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Broadcasting career recognised at national radio awards

MarkP-729It was another remarkable achievement in a career full of remarkable achievements for Mangawhai radio personality Mark Perry when he was presented a Services to Broadcasting Award at the recent NZ Radio Awards held in Auckland on May 5.

Mark was recognised for his outstanding contribution to radio in New Zealand over his still-active 47 year career.

It all began for Mark in 1970 as a trainee technician for the NZ Broadcasting Corpration (NZBC) station 1ZD in Tauranga. However, a hankering to pick up a microphone instead of a soldering iron warranted an audition to become an announcer, where he was informed he ‘didn’t have a voice for radio’.

Mark subsequently quit and after a two year OE, he returned to work as production manager/copywriter at Radio Waikato from 1974 until 1976, producing and voicing commercials and scoring some mid-dawn airshifts on the much despised Sunday morning slot.

Ratings success
He left for Canada with his Canadian born fiancee, working on CHFX-FM in Halifax producing and writing commercials, where one earned him a nationwide Soundcraft award in 1978.

Returning to New Zealand in 1979 to raise a family, he was one of the foundation staff members of the relaunched 1323-ZM, emerging out of the ashes of Radio Nova, to take on the market-leading Radio Avon.

From 1979 until 1983, Mark hosted a networked new album programme, co-hosted a breakfast show with Ken Ellis, and was also music director for 3ZM, successfully beating Radio Avon in the ratings for the first time in the station’s history. 

The mid eighties saw a move to 1251-ZM in Auckland in its pursuit of a FM licence. The bid was unsuccessful, so Mark returned to Christchurch to rejoin Ken Ellis on Breakfast at ZMFM, due to the departure of James Daniels to the new C93FM.

‘Mark & Ken The Moron Men’ earned the prestigious Gold Medal in 1988 from the International Radio Festival of New York for Best Entertainment Programme for their breakfast show.

Hauraki history
In 1989 Mark was wooed north again to aid in the launch of Radio Hauraki to the FM band and its format change to classic rock, and after three months was offered the role of breakfast host, replacing Kevin Black, for the inaugural Morning Pirates.

It took a thick skin to handle the naysayers, but with Phil Gifford and Suzi Allison (later Dean Lonergan and Leah Panapa) the ratings success followed along with Mobil Radio Awards in 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995.

Mark holds the exclusive distinction of being the only breakfast host at Radio Hauraki to have resigned voluntarily – not once, but twice!
He left in 1995 to form the successful voice talent agency Word Of Mouth, but was later invited back to helm a revamped Morning Pirates (with Willie DeWitt and Dean Butler) in 1999.

Mangawhai radio
He again resigned in 2007 to start his own radio station in Mangawhai, Heads106.4FM, and more recently adding a sister station, The Wireless 90.4FM.

He was heard around the world for many years in the nineties until the mid ‘naughties’ on Air New Zealand’s In-Flight Classic Hits channel.

In 2000 Mark conceived, researched, wrote and voiced the award winning Kiwi Classic Album series, still being aired nationwide today.

Along with being the corporate voice of a number of radio networks, of differing formats, both locally and internationally, he is also one of the most respected voice artists in the country being the male voice of Briscoes, Nissan and more.

These days Mark still dons the headphones, and is a rating and audience favourite on Sunday morning with the Acoustic Sunrise on The Sound network.

After almost half a century in broadcasting, Mark Perry is still never far from a radio or television gig, or some good surf.

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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