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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 89-317

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Decision

Ottawa, 7 June 1989
Decision CRTC 89-317
Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy Inc.
Sorel, Quebec - 883561300 - 883562100
Following a public hearing in Quebec City on 13 March 1989, the Commission approves the applications submitted by Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy Inc. for authority to acquire the assets of CJSO Sorel from Mr. Louis Langevin, trustee for Radio Richelieu (1979) Ltée (Radio Richelieu), and for licences to continue the operation of AM station CJSO Sorel and, subsequently, to operate a new French-language FM broadcasting undertaking at Sorel upon surrender of the licence for CJSO and of the FM licence issued to Radio Richelieu in Decision CRTC 87-45 dated 20 January 1987.
The Commission will issue an AM broadcasting licence to Radio Diffusion Sorel-Tracy Inc., a company indirectly controlled by Pierre Robert, in order that it may continue to operate CJSO, upon surrender of the current licence. The new licence will expire 30 September 1990, which is the expiry date of the current licence, and will be subject to the same terms and conditions as those currently in effect. The Commission will also issue to the applicant an FM broadcasting licence for the operation of a French-language FM station at Sorel on the frequency 101.7 MHz (channel 269A), with an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts, upon surrender of the AM licence issued in this decision and of the FM licence issued to Radio Richelieu. This licence will expire 31 August 1992 and will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. This period will give the Commission a reasonable amount of time in which to review the licensee's performance following its conversion from AM to FM.
In its decision dated 20 January 1987 authorizing Radio Richelieu to replace its existing AM station with an FM station, the Commission noted that the FM station was intended to improve the reception quality of Radio Richelieu's local service and overcome the technical problems it had been experiencing for a number of years. However, on 18 December 1987, Radio Richelieu declared bankruptcy, and the authority that it had been granted was never implemented. The Commission notes that on 21 July 1988 it authorized the applicant, on behalf of the trustee, to operate CJSO on a temporary basis.
At the 13 March 1989 public hearing, the applicant stated that the reasons given in the 1987 decision to justify the conversion from AM to FM were still valid and that its proposal for an FM station was similar to that previously authorized by the Commission. In this regard, the Commission notes that, similar to the AM station, the new FM station will broadcast 168 hours of programming each week, including 42 hours of night-time programming originating from CIEL-FM Longueuil. The programming will be targeted to the 35-to-55 age group and the station will operate in a Group I music format and provide a 65% level of French-language vocal music.
The Commission also notes that, in accordance with the changes to the programming of the FM station that were made at the hearing and confirmed by the applicant in its letter dated 14 March 1989, which are hereby approved, the station's spoken word content will emphasize local and regional news and public affairs. Thus, each week, the station will broadcast 9 hours of local and regional news and 7 hours 30 minutes of local public affairs programming. This will be achieved by a news staff consisting of 4 full-time reporters and a news director. Among the changes are proposals that 40% of the musical selections from Category 5 (Music - General) will be Canadian and that the applicant will broadcast 2 hours 30 minutes per week of music from Category 6 (Music - Traditional and Special Interest).
With regard to the development of Canadian talent, the applicant has committed to allocate $1,500 per year in direct expenditures to broadcast local concerts, including those by the Petits Chanteurs de Tracy and the Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée. It has also committed $3,000 annually in indirect expenditures for the promotion of regional artists and theatres and for the production of vignettes on the history of the Lower Richelieu region. In addition, the applicant stated at the hearing that it intended to increase significantly its efforts in this area, in terms of both money and broadcast time, as its financial resources permit.
The Commission notes that the revised expenditure forecasts for the 1988/89 fiscal year, which were submitted by the applicant on 14 March 1989, are more realistic. In view of the other supporting documentation filed in connection with these applications, the Commission is satisfied that there are no problems with respect to the financing of this transaction.
Given the applicant's efforts to maintain in the Sorel area a local radio service which has been in place for almost 45 years and its firm intention to implement the proposal to operate a new FM station as authorized in 1987, the Commission considers that approval of these applications is in the public interest.
The Commission expects the applicant to submit, within 60 days after the new FM station goes on the air, a report outlining the steps taken and the mechanisms put in place to ensure that it complies fully and at all times with the Commission's policies and regulations relating to FM radio.
The Commission also hereby authorizes the licensee to make use of the Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation. The Commission expects the licensee to adhere to the guidelines set out in Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1989-23 dated 23 March 1989 entitled Services Using the Vertical Blanking Interval (Television) or Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation (FM). This authority may only be implemented when the Department of Communications gives the technical approval required by the Radio Act and regulations made thereunder.
It is a condition of licence that the licensee comply with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) self-regulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
The licence is further subject to the condition that the licensee comply with provisions of the CAB's Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
In accordance with paragraph 13(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will issue an FM licence to the applicant if it is in receipt of written notification from the Department of Communications, within three months of the date of this decision that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate. No licence will be issued if the Commission does not receive this notification within said period or, where the applicant applies to the Commission and satisfies the Commission that it is unable to obtain said notification before the expiry of this three-month period and that an extension of this period is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission. It is a condition of licence that construction of the FM station be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of receipt of written notification from the Department of Communications that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate or, where the applicant applies to the Commission within this twelve-month period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete the construction and begin the operation of the station before the expiry of this twelve-month period and that an extension of this period is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General