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So, this is my last day – not just for the year but for good. It’s time for me to turn off the early alarm.
I’ve been so conflicted about making this decision, purely because I love the job so much, it’s the most fun and best time I’ve ever had in my broadcasting career. Radio is addictive. It’s dynamic and instant and an intimate connection with your audience. I’ve felt privileged to be in your cars, your kitchens, your headphones, an earpiece while you’re still in bed... the fact you choose to tune in here as you start your day, is something I never take for granted.
We’re a small team – my producer Hannah and I, but I’m really proud of how hard she works. It’s not easy getting up in the dark and putting out a radio show, but I’ve been lucky to have had awesome producers alongside me over the years. Mike’s team of Sam and Glenn have also been amazingly helpful, and I’ve been blessed with the best in newsreader and all-time fun zone Niva, and the statesman of sport Andrew Alderson. The pre-dawn camaraderie is part of what makes this job so awesome... we’re all tired, we’re all trying to do our best and put out the best product we can for our audience.
I’ve been doing this show for 6 years, but my career in radio actually began 16 years ago. I was on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter, at home with two small children and a baby when the then boss of ZB called me up and asked if I’d ever thought about trying some radio. Only knowing TV my whole life, I found the prospect of it daunting. He said they could work around family commitments, juggle shifts around the kids, he said - give it a go. I’m glad I accepted the challenge.
I began filling in on news reading shifts, did the odd stint filling in on Drive and some weekend shows. I found radio instantly addictive. One, they back their people, they were encouraging, and two, they pushed me. There was this constant striving for excellence, something I’d argue is lost in mainstream journalism these days. I joined the Paul Holmes Breakfast (pre–Mike Hosking Breakfast) as newsreader, and I just found radio so much fun.
Six years ago, when the opportunity came up to host my own show I was terrified, I didn’t think I could do that either. But again, ZB encouraged me, pushed me, made me feel like I could do it. The magic of our boss Jason Winstanley —who is hands down the best boss I’ve ever had— is that he manages to make every host on this station feel like they’re the most important person on the network, which is no mean feat. Especially when we all know that’s Mike….
Who, speaking of which, has been my constant biggest cheerleader, listener, and fan, closely followed by my dad, who wakes every morning at 5am to listen in via an earpiece in bed. I am forever grateful to these two incredible men in my life – both great broadcasters of their own, for being so lovingly supportive of me.
But that early alarm takes a toll. Shift work is tough on families and our kids have two parents who do brutal hours, obsessively follow news, go to bed early, and are often tired and grumpy (trust me, having to absorb as much news as we do – which is largely negative – makes most people grumpy before you even add in the lack of sleep!). It’s my daughter’s final year at High school next year and all she’s known is Mum shift working weird hours and turning news bulletins up loud in the car all the time. I’m keen to enjoy her last year with her and be a bit more present at home, instead of side tracked by politics and inflation and editorial deadlines.
I’m actually looking forward to not following so much news. I will however be up at 5 and listening to this show. I’ll have to check the new guy isn’t stuffing it up. My boss Jason says I’ll be bored witless in 3 months and I’ll be back. He may well be right. In the meantime, thank you for being here, for all your support, all your feedback, it’s honestly been the best fun I’ve had in broadcasting. You’re an awesome audience and I’ve loved our early morning chats. Thank you for the privilege.
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