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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-92

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-92

Ottawa, 19 April 2002

Rogers Broadcasting Limited
North Bay, Orillia, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins and Toronto, Ontario

Application Numbers: see appendix
Public Hearing at Montréal, Quebec
19 November 2001

Rogers acquires the assets of radio stations and a radio network in Ontario

1.

The Commission approves the applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited (RBL) to acquire from Standard Radio Inc. (Standard), the assets of the broadcasting undertakings set out in the appendix to this decision. The undertakings acquired include 14 radio stations, including one transitional digital radio undertaking, that serve communities in Ontario, as well as a radio network.

2.

The Commission will issue licences to RBL that will expire on the dates set out in the appendix to this decision. These expiry dates are the same as the expiry dates of the current licences, with one exception. The current licence for the transitional digital radio undertaking CJCL-DR-2 Toronto expires on 31 August 2002. The new licence will expire on 31 August 2003 so that RBL will have adequate time to prepare and file an application for licence renewal. All of the new licences will be subject to the same conditions as those in effect under the current licences.

3.

This decision is one of three issued today that approve a series of transactions under which the broadcasting assets in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia that were formerly held by Telemedia Radio Inc. and Telemedia Radio (West) Inc. (collectively referred to in this decision as "Telemedia") are ultimately transferred to one of three parties: Standard, RBL, or 3937844 Canada Inc. (3937844), a subsidiary of Newcap Inc. The decisions may be summarized as follows.

. 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 approves applications by Standard to acquire all of the broadcasting assets formerly held by Telemedia in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

. In the current decision, the Commission approves applications by RBL to acquire the assets of 14 radio stations, including one transitional digital radio undertaking, and one radio network that Standard acquired from Telemedia, as approved in Decision CRTC 2000-91. All of the stations that RBL has acquired are located in Ontario.

. In 3937844 Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Newcap Inc., acquires the assets of radio stations in Alberta, Decision CRTC 2002-93, 18 April 2002, the Commission approves applications by 3937844 to acquire the assets of 15 radio stations and related transmitters that Standard acquired from Telemedia, as approved in Decision CRTC 2002-91. All of the stations that 3937844 has acquired are located in Alberta.

4.

A description of the cumulative impact of today's decisions is set out in Introductory statement to Decisions CRTC 2002-91 to 2002-93: Transfer of the assets of radio, television and network undertakings in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia formerly held by Telemedia, Public Notice CRTC 2002-19, 18 April 2002. The public notice also includes a discussion of matters related to the value of the transactions, financial gains that could be generated from selling broadcasting undertakings within a relatively short period of time after they are acquired, and possible concerns related to the sale of the Calgary FM station licensed to Telemedia in 2001.

5.

The Commission notes that, upon completion of the transactions noted above, RBL will remain in compliance with the Commission's radio ownership policy set out in Commercial Radio Policy 1998, Public Notice CRTC 1998-41, 30 April 1998 (the Commercial Radio Policy) specifying that:

. in markets with less than eight commercial stations operating in a given language, a single licensee may own or control as many as three stations operating in that language, with a maximum of two stations on either the AM or FM band;

. in markets with eight commercial stations or more operating in a given language, a single licensee may be permitted to own or control as many as two AM and two FM stations in that language.

Benefits

6.

In the Commercial Radio Policy, the Commission established its policy with respect to the benefits required at the time of the change of ownership or control of radio undertakings. It determined that applicants must make commitments to a tangible benefits package related to the development of Canadian musical and other artistic talent representing a minimum of 6% of the value of the transaction. According to the policy, benefits are to be allocated as follows:

. 3% to the Radio Starmaker Fund/Fonds RadioStar;

. 2% to FACTOR or MusicAction;

. 1% to either of the above initiatives, or to other initiatives relating to the development of Canadian talent.

7.

The value of the current transaction is $100 million. RBL will therefore implement a benefits package totalling $6 million (6% of $100 million) payable over seven years. RBL will allocate $3 million (3% of $100 million) of this amount to the Radio Starmaker
Fund/Fonds RadioStar and $2 million (2% of $100 million) to FACTOR. Since all the stations that RBL is acquiring are located in Ontario, the Commission encourages the applicant to ask FACTOR to earmark these funds for Ontario artists. The remaining $1,000,000 will be allocated as described below.

Historica - $700,000 over 7 years

8.

RBL will make an annual contribution of $100,000 for seven years to Historica, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to raising public awareness of Canadian history and heritage. The money will be spent on talent fees for Canadian writers and actors that take part in the production of Heritage Radio Minutes.

9.

Since all the funds will go to Canadian writers and actors, the Commission considers that this initiative qualifies as an acceptable Canadian talent development initiative.

VoicePrint - $300,000 over seven years

10.

RBL will make a total contribution of $300,000 paid in equal annual instalments over seven years to VoicePrint. VoicePrint is a national English-language audio network that provides a service of particular benefit to Canadians who are blind, visually impaired or print handicapped. Its programming consists of a selection of articles from daily newspapers and magazines read in their entirety by volunteers. VoicePrint has indicated that it will use the funds to train and manage volunteers who read for the service. Since the Commission considers that VoicePrint's reading function is tantamount to acting or narration, it views the allocation as assisting in the development of Canadian talent.

11.

The Commission notes that all of the commitments that RBL has proposed as benefits are over and above the existing commitments and conditions of licence currently in effect for the broadcasting undertakings that RBL is acquiring. RBL is to fulfil any outstanding benefits commitments for the stations that it is acquiring, and to file a report concurrently with its annual return related to the fulfilment of such commitments.

Interventions

12.

The Commission notes and has considered the interventions submitted in support of these applications. It further notes that it received no interventions opposing the applications.

Other matters

13.

Because this licensee is subject to the Employment Equity Act and files reports with Human Resources Development Canada, its employment equity practices are not examined by the Commission.

Conclusion

14.

The transactions approved in this decision result from a decision by Telemedia to divest of all of its broadcasting assets across Canada. The Commission considers that the acquisition of radio assets formerly held by Telemedia will enhance RBL's position as a strong player in the radio broadcasting industry. It further notes that, following the acquisition of these assets, RBL will remain in compliance with the Commission's policy with respect to the ownership of radio undertakings in particular markets. RBL has also fulfilled the provisions of the Commission's policy with respect to the benefits package that must be presented at the time of the transfer of control of radio undertakings.

Secretary General

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

 

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-92

 

Broadcasting undertakings acquired by Rogers Broadcasting Limited

 

Ontario

 

Application Number

Location

Call Sign

Licence expiry date

 

2001-0938-1

North Bay

CKAT

2005-08-31

 

2001-0939-9

North Bay

CKFX-FM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0940-7

North Bay

CHUR-FM

2005-08-31

 

2001-0952-1

Orillia

CICX-FM

2003-08-31

 

2001-0950-6

Sault Ste. Marie

CHAS-FM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0951-3

Sault Ste. Marie

CJQM-FM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0949-8

Sault Ste. Marie

CIRS

2004-08-31

 

2001-0944-8

Sudbury

CIGM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0945-6

Sudbury

CJRQ-FM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0946-4

Sudbury

CJMX-FM

2004-08-31

 

2001-0942-2

Timmins

CKGB-FM

2007-08-31

 

2001-0943-0

Timmins

CJQQ-FM

2008-08-31

 

2001-0947-2

Toronto

CJCL

2005-08-31

 

2001-0948-0

Toronto

CJCL-DR-2 (Digital Radio)

2003-08-31

 

2001-0953-9

Toronto

Prime Time Sports Network

2005-08-31

Date Modified: 2002-04-19