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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-15

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-15

Ottawa, 21 January 2003
CHUM Limited
Brockville, Ontario
Application 2001-0858-1
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
6 May 2002

CFJR Brockville - Conversion to FM band

The Commission approves the application by CHUM Limited for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language FM radio station in Brockville.

The application

1. The Commission received an application from CHUM Limited (CHUM) for a licence to operate an English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Brockville, Ontario to replace its station CFJR. The applicant indicated that the station would offer a mainstream adult contemporary format and that the local programming would include local news, weather, sports and community information.
2. The applicant proposed to participate in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Canadian Talent Development (CTD) Plan, which for the Brockville market, represents an annual contribution of $400. In addition, it indicated that it would devote $2,500 per year over and above the CAB's CTD Plan for a total contribution of $20,300 over the licence term.
3. The proposed station would operate at 104.9 MHz (channel 285B1) with an effective radiated power of 5,600 watts.

Interventions

4. The Commission received 13 interventions in support of this application. It also received an opposing intervention from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The CBC stated that the proposed use of frequency 104.9 MHz (channel 285A) is in direct conflict with its Long Range Radio Plan (LRRP), which identifies use of the same frequency for a future Radio Two service in Brockville. The CBC further noted that two other FM channels, 201B and 293A, are available for use in the Brockville area and suggested that CHUM could use one of these FM allotments instead.

The applicant's reply

5. In reply, CHUM disagreed with the CBC that either channel 201B or 293A would be a suitable alternative to meet its coverage objectives and, explained in detail its reasons why they are not suitable. CHUM reiterated its view that its application makes the best use of the proposed 104.9 MHz frequency.
6. In particular, CHUM noted that the technical parameters it proposed would upgrade channel 285 from a class A to B1, in order to provide near comparable coverage of the CFJR service by the FM transmitter, consistent with the equivalence guidelines of AM versus FM contours specified by the Commission for applications involving AM to FM flips.
7. CHUM further noted that the CBC's LRRP contemplated use of channel 285A to provide a duplicated or "repeater" service in Brockville and that Radio Two is already available over-the-air from existing stations located in Kingston (107.5 FM) and Ottawa (103.3 FM). Moreover, while a future Radio Two service in Brockville would have no local input, in contrast, CHUM proposed several hours of locally generated news, sports and weather coverage with the move of CFJR to the FM band.

The Commission's analysis and determination

8. The Commission has carefully reviewed all relevant information and arguments presented by both parties. While the Commission recognizes the importance and value of the CBC's LRRP, both parties understand that the frequencies identified in the CBC's LRRP are not reserved for the exclusive use of CBC in all cases.
9. Where a private broadcaster presents a compelling case for a frequency listed in the CBC's LRRP and is able to demonstrate that a viable alternative or other options are clearly available to the CBC, the Commission has been disposed to give favourable consideration to an application by the private broadcaster.
10. In this particular case, CHUM has proposed an optimum use of the requested 104.9 MHz frequency with class B1 technical parameters and made a convincing case that FM channel 285 represents the best means available to it for a flip of CFJR to the FM band. Moreover, both CHUM and the CBC have acknowledged that two other FM channels are available for use in the Brockville area.
11. The Commission agrees with CHUM that one of these available channels would be a suitable alternative for the CBC to use for its future Radio Two repeater service in Brockville. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by CHUM for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Brockville to replace its station CFJR.

Issuance of the licence

12. The licence will expire 31 August 2009 and will be subject to the conditions of licence set out in New licence form for commercial radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 1999-137, 24 August 1999, and those set out in this decision.
13. The licensee is required, by condition of licence, to contribute $2,900 per year in direct cost expenditures towards the development of Canadian talent. This will consist of expenditures of $400 per year to the CAB's CTD Plan and an additional $2,500 per year.
14. The licensee is authorized, by condition of licence, to simulcast the programming of the new FM station on CFJR for a transition period of three months following the commencement of operations of the FM station. The licensee must surrender the AM licence for revocation by the Commission at the end of this period.
15. 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.
16. The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
17. Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the licensee has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 21 January 2005. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.
18. Because this licensee is subject to the Employment Equity Act and files reports concerning employment equity with Human Resources Development Canada, its employment equity practices are not examined by the Commission.
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: http://www.crtc.gc.ca

Date Modified: 2003-01-21