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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 97-43

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Decision

Ottawa, 6 February 1997
Decision CRTC 97-43
Western Broadcasting Limited
Corner Brook, Newfoundland -199609583
Conversion of CKXX from AM to FM
Following a Public Hearing in Montréal beginning on 2 December 1996, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Corner Brook on the frequency 103.9 MHz, channel 280B, with an effective radiated power of 47,000 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 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.
Western Broadcasting Limited (Western) currently operates the radio programming undertaking CKXX Corner Brook and will cease operation of this AM undertaking two weeks following the implementation of the FM station. During the transition period, Western will simulcast the programming of CKXX on the proposed FM station. At the end of this period, the Commission requires the applicant to surrender the licence currently issued to CKXX.
In support of its application, Western noted that the market has no local FM station, that a move to the FM band would offer a more appealing service to the local community, and increase the financial viability of the station.
An intervention in opposition to this application was submitted by Humber Valley Broadcasting Ltd. (Humber Valley), licensee of CFCB Corner Brook, the only remaining local commercial station. Humber Valley indicated that both commercial AM stations currently operate in similar circumstances and raised concerns regarding the potential that approval of this application would have on the financial viability of CFCB.
In response to the intervention, Western stated that because of CFCB's strong signal, and the fact that it was established first, CFCB dominates the market. Maintaining status quo would therefore have a greater negative impact on the market.
The Commission has carefully considered the views of the applicant and of the intervener and, based on the evidence available to it, is satisfied that approval of this application is in the public interest.
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 applicant in this respect. 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.
In Decision CRTC 95-326 dated 14 June 1995, the Commission relieved the applicant of the remaining benefit commitments flowing from its acquisition of CKXX as approved in Decision CRTC 90-829. The Commission also noted the applicant's statement that "when profitable, CKXX is prepared to revisit the commitment particularly regarding the news staff and Canadian talent development." The Commission reminds the applicant of this undertaking.
It is a condition of licence that this 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.
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.
This decision is to be appended to the new licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General