Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-614

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Route reference: 2012-300

Ottawa, 5 November 2012

Radio Bell Island Inc.
Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador

Application 2012-0327-3, received 7 March 2012
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
18 July 2012

Low-power community radio station in Bell Island

The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language low-power community FM radio station in Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The application

1.  The Commission received an application by Radio Bell Island Inc. (RBI) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language low-power community FM radio programming undertaking in Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Commission did not receive any interventions concerning this application.

2.  RBI is a not-for-profit corporation controlled by its board of directors.

3.  In Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010 (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499), the Commission announced a number of changes to the regulatory framework for campus and community radio stations. RBI confirmed that it would adhere to the revised policy.

4.  The new station would operate on frequency 93.9 MHz (channel 230LP) with an average effective radiated power of 28 watts (non directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 79.5 metres).1

5.  The applicant indicated that for the first two years of operation, the station would broadcast 20 hours of programming each broadcast week from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday, and that it would subsequently increase this level. All of the station’s programming would be station-produced.

6.  Spoken word programming would consist of local information, news, weather, local folklore and history, call-in programs and contests. Fifty percent of the station’s musical programming would be devoted to local Folk and Folk-oriented music selections, with the remainder drawn from a variety of popular and specialty genres, including Pop, Rock and Dance, Country, acoustic, Easy Listening and World beat.

7.  With respect to local talent, the applicant stated that the station would promote the musical and creative talent of Newfoundland and Labrador by airing locally produced music, as well as live music performances from local and regional artists. 

8.  With respect to volunteer participation, RBI indicated that the station’s workforce would essentially be composed of volunteer adults and students from the community and that these volunteers would be offered the training and opportunity to deliver programs on-air and would participate in the technical and administrative operation of the station. 

Commission’s analysis and decision

9.  The Commission expects community radio stations to provide programming differing in style and substance from that provided by other elements of the broadcasting system, particularly commercial radio stations and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Such programming should consist of music, especially Canadian music, not generally heard on commercial stations (including special interest music, as well as styles of popular music seldom broadcast), in-depth spoken word programming and programming targeted to specific groups within the community.

10.  The Commission is satisfied that the application is consistent with the provisions for community radio stations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Radio Bell Island Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English language low-power community FM radio programming undertaking in Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-614

Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement

Terms

Issuance of the broadcasting licence to operate an English-language low-power community FM radio programming undertaking in Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador

The licence will expire 31 August 2019.

The new station will operate on frequency 93.9 MHz (channel 230LP) with an average effective radiated power of 28 watts (non directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 79.5 metres).

The Commission reminds the applicant that pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department of Industry (the Department) notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

Given that the technical parameters approved in this decision are for a low-power unprotected FM service, the Commission also reminds the applicant that it will have to select another frequency if the Department so requires.

The Commission requires the applicant to file within 12 months of the date of this decision a copy of its amended and executed by-laws demonstrating that it is in compliance with the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians) at all times.

Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant 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 5 November 2014. 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.

Conditions of licence

1.  The licensee shall adhere to the conditions of licence set out in Standard conditions of licence for campus and community stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2012-304, 22 May 2012.

Expectation

Filing of ownership information

The Commission expects all community and campus licensees to file yearly updates on the composition of their boards of directors. These annual updates can be submitted at the time of filing of annual returns, following annual board of directors’ elections or at any other time. Licensees may submit such documentation via the Commission’s website.

Encouragement

Employment equity

The Commission considers that community radio stations should be particularly sensitive to employment equity issues in order to reflect fully the communities they serve. It encourages the licensee to consider these issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.

Footnote

[1] These technical parameters reflect those approved by the Department of Industry. The Commission notes that the effective height of antenna above average terrain was originally incorrectly filed as 12 metres.