Radio Wānaka bids farewell to a Legend, welcomes new host

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AUCKLAND, Today: Wānaka residents, brace yourselves for a change in your morning routine! Radio Wānaka is waving goodbye to its beloved breakfast host, Mike Regal, and introducing Jack Van Der Heyden starting Monday, 1 July.

Jack, who hails from Christchurch and cherishes Central Otago, has been the breakfast announcer at Power FM in Ballarat, Australia, for the past two years. His dream of working in his favourite region is now coming true as he joins Radio Wānaka.

With Jack’s arrival, the station also bids a heartfelt farewell to Mike Regal. Mike, the former owner of Radio Wānaka before NZME bought it in 2022, has been vital to the station’s journey.

He recently received the Outstanding Contribution to Radio award at the 2024 New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards, capping off a 41-year career.

Mike McClung, NZME Chief Content Officer – Music Brands, commented on Regal’s departure, highlighting his lasting impact. “Mike is a legendary broadcaster and an all-round great guy.

“I’m fulfilling my childhood dream and I’m thrilled to bring my passion for radio to Radio Wānaka as the new Breakfast Announcer.”

It was really special to be able to give him a fantastic send-off following the New Zealand Radio and Podcast Awards and honour his dedication and passion for the radio industry.”

McClung added, “He contributed a massive amount not only to the industry but also to the local community. Our loyal Wānaka listeners have loved waking up to him every morning.

“Jack is a fantastic talent and a proud Southerner – I know he’s really looking forward to getting stuck into the new role. He’ll do a great job and we warmly welcome him to the NZME team.”

Mike Regal shared his thoughts: “I’ve loved being able to connect with this incredible community over the last 12 years. Thank you to all the amazing Radio Wānaka listeners who have tuned in every morning. It’s been two and a half years since NZME purchased Radio Wānaka.

“The hiring of new locally based breakfast host, Jack Van Der Heyden, is testament to that on-going commitment. Radio Wānaka is in good hands,” Mike adds.

Jack Van Der Heyden expressed his excitement: “I’m fulfilling my childhood dream and I’m thrilled to bring my passion for radio to Radio Wānaka as the new Breakfast Announcer. As Wānaka bids farewell to radio legend Mike Regal, I’m really excited to carry on the station’s legacy.”

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