New Zealand station's divorce stunt getting opposition


A Valentines Day competition planned at MediaWorks’ “The Rock” FM in New Zealand will have a woman being told her husband is divorcing her live on air. Even after opposition, The Rock GM Brad King says the stunt will go on.

The Rock is infamous for making and breaking relationships of its listeners. Last year about this time the station also came under fire after running a competition where listeners can win their own Ukrainian bride.

This time around, the stunt will feature an unidentified man, known as Sam, telling his wife he is splitting up with her live on air. The station will pay for the divorce.

The Rock’s website said the competition was designed for men whose wife turned out to be “Satan in a dress…We want to help those oppressed citizens and liberate them from the shackles of a dud marriage so they can live free to drink beer, watch sport and ogle gorgeous ladies on the internet without having to clear their internet history.”

Family First director Bob McCoskrie labeled the stunt “tacky, degrading and harmful” and called for it to be cancelled by Mediaworks. He said the unsuspecting wife could suffer long term emotional harm: “Divorces are difficult enough, but to cheapen it to a radio stunt is tacky. The radio station is simply feeding off the misery of others. They are willing to pay for the divorce – will they also pay for the counseling which may be required as a result of this stunt? The Rock is cheapening a serious issue and in the process are willing to inflict emotional harm on an unsuspecting spouse for the sake of ratings. How low will they go?”

The win-a-divorce competition it is set to run in AM Drive, hosted by Jono Pryor and Robert Taylor.

King tells The New Zealand Herald: “Anyone who’s considering getting a divorce is obviously unhappy in their relationship. I’d imagine most divorces are hurtful in some way. There’s always a small group of people who love to complain. Robert and Jono are simply offering to pay for something that happens everyday, and in their unique style they’ve chosen Valentines Day to make it happen.”