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Pursuant to Public Notice CRTC 1989-116 dated 17 October 1989, the Commission approves the application by VOCM Radio Newfoundland Limited (VOCM) to amend the broadcasting licence for CHVO Spaniard's Bay/Harbour Grace by changing the frequency from 850 kHz to 560 kHz.
The licensee indicated that this amendment will result in improved service within its coverage area and, in particular, in the more distant communities around Conception Bay.
NewCap Broadcasting Limited (NewCap), licensee of CJYQ and CKIX-FM St. John's, filed an intervention opposing the proposed amendment, claiming that the present application is identical to previous submissions by VOCM which had been denied by the Commission. NewCap expressed concern that approval of the current application would make CHVO competitive with local broadcasting stations in St. John's and would also threaten the viability of the intervenor's station CKIX-FM which operates in a country format, as does CHVO. Furthermore, NewCap argued that an approval would enable VOCM to operate two commercial AM stations in the St. John's market, contrary to the Commission's longstanding policy prohibiting service duplication.
In reply, VOCM stated that the intervenor's claims are not substantiated by concrete technical data or research. VOCM also noted that, unlike its previous submissions, the present application does not entail a request for a power increase. Moreover, the licensee pointed out that, due to a re-designed antenna radiation pattern, the proposed operation on the new frequency provides for a significant reduction in signal strength over St. John's.
The Commission denied VOCM's previous applications to amend the station's frequency and to increase its transmitter power because of concerns that these technical changes would enable CHVO to deliver a competitive signal to the St. John's market which would impact adversely on the financial viability of existing broadcasters in that city.
However, after careful evaluation of the licensee's current submission and the intervenor's arguments, the Commission is satisfied that the present application is technically different from VOCM's previous proposals. The Commission is of the opinion that CHVO's signal will not be competitive with existing St. John's broadcasters. Furthermore, the Commission notes that the Department of Communications has indicated that this new application achieves a significant reduction in signal strength in St. John's and that the proposal is technically acceptable. In Decision CRTC 90-473 of today's date, the Commission also approved VOCM's application to change the frequency for CHCM Marystown from 560 kHz to 740 kHz and to increase the station's night-time transmitter power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts. The licensee had indicated that the CHCM application was contingent upon approval of the present application.