Network for sale?

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Another network of FM stereo frequencies – in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch – seems destined to come on the market after MediaWorks announced that Kiwi FM will close on Tuesday 31 March.

The Government has yet to make an announcement. Kiwi FM has been broadcasting since Waitangi Day 2005. It launched as a station playing 100% NZ music station, and in recent years has broadcast a mix of 70% NZ artists and 30% international artists.

Listeners to the station have slumped to a lowly 28,000 listeners each week – and the station’s ratings to just 1%.

“Kiwi FM has had a great nine years, and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved,” said MediaWorks group content director Leon Wratt.

“There are now more options than ever to discover and listen to home grown music, and it is time for us to focus on other priorities, including extending George FM and Mai FM’s nationwide reach,” he said.

“I want to thank the Kiwi FM staff, past and present, the musicians and record labels that have supported the station, and most importantly, the listeners.”

At press time, it was not clear if any (or how many) redundancies may follow the closure.

Kiwi FM has been broadcasting on reserved Crown frequencies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. After March 31, these return to the Crown.

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