An "engaging personality, tireless commitment to the community and a little bit of magic" are what make The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM radio host Will Johnston number one in the Bay.

In the latest radio ratings survey, The Hits local daytime show, hosted by Johnston, (pictured), was the number one radio station in the demographic of females between 30 and 49, said Simon Perry, sales manager for New Zealand Media and Entertainment, formerly The Radio Network.

"What makes a radio jock popular with women? You'd have to ask them that. It's a little bit of magic. Will has worked tirelessly over the last six months to build his local profile more, like in the recent indulge Bay Model event and only today (Sunday) working all day at The Busking Festival. He is totally committed, and genuine and it shows. People love that."

Mr Johnston, 31, laughed off the suggestion he was a "ladies' man". "It must be my fading good looks. Maybe women can see that once I used to be attractive. Seriously, it's about the music. We play great songs and a lot of them." Mr Johnston said he didn't treat a daytime audience as "drones". "People are at work or out and about or mums at home. We like to have a laugh."


Being connected locally underpins his show.

"I can mock Aucklanders. I attend most events in town. The other day I was at the Te Puna Kindy Pamper evening."

A big part of that connection locally was via social media.

"I will be posting on Facebook several times a day. And when big stories break, like Jack Dixon, we are on it."

Mr Johnson said he worked closely with the Bay of Plenty Times media, also owned by NZME. He has a weekly column in Bay News.

Mr Perry was delighted with the results. "This is bang on as this is a key target audience for The Hits, not just here in Tauranga but nationally. This is the debut survey for The Hits since it rebranded. It shows the changes we made are really working."

He added Coast and NewstalkZB also performed well locally, being number one and number two with breakfast audiences, and 89.4ZM scored a win locally, being number one in the region among grocery shoppers.

Nationally, NewstalkZB remained the most listened to radio station, with 12.2 per cent of the total New Zealand audience aged over 10.

NZME. Radio managing director Dean Buchanan said the company is pleased with the results for the The Hits. "We did bloody well given the scale of changes we've been through," he said.

- NZME. is the owner of Bay of Plenty Times Media.
• NZME. runs seven stations - The Hits 95FM, Newstalk ZB, 89.4ZM, Radio Hauraki, Radio Sport, Coast and Flava.
• On April 28 Classic Hits changed to The Hits.
• Will Johnston's show runs from 9am to 3pm weekdays.