Frequency changes in the Bay of Plenty are set to give Star listeners 24/7 access to their favourite station, and Rhema listeners better sound quality.
To improve listener experience, radio frequencies for Star and Rhema AM will be changing today Wednesday April 6.
Star will be available on 540AM, and Rhema will be available on 104.6FM.
The change is welcomed by long-term Star and Rhema listeners and Tauranga residents David and Wendy Hennessey who will now have uninterrupted access to their favourite station.
For over 24 years, Star in the Bay of Plenty has shared the Parliament radio frequency, meaning Star goes off air and switches over to broadcast live from Parliament whenever it is sitting.
The Hennesseys were so keen to hear a Christian station, they put up a giant 2.4m x 2.4m aerial on their roof more than 40 years ago to listen to some of the first Rhema broadcasts from Christchurch.
Modern radio technology means the giant aerial has been out-of-commission for a while, but they keep it as a reminder of the early days.
Star is their current favourite station.
“It goes on at 6.30 in the morning and off when we go to bed, our cars are tuned in too," says David.
However, regular transmission glitches, and interruptions to switch to Parliament can be frustrating. Arguing politicians are “not the friendliest thing to hear”, says David.
"We usually switch to Rhema or a classical station when it comes on."
David and Wendy are looking forward to the frequency changes.
“We’re excited, we heard about the possibility a while ago and we’re looking forward to Star being available 24/7 and without transmission issues. We thoroughly enjoy Star as a station—the banter, the speakers, and the music."
Rhema Media’s Head of Marketing and Development, Chris Price, says Star is a sanctuary for many listeners and the presenters on Star are like friends and family.
“This change to 540AM will mean that the serenity and companionship they receive from Star will be continuous without any unwanted intrusion from Parliament or transmission drop-outs," says Chris.
Rhema listeners will also benefit from the changes. The shift from AM to FM will sound better - in stereo with greater fidelity - meaning sharper, clearer audio.
The change is the result of a repositioning of Rhema FM’s transmission site, says Chris Price.
“This has resulted in it having much better coverage, almost on par with the AM frequency in the Bay of Plenty," says Chris.
"As a result, the opportunity arose to make Rhema available on FM only. There is no cost to Rhema or Star listeners, all they need to do is switch their frequency on Wednesday 6 April."
Star listeners move to 540AM for round-the-clock, uninterrupted access to the station.
Rhema will be broadcast exclusively on 104.6FM for Bay of Plenty listeners to enjoy greater sound quality.
Any listeners who want help with navigating the changes can phone 0508 000 717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .