Radio loses its voice of rugby

By Kiri Gillespie

Tauranga's Andrew Love is stepping down as regional manager of The Radio Network.

Mr Love is well known in Tauranga as the voice of Bay of Plenty Rugby, commentating on matches for 30 years and reporting on Bay sport for the station's breakfast show for 25 years.

His departure comes as part of restructuring within the company to merge the three manager roles from New Plymouth, Hamilton and Tauranga.

"They [asked] if we would like to apply for the job, I declined," Mr Love said.

"I've been in [radio] 33 years, manager for seven, and in senior roles for a long time. I just got to a stage where it has been a very good journey I've loved and it's time for fresh, young blood with new ideas. Radio has changed a lot over the years."

Mr Love said he understood the need for change and was not upset by it.

"I support what they are doing. It happens in lots of businesses, why shouldn't it happen in radio?"

Mr Love said the sporting side of his radio career was the major highlight.

"I'm pretty well known. I've done a lot of things and known a lot of people.

"Over the years I've spoken to heaps of top sportsmen like Graham Henry and John Kirwan, all those people."

Mr Love said there was the possibility of other work within the company but it was still early days.

His main focus now was playing golf, losing weight and getting fit.

Former colleague, and fellow Tauranga radio stalwart, Brian Kelly, said Mr Love's departure was "the end of an era".

"It's not unexpected, radio in the regions is a younger person's game now and he's taken the station to the top and now it's time for the new guard."

Mr Kelly said Mr Love was an asset to the Bay.

"He worked alongside me on the breakfast show doing sports and being general manager. He's been to the top of the tree. When he rang me about leaving I said: 'I don't blame you, you can't do it forever'."

The restructuring process began about two weeks ago. Mr Love's departure was announced to staff last week.

Mr Love will formally end his role as manager at The Radio Network on April 30.

Thirty years of radio

  • 1978 - Mr Love is appointed as the first commissioned agent by Radio New Zealand.

  • 1981 - Having done many sports reports, Mr Love was asked to fill in as a commentator during a rugby game in Rotorua and has been commentating on Bay of Plenty matches ever since.

  • 1983 - Began a 25-year stint broadcasting sports reports on the breakfast show, working alongside Brian Kelly for 20 years.

  • 1987 - Commentated on the Rugby World Cup in 1987 for the third and fourth place play-offs.

  • 2006 - Accepted the general manager's role at The Radio Network.

  • 2013 - Steps down from the job as manager to explore other avenues.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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