Thanks to Micheal at Radio Sticker Swapper for the above image

As a result of the Government of the time announcing that they wished simulcasting, that is the practice of transmitting the same programme on AM and FM, to end, many ILR stations across the country began to split their services, usually keeping the existing service on FM, and creating new "golden oldie" services on their AM frequency.

The Radio Trent group, of which Leicester Sound was a part, had decided that their AM service (on the AM frequencies of Radio Trent (Derby), Radio Trent (Nottingham) and Leicester Sound) was to be called GEM AM, the initials chosen because they stood for Great East Midlands. GEM launched at 12.00midday on Tuesday October 4th 1988, with John Peters playing the first record - All You Need Is Love by The Beatles.

Chris Hughes talks about the launch of GEM AM - Part One (756KB)

Chris Hughes talks about the launch of GEM AM - Part Two (1.1MB)

Thanks to Neil Asher for the above clips

Hear the GEM AM launch (1.1MB)

Thanks to Kevin Stanley for the above clip

The opening schedule was as follows....




Thanks to Neil Asher and Graham Wright for help with the above schedule

GEM quickly established an audience and became a firm favourite with listeners across the East Midlands. There was some anger in Leicester in 1992 when the decision was taken to remove GEM from it's 1260khz frequency and replace it with 24 hour Asian programming, as from 14th September 1992, GEM was restricted to it's 945 and 999 frequencies.

In 1993, Midlands Radio plc was purchased by the GWR Group, and the FM stations were re-launched under their Better Music Mix format. In some areas where GWR had taken over stations, they also networked the AM station, bringing in their own Classic Gold station, networked (at that time) from Swindon. However, this proved not to be the case for GEM, at least back in 1994, as the station continued to be live and local 24 hours a day.

A sign of things to come came in 1997, when the decision was taken to network Tony Lyman, now presenting from 12pm-3pm, across the Classic Gold network, now covering most of the Midlands and the Home Counties, at this point the name of the station was changed to Classic Gold GEM. More and more of the programming began to be networked, and then Classic Gold GEM was only local for 4 hours on weekdays, from 3pm-7pm

The name GEM finally died on Friday 3rd August 2007 at 7.00pm, when Classic Gold GEM became part of the new Gold Network, following the merger of Classic Gold and Capital Gold. The station is now known as Gold (Nottingham and Derby) and was local from 12midday to 4pm on weekdays, but this was voicetracked rather than live. This lasted until 28th June 2010, when all local programming was removed and Gold was fully networked

Since 24th March 2014, only the breakfast show on Gold now has a presenter, the remaining output is automated back to back music

If you have any information on GEM AM that you think I might find useful, then please mail me

The GEM AM jingle page

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