-night talkback slot.[6] The situation was reviewed by MediaWorks New Zealand management and the breakfast programme was cancelled just five weeks after it had begun.[7]


North Island frequencies[edit]

Market Location Transmitter Frequency (MHz)
01. Northland Whangarei Maungataniwha FM 107.3 (LP)
02. Auckland Auckland Sky Tower (Auckland) FM 93.8
03. Waikato Hamilton Ruru FM 93.8
04. Bay of Plenty Tauranga Kopukairua FM 92.6
05. Rotorua Rotorua Pukepoto FM 91.1
06. Gisborne Gisborne Wheatstone Road RM 96.5
07. Taupo Taupo Whakaroa FM 100.0
08. Hawke's Bay Napier Mount Erin FM 91.9
09. Taranaki New Plymouth Mount Egmont FM 98.0
10. Whanganui Wanganui Bastia Hill FM 94.4
11. Manawatu New Plymouth Wharite FM 94.6
12. Wairarapa Masterton Otahoua FM 93.5
13. Kapiti Coast Paraparaumu Forest Heights FM 94.3
14. Wellington Wellington Kaukau FM 97.3
15. Wellington Wellington Haywards FM 97.3

South Island frequencies[edit]

Market Location Transmitter Frequency (MHz)
01. Nelson Nelson Grampians FM 98.4
02. Marlborough Blenheim Wither Hills FM 96.1
03. West Coast Westport Mount Rochfort FM 92.5
04. West Coast Westport Waterworks Road FM 92.5
05. West Coast Greymouth Greymouth FM 97.1
06. West Coast Greymouth Paparoa FM 91.5
07. Canterbury Christchurch Sugarloaf FM 92.9
08. Ashburton Ashburton Ashburton substation FM 95.7
09. South Canterbury Timaru Mount Horrible FM 97.1
10. North Otago Oamaru Cape Wanbrow FM 99.2
11. Central Otago Alexandra Obelisk FM 93.5
12. Queenstown Queenstown Peninsula Hill FM 97.6
13. Wanaka Wanaka Mount Maude FM 93.8
14. Otago Dunedin Mount Cargill FM 90.2
15. Southland Invercargill Hedgehope FM 98.0


  1. ^ a b "Radio legend Kevin Black dies". NZ Herald. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Broadcaster Kevin Black dies". TVNZ. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Solid Gold makes way for ‘The Sound’". Dan News. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  4. ^ The Sound Shows
  5. ^ On the Radio June 2014
  6. ^ DJ dropped from radio talkback
  7. ^ Radio host's four-letter words

External links[edit]