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Route reference: 2009-691
Ottawa, 9 July 2010
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Moncton and Saint John, New Brunswick
Applications 2009-1135-6 and 2009-1136-4, received 13 August 2009
2. The two stations currently operate under the following conditions of licence, set out in Broadcasting Decisions 2004‑517 and 2004‑520, relating to their news/talk format:
· The licensee shall ensure that at least 50% of all programming broadcast during each broadcast week consists of local programming. The definition of local programming shall be as set out in Policies for local programming on commercial radio stations and advertising on campus stations, Public Notice CRTC 1993‑38, 19 April 1993, as amended from time to time.
· The licensee shall ensure that no more than 10% of all programming broadcast during each broadcast week consists of musical selections.3. The licensee has applied to change the last of these conditions of licence for both CKNI‑FM and CHNI‑FM by increasing from 10% to 25% the maximum amount of all programming during each broadcast week that may consist of musical selections from. (Rogers also operates CJNI‑FM, a news/talk station in Halifax, but has not applied for an amendment to the conditions of licence for that station.)
4. Rogers submitted that this change is needed to permit the rationalization of costs by eliminating the news wheel approach to programming, and to reduce duplication in programming that currently exists between CKNI‑FM and CHNI‑FM. Rogers also indicated that the change would allow it to focus its resources on local and regional long-form talk programming.
7. For its part, TFG questioned how Rogers would continue to serve the market with a reduction in spoken word programming.
8. In reply, Rogers noted that it had originally applied for both music-oriented and news/talk stations in Halifax, Moncton and Saint John, but only the applications for news/talk stations were approved. Rogers’ plan had been that the music station would support the news/talk stations particularly in the smaller markets of Moncton and Saint John. Rogers argued that, without the music station, it has not been able to make the news/talk stations in Moncton and Saint John viable, despite efforts to cut costs. Rogers emphasized that music would be confined to time periods after 6 p.m., and indicated that it would be willing to accept a condition of licence in this regard.
10. The Commission notes that, while Rogers has proposed to increase the amount of music played on the two stations from 10% to 25%, it has not proposed to change the other three conditions of licence relating to the stations’ format and programming. Both CKNI‑FM and CHNI‑FM would therefore continue to operate in the Specialty format, devote 50% or more of their programming to spoken word programming and devote at least 50% of all programming broadcast to local programming. The Commission is of the view that these conditions are adequate to ensure that the stations continue to contribute to programming diversity in their markets by providing a unique spoken word format that is oriented to the local community. In light of these conditions and Rogers’ commitment to confine music programming to the time period after 6 p.m., the Commission also considers that the stations will not compete directly with music-oriented stations in their markets. A condition of licence with respect to Rogers’ commitment is set out below. In light of the above, the Commission considers that the change proposed by Rogers will serve to alleviate the financial difficulties faced by the stations, while not changing the essential orientation of their programming.
11. The Commission also notes that both CKNI‑FM and CHNI‑FM are currently operating in compliance with their conditions of licence.
12. The Commission considers that these applications are different from the applications by TFG for CJEF‑FM Saint John that were denied in Broadcasting Decisions 2008‑60 and 2007‑101. Whereas TFG was proposing to delete the condition of licence requiring that CJEF‑FM operate in the Specialty format so that it could provide a music format, as well as delete the condition of licence requiring that it devote more than 50% of the broadcast week to spoken word programming, Rogers is not applying to delete either of those conditions.
13. Accordingly, the Commission approves the applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licences for CKNI‑FM Moncton and
The licensee shall ensure that no more than 25% of all programming broadcast during each broadcast week consists of musical selections.
CKNI‑FM and CHNI‑FM will also be subject to the following condition of licence:
The licensee shall ensure that musical selections are broadcast only during the 6 p.m. to midnight period over the course of the broadcast week.