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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-120

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Decision

Ottawa, 30 April 1996
Decision CRTC 96-120
Redmond Broadcasting Inc.
Simcoe, Ontario - 950911800
Conversion of CHNR from AM to FM
Following a Public Hearing in Vancouver beginning on 27 February 1996, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Simcoe, on the frequency 106.7 MHz, channel 294B, with an effective radiated power of 3,320 watts.
Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2002. This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
The licence term granted herein, while less than the maximum seven years permitted under the Broadcasting Act, will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence in accordance with the Commission's regional plan and to better distribute the workload within the Commission.
In support of its application, Redmond Broadcasting Inc. (Redmond) indicated that its objective is to overcome perceived shortcomings of the night-time signal of CHNR, its existing AM station, in order to provide a clear and consistent signal within its market and to improve its financial situation.
In its evaluation of this application, the Commission has taken into consideration the views expressed in interventions opposing this proposal, submitted by Tillsonburg Broadcasting Company Limited, licensee of CKOT and CKOT-FM Tillsonburg, and Telephone City Broadcast Limited (Telephone City), licensee of CKPC and CKPC-FM Brantford. The interveners expressed concerns regarding the potential impact of a new FM station in their markets, the economic difficulties in the local economies and their own financial situations.
Having taken into account the coverage area of the proposed new FM station and its potential audience share, the Commission is satisfied that approval of this application is unlikely to substantially affect the financial well-being of the stations owned by the interveners which is significantly better than that of the Redmond station.
During the launch of the new FM station, the applicant proposed to simulcast programming on its current AM frequency and the proposed FM station for a "phasing-in-period" of one year. In its intervention, Telephone City stated that approval of such a request "would be a blatant misuse of a public frequency". Moreover, this authority would give the applicant the opportunity to benefit from having two separate stations broadcasting in the same market for a one-year period.
n previous applications involving similar AM to FM "flips", the Commission has authorized simulcast periods of three to six months. The Commission is not persuaded by Redmond's argument that the one-year period is necessary. Accordingly, the applicant is authorized, by condition of licence, to simulcast for a period of no more than three months from the date of implementation. The applicant is required to surrender the current licence of CHNR at the end of that period.
Redmond also proposed to broadcast up to 100% hits. This proposal would require an exception to the Commission's FM Policy outlined in CRTC Public Notice 1990-111 dated 17 December 1990, which requires FM stations to restrict their use of hits to less than 50% of all music selections broadcast each week.
In support of its proposal, Redmond has contended that the new station qualifies for consideration for programming flexibility concerning "hits" under the "Guidelines for Assessing Applications for Programming Flexibility From Licensees of Radio Stations in Border Markets and Small Markets" (the Guidelines), as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1992-3.
In this regard, the Commission agrees that the Simcoe market meets the Guidelines for small stations and therefore, CHNR qualifies for consideration for programming flexibility. While the new FM station will be receivable in Brantford and of better quality than the current AM signal, its competitive position will only be marginally enhanced. The Commission considers that the approval of a higher weekly percentage of hits would not significantly affect other stations in neighbouring communities. Therefore, the Commission approves the applicant's request to broadcast up to 100% hit music.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and notes that Redmond, on behalf of the new FM station, will allocate $1,000 in annual direct expenditures towards the development of Canadian talent. It encourages the applicant, during the new licence term, to continue its efforts towards the support, development and on-air exposure of local and regional talent.
It is a condition of licence that the new station not be operated within the Specialty format, as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1995-60, and as amended from time to time by the Commission.
It is a condition of licence that the applicant 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 accepted 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 accepted by the Commission.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Imple-mentation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. In this regard, the Commission encourages the applicant to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as construction of the undertaking is completed and it is prepared to commence operation. If the construction is not completed 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 construction and commence operation before the expiry of this period and that an extension of time is in the public interest, within such further periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission, the licence will not be issued. The applicant is required to advise the Commission (before the expiry of the twelve-month period or any extension thereof) in writing, once it has completed construction and is prepared to commence operation.
The Department of Industry has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will only be issued once it has been determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.
In accordance with subsection 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence and the authority will only be granted at such time as written notification is received from the Department of Industry that its technical requirements have been met, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.
The Commission acknowledges the numerous interventions submitted in support of this application.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
 Allan J. Darling
 Secretary General