ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 97-82

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Ottawa, 21 February 1997
Decision CRTC 97-82
T.A.M.M. Communications
Montréal, Quebec - 199607769Saint-Constant, Quebec - 199610118
Technical amendments to CFMB Montréal's licence - application approved
New AM radio station at Saint-Constant - application denied
Following a Public Hearing held in Montréal beginning on 2 December 1996, the Commission approves the application to amend the broadcasting licence of the radio programming undertaking CFMB Montréal, filed by CFMB Limited (CFMB), by increasing the daytime and night-time transmitter power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts, by changing the frequency from 1410 kHz to 1280 kHz, and by relocating the transmitter approximately 15 kilomètres southwest of the current site.
The Commission denies the technically competing application filed by T.A.M.M. Communications (TAMM) to carry on a French-language AM radio programming undertaking at Saint-Constant, transmitting at 10,000 watts on frequency 1280 kHz. TAMM proposed to serve mainly Saint-Constant and the surrounding communities on Montréal's south shore with programming in the country music format.
The two applications in this proceeding were competing in technical terms as both proposed to use the 1280 kHz frequency. This frequency was used by station CJMS Montréal until it closed in September 1994 following the reorganization of the AM stations operated in the province of Quebec by Télémédia Communications inc. and Radiomutuel inc.
CFMB is an ethnic radio station that has been authorized to serve the many cultural groups in Montréal and area for almost 35 years. In approving CFMB's application, the Commission has taken into account the fact that approval will allow this Montréal station to correct some longstanding technical problems effectively and economically while improving its coverage contour through optimum utilization of the proposed frequency.
CFMB submitted that the proposed amendments would achieve two objectives. On the technical level, the licensee indicated that for the last 13 years an electrical installation in the vicinity of its transmitter has been causing distortion to the station's antenna pattern by re-radiating its signal. Since then, this phenomenon has prevented CFMB from filing with the Department of Industry the proof of performance required for the renewal of its broadcasting certificate. Relocating its transmitter site will correct this problem.
CFMB also mentioned the phenomenon of migration to the suburbs, which means a large portion of its audience finds it increasingly difficult to receive the station's signal satisfactorily. By transmitting on the new frequency at the proposed power of 50,000 watts, the licensee submitted that it could improve its signal quality and extend its coverage to include the entire area, so as to better serve the listeners who migrated to the suburbs as well as its audience in central Montréal.
CFMB said it has been trying for several years to move its transmitter site and increase power, and has investigated other possible solutions, including using its current frequency of 1410 kHz at the proposed new transmitter site. Its studies, however, showed that that solution would be very costly and would still not provide satisfactory coverage. CFMB maintained that the 1280 kHz frequency was the perfect solution for it under the circumstances, adding:
 The frequency of 1280 kHz has always been identified with Montréal. The transmitter site has been also built with this frequency in mind, to accommodate the coverage contour currently applied by CFMB.
The Commission notes that TAMM stated at the public hearing that it could not operate the proposed station over 10,000 watts because its operating costs would be prohibitive. The Commission considers that TAMM's proposal in this case did not constitute the best possible utilization of the proposed frequency.
Moreover, the Commission considers that TAMM did not demonstrate that the communities it intended to serve could support the proposed undertaking. In this regard, the Commission notes that TAMM did not submit an independent market study with its application, and that this applicant anticipated that it would have to solicit advertising from Montréal businesses because of the limited resources in the proposed market. Furthermore, the Commission notes that the Saint-Constant region already receives a number of radio services offered in the Montréal area.
The Commission acknowledges the many interventions submitted with regard to these applications.
This decision is to be appended to the CFMB licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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