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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-276

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Decision

Ottawa, 8 July 1996
Decision CRTC 96-276
Christian Hit Radio Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario - 951023100
New Christian music FM station - Approved
Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 15 April 1996, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence to carry on a predominantly English-language (Specialty) FM radio programming undertaking at Ottawa on the frequency 99.1 MHz, channel 256, with an effective radiated power of 24,900 watts, to broadcast primarily non-classical religious music from local studios.
Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 1999. The 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 of 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.
Christian Hit Radio Inc. (CHRI) is a federally-incorporated, non-profit, charitable organization registered with Revenue Canada. CHRI will be effectively controlled by its Board of Directors, all of whom are Canadian citizens.
As part of its Promise of Performance, CHRI proposes to offer a contemporary Christian music FM radio service with a minimum of 80% non-classical religious music. The proposed station will also broadcast conventional news and additional spoken word programming consisting of interviews with artists, the promotion of local Christian entertainment events, as well as reviews of concerts, records, movies and television programs of particular interest to the Christian community. The applicant is required, by condition of licence, to adhere to the commitments set out in its Promise of Performance.
CHRI stated that the proposed undertaking will be a music-oriented station. The applicant emphasized that it does not intend to broadcast any religious programming as it is defined in the Commission's religious broadcasting policy (see Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 dated 3 June 1993). However, the applicant confirmed at the hearing that it understands the Commission's requirements set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 with respect to the provision of balance in religious programming. The Commission reminds CHRI of the policy regarding solicitation of funds specified in Public Notice CRTC 1993-78.
The Promise of Performance filed with CHRI's application indicated that the principal language of broadcast for the proposed station would be English. At the hearing, however, CHRI requested that it be granted the flexibility to broadcast a maximum of 10% of its spoken word programming in French. CHRI explained that it would like to broadcast interviews with francophone artists in French, and to use French in the spoken word introductions to French-language, Christian music selections. The applicant added that all of the proposed station's news and advertising would be in English.
The Commission approves the applicant's request. Accordingly, by condition of licence, all programming from subcategory 11 (News) and category 5 (Advertising) shall be broadcast in the English language and a maximum of 10% of programming from subcategory 12 (Spoken Word - Other) may be broadcast in the French language.
As part of its Promise of Performance, CHRI made a commitment to broadcast, at a minimum, 12% Canadian content each week from content category 3 (Traditional and Special Interest) rather than the minimum of 10% weekly required by the regulations for music from this category.
As its contribution to Canadian talent development, CHRI will spend $13,000 annually in direct expenditures. The applicant intends to reproduce, on at least 50 compact discs (CD's), the recordings of Canadian contemporary Christian music, and to distribute, as many as 50 copies of these CD's, at least eight times a year, to Christian music radio outlets.
In approving this application, the Commission is satisfied that the proposed station will have limited or no impact on other stations operating in Ottawa. The Commission notes, in this regard, that this application was the subject of no opposing interventions. Furthermore, the Commission considers that the addition of a Christian music station will increase the diversity of radio services available to Ottawa audiences and that CHRI's commitments to broadcast a minimum of 12% Canadian content weekly, as well as to reproduce and distribute Canadian contemporary Christian music on CD's, will foster growth in the Canadian Christian music industry.
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. 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.
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.
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