A new station and audience: How ZM’s Bree and Clint are settling into the drive show

Last month, the ZM Drive Show got a shake-up with two new hosts Bree Tomasel and Clint Roberts taking over. With Tomasel joining from Australia and Roberts joining from George FM, we check in to see how their new station is treating them, the differences between radio in New Zealand and Australia, and how they’re serving their audiences with digital.

StopPress: How has it been taking the reins of a new show on a new station for you?

Tomasel and Roberts: Taking the reins of a new show on a new station is never an easy task, it’s been fun, exciting, overwhelming and challenging all wrapped into one.

Is there any risk audiences will move to another station when their familiar hosts depart and if so, how do you keep audiences engaged?

Tomasel and Roberts: Taking over a show that’s loved is never easy… hell, even we loved them haha. But engaging, exciting and genuine content will hopefully always win the audience over in the long run.. and that’s exactly what we’re here to do.

Radio hosts have previously been behind the mic and now they are increasingly behind the mic and camera with video content for online. How important is serving the audience online compared to on air?

Tomasel and Roberts: The future is digital, and we love that we have the opportunity now across all platforms to create and share content that people can engage with. 

Where do you see radio in the future?

Tomasel and Roberts: Radio will develop across multiple platforms, on air, podcast, digital, social media. Sky is the limit.

How long have you both been in the industry?

Tomasel: This will be my 9th year in the industry, from working on the street team, doing promos, producing, digital to on air… I’ve loved every minute of those nine years.

What changes have you noticed over that time?

Tomasel: I’ve noticed a shift from the smoke and mirrors to the realness that I now think radio brings. People don’t want to be duped… they want honest and real people talking about their lives. 

What is it about radio that drew you in to be a radio host?

Tomasel: Making people laugh has always brought me so much happiness… making that tiny difference to someone’s day and knowing that they might be getting a laugh out of what you’re sharing is what I truly love about this job and continues to drive my passion for radio.

What was your role before joining ZM?

Tomasel: Before joining ZM I hosted a breakfast show Monday to Friday on Sea FM on The Central Coast near Sydney Australia, and also a national breakfast show on Saturday mornings that went out to 45+ across Australia on the Hit Network.

Why move to New Zealand?

Tomasel: Why not move to New Zealand… it’s bloody beautiful here. I have so many big ideas just itching to come out and I saw ZM and New Zealand as an opportunity where some of those ideas could come to life…

Are there any differences between the Australian and New Zealand radio industry?

Tomasel: There’s a few that I noticed straight away, like there’s no broadcasting in “delay” which kind of scared me…but should be fine right? Also, just the more relaxed approach and environment New Zealand radio provides.

Are there any lessons you’d like to bring over from Australia to New Zealand?

Tomasel: I think I’m just keen to learn as much as I can and really live the experience to the fullest. The beauty of radio is that there’s always more to learn and being in a totally different environment/market and country I’m learning so much and that it’s different everywhere and I can bring that difference from my experience of working in the Australian radio industry.

What sparked the move from George to ZM?

Roberts: I really enjoyed my time at George – in particular, the breakfast show we were able to create, and it taught me a huge amount about myself as a broadcaster. The chance to work on a big network like ZM again, with the team currently in at ZM was too good to pass up.  That, and Bree’s okay, I guess…

How do the audiences differ?

Roberts: They differ in the obvious ways, but I’ve actually been really surprised at the crossover. The number of messages I’ve received from people who have come over to ZM with me, or at least added ZM to their preset, has been really good.

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