Iconic Wellington radio personality Justin du Fresne has announced that he will step down as host of the flagship morning show on Newstalk ZB, Wellington at Christmas.
He has hosted the show for twenty three years, since 1987 and this year marks a half-century since he began his career in the radio industry.
“This is my decision, I’ve had an amazing time but feel I need to enjoy life without the pressure of a daily radio show. I would like to thank my listeners for the sustained support I’ve had”, said Justin.
“A consummate broadcaster, Justin will be remembered as one of New Zealand’s most successful personalities who has genuinely made an outstanding contribution” said John McElhinney chief executive of The Radio Network.
“Justin has been a fixture on Wellington’s airwaves for well over two decades and has been a key reason behind Newstalk ZB’s status as a market leader in talk radio”, said Rhys Nimmo, Wellington general manager of The Radio Network.
An announcement on Justin’s replacement will be made in the coming weeks.
“We are committed to continuing the show in its current form, with a Wellington host speaking with Wellingtonians about local issues”, said Newstalk ZB Wellington operations manager Jason Pine.
Justin won’t be lost to Wellington radio listeners and is currently in discussions about an ongoing role with Newstalk ZB.
“I’m still keen to be involved with the station and we’re in the process of working through those scenarios now”, he said.
Justin got his start in the radio industry as a clerical cadet at the New Zealand Broadcasting Service in 1960. He became an announcer for 2ZB in 1962, and was the inaugural host of the trail-blazing “Sunset Show” in 1963.
He left broadcasting in 1966 to take up a career in the textile industry. In November 1983 he returned and has been at 2ZB, now Newstalk ZB, ever since.
Justin’s last day in his current role will be Christmas Eve.