Heart began broadcasting in the West Midlands on 6 September 1994 as 100.7 Heart FM, becoming the UK’s third Independent Regional Radio station, five days after Century Radio in North East England, and Jazz FM North West.
The first song to be played on 100.7 Heart FM was Something Got Me Started by Simply Red. Its original format of “soft adult contemporary” music included artists such as Lionel Richie and Tina Turner. Reflecting this, its early slogan was 100.7 degrees cooler!
Heart 106.2 began test transmissions in London in August 1995, prior to the station launch on 5 September. This included live broadcasts of WPLJ from New York City.
In 1996 the Heart programming format saw the “soft AC” music replaced with a generally more neutral rock “n” roll playlist. Century 106 in the East Midlands became the third station of the Heart network in 2005 after GCap Media sold Century. Chrysalis’ radio holdings were sold to Global Radio in 2007.
When GCap Media was taken over by Global Radio in 2008, it announced plans to dissolve the 41-station One Network, with one station (Power FM) becoming part of the Galaxy network, four stations (BRMB, Beacon Radio, Mercia FM and Wyvern FM) forming a West Midlands regional network, seven stations joining Capital FM to form The Hit Music Network and the remaining 29 stations forming the Heart Network.
Heart East Midlands was sold to Orion Media, along with the West Midlands network of local stations, due to the same competition concerns that had forced its earlier sale to Chrysalis.