INDEPENDENT NEWS

Celebrating A Milestone In New Zealand Broadcasting - 30 Years Of The Country

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024 01:53 PM
Tomorrow marks a major milestone in New Zealand's broadcasting history as its flagship rural radio show The Country with Jamie Mackay celebrates 30 years on air.
Broadcasting across several New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) radio stations including Newstalk ZB, GOLD SPORT, Hokonui, and digital audio platform iHeartRadio, The Country has become a must-listen for farmers nationwide. Mackay, a former sheep farmer turned equity partner in a Southland dairy farm shares insights into New Zealand's agriculture industry alongside a daily dose of news, sports, and politics.
To celebrate the occasion, Mackay will host two live broadcasts. Firstly, today from the Hokonui Studio in Gore, where the journey began three decades ago. Mackay will be joined on air by guests who have played pivotal roles in shaping the show's legacy.
On air-guests include Grant Nisbett - the founding partner of Radio Hokonui Ltd and a legendary voice in rugby commentary, Warwick Catto - the 1995 Young Farmer of the Year and the man responsible for backing the show from day one and Bill English former local Wallace MP and former Prime Minister.
The celebration continues as Mackay returns to his hometown of Riversdale for the main event on Friday, accompanied by 200 clients, partners, and friends of the show. Attendees will be treated to a hearty lunch provided by Beef and Lamb NZ with Emerson's Tiny Pub will be on hand to keep spirits high throughout the event.
Listeners can expect lively discussions as Mackay hosts NZME CEO Michael Boggs, NZME Chief Audio Officer Jason Winstanley alongside Beef + Lamb NZ CEO Sam McIvor and Rabobank CEO Todd Charteris.
Michael Boggs, CEO of NZME says: “The Country has been a cornerstone of New Zealand’s rural broadcasting network, serving as New Zealand's flagship agricultural radio show and playing a really important role in connecting with rural communities across New Zealand. Jamie has been the driving force behind it for three decades, sharing valuable insights into agriculture and creating a tight-knit community amongst our listeners."
Jason Winstanley, Chief Audio Officer at NZME, says: "Serving rural communities with quality media content is something we take immense pride in, and Jamie has been a massive part of this. His dedication and passion for broadcasting have been instrumental in the success of The Country."
Reflecting on his journey, Mackay says: "Bringing a rural radio show nationwide on a commercial network has been a privilege, and I'm grateful for the support of our listeners, clients, and partners throughout the years. I'm proud to have survived 30 years in the industry, navigating its challenges and triumphs. What started as a leap of faith has grown into something truly remarkable."

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