MediaWorks has announced NZ Talkback radio station Today FM is gone with a new station taking over the frequency in April.
At 5.13pm, a promo on the station told listeners “This station is no longer Today FM” adding “In April, a new station will be launching on this frequency.”
The following message now occupies the stations entire website.
Unfortunately the MediaWorks Board has made the difficult decision to take Today FM off air. This is a hard day for this talented team who put everything into building a new talk platform in Aotearoa. It’s been a tremendous effort and we’re incredibly proud of the work they have done. We’d also like to thank everyone who supported
Today FM, from our regular contributors, to our advertisers and listeners. From Ardern to Zelensky, Today FM kept Kiwis informed with the very best of news
and current affairs and we’re grateful to the team and everyone who tuned in.
Earlier in the day, hosts Duncan Garner and Tova O’Brien told listeners the station and staff were being cut, and that they have been instructed to play music.
Shortly before 9am, O’Brien had told her audience “We came into this organisation with this promise of a long-term strategy. We were going to go for at least five years and that’s when we were going to start seeing results. They had our back, from the CEO, to the executive to the board. And when I met with the acting chief executive I could not get that same assurances.”
“We don’t know anything. We’ve gone off-piste, we’re hoping we’re not going to be dragged out of here by security guards because we’re supposed to be doing debate club right now but we thought it was important to share with you what’s been going on for us behind the scenes.”
After O’Brien joined him on air, Garner said: “This is going to be over pretty quick… we’ve been instructed to play music. I don’t think anyone is going to let Tova and I keep just gobbing off here.”
“We’ve been told to play music.”
“This is it, folks.”
Staff have been seen leaving the station after the radio station was pulled off air this morning.
Today FM PULLED OFF AIR. as Duncan and Tova explain the station and staff are being cut.
“We’ve been told to play music”
“This is it, folks!”
— Tim Murphy (@tmurphyNZ) March 29, 2023
MediaWorks Commercial Director, Liz Fraser, sent out the following note this afternoon
I wanted to let you know that the MediaWorks Board has confirmed its decision to take Today FM off air.
This is a tough day for the talented team who put everything into building a new talk platform in Aotearoa. They have worked tremendously hard to build the brand and there have been great successes along the way. However, while providing some incredible content and a highly engaged audience, Today FM needed time and significant marketing investment in order to grow its listenership. Unfortunately due to the current market conditions MediaWorks is unable to commit to the long term expenditure on this brand.
We are grateful for your support of Today FM and we’re incredibly proud of the work the team has done. Our focus now is on supporting our people in their next steps and in ensuring the best outcomes for our customers.
If you have advertising booked on Today FM we will move this placement to relevant stations within the MediaWorks stable, ensuring the same or better audience delivery. Your Account Manager will be in touch directly to discuss this.
Looking ahead, the Today FM frequencies will be used to increase audience reach across other MediaWorks brands and we’ll also be exploring some new content offerings. We will keep you updated on these developments.
We remain committed to delivering results for our advertisers through our audio, digital and outdoor platforms. Thank you for your understanding and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss this further.