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June 10, 2022 3:58 pm  #1

The Story Of A Radio Contest That Went Way Too Far - And Way Too Long

Normally, you wouldn't see anything here about something that happened on a New Zealand radio station almost 40 years ago. But if you're looking for a weekend read about radio, you could do worse than this.

It's about a contest from the 1990s put on by a struggling station called Radio Hauraki, that put contestants on a billboard and offered 20,000 New Zealand dollars (apparently a lot back then) to whoever stayed there the longest. 

It totally backfired when the promotion, with added expenses for security, food and more, went off the rails as it dragged on and on and on and on for not a week or two as intended but months and months - so much so that the station itself almost lost interest in it. 

The article includes an embedded YouTube documentary that went unseen for decades and cost the filmmaker a fortune, when it ran months of unexpected crew overtime - and he couldn't afford to stop shooting it without an ending. And you gotta love the accents.

How it finally ended is another story, but there's a reason you no longer see the Mike Coopers on a roller coaster type stunt anymore. Good thing, too!

It took place a long time ago and a long way away, but it's the type of thing that could only happen in radio.

Life on the ledge: The ’90s radio contest that became a marathon battle of wills