Home' The Wellingtonian : May 3rd 2012 Contents 12 THE WELLINGTONIAN, MAY 3, 2012
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The broadcasting box view
Joseph Romanos talks
to Newstalk ZB football
broadcaster Jason Pine
about why he's not a
lawyer, covering the
Phoenix and rock and
Jason Pine: ''You'd go a long way to beat that New Zealand-Bahrain game in Wellington in 2009.''
Photo: JOSEPH ROMANOS
What did you think you'd be
when you grew up?
When I was at Tawa College I
imagined I d be a lawyer. That s
what I studied initially at Victoria
University. I liked what I saw on
LA Law, with the guys all wearing
flash suits and looking like they
were having a good time. I d
enjoyed debating and public
speaking at school. It just felt like
a natural choice.
What changed your mind?
I failed my first-year exam. If
I d got 9 per cent more, I d have
carried on. It turned out to be a
good failure, though at the time I
thought it was the biggest catas-
trophe of my life. I changed to a
BA in politics, then went to the
broadcasting school in Christ-
Was broadcasting the lure,
or the chance to get into
I liked sport, there s no doubt
about that. I was a keen footballer
and I spent many a happy hour at
the Basin watching cricket. But
broadcasting appealed. I got some
good advice from Peter Williams
and Geoff Bryan.
Where did you work
I did afternoon music shifts in
the Wairarapa for a while, then
moved to Radio Nelson. I hosted a
Saturday morning sports show
with Jock and Scruff Edwards,
and did the weekday afternoon
music shift. Later I did the
Saturday afternoon scoreboard
show and became programme
Sounds like you had a good
time in Nelson.
I did. The sport was great. The
Giants, the basketball team, were
really big, but we followed Nelson
Bay rugby, the Nelson Suburbs
football team in the Chatham
Cup, speedway. . . it was great.
You played in that Suburbs
team, didn't you?
Yes, I was up front initially, and
later moved to the back. I was
never particularly skilful, but I
tried hard and stayed fit.
Did you report on your own
No, I tried to avoid that. I d get
an outsider to do those reports.
How long have you been
back in Wellington?
Since 1999. I did the Saturday
morning shift, 7 till 9, and still do.
But I ve had a lot of other roles
since at ZB.
You've carved out a niche
covering the Phoenix. They
came along at a good time for
I was incredibly fortunate. If I
trace it back, Terry Serepisos has
been a huge boost to my career.
Without him there wouldn t be a
Phoenix. And without the Phoenix
I doubt New Zealand would have
got to the 2010 World Cup. I ve
been able to broadcast the
Phoenix and achieved a personal
dream, by covering a World Cup.
Are you close to the Phoenix
They re very helpful, but I don t
socialise with them. I don t want
to blur the lines. I have a very
good professional relationship
with the players and with Ricki
[Herbert, the coach].
What's the biggest game
You d go a long way to beat that
New Zealand-Bahrain game in
Wellington in 2009. The atmos-
phere was incredible. When
Paston saved the penalty, that
provoked the loudest noise I ve
ever heard at the stadium. The
whole stadium shook. For me,
that game was up there even with
the World Cup finals, where New
Zealand played so well.
Are you in the camp that
says football will one day be
our national game?
No, rugby s our national game,
and the All Blacks will always be
our No 1 side. But since New Zea-
land has had a professional foot-
ball team, the sport s following
has grown here. It used to be
mainly followers of the English
leagues, but now there are a lot of
New Zealand football fans, too.
There's been a move in radio
to cut back local content by
having shows such as Leigh-
ton Smith's from Auckland
cover the whole country.
Where do you stand on that?
I m a traditionalist, but a
realist. Since the mid-1990s, the
trend has been to network shows,
but with the talk brands, such as
ZB, there is a place for as much
local content as possible. We ve
kept our local shows, with Justin
du Fresne, then Sean Plunket,
doing weekdays and with local
weekend presenters. You want
presenters who can talk to
listeners about Courtenay Place,
the Basin, Cuba St, the stadium.
Do listeners care?
When we network a programme
-- perhaps if Sean is away -- the
complaints will start coming in
within a few seconds. We ll be del-
uged with complaints. Wellington
listeners want Wellington hosts.
Just changing tack, I under-
stand you do rock and roll
Ha! My wife, Bex, is the rock
and roll dancer. She s been doing
it since her 20s. I m hopeless. I
thought I d be OK at dancing
because I d played a lot of sport,
but I m definitely not. However, I
have started to learn. It s very dif-
ferent from anything else. It takes
a long time to pick it up and you
have to really concentrate. I
thought it would be good when we
went along to dance evenings if I
could do a bit, rather than sit
around. When you try, you realise
how good they are. The moves and
the throws are amazing.
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