MediaWorks strengthens regional radio presence in NZ

The South Canterbury based Port FM is set to merge with MediaWorks from 01 April 2018.

Locally owned Port FM will become part of the More FM network of local stations shortly after, continuing Port FM’s current local Breakfast and Day shows, with More FM’s Lana & Jase broadcasting in the Drive slot from 3-7pm weekdays.

Established in 1990, Port FM brought FM radio to Timaru and has developed into a dominant radio company with close ties to MediaWorks. Through its franchise arrangement, Port FM Network currently broadcasts popular MediaWorks stations The Rock, Sound, The Edge, RadioLIVE and Magic, with The Breeze joining the lineup from March 1. Port FM also sources its news from Newshub.

Port FM’s founder and General Manager, Brent Birchfield, says after a 40-year career in radio it’s time to focus on his other business interests. Brent will continue to oversee Port FM operations during the transition period. 

“It’s great to step away knowing that the network is strong and in great shape thanks to experienced and committed staff, loyal listeners and support from the business communities in each of our markets”, says Brent. 

“It’s been a blast and a real pleasure to work in these towns and to inform and assist the people and organisations within them. My partner Rhona Anderson and I have invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into Port FM Network and really appreciate the support we’ve had along the way.  I’m pleased to be leaving the network in the hands of MediaWorks who are as passionate about local radio as we are.”

Leon Wratt, MediaWorks’ Group Content Director for Radio, is excited for the transition which extends MediaWorks Radio’s reach in the regions.

“Brent has built a fantastic station and we look forward to continuing his legacy by providing great local radio to Port FM’s dedicated listeners”, says Leon.

“By bringing More FM into this region, we’re strengthening our local radio offering and opening up new markets across Canterbury and Otago for listeners and advertisers.”

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