Compass revitalised

Compass FM has emerged ‘‘revitalised’’ after a challenging year.

North Canterbury Radio Trust chairman Gareth Renowden says the station, now in its sixth year, has received good feedback from listeners and advertisers and continues to support many local community initiatives.

‘‘A recent example was the excellent ‘North Canterbury Farmers’ Day Out’, organised by station manager Sally Lane in association with the Hurunui District Council, Rural Support North Canterbury and a group of Rangiora retailers, which brought 100 farmers from drought-stricken parts of the Hurunui into Rangiora for a fun day out.’’

In the latter part of 2015, Compass FM’s founding manager Mike Le Petit decided to move on after seven years service to the station and local broadcaster and long time supporter Richard Green took on the role.

Under Mr Green’s guidance, the station developed ‘‘a tighter on-air sound and more focused music play list’’, Mr Renowden says.

‘‘The initial changeover was perhaps a little too sudden for some listeners, but as the new approach bedded in the response from advertisers, sponsors and listeners was overwhelmingly positive.’’

However, due to ill-health Mr Green was forced to reconsider his position and in June Ms Lane, Compass FM’s business development manager, was appointed station manager.

‘‘Compass FM now focuses on providing a tight and professional sound, playing good music, talking to people and providing community news and weather throughout the day,’’ Mr Renowden says.

‘‘We continue to broadcast hundreds of community noticeboard messages free of charge and we are always pleased to support community initiatives and events.

‘‘We remain committed to bringing the voices of North Canterbury to the airwaves and we are continuing to explore new programming ideas with both new and existing volunteers, as well as community groups.’’

Rory McCall, who started with Compass FM as an intern in 2014, recently took up a position with Sky Television in Auckland.

‘‘He has developed into a very capable young broadcaster and I wish him well for his future career, wherever it should take him,’’ Mr Renowden says.

He also paid tribute to some longserving volunteers who left the station during the year, including Grant Windsor, Keith de Dulan, John Clark, Leroy Greenaway, Neil Faulkner, Olwyn Faulkner, Ann Fraser, Sahera Lang and John-Ross Hovell.

‘‘I know many of our listeners loved the voices and sounds you brought to our station.’’

One of the original trustees Gary Lang, who has served as secretary over the last few years, also retired at the annual meeting.

‘‘His fundraising skills, quiet efficiency and dogged insistence that we attend to important matters has been invaluable both to be as chairman and to the trust and radio station,’’ Mr Renowden says.

He says the success of the station would not be possible without the support of Mainpower, Hellers, Hartnell Coolheat, the Rata Foundation and the Community Organisation Grants Scheme.

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