ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 87-83

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Ottawa, 3 February 1987
Decision CRTC 87-83
Diffusion CIMO Inc. Magog and Sherbrooke, Quebec - 862394400 - 853433100
CJRS Radio-Media Inc. Sherbrooke, Quebec - 862339900
At a Public Hearing in Montreal on 1 December 1986, the Commission considered the applications by Diffusion CIMO Inc. (Diffusion CIMO) and CJRS Radio-Media Inc. (CJRS) for authority to transfer effective control of CIMO-FM Magog and its rebroadcaster CIMO-FM-1 Sherbrooke, and CJRS Sherbrooke, through the transfer of all common voting shares held by Mr. Claude Boulard and other minority shareholders to Radiomutuel (1985) Limitée (Radiomutuel).
In its transfer application, Diffusion CIMO also applied to amend its licence by changing the music format of CIMO-FM and its rebroadcaster from Group I to Group IV and by reducing the level of French-language vocal music in category 5 (Music-General) from 65% to 55%. At the hearing, the Commission also considered an application by Diffusion CIMO to amend the technical parameters of CIMO-FM-1 Sherbrooke, as announced in Public Notice CRTC 1986-239 dated 11 September 1986.
Transfer of Effective Control
On 28 March 1979 the Commission approved the application by Mr. Claude Boulard, on behalf of a company to be incorporated (Diffusion CIMO Inc.) to operate CIMO-FM Magog (Decision CRTC 79-278) and on 27 August 1985 it approved the application to operate CIMO-FM-1 Sherbrooke (Decision CRTC 85-699). In Decision CRTC 85-421 dated 6 June 1985, the Commission authorized the purchase of CJRS Sherbrooke by CJRS Radio-Media Inc., a company controlled by Mr. Boulard. This station remained affiliated with the Radiomutuel network.
On 12 September 1986, Mr. Boulard and the members of his family, subject to Commission approval, sold their shares in the two licensee comapnies noted above to Radiomutuel. Mr. Boulard indicated at the hearing that the factors contributing to the sale were a change of career direction for him and his belief that the development of these stations would be better assured by a licensee possessing all the necessary expertise and resources. The Commission notes that, as a result of a management agreement concluded in September 1986 and approved by the Commission, the stations are now managed by Radiomutuel.
Radiomutuel already operates six French-language radio stations in Quebec as well as a province-wide radio network that provides, among other things, news and public affairs programming. In support of its applications, Radiomutuel stated that its financial resources should enable it to increase the profitability of the stations serving Sherbrooke and its adjacent markets, to improve the quality of service provided, and to provide a greater musical diversity in the Sherbrooke region. It indicated that it would rely on its broadcasting expertise and its human and technical resources in this regard.
At the hearing, Radiomutuel indicated that it intended to operate its stations by promoting [TRANSLATION] "significant local involvement and an original approach to community involvement". It added that it intended to allocate more money to programming, to move the CJRS studios to better premises and to significantly increase its contributions to Canadian talent, as outlined later in this decision.
In view of the clear advantages that would result from the transfer of effective control of these stations and the fact that Radiomutuel intends to preserve the local and regional character of the stations, the Commission is of the opinion that approval of these applications is in the public interest.
Accordingly, the Commission approves the applications for authority to transfer effective control of CIMO-FM Magog, CIMO-FM-1 and CJRS Sherbrooke by transferring all of the voting shares from the current shareholders to Radiomutuel (1985) Limitée. It expects Radiomutuel to preserve the local and regional character of these stations.
Amendments to CIMO-FM's Promise of Performance
Diffusion CIMO proposed to amend the Promise of Performance of CIMO-FM Magog and its rebroadcaster by changing the music format from Group I to Group IV and reducing the level of French-language vocal music from 65% to 55%.
In this regard, the Commission is concerned by the results of analyses that it conducted for the period 18 to 24 August 1986 which revealed a level of French-language vocal music of only 32%. It notes however that, since Radiomutuel began to manage the station, self-assessments conducted by the licensee for the periods 22 to 28 September and 10 to 16 November 1986 indicated a level of 55%, which is nevertheless still below the 65% commitment contained in the Promise of Performance.
In support of its application to change its music format, Diffusion CIMO stated that the proposed dance music format would [TRANSLATION] "complement the formats of the stations operating in the Eastern Townships market" by serving young adult francophone listeners.
Following a management agreement in mid-September, Radiomutuel conducted a study that established a target audience, namely, 25 to 49 year-olds. It added that [TRANSLATION] "there were supply problems" with respect to French-language recordings, and that the "limited outside sources and ... lack of access to the European market" had been responsible for its non-compliance with respect to the level of French-language vocal music under the former administration. Radiomutuel assured the Commission that [TRANSLATION] "CIMO staff and Radiomutuel management are making a concerted effort to increase the percentage to 65%" and added that it had set up a computerized music list for this purpose.
Radiomutuel stated that, in view of the fact that it already operates two Group IV stations in Quebec (CHIK-FM Quebec City and CKMF-FM Montreal), it has the technical and human resources and expertise needed to introduce this format to Sherbrooke quickly and effectively.
The Commission has taken into account all the evidence at its disposal, including the recent efforts by Radiomutuel to adhere to its commitments, and is prepared to authorize the change in music format. Accordingly, the Commission approves an amendment to the licence whereby CIMO-FM will be operated in the Group IV music format.
The station will derive 50% of the music broadcast from subcategory 51 (Pop and Rock-Softer) and 50% from subcategory 52 (Pop and Rock-Harder). Musical selections will be drawn mainly from current and recent repertoires, with a level of 30% Canadian content.
The Commission has noted that, according to the proposed Promises of Performance for CIMO-FM and CJRS, the licensee has made a commitment to significantly increase its contributions to Canadian talent. With respect to CIMO-FM, it intends to allocate to MUSICACTION 1% of the gross revenues for the next five years, up to $20,000 per year, if its revenues exceed the level of $750,000. Similarly, it intends to allocate 1% of the gross revenues of CJRS to MUSICACTION if these revenues exceed the same level. CIMO-FM will allocate $14,000 per year to TALCAN and $71,000 in indirect costs to the promotion of artists. The licensee also referred to its involvement in the Bourse Raymond Crépault which is awarded annually.
In light of the licensee's firm commitments to the promotion of Canadian talent and Radiomutuel's efforts with respect to the broadcasting of French-language vocal music, the Commission approves the proposal to reduce the level of French-language vocal music on CIMO-FM and CIMO-FM-1 from 65% to 55% for a period expiring 31 March 1989. As noted in Public Notice CRTC 1986-67 dated 19 March 1986 entitled "French-language Popular Music", the Commission intends to examine, after a trial period of two years, the availability of French-language recordings and reminds the licensee "that the 55% level is a minimum to be surpassed if possible and that 65% remains the objective". The Commission will closely monitor the licensee's efforts to promote Canadian talent through its programming.
Amendments to the technical parameters of CIMO-FM-1 Sherbrooke
In Decision CRTC 85-699 approving the application to operate a low-power radio transmitter at Sherbrooke, the Commission established that Sherbrooke was already part of CIMO-FM Magog's main coverage area and could not be served properly without a rebroadcasting transmitter and that:
DOC's acknowledgement that the actual 3mV/m contour, which it uses as a measure to determine if adequate coverage is provided to large cities, did not cover Sherbrooke.
The licensee indicated that the present application aims to change the authorized channel (295) from an unprotected frequency to a protected frequency and to increase the effective radiated power from 22 watts to 50 watts. Diffusion CIMO has indicated that this application would make it possible to properly [TRANSLATION] "serve the city of Sherbrooke, with a contour of three millivolts per metre".
The Commission notes that the policy established by the CRTC and the Department of Communications (DOC) in this regard envisages, under special circumstances, the operation of low-power transmitters to rebroadcast a service already offered in a region, but only in cases where no other technical solutions to the contour problem can be found. The Commission has determined, however, that the present application, which proposes to use a protected frequency for the provision of the CIMO-FM service runs counter to the policy noted above.
Based on the information provided by the licensee in this application and at the hearing, the Commission is not convinced that the current contour problems of CIMO-FM-1 justify a departure from its policy. The Commission is of the opinion that the most appropriate solution to this problem would be to relocate the low-power transmitter in downtown Sherbrooke. This would allow the licensee to serve the whole city of Sherbrooke adequately while continuing to use an unprotected frequency.
Accordingly, the Commission denies the proposed technical amendments and encourages the licensee to examine other technical solutions, including the alternative proposed above.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General

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