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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-137

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-137

Ottawa, 15 May 2002

Chetwynd Communications Society
Chetwynd and Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Application 2001-0832-5
Public Notice CRTC 2001-124
12 December 2001

New transmitter in Dawson Creek for CHET-FM

The application

1.

The Commission received an application by Chetwynd Communications Society (CCS), a not-for-profit corporation, to amend its broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CHET-FM Chetwynd in order to add a low-power FM transmitter in Dawson Creek, a city located approximately 100 kilometres from Chetwynd.

Interventions

2.

The Commission received 14 interventions in connection with the application. Thirteen interveners supported the applicant's proposal, and one intervener opposed it.

Interventions in support

3.

Those supporting the application commended CHET-FM's programming, including its coverage of issues relevant to the area that it serves. They considered that those living in Dawson Creek should be able to receive CHET-FM.

Opposing intervention by The Peace Division of Telemedia Radio (West) Inc.

4.

The Peace Division of Telemedia Radio (West) Inc. (The Peace Division) opposed the application. At the time that the intervention was filed, The Peace Division operated the following stations: CJDC-TV Dawson Creek, CJDC Dawson Creek, CHRX-FM Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, CKNL Fort St. John and CKRX-FM Fort Nelson.1

5.

The Peace Division considered that the establishment of a transmitter for CHET-FM in Dawson Creek would bring additional pressure on the pool of advertising dollars available in Dawson Creek and have a negative effect on The Peace Division's ability to serve the community. The intervener submitted that the greatest impact would be on CJDC since CHET-FM and CJDC offer a similar music mix.

6.

The Peace Division further noted that CCS did not propose to establish studio facilities in Dawson Creek and did not plan to produce any programming specifically targeted to Dawson Creek. The intervener considered that "The application represents a blatant attempt to enlarge the revenue market of CHET-FM with only a minimal investment and no additional responsibilities or local service offering."

7.

CCS did not reply to the intervention by The Peace Division.

The Commission's determination

8.

The Commission acknowledges that the establishment of a transmitter in Dawson Creek will enlarge CHET-FM's listening area so that it includes Dawson Creek. As such CHET-FM will compete with local commercial stations for listeners and advertisers. The Commission notes that, in 2001, The Peace Division had revenues that were more than 50 times the revenues of CHET-FM, and that the combined share of radio listening to The Peace Division stations in the market was over 50% of all hours tuned.

9.

The Commission is of the view that a low-power rebroadcasting transmitter for CHET-FM is less likely to compete directly with a commercial station such as CJDC over its entire schedule than would a commercial station. Given the comparative strength of The Peace Division stations in terms of listening and revenues, and the fact that CHET-FM is operated by a not-for-profit corporation and would use a low-power transmitter, the Commission considers that implementation of CCS's proposal is not likely to have a significant negative impact on the commercial stations operating in Dawson Creek.

10.

Furthermore, in Licence renewal for CHET-FM, Decision CRTC 2001-87, 19 February 2001, the Commission noted commitments by CHET-FM, in each broadcast week, to devote 15% of its programming to community-oriented spoken word programming. The Commission considers that the presence of such programming will contribute to the diversity of programming available to listeners in Dawson Creek.

11.

In light of the Commission's conclusion that CCS's proposal is not likely to have a significant negative effect on existing commercial stations in Dawson Creek and the increase in programming diversity that CHET-FM would bring to the market, the Commission approves the application by CCS to amend the licence for CHET-FM Chetwynd to add an FM transmitter at Dawson Creek. The Commission expects the licensee to ensure that the programming of CHET-FM includes material that reflects the needs and interests of the residents of the Dawson Creek area who are served by the new transmitter.

12.

The transmitter will operate at 104.1 MHz (channel 281LP) with an effective radiated power of 50 watts.

13.

The technical parameters approved in this decision are for a low-power unprotected FM service. The applicant would have to select another frequency for the operation of the service if required to do so to permit the best use of the frequency band.

Issuance of the licence

14.

The Department of Industry (the Department) has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.

15.

The Commission reminds the licensee that pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the authority will only be effective once the Department has notified the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

16.

The transmitter must be operational within 12 months of the date of this decision. The licensee's failure to meet this deadline will cause the authority to become null and void, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 15 May 2003. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least thirty days before this date.

Other matters - Continuation of Type A status for CHET-FM

17.

The Commission notes that CHET-FM is currently licensed as a Type A community radio station. Community Radio Policy, Public Notice CRTC 2000-13, 28 January 2000, (the Policy) defines a Type A community radio station as follows:

A community radio station is a Type A station if, at the time of licensing, no other radio station, other than one owned by the CBC, is operating in the same language in all or part of its market.

If one or more stations are licensed to operate in the same language in all or any part of the same market at the time of licence renewal, the station will retain its Type A status. In all other cases, including applications to increase power, the Commission will assess the continuation of Type A status on a case-by-case basis.

18.

The Policy defines a Type B community radio station as follows:

A community radio station is a Type B station if, when the licence is issued, at least one other station other than a station owned by the CBC, is licensed to operate in the same language in all or any part of the same market.

19.

Since CHET-FM will, as a result of this decision, operate in a market served by other commercial radio stations, the Commission intends to explore, at the time of licence renewal, whether CHET-FM should retain its status as a Type A station or be reclassified as a Type B station.

Secretary General

This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site: www.crtc.gc.ca

1  In Standard acquires the assets of radio stations, radio networks and television stations in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, Decision CRTC 2002-91, 18 April 2002, the Commission approved applications under which the assets of all of the stations operated by The Peace Division of Telemedia were acquired by Standard Radio Inc. Therefore, Standard Radio Inc. is now the licensee of those stations.

Date Modified: 2002-05-15