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Gem to replace Heart East Mids

Heart 106 in the East Midlands is to rebrand as gem106, as owners Orion Media free themselves of a franchise agreement with Global Radio.

News of the re-launch comes just weeks after the station enjoyed its highest ever audience figures, with almost half a million listeners.

Reacting to the news, Global Radio have told RadioToday.co.uk they think it's a bad move for Orion.

A Global spokesperson told us: "We are extremely surprised at this decision today by Orion Media as the idea was mooted in the past but dismissed because of audience and revenue implications. Heart 106 East Midlands represents 34 per cent of all national revenues for Orion, and audiences have grown by 23 per cent in the East Midlands since the Heart license was granted to Orion."

They added: "This is a very risky decision which could be extremely costly for Orion and their shareholders."

GEM AM was last heard in the East Midlands in 2007, when Global Radio changed the name of Classic Gold GEM to "Gold". It was the name of the oldies station which started broadcasting in 1988, as a secondary service to Trent FM.

This will be the 4th name change for the station since it launched in 1997, having originally launched as Radio 106. It changed to Century 106 in 1998 and then to Heart in 2005.

Heart will rebrand to GEM on the same day that Trent FM changes its name to Capital FM as part of a nationwide roll-out.

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