From Ballarat to Wānaka for Jack Van Der Heyden

Radio Wānaka in Otago, New Zealand will farewell its longstanding breakfast announcer, Mike Regal, and welcome back to the country new host Jack Van Der Heyden. 

Mike Regal was previous owner Radio Wānaka before it was purchased by NZME in 2022. He was recently honoured at the 2024 New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Radio, with a four decade career in the industry.

Born and raised in Christchurch Jack Van Der Heyden (pictured) has been the breakfast announcer at Power FM in Ballarat for the last two years.

He said:

“I’m fulfilling my childhood dream and I’m thrilled to bring my passion for radio to Radio Wānaka as the new Breakfast Announcer. As Wānaka bids farewell to radio legend Mike Regal, I’m really excited to carry on the station’s legacy.”

Regal said:

“I’ve loved being able to connect with this incredible community over the last 12 years. Thank you to all the amazing Radio Wānaka listeners who have tuned in every morning. It’s been two and a half years since NZME purchased Radio Wānaka. In that time NZME’s commitment to maintaining Radio Wānaka’s local presence has been unwavering. The hiring of new locally based breakfast host, Jack Van Der Heyden, is testament to that on-going commitment. Radio Wānaka is in good hands.”

Mike McClung, NZME Chief Content Officer – Music Brands, said Regal’s departure might mark the end of his time at the station but his legacy will live on:

“Mike is a legendary broadcaster and an all-round great guy. It was really special to be able to give him a fantastic send off following the New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards and honour his dedication and passion for the radio industry.”

“He contributed a massive amount not only to the industry but also to the local community and I know our loyal Wānaka listeners have loved waking up to him every morning. Jack is a fantastic talent and a proud Southerner – I know he’s really looking forward to getting stuck into the new role. He’ll do a great job and we warmly welcome him to the NZME team.”

Van Der Heyden commences on Radio Wānaka Breakfast on Monday July 1.

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