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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 90-1100

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Decision

Ottawa, 13 November 1990
Decision CRTC 90-1100
Bryan E. Olney, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated
Belleville, Ontario - 900306200
Following a Public Hearing commencing 11 June 1990 in the National Capital Region, the Commission approves the application by Bryan E. Olney, representing a corporation to be incorporated (Olney), for a licence to carry on an English-language (Group II - Pop and Rock - Harder) FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Belleville, operating on the frequency of 92.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts, to broadcast locally-produced programming.
The licensee is to be a non-profit corporation without share capital, and will be operated by and for the students of Belleville's Loyalist College. Accordingly, the Commission will issue a special FM (student) licence expiring 31 August 1994, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as the Commission receives documentation establishing that the corporation has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects, taking into account the concerns addressed later in this decision regarding the nature and composition of the corporation's General Membership and its Board of Directors.
The Commission notes that two closed circuit stations funded by the administration of Loyalist College have been in operation for several years. The establishment costs of the proposed FM station will be financed in large part by Quinte Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CIGL-FM and CJBQ Belleville, and CJTN Trenton. The proposed station's ongoing operating costs will be met largely through continuing grants from the Loyalist College administration, supplemented by various fund-raising activities and by revenues earned from the restricted advertising to be broadcast on the station.
In Decision CRTC 75-247 dated 27 June 1975, and in the 1975 document "FM Radio in Canada, A Policy to Ensure a Varied and Comprehensive Radio Service", the Commission set out its principal objectives for student radio, stating that such stations should "...strive to exceed the minimum programming expectations" of the FM policy. The Commission also indicated that the role of student FM stations should be:
 ...to communicate the concerns, interests and activities of the campus as well as of the academic environment to the public, and to offer to the general public innovative and alternative programming fare which makes use of the many resources available at  the academic institution. Student radio may also provide basic training for students interested in broadcasting careers.
The Commission notes in this regard that the programming proposed for the new student station at Belleville will contain a substantial and diverse spoken word component (36 hours 30 minutes per week), including four major newscasts daily and a weekly public affairs magazine program. The applicant proposed that 35% of its programming would be in the foreground format and 65% in the combined foreground/mosaic format. The Commission also notes the applicant's ambitious commitment to provide 28 hours of enrichment programming each week, and is satisfied with the applicant's assurances at the hearing that, within the college community and the community at large, it has access to a sufficient number of volunteers to meet this commitment effectively and on a consistent basis.
At the hearing, the Commission raised with the applicant its concern that the proposals for music programming set out in the written application appeared to offer little true alternative or diversity to that already provided by commercial radio signals available in the area.
Specific Commission concerns in this regard relate to the applicant's Promise of Performance commitments to a hit level of 49% and a maximum weekly repeat factor of 15. In the Commission's view, these figures reflect far too great a dependence on the use of hits and repeats, especially when compared to the much lower limits adhered to by most other student FM stations. The levels proposed by the applicant in these two areas also approach very closely the Commission's regulatory maximums for hits and repeats on commercial FM stations. The relatively small size of the proposed weekly music list (750 selections), and the applicant's commitment to provide only 6 hours 15 minutes weekly of category 6 (Traditional and Special Interest) music were also perceived by the Commission as weaknesses of the written application. Both of these levels fall well below the commitments of most other student FM licensees. In response to these concerns the applicant stated that it would be prepared to adjust its commitments in each of the areas noted above, and abide by conditions of licence reflecting these adjustments.
In line with the applicant's commitments, as adjusted and agreed to at the hearing, it is a condition of licence that the licensee broadcast a minimum of 12 hours 36 minutes per week of category 6 music. Similarly, with respect to category 5 music, the licensee shall adhere to the following music discriminators, as a condition of licence in each case:
 a) a maximum ratio of hits to non-hits of 30:70,
 b) a weekly music playlist of at least 850 distinct selections, and  c) a maximum weekly repeat factor of 10.
The Commission is satisfied that, with these adjustments, the applicant's contribution to musical diversity will now match that generally expected of student FM licensees under the Commission's policies.
The Commission requires the applicant to submit a revised Promise of Performance, within 90 days of the date of this decision, reflecting the adjustments specified within the above conditions of licence, indicating as well the reduction in the amount of category 5 music that will come about as a result of the increased category 6 commitment.
According to the written application, the station's programming and its day-to-day operation were to have been largely based on the contributions of students enrolled in the Radio Broadcasting, Broadcast Journalism, Business Marketing and Business Sales faculties of Loyalist College. Although students are to form a majority of the licensee's Board of Directors, the draft By-laws submitted with the application restrict student participation in the corporation's General Membership and on its Board of Directors to those enrolled in the above-mentioned programs. According to the applicant, the four faculties represent a total of 250 students out of a total population of approximately 2,300 full-time post-secondary students enrolled at Loyalist College.
In light of the above, the Commission discussed at length with the applicant whether the station would, in fact, operate as a true student FM station or would simply be an extension of the four broadcast and business faculties named above, with a heavy reliance upon the involvement and input of the college's teaching staff. The Commission's concern is that the proposed operational framework, as described in the written application, appears to place too much emphasis on the provision of basic training to students interested in pursuing careers in broadcasting, and not enough on meeting the Commission's other, more fundamental requirements of student FM radio stations, namely that they should function as full service community stations, with the broadest possible input and participation by the student body and the community as a whole, and with full control over decisions concerning station management and programming firmly in the hands of students at all times.
At the hearing, the applicant sought to assure the Commission that the station would not be operated merely as an extension of the educational programs offered at Loyalist College:
 We are fully aware that this is a student campus/community radio station that will operate independently and that its day-to-day activities will be in the hands of the students with professional guidance available at all times.
The applicant emphasized that, while radio and broadcast journalism students can be expected to provide most of the programming, there will be ample opportunity for other students and local residents to participate in the station's activities, both on air and behind the scenes:  Once we were granted the licence, it would be our intention to publicly ask the community for volunteers who are interested in... participating in our programming and our radio station.
The applicant noted its plans to produce regularly-scheduled programs in co-operation with the local Francophone and Mohawk communities, and with various radio clubs operating in the area's high schools. Other programs of interest to the community as a whole will include "Farmer's Notebook" and "The Gardening Show".
The Commission expects the applicant to abide by its important commitments to make access time available to the community. The Commission also expects the applicant to publicize the availability of this access time thoroughly, and to encourage the active participation by members of the community in the station's programming.
Regarding the applicant's draft By-By-laws, in particular the restrictions they appear to place on student participation in the station's General Membership and on its Board of Directors, the applicant indicated at the hearing that it would be prepared to make revisions to the By-laws that would allow all full-time students to become members of the licensee and to elect representatives to serve on its Board of Directors.
Consistent with general Commission practice regarding student radio, and in accordance with the community-oriented commitments of the applicant, the Commission expects the licensee to make such changes as are necessary to its By-laws and associated documents to permit all students to become members, and to allow as well for their representation on the Board of Directors of the company to be incorporated. The Commission directs the applicant to submit for review, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the amended By-laws and any other incorporating documents amended in accordance with this expectation.
It is a condition of licence that the licensee retain full control over all decisions concerning the management and programming of the station and that a majority of the voting directors be students elected from amongst a membership that is open to all students at Loyalist College. The Commission reminds the applicant that, in accordance with the requirements of the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility to Hold Broadcasting Licences), the chairman or other presiding officer and each of the directors or other similar officers of the licensee must be Canadian citizens.
The Commission authorizes the applicant, by condition of licence, to broadcast a maximum of 4 minutes per hour of restricted advertising, as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1983-43 and subsequently amended in Public Notice CRTC 1985-194.
It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) self-regulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. It is also a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the provisions of the CAB's Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
The Commission 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 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 (DOC) gives the technical approval required under the Radiocommunication Act and regulations made thereunder.
The DOC has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will only be issued once it has been determined that the undertaking's proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.
In accordance with paragraph 13(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence, and the authority granted herein may only be implemented, at such time as written notification is received from the DOC that its technical requirements have been met, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.
It is a condition of licence that construction of this undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within 12 months of the date of receipt of the DOC notification referred to in the preceding paragraph or, where the applicant 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 Commission notes that Olney was one of seven applicants whose proposals were treated as competing applications at the 11 June hearing. Five of these others sought licences to provide new commercial FM radio services at Belleville, while the seventh proposed to operate a commercial FM station at Campbellford, some 40 kilometres to the northwest. It was established at the hearing that, while the Olney application and that proposing service to Campbellford were competing with the other Belleville applications in terms of service areas, this competitive element does not exist with respect to programming or overall market orientation. In fact, the Olney proposal was not opposed in interventions by any of the other applicants. The Commission also acknowledges the support for the student FM proposal, as expressed in the intervention submitted by local broadcasting licensee Quinte Broadcasting Company Limited and in other interventions representing the views of various elected federal, provincial and municipal representatives, local community groups, and more than 600 local residents.
In Decision CRTC 90-1101 of today's date, the Commission has approved an application by Twigg Communications Limited, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, for a licence to carry on a new commercial FM station at Belleville, and has denied the other four competing applications seeking licences to serve that community. In Decision CRTC 90-1102, the Commission has denied, on its merits, an application by Trent Valley Broadcasting Inc. for a new FM station at Campbellford.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General