ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 93-6

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Ottawa, 6 January 1993
Decision CRTC 93-6
Gestion Germaine Lévesque Inc./ Rosaire Leclerc and Gestion Stalnia Inc., on behalf of a company to be incorporated
Alma, Quebec - 920472800Les Immeubles Gilbert Pedneault LtéeAlma, Quebec - 911776300
Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 21 September 1992, the Commission approves the application filed by Gestion Germaine Lévesque Inc./Rosaire Leclerc and Gestion Stalnia Inc. (Lévesque/Leclerc/ Stalnia), representing a company to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language FM radio programming undertaking at Alma on the frequency 95.5 MHz (Channel 238B) and with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts.
The Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 1997, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. This licence 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 licensee company has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects.
The Commission denies the competing FM licence application filed by Les Immeubles Gilbert Pedneault Ltée (Les Immeubles Pedneault) to move CFGT Alma from the AM to the FM band. The proposed FM station was to broadcast on the frequency 97.7 MHz (Channel 249) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.
Lévesque/Leclerc/Stalnia filed their application on behalf of a company to be incorporated, which will be wholly owned by a holding company to be incorporated. The shares of the holding company will be owned by Gestion Germaine Lévesque Inc. (50%) and a company to be incorporated (50%), itself owned in equal proportions by Rosaire Leclerc and Gestion Stalnia Inc. The Commission notes that Gestion Germaine Lévesque Inc. now holds effective control of Radio Roberval Inc. (licensee of CHRL Roberval) and Radio Chibougamau Inc. (licensee of CJMD Chibougamau and its rebroadcaster CFED Chapais). Rosaire Leclerc and Gestion Stalnia Inc., in equal proportions, hold effective control of Radio CHVD Inc., licensee of CHVD Dolbeau and its rebroadcaster, CHVD-1-FM Saint-Félicien.
In Decisions CRTC 93-7 to 93-9, also issued on this date, the Commission has approved three applications considered at the 21 September 1992 Public Hearing. These applications requested authority to transfer effective control of Radio Roberval Inc., Radio Chibougamau Inc. and Radio CHVD Inc. to the holding company mentioned in the preceding paragraph which is to be incorporated by the applicants Levesque/Leclerc/Stalnia. These three applications were filed as part of a corporate reorganization that was to proceed only should the Commission approve the Lévesque/ Leclerc/Stalnia application to operate a new FM station at Alma.
In their applications and at the public hearing, both Les Immeubles Pedneault and Lévesque/Leclerc/ Stalnia noted that their AM stations have lost a substantial proportion of their listeners and advertising revenues in recent years. They stated that the essentially-local radio service they offer to communities in the Lac Saint-Jean region can no longer compete with the strong regional media outlets, especially the two powerful Saguenay FM stations, CJAB-FM and CFIX-FM Chicoutimi. In the circumstances, they consider the only route to restoring the former stability in the market, and to repatriating a significant proportion of the listeners and the advertising revenues that have left the region, is to establish a new FM station capable of serving the entire Lac Saint-Jean region.
In approving the Lévesque/Leclerc/ Stalnia application, the Commission seeks to bring about a rationalization of radio services in the Lac Saint-Jean region. Given the region's limited resources, the Commission has determined that the proposal to bring the local AM stations in Roberval, Dolbeau-Saint-Félicien and Chibougamau-Chapais together under a common ownership that would also operate a new regional FM station, represents the most viable long-term solution and the best means to serve the overall public interest.
The Commission gave particular consideration to the following commitment made by Lévesque/ Leclerc/Stalnia at the hearing [TRANSLATION]:
 Major features of the new corporation operating the above radio stations include maintenance of all existing services, including the newsrooms as they are now operating, and optimum utilization of the human, technical, technological and financial resources of all undertakings involved. The undertakings will remain autonomous with respect to programming, news and advertising material. The Commission is aware of the potential repercussions of this decision on the local AM station, CFGT Alma. In this regard, Lévesque/Leclerc/Stalnia argued that location of the new FM station in Alma is justified because Alma, in economic terms, is the largest, most prosperous and dynamic city in the Lac Saint-Jean region. The applicant also noted that the proposed FM station will operate in Alma but will appeal to a regional audience.
With regard to programming, Lévesque/Leclerc/Stalnia stated that, in several respects, the new FM service will complement the services offered by the two FM stations in Chicoutimi. The station will broadcast 57 hours a week of local programming and draw the remainder from the Cogeco radio network with which it will be affiliated. As a Cogeco affiliate, the new FM service will be complementary to the services of CFIX-FM and CJAB-FM, which are affiliated with the FM radio networks of Télémédia and Radiomutuel, respectively. The complementarity of the new station will also be reflected in the music it plays. Although it will be a Group I station, its music format will have substantial MOR content, while the other two stations offer light rock and dance music, as do their respective networks, Télémédia and Radiomutuel.
The applicant added that the station's emphasis on regional news occurring within the Lac Saint-Jean region will further enhance its complementarity to the news services of the other two FM stations in Chicoutimi, which primarily cover the Saguenay region. While reiterating that all of their station newsrooms will remain autonomous, Lévesque/Leclerc/Stalnia confirmed that the news staff of the FM station in Alma will draw upon the teams of journalists and correspondents serving their AM stations to provide news of regional interest from Roberval, Dolbeau, Chibougamau, Saint-Félicien and other communities. The Commission further notes that the new station will receive national and international news reports from the NTR agency, whose services are not currently available in the region.
Lévesque/Leclerc/Stalnia committed to allocate $4,000 per year in direct costs to Canadian talent development for the first three years of operation, and to increase this commitment to $5,000 a year in subsequent years. These contributions will take the form of bursaries for students enrolled in the Camp musical du Lac Saint-Jean and to the winners of the annual song contest organized by the Festival Western de Dolbeau.
Consistent with Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission encourages the applicant to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices.
It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guidelines on sex-role portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
It is also a condition of licence that the applicant 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.
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.
The Commission notes the interventions presented at the hearing by the staffs of CFGT, CHVD, CHRL and CJMD in support of the applications involving the various radio stations with which they are employed. It also notes the intervention filed by an ad-hoc committee representing the major socio-economic organizations of the Lac Saint-Jean regional county municipality (RCM) supporting the application by Les Immeubles Pedneault, and the opposition to that application contained in the written intervention submitted by Radiomutuel Inc. Further, the Commission notes the intervention expressing support in principle for the establishment of an FM station in the Lac Saint-Jean region submitted by the Conseil des usagers des médias de la Sagamie.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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