Billboards put station on wide wavelength

By Don Farmer


Eketahuna is really making itself heard thanks to a small band of volunteers who man the community's radio station - and the station is receiving a further boost as billboards are erected to advise listeners on how they can tune in.

On the initiative of one of the station's stalwarts, Ray Stringfellow, several billboards advertising the little station's frequency are being erected throughout the Tararua and Masterton districts.

They have already prompted feedback, with the station receiving calls from people from near and far reporting that have linked up and are listening.

Among those to phone in have been tanker drivers who spend long hours on the road and enjoy listening to easy listening music and local chit-chat, said Mr Stringfellow.

The billboards are only one of two recent additions for Eketahuna Radio, the other being the arrival as a part-time presenter of experienced radio man Hugo Manson. He has volunteered his time to helping out at the microphone, but the station is still on the lookout for others who want to help.

The roster as it stands relies on only a handful of people to front the programme, the evergreen presenter Joe Sweeney, Russell Gaskin, Hugo Manson, Evelyn Chase and Bob Morgan.

Mr Stringfellow is responsible for the playlist and has been busy improving that steadily and generally making the whole programme more professional, without interfering with the station's homegrown qualities.

For would-be volunteers who want to donate time but aren't keen to go to air there are also jobs " out the back".

The little radio station started life in September 2000 and has had its share of struggles to keep going but it is ploughing ahead, building listenership and - with more hands on deck - and an improved signal thanks to a " lucky upgrade" is here for the long haul.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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