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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 90-1101

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Decision

Ottawa, 13 November 1990
Decision CRTC 90-1101
Twigg Communications Limited, on behalf of a company to be incorporated
Belleville, Ontario - 900294000Power Broadcasting Inc.Belleville, Ontario - 900307000
St. Lawrence Broadcasting Company Limited
Belleville, Ontario - 900305400
A. Sondermeyer, on behalf of a company to be Incorporated
Belleville, Ontario - 882844400
Regional Broadcasting Inc.
Belleville, Ontario - 900299900
Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 11 June 1990, the Commission approves the application by Twigg Communications Limited, on behalf of a company to be incorporated (Twigg) to carry on an English-language FM broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Belleville, operating on a frequency of 102.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 30,000 watts, to broadcast locally-produced programming within a Group II (pop and rock-harder) musical format. The Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 1994, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. This term will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other radio stations in the area.
This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as the Commission receives documentation establishing that the company has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects.
The four other applications noted above, all of which were competing with Twigg for an FM radio licence to serve listeners in Belleville are denied.
A key factor in the Commission's consideration of whether to authorize the introduction of a new radio service in any market is the degree to which the station will contribute to the diversity of broadcasting services available. Another consideration is the extent to which a new entrant might affect the financial viability of other broadcasters serving the area and, in turn, their ability to fulfil their respective programming responsibilities.
The Commission notes that a relatively high proportion of younger radio listeners in the Belleville area tune to out-of-market radio services, particularly those originating from Rochester, New York. The three local radio stations serving Belleville, namely CIGL-FM (Easy Listening), CJBQ (Adult Contemporary) and CJTN (MOR - Country) are all owned by Quinte Broadcasting Company Limited and collectively hold a 50% share of the Belleville radio audience. None of these three stations offers any significant amount of harder rock music as part of its regular programming fare, and all attract audiences predominantly consisting of older listeners.
The applicants submitted that the impact of their proposals on existing stations would be minimal, and emphasized that a new station would repatriate young Belleville listeners.
After examination of all available evidence, including the applicants' market studies, the Commission considers that listeners in the Belleville area under the age of 35 are less well served than those persons 35 years and over. It is of the view that a station operating in the Group II musical format would thus fill an existing programming void in the Belleville market. Based on the available evidence, including the size of the listening audience currently tuning to out-of-market stations, the Commission also considers that there is adequate market capacity to support a new FM radio station in Belleville.
Of the applicants, the Commission is satisfied that the programming service proposed by Twigg, which is to be targeted to listeners between 12 and 34 years, will contribute most significantly to the diversity of radio services in the area and that the new service should be able to attract a large local listenership without unduly disrupting either the audiences or revenues of existing stations. The Commission notes that the applicant has demonstrated a full understanding of the Commission's policies and of the market it intends to serve, as reflected in its written application and in its responses to Commission questioning at the hearing.
Twigg, an experienced broadcasting company, owns Middlesex Lambton Communications Corporation, licensee of CJBX-FM and CJBK London and CHOK Sarnia. The Commission is satisfied that the service proposed by Twigg has access to additional sources of funding sufficient to ensure that all of its programming and other commitments will be respected should revenues fall short of projections.
The Commission notes that the proposed service will also provide an alternative news voice in a market where a single owner currently operates all local stations. Twigg has proposed to produce each weekday a half-hour news magazine show of interest to Belleville listeners and to broadcast two others each weekend. According to Twigg, one such news-oriented program entitled "Loyalist College Magazine" will be produced by students attending that local college, with the assistance of station staff. Twigg also proposes to broadcast at least three hours of category 6 (traditional and special interest) music each week, including programs featuring both New Age and jazz music.
In certain areas, Twigg's programming proposals exceed the minimum requirements set out by the FM policy for independent FM licensees. The Commission considers that the applicant's weekly commitment to enrichment programming (approximately nine hours) should be more than sufficient to meet the proposed levels of foreground and mosaic programming. Further, the Commission notes that the foreground programs will be distributed throughout the broadcast week and will be, for the most part, locally-produced.
With respect to the development of Canadian talent, Twigg has proposed, among other things, to broadcast performances of Canadian artists as part of its "Hometown Rock" series. It will also sponsor a major concert featuring local and nationally-recognized talent to be held during Belleville's annual "Folklorama" music festival.
At the hearing, Twigg agreed that the sum of $2000 that it proposed to devote to the broadcast of two town hall meetings was a community benefit and does not represent a contribution to the development of Canadian talent. The Commission is of the view, however, that the budgetary commitments associated with the proposed scholarships and other initiatives in support of Canadian talent, totalling some $63,500 over a five-year period, are more than adequate and it will follow their implementation with interest.
It is a condition of licence that construction of this undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision 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.
It is a condition of licence that the applicants 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.
In issuing this licence, the Commission also authorizes to make use of the (Vertical Blanking Interval or the Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation). The Commission expects 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 Radiocommunication Act and regulations made thereunder.
The Commission acknowledges the numerous interventions received in support of the competing applications, including those supporting the Twigg proposal. The Commission notes that, at the June public hearing, an application by Bryan E. Olney, representing a corporation to be incorporated (Olney), for a special FM licence to operate a student radio station to serve Belleville, and an application by Trent Valley Broadcasting Inc. (Trent Valley) for a licence to carry on a commercial FM station at Campbellford, were treated as competing with Twigg and the other four applicants whose proposals are the subject of this decision.
The Commission has determined that, while the Olney and Trent proposals do overlap with Twigg in terms of proposed service areas, this competitive element does not exist with respect to programming and overall market orientation. They were thus considered separately on their respective merits.
In other decisions released today, the Commission has approved the application by Olney for a special licence to operate a student FM radio station to serve Belleville (Decision CRTC 90-1100) and denied the application by Trent Valley for a licence to carry on an FM station at Campbellford (Decision CRTC 90-1102). The application to serve Campbellford is the second such proposal by Trent Valley to have been denied by the Commission in recent years. Although this small community will thus remain unserved by any local radio station, the Commission notes Twigg's plans, as discussed at the hearing, to establish a network of stringers to provide coverage of news and events occurring in Campbellford and other smaller centres in the Belleville area.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General