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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-39

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-39

Ottawa, 7 February 2003
Blackburn Radio Inc.
Wingham, Ontario
Application 2002-0167-4
Public Hearing at Kitchener, Ontario
28 October 2002

FM radio station in Wingham

The Commission denies the application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to operate an English-language FM radio station in Wingham, Ontario at 94.5 MHz.

The application

1.

The Commission received an application by Blackburn Radio Inc. (Blackburn) for a licence to operate an English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Wingham, Ontario. The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast in a rock format targeted to adults 18 to 49, with a hybrid of classic and new rock music. The applicant proposed to operate at 94.5 MHz (channel 233C1) with an effective radiated power of 21,200 watts.

Interventions

2.

The Commission received several interventions in support of this application. It also received opposing interventions from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation (Bayshore).

3.

Bayshore is the licensee of three radio stations in Owen Sound, Ontario: CIXK-FM, CKYC-FM, and CFOS. In its intervention, Bayshore opposed Blackburn's application on the basis that the proposed service's technical parameters would permit the station to access the Owen Sound market, in addition to the proposed Wingham market. Bayshore stated that the proposed FM station would pose a serious threat to Bayshore's ability to provide its primary service in Owen Sound and to the viability of its entire broadcasting operation.

4.

The CBC intervened opposing Blackburn's application on the grounds that the frequency requested by the applicant would be in conflict with the CBC's Long Range Radio Plan (LRRP), in which FM channel 233B is designated for the future implementation of the French-language service, La Première Chaîne, at Walkerton, Ontario.

The applicant's reply

5.

In reply to the intervention from Bayshore, the applicant submitted that its proposed FM station would not provide a strong signal in Owen Sound due to the geographical shield provided by the Niagara Escarpment. In addition, it stated that the format of the proposed station would not compete with any of Bayshore's stations. Blackburn suggested that any listeners to its proposed service from Owen Sound would come at the expense of rock formats from Barrie, Toronto, Hamilton and London.

6.

In reply to the intervention by the CBC, Blackburn stated that according to its engineering analysis, channel 233 was the only FM channel/frequency that would fully meet its coverage requirements. It indicated that it was aware that channel 233 had been identified in the CBC's LRRP, however, it suggested that the CBC could use a "drop-in" FM channel 261B (frequency 100.1 MHz) for its future French-language service.

The Commission's analysis and conclusion

7.

The Commission has examined the concerns raised by Bayshore and has determined that Blackburn's proposed FM station would not have a significant negative impact upon Bayshore.

8.

With regard to the CBC intervention, although Blackburn proposed a "drop-in" FM channel 261B as a replacement for channel 233B identified in the CBC Plan, it did not provide any technical study to support its claim that this would be a suitable alternative for the CBC. Moreover, Blackburn failed to consult with the CBC about its suggested frequency alternative or to seek the CBC's comments for its proposal to use channel 233. Blackburn did not explain why it had not done so, even though it was presented with an opportunity to do so during the Commission's analysis of its application.

9.

Although the Commission recognizes the potential value of the proposed service to Wingham and the surrounding area, it considers that approval of the present application would preclude CBC from using this frequency, which would restrict its ability to provide its French-language service to this region in the future.

10.

Accordingly, the Commission denies the application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to operate an English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Wingham, Ontario at 94.5 MHz.
Secretary General
This decision is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site: www.crtc.gc.ca

Date Modified: 2003-02-07