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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-338

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  Ottawa, 2 December 2008
  Blackburn Radio Inc.
Wingham and Centreville/Meaford, Ontario
  Application 2008-0985-8, received 17 July 2008
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2008-75
29 August 2008
 

CKNX-FM Wingham and its transmitter CKNX-FM-2 Centreville/Meaford - Technical change

  The Commission denies the application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio station CKNX-FM Wingham in order to change the frequency of its transmitter CKNX-FM-2 Centreville/Meaford from 104.9 MHz (channel 285LP) to 102.7 MHz (channel 274A1) and to change the authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power from 5 watts to 250 watts.
 

Introduction

1. The Commission received an application by Blackburn Radio Inc. (Blackburn) to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CKNX-FM Wingham, in order to change the frequency of its transmitter CKNX-FM-2 Centreville/Meaford from 104.9 MHz (channel 285LP) to 102.7 MHz (channel 274A1) and to change the authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power (ERP) from 5 watts to 250 watts. The licensee noted that the transmitter CKNX-FM-2 would remain at its present Centreville/Meaford location.
2. Blackburn indicated that it wishes to obtain a protected frequency for the low-power rebroadcasting FM transmitter CKNX-FM-2 so as to provide a more stable method of delivery of the programming of CKNX-FM into Meaford and vicinity.
3. The licensee submitted that, because Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation operates its station CHWC-FM Goderich on 104.9 MHz, which is available in Centreville/Meaford, Blackburn's on-air identification and general promotion of its Centreville/Meaford rebroadcasting transmitter on 104.9 MHz is problematic and confusing for its listening audience.
4. Finally, Blackburn indicated that the present application was motivated in part by an application submitted by Evanov Communications Inc. (Evanov) for the use of 104.9 MHz for an English-language FM radio station in Shelburne, Ontario.
5. The Commission received interventions in opposition to this application from several parties, including Bayshore Broadcasting Inc. (Bayshore) and Larche Communications Inc. (Larche). The interventions and the licensee's replies to the interventions can be found on the Commission's website at www.crtc.gc.ca under "Public Proceedings."
 

Commission's analysis and determinations

6. The Commission generally authorizes a change in the status of a transmitter from unprotected to protected in order to correct clearly defined technical deficiencies in the signal of the transmitter within its authorized service area, or to address demonstrated economic need. Since the present application involves a rebroadcasting transmitter, the Commission determines that economic need is not an issue in its consideration of the present application.
7. After examining the application, the interventions and the licensee's replies to the interventions, the Commission finds that the issue to be determined relates to the increased coverage area for CKNX-FM-2 that would result from the proposed technical changes.
8. In their interventions, both Bayshore and Larche expressed concerns with respect to the significant increase in the power of CKNX-FM-2 and the resulting increase in the population coverage from 646 to 4,896.
9. In reply to the interventions, Blackburn indicated that the power under which CKNX-FM-2 currently operates offers a better than 3mV/m coverage to only half of Meaford, and argued that the power increase to 250 watts is necessary to supplement these perceived signal deficiencies. The licensee also noted that CKNX-FM-2, by remaining a low-power transmitter, could not guarantee coverage of Meaford and Centreville in the event that another application were to be made for the 104.9 MHz frequency. Blackburn further submitted that the increased population in its proposed 3mV/m contour, as set out in its application, represented the population to be reached after addressing signal deficiencies in the Meaford/Centreville area. Finally, Blackburn restated its position that the on-air identification of its 104.9 MHz frequency is confusing since Bayshore's station CHWC-FM also operates at 104.9 MHz.
10. The Commission notes that, based on the realistic contour maps provided by the applicant for the proposed modifications, the field strength of CKNX-FM-2 drops below 3mV/m in the town of Meaford. Further, Meaford falls outside the station's theoretical 3mV/m contour. It is therefore probable that some receivers might not have adequate field strength to provide a reliable audio signal within that town. The Commission also notes, however, that approval of the present application, instead of addressing signal deficiencies in Meaford, would extend CKNX-FM-2's service area beyond Meaford and towards the community of Thornbury, Ontario, which is not part of the station's currently authorized coverage area.
 

Other matters

11. In regard to Blackburn's above-noted concerns regarding the application by Evanov for the use of the 104.9 MHz frequency for an English-language FM radio station in Shelburne, the Commission notes that Evanov's application was denied in English-language commercial FM radio station in Shelburne, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-159, 1 August 2008. As such, Blackburn's concern in this regard is not an issue for the present application.
 

Conclusion

12. In light of the above, the Commission denies the application by Blackburn Radio Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio programming undertaking CKNX-FM Wingham in order to change the frequency of its transmitter CKNX-FM-2 Centreville/Meaford from 104.9 MHz (channel 285LP) to 102.7 MHz (channel 274A1) and to change the authorized contours by increasing the average ERP from 5 watts to 250 watts.
  Secretary General
  This decision is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site: http://www.crtc.gc.ca.