Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

ZM Wellington

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Slogan  ZM Is My Station!
Website  zmonline.com
Broadcast area  Wellington
Format  Hit Music
Motto  ZM Is My Station!
First air date  1969
Owner  New Zealand Media and Entertainment
Former callsigns  2ZM (1161AM); 2ZZM (90.9FM)

90 9zm wellington morning crew over the past decade

ZM Wellington (previously 2ZM, ZMFM and 91ZM) is a hit music radio station in Wellington, New Zealand. It is a station of the ZM network, and is owned and operated by New Zealand Media and Entertainment.


90 9zm wellington audio montage over the past decade

Early Years

The ZM station in Wellington has a history dating back to 1937 as local station 2YD which originally broadcast on 1130AM. The station was started by the New Zealand government owned Radio New Zealand (which at the time was known as the National Broadcasting Board). In 1969 the call sign was changed to 2ZM and in 1973 2ZM was joined with 1YD and 3ZM in Christchurch to form to youth orientated ZM network, 1YD then became 1ZM.

The first 2ZM breakfast DJ (6 am to 9 am) was Stewart Macpherson, who had just returned from broadcasting in the UK with both the BBC and Radio Luxembourg. Using the show title 'Macphersonland', his innovations included introducing News Bulletins onto the station (despite management opposition), and a weekly published Top 40 chart available at leading music stores. In 1978 2ZM moved to 1161 kHz after the AM band spacing in New Zealand was adjusted from 10 kHz to 9 kHz.

FM Broadcasting

Wellington's 2ZM was the first ZM station to broadcast on FM from 21 December 1985 as ZMFM 91 (90.9). As the Mount Kaukau transmitter couldn't cover parts of the Hutt Valley effectively, the station continued to broadcast on AM until 1986, when a second transmitter at Towai (on the Wainuiomata Hill between Seaview and Wainuiomata) was commissioned broadcasting on 93.5 to cover the Hutt Valley. Its AM frequency (1161 kHz) was reallocated to Maori station Te Upoko o Te Ika. During the late eighties ZMFM relocated its studio from Broadcasting House to Alder House (on the corner of Vivian and Victoria streets in Wellington). Slogans used by ZMFM included Hit Radio, ZMFM The Music Leader, Rock of the Nineties ZMFM.

In 1994 ZMFM Wellington became known as 91ZM sharing the same name that had been used in Christchurch since 1989, and the studios were relocated their current location on the corner of Taranaki and Abel Smith streets in Wellington.


In July 1996 the New Zealand Government sold off the commercial arm of Radio New Zealand, which included, among other things, the ZM stations. The new owner was The Radio Network, a subsidiary of APN News & Media and Clear Channel Communications, which operated as a division of the Australian Radio Network.

90.6ZM Manawatu Station

ZM originally commenced transmission to Manawatu on 9 March 1987 on 90.6 MHz. The program was a relay of the Wellington ZMFM station with local commercial breaks and station identification. ZMFM Manawatu also ran its own breakfast show – "Jackson and The Morning Crew" featuring Pete Jackson. In 1989, 90.6 ZMFM re-branded as 2 Double Q, subsequently dropping the relay of ZMFM Wellington and beginning a seven-year absence of the ZM name in Manawatu. The ZM brand did not return to the Manawatu market until 1997 when Classic Rock Q91FM (formerly 2 Double Q) reverted to ZM (as 91ZM). The new ZM programme created in 1997 used a computerised automation system to provide a local programme recorded minutes before from the Wellington studio. 96ZM in Dunedin and Invercargill used a similar system to receive their programming from 91ZM Christchurch. In 2000 ZM switched to a single network feed with all networked ZM stations now receiving their programming from Auckland, as a result 91ZM Manawatu now contained the same programming as 91ZM Auckland instead of Wellington.

91.1ZM Kapiti Station

ZM began broadcasting on its own frequency in the Kapiti region in 2004 with localised advertisement breaks for the Kapiti region. While ZM in Wellington did contain some local programming at this point the Kapiti station took all network programming from Auckland despite the 'Top of the Hour Station id' mentioning the Wellington 90.9FM frequency.

In March 2007, ZM altered its Hutt Valley frequency from 93.5 to 90.9, to form a synchronous transmission with the signal from Mt Kaukau, also on 90.9. This meant that commuters no longer had to switch their radio dials between the two frequencies when driving between Wellington and the Hutt Valley. In June 2008, Easy Mix was networked on ZM's old 93.5 frequency. In March 2012 ZM in Wellington celebrated 40 years on the air since the station was first. Despite 1973 being the year ZM was started in Auckland and Christchurch, ZM was started in 1972 in Wellington as 2ZM making 2012 40 years.

Past and Present Local Announcers

During the 1980s announcers Pauline Gillespie, Grant Kereama and Nick Tansley all joined ZMFM Wellington, all three announcers were teamed up in the late eighties to present the breakfast show. This show was very successful and has been a number 1 rating show in Wellington since the nineties. In 2001 the Wellington breakfast show became the new nationwide breakfast, originally Wellington ran their own local news breaks on the half-hour while the rest of the country used the Auckland-based ZM Newsbeat Service. For the first year the ZM Morning Crew show ran from 6 am to 10 am in Wellington but finished an hour earlier in the rest of New Zealand this was so Polly, Nick and Grant could present the final hour of their show to a Wellington only audience.

Outside breakfast programming remained local but between 2003 and 2009 local content was reduced to a point where from 2009 the breakfast show was the only show to come out of Wellington. Wellington did run their own local news service until 2006 when this was replaced with the networked Newsbeat. In April 2014 Polly and Grant moved to The Hits (formally known as Classic Hits) and ZM launched their new breakfast show produced by Fletch, Vaughan and Megan. Today Polly and Grant present their nationwide breakfast show on The Hits from Wellington and the ZM Wellington studios are no longer used.

  • Breakfast 6am-10am:
  • 1969-1972 – Stewart Macpherson (show ran 6 am–9 am)
  • 1982–1984: JR (James Ring) & Anne Marie (St Ledger-Higgens)
  • 1985–1987: Mark MacLeod, Sue Bergin
  • late 1980s-2003: Nick Tansley - Breakfast co-host on Polly and Grants show
  • late 1980s–2014: Pauline Gillespie (Polly), and Grant Kereama
  • 2004-2014: Mark Peard (show producer)
  • 2014 onwards: Networked from Auckland
  • Daytime 10 am–3 pm:
  • 1996–1999: Justin Rae
  • 1999–2003: Aroha Hathaway
  • 2003–2008: Simon O'neil
  • 2008 onwards: Networked from Auckland
  • Drive 3 pm–7 pm:
  • 1992–1995: Sandy Antipas
  • 1998–2003: Julian Burn
  • 2003 onwards: Networked from Auckland
  • Nights 7 pm–midnight:
  • 1996–1998: Dallas Gurney
  • 1998 onwards: Networked from Auckland
  • References

    ZM Wellington Wikipedia

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