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Smooth FM drifts into local airwaves



13 Mar, 2023


Julia Wade


thumbnail davegray-234An easy-going mix of favoured tunes can now be found at the turn of a radio dial in east Kaipara now a neighbouring music channel has tuned into local frequencies.

Due to relocating their transmission spot to Vodafone’s site above Mangawhai, Waipu’s solar-powered retro/contemporary station Smooth FM have stretched their broadcast range from Bream Bay radios and are now lighting up the airwaves of Mangawhai, Kaiwaka, Pakiri, Dome Valley and Wellsford.

Smooth FM owner and founder, Waipu resident David Gray, has nearly three decades of experience in the broadcasting industry including being co-founder of George FM, announcer and in management positions. Dave created Smooth FM over three years ago after identifying a specific audience which ‘wasn’t being served effectively.’

“Our easy-listening playlist from the 70s to now, appeals primarily to 35–65-year-old females but we also have a strong male base audience,” he says. “I wanted to create a brand that offered local businesses an opportunity to reach local residents in this fast-growing region, the Lower Northland.

“The favourite past-time of our listeners is shopping and as this age group are the only consumers with multiple purchase needs, buying for themselves as well as their families, the station is a key choice for targeting household shoppers.”

As well as the easy-listening music sets of well-loved songs – from Bruno Mars and Adele to Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams and Celine Dion presented over six time slots by five highly-experienced radio DJs, including David – Smooth FM also delivers local news relatable to the lower Northland local population ‘because we live here too.’

Providing a grassroots radio station for his home area is the underlining focus for David and he says further expansion is unlikely.

“I don’t believe in becoming another metro station, to me this would dilute what community engagement is all about as a local station… which is being relevant and serving the area we live in.”

n Tune in to Smooth 105.6 FM


The solar-powered station spins out easy listening from the 70s to today.


Waipu’s David Gray started the easy-listening station three years ago.


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