The Radio Network (TRN) has today announced significant changes to its Classic Hits and ZM music stations. TRN CEO Jane Hastings announced that from April 28 one of New Zealand’s most loved and listened to breakfast show couples Polly and Grant, (Polly Gillespie and Grant Kereama) will be the faces of a new station, The Hits that will replace Classic Hits. Equally important, the network will be increasing the local hours regionally during the day.
ZM’s New Breakfast show will be headed up by Fletch, Vaughan and Megan.
“This is a major day for radio,” Hastings said.
“We are excited to deliver listeners and advertisers these changes. This is a great combination of the best talent, music and multimedia capabilities. In addition to iHeartRadio, we are confident these will future proof our business.”
The Polly and Grant Show will air on Breakfast in 20 regions, nationwide on iHeartRadio and an hour of daily highlights will play from 6-7pm nationwide. The Hits will capitalise on what’s been successful for Classic Hits to date, with an injection of international entertainment star quality. TRN Chief Content Officer, Dean Buchanan says breakfast radio is all about being connected on a local, national and international level. He says a number of international A-list stars had committed to interviews that will be heard in the coming weeks.
“In a globally connected world, listeners demand the very best of entertainment from the very best of sources. Polly and Grant have proven themselves as both and have an exceptional track record that is world-class. The Hits captures all that was strong from Classic Hits and has evolved to recognise today’s modern day adult listener.”
Gillespie says it is a once in a life time moment to be part of something great.
“We’ve got the chance to start a revolution. We’ve never done anything like this in our careers and it’s something we’re so excited to be part of. We’ve been working really hard to bring listeners everything they will love in a station – the best music, the biggest stars and the greatest experiences.
The Polly and Grant show will continue on iHeartRadio along with ‘The Scoop’ entertainment news with Polly on both The Hits and ZM 4.55pm week days and with Jack Tame on Newstalk ZB on Saturday mornings.
The Hits new look will see it extend the number of local on-air hours for the majority of its provincially based stations. Hastings says the decision is based on demand for more localism from listeners and advertisers.
“Localism is as strong as ever. With this move we will be one of a few local media left connecting with New Zealand’s growing SME market. We are regularly asked about extending local content, particularly from local businesses who want to talk to locals. This also benefits national advertisers who need to connect locally and in relevant ways”
Drive (3pm–6pm) will continue as a national show with down-to-earth, multi-media star Stacey Morrison and the naturally witty, talented author Justin Brown. Buchanan believes both Morrison and Brown’s appeal links to how relatable they are.
“They both understand that some days getting the kids to the right school and fully clothed can resemble a mission to Mars. Being able to talk about that on air in a way that makes listeners laugh and regain some degree of sanity is a gift. Equally The Hits will let you know what movie is worth seeing for date night, what Gwyneth Paltrow is up to and what style of boots are hot this winter.”
Buchanan says The Hits will continue to play music listeners know and love.
“It’s about being able to sing out loud to a great mix of songs you know and love. This has been the core of Classic Hits and a key reason for its dominant success in the market. However, 40 is now the new 30 and if a hit song today resonates with this audience, we will also play it. We are no longer defined by era alone.”
Hastings says The Hits will really resonate with todays 30 plus audience. A leading entertainment based breakfast with Polly and Grant (and producer)Marc, followed by a strong local connection during the day, a top talent drive show and all the music you know and love. This may be the best radio station you have ever heard.”
“On the same day Fletch, Vaughan and Megan will begin their new breakfast show on ZM.
Fletch, Vaughan and Megan are naturally hilarious. They have an off-the-wall sense of humour which is irreverent, creative and highly relatable. It works seamlessly with social media channels and they love connecting with their fans this way. They’re back and ready to laugh again with their fans and a whole new audience at breakfast.”
Buchanan says ZM is all about now and will focus on a younger audience making Fletch, Vaughan and Megan the ideal Breakfast team.
“The latest music is a critical component for ZM listeners as is being at the cutting edge of what’s next and trending. This has been a real focus for us. ZM will create the trend not follow it.”