bFM offers some creative radio freedom—for a price

  • Media
  • November 18, 2015
  • Erin McKenzie
bFM offers some creative radio freedom—for a price

Auckland's 95bFM is currently celebrating its 45th birthday. And, as part of “The 95bFM Bombathon” campaign, a throwback to a 1990 pledge-drive campaign, the DJs are putting their feet up and auctioning off three hours of airtime in which the winners can take over the station from 9pm to 12am on Sunday night.

General manager Hugh Sundae says the winners will be given the freedom to do as they please - to a point.

“They can interview who they like, they can play whatever music they like, they can hold a talk back whatever. We have ads booked every hour so as long as they play their ad breaks and don’t get us in the shit with the BSA.”

The auction encourages advertising executives with some extra cash to burn, competing networks hoping to do a lame stunt, or anyone holding a grudge if their demo was never played back in the day to get bidding. 

“Obviously our hope is that [the winner is] someone who kind of shares our values and who likes the things we do and is kind of in keeping with that, but at the end of the day if they are going to drop $9500 and if the auction does take off and everyone goes hard, if they have that kind of money then they can pretty much do whatever they want,” says Sundae.

If the $9500 reserve is a bit too much, also up for auction is a “party for two”, including festival tickets, a mystery tour, and the possibility of skydiving and a limo ride.

Until midnight Sunday, the station, which is a charitable trust, will play host to a non-stop “carnival of broadcasting mayhem” including a replay of archived moments, live-to-air bands live streams, special guests and alumni, a Friday night video telethon and on Saturday a party at Real Groove Records to release a limited edition 45RPM 12” LP of Darcy Clay’s 'Jesus I Was Evil' with some original band members and special guest vocalists performing cover tributes.

bFM hopes to raise $45,000 by midnight Sunday so it can continue to do “bigger and better” things for the next 45 years. So far 192 donors have given $19,573.11 to the givealittle page.

Sundae says the event has also boosted the station’s audience numbers. 

“As a byproduct of doing the bombathon and raising the cash there’s an increased profile, a lot more people are listening to the station.”

This means those who win the station takeover on Sunday will have a higher than usual audience to impress, although he was unwilling to specify exactly what its audience numbers are during that time slot. 

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