More tune in to Radio Waitaki

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Behind the mic . . . Radio Waitaki 104 general manager Dan Lewis in the station's Thames St studio. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Six weeks after first hitting the airwaves, Radio Waitaki 104 is slowly but surely building a strong base of listeners.

The station, which broadcasts on 104FM, is based in the former Radio Network building in Thames St.

General manager Dan Lewis was thrilled with the response from listeners tuning in so far.

“It’s going really good. We’re getting quite a good following, which is what it’s all about. There’s been a lot of interest and a lot of support from businesses, too, which is really cool.

“The whole thing about it is it’s local. It’s not some crowd from out of town coming in and doing stuff – it’s all generated from here.”

That included music playlists, voiceovers and content such as its breakfast show, hosted by Alice Hore, and mid-afternoon show hosted by Mr Lewis.

“This is what we’re about – it’s about North Otago,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of positive responses into having local news back and having a local voice. It’s about being able to hear someone you can talk to on the street.”

Radio Waitaki’s broadcast area extends from Oamaru to Palmerston and inland to the Ngapara and Windsor areas.

Mr Lewis planned to expand both coverage and content.

“We’re actually increasing our transmission power shortly. We’re just waiting for some new equipment to arrive for that.

“Plans are to expand that through into the weekend and through to drive time as well. One of the things I’m really keen on is promoting some specialist music programming. You’ve got groups that are country music folk, alternative music, world music, that type of thing.

“I’m also keen on showcasing local bands and local music.”

The station broadcasts live between 6am and 2pm.

He believed Radio Waitaki’s “broad flavour” appealed to listeners.

“Often with really tightly formated radio stations, particularly the network stations, they’ll play the top 40. They have a very small playlist.

“We don’t eat the same food every day, day in, day out, we mix it up a bit. Music should be the same on the radio.”