ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-559
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Route reference: 2013-195
Ottawa, 21 October 2013
Bathurst Radio Inc.
Bathurst, New Brunswick
Application 2012-1444-4, received 31 October 2012
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
26 June 2013
Low-power community radio station in Bathurst
The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio station in Bathurst, New Brunswick.
1. The Commission received an application by Bathurst Radio Inc. (Bathurst Radio) for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio station in Bathurst, New Brunswick. The Commission received interventions in support of this application.
2. Bathurst Radio is a not-for-profit organization controlled by its board of directors.
3. The proposed station would operate on frequency 103.3 MHz (channel 277LP) with an average effective radiated power of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 32 metres).
4. The applicant indicated that, during each broadcast week, the station would broadcast 126 hours of programming, of which 116 hours would be station-produced programming and ten hours would be syndicated programming (Canadian and American). The syndicated programming would consist of sports, music history shows, storytelling and comedy shows with a national and international component intended to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the local population in the areas of culture, religion, sports and music.
5. Spoken word programming would consist of community events, local sports, charitable events and cultural events, as well as seven hours of pure local and regional news each broadcast week.
6. The station would also offer a variety of music formats, with 60% of the music programming to be in the “Pop, Rock and Dance” format.
7. In regard to local talent, Bathurst Radio stated that emerging local entertainers would be promoted by highlighting their performance on a weekly basis on station-produced shows.
8. In regard to the use and training of volunteers, the applicant indicated that they would be crucial to the success of the station and would be trained in various areas, including hosting and production, content creation, story development, and effective on-air delivery.
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. Upon examination, the Commission is satisfied that the application complies with the provisions for community radio stations set out in Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010, particularly in regard to the proposed programming. In the Commission’s view, the station would introduce a valuable local community service to Bathurst by adding diversity to this radio market.
11. However, Bathurst Radio stated in its application that there may be some uncertainty over the reliability of certain proposed funding sources, in particular, local fund raising activities and a partnership with another party. Nevertheless, due to the non-commercial nature of the proposed community service, the Commission considers that Bathurst Radio’s business plan could still be viable should the applicant not fully meet its financial goals.
12. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Bathurst Radio Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Bathurst, New Brunswick. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-559
Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement for the low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Bathurst, New Brunswick
The licence will expire 31 August 2020.
The station will operate at 103.3 MHz (channel 277LP) with an effective radiated power of 50 watts (non directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 32 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 undertaking, the Commission also reminds the applicant that it will have to select another frequency if the Department so requires.
Furthermore, the Commission will only issue a licence for this undertaking 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 21 October 2015. 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.
In accordance with Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010, the broadcasting licence for this community radio station will be held by a not-for-profit organization without share capital whose structure provides for membership, management, operation and programming by members of the community at large. The board of directors will ultimately control the undertaking and be responsible for adherence to the Radio Regulations, 1986 and the station’s conditions of licence.
Conditions of licence
- The licensee shall adhere to the conditions of licence set out in Standard conditions of licence for campus and community stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-304, 22 May 2012.
As set out in Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010, 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 submission of annual returns, following annual board of directors’ elections, or at any other time. As noted in Appendix 3 to that regulatory policy, licensees may submit such documentation via the Commission’s website.
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.
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