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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 97-29

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Decision

Ottawa, 30 January 1997
Decision CRTC 97-29
CJCD Radio Limited
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories - 199605078
Conversion of CJCD from AM to FM - Approved
Following a Public Hearing in Vancouver beginning on 23 September 1996, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Yellowknife, on the frequency 100.1 MHz, channel 261A, with an effective radiated power of 400 watts.
Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2003. This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
In support of its application, CJCD Radio Limited (CJCD Radio) indicated that its objective is to overcome the perceived shortcomings of the signal of CJCD, its existing AM station, in order to provide a consistent signal within its market and to thereby improve its financial situation.
Simulcast period
In the event of approval of this application, CJCD Radio also requested approval to simulcast the new FM station on its AM transmitter for a period of two years following the implementation of the FM station in order to continue to provide a radio beacon for airplane navigation in the Yellowknife area.
An intervention in opposition to this request was submitted by the Native Communications Society of the Western Northwest Territories (NCS), licensee of CKLB-FM, a Type B native radio station. NCS opposed CJCD Radio's request for a two-year simulcast period on the basis that such a long simulcast period would disadvantage CKLB-FM.
In previous applications involving similar AM to FM "flips", the Commission has authorized simulcast periods of three to six months where there is no opposition to such a request. When questioned on this issue at the hearing, the applicant expressed its willingness to accept a simulcast period of six months, should the Commission require that. The Commission considers that a simulcast period of six months would allow the licensee adequate time to advise its listeners of CJCD's move to the FM band. With respect to the applicant's argument in favour of extending the usual simulcast period to provide a beacon to airplane pilots in the area, it is the Commission's understanding that the Yellowknife airport is well equipped with the appropriate navigational aids. Accordingly, the applicant is authorized, by condition of licence, to simulcast for a period of six months from the date of implementation. The applicant is required to surrender the current licence for CJCD at the end of that period.
Hits and Format
In addition to the request related to the simulcast period, the applicant also requested approval to broadcast a level of hit material up to 85%. The applicant further requested a condition of licence affording it the flexibility to operate in a wide range of popular music styles, including country. In its intervention noted above, NCS also objected to these requests, on the basis that the implementation of them could endanger the viability of CKLB-FM.
CJCD Radio's proposal with respect to the use of hit material would not be in accordance with the Commission's FM Policy outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111 dated 17 December 1990, which states that FM stations should restrict their use of hits to less than 50% of all music selections broadcast each week. The applicant has requested flexibility based on the provisions contained in Public Notice CRTC 1992-3 "Guidelines for Assessing Applications for Programming Flexibility From Licensees of Radio Stations in Border Markets and Small Markets" (the Guidelines).
In support of its proposal, CJCD Radio expressed its belief that the Yellowknife market qualified for programming flexibility under the Guidelines, and stated that approval of the request would allow it to continue to program a similar mix of music to that currently broadcast on CJCD. The applicant also stated that the differences in format and station type between CJCD and CKLB-FM would ensure that no significant effect would be felt by CKLB-FM.
The intervention to this proposal submitted by NCS opposed the approval of a higher level of hits for the new station on the basis that the new station would be able to continue CJCD's current hit-oriented format on the FM band, providing the new station with an unfair advantage over CKLB-FM, which broadcasts a mix of contemporary country music and new music by aboriginal performers, most of which would not be hit material.
The Guidelines stipulate, as criteria used to assess applications for programming flexibility for small market stations, a market population of less than 100,000 and unprofitability of the market. The Commission is satisfied that the Yellowknife market meets the criteria of a small market as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1992-3 and, based on the evidence available to it, the Commission is satisfied that approval of this request will not have an undue negative impact on the other station in the market.
Accordingly, it is a condition of licence that the new FM station restrict the use of hit material to less than 85% of all music selections broadcast during each broadcast week.
With respect to the request for a condition of licence affording the new station the flexibility to operate in any format other than the Specialty format, the intervener expressed concern that, if such approval was granted, the new station would be free to shift its musical focus from CJCD's current format of contemporary hit music, to the country music format currently employed by CKLB-FM.
In response to the intervener's concerns, at the hearing the applicant stated its belief that "our best audience potential lies in the format we use right now and have no plan to move into the area CKLB now occupies."
The Commission notes the applicant's clear intention to program the new FM station with the same format as is currently used on its AM station, as well as the fact that the request for format flexibility falls within the Commission's policy as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1995-60 dated 21 April 1995, and accordingly, approves the request. It is therefore a condition of licence that the new FM station not be operated within the Specialty format as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1995-60, or as amended from time to time by the Commission.
Other matters
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and is satisfied with the annual budgets and the initiatives proposed by the licensee in this respect. It encourages the licensee, 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 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 accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee remains a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
It is also a condition of 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 accepted 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. In this regard, the Commission encourages the licensee 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 and has considered all of the interventions submitted with respect to this application.
This decision is to be appended to the new licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General