Wellington radio personality Justin du Fresne has announced that he will step down as host of the morning show on NewstalkZB.
He has hosted the show since 1987, and this year marked 50 years since he began his radio career.
“This is my decision, I’ve had an amazing time but feel I need to enjoy life without the pressure of a daily radio show. I would like to thank my listeners for the sustained support I’ve had,” he said.
Wellington general manager of The Radio Network Rhys Nimmo said: “Justin has been a fixture on Wellington’s airwaves for well over two decades and has been a key reason behind NewstalkZB’s status as a market leader in talk radio”.
Du Fresne was in discussions about an ongoing role with NewstalkZB.
Christmas Eve will be his last day in his current role.
1987 is around when I started listening to talk radio, so I can’t recall a time when Justin has not been the morning voice on Newstalk ZB, or 2ZB as it was then.
The trend in broadcasting has been to centralise the broadcasts. Once upon a time 1ZB, 2ZB and 3ZB all have very different shows and presenters. It makes economic sense to have one presenter nation-wide if you will keep much the same ratings.
The exception to this trend has been Justin, in Wellington. He has such a dedicated following, that he has maintained his Wellington only mornings show.
In the last couple of years, I’ve gone from a listener to a regular panellist on his Friday face off panel. This was my favourite part of his show, as a listener, so it has been a real treat to be on Face Off, and hand out bouquets and brickbats.
Hopefully NewstalkZB will continue with a Wellington only show in the mornings, after Justin retires – but they may find his boots are too big to fill.
The next time I am on the show, I must ask Justin the question I keep forgetting – is he related to Karl du Fresne?