Newstalk ZB, Radio Sport, ZM and other NZME radio stations have once again won the key battleground for the Auckland airwaves.
Newstalk ZB has maintained its dominant position as the most listened to station both in Auckland and across the country, according to the latest GfK independent commercial radio survey.
The Mike Hosking Breakfast Show was number one both nationally and in Auckland and Early Edition with Kate Hawkesby and Marcus Lush Nights also reigned supreme in their timeslots.
Leighton Smith's Morning show is also number one in Auckland.
"This time of the year is traditionally quiet for talk radio so the fact we have more listeners now than we did a year ago is very satisfying," says NZME's head of talk Jason Winstanley.
"The Mike Hosking Breakfast never fails to deliver, extending its dominance yet again and I'm particularly thrilled that Leighton Smith bows out as number one in Auckland – what a stunning career he's had."
Smith is retiring from hosting a daily ZB show at the end of this year but will still produce a podcast for listeners.
NZME's iHeartRadio continues to grow year on year with another strong 19 per cent increase to just under 820,000 registered users
NZME also publishes the NZ Herald newspaper.
"When you consider that NZME's overall audience across print, radio and digital is 3.2 million people and add iHeartRadio's reach – it doesn't matter what demographic you are trying to target, NZME offers a very strong proposition," said NZME's chief commercial officer Matt Headland.
Winstanley said that Radio Sport - also owned by NZME - has a huge 2019 on the cards with netball, rugby and cricket all gearing up for world cups.
"It's going to be particularly exciting for fans being the biggest sporting year we have seen in some time."
NZME's group director entertainment, Dean Buchanan, also paid tribute to MORE FM's Simon Barnett who joins Newstalk ZB with co-host Phil Gifford in the middle of next year.
"Similarly to Newstalk ZB's Leighton Smith, Simon has had an extraordinary career with MORE FM – he can bow out of music radio in Christchurch, on the high of number one. We're very much looking forward to welcoming Simon and Phil Gifford to Newstalk ZB mid-2019," Buchanan said.