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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-864

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Decision

Ottawa, 10 September 1986
Decision CRTC 86-864
Dufferin Communications Inc.
Orangeville, Ontario - 853183200
Following a Public Hearing in Toronto on 6 May 1986, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio station at Orangeville on the frequency 103.5 MHz, channel 278B, with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts.
The Commission will issue an independent FM licence expiring 30 September 1990, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
The Commission notes that the new station, to be operated in the Group I music format, will provide a first local radio service to the Orangeville area, which receives a number of out-of-market radio signals but lacks local broadcasting and daily newspaper services. Based on all the evidence available, including a number of interventions and letters in support of the application, the Commission considers that there is both a demand and need for a radio station to serve this market.
The Commission acknowledges that the frequency 103.5 MHz (channel 278) is the last Class B FM frequency allotted to Guelph, Ontario under the Canadian FM Broadcasting Allotment Plan. It notes, however, that the applicant's proposal to relocate channel 278B to Orangeville will result in a better use of the radio frequency spectrum in that it will eliminate shortspacings to the recently authorized assignment at Hamilton (channel 275B) and to an allotment at Stratford, Ontario (channel 281A), neither of which would be possible if the channel were retained for assignment in Guelph.
Technical studies conducted by the Commission in collaboration with the Department of Communications have indicated that no Class B frequency other than that proposed is suitable for use in Orangeville. Moreover, the Commission is convinced that the applicant would not be able to provide adequate service to its entire coverage area and, at the same time, be assured of the financial viability of the undertaking with less than a Class B station.
The Commission notes further that the effective radiated power and antenna height proposed by the applicant utilize the Class B frequency to its maximum potential.
M1 Radio Ltd. and Different Drummer Communications Inc. appeared at the hearing to oppose this application on the grounds that Dufferin Communications Inc. (DCI) proposed to use the frequency 103.5 MHz. The Commission also received written interventions opposing this application from Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited and from Rogers Broadcasting Limited, which expressed concern that the proposed technical parameters would enable DCI to compete with their radio undertakings in the Toronto market.
The Commission has considered the interveners' views but is satisfied that approval of the application is justified based on the technical arguments outlined above, the applicant's stated intention not to solicit advertising in Toronto, Barrie or Brampton, and its firm undertaking to provide a service oriented primarily to an area encompassing Dufferin County, Caledon (in the Peel Region) and parts of Wellington, Simcoe and Grey Counties.
Consistent with its proposals, the Commission will expect the licensee to ensure that this new service is responsive to the needs and interests of the residents of its coverage area. In this regard, the Commission notes DCI's statement that news and public affairs programming "will have a distinct orientation to Orangeville and Dufferin County and will likely be of little or no interest to residents in suburban Toronto, Barrie, Guelph or any other place outside of our prime service area."
The licensee has indicated that each newscast will include at least one local or regional story and that at least 25% of all news stories will be devoted to local and regional matters. DCI plans to acquire a mobile facility and to hire freelancers to cover events across the station's coverage area. Other plans for spoken word programming include foreground presentations on public affairs themes to be broadcast three times daily Monday through Friday, as well as a daily "agribusiness" report.
As noted previously, the new station will be operated in the Group I music format. DCI has described the service as a "full spectrum Group I", offering musical selections from the past 30 years to an audience primarily between the ages of 25 and 54. In light of the proposed reliance on past material, the Commission reminds DCI that FM licensees are required to maintain a level of "hits" below 50%.
In the area of Canadian talent, DCI has allocated an annual budget of $2,000 for the production of local concerts to be broadcast at least once a month and will contribute another $2,000 per year to FACTOR/ CTL. The licensee also plans to broadcast highlights of the Canadian Fiddling Championships, as well as concerts by local barbershop quartets and high school bands.
It is a condition of this licence that construction of the station be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or such further period as the Commission may, upon receipt of a request for extension before the expiry of the said twelve months, deem appropriate under the circumstances.
Dissenting Opinion from Commissioner Monique Coupal
While Orangeville and the region might benefit from a local radio service, I find it unrealistic, considering the small population base of the proposed coverage area, to expect that such a service can survive without the support of a larger market base and, thus, I believe that the licensee will end up serving the Greater Toronto area. Moreover, the limited resources invested to serve the licensed area will not provide the kind of service that the population will expect in view of the radio services already received from Toronto.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General