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ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1984-23

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 23 January 1984
Public Notice CRTC 1984-23
Radio Windsor Canadian Limited CJOM-FM)
Windsor, Ontario
On 13 October 1983, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission called Radio Windsor Canadian Limited (Radio Windsor), licensee of CJOM-FM Windsor, to appear at a Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 18 October 1983 "to respond to questions about the programming offered by CJOM-FM compared to the Promise of Performance under which the station has been licensed" (CRTC Notice of Public Hearing 1983-71).
Based on an examination of the station's program logs in early 1983, and on a subsequent analysis of CJOM-FM's programming broadcast on 18 and 21 May 1983, the Commission identified significant departures from the station's authorized Promise of Performance in many important areas of programming. The licensee had not informed the Commission of these changes, notwithstanding the requirement that FM licensees, as a condition of licence, must notify the Commission immediately where, during any broadcast week, a substantial departure from any section of the Promise of Performance has occurred.
Essentially, the analysis indicated that the licensee had switched the format of CJOM-FM from the authorized Contemporary MOR to Contemporary, providing basically an AM programming service on an FM undertaking, and that it had changed its programming to a younger, teenage audience. Specifically, the analysis showed that no programming had been broadcast by CJOM-FM in either the foreground or mosaic formats, notwithstanding weekly commitments of 23% and 47%, respectively. Whereas CJOM-FM's Promise of Performance contains commitments of 17.7% for all spoken word programming, including 10% enriched material, a level of only 2% for spoken word programming was achieved during the period which was analyzed, with no material qualifying as "enriched". Further, only 0.4% of all programming was allocated to news, whereas the licensee's commitment in this regard is 4.4%.
Major discrepancies were also identified in the area of music. While CJOM-FM's Promise of Performance includes commitments of 31% of all programming for general popular musical selections, 24% for rock and rock-oriented, and 10% for country-oriented, based on the Commission's analysis, all of the musical selections broadcast during the period noted above were rock or rock-oriented; none qualified as general popular or country-oriented.
Further, while a level of at least 20% Canadian content in category 6 music is required, the Commission's analysis indicated that only 14% was being broadcast. Other shortfalls revealed by the analysis included a large number of musical selections qualifying as "hits" (78%) compared to the requirement of less than 50%, and a projected maximum repeat factor of 41, contrary to the maximum of 18 permitted by the FM policy.
In a letter dated 26 July 1983, the Commission advised the licensee that the Contemporary format was not acceptable under the FM policy. In response, the licensee indicated that CJOM-FM was conducting "a period of experimentation" with its programming.
At the hearing, Mr. G. Stirling, President of Radio Windsor, agreed that the Commission's analysis was representative of CJOM-FM's programming during the period in question, and that few changes had been made since then. He explained that, because of Windsor's proximity to Detroit, a major U.S. urban centre, CJOM-FM must compete for its teenage and young-adult audience with many U.S. FM signals which are available off-air. Mr. Stirling stated that changes were implemented in CJOM-FM's programming in an attempt to regain an audience which had been reduced to approximately 800 listeners by this competition.
The Commission acknowledges the particular circumstances of Windsor and the problems faced by broadcasting undertakings in that area. However, in various decisions during recent years, it has held the view that competition from U.S. broadcasting undertakings does not remove the responsibility of Windsor broadcasters to program for the Canadian communities that they have been licensed to serve. Specifically, on 18 October 1983 (Decision CRTC 83-897), the Commission denied an application by CKLW Radio Broadcasting Limited to amend the Promise of Performance of CKJY-FM Windsor by changing its adult-oriented big band music format to a youth-oriented rock music format, and stated:
At the hearing, the licensee also described the competition which Windsor licensees face from well-financed U.S. FM radio stations whose programming is not required to achieve the standards set for Canadian FM stations. While the Commission recognizes the difficulties of the Windsor market, it cannot relieve Windsor stations of their responsibilities to Windsor and to the Canadian broadcasting system so that they may compete more successfully with U.S. radio stations which do not have such obligations. Indeed, with a surfeit of U.S. FM services available in this area, it becomes even more vital that Windsor stations develop programming to meet the particular needs and interests of the Canadian communities they are licensed to serve, within the regulatory requirements designed to implement the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
In view of this position, the Commission is particularly concerned with the low levels achieved by Radio Windsor in the amount of news programming directed to its Canadian audience, and in the number of musical selections which qualify as Canadian.
At the hearing, Mr. Stirling undertook that fundamental programming commitments in the areas of foreground, including enriched material and news, will be met. In this regard, he stated, "we feel that within six months, certainly before the hearing in September, I think we can get the foreground intrinsic 15-minute packages back together again." However, the licensee is required to take the necessary measures immediately to meet all of its original commitments and adhere to its authorized Promise of Performance and to Commission regulations.
When it considers the renewal of CJOM-FM's licence, the Commission will evaluate
the extent to which the licensee has complied with this requirement, based on a further analysis of CJOM-FM's programming which the Commission intends to undertake shortly.
J.G. Patenaude
Secretary General