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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-233

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Decision

Ottawa, 20 March 1986
Decision CRTC 86-233
Radio 1540 Limited
Toronto, Ontario - 852540400 - 852552900
Following a Public Hearing in Toronto commencing 3 December 1985, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CHIN Toronto from 1 April 1986 to 30 September 1990.
The Commission also approves the licensee's proposal to amend its Promise of Performance in accordance with the policy guidelines set out in Public Notice CRTC 1985-139 entitled "A Broadcasting Policy Reflecting Canada's Linguistic and Cultural Diversity", subject to the provisions set out in this decision. The licence to be issued will be for an "ethnic station", as defined in the Radio (A.M.) Broadcasting Regulations, as amended (SOR/86-193 dated 6 February 1986) and will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
Johnny Lombardi, President of Radio 1540 Limited, is the founder of CHIN, the first Canadian radio station dedicated to broadcasting programs directed to the many ethnic communities within its service area.
From the time it commenced operation in June 1966, CHIN has provided a day-time only multilingual AM programming service to the Metropolitan Toronto area.
On 14 June 1985, the Commission approved an application by the licensee to change the station's hours of operation from day-time only to 24 hours per day (Decision CRTC 85-445). At the December hearing in Toronto, the licensee explained that, to date, it had been unable to implement this change because of technical problems:
We will not be able to use our new 15,000-watt night-time transmitter ... until the completion of the installation of a new transmitter plant and towers on a neighbour station ... which is adjacent of our CHIN transmitter plant.
In consultation with the [Department of Communications] and that station, CJCL, we have agreed not to go beyond the very weak 300 watts at night.... Our market has been deprived of 12 hours per day, 84 hours per week, of additional ethnic programming.
The Commission expects CHIN to commence operating on a 24 hour-a-day basis as soon as possible.
In accordance with the licensee's proposals, CHIN will devote 120 hours (95.2%) of the broadcast week to ethnic programming. Of this time, 61 hours must be devoted to programs of Types A and B, as a condition of licence.
Further, as a condition of licence, the licensee will provide programming directed to the needs and interests of a minimum of 20 different cultural groups, in a minimum of 16 different languages.
The Commission notes that programming directed to major cultural groups such as the Italians and the Greeks will permit CHIN to cross-subsidize programming intended for West Indian, Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian and other audiences. Newscasts will be broadcast in English, Italian, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese.
The licensee proposed to amend its existing Promise of Performance by decreasing the level of Spoken Word programming from 31 hours 24 minutes per week to 24 hours 33 minutes per week, including reductions of 44 minutes in news, 1 hour 49 minutes in sports and 2 hours 42 minutes in backgrounding.
The Commission recognizes that language is an integral feature of cultural tradition and, accordingly, it defines ethnic programming on the basis of its spoken word content. In this regard, the Commission commends the licensee for its efforts to reflect the cultural diversity of listeners in Metropolitan Toronto. Nevertheless, having assessed the Spoken Word level of other Canadian AM ethnic stations and taking into consideration the particular circumstances of the market served by CHIN and the licensee's overall ethnic programming commitments, the Commission expects CHIN to maintain at least 30 hours per week of Spoken Word programming.
The licensee proposed to increase its Music - General (category 5) commitment by 9 hours 29 minutes and its Music - Traditional and Special Interest (category 6) commitment by 19 minutes per week. In view of the expectation that CHIN provide at least 30 hours per week of Spoken Word programming, its music programming proposals should be adjusted accordingly.
The Commission notes the licensee's commitment to broadcast 95% of CHIN's vocal selections in languages other than English or French and recognizes the licensee's strong, continuing dedication to reflect the musical traditions of its intended audience.
The Commission acknowledges the outstanding contributions of this licensee over the years through its sponsorship of community events involving participation by all segments of Toronto's ethnic population. In particular, it notes CHIN's annual International Picnic in celebration of Canada Day, which is now in its 20th year. The tremendous success of this unique event was described by the licensee at the hearing:
Originally a one-day, one-stage event held on Toronto Island, the picnic now held at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds has grown to a three-day ... multi-cultural celebration attracting 250,000 people and showcasing 2,000 local and international performers.
Among other activities, the licensee sponsors concerts for Italian, Portuguese and Spanish audiences at Maple Leaf Gardens. It also promotes the celebration of Italian Day at Ontario Place and Oktoberfest on behalf of the German community.
In terms of Canadian talent promotion, the Commission notes the annual Johnny Lombardi Italian Song Festival which in 1985 attracted over 200 original entries. Each year CHIN finances a record album featuring the musicians who perform at this festival. CHIN also sponsors an annual folklore (dance) competition, with prizes totalling $3,000. Throughout the summer CHIN organizes live concerts in Toronto parks to promote the development of Canadian ethnic musical talent.
The Commission notes the licensee's commitment to allocate $10,000 annually for the development of local ethnic music talent, in addition to its expenditures on the production of recordings by ethnic musicians. The Commission notes the licensee's efforts to encourage the airplay of these recordings on stations other than CHIN and CHIN-FM.
Further, consistent with the objectives set out in Public Notice CRTC 1985-241, the Commission expects Radio 1540 Limited to participate in any initiatives taken towards the development of the Canadian ethnic recording and production industries.
The Commission acknowledges the 407 letters received in support of this application. It also acknowledges the intervention submitted by CKMW Radio Ltd. expressing the view that Radio 1540 Limited should modify the predominance of Italian programming on CHIN (and CHIN-FM) to reflect more faithfully the linguistic and cultural diversity of the Toronto market.
In the Commission's view, the licensee has played a unique role in serving the diverse ethnic groups in Toronto, including the large Italian segment of the population, through its coverage of local and international news events in a variety of languages. The Commission is satisfied that the licensee will continue to respond to the information and entertainment needs and interests of the different linguistic and cultural groups it is committed to serve.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General