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ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1993-121

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 17 August 1993
Public Notice CRTC 1993-121
LOCAL PROGRAMMING POLICY FOR FM RADIO -- DEFINITION OF A SINGLE-STATION MARKET.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-72 dated 2 November 1992, the Commission announced the results of its review of the regulations and policies governing radio. In the notice, the Commission also called for comments on a proposal to replace requirements relating to levels of news and spoken word programming on FM stations with a requirement for local programming for licensees of commercial radio stations, both AM and FM, wishing to solicit or accept local advertising.
In Public Notice CRTC 1993-38 dated 19 April 1993, the Commission announced the following determination:
 Commercial FM stations in markets served by more than one private commercial station must devote at least one-third of the broadcast week to Local Programming. Radio licensees in competitive [multiple-station] markets wishing to reduce their level of local programming below the one-third level will generally be expected to assume a condition of licence stipulating that they not solicit or accept local advertising. Applications for exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Commitments for "Station Production" in current Promises of Performance will be taken as commitments for Local Programming for purposes of this policy. Licensees of FM stations in single-station markets are excluded from the provisions of this policy.
For the purposes of this policy, the Commission has arrived at the following definition of "single-station market":
 A single-station market is any community that only one commercial FM radio station has been licensed to serve, provided that
 1  the 3 mV/m contour of this FM station does not encompass a significant part of a second community that another AM or FM commercial radio station has been licensed to serve and whose population is equal to, or greater than, that of the first community, and
 2(a) the community is not situated within the 3 mV/m contour of any other licensed commercial FM station, or
 2(b) if so situated, is a community whose distance (centre to centre) from the community served by the other station is 60 kilometres or more.
On the basis of this definition and the Commission's records, the following FM stations will be excluded from application of the policy and will be permitted to solicit and accept local advertising, irrespective of the amount of local programming they broadcast:
CJLM-FM Joliette, Quebec
CHOX-FM La Pocatière, Quebec
CJLA-FM Lachute, Quebec
CFEL-FM Montmagny, Quebec
CIHO-FM Saint-Hilarion, Quebec
CJSO-FM Sorel, Quebec
CFBG-FM Bracebridge, Ontario
CHPR-FM-1 Hawkesbury, Ontario
CFBK-FM Huntsville, Ontario
CFNO-FM Marathon, Ontario
CKMP-FM Midland, Ontario
CKLP-FM Parry Sound, Ontario
CFDK-FM Pickle Lake, Ontario CISE-FM Sechelt, British Columbia
CISQ-FM Squamish, British Columbia
CISW-FM Whistler, British Columbia
Notwithstanding the above definition, the Commission realizes that there may be other factors, such as topography, that would justify consideration of communities as constituting single-station markets. For that reason the Commission will remain willing to consider arguments in support of such a conclusion with respect to any communities that do not appear on the above list.
The Commission also recognizes that changing circumstances, such as those resulting from future licensing action or possible station closures, may, by strict interpretation, render the definition of single-station market inapplicable to some of the above communities, or applicable to others. As a general rule, however, once exempted from the policy requirements by the Commission, stations such as those appearing on the above list will continue to be exempt.
Licensees of all commercial FM stations serving markets other than single-station markets should expect to have the following condition attached to their licence at the time of licence renewal or as a prerequisite of approval of their applications to eliminate their Promise of Performance commitments to minimum levels of station production:
 It is a condition of licence that the licensee refrain from soliciting or accepting local advertising for broadcast during any broadcast week when less than one-third of the programming aired is local. The definition of local programming shall be as set out on page 8 of Public Notice CRTC 1993-38, or as amended from time to time by the Commission.
While the above relates to FM stations, the Commission indicated in Public Notice CRTC 1993-38 that, at the time of licence renewal, AM licensees will be asked to indicate the level of local programming they will provide and how they will ensure that spoken word of direct and particular relevance to the communities they serve is included in their programming. The Commission will retain the option of imposing on certain AM licensees conditions of licence with respect to local programming where it considers it appropriate to do so.
 
As stated earlier, commercial FM stations in multiple-station markets may make application to be exempted from this policy.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General