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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 89-835

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Decision

Ottawa, 9 November 1989
Decision CRTC 89-835
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Ottawa and Pembroke, Ontario - 883362600 - 883363400 - 883364200
Following a Public Hearing commencing 27 June 1989 in the National Capital Region, the Commission approves the applications by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for licences to carry on separate English- and French-language FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertakings at Ottawa, operating on the frequencies of 91.5 and 90.7 MHz, respectively, each with an effective radiated power of 84,000 watts. The Commission will issue licences expiring 31 August 1991, subject to the conditions specified in the licences to be issued.
The proposed FM stations will replace the existing CBC AM stations in Ottawa, CBO and CBOF. The Commission is satisfied that this use of FM frequencies conforms with the guidelines set out in Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 dated 7 February 1983. Specifically, the Commission is satisfied that the proposed FM transmitters will overcome existing reception problems encountered by CBO and CBOF listeners in urban areas, and will improve significantly the reception of the CBC's two basic national radio services in outlying areas, particularly at night. The Commission also approves the application to amend the CBC's licence for CBCD-FM Pembroke by decreasing the effective radiated power from 100,000 to 61,000 watts. This power decrease will minimize the overlap of CBCD-FM's service area with that of the proposed Ottawa English-language FM station.
The Commission notes the CBC's assurance that its applications do not form part of any larger plan to replace its AM stations elsewhere in the country. As stated at the hearing by Mr. Alain Pineau, the CBC's Assistant Vice President (Planning and Corporate Affairs):
 We have accepted the fact that the basic service should remain on AM, and in the long-range plan you will not see any reference to moving Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec, Montreal, to the FM band... We have accepted that there is a satisfactory service on the AM band.
At the hearing, the CBC stated that it would be willing to accept conditions of licence requiring it to ensure that the proposed FM stations are constructed and in operation within 12 months of the date of a favourable decision on its applications. Accordingly, it is a condition of each licence that construction of the undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where the CBC applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete implementation before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
The CBC requested that it be permitted to simulcast programming on the existing AM and proposed FM stations for a period of no more than one year following start-up of the FM stations, during which time it will conduct a publicity campaign to inform actual and potential listeners of the changes herein approved. Mr. Pineau indicated, however, that simulcasting might not be necessary for the full 12-month period proposed:
 We are quite convinced now that it will not need a year. We do not want people to get accustomed to two services, and you have our firm assurance that we are going to hand back the licences as soon as we think the transfer is done.
In its applications, the CBC noted that the coverage provided by the new French-language FM station would enclose the coverage area of rebroadcasting station CBOF-8-FM Renfrew. Accordingly, it committed to surrender the CBOF-8-FM licence at the same time it returns the licence for CBOF. The CBC also noted that the contours of the proposed English-language station at Ottawa would encompass the area that was to be served by CBOB-FM Brockville, a proposed rebroadcaster of CBO. Authority for CBOB-FM was granted in Decision CRTC 76-660, but never implemented. At the hearing, the CBC committed to hand back the licence for CBOB-FM immediately upon approval of the present applications. The Commission expects the CBC to adhere to each of its commitments noted above, including its firm timetables for implementation, the cessation of simulcasting and the return of licences for cancellation. The Commission also expects the CBC to submit a report within six months of the date of this decision outlining its transition plans, to keep it informed of the progress and results of the publicity campaign promoting the proposed switch to FM frequencies and, immediately upon reaching its determination on this matter, to notify the Commission of the date it will cease broadcasting on the AM frequencies currently authorized for CBO and CBOF.
It is a condition of each licence that the licensee adhere to the CBC guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. Until such time as the Commission has approved the revised CBC guidelines, the CBC shall adhere to its current guidelines on sex-role stereotyping (as set out in Part C of Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1986-351 dated 22 December 1986) and, as a minimum, to the CAB's guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
The Commission also authorizes the licensee to make use of the Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation. The Commission expects the CBC to adhere to the guidelines set out in Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1989-23 dated 23 March 1989 entitled 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.
The Commission acknowledges the many interventions submitted with respect to these applications, all but three of which expressed unqualified support for this proposal.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General