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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 85-666

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Decision

Ottawa, 19 August 1985
Decision CRTC 85-666
CHUM Limited Montreal, Quebec and Windsor, Ontario - 842798100 - 842799900 - 842796500 - 842797300
Maisonneuve Broadcasting Ltd. Montreal, Quebec 843384900 - 843383100
Radio Windsor Canadian Limited Windsor, Ontario - 840882500 - 843100900
Following a Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 14 May 1985, the Commission approves the applications for authority to acquire the assets of CKWW and CJOM-FM Windsor from Radio Windsor Canadian Limited, and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings.
By majority decision, the Commission also approves the applications for authority to acquire the assets of CKGM and CHOM-FM Montreal from Maisonneuve Broadcasting Ltd., and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings.
The Commission will issue licences to CHUM Limited (CHUM) upon the surrender of the current licences. The AM licences to be issued for CKGM Montreal and CKWW Windsor, and the joint FM licence for CHOM-FM Montreal, will expire 31 March 1990.
The licence to be issued for CJOM-FM Windsor will be an experimental FM licence, as prescribed in section 3 of the Radio (F.M.) Broadcasting Regulations, and will expire 30 September 1987. The Commission considers that this term of licence will provide sufficient time for the licensee to respond to the requirements set out in this decision, and for the Commission to assess the licensee's programming performance, taking into account the more flexible regulatory framework of CJOM-FM's experimental licence.
The above-noted licences will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in each of the licences to be issued.
The Commission notes that the issuance of the broadcasting licences for the continued operation of the Montreal and Windsor radio stations will render further action unnecessary on the applications by Maisonneuve Broadcasting Ltd. for the licence renewal of CHOM-FM and CKGM Montreal (843384900 and 843383100), and by Radio Windsor Canadian Ltd. for renewal and amendment of the licence for CJOM-FM Windsor (840882500 and 843100900).
Transfer of Ownership and Control
As noted in previous decisions involving transfers of ownership and control of such significance, the onus is on the purchaser to demonstrate that approval of the transactions will yield significant benefits to the communities to be served and to the Canadian broadcasting system, and that it is in the public interest.
CHUM is controlled by Allan F. Waters of Toronto. Mr. Waters has had a long and successful record in Canadian broadcasting where he has distinguished himself through his initiative, leadership and expertise in the radio and music industry.
In addition to the national specialty network music service (MUCHMUSIC) and the regional satellite service (Atlantic Satellite Network), CHUM owns and operates a number of radio and television stations across the country. These are located in both large and small markets, primarily in Ontario and the Atlantic region, and include radio stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg and three Alberta communities.
CHUM is also one of the founding members and an active participant in the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records (FACTOR). FACTOR is funded and promoted by CHUM and other Canadian licensees, and has an annual budget of $900,000. FACTOR has recently merged with the Canadian Talent Library (CTL) and is now known as FACTOR/CTL. Through its participation in FACTOR/CTL and its ownership of MUCHMUSIC, CHUM plays an important role in supporting and providing exposure for Canadian music talent.
In the Commission's view, the significant expansion of CHUM's economic base, broadcasting reach and potential influence resulting from the purchases of the Montreal and Windsor stations, brings with it several challenges, responsibilities and legitimate public concerns. This is particularly true in light of the very special socio-cultural characteristics of the Montreal market, the proximity of Windsor to the large and competitive Detroit market, and the unique and exceedingly complex broadcasting environments which these factors create.
Accordingly, and as discussed with the applicant at the hearing, the Commission has decided that it is in the public interest to impose requirements and expectations which, in certain instances, go beyond the proposals and commitments contained in CHUM's applications, particularly in the important areas of support for Canadian musical talent, and the broadcast of spoken word programming, Canadian content music, French-language music (in the case of the Montreal stations) and other related program areas. Based on the applicant's solid expertise, its substantial resources, and its record of responding to local and regional needs and interests, the Commission is confident that CHUM will adequately fulfill all of these requirements and expectations.
Furthermore, taking into account the stability, personal commitment and leadership which the CHUM organization will bring to the operation of the Montreal and Windsor stations and, in particular, the commitments that CHUM has made to contribute to the establishment of a mechanism (similar to FACTOR/CTL) for the funding and support of Quebec talent, the Commission is satisfied that approval of these applications is in the public interest, and should yield significant benefits, both for the communities concerned and for the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole.
In reaching its decision, the Commission has also given consideration to the fact that there were no opposing interventions to CHUM's applications, and has noted, as well, the statements of support by the employees of the Montreal stations and by the General Manager of the Windsor stations.
The specific terms and conditions pertaining to the Montreal and Windsor radio stations are dealt with below.
CKGM and CHOM-FM Montreal
In view of the applicant's close association with Canada's music production industry, and the significant Francophone component of the audience reached by CKGM and CHOM-FM, the Commission considers that CHUM has an opportunity and obligation to contribute in a truly meaningful way to the development and support of French and English-language musical talent in the Montreal area.
In its applications to acquire the assets of the Montreal radio stations, CHUM committed to invest a minimum of $50,000 immediately for the establishment of a Quebec version of FACTOR/CTL, which would act as a mechanism to stimulate the Quebec recording industry and promote Quebec artists. CHUM stated that, in addition to this initial funding for start-up costs, it would provide the new organization with ongoing leadership, human resources, and a minimum contribution of $25,000 during each successive year of its licence term. CHUM stressed that these would be minimum commitments, "... which will be constantly reviewed in relationship to funding requirements during the establishment period. We are confident that our leadership would trigger the commitment of other Montreal area broadcasters, and we will commit our own efforts to this end."
The applicant indicated that, through FACTOR's matching contribution mechanism, the foundation generates close to $2 million per year in direct support to Canadian recording artists. To date, its impact has been reflected primarily by the production of new recordings featuring English-language artists. The Commission is concerned, however, by the significant decline in the production of French-language recordings, despite the efforts of Francophone broadcasters. This problem was addressed by the Commission in Public Notice CRTC 1985-100 dated 22 May 1985, in which it announced the formation of the Task Force on French-Language Popular Music, to examine the most effective ways to stimulate and promote new French-language musical talent.
The Commission considers that CHUM's proposal for the creation of a Quebec-oriented version of FACTOR/CTL has the potential to assist greatly in reversing the decline in the production of French-language recordings and, at the same time, to provide support to English-language musical talent in Quebec.
Accordingly, in addition to the ongoing expertise and the human resources that CHUM will provide, it shall be a condition of the licences for CKGM and CHOM-FM that the applicant adhere to its commitment to contribute to the establishment and operation of the Quebec version of FACTOR/ CTL through a combined minimum contribution of $50,000 in year one and $25,000 in year two of their licence terms.
Notwithstanding these conditions, given the applicant's resources, the resources of the Montreal stations it is purchasing, and CHUM's enhanced abilities to attract national advertising revenues as a result of these acquisitions, and taking into account the comparative efforts of other Montreal broadcasters to support Quebec artists, the Commission considers it reasonable that CHUM's financial contribution to broadcasting through the development of Quebec musical talent should be greater than that proposed in its applications.
It is, therefore, the Commission's strong expectation that CHUM effectively double its proposed financial contribution to the new organisation by allocating a minimum contribution of $100,000 in the first year to cover the start-up costs, and $50,000 in the second year for its continuing operation. Moreover, consistent with the discussions at the hearing, it shall be a condition of the licences for CHOM-FM and CKGM that, during each of the third, fourth and fifth years of their licences, CHUM continue to invest a minimum of $50,000 in support of this new initiative.
The Commission will wish to review CHUM's efforts in this regard, after two years, at which time it also intends to assess the evolution and effectiveness of the Quebec version of FACTOR/ CTL. This period should also enable the applicant to establish itself within the Montreal market and become familiar with the availability of Canadian musical talent within the province of Quebec.
The applicant also stated that its Montreal stations would provide, in the form of public service announcements, free on-air promotion of Canadian artists representing an equivalent of $200,000 of commercial air time. The Commission encourages the applicant's plans in this regard; at the same time, it is concerned by CHUM's proposal to eliminate the broadcast of all French-language vocal music on CKGM and CHOM-FM.
Given the predominantly Francophone environment in which CKGM and CHOM-FM operate, the Commission considers that CHUM has an obligation to broadcast some French-language vocal music on both Montreal stations. Fulfillment of this obligation is all the more essential at this time, in light of the decrease in the number of French-language recordings being produced in Canada, and the need for more on-air exposure of French-language Canadian artists.
In the case of CHOM-FM, the applicant stated that it would abide by a condition of licence specifying a minimum level of French-language vocal music, if the Commission deemed such a condition to be in the public interest. The Commission considers such a requirement to be appropriate in the case of both stations. Accordingly, it is a condition of licence for each of CKGM and CHOM-FM that a minimum of 5% of the vocal selections broadcast weekly consist of French-language vocals.
In recognition of the legitimate concerns raised in the past by Francophone broadcasters in the Montreal area, however, the Commission expects CHUM to abide by its commitment not to broadcast any French-language spoken word on the Montreal stations, with the exception of proper names and those expressions, quotations, words and phrases that are in common usage.
CKGM: Under the Promise of Performance submitted for CKGM, the format of this station will change from Contemporary MOR to Contemporary. This will be reflected, among other things, by an increase in Rock and Rock-oriented music, a larger vocal/instrumental ratio and a greater use of hits. The Commission notes that there are no AM radio stations in the Montreal area currently operating in a Contemporary format, and is thus satisfied that CKGM's new format will enhance the overall diversity of music provided by broadcasters in that city.
The Commission places great importance on the applicant's commitment "to significantly improve the news coverage" currently available on CKGM. The Commission notes in this regard CHUM's commitment to provide greater resources to news on both stations, "to allow more effective coverage of the local and regional scene and to expand full-time weekend news coverage". The applicant noted that its Montreal audience would have access to CHUM's National News Network. It also stated that regular editorial commentary from Montreal would be incorporated into its network news service, to ensure that "the views and concerns of Montrealers (are carried) to the rest of Canada."
The Commission expects CHUM to respect its commitment to provide high-quality spoken word programming, including news oriented to its young audience. In this regard the Commission notes the following statement by the applicant:
 ...one of the key elements that certainly has come out of programming to younger audiences is the length of the package involved, the attention span. If you are to attract and maintain a younger audience, things must be fairly fast-paced ... In that mix of music, you provide the information that they need to know in the way of news, what is going on in the world around them, but it must be done in a style that will attract them and it most be done in a short space of time.
The Commission is persuaded that CHUM has the staff, experience and resources to produce and package high-quality news and other spoken word programming on CKGM attractively and effectively. Nevertheless, the Commission is concerned by the applicant's proposal to reduce the amount of news to 4 hours 24 minutes, and the total amount of spoken word programming to 16 hours. As emphasized by CHUM itself during the hearing, it has a responsibility to inform its listeners adequately and to stimulate their interest on the issues of the day. The Commission considers that, in order to fulfill this responsibility, the applicant must maintain a certain miminum quantity of news and other spoken word programming on CKGM.
Accordingly, the Commission denies CHUM's proposal to reduce the news and spoken word programming on CKGM, which must be maintained at their currently authorized weekly levels of 5 hours 55 minutes (news), and 20 hours 25 minutes (spoken word). Moreover, the Commission requires CHUM to provide complete hourly newscasts between 9:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday, instead of the brief news updates which the applicant proposes for these periods.
CHOM-FM: Under the Promise of Performance submitted for CHOM-FM, this station will henceforth be operated within musical Group II, which encompasses the actual Progressive music format of the station, and is defined in Public Notice CRTC 1984-151, wherein a new structure for music formats was proposed.
The Commission notes that there is currently no news programming broadcast by CHOM-FM on weekends or during weekday afternoons and evenings. The Commission therefore views as important the applicant's commitment to hire additional news staff, and to broadcast on the Montreal FM station a minimum of 5 news updates on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. The Commission encourages CHUM to examine the possibility of further increasing the proposed amount of news programming.
CHUM has proposed to eliminate the one hour of Music-Traditional and Special Interest (category 6) programming currently broadcast on CHOM-FM. In its March 1983 Policy statement on the Review of Radio, however, and in a number of recent decisions, the Commission reaffirmed that FM stations which initially undertook, and were authorized to broadcast, less than 8 hours per week of Music-Traditional and Special Interest would be required to maintain their authorized levels as a minimum commitment. In doing so, the Commission emphasized the importance of providing an adequate level of such music in order to ensure that varied and comprehensive listening fare is available in any given market. At the same time, it offered greater flexibility to FM licensees in the scheduling and selection of category 6 music.
As discussed with the applicant at the hearing and in accordance with the above, the Commission denies the proposal to delete the one-hour per week of Music-Traditional and Special Interest broadcast on CHOM-FM and requires CHUM to continue to broadcast a minimum of one hour of such programming weekly, and to decrease, by a commensurate amount, the level of Music-General (category 5) programming.
CJOM-FM and CKWW Windsor
CJOM-FM is currently authorized to operate within a Contemporary MOR format, featuring a mixture of general popular, rock-oriented and country-oriented music. CHUM proposed that the station henceforth be operated within a contemporary music format described by the applicant as being closest to musical Group II, which features predominantly harder rock and pop music, and is defined in Public Notice CRTC 1984-151.
In addition to this format change, CHUM has proposed many other significant changes in the station's overall programming, several of which are not in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's FM policy.
The Commission acknowledges the special characteristics which set Windsor apart from other Canadian markets, and the particular operational difficulties facing private FM broadcasters in that city. These were addressed by the Commission in its document entitled Windsor Radio Review (Public Notice CRTC 1984-233 dated 25 September 1984) and, more recently, in Decision CRTC 85-158 dated 29 March 1985, which approved the transfer of assets of CKLW and CKEZ-FM Windsor to Keith Campbell, representing a company to be incorporated.
Taking into account the very particular circumstances of the Windsor market, and in line with the purpose and intent of the experimental licence that will be issued to CHUM for CJOM-FM the Commission will allow the applicant considerable latitude and flexibility in implementing a number of the changes it has proposed in the station's music format and mix which, CHUM indicated, will be essential to allow it to innovate and experiment in order to attract and retain the audience that it is licensed to serve.
Accordingly, the proposed reduction in the size of CJOM-FM's playlist, increase in the maximum repeat factor, elimination of category 6 music, and increase in the use of hits, are approved.
The Commission wishes to emphasize that its purpose in creating the experimental FM licence was to enable it, in very particular circumstances, to extend to licensees a measure of flexibility to investigate and experiment with new means, other than those contemplated by its FM policies and regulations, of achieving the objectives of the Canadian Broadcasting Act.
In the Commission's view, however, the extent to which the applicant has proposed to reduce the amount of news, Foreground and Mosaic programming, and Canadian music content broadcast on CJOM-FM would be inconsistent with the primary role of this FM station, which is to provide a service that is responsive, first and foremost, to the particular needs and interests of its Windsor audience. As stated by the Commission in its Windsor Radio Review, its objectives in Windsor "will be achieved by programming services that reflect a firm Canadian orientation in their approach to the provision of spoken word and music programming."
The Commission, therefore, requires a modification of CHUM's proposals in these areas. Specifically, the Commission requires CHUM, as a condition of licence, to ensure that a minimum of 15% of the category 5 musical selections broadcast on CJOM-FM qualify as Canadian, instead of the 5% proposed.
It is a further condition of licence that the programming of CJOM-FM include, as a minimum, 12% Foreground programming and a level of 33% for Foreground and Mosaic combined, instead of the 5% Foreground and 20% combined level of Foreground and Mosaic proposed. The required figures are the same as those imposed on independent FM stations under the FM policy.
CHUM has made no provision for any weekend news subsequent to the 08:00 newscast on Saturdays. The Commission considers news to be an essential service to the CJOM-FM audience and expects the applicant to increase the number of newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Commission considers that CHUM's adherence to the requirements and expectations stated above will bring the Canadian orientation of the station's music and spoken word programming to a level equivalent to that approved by the Commission for CKEZ-FM Windsor in Decision CRTC 85-158. Consistent with the objectives set out in its Windsor Radio Review, the Commission expects CHUM to examine further ways of enhancing the overall Canadian orientation of CJOM-FM during the term of licence, possibly through an increase in the station's spoken word programming, its use of Canadian music, or both.
The Commission will review CHUM's performance in this regard, at licence renewal time, taking into account its more flexible regulatory approach.
CKWW: The music format proposed by CHUM for CKWW will include a balance of rock and general popular music, as distinguished from the predominantly harder rock and pop music to be broadcast on CJOM-FM. Otherwise, the service provided by CKWW will continue to be heavily oriented to the spoken word, featuring 241/2 hours of open-line programming per week, and 111/2 hours of news with emphasis on events in Windsor and Essex County.
From the time it was first licensed in 1964, CKWW has provided Windsor audiences with a strongly Canadian-oriented broadcast service. The Commission is pleased to note CHUM's plans and commitments to maintain the station's local orientation.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General
Minority Opinion
Commissioner Monique Coupal dissented from the decision to approve the applications by CHUM to acquire the assets and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of CKGM and CHOM-FM Montreal on the following grounds:
 In my opinion, CHUM has not made its case that the public interest is best served by its entry into the Montreal radio market. CHUM has already achieved a very high level of concentration of ownership in this country that gives it an almost overwhelming advantage over its competitors, particularly in the radio market. There are no compensating reasons why it should be given entry to the last major radio market where it does not yet have a property. Maisonneuve Broadcasting Ltd. is well managed and operates two viable radio stations in Montreal. There are certainly many other potential purchasers of the AM and FM stations who may have come forward if they bad been given the opportunity.