Orion appoints staff ready for Heart network withdrawal

By | Published on Tuesday 30 November 2010

Orion Media has put a new management team in place at its East Midland’s FM outpost as it prepares to cease being part of the Heart network. 

As previously reported, Orion has been running a Heart station as part of a franchise deal with the network’s owners Global Radio, which sold various Midlands-based stations to its smaller rival last year. But earlier this month Orion bosses announced they’d take the station out of the Heart network at the start of next year and relaunch it as a locally-based FM service called Gem 106. This means filling out the schedules, most of which currently come from the Heart HQ in London. 

To make that happen a new management team has been appointed. Mike Newman, currently with Orion’s Mercia FM service, will become the new station’s Programme Director, while Kiron Willacy, previously of Global’s soon to be defunct Galaxy network, will become Sales Director. Orion bosses say they are making a “considerable” investment in the new station both behind the scenes and on air.