Bay morning radio host calls it quits

By Sandy Myhre

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Pete Gentil. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Pete Gentil. Photo / Peter de Graaf

The man many in the Bay of Islands have woken up with each morning is calling it a day.

Pete Gentil, breakfast host on MoreFM for the past 15 years, will broadcast his last show on Friday from Kerikeri's Hub Mall studio.

Pete Gentil began his broadcasting career 35 years ago and served his on-air time briefly in Timaru before settling in Rotorua for 20 years.

In 1998, when Magic FM established a studio in the Bay of Islands because their Whangarei signal wasn't reaching the populace and because they could foresee growth in the area, he was asked to host the breakfast slot.

He has become a local identity as much for the studio time as his outside broadcasts and master of ceremony duties for innumerable events and functions. He says the biggest change to radio in his time is the switch to digital format.

''It was 'steam radio' before then and we recorded on tapes, stacked carts and had to push a button every thirty seconds.''

There have been occasional disasters like power cuts and equipment failure but nothing that couldn't be fixed. He's broadcast from planes, boats and helicopters and has interviewed 'thousands' of people from the clearly famous to locals pushing charity events.

Mr Gentil has decided to sell real estate but he won't be lost to the community. He plans to continue with voice-over and master of ceremony work and as a marriage celebrant.

His breakfast show will be taken over by MoreFM creative director Andy McKinlay, who will commute from Whangarei.

- Northern Advocate

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