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Programming Changes Announced For National Radio

Programming Changes Announced For National Radio

Radio New Zealand Chief Executive, Peter Cavanagh, has announced changes to National Radio programming and on air presentation to be implemented later this year. The announcements follow a six month internal programming review involving all Radio New Zealand staff.

Commenting on the programme changes, Peter Cavanagh noted the importance of the Radio New Zealand Charter in the long term planning for the network.

“ The review of National Radio programming and presentation has provided a valuable opportunity to examine whether, as a public service broadcaster, the network could further improve on its Charter objective to be relevant to the society it serves. In a society that is rapidly changing, Radio New Zealand needs to reaffirm its position as a dynamic, relevant and contemporary public service broadcaster, and these changes will help us to do so. “

“The Research International All New Zealand Radio Survey 2004 showed that National Radio was New Zealand’s number one radio station in terms of nationwide audience market share among people aged 15 years and over, but there is no room for complacency and I want to reinforce the fact that our focus in this six month process has been to further improve the sound of National Radio for existing and potential new audiences. “

Key points from the programming review include an overhaul of the National Radio music policy, new programming, and the creation of a new Radio New Zealand website to provide up to date information and audio on demand facilities to enhance what listeners can hear on air.

Birdcalls

The famous Radio New Zealand birdcalls have been retained and will be expanded and integrated in a new project which will build a sound library of field recordings reflecting the social, environmental and cultural diversity of New Zealand.

Weekday Mornings

There are no major changes planned for National Radio’s premier news and current affairs programmes Morning Report and Nine to Noon with Linda Clark though some minor adjustments will be made to content and presentation within existing formats.

Weekday and weekend afternoons will see the biggest changes:

Weekday Afternoons

The format for weekday afternoon programming will change with a new weekday afternoon programme which builds on the regional focus of the existing In Touch with New Zealand programme. The magazine and lifestyle format will be retained and, contrary to recent media speculation, it will not become a talk-driven news programme.

The programme will be presented from Radio New Zealand’s new Auckland studios.
Wayne Mowat continues to play an important role as the anchor of “In Touch With New Zealand” which will focus on special outside broadcasts from throughout the country and which will feed into the new regional afternoon programme.

Wayne's Music moves from weekday afternoons but continues as a valuable part of the nostalgia listening theme of Saturday and Sunday evenings.

National Radio’s top rating evening news programme Checkpoint will be extended from one hour to two.

Saturday Afternoons
Home Grown is retained as the title for a new expanded music programme, which will showcase New Zealand contemporary music over three hours each Saturday afternoon. National Radio is not reducing its long-established commitment to the promotion of New Zealand music.

Sunday Afternoons

In place of the present weekday afternoons programme “What’s Going On?”, a new 3 and a half hour books, arts and movies programme will be developed for Sunday afternoon with dedicated host Lynn Freeman

Timetable for Change

Emphasising that changes were about growth, Peter Cavanagh said no staff positions will be lost and new positions will be established. New ideas and programming reflect the needs and interests of diverse National Radio audiences.

Several new jobs have been created at National Radio and these will be advertised with the intention of having production and presentation teams in place by early August to develop and pilot the new programmes.

A revised National Radio programme schedule will be launched on Saturday 17th September.

ENDS

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