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ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-691

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Route reference: 2010-350

Additional reference: 2010-350-1

Ottawa, 17 September 2010

MacEachern Broadcasting Limited
Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia

Application 2010-0780-8, received 5 April 2010

CIGO-FM Port Hawkesbury – Technical change

The Commission approves an application by MacEachern Broadcasting Limited to change the authorized contours of the English-language commercial radio station CIGO-FM Port Hawkesbury by increasing the station’s effective radiated power.

Introduction

1.      The Commission received an application by MacEachern Broadcasting Limited (MacEachern) relating to the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CIGO-FM Port Hawkesbury. Specifically, the licensee proposed to change the station’s authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power (ERP) from 19,000 watts to 40,000 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 171.1 metres). The Commission notes that, following receipt of the application, the licensee sent a request to the Department of Industry (the Department) to increase the ERP from 19,000 watts to 38,100 watts so as to maintain the station within the technical parameters of a Class B radio station. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged.

2.      The licensee stated that the proposed change would result in a better quality signal to listeners located in the Port Hawkesbury portion of the station’s service area who are currently experiencing poor reception of CIGO-FM.

3.      The Commission notes that the proposed change would increase the size of the station’s authorized contours, such that the population served within the station’s 3 mV/m contour would increase from 13,424 to 16,296, and, within its 0.5 mV/m contour, from 46,718 to 48,801.

4.      The Commission received an intervention in opposition to this application from Atlantic Broadcasters Limited (ABL), licensee of the radio programming undertaking CJFX-FM Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The intervention and the licensee’s reply can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”

Commission’s analysis and determinations

5.      After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies, and taking into account the intervention and the licensee’s reply, the Commission considers that the issue to be determined relates to the impact that approval of the proposed technical change would have on CJFX-FM.

6.      In its intervention, ABL opposed the application on economic grounds, citing the recent economic decline in the region. It submitted that, should the Commission approve the proposed technical change, the financial impact on the operations of CJFK-FM would be considerable.

7.      In its reply, MacEachern presented a more positive image of the regional economy and submitted that ABL’s reference to a shrinking and slumping economy is exaggerated. It stated that the proposed technical change is not about increasing coverage but rather about doing a better job of servicing the area for which it is already licensed.

8.      The Commission notes that the technical change proposed by the licensee would provide improved service to listeners in Port Hawkesbury. Furthermore, based on available evidence, the Commission considers that the increase in CIGO-FM’s authorized contours would have a minimal impact on incumbent stations, given that the resulting increase in the coverage area towards Antigonish would be modest, and given that the town of Antigonish would remain outside CIGO-FM’s principal 3 mV/m contour.

Conclusion

9.      In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by MacEachern Broadcasting Limited to change the authorized contours of CIGO-FM Port Hawkesbury by increasing the ERP from 19,000 watts to 38,100 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 171.1 metres).

10.  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.

11.  The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.