MediaWorks launches Channel X on former Today FM frequency, weeks after station was dumped from airwaves

MediaWorks has launched a new radio station on its former Today FM frequency, just weeks after the talkback station was shut down without warning.

Channel X went live on Monday at midday, with MediaWorks confirming the station could be heard across 16 frequencies around Aotearoa.

The radio station will operate "with no DJ chat" a company release said, and promised it would be "designed to people who may not be regular radio listeners." It also said it would be "tapping" into music that was aimed at Generation X, with a "more alternative playlist" from local and international artists.

In March, Today FM was dumped from the airwaves as part of a company-wide insight into revenue and costs. "At the request of the MediaWorks Board we have undertaken a review of the entire business to identify further areas of potential cost saving and to reshape the business for the market conditions," MediaWorks interim CEO Wendy Palmer said at the time.

The station's staff were given just hours to provide feedback to the plans to remove Today FM, sparking anger and frustrations on air.

Duncan Garner and early host Tova O'Brien told listeners they were losing their jobs and the station was being axed, moments before it cut to permanent music.

"I don't know how much longer we're going to be on air," O'Brien said.

"It sounds like it's over. So we haven't been given a chance. We've been on air for just a year.

"We were told that we had the support of everyone from the chief executive through to the board, through to the executive and they have f**ked us and we're all gonna lose our jobs and the station is coming off air and as of today."

The station had been on air for just over a year following its launch on March 21, 2022. However, it was rocked by the resignations of MediaWorks CEO Cam Wallace and its director of talk Dallas Gurney prior to the announcement.

Last Friday, it was announced Duncan Garner would be returning to MediaWorks to host a daily podcast called Editor In Chief.

He says the show, which was due to launch on Monday May 8, will be "my way, my words".