|Broadcast area||East Midlands|
|Slogan||What a feeling|
|Frequency||RDS: Gem 106, 106.0 MHz (FM)
NOW Nottingham (Nottingham),
Block 12C, 128kbit/s (DAB)
NOW Leicester (Leicester),
Block 11B, 128kbit/s(DAB
NOW Derbyshire (in Derbyshire from 2008)
|First air date||23 September 1997|
|Audience share||6.4%% (September 2012, )|
Based in Nottingham on the City link in the Sneinton area of the city centre, the station was launched on 23 September 1997 as Radio 106. In April 1998, station owners, Border Radio Holdings felt a change was needed, so in April 1998, John Myers took control over the station and it was rebranded as Century 106.
In May 2000, Century 106 was sold to Capital Radio, who then merged with GWR Group in 2004 forming GCap Media. GCap were required to sell the East Midlands station (as the combined firm also owned a number of other stations in the region), and thus Century 106 was sold to Chrysalis, owners of Heart in London and the West Midlands. As such, the station was relaunched as Heart 106 on 29 August 2005. A further, more subtle rebrand was applied in September 2006 which saw the dropping of the frequencies from station names across the Heart Network.
On the 25 June 2007 it was announced that Heart 106 along with its sister stations were to be sold for £170 million to Global Radio. Following Global Radio's takeover of GCap Media, the Office of Fair Trading ordered Global to sell five of its Midlands stations. In May 2009, the stations were sold to Orion Media, a company backed by Lloyds TSB Development Capital and Phil Riley.
In November 2010, Orion Media announced that Heart 106 would be relaunched and renamed as Gem 106 from 1 January 2011.
According to RAJAR figures up to September 2010, the station was listened to by 453,000 people (out of a possible 2,154,000 listeners) per week, with each listener tuning in for an average of 8.2 hours over the course of 7 days.
The station has changed hands several times: Border Radio Holdings was sold to the Capital Group, who then merged with GWR Group in 2004 forming GCap Media. GCap were required to sell the East Midlands station (as the combined firm also owned a number of other stations in the region), and thus Century 106 was sold to Chrysalis Group (GCap retained the other Century stations for a time, later selling them to Guardian Media Group; these stations now broadcast as Real Radio).
In 2007 Heart along with its sister stations The Arrow, LBC and Galaxy were sold to Global Radio. Following Global Radio's takeover of GCap Media, the Office of Fair Trading ordered Global to sell five of its Midlands stations including BRMB, Mercia FM, Wyvern FM, Heart 106 and Beacon Radio. In May 2009, the stations were sold to Orion Media, a company backed by Lloyds TSB Development Capital and Phil Riley. Orion ran Heart East Midlands as a franchise operation under an agreement with Global Radio until Friday 31 December 2010.
On 9 November 2010, Orion Media announced that Heart 106 would be relaunched and renamed as 'Gem 106' from January 2011. Under the rebrand, the station ended its franchise agreement with Global Radio which allowed it to use the Heart identity and carry networked programming from London.
Gem 106 was launched at midnight on Saturday 1 January 2011 with a special programme presented by Orion's director of programming and marketing David Lloyd.
The GEM name stands for 'Great East Midlands', the name created and used from 1988 onwards for GEM-AM (later Classic Gold GEM) an AM (medium wave), 'solid gold' secondary service of Radio Trent. The majority of the station's programming is locally produced and broadcast from Nottingham. The station also carries the nationally syndicated Vodafone Freebees Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.
Under the name GEM the station has had three station taglines - "great music for the great East Midlands", then "great music variety" (notice the similarity to Heart's "more music variety") and in Spring 2013 another change to "what a feeling".