Peter Williams joining Magic Talk, Jay and Dunc to be new The Rock Drive duo

  • 29/11/2018

TVNZ news presenter Peter Williams is joining MediaWorks as a talk radio host on Magic Talk next year.

MediaWorks revealed the news on Thursday, along with several other announcements for its TV and radio line-ups in 2019.

The Rock is also changing its Drive line-up, with Jay Reeve replacing Thane Kirby as co-host with Duncan Heyde.

Williams has been a major part of TVNZ News since 1979. In that time, he's covered seven Olympic Games, five Commonwealth Games and has twice been named by public vote as New Zealand's best newsreader.

"As someone approaching the age of Winston's Gold Card, I have plenty of thoughts and opinions on various issues, formed from having quite a few years on this planet," says Williams.

"I'm delighted this offer has come pretty much out of the blue from Magic Talk. It's a new station and I'm really enthusiastic about sharing my views with those who call, email or text in.

"I also look forward to regularly talking with the newsmakers of the day and being able to stimulate discussion from that. Yes, I have been mainly a TV person for nearly 40 years, but my introduction to the broadcasting industry was through radio and that was with a station in Dunedin which has subsequently become More FM. So in many respects, this role is a return to where I came from and the circle is complete."

MediaWorks' Magic brand encompasses both Magic Talk and Magic Music.
The Magic logo Photo credit: MediaWorks

Leon Wratt, MediaWorks Group Content Director Radio, is thrilled to welcome Williams.

"Peter is one of the nicest guys in broadcasting and he's incredibly professional," Wratt tells Newshub.

"But he's very determined to get his viewpoint across. Talk radio is about views - people will agree or disagree, but it's very important to have a strong viewpoint. That's where Peter will shine and he also has a great connection with people. He's very well liked and people feel they know him."

After it was revealed earlier this month that Magic and RadioLIVE would be merged, MediaWorks has now released more details about Magic Talk.

Aimed at the 45+ demographic, it will launch on Saturday, January 19, 2019 with almost 90 percent talk radio across the week.

The AM Show and Newshub Live at 6PM will be broadcast on Magic Talk as they are on RadioLIVE.

Magic Talk will also feature Rural Exchange, Home and Garden and The Ryan Bridge Drive Show.

"Ryan is really developing strongly as a really good talk host, so we're very excited to have him confirmed," says Wratt.

There will be further announcements about the Magic line-up in the coming weeks, says MediaWorks, which owns Newshub.

"The Magic brand encompasses both Magic Talk and Magic Music, allowing the choice of both options for listeners, operating on different frequencies," says MediaWorks.

"At various times, there will also be shared programming broadcast across both stations. Magic Music will continue to feature the ever popular Mark Leishman and Geoff Bryan, Mark Smith, Murray Lindsay and Bob Gentil and offer a 24/7 music option for Magic listeners".

Jay Reeve replacing Thane Kirby as co-host with Duncan Heyde on The Rock Drive.
The new Rock Drive line-up: Jay & Dunc Photo credit: MediaWorks

At The Rock, Kirby is leaving the Drive show for personal reasons, Wratt says.

In a press release about the announcements, MediaWorks describes the new Drive duo of Jay & Dunc as "troublesome".

Heyde says he's "beyond fizzed" with the news of his new co-host, who is returning to broadcasting - and Auckland - after a hiatus in the Bay of Plenty.

"I've gotten to know Dunc over the past couple of years and with some good mates of mine in the wider team, I'm stoked to be joining The Rock Drive," says Reeve.

"After being off air for the past 18 months, I'm looking forward to getting behind the mic once again - although I can't confirm my chat has gotten any better."

Wratt says that he'd been in talks with Reeve to have him join The Rock for years.

"With Thane deciding he wanted to move to Bali to be with his family, that opened a door. Then Jay and Dunc just clicked, so it was a pretty simple choice," says Wratt.

"Jay was on [NZME stations] ZM and Hauraki for years, so we feel he's got the experience. And he's definitely got the right personality for it, so it's really exciting to have him come onboard."

Meanwhile, Kirby will continue to host a weekly show on The Rock from Bali, Wratt says.