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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 94-694

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Decision

Ottawa, 25 August 1994
Decision CRTC 94-694
602412 Saskatchewan Ltd.
602406 Saskatchewan LtdSaskatoon, Saskatchewan - 931741300 - 931740500
Acquisition of assets of CFQC; and conversion of CJWW from AM to FM - Approved
Following a Public Hearing in Saskatoon beginning on 6 June 1994, the Commission approves the application by 602412 Saskatchewan Ltd. (602412), a company directly owned and controlled by Mr. Clint Forster, for authority to acquire the assets of the AM radio programming undertaking CFQC Saskatoon from Price Waterhouse Limited, in its capacity as Receiver/Manager of QC Radio Limited Partnership (QC), and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of this undertaking.
The Commission will issue a licence to 602412, expiring 31 August 2000, upon surrender of the current licence issued to QC. The licence will be subject to the same conditions as those in effect under the current licence, as well as to any other condition specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
The price of the transaction is $500,000. Based on the evidence filed with the application, the Commission has no concerns with respect to the availability or the adequacy of the required financing.
The Commission notes that, although the applicant did not propose any tangible benefits, CFQC has been unprofitable over the three years preceding filing of this application, and has been in receivership since December 1992. Accordingly, the Commission is satisfied that the application meets the criteria set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-68 entitled "Application of the Benefits Test at the Time of Transfers of Ownership or Control of Broadcasting Undertakings". The Commission notes the important benefit associated with this transaction, that being the maintenance of CFQC as a viable, local radio service to Saskatoon. Accordingly, the Commission is of the view that approval of this application is in the public interest.
Conversion to FM
The Commission also approves the application by 602406 Saskatchewan Ltd. (602406), a company indirectly controlled by Mr. Forster, for a broadcasting licence for an English-language (Group II - Country) FM radio programming undertaking at Saskatoon, operating on the frequency 92.9 MHz, channel 225 C1, with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.
The Commission will issue an FM licence expiring 31 August 2000, upon surrender of the current licence for CJWW Saskatoon issued to 602406. The new FM licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
As a result of the approvals granted above, companies directly or indirectly controlled by Mr. Forster will hold licences for both an AM and an FM radio undertaking in Saskatoon. As noted above, the AM station CFQC, which is being acquired from QC is currently in receivership. It will continue to be operated as an AM station, in a country format featuring traditional artists and musical styles. The new FM station will replace the existing AM station CJWW and will be operated in the Group II - Country format, which will feature a musical style often referred to as "new country", and which will give emphasis to young, emerging artists.
In approving this application, the Commission notes that Saskatoon currently has no country music format available on FM, and is satisfied that this proposal will add diversity to the local radio market.
The Commission is also of the opinion that the "new country" format of the proposed FM undertaking will be complementary to the "traditional country" format planned for CFQC, and that the combined operations will provide opportunities for economies not possible in a stand-alone operation.
At the 6 June hearing, the Commission also considered an application by High-Line Broadcasting Inc. (High-Line), licensee of CHSN-FM Saskatoon, which requested a change in the authorized music format of CHSN-FM, from Group I- Pop, Rock and Dance to Group II - Country. The Commission notes that approval of both the 602406 and the High-Line applications would diminish the overall diversity of radio services in the market by placing two Country FM stations in Saskatoon. For that reason, the Commission considers the two proposals to be mutually exclusive; in view of the approval herein granted to the 602406 application, the High-Line application has been denied. (See Decision CRTC 94-695, published today).
The Commission acknowledges the interventions filed in opposition to the applications by 602406 and 602412 and is satisfied with the licensee's responses.
The Commission also acknowledges the numerous interventions in support of these applications, submitted by individuals as well as organizations.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and, with respect to the new FM undertaking, is satisfied with the annual budgets and the initiatives proposed by the licensee for this purpose. It encourages the licensee, during the new licence term, to pursue its efforts towards the support, development and on-air exposure of local and regional talent.
It is a condition of each licence that the licensee adhere to the guidelines on gender 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 each 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 Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. It encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
The Department of Industry, Science and Technology (DIST) has advised the Commission of a potential for interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services in the area and that a Broadcasting Certificate for the new FM undertaking will only be issued upon satisfactory resolution of any interference with these services revealed by monitoring during on-air trials.
In accordance with subsection 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence, and the authority for the new FM undertaking granted herein may only be implemented, at such time as written notification is received from the DIST that its technical requirements have been met, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.
It is a condition of licence that construction of the new FM undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of receipt of the DIST 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 periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General