ZM (New Zealand)

Broadcast area 20 markets in New Zealand
Slogan Hit Music Lives Here
First air date c.1973
Format Hit Music
Owner New Zealand Media and Entertainment

ZM (pronounced zed-em) is a New Zealand contemporary hit radio network owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment. It broadcasts 19 markets throughout mainland New Zealand via terrestrial FM, and worldwide via the Internet. The network targets the 15–39 demographic specialises in a chart-music playlist of pop, rock, hip hop and dance music. It reaches approximately 324,000 listeners weekly, making it the fourth largest commercial radio station in New Zealand.[1]

The ZM network as it is today was founded in the early 1970s as three separate commercial music stations owned by Radio New Zealand in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The name is derived from the former callsigns of the stations: 1ZM, 2ZM and 3ZM. Z denoted a Radio New Zealand commercial station and M stood for Music. The stations were carved off to The Radio Network (now merged into New Zealand Media and Entertainment) in 1996, and ZM spread across the country, originally as three separate networks before finally merging to form one nationwide network in 2000.

The network's head office and main studios are based in Auckland, where all of the programming is produced.

ZM History

Early Years


Overnight programming

Auckland 1ZM becomes Classic Hits

Wellington 2ZM and Christchurch 3ZM switch to FM




Expansion and early network programming


Nationwide Network programming


Launch of online content

Change in format and announcer lineup



North Island

South Island


In early December 2010, ZM relaunched its online stream as a new station, rather than relaying an existing station as it had done previously. It became the 20th ZM station to connect to the network in the same way regional markets do. This gave ZMonline its own imaging & commercial options.

Local ads, weather and traffic are removed from the online station (as these are available on demand for every market inside the ZM iPhone and android apps). At the moment through every second commercial break the station plays a song.

ZM have hinted that in the future they may have podcasts or unique content within the commercial breaks on the online stream.

ZM News Service

Like most radio stations in New Zealand ZM originally featured news on the hour every hour originally news was provided by the Radio New Zealand News Service, following the sale of the Radio New Zealand commercial service this became The Radio Network News Service. In 1997 ZM stations began reducing news breaks to only play on the breakfast show, this was at time when some radio stations began increasing the amount of music played in an hour and reducing talk. In 2000 ZM started their own news service called ZM Newsbeat.

ZM News (formally called Newsbeat and Newsfeed) has news reports followed by a local weather forecast prerecorded from the Auckland studio for each individual region. The bulletins are sourced from the NZME newsroom, and air hourly between 6 am-8 am weekdays with Ash Thomas, and weather hourly 4 pm-6 pm weekdays with Dave Nicholas, and hourly 7 am-10am during the weekend and public holidays with 30 minute weather updates between 7-10am with various announcers. An exclusive Wellington edition of ZM Newsbeat was aired during the Morning Crew's show up until early 2006, when it was dropped for the national edition. In April 2014 Newsbeat was renamed to Newsfeed coinciding with the re-launch of ZM, at the same time the Newsfeed service was introduced on The Hits with the former ZM news readers moved over to The Hits.

Traffic reports are read out on air from The Radio Network Auckland studios for larger regions in New Zealand, for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga and Dunedin. Other stations play advertisements during these times. Wellington originally ran their own local traffic reports until 2006.

Weather is read out on weekdays following news bulletins. Individual weather reports are pre-recorded for each region and updated with each show. When the Morning Crew were based in Wellington, they read out the Wellington weather live during the breakfast show, while the pre-recorded reports by the newsreader air over the rest of the network.

ZM in the New Zealand Radio Awards

ZM and ZM announcers have won the following awards in recent years:














ZM has used the following slogans in the past:













  1. "Radio Network says expansion possible". The Christchurch Press. 21 September 1996. p. 29.
  2. "NZ Radio Awards" (PDF). The RBA. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  3. "NZ Radio Awards" (PDF). The RBA. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  4. "NZ Radio Awards" (PDF). The RBA. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  5. "2007 Radio Award Finalist". RadioStationWorld - New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  6. "2006 Radio Award Finalist". RadioStationWorld - New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
  7. "2005 Radio Award Finalist". RadioStationWorld - New Zealand. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
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