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New Zealand’s oldest and most beloved broadcaster, Bruce Russell, has died. His unfortunate death sparked an outpouring of grief from listeners and colleagues. Russell was to be on the air to host Newstalk ZB’s nightly show. The station confirmed Bruce’s death. In a statement on the radio station’s website, the station said Bruce was one of their longtime Newstalk ZB hosts who died unexpectedly but peacefully last night. Additionally, the station addressed Russell as a terrific team member and a talented host and newsreader who brought joy to audiences for many years.
Sharing the news, Newstalk ZB continued that the conversations Bruce had on air earned him the loyalty of listeners young and old throughout the night and on his Saturday night show. It was further added that the inimitable personality of the newsreader in the newsroom and in the studio would always entertain his colleagues too. The station offered its deepest condolences to his family and friends and wrote that their thoughts and love are with Bruce’s family at this sad time.
Besides Newstalk ZB, Tim Dower, one of Russell’s longtime colleagues at ZB, also paid tribute to him. Tim Dower announced the news on the air this morning of the death of his great companion. Miles Davis shared a photo of Bruce on Twitter with a long caption where he wrote that he was devastated. Miles called Bruce unique and a colleague for 20 years who always made him laugh with his dry sense of honor and helped him a lot with his advice.
According to reports, the broadcaster, in his early 70s, died suddenly on Sunday evening April 24, 2022, working until his death as an overnight host, newsreader and host of the popular show My Day. At 9am today, Newstalk ZB interrupted its regular programming to allow listeners to pay their respects to Russell. Russell was the fabric of the station, according to host Tim Beveridge, who claimed he had more than 100,000 on-air chats during his tenure.
Russell’s broadcasting career has taken him all over New Zealand. According to his ZB biography, he started creating commercials and around this time started making announcements and was assigned to local community stations, doing every shift under the sun. He turned to programming at Timaru and later worked as a manager at a small station in the central North Island. Bruce Russell will be greatly missed by all.