Gem to take Hits Radio strapline and night programmes

Gem in the East Midlands is now identifying itself as playing The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks, in line with Free Radio in the West Midlands and the Hits Radio network.

Former Gem Radio presenter Jennie Longdon will return to the station, as she currently hosts Hits Chilled on the Hits Radio network of stations, which starts on Gem tonight (Monday).

Hits Chilled on Gem will replace the local automated Wind Down Show from 10pm to 1am, Sunday to Thursday evenings. Jennie previously hosted early evenings at Gem for a number of years, before moving to Hits Radio.

In addition to Jennie’s show, Gem will also introduce the Hits Radio network overnight show from 1am to 6am, Monday to Friday mornings, with John Isherwood. This will replace the currently automated music show.

Speaking of the updates, Regional Content Director Chris Cotton told RadioToday.co.uk: “It’s great to welcome Jennie Longdon back to evenings on Gem, whose soothing tones will be a welcome and familiar addition to evenings across the station as our listeners wind down from their day.

“As Gem is part of the Hits Radio Network, we are able to leverage opportunities to meet the evolving needs of our listeners and advertisers. This is a great example of how we are able to enhance the experience for listeners on what was previously an automated show.

“Our new strapline which launches today also sees us strengthening our output by aligning with the Hits Radio Network. ‘The Biggest Hits, The Biggest Throwbacks’ is a fresher, more contemporary slogan that is more in tuned with our modern listeners, and is a solid reflection of our musical offering.”

Bauer has just received Ofcom approval to share all programmes between Free Radio in the West Midlands and Gem in the East Midlands, with a Format change request as per the revised Localness Guidelines published late last year.

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18 Comments
  1. Sam T says

    So basically it will only be a matter of time before Free Radio in the West Mids and Gem in East Mids will be broadcasting the same music?

  2. sj says

    And yet, Gem is one of Bauer’s very few successful local/regional stations. It pulls in a very respectable reach. So the idea of contaminating it with music, strap lines and shows from the (so-far) failing Hits Radio is another uniquely Bauer (i.e. bizarre) decision.

    1. Martin Kong says

      As mentioned nighttime after 11pm is no presenter automated. So why not have programme with a presenter on it. Besides Jennie Longdon fans will be chuffed.

      1. Ted says

        Both of them!

      2. sj says

        Because, unlike the Hits Network as a whole, Gem is actually doing well. So I’d be inclined to leave it alone.

        1. Martin Kong says

          I agree that GEM doing well and I also agree that GEM was a replacement of Heart. I don’t mind the nighttime adding Jennie and overnight presenter. It’s the 6am till 10pm I concerned about, as I see it as a big risk. Unless there are some small scale stations that can join together and recreate their own version of a GEM/Heart. So straplines and overnights are not a concern. It’s getting rid of the older tracks that could lead to a loss of listeners. Look at CFM they’ve got local programming and different playlist. If GEM and CFM can have the same playlist, but different compared to the rest of the Hits Radio stations then it’s a win-win.

          1. jtofjax says

            Martin… good point.

            Hits Radio is tanking, but Bauer can’t see that and should look at how we Americans do radio.

            Wave 105 shows the template for the rest of Bauer stations.

            Wish/Wire/Tower are better-sounding than City/Key/Rock. Back in 2003, it was the other way round… not so now!

            Hits 97.3 (yes… i know the irony of that, as it’s NOT a Bauer station) does well as a local station.

            Look at how we in Florida do radio, Bauer, rather than try and copy Global.

            One more thing, please get Jennie Longdon and Cat James to contribute to the #sportsbrasquad meme on Instagram ; if you know anyone who can let them know… do so!

            Julia – Instagram Influencer & Athlete

          2. Martin Kong says

            Wave 105 is another one to keep an eye on as could do something with it down the line.

    2. T1 says

      agreed

  3. Mark Budgen says

    Bauer and Global will be merged at some point in the future, you can see it. Then there will be the “No Choice Network, the same bland music, every day.”

    1. Martin Kong says

      They won’t as that would classed as a monopoly which CMA won’t allow. Also the late John Myres say in a report that eventually the U.K will have 2/3 radio operators.

  4. Stuart says

    What’s a ‘throwback’?

    1. Ted says

      Like a technicolour yawn but more messy

      1. Mike Rose says

        I thought it was something you draped over your sofa

    2. Martin Kong says

      Back in time, retro, old school, etc, etc, etc……..

    3. Sheila J says

      Far more important questions in the world to ask I’ll admit but isn’t a ‘throwback’ only for 00s to early 10s or does it cover any earlier?

  5. Bob Huckin says

    It’ll be good to have presented shows overnight rather than the non stop music offerings we’ve always had to endure. Now that the evening show will run from 7 till 10, it’d be good if it was to now start at 6pm and thus make all daytime shows four hours long.

  6. David Mills says

    Although Gem is part of the same group its bosses have always ran it slightly different to all the other stations as it has a huge reach and is actually one of few of the groups performing stations. Personally I think rebranding and using this hits radio strapline is killing the industry. Local people want local content. Not network shows! My local station is Free BC however I haven’t listened for a while now because its changed way too much and no longer appeals to me. I now listen to Kisstory which is again part of the same group however is so much better and refreshing

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