Corran Crispe, the voice of Beach FM for the last 10 years, has left the station.

Beginning a career in broadcasting 38 years ago with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC), Corran has spent the majority of his life on the airwaves.

In his first two years of broadcasting he worked in eight different towns and cities, some for six weeks, some three months, depending on what the NZBC wanted.

"I was shoved anywhere in my early days, I didn't have a choice."


Having a ball working at what was then called Radio Nelson, Corran got a call saying he was being transferred to Greymouth, no ifs, buts or maybes.

However it was in Greymouth in 1986 that Corran first used a mobile phone, the start of major technology changes he has seen through his career.

"It was a Motorola about the size of a handbag, about 9kg with 20 minutes talk time and nine hours charge.

"If you went more than 2km out of town there was no service — but it was really cool, it was a mobile phone.

"It meant we could be on the side of a sports field watching a game and be talking live on the radio. It was amazing.

"In those days radio was the thing that everyone got their information from.

"There were daily papers and an hour of news on television in the evening but that was it.

"We were the stars — people looked up to broadcasters. We were invited into their homes, and it was a real privilege to be there. Now it's more of just a job."


Starting at Beach FM in February 2009 as an afternoon radio announcer and production engineer, he says the station was then owned by Grant Walker.

After Grant left during a battle with cancer, Corran's wife Jo suggested they buy the station.

"She's been behind me every step of the way. She's been amazing.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without her, just adding her wonderful unique slant on how things should be done.

"It's been a real team effort and more of a love affair than a job.

"It's the passion for radio, community radio and what each means to this community — that's the thing that's kept me there so long.

"It's just so important having that local connection.

"We are for, of and by the community. Community is what it's about."

Over his broadcasting career, highlights include interviewing a number of big names and befriending Billy T James.

"One of the big high points of my career was actually making friends with Billy.

"Over a period of five years he and I chatted on the radio for hours at a time on dozen or more occasions. There were some very cool people I've met.

"Meeting local politicians, playing golf with Kris Faafoi, who is hilariously bad at golf, and having the opportunity to report live on events.

"There is so little you get these days that is positive. We really try to put a positive spin on life. That's one of the good things live radio does, it makes you smile or at best giggle."

New adventures are ahead for the veteran broadcaster.

"It's time to see what else is happening in the world. I've been doing radio for 38 years. It's time to chill out, recharge and reset.

"It's all been fun. It's certainly a labour of love."