Volume 1, 6 February 2012
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-694 and 2011-694-1
The Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre
1316-33rd Street N. E.
6 February 2012
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-694 and 2011-694-1
Moira LetourneauLegal Counsel
Michael CraigHearing Manager and Manager, Radio Policy and Applications
The Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre
1316-33rd Street N. E.
6 February 2012
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
1. Diversified Society of Alberta6 / 35
2. Unison Media Inc.48 / 346
3. Alberta Mosaic Radio Broadcasting Inc.120 / 788
4. Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc.196 / 1235
5. Punjabi - World Network Ltd.254 / 1580
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PAGE / PARA
Undertaking194 / 1222
Undertaking284 / 1802
Undertaking294 / 1887
--- Upon commencing on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 0904
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. We usually have some funky background music going, but today we're silent.
2 Well, good morning. It's a pleasure for us to be here. We're very happy to be in Calgary.
3 The panel for this hearing consists of:
4 - Peter Menzies, to my immediate right, Regional Commissioner for Alberta and Northwest Territories;
5 - Stephen Simpson, to my left, Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and Yukon;
6 - Rita Cugini, to Peter's left, Regional Commissioner for Ontario;
7 - Marc Patrone, National Commissioner;
8 - and myself, Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chair, Broadcasting, and I will be presiding over this hearing.
9 The Commission team assisting us includes:
10 - Michael Craig, Hearing Manager and Manager, Radio Policy and Applications;
11 - Moira Letourneau, Legal Counsel; and
12 - Cindy Ventura, Hearing Secretary and Manager, Public Hearings. She is the go-to person for the week. Take note.
13 So we're here for applications for new FM radio stations.
14 At this hearing, we will study eleven applications for licences to operate commercial FM radio stations in Calgary. All of these applications are considered competitive radio applications for the Calgary market.
15 The panel will base its decision on several criteria, including the quality of the applications, the state of competition and the diversity of editorial voices. It will also examine the capacity of the market to support new radio stations and the financial resources of each applicant.
16 We will also hear an application by Corus, which wishes to install an FM transmitter at its existing AM station CHQR Calgary. Corus already owns two FM stations and one AM station in the Calgary market. The panel considers that it has obtained the information required to make a decision on the issues related to the common ownership policy in Call for Comments 2011-695, issued in November 2011. The panel does not -- and I repeat -- does not intend to further discuss these issues during this hearing. We will focus on the merits of the application by Corus for the Calgary market.
17 I would now invite the Hearing Secretary, Cindy Ventura, to explain the procedures we will be following.
18 Madame la Secrétaire.
19 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, and good morning.
20 I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of the hearing.
21 When you are in the hearing room, we would ask that you please turn off your smartphones as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communication systems used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
22 We expect that the entire hearing could take up to four and a half days. Participants are reminded that they must be ready to present on the day scheduled or, if necessary, the day before or after depending on the progress of the hearing.
23 Please note that we will also be starting at 9:00 a.m. for the remainder of the week. We will let you know of any schedule changes as they may occur.
24 You can examine all the documents on the public record for this proceeding in the Examination Room, which is located in Plaza 3.
25 As indicated in the agenda, the telephone number of the Examination Room is 403-457-2016.
26 Interpretation services will be available throughout the duration of the hearing. English interpretation is available on channel 1, and French interpretation on channel 2.
27 We would like to remind participants that during their oral presentations, they should provide for a reasonable delay for the interpretation, while respecting their allocated presentation time.
28 Le service d'interprétation simultané est disponible durant cette audience. Vous pouvez vous procurer un récepteur auprès du technicien à l'arrière de la salle. L'interprétation anglaise se trouve au canal 1, et l'interprétation française, au canal 2.
29 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting at the table to my right. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of this transcript, please approach the court reporter during a break.
30 Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's Web site daily.
31 Just a reminder that pursuant to section 41 of the Rules of Practice and Procedures you must not submit evidence at the hearing unless it supports statements already on the public record. If you wish to introduce new evidence as an exception to this rule, you must ask permission of the panel of the hearing before doing so.
32 Finally, please note that we will also be tweeting the documents during the hearing at the @crtcgcca using the hashtags #crtc and #calgary, le mot-clic #crtc et #calgary.
33 And now, Mr. Chairman, we will begin with Phase I, and item 1 on the Agenda, which is an application by Diversified Society of Alberta, a not-for-profit organization, for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic-based FM radio programming undertaking in Calgary. The new station would operate on frequency 95.3 MHz (channel 237LP) with an effective radiated power of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 22.6 metres).
34 Appearing for the applicant is Charan Bedi. Please introduce your colleagues, and then you will have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
35 MS PURBA: Mr. Chair members of the Commission, CRTC staff, good morning.
36 I would like to firstly introduce the panel of members of Diversified Society of Alberta before proceeding into the detail of fact pertaining. Thank you so very much.
37 My name is Satinder Purba. I'm the member of Calgary Punjabi Christian Church Fellowship.
38 To my left, Bobby Doad, who is the founder/president of Diversified Society of Alberta. Mr. Doad has contributed to the Society with his achievement in the diversified field of social welfare.
39 Next to Bobby, Charan Preet Bedi, who is a veteran from the Indian Defense Forces and has retired at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel from the field of air defense, which deals with the ground-air communication. He has been awarded numerously for his meritorious services for his nation as well as community services. He is currently a marketing associate with the World Financial Group and assistant security director at the 8th Avenue Palace. He is currently assisting Diversified Society of Alberta as a volunteer social worker.
40 I also intend to introduce Mrs. Sarbjit Maghera, next to Charan Preet Bedi, a director of the Society, having retired professionally from Nortel Communications. She has voluntarily agreed to devote her services to our Society. She possesses a strong social bonding with the active masses of various communities in Northeast Calgary.
41 I also present Mr. Mir Khan, president of the National Association of Pakistani Canadians in Calgary, Alberta.
42 To my right, Mr. Rakesh Dewett. He is a voluntary legal advisor to the Diversified Society of Alberta. He is presently holding the Chair in Dewett Law Office in Northeast Calgary.
43 Next to Rakesh, Mr. Prem Sagar Dave, ex-trustee Hindu Temple Northeast Calgary.
44 Before we start our presentation, I would also like to put on record that we have submitted our intent that Diversified Society of Alberta will be committed to upcoming talent from masses of South-Asian ethnic communities.
45 We are now ready and I would call upon Charan Preet Bedi to begin our presentation.
46 Thank you.
47 MR. BEDI: Good Morning, Mr. Chair. In the next 20 minutes or so I intend putting across the vision of Diversified Society of Alberta which is a non-profitable ethnic community based organization offering its services to the masses by volunteers from amongst those very communities.
48 "Diversified Society of Alberta" is a not-for-profit organization for and formed by volunteers of ethnic diversity communities of South Asian origin to promote religious, multicultural, recreational, social and political values among community members.
49 The society holds a very lucid view and vision of its commitment to serve the diversified ethnic communities by operating community radio offering programs encouraging and promoting new and local talent of South Asian communities residing in Calgary.
50 It is proposed to operate an ethnic-based FM radio station operating on 95.3 MHz, as just brought out, on channel 237LP with an effective radiated power of 50 watts, non-directional antenna with an effective height of 22.6 metres above average terrain.
51 The ethnic radio will promote the availability of training throughout the community for promotion of new and local talent.
52 This not-for-profit -- I say again, not-for-profit community radio would be run by volunteers and provide access to approximately 25,000 Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian listeners based on their needs and interests.
53 These volunteers would be involved in owning, management, administration, operation, funding and other aspects of the radio station. This volunteer participation would facilitate community access to programming, promote the availability of training and provide for ongoing training and supervision of those within the community wishing to participate in the programming.
54 Community Radio will endeavour to serve the larger populace by interconnecting the diverse ethnic communities through programs in languages, mainly Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujrati, Bengali and Tamil. A total of five cultural groups in a minimum of six different languages would be directed through its weekly broadcasts. Out of the 100 percent of ethnic programming, 90 percent would be devoted to third-language programming. The content-based broadcast would be different from and compliment the programming of other stations with a wide spectrum of music and spoken word.
55 The Society shall also promote the religious, cultural, recreational, social and political values among its members and audience.
56 The main focus of the Society radio is to bring peace, harmony, brotherhood and the spirit of oneness among the masses of South Asian ethnic communities through its broadcasts.
57 We had, Mr. Chair, in the past replied to comments offered on the commercialization of radio stations offered by Rogers Broadcasting. Diversified Society of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization and thus is in no way related to profit earning through advertising or other means of broadcasting. In fact, earnings, if any, will be wholly invested in promoting fresh talent and social upliftment of these ethnic communities. The revenue generated by the Society will be used towards the development of new Canadian youth talent and help the new artists in the training to strengthen and enhance their skills. Moreover, this revenue will also be spent towards the welfare of the communities.
58 As an intervention in opposing to the acquisition of licensing by Diversified Society of Alberta, Fairchild Radio -- Calgary FM -- was respectfully informed that the sponsorship arising for the Society would be no more than combining the name, address, telephone number and type of activity being undertaken, preceding or following the program credits and in the language of the program and in no way would entertain any commercial description or promotion thereof.
59 In fact, Diversified Society of Alberta supports the concern of Fairchild in their ability to provide quality programming through brokerage. However, it is neither in the belief nor vision of the Society to participate or generate income through brokerage, solely being a non-profitable organization in totality. Entire programming is being funded by volunteer sponsorship.
60 The Society is also in agreement with Fairchild in their recommendation for licensing with conditions protecting targeting Chinese community. It is not in the interest of the Chinese community to follow the trends set up by a body or organization which does not wholly understand their language or culture and traditions. The Society undertakes with full conviction of providing their services to only known communities and languages of their own and not targeting the Chinese community.
61 Appreciative of every concern of Fairchild and those of others in the broadcasting spectrum, Diversified Society of Alberta offers a vision of mutual respect and obligation to each other and spread positivity and brotherhood amongst all our diversified yet joint communities.
62 The Society is well aware of the technical specifications and will adhere to the Safety Codes of Canada, as applicable to structural adequacy in terms of fabrication, erection of antenna and emission of frequency in accordance with the Canadian standards.
63 Now a word about the broadcast programming and planning.
64 The community radio station will offer airtime to all community organizations and faith groups in South Asian categories. The station will broadcast 1,260 minutes out of a total of 7,560 minutes per week of the balance program from Churches, Mosques and other faith group organizations. Spoken word programming will consist of 25 to 30 percent of total program broadcasting.
65 I would further elucidate this by language-based duration breakdown.
66 Punjabi language, which is spoken and understood by all Sikhs, most Hindus and Muslims and Punjabi Christians, would be broadcast for 30 percent of the total weekly broadcast, or that makes a total of 2,290 minutes.
67 Likewise, Hindi language, understood by most of the North and Central Indians and Urdu speakers, would get an equal share of 30 percent of the total broadcast or 2,290 minutes, just as Punjabi.
68 Urdu language, which is mostly spoken by Pakistanis, but also much loved and appreciated of its flavour by Hindi or Punjabi speakers, would be broadcast for half of the Punjabi that is 15 percent of the total weekly broadcast, or making a total of 1,130 minutes.
69 Tamil language forms the South Indian, Sri Lanka and South Asian residents would be broadcast for 10 percent or 750 minutes.
70 Bengali language, having understood by only those from West Bengal and Bangladesh communities, would reserve a 5 percent broadcast time, ending up with 390 minutes.
71 Balance of the 10 percent or 750 minutes would be aired in English language, which would target the most educated South Asians and Indo-Caribbean populace.
72 This would encompass an ethnic diversified visible minority populace of approximately 57,700 South Asians; 21,185 Punjabi; and 75,765 other non-official languages of which Hindi, Tamil, Gujrati, Bengali and Urdu form a part of.
73 Having said this much on weekly breakdown, I will now project the planned daily time schedule distributed equally to cover all languages and ethnic groups.
74 The broadcast would start at 6:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m.., midnight, from Sunday through Saturday every week. No broadcast hours would remain from midnight until 05:59 a.m. daily.
75 The spectrum has been kept simple and consistent to avoid any confusion at a later stage. However, it is the proposed schedule and may undergo changes based on the audience demand from time to time.
76 The broadcast each day will start with religious broadcast for Sikh religion, spreading the message of equality and humanity through its teachings for 119 minutes.
77 Local, national and international news coverage would be broadcast thrice daily in Hindi and Punjabi languages for 29 minutes each, except once in the morning when it is proposed to be broadcast for 59 minutes, a total making of 117 minutes.
78 Another 59 minutes each of broadcast have been proposed to be dedicated to programs by Punjabi Christian Church Fellowship, Pakistani Canadian Community and Hindu Society of Calgary, totalling 177 minutes each day. These programs would be covered in all South Asian languages including Bengali, Gujrati, Urdu and Tamil, besides Punjabi and Hindi.
79 Music related programs would be broadcast twice daily for a duration of 59 minutes and 89 minutes respectively. This would air songs from Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Pakistani and Fijian music and shall accommodate the request of its listeners based on their demand with a live host.
80 Another 29 minutes have been planned for live show including old memory evergreen songs for the elder generation.
81 All music related programs would qualify for only Pop, Rock, Dance, Folk and Folk-oriented and non-Classic religious formats. The former three would constitute 50 percent and the latter two 25 percent each of the total music category. Thus, a total of 177 minutes are proposed to be dedicated to music-related programs featuring daily.
82 Three live talk shows featuring matters providing information by professionals from South Asian communities, to promote local talent and to discuss concerns of local political, cultural and religious topics of interest to these communities are proposed to be broadcast each for 59 minutes, totalling 177 minutes.
83 These shows would provide equal opportunity to every member of the ethnic communities to promote local artists, especially those who were never provided or had an opportunity to express their talent. Special incentive packages have been planned to promote these talented individuals.
84 A dedicated program of 59 minutes duration has been earmarked for Dashmesh Culture Centre, North East, Calgary for local Sikh community.
85 All programs will be vetted for standards and their adherence to Canadian regulations and policies will be reviewed by the volunteer programming committee.
86 A whole 100 percent of the total programming will be devoted to ethnic language programming of which 90 percent will be devoted to third-language and only 10 percent to English language programming.
87 As a concluding note, I, on behalf of Diversified Society of Alberta, thank Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, CRTC staff and the august audience for their patient hearing to the presentation and I am confident enough to expect a positive response in providing an opportunity to the Society to serve relentlessly our ethnic communities without profiting from their endeavours and to encourage volunteers to come forward and participate wholeheartedly for a noble cause for an upliftment of our local talent and aspire them to strive for heights of excellence where even sky is not the Limit.
88 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
89 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, sir. Thank you for your presentation
90 I will have a couple of questions and my colleagues may have some questions thereafter. Interesting presentation.
91 How would Diversified Society of Alberta encourage integration of the various communities mentioned into Canadian society?
92 MR. BOBBY DOAD: The Diversified Society of Alberta is building an umbrella for all of the different societies, and we are putting together one organization, so that we can let them promote all of the religious values and -- you know, promote multiculturalism in Canadian society.
93 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that, but are there any efforts that you have planned to make to help the communities mentioned take their full role in Canadian society?
94 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Excuse me?
95 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that you will be providing programming in the languages mentioned --
96 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
97 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- to serve the communities mentioned.
98 MR. BOBBY DOAD: That's right.
99 THE CHAIRPERSON: But speak to me a bit about the efforts that will be made by the Diversified Society of Alberta to integrate these communities more fully into Canadian society.
100 MR. BEDI: I understand that, and it is basically the local talent which has not been given any opportunity to come forward, and since it is not the Diversified Society of Alberta, as such, per se, the communities would be actually organizing and improving upon the programs.
101 And they are the ones who are actually being held responsible to run the show.
102 THE CHAIRPERSON: It will be a volunteer-based station?
103 MR. BEDI: It will be volunteer-based.
104 THE CHAIRPERSON: The volunteers involved, do they have any experience in running radio stations?
105 MR. BEDI: They are, sir.
106 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in respecting the rules and regulations that come with a licence?
107 MR. BEDI: That's correct.
108 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you speak to me briefly on the nature of their experience, and where they acquired that experience?
109 MR. BEDI: Okay. Firstly, pertaining to programming, I have been in the communications field for the past 23 and a half years, though my experience wasn't related to civil society, I was in the military.
110 However, for the past 23 and a half years I have been interacting in the communications field. I can take over --
111 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Canada, sir?
112 In Canada?
113 MR. BEDI: Not in Canada.
114 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where?
115 MR. BEDI: I was in India.
116 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
117 MR. BEDI: I was in India, but I have been -- as far as technical and programming parts are concerned, I am a volunteer, and I know that I will be able to take on that.
118 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the regulatory aspects?
119 MR. BEDI: We have other volunteers, sir. We have a lawyer, Mr. Dewett.
120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who would be responsible for that?
121 MR. BEDI: Mr. Rakesh Dewett.
122 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you speak to us briefly on your experience in that field?
123 MR. BOBBY DOAD: In the past 20 years, almost 30 years, I am doing a lot of TV shows and radio shows, and we have read all of the rules and regulations with the CRTC, and we fully understand the complete rules and regulations for the CRTC on broadcasting standards in Canada.
124 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also mentioned that your programming will be different from what Fairchild offers.
125 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes, we are basically -- like, Fairchild is offering the basic programs, like song-based programs and stuff, but we are producing our own programs in Calgary.
126 And being a drama director and -- like, I have trained so many new artists in Calgary. I have generated almost hundreds and hundreds of artists in Calgary, and I want them to come forward and volunteer with us to promote -- to produce the new programs in Calgary.
127 And, like, you know, we want them to be involved directly with the program, not the ready-made program, bringing it from somewhere and putting the tapes on. We just want to produce our own program, our own talent shows of our own -- like, our own, like, you know, material.
128 THE CHAIRPERSON: Locally produced, locally generated --
129 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Locally produced, locally generated --
130 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and not imported from the country of origin.
131 MR. BOBBY DOAD: That's right.
132 Some of them, we play the songs and -- like, you know, not all the time, but most of the talk shows we are going to generate which can be of benefit to the community. The community needs awareness of health issues, awareness of -- like, you know, the political issues, awareness of -- like, you know, the local problems and we --
133 Like, we have doctors, we have lawyers, we have accountants -- all those type of people we have with us, and we want to generate our own kinds of productions.
134 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when you speak of information, do you speak of informing people of the political and social issues in Canada or the country of origin?
135 MR. BOBBY DOAD: No, in Canada.
136 THE CHAIRPERSON: What percentage of that programming do you think will concentrate on Canadian issues and Canadian politics and Canadian social issues?
137 MR. BEDI: That amounts to just 59 minutes.
138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I saw that.
139 MR. BEDI: The live talk shows, they are basically subdivided into legal advice, the local talent operation, and the third one, that is from 8:00 to 8:59, that will bring us to 359. We can pass just 59 minutes for that.
140 THE CHAIRPERSON: You added some information on your document that you didn't have in the original document that you deposited as it regards local news and local information.
141 I just want to make sure that there will be a sufficient amount of local information in your programming.
142 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes, we are basically targeting the local broadcasting and local --
143 Some of the international news, like, definitely people want to see -- where they are from, like, they want to see the news, but mostly we will do the local --
144 Like, we are targeting the Calgary community.
145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Explain to us how you will create a religious balance in your programming?
146 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Religious values --
147 THE CHAIRPERSON: Balance.
148 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Balance.
149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Within the different religions and --
150 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Oh, sorry about that.
151 Okay. The religious balance -- like, we have a fairly -- like, you know, we will provide programming to the Christian community, we will provide programming to the Hindu community, we will provide it to the Sikh community and the Moslem community. Like, they all have an equal stage -- like, they have all an equal stage to come to and to promote their religious values.
152 THE CHAIRPERSON: How will you ensure that the diversity of voices within each community is also heard?
153 Because every community is not monolithic. They don't all have the exact same points of view. How will you ensure that people within each of these communities have their voices heard?
154 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We will openly announce that -- like, you know, we can call all different types of societies and associations in the community who can work with us.
155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Most of the other ethnic broadcasters service much more languages, more communities, and your scope is quite limited. I think it's five or six communities.
156 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes. The reason -- like, we want to work with the languages we understand -- like, the community understands.
157 Sometimes we have a -- like, in the past we had a problem in Calgary. The answer was: We don't understand English.
158 Sorry, we don't understand the language, your language, the Punjabi language. Like, you know, the Hindi language. That's why we limit it to the languages which we understand, and we are small and we want to keep the limit where we can understand and answer everybody fairly.
159 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's talk dollars and cents, your budgetary projections here.
160 MR. BOBBY DOAD: The budget -- we have no problem. Raising money, we are not -- like, you know, we are not collecting advertisements from anybody. We are sponsorship-based, and we have big support from the community. They will sponsor our programs. We have no problems issuing -- like, we have no issue with the budget.
161 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you really think that you will be able to offer quality programming on the budgets that you have allowed for in your submission?
162 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Of course, yes, we can.
163 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also spoke in your projections in terms of market share, and you have some figures that are listed here in terms of listening hours. The pool from which that is derived, is that strictly people within your community?
164 How do you arrive at those figures, your tuning projections?
165 Who can speak on that issue?
166 MR. BEDI: It is basically two-fold. One is the spoken word, and I think that 10 percent of the language is based --
167 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, spoken word and --
168 I missed the other part.
169 MR. BEDI: It's basically the spoken word which we are considering into -- taking into consideration.
170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. But on your projections you have a projection table -- and someone drafted this -- "Tuning Projections for Diversified Society of Alberta".
171 You mention listening hours, and you also mention the percentage share of the market --
172 MR. BEDI: That's -- okay --
173 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- which seems quite high.
174 MR. BEDI: That percentage is basically subdivided into different ethnic communities throughout the day. That's as per the schedule.
175 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I understand that, but how do you arrive at those market shares?
176 In your first year you will have a 50 percent market share, and in Year 7 you will be at 90 percent. You will basically have covered the market.
177 What market are you referring to and how do you arrive at those figures?
178 MR. BEDI: Can I just take one second?
179 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, sure.
180 MR. DEWETT: So we have a hope that we will be -- this is anticipated, you know, that we have created the market analysis and we hope that we will be targeting this much community in the coming years because we have done the survey that the community's growing day by day.
181 And with our hope, we are expecting that we can reach to this goal year by year.
182 THE CHAIRPERSON: A 90 percent share by year 7?
183 MR. DEWETT: Sir, yes. The community is rising and the listener -- you know, we have new listeners in the community. They are baby boomers. They like the community. And we have hope that we will be there one day.
184 This is all anticipated that we have created ourselves.
185 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know you'll be there one day, but you're mentioning 50 percent market share as of day one.
186 MR. DEWETT: Yes. Yes, sir. They are the larger community in northeast and we all speak same language, always Muslim, Hindu, Gujarati and Sri Lankan. They share common language, that is, Hindi. This is very common language. It's very close to Punjabi community.
187 And this is all anticipation we have done. We can communicate with the Muslim. We can communicate in the same language as the Sri Lankan. We can communicate with the Gujarati in the same language.
188 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand the community's growing. No one doubts that. But how do you arrive at a 50 percent market share of a growing or not growing community?
189 MR. DEWETT: Sir --
190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a market study? Do you have a poll? Did you commission a poll?
191 MR. DEWETT: No, sir, that's all we have projected because there are a few programs already running in the market, and they are in high demand.
192 THE CHAIRPERSON: And who projected that?
193 MR. DEWETT: I think Mr. --
194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yourselves?
195 MR. DEWETT: I think Mr. Bedi has come up with that one, sir.
196 THE CHAIRPERSON: Come up with that where, how?
197 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We have analyzed the -- all the records, all the -- like you know --
198 THE CHAIRPERSON: And where is that analysis, sir?
199 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Which one?
200 THE CHAIRPERSON: The -- you mentioned you analyzed the communities to allow you to arrive at a 50 percent market share during your first year.
201 Where is that analysis?
202 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Fifty percent market share mean like, you know, we are covering the 50 percent community in first year.
203 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, 50 percent of the community will be listening to you as of your first year --
204 MR. BOBBY DOAD: That's right.
205 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and you'll be 90 percent as of Year 7.
206 MR. BOBBY DOAD: That's right, yes.
207 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those figures are based on a study. Where is that study, who commissioned it, who produced it?
208 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We have target like how many people are living in the area.
209 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
210 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We analyzed based on that, like who's living in that area, how many people are living in this area.
211 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. There is no independent study to back up those figures. That's what I'm asking you.
212 MR. BOBBY DOAD: No.
213 THE CHAIRPERSON: No one was hired to poll them.
214 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yeah.
215 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Peter, do you have some questions?
216 So I'm going to ask Mr. Menzies to ask some questions, okay?
217 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Could you describe your training for volunteers, what your plan is to train the volunteers and -- who are going to be handling much of this programming for you?
218 MR. BOBBY DOAD: I'm the one who is providing the training, and I have quite a bit of experience in film and like, you know, the TV channels and I have like -- I had produced a number of programs and we can -- I definitely -- I can work on all the volunteers and like, you know, aware of the CRTC regulations -- rules and regulations, and we need to see the quality of programs and like, you know, that's what we can provide them, the training session.
219 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: They'll be trained, then, in how to handle contentious issues when they come up in managing cross-cultural differences and that sort of stuff?
220 It would be interesting to see a sort of detailed plan of what your training would cover, if you have one.
221 MR. BEDI: Those programs will be -- firstly, they would be projected to the committee, the volunteer committee, and they would be vetted for the standards, Canadian standards. And the written policies and procedures would take on the training part of it.
222 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And another thing, how would you manage -- how would this appeal to young people in Calgary? I think 20 to 25 percent of the population under 25, something in that range, is from a visible minority background, and many of them are going through sort of cultural transitions in terms of that.
223 How would this station appeal to them and -- yeah, that's the first question.
224 MR. BEDI: So the daily talk shows, which are basically concerning these particular issues like for new immigrants, for people who are facing problems, these like talk shows are basically education for them. And they would be targeting such spheres.
225 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Are you familiar with the phrase "the Deerfoot wall"?
226 MR. BEDI: I am not.
227 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You're not? Okay. It was something I heard when speaking to a group of high school students at Lester Pearson School a few years ago, and it was about the difficulty for people from immigrant communities living on this side of the Deerfoot Trail to get to the other side of the Deerfoot Trail, so get into the large corporate offices and get opportunities which they deserve to have.
228 Anyway, without specifically using that phrase, what role would your station be able to play in helping not just young people, but new Calgarians, new Canadians transition fully and gain the opportunities that they should have in the central core of the city and business, et cetera?
229 MR. BEDI: It would encompass -- like since we are targeting the youth and local talent, would basically be the young boys and girls, and the transition would be, in a sense, they would even be employed and for their registration and subsequently, once they are into the programming part of it, they can be guided.
230 And depending upon their personal views and personal problematic areas will be our points of discussions in these talk shows.
231 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We will also bring them on the stage. We will let them produce, work with the city of Calgary and work with like so many youth talent show. Like in past 20 year, I have worked with the youth talent. I've brought the youth to the stage.
232 Like you know, we want them to bring into the radio station and like share their problem with their peers sometimes. They cannot share on the front. Like they can share with the programs. They can -- like you know, there's new images coming.
233 Like you know, we want them to come and share. We can resolve some problems they have as immigrant. When I came here, I faced so many problems.
234 Like you know, every -- each of us, like you know, they have faced those problems and we want to share on the common stage day by day, like you know, we have problems and we want to establish them on the other side of the Deerfoot as well.
235 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So would that be -- that sort of inter-generational discussion --
236 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
237 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- would that be a key part of your programming, or how would you undertake that?
238 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes. That's the reason we have started this kind of like, you know, organization and we want to provide the programs, yeah.
239 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. How would that shape itself in your programming? When would I -- if I was a high school kid, how would -- when would I be listening to that program about the inter-generational discussions that happened in immigrant communities?
240 MR. BEDI: That would basically depend upon the timings, timing of availability for these school children and especially on weekends when they are free to listen to those, and those -- the timings would accordingly be shifted because this is -- this schedule -- what we have proposed is just a proposal and would undergo a change depending upon the requirement and the needs of the audience.
241 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
242 MR. BEDI: Thank you, sir.
243 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Cugini.
244 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, and good morning. Just a couple of questions.
245 I'm a little bit confused, so I'm hoping you can clarify something for me.
246 Will you be operating as a community radio station or as a religious radio station?
247 MR. BEDI: Community, ma'am.
248 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: As a community, with religious programming.
249 MR. BEDI: Not just religious. Religious would be forming just a part of it. We have a much broader spectrum.
250 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And the religious programming, will it be produced by the station or will it be brokered?
251 MR. BEDI: It will be produced, ma'am.
252 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Produced originally by the station.
253 MR. BEDI: By the station.
254 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you are aware that we have both a community radio policy as well as a religious broadcasting policy.
255 MR. BEDI: Ma'am.
256 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you will adhere to both of those --
257 MR. BEDI: That's correct.
258 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: -- as such. Okay.
259 As you know, you are not the only ones applying for this frequency. There are seven other -- there are six other applicants, seven in total, in these proceedings applying for 95.3.
260 I need you to convince us that Licensing Diversified Society of Alberta will be the best use of that frequency, given the competition for that frequency.
261 MR. BEDI: It will be, ma'am.
262 First of all, the hard core point of it is basically it's a non-profit organization and for all the ethnic communities; not just focusing on targeting one particular community.
263 Seeing the non-profit organization -- and we are totally volunteer based -- and I'm sure this particular aspect will go a long way, especially in the long run, that the Diversified Society of Alberta will (indiscernible)
264 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, thank you very much. Those are my questions.
265 MR. BEDI: Thank you, ma'am.
266 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Cugini.
267 Mr. Simpson.
268 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much, and good morning. Very nice to have all of you before us.
269 Picking up a little bit on the theme of Commissioner Cugini's line of questioning, could you -- this is a broad question, not specific to your application entirely, but to aid the Commission's understanding of what I think is going to be an ongoing reference to social, political and religious content.
270 Religion is usually something, you know, like the rules of -- at the dining table, you know, you don't discuss sex, politics or religion. But religion and politics are intertwined in some cultures, you know, much more substantially. And I was wondering if you might share with the Commission your view from a cultural perspective as well as to answer my question regarding a specific reference in your presentation this morning where you say that the Society will also promote religious, cultural, recreational, social and political values.
271 You know, when you hear religious and political values, sometimes it sets off warning bells in some cultural understanding, and I'm wondering if you can give us a bit more perspective as to what you mean by this.
272 MR. BEDI: I understand your concern, sir, as far as religious and political concerns are concerned.
273 However, we look at the overall percentage in the schedule, let's say, on a daily base or a weekly base. It is miniscule. And we are not focusing on political issues per se; it is just the problem areas which we are intending discussing and focusing on, and it is basically your viewpoint, a platform for providing your viewpoint in terms of religious or political.
274 As far as other points of the schedule are concerned, the other hourly or, let's say, minute-to-minute, whatever programming is given to them, is basically not for discussion, not as a discussion platform but just to put across your views or your problem areas.
275 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So when you attach the word "values" to the word "politics" or "religion," you're not necessarily as a Society taking a religious or political position but you're making -- am I to understand that you're saying that your licence application would be one where you would be open to discuss politics, religion --
276 MR. BEDI: Not discuss politics -- not discuss politics or religious views, just to project the issues, just discuss the issues.
277 And if we understand this particular ethnic community in our areas, it is basically playing -- I would say, singing of hymns, especially in Sikh community and same thing in Hindu and Christian and Muslims. It is basically the hymns which they are singing and not actually your discussion platform.
278 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But when you use the word "promote" --
279 MR. BEDI: "Promote" is basically -- in our communities or in our cultures, it's basically like -- let's say I'm a Sikh, I go to a gurdwara. I do not go and discuss religion there. I go, listen to the hymns or listen to the Holy Book. For me that is promoting values and not taking part in discussions of a religious nature.
280 The same way when we -- say at a platform when the community is there, we don't discuss politics, we don't discuss women, we don't discuss political issues. It is understandable that you're not going into a discussion part of it, just merely putting your views together, and your views, what you have.
281 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate that answer. One more question and then I'm done.
282 In your application you had -- the subject is brokered programming. Fairchild, in the filing of their interventions, has repeatedly indicated that brokered programming is -- not a considerable, but quite a viable source of revenue for them, and in your application you're saying that you will not be relying on brokered programming at all.
283 Does that mean that you will be generating all of your programming from within the station?
284 MR. BEDI: That's correct, sir.
285 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. So there would be never an instance of a program coming in that might be brokered on a commercial station that you would air for free?
286 MR. BEDI: No. We do not -- in our vision we do not emphasize brokerage. Our earnings, our revenue, whatever, is basically sponsored based on sponsorship by the volunteers.
287 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Is there, for the sake of practical economics, the opportunity -- would you look at the opportunity for shared programming with other community stations at --
288 MR. BEDI: No. We are not targeting their programming, nor are we targeting their brokerage. We are a totally independent and not-for-profit organization and we have this vision right till the end.
289 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Okay. Thank you very much.
290 MR. BEDI: Thank you, sir.
291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
292 Commissioner Patrone.
293 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
294 Good morning.
295 MR. BEDI: Good morning, sir.
296 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I appreciate your presentation. I just have a question about the makeup of your board.
297 Currently, you have -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- five members, including one who is not a Canadian, and under the makeup of this board as you now have it, it does meet the requirement, but if there were to be an unexpected departure from the board from someone other than Navneet Kumari, then technically you would be out of compliance as far as the makeup of these members of your board.
298 Have you considered that in terms of -- in case that were to happen?
299 MR. BEDI: We do understand this thing and this point has already been noted for concern and compliance, sir. We'll be looking into this, the complements of the board of directors.
300 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. So you have sort of a back-up plan in which --
301 MR. BEDI: Yes, we do, sir.
302 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- a Canadian would be brought in?
303 MR. BEDI: Yes.
304 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you. I appreciate that.
305 MR. BEDI: You're welcome, sir. Thank you.
306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just briefly, are you aware of the programming that Fairchild is offering to the Southeast Asian community in Calgary?
307 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes, we are. Yes.
308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you know how many hours of programming they offer on a weekly basis?
309 MR. BOBBY DOAD: They have about 15 hours for the --
310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I think the exact number is 23 hours.
311 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Twenty-three hours?
312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
313 You're also aware that there are other stations that offer programming to the Southeast Asian community in Calgary?
314 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes, we do.
315 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you happen to know how many hours roughly of programming they offer?
316 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Those are the sideband radios and they have their own audience. They have their own radios. And like we're not clashing with them because of the -- like they have their own module to run the program --
317 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I'm not asking you --
318 MR. BOBBY DOAD: -- 24 hours a day. They're running 24 hours a day. I think there's three radio stations that are running 24 hours a day with the sideband.
319 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I'm not asking if you're clashing with them, just if you are aware of how many hours of programming they're offering on a weekly basis.
320 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Twenty-four hours a day, yes.
321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Twenty-four hours a day?
322 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
323 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now, between Fairchild and these other stations, the SCMOs as we call them, what is Diversified Society going to offer that's truly different? What's it going to add to the market in Calgary?
324 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We're basically one of the organizations, not the company. We are not one company like who's earning -- like who's making for the profit, and we are building a community station. We're building where everybody can go and if the -- like, you know, equal to the standard, and they can broadcast their program. They can bring their program and they can produce their program with us.
325 Like we're not -- like, you know, they have to pay and do the programming. We're offering them a free stage to the community. That is the difference.
326 Like, you know, second thing, we're working on all the local issues and not the international issues. Like we're talking about the Canadian society. We're talking about the -- like, you know, Calgary. We're not talking about like, you know, any other, like, you know, overseas issues here. We want to make a healthier community in Calgary, like in Canada. Like we want to produce the local shows.
327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I understand you're going to be offering them a free stage --
328 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
329 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but who will be ultimately responsible for the content and the quality of that content?
330 MR. BOBBY DOAD: The committee will be responsible.
331 THE CHAIRPERSON: The committee?
332 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
333 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
334 MR. BOBBY DOAD: We will monitor all the programs. We will review before they go on the air. We will review all the programs and the committee will like, you know, select the programs. Then they can -- like if something is missing, we can encourage them to change the programming and we can encourage them to bring the quality. Then we can produce it -- then we can air it.
335 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you, sir. I think that's it for us. Thank you so much for your presentation. We appreciate your time and effort and we'll see you later on this week, I think, maybe.
336 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Yes.
337 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you once again.
338 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Thank you very much.
339 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are a bit early but we're going to take five minutes to allow Unison to set up. So we'll be back in five. Thank you.
340 MR. BOBBY DOAD: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 0956
--- Upon resuming at 1009
341 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
342 Madame Ventura.
343 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
344 We will now proceed with item 2 on the Agenda, which is an application by Unison Media Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial specialty FM radio programming undertaking in Calgary. The new station would operate on frequency 95.3 MHz (channel 237C1) with an average effective radiated power of 21,000 watts (maximum ERP of 54,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 180.3 metres).
345 Appearing for the applicant is Apar Kahlon. Please introduce your colleagues, after which you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
346 MR. KAHLON: Thank you.
347 Mr. Chair, members of the Commission, the Unison Media "Radio Connect" team is extremely proud and excited to be appearing in what we believe will be a landmark hearing for Calgary's ethnic community.
348 We come before you today as a potential new licensee for 95.3 FM but not as a new ethnic broadcaster. We are also the owners and operators of Radio SurSangam, the SCMO to CKUA FM, Calgary.
349 My name is Apar Kahlon, and I have the privilege of introducing you to the members of our team.
350 On my immediate left, your right, is Kuldip Singh, the President of Unison Media. He is also the founder of Radio SurSangam, for which he was awarded the centennial medal for service to the community in 2005.
351 To Kuldip's left is Ranjit Sidhu, VP Finance and part owner in Unison Media. He has 14 years of broadcasting experience and is also a daily morning show host.
352 On my right, your left, is Jyoti Gondek, our VP of Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing, a role which oversees community relations, marketing and research. Her ties to Radio SurSangam date back to 2002 when she edited her father's weekly broadcasts.
353 On Jyoti's right is Nancy Randhawa, our youth coordinator.
354 In the second row to my far right, your left, is Seema Gilani, our Music Director. Seema has been in radio since 1998 and is a popular longtime host with SurSangam.
355 Next to Seema is Amjad Ali, our community liaison to Calgary's large Urdu-speaking community. He is also the president of ExpressMedia Network that produces radio programs and a popular magazine in Calgary.
356 Next to Amjad is Renato Barnachea. He's the President of the Filipino Canadian Broadcasters Society and he's also an experienced producer of Tagalog Radio programs.
357 Next to Renato is Cam Stewart, the Chair of Radio Connect's Advisory Committee and, among other things, former President of the Alberta Association for Multicultural Education from 1999 to 2010.
358 Next to Cam is Dr. Brian Owen, principal of NRG research, our research company.
359 And at the end of the back row is Peter Miller, our counsel.
360 I would also like to acknowledge supporters and partners in the audience today, including Radio SurSangam co-founder Mr. Gurinder Singh; Mr. Alam Khandaker, President of the Bangladesh Cultural Association; Mrs. Atika Panchal, host and active member of the Gurajati community; and Mrs. Deepali Chawathe, our Sindhi language programming host.
361 Again, my name is Apar Kahlon and I am VP Operations and part owner in Unison Media. I am a professional engineer in Alberta for 15 years. However, I have been with SurSangam from day one. I manage the program creation, technical, music libraries, advertisements and I also do a weekly open-line show.
362 We will now begin our formal presentation
363 Our presentation to you today is the end result of 10 years of hard work serving Calgary's South Asian community and honing our business and programming skills.
364 Kuldip is going to give you a snapshot of how we reached this point.
365 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Thank you, Apar.
366 Members of the Commission, 11 years ago, I and two other partners founded our SCMO, Radio SurSangam, Calgary's first 24/7 South Asian programming service.
367 A year later we started an SCMO service in Edmonton. We were three partners at that time. One of my partners, Gurinder, is joining us today in the audience. My other partner relinquished his shares in Calgary operations in exchange for 100 percent ownership of the Edmonton SCMO that shares our name and is another applicant in this proceeding.
368 When we launched Radio SurSangam in 2001, Fairchild was the only licensed ethnic station in Calgary, and it had minimal programming for South Asians. We knew we had an audience. We just didn't know if we had a business.
369 The SCMO market in Calgary was completely undeveloped at that time and we had a lot of challenges. It was difficult to explain to people what an SCMO service was and why they needed special receivers.
370 To make matters worse, a few hundred SCMO receivers had been sold by a would-be broadcaster promising South Asian programming that never existed and never came. Already bitten by a bad experience and customer complaints, stores refused to sell our SCMO receivers. So, in addition to the usual challenges of running a new SCMO, the even bigger challenge was to rebuild retailers' and people's trust.
371 We took on that challenge because we believed we could do it and because we felt Calgary's South Asian community needed the service and would ultimately rally behind it.
372 It took us a long time, two to three years to distribute and sell sufficient SCMO receivers to have a critical mass of listenership, even longer to build advertiser confidence, but with persistence we built a great South Asian SCMO that is generally acknowledged as number 1 in the market.
373 By seeding Calgary with thousands of "open", rather than proprietary, SCMO receivers, we also paved the way for others. Indeed, one of the other applicants who will be appearing before you has an SCMO that benefited from those efforts.
374 We have been contemplating applying for a commercial ethnic licence for four years, conducting research and following trends to ensure that our timing and business case would be right. Our application is built on a proven track record of success and a strategic vision that incorporates lessons of the past with passion for the future.
375 It has been an honour to serve Calgary's South Asian community for over 10 years. We promote local talent, we engage youth in volunteer opportunities and we educate newcomers on the ways of Canadian life.
376 I am incredibly proud and thankful to over 5700 members of our listening audience and community who took the time to sign our group support petition intervention and provided personal letters of support. This speaks volumes about how successful we have been in building this market over the last decade and the quality of service we have provided.
377 I am now going to ask Jyoti to tell you more about our research and mandate.
378 MS GONDEK: Thank you, Kuldip.
379 Members of the Commission, the statistics submitted in our application and the similar statistics used by other ethnic applicants are not breakthrough findings to anyone who has been following Canada for the past few decades. South Asian populations are increasing dramatically in cities across Canada and will soon surpass the Chinese as the largest ethnic group.
380 In 2006, Calgary's visible minority population stood at 238,000 or 22 percent of the city's population, over 55,700 of whom were South Asian. Calgary's South Asian population is projected to be 200,000 people by the year 2031, more than any other ethnic group, including the Chinese, and more than 10 percent of the city's total populace.
381 NRG's Consumer Survey as well as our own experience tell us that ethnic Calgarians want more news and they want more talk. NRG's research revealed that over 70 percent of respondents want to hear more news, both local and international.
382 This accords precisely with SurSangam's own experience. Consultation with community stakeholders enabled us to evolve as a news-based radio station. In addition to the programming insight garnered through this dialogue, we realized that there was a scarcity of programming dealing with the complex issue of integration -- a gap in the market, if you will. It is a focus on bridging that gap that drives our application as well as the mandate of Radio Connect.
383 As befits our name, our goal with Radio Connect will be to use the medium of radio as a tool in more effective integration of ethnic Canadians into Canadian society. We want to fill the gaps between ethnic and mainstream society in a manner that allows all communities to better understand and relate to each other.
384 We have a strong track record in working with community leaders, both South Asian and mainstream, to create special broadcasts that hold the goal of integration at their very core.
385 We are Calgary-based and thus have those critical relationships with local elected officials, businesses and community leaders that will drive the programming, financial and social success of Radio Connect.
386 We understand this city, from its people, to its economy, to its geography. We understand the immigrant settlement patterns in Calgary and we know that they are different and indeed more integrated than those in many other Canadian centres. And we understand that our South Asian community is as internally diverse as Calgary's population overall.
387 Our edge is that we can see the divisions that exist and are proposing that the power of radio can help to bridge those gaps.
388 There are so many stories that we could tell you about things we have done with SurSangam that we hope to emulate and expand upon with Radio Connect. Here's one that I was personally involved with.
389 As the recent Shafia case so sadly demonstrates, the South Asian community is not immune to domestic violence. Back in 2007, after some high-profile South Asian domestic violence cases, the North of McKnight Mosaic Partnership of Calgary held a domestic violence prevention seminar for the Punjabi community. Radio SurSangam not only provided two on-air interview opportunities for the group to discuss the issue of domestic violence, we also delivered PSAs for the event and followed up with call-in shows to candidly discuss the issue. We continue such programming to this day.
390 MR. KAHLON: Another example.
391 On New Year's Eve 2006, a girl was run over and killed by an intoxicated youth in Calgary. Both were South Asian. It was a sad incident and a shame for the community. After the initial grief, some family members of the victim wanted to do something positive and approached us to do a seminar type program to make people aware of the consequences of drugs and drunk driving.
392 We didn't just give them one program. We gave them a primetime hour-long program every week for two years and supported the shows by hosting various community events throughout.
393 The message penetrated the hearts of many people, both young and old. People got engaged over time. Many city groups and associations came on-air to educate our listeners on how to identify and stop the growing drug addiction problems and where to get help. It was an eye opener for many South Asian parents, who get so busy settling in Canada that their kids are not always on the radar.
394 While it may be impossible to measure, I can say with all honesty and humility, lives changed for the better as a result.
395 In order for Radio Connect to provide these kinds of benefits to the greatest number of ethnic Calgarians, we propose to provide programming in 19 languages and target at least 21 different ethnic groups. We did extensive research to identify these languages by looking at population counts and engaging with community representatives to identify their needs.
396 Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Tagalog will be the languages Monday to Friday on Radio Connect. Our years of experience with these languages and our strong team of broadcasters will create this foundation. We are in the process of identifying a team of radio hosts for the other languages we have proposed, like Malay, Bengali, Persian and Vietnamese.
397 All the owners of SurSangam are radio hosts themselves, thus promoting a culture of broadcasting excellence from the top down. Our other hosts are experienced and talented individuals who know how to captivate the audience and have been broadcasting for years. It is this successful and experienced Calgary on-air team that will be the foundation of Radio Connect.
398 The great benefit of an FM station is that our reach would increase exponentially. We will be able to serve more groups and languages. We will be able to work with more community organizations. We will be able to provide more news and spoken word programming. And we will be able to invest in additional hosts, research and effort that goes into making such programs great.
399 We have proposed that 70 percent of our weekday programming be spoken word. The weekend programming for underserved groups will contain a mix of 50/50 spoken word to music programming. This is by far the highest commitment to spoken word of any applicant before you.
400 Our research clearly demonstrates that ethnic Calgarians want news and will tune to radio to get it. We have modeled our proposal to deliver just that. Monday to Friday we propose 17.5 hours of news in 150 broadcasts in South Asian languages. Our weekend programming for other languages will also have a similar reliance on news and talk, but with a greater emphasis on summary and opinion "Roundup segments."
401 Radio SurSangam has been collecting, producing and broadcasting comprehensive news in Calgary for a decade. A strong network for news collection and production is already established, allowing smooth transition to meet the requirements of a commercial station.
402 Ninety-five percent of our programming for all languages will be produced locally. We have reserved 5 percent -- about 6 hours of broadcast weekly -- for national ethnic programming so that we can broadcast some popular one-off events or, if we can make it happen, national talk shows with partners across Canada.
403 I am now pleased to hand it over to Seema and Nancy to discuss other aspects of Radio Connect programming.
404 MS GILANI: Thank you, Apar.
405 Thirty percent of programming, or 38 hours per week, will be dedicated to music. Fully 10 percent of that music will be Canadian content.
406 Music will represent a minority, but still important part of Radio Connect's programming. For many seniors and newly arrived immigrants, music is their link to their countries of origin, providing companionship and respite from the challenges of being in an unfamiliar land.
407 Radio Connect will also act as a link to music programming readily available from other sources, thus ensuring our audience will always be able to find their music fix.
408 $350,000 over 7 years, or almost 4 percent of expected revenues, will be contributed to our proposed Canadian Content Development Initiatives.
409 Forty percent of our CCD contribution will go to the Mount Royal College to assist in educating journalists in bridging the gap between being a new immigrant and an involved Canadian citizen. If we can support a few journalists a year who will work to help ethnic groups in mainstream and ethnic media, it will be quite an accomplishment.
410 MS RANDHAWA: Thank you, Seema.
411 As a young South Asian who grew up in Calgary, over the years I have listened to SurSangam while my family has had it on at home. My friends and I don't listen to third language programming all the time, but we have found that it still has a place in our lives -- both in terms of us understanding the world as our parents and grandparents view it, and in addressing issues that allow our parents and grandparents to gain a better understanding of our reality.
412 Their experiences as youth are largely based in their countries of origin, so understanding the challenges we face here is often difficult. Allowing the generations to come together in a mutually respectful manner is another way Radio Connect will achieve its goal of bridging gaps -- this time between parents and kids of South Asian families in Calgary.
413 There are endless options for youth in Calgary to access ethnic music and entertainment, including iPods, satellite radio, and online music services.
414 But we have only one station, Radio SurSangam, that assists us in balancing our heritage as dual identity Canadians, fully integrated in both South Asian and mainstream cultures. I'm excited by the prospect of carrying on that tradition with Radio Connect: Continuing and greatly expanding the kind of initiatives that Jyoti and Apar have mentioned, as well as new ones, like bullying and racism that confront us daily.
415 Youth today take a highly involved role in the volunteer sector. SurSangam's community-based fundraising efforts are already first-rate. Back in 2004, our listeners raised $321,000 for the Alberta Children's Hospital in just four hours. Radio Connect will allow us to do so much more.
416 Ranjit will now give you an overview of our business plan.
417 MR. SIDHU: Thank you, Nancy.
418 Commissioners, on the revenue side, we conducted an advertiser survey for both existing South Asian advertisers and potential new ones. All of our existing advertisers indicated satisfaction with our services, evidenced by their long-term accounts with the station. Equally significant is the finding that the majority are willing to spend more should we gain an FM licence, with 48 percent willing to spend $500 to $1000 monthly and 36 percent willing to spend more than $1000 monthly to get the additional exposure.
419 Of the new advertisers surveyed, 92 percent don't advertise with any ethnic radio station, but "nearly all" are willing to if we were a regular radio station.
420 On the expense side, we looked closely at our current costs and the minimum incremental costs needed to run the contemplated operation. As we would be happy to discuss, one of the biggest capital and operational costs can be the transmitter itself. One of the huge advantages of 95.3 FM in this regard is that such costs are predictable and affordable.
421 In addition, a move to FM with the prospect of an increased listener base allows us to pursue both larger ethnic businesses who hesitate to advertise with an SCMO, as well as mainstream businesses who are eager to tap into the hard to reach ethnic customer. This is a classic case of investing in future revenue. We did this successfully with The Brick for a 2004 promotion, achieving a lasting business relationship as a result.
422 We have built our business case on such research, facts and past experience. We are confident that our business plan is both realistic and achievable.
423 MR. KAHLON: We are proud of the links we have built with the Calgary community and we are thankful that we are called to broadcast so many local events in our local communities. People trust us and have come to expect unbiased broadcasting from us. We have built a reputation as a reliable source of information on all fronts, and we are very proud of that.
424 It is this expertise and experience that has allowed us to provide you with this unique application for an FM licence in Radio Connect.
425 We believe that to use 95.3 MHz for another mainstream commercial FM station with a slightly different playlist from incumbents would be a wasted opportunity. For Calgary's listeners and advertisers, the value proposition is simply not strong enough.
426 Radio Connect's application, with our experience, local ownership and emphasis on spoken word, is simply the best use of 95.3.
427 Our proposed station is designed to bring diverse groups and cultures together into the Canadian multicultural fabric. We will build on the solid foundation of Radio SurSangam and its quality 24/7 hours Radio service to Calgary.
428 As owners with local roots, we possess relationships we have nurtured for over a decade with a wide variety of stakeholder groups. We know Calgary. We know our audience. We have been serving them for 10 years on our SCMO. We respectfully request the privilege of serving them and a broader cross section of Calgary's underserved ethnic communities on 95.3.
429 Thank you for listening to us today. We have not mentioned all elements of our application, not because they are unimportant, but because we believe that they are already clearly set out in our application.
430 We would now be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, sir. Maybe we will get to some of those other issues during the course of the questioning.
432 Madam Cugini...?
433 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
434 Thank you very much for your presentation this morning. You did answer some of my questions in your oral presentation but, like every applicant, not all of them so I will have a few more questions for you.
435 I'm going to start with where you ended and that is the use of the frequency 95.3.
436 Throughout your application you have identified this frequency as the only one that can meet your plans for this new station but, as you know, throughout this process other applicants have identified other FM frequencies that are available in the market, so I'm just wondering if you have had an opportunity to look at the viability or feasibility of those other frequencies?
437 MR. KAHLON: Thank you, Commissioner Cugini. Yes, I would definitely like to comment on that because, you know, this is -- as we said in our statement, we have been working on this since four years and two years ago we were working with the respected engineering firm that we work with and even in this round after the call we asked them what is available with Industry Canada and they were working with them to get approvals on the three options that were there:
438 the 100.3, which we figured it was an expensive proposition because it required co-siting with another applicant, not an existing operator;
439 95.3 was the 50,000 maximum ERP opportunity which would actually serve full Calgary, north and south;
440 another option identified was 106.7, but then we were told that because of the tight restrictions with NAV CANADA and also to actually some interference issues with existing Corus, we would have to get Industry Canada approval from Harvard's tower. We waited until the last week to get that approval and I guess we had only one week left before Industry Canada responded. As a result, we decided to go with the alternate AM route because we were exploring everything I guess that we could.
441 So we had the briefs done on 95.3 as the main, because we figured that does cover the whole Calgary, and then we did the AM as an alternate option.
442 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It's a perfect segue into the next question because you cautiously propose the use of an AM frequency --
443 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
444 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: -- in your application. For example, you estimated that it would generate 30 percent less revenue for you if you were awarded the AM.
445 We will get into your financials later, but what other challenges might you encounter if we said, "You know what, we will approve you in part, go look for an AM frequency or even another FM frequency."
446 What challenges would that present to you?
447 MR. KAHLON: I think the biggest challenge with the AM, from what we have -- you know, after even doing the brief and discussions with engineering firms and looking at the history, AM is, to me, basically getting the facts from these engineering firms, is there is problems with the frequency reaching inside dense areas. So a person, you know, sure enough can be sitting in a car and listening to the AM, as soon as he gets into a downtown building he might lose the signal, he goes into an industrial area he might lose it.
448 The problem is the 5 mV contour. Even in our proposed contour we are not covering the far end of Calgary in that contour because of the tight restrictions in the U.S.
449 Second, AM, every time new devices come up there is these Bluetooth devices and home cordless phones, even these repeater transceiver type of things, you know, they cause interference into AM. Certainly it's very possible that you get into one segment of Calgary and you just don't have the signal.
450 Especially, I even looked at one of the recent storms that came up -- and Corus mentioned it in their intervention reply, they said it was a brutal storm and they wanted to tell people, you know, just get away or move away, buildings are falling in downtown, glass is falling, but these people couldn't listen, they just didn't have the coverage.
451 So AM is definitely -- it's a receding technology I would say. I think it is good for maybe to make a business case in small sections of the community, but to actually provide coverage throughout the city and provide a reliable coverage, I think it's difficult.
452 MS GONDEK: Commissioner, may I add something?
453 COMMISSION CUGINI: Of course.
454 MS GONDEK: One of the other struggles that we find with AM is the tower itself. We have understood that there have been some struggles with Rocky View County approving the location.
455 I think Apar can better speak to the other applicant that had this struggle, but one of the other things we have to realize in a place like Calgary is that Alberta is reviewing its Land Stewardship Act right now so there are complications with gaining approvals from not only the municipal government, but the provincial government as well, so we foresee some challenges in that area.
456 MR. KAHLON: If I could add, Touch Canada actually got an AM licence on 700 kHz in 2009 and they still didn't launch and they actually had 150 acres of land with which they were proposing to build a site on and Rocky View Community doesn't look like approve them because the station is still not operational.
457 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. I appreciate your thorough response and I'm not surprised that an engineer would give me such a thorough response on the use of frequency issue.
458 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So thank you for that.
459 MR. KAHLON: It's the time we have spent.
460 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I'm going to move on to the issue of diversity.
461 You heard us, I'm sure, talk with the other applicant this morning about the availability of ethnic programming in the market, so the next few questions will deal with that issue, but I'm going to start with a fairly easy one for you to answer -- I hope anyway.
462 You have proposed a service that will be 100 percent ethnic and 95 percent of your programming will be in third languages. As you know, that exceeds the requirements for ethnic radio.
463 Are you prepared to accept these levels as conditions of licence?
464 MR. KAHLON: Yes, we will accept that.
465 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
466 MR. KAHLON: Thank you.
467 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, we know that Fairchild is the other FM radio station in the market with ethnic programming and you say of course that it broadcasts 75 percent in Chinese languages, but it does also broadcast 23 hours of programming targeting the South Asian community.
468 So can you detail for us how your programming will differ from that which is offered on Fairchild today?
469 MR. KAHLON: I will ask Kuldip to actually jump in as well later on, but if I could start.
470 Fairchild's programming for South Asian community is brokered programming. I mean I don't want to negatively comment explicitly, but I think I would say that if you look at their schedule on the website you will realize there is no definition of any program over there.
471 While we were creating our schedule, we ensured that our timings for the same languages would be different. So their core target is on the weekend or in the evening one hour, we will not provide South Asian at that time.
472 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Thank you, Apar.
473 Well, I would like to comment on our programming.
474 Our programming is a complete model of ethnic programming for South Asians I would say. We have designed our programs to fit the South Asian needs and requirements and Fairchild's South Asian programming is 100 percent brokered programming.
475 So we have designed our programming and we are looking into hiring hosts. We already have hosts, so there is a broad spectrum I'm looking into my application as compared to Fairchild.
476 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, this is a snapshot in time. They have access to the same research that you have that you pointed out in your oral presentation in terms of the growth of the South Asian community in this market. There is nothing stopping Fairchild from doubling or even tripling its hours of programming targeting the South Asian community going forward.
477 If they do that, how will you respond? How will you compete?
478 MR. KAHLON: Just a comment on that before. We and other applicants in Calgary actually have approached Fairchild multiple times and they have refused them time for South Asian programming. They said, "We just don't want to give any more time for South Asians" because they figured the current 23 hours is more than enough.
479 I don't know, like the research or the numbers, I mean the stats that we are -- even what we have presented -- these are 2004-5 stats in the 2006 Census -- and they know that the community has grown because there is continuous demand. They know South Asians -- you know, there is a big market out there as well.
480 But I'm not sure if it is their condition of license or if it is the way the station is structured, I think they cater more to the Chinese community and they want to maintain that identity that Fairchild is primarily a Chinese station.
481 MS GONDEK: If I may add something to that?
482 One of the things that we looked at in the statistics -- and this is just very general -- if you look at a service index and you say that Fairchild will ramp up its programming for the South Asian community and we would offer it as well, that would give us two ethnic stations in the market.
483 Currently the population is 238,000, so you would be looking at a service index, a proportion of roughly 119,000 people being served, whereas if you look at mainstream stations there is 27 of them for a market of over a million, it's 41,00 service. If you get into the 2031 projections, the numbers look significantly worse, if you will. You have 703,000 people projected for the South Asian communities, so you would only have 351,000 people being served by each of those stations, whereas if you look at the mainstream numbers it's 69,000. It's just not comparable.
484 So if you do have two ethnic stations running at full capacity, we are still under serving the market.
485 And, as Apar has mentioned, Fairchild has told us and our two colleagues that are here with us -- from the Urdu community as well as Tagalog -- will tell you that they are maxed out for hours at Fairchild.
486 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you for that.
487 You, rightly so, talk about your success with your SCMO service. A very simple question: If you are awarded this licence will you continue with your SCMO service?
488 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Yes, we would like to continue broadcasting to SurSangam, although programming format may change a little.
489 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the last part of your answer.
490 MR. KULDIP SINGH: We will keep on broadcasting at SurSangam SCMO and although the programming format may change a little.
491 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How will it change?
492 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Well, we do have a definite plan for our SCMO and in the event of us getting a licence we would use SCMO for rebroadcasting of our most popular programs from the main station.
493 Time sensitive announcements will be added -- or announcements will be added. That program is not live but a pre-recorded one.
494 So, as you know from our brief, we intend to serve 23 groups in 19 different languages and our programming director will work hard in order to give adequate time and importance to all languages. So it will be very hard for us to appear some of our most popular programs on the main station due to time constraints so we will pick programs like detailed news discussions and other appropriate spoken word content from the main station and rebroadcast those on SCMO, but we will not be broadcasting simultaneous programs at the same time on both stations.
495 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I like to see people prepared for questions. I can see that you knew this was coming.
496 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Yes.
497 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So the second part of the question: Do you anticipate any synergies, therefore, between the SCMO and this licence, if awarded to you?
498 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Most of our team members have been involved with the SCMO and they will also have a say in this.
499 But the biggest thing I can say, the knowledge and experience we will bring into the main station is our biggest synergy in this regard.
500 Apar will talk more about it and Jyoti will.
501 MR. KAHLON: Yes. We have had repeated discussions on this, like, "What are we going to do with the SCMO?", because we are bringing most of the advertisers, because they have expressed interest in transitioning and we are going to bring our listeners along so what's the use.
502 And then the more we looked at it, we figured that, you know, we are targeting so much news, so much talk and then these 20,000 or 30,000 SCMO sets that we have already sold to the South Asian community -- because we started this market -- there are listeners over there, like the older generation, I would say 65-plus, they tend to listen to the specific type of programming and we figured we could offer maybe them that type of programming and more music on the SCMO and repeats of good programs on the main station. Because a lot of times even on SCMO we get calls of, you know, "Can you repeat that program because that was so nice", and it is impossible to do because there is subsequent scheduling for the other programs.
503 We figured it's a good opportunity. We are pretty sure we can make it work. Like it will definitely be very reduced staff over there, programming will be different than what it is now, but it will still cater to a specific generation, I guess older generation, and it would be more music than we would be proposing on the main station.
504 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Because we are on the theme of synergies, in your application you speak of you own the Punjabi magazine style newspaper "Punjabi National" in Calgary and Edmonton.
505 Is that correct?
506 MR. KAHLON: Yes, we do. We basically are the same three owners for that. It's a weekly magazine we started because all the existing magazines just didn't have any Canadian news, they were all targeting the -- and we were spending a lot of effort on a radio station for the news. We figured we could use the news that we are doing on the radio, just print them at the end of the week, and that's what we have been doing.
507 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yes. Because in your application you say that:
"This has allowed the creation of a strong and well-established news network." (As read)
508 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
509 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So do you anticipate using this established news network to populate the ratio station as well?
510 Just elaborate for me on how these three now entities will work together.
511 MR. KAHLON: Okay. Punjabi National, when we started it we realized our biggest challenge was translation of news. We had news -- I'd say we get news from the ratio, but radio news is condensed, you know, very small, and for a newspaper magazine style you need the big, long -- and so we grew our staff to actually do proper translations. And we had to go to actually cover all the local sections in the newspaper and because of that we have built some strengths over there that we think will definitely port over because now we are increasing the news on the radio we need very qualified, very, I'd say, experienced and fast staff who can translate it, you know, as soon as possible when the news is coming in.
512 So Punjabi National will basically be the people -- the translators from Punjabi National, they will also be working for the new Radio Connect. Like they will help with the -- so basically our intent is to port those employees over to Radio Connect and Punjabi National will actually get the benefit of Radio Connect's expanded new staff, or translators, if I could say.
513 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How many people do you plan on employing for Radio Connect?
514 MR. KAHLON: For the news translations production we would have about six staff -- five to six, because we have three main languages that we are producing pretty much, you know, do Punjabi and Hindi, and then you need the producers and the recorder.
515 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I'm sorry, I saw your microphone on, did you want to add something?
516 MS GONDEK: We have a larger staffing breakdown, if you need it. I think that Apar has addressed what you were speaking to specifically.
517 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Just one detail question, only because we have some conflicting numbers.
518 Your oral presentation this morning said 17.5 hours of spoken word programming, but in your supplementary brief, I believe, which you submitted with your application, it said 21 hours.
519 MR. KAHLON: Yes, 17.5 hours is the news section, and if I mentioned, the 21.5 is if I include the weekend, because there are three one-hour news programs in there.
520 Yes, I don't know, I was trying to say that, you know, on the weekdays we have 17.5, because most of our news for the Hindi/Punjabi will be the Monday to Friday programming.
521 I wanted to make it sound better, you know, by --
522 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It's your opportunity.
523 MR. KAHLON: Thank you.
524 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Another detail question, and this has to do with your CCD contributions.
525 You have identified $5,000 a year to the Canadian Association of Ethnic Broadcasters. Are you aware that that is no longer an eligible beneficiary of CCD?
526 It was in a decision --
527 You are not aware of it?
528 MR. KAHLON: No, I am not aware of it.
529 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. I will read to you where it is that we made that determination.
530 It was in Broadcasting Decision 2010-440, and it had to do with the licence renewal of a station with the call letters CJSA-FM in Toronto. We say:
"The Commission notes that the licensee is required, as part of its original licensing requirements set out in Broadcasting Decision 2003-194, to contribute $3,000 annually to the Canadian Association of Ethic Broadcasters' catalogue of ethnic recordings. Although in the past it has accepted such contributions as an eligible CTD initiative, the Commission considers that the Canadian Association of Ethnic Broadcasters' catalogue, in its present state, does not effectively support or promote Canadian ethnic artists. Accordingly, the catalogue can no longer be considered an eligible recipient of CTD funding, or CCD funding as these initiatives are currently known, pursuant to Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158."
531 You can look that up for yourself, but I just felt that it was important to read that into the record.
532 MR. KAHLON: Okay. Thank you.
533 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Therefore, the question is, you will have to redirect this $5,000 yearly contribution to CCD -- and I will look to Legal Staff --
534 If you are prepared to answer the question now, that's fine. If not, we should be able to give you some time to come up with someplace else to direct that money.
535 MR. KAHLON: Thank you. I don't think I am prepared to answer right now. It was difficult enough to actually, you know, find the qualifying people for the CCD.
536 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I know that it's hard to keep up with our decisions.
537 MR. KAHLON: Thank you.
538 MS GONDEK: Thank you for clarifying that for us.
539 One of the things that we would add is that our contributions are based on 4 percent of gross income over a seven-year period. So we are exceeding your minimum requirements.
540 So certainly we do want to keep our standards, as we have indicated, and we will find another source.
541 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yes, it was just this one anomaly that we needed to question you on.
542 I will now move on to your financial projections, and again it's a bit of a detail question.
543 In your Projected Sources of Revenue table, there is a bit of a math issue there. It totals 110 percent, not 100.
544 MR. KAHLON: Oh, wow!
545 Oh, yes, the 30, 30, 40 --
546 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: There you go.
547 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
548 I realized my mistake when I submitted that, the next day, and I said, "How could I get 110 percent?"
549 But, yes, I actually wanted to say 30, 30, 30 and 10.
550 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thirty, 30, 30?
551 MR. KAHLON: Yes, 30, 30, 30, and 10 for the last one.
552 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You see, it's easy to correct some mistakes. That's good.
553 MR. KAHLON: Sorry about that.
554 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And because you did forecast that 30 percent of your revenues will come from existing radio stations, I am wondering if you did a breakdown of how much of an impact you will have on specific radio stations.
555 In other words, of that 30 percent, how much will come from Fairchild, for example?
556 MR. KAHLON: Actually, I was debating on this a bit, because the existing radio services, I thought -- like, we are also part of it, and SCMO was, you know, the SurSangam.
557 When we did the survey of the advertisers, the one that we submitted, there were 50 advertisers who were committed to come to the new station. So we thought that we would have about 80 to 100 advertisers, and if 50 are coming in, that would be my 30 percent for the total that we are projecting, because we figured 50 from them, and then we talked to 20 more afterwards, and they were willing. So we got 70.
558 And of the new advertisers, there are 92 percent who actually want to advertise and they are not doing it because they don't think there is enough reach with SCMO.
559 So we picked up 30 more from them, to get about 100 advertisers.
560 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Again, you keep proving to me that you are well prepared, because you seem to be anticipating my next question, which is on your projections related to new advertisers, because 70 percent in Year 2, you anticipate, will come from new advertisers.
561 Some might consider that to be fairly high, so what assurances can you give us that led you to this projection and that lead you to believe that the advertising community in Calgary is going to be robust in order to sustain this level of advertising revenues from new advertisers?
562 MR. KAHLON: New is a bit of a challenge for me, because I was thinking that -- the way I looked at this was, new revenues, I thought it was probably new advertisers.
563 Sorry, no, I thought it was not new advertisers, just new money that is coming in.
564 And that was part of our survey. We went to the SCMO advertisers and we asked them: You pay this much now. How much are you willing to pay on a commercial FM station?
565 So they said: Oh, we will pay you an additional $500, or an additional $1,000.
566 I think about 18 percent said: We will pay $1,000 or more.
567 And there were about 50-some that said: We will pay you more than $500.
568 So I figured -- we did the difference between what they pay now to what they are willing to pay, and that was part of the new revenues.
569 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You are not altogether wrong, because the other part of that is, you know, it's new advertisers and/or increased spending by current advertisers.
570 So it's new advertising dollars going into the market.
571 MR. KAHLON: Okay, yes.
572 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So it is a combination of both.
573 But it just struck us as a little bit -- like I say, perhaps high, since you say that 70 percent of your revenues will come from those sources of advertising.
574 MR. KAHLON: The way the Calgary market is structured, as we see it, there are two completely different levels. The SCMO market is at such a low level that -- I mean, we started it, and then SurSangam, I guess, didn't maybe do so well, and then Spice came and was licensed two years ago for SCMO. The same advertisers are advertising on all of the three SCMO stations. It is actually at a pretty low advertising rate level, if I could say, and the commercial market is higher, two or three times that value.
575 So if we could move these people, and they are willing to pay more, we figure there is room -- you know, a lot of revenue from the reach that they think they will get.
576 A lot of our listeners and advertisers understand that people -- you know, they are listening to the set at home, and we have lots of sets, 30,000 sets, probably 80 percent penetration in the market. But as soon as they get out of their house and they want to go to work, the signal is gone. They have nowhere to listen.
577 And 70 percent of the people listen to radio in their cars, and they just don't get it. They go to work, they don't have it. They go to any work area -- you know, industrial, factories, anywhere -- they just can't listen.
578 So, basically, a lot of advertisers understand that if we could target or capture that market, then they are willing to spend an extra 70 percent of money jumping from the SCMO to a commercial station.
579 MS GONDEK: We are also extremely optimistic that we are going to be able to get, I guess what we would classify as mainstream advertisers, non-ethnic businesses, which we currently haven't been able to tap into effectively.
580 So we have an understanding that we can move forward using our existing advertisers, and building on that base, but also tapping into that market of non-ethnic businesses that would be interested in advertising with an FM station more so than SCMO.
581 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. This is my final question, and it is sort of the big picture question.
582 You provided the Commission with proof of financing, in the amount of $750,000. You estimate pre-operating costs of $295,000, as well as annual operating expenses of approximately $1 million.
583 Your financial projections look quite promising, but this is the "What if" question. In other words, what if things don't quite work out the way you had planned? It happens.
584 What if your station takes longer than anticipated to achieve your projected revenue levels? What then?
585 MR. KAHLON: Yes, we were pretty strong earlier -- you know, getting the numbers, because we figured, you know, let's do the survey and get those numbers. But, yes, I --
586 If we actually run into losses -- right now we are losing in the first year. If we ran into losses for the second and third years, that would be another couple of hundred thousand, the way our losses are going.
587 I think we had $758,000 in equity, and our pre-op was $300,000. So I guess we have room for a couple of years of more losses.
588 But besides that, I think -- because right now we didn't go into financing based on SurSangam's ability, our SCMO. We figured that between the three owners we could have enough equity to actually start this new venture.
589 And if we need more money, then we will basically finance and get more money from the bank for the -- on the SCMOs.
590 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you confirm?
591 MR. KULDIP SINGH: We have already talked to some financial institutions. They studied our case and they said that if we get an FM licence, and with our history, they will finance us.
592 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Once again, I want to thank you for the thoroughness of your responses. Those are my questions.
593 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Just following up on my colleague's questions before my other colleagues ask you some questions, have you taken any measures to ensure financing in the short term?
594 You said that you would go and see your bankers about these issues. Did you feel it was important, before even depositing this application, that you have that financing secured for the short and medium term?
595 MR. KULDIP SINGH: Actually, we have talked to our financial institution, because with the $750,000, we also want to put some credit. But the financial institutions -- the banks told us that when we get the licence, and when we have a business plan, they can maybe do some financing on it.
596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And speaking of the business plan, the Unison poll that you mentioned, was that independently commissioned?
597 MR. KAHLON: Yes, it was independently commissioned.
598 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who commissioned that? Is there a firm that has signed the results of that?
599 MR. KAHLON: NRG Research. It's a firm in Vancouver. Dr. Brian Owen is here from that research firm.
600 THE CHAIRPERSON: Very good.
601 Did you supply tuning projections?
602 MR. KAHLON: Tuning projections for listenership?
603 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
604 MR. KAHLON: We don't have any numbers to present. Unfortunately, that is our challenge. But I think we were projecting based on -- or, sorry, not projecting, we have a basis -- a reference base based on the SCMO receiver sets that we have sold, and the growth in population.
605 But we don't have any tuning numbers, no.
606 THE CHAIRPERSON: And a follow-up to my colleague's question; is there any non-ethnic advertising going on on your SCMO currently?
607 MR. KAHLON: Non-ethnic? Yes, we have a few. We have, you know, Bell, Wind Mobile and --
608 If you guys could answer, as well, I think --
609 MR. SIDHU: We have Scotiabank, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Bell Canada, and Rona advertising with us in a newspaper.
610 And we have connections with some advertisement agencies in Montreal and Toronto. They give us, at different times, different ads from national.
611 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's very good news.
612 Just to finish up your CCD contributions, there is a $20,000 annual that will be going to a talent contest in Hindi/Urdu.
613 Is that correct?
614 MR. KAHLON: Yes, that's correct.
615 THE CHAIRPERSON: You also mention that you are servicing 19 languages, or you would be servicing 19 languages.
616 MR. KAHLON: With that contest, we don't think that we would be able to service 19 languages. Our intent was to just do the contest for Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Filipino.
617 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you will be broadcasting in 19 languages under your proposition?
618 MR. KAHLON: That's correct, yes.
619 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there anything inherently unfair about contributing $20,000 a year strictly to Hindi/Urdu when you are responsible for 19 languages, according to your proposal?
620 MR. KAHLON: I think it's our inability to actually hold a genuine contest that would actually bring out talent from all of the other languages, as well.
621 Like, proportionately, we are serving them a lot less, because our business case does focus on the four predominant languages.
622 Yes, I mean, we were debating that, and then we were -- I think our problem is that, to get to all of those communities and actually have a contest that would bring out talent and to actually further promote them in creating CDs, it would be a challenge initially, at the start.
623 But, maybe, you know, if we get a chance for a licence, in our renewal time, or in a couple, two or three years down the road, talking to the cultural associations and communities, if they see that we need to, then we will definitely put in time. Yes, I think we would include them.
624 MS GONDEK: If I may just add to that --
625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Certainly.
626 MS GONDEK: -- one of the reasons that we focused on those four languages at the beginning is that SurSangam has done a program that is a talent show type of concept on Saturdays and Sundays, where people phone in, they sing into their phone, they do their best, and it has been wildly popular. People call in from all over the city, and they really enjoy it.
627 So given the success of that programming, we felt that we could replicate that with this type of talent contest; not an extension of that program, something different, but it would have some background to it.
628 There have also been a couple of emerging artists that came out of that phone-in show. I can't remember their names off the top of my head, but having people like that host this kind of contest, and then into the future, as Apar mentioned, we would certainly integrate the newer languages.
629 But the thing to point out is, part of our CCD contributions are also the contributions to Mount Royal University, where we would make sure that it would be ethnic journalism students that would be eligible for that award. So we would be covering the 19 languages we are talking about.
630 So we are not excluding all languages in all components of CCD, but just to start out, the talent show, as something we know we can make successful, is what we were getting at.
631 MR. KAHLON: It is our attempt to balance the music context versus the journalism or the spoken word that we have -- you know, a big element on the station.
632 I know that, proportionately, $20,000 for a music contest and $20,000 for the university for ethnic broadcasting, we are not sure where those $20,000 for the journalism -- you know, how we are going to direct it. Because, right now, in our initial talks, we said that we want it for ethnic journalists, but I think we need it to be more defined -- you know, $3,000 for how many students, 5 for this, and exactly, you know, how we are going to do that.
633 So we are still in the process of working out the details for our journalism CCD contributions.
634 MS GONDEK: And we have that extra $5,000 a year that we are not giving to CAEB now.
635 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
636 MS GONDEK: We can certainly play with that.
637 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's amazing.
638 Thank you.
639 Commissioner Menzies.
640 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. I have just two questions, one is reasonably direct, and the other is a little philosophical.
641 In terms of your Canadian content, you have touched on this a bit, but can you give me some examples of local artists that would be part of that who would be benefiting from the extra exposure they would get from your station?
642 MS GILANI: We mentioned our most popular show right now that we have, SurSangam. We have emerging artists from that, and then we have some artists that we have matched up with mainstream artists.
643 And when they are coming to Calgary and they are doing some shows, we put those artists with them, and they gain popularity through that, and they will be renown one day, nationally. That's what we are hoping for.
644 Some of the examples of the promoted artists are Jarnail Aielonn, Gurpreet Randhawa, Hombre Calcutt(ph), and Raj Jujhar.
645 Those were the Canadian artists that produced their CDs, and they are well known now in the community.
646 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How would you see that growing, in terms of the reference to the South Asian population growing by 2031, I think, to 200,000 or more?
647 Would you see yourself being a key component of developing that sector?
648 MS GILANI: Yes.
649 MR. KAHLON: If I could briefly answer that question, we are not too much into music. I think there are enough resources right now that are --
650 Actually, there are a lot of artists. There is a lot of repetitive music being produced. I am just talking about Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, the main languages. And it's very easy to record CDs these days.
651 I think it is the promotion of the local artists that is the role we play. We don't want to -- like, we are not saying that we are going to create a lot of new artists by -- you know, because from our talent shows, or from promoting on the radio station, that, yes, there need to be more singers.
652 I think there are already a lot of artists, and India has a huge population that is talented with Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu -- you know, talent over there.
653 And I think that the natural progression for a lot of these artists is, actually, even if we promote them here, they will end up going to India, to actually make a name in Bollywood, or make a name over there. That's where the bigger market is.
654 So our intent is to just promote local artists, give them the initial boost, and help them create CDs. We have identified another $50,000 that we could use from our administration costs, but that's about it. We are not looking at the long-term growth of Punjabi music or Hindi music as our core mandate.
655 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's the great Canadian story -- Hollywood or Bollywood -- grow them here and send them there.
656 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
657 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Go ahead.
658 MS GONDEK: One of the things that I will add, too, is, we have been able to leverage the reach of SurSangam to the benefit of emerging artists. So when people think of radio in Calgary and they think of SurSangam -- and we support and sponsor specific events and artists coming here.
659 As an example, Paul Chahal(ph) was linked with Deep Dhillon, who is, you know, a very -- you may not know that name, but it's quite a popular name. It's sort of the equivalent of when Avril Lavigne performed with Shania Twain, and all of a sudden became a household name. That's the type of thing that we are able to do, given our advertising and sponsorship relationships. We are offering a platform for people to go from calling in to a radio show to being an actual emerging artist onstage with someone that can get them somewhere.
660 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The other question is -- it is more philosophical, but I will try to be clear on it. In terms of the population projections that you gave us -- 10 percent of the population by 2031, 200,000 out of a population of 2 million and that sort of stuff -- as that happens, more and more of that South Asian population, I'm guessing, is going to be more native Calgarian, born and raised in Calgary.
661 In all of us, I mean, we have two Italians, two Scotsmen and a Greek here.
662 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It's not a joke.
663 MR. KAHLON: The Commission has diversity --
664 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's right, but never more than one or two generations deep.
665 But as that happens, the very ethnic part of our ethnicity thins -- right -- in terms of that. I am just wondering how you would see this station developing and reflecting that over the course of the next generation.
666 MS GONDEK: You have a born and bred Calgarian right here. I was raised in Manitoba, I grew up on the prairies, and came to Calgary.
667 One of the things that Nancy and I have found is, this is really allowing that second and third generation of Canadians and Calgarians to connect with their parents and grandparents.
668 We generally have extended family living arrangements, and it is pretty awkward when your grandparents never even heard of going to a club and you have an 18-year-old girl getting all dolled up to go out.
669 So what we are proposing to do with SurSangam, not just for present day, but well into the future, is provide those links, those ties, that intergenerational dialogue that allows everyone to understand where they are at.
670 And well into 2031 there is still going to be immigration coming into Calgary, so it's not just serving the current need, as you mentioned, we foresee a lot of temporary foreign worker type of situations carrying on into Calgary. We have a great economy here. We are going to see continued immigration.
671 So we feel that well into 2031 we will still be facing some of the challenges that we do now.
672 I don't know if Nancy wants to elaborate on that.
673 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you very much. I think that answers the question.
674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Menzies.
675 Commissioner Simpson.
676 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning. Being from Vancouver, and being Scottish, and very soon to be, I think, a visible minority in Vancouver which I'm very proud to say that's a hallmark of our country in the way it's growing, I have a few questions.
677 Tapping into your 10 years of experience in programming to your market, I have some questions that perhaps could help the Commission out as we're looking forward into the growth of ethnic media in Canada. And it has to do with, you know, the rating systems, how you come to understand who and how many and what the taste and the appetite for programming content is in a market that is largely, by traditional measurement standards, through BBM and other means which help the Commission understand the relative success or failure of some of the decisions we make.
678 I'd like to ask you, first of all, a few pointed questions and then get into the depth.
679 You had mentioned that -- in your opening comments that as an SCMO, you're generally acknowledged as the number one in the marketplace.
680 How do you know that? And number one in relationship to what, to other SCMOs or...?
681 MR. KAHLON: So when we conducted the survey, we wanted to understand the listenership preferences, you know, what people had. And we know, you know, based on our experience, I mean, I think we mentioned that when we started the SCMO it was really difficult to get the tests and listenership and advertising.
682 And 2004 is when we actually did the -- our first test. I mean, it just came out. Alberta Children's Hospital came over. They wanted some funds.
683 And we said okay, let's do a radiothon, and so we started about -- at noon on a Saturday and in four to five hours, there were at least 500 callers. And we had $351,000 raised.
684 This was like 2004, like three years after we had launched. And it was -- you know, that was the first, you know, humbling experience for us and we didn't think SCMO was capable of that.
685 And then after that we thought, oh, we're pretty good in the market. And this is the second time we actually got the experience, or at least I think. When we started to do an intervention phase, we said we needed support and we were just waiting over there for, you know, people who were coming to the internet and we put a support, but there wasn't much.
686 And then we saw one of our competitors put an advertisement out saying that they need support for their station, some out of the city applicant, and we said okay, we'll also put an advertisement out. We said we need the support, we'll be standing over there at this place.
687 You know, if you think that Calgary needs an ethnic station, if you think that we are providing a good service, you know, please come and support us. And in the Saturday alone -- we put the advertisement on Friday. And Saturday alone, we had more than 2,000 people come and sign that support.
688 So it was like -- we never expected that kind of response. And so we figured somebody is listening, somebody is reading.
689 And you know, continuing on our advertisement, we figured that other people went to the same places to get the same support as well.
690 But we feel there's a market. Like even in our call-in open line shows on Thursdays, Wednesdays like we just can't get off the phone. We have three lines, and they're continuously busy if the topic is interesting. I guess mostly they are interesting, I would like to say.
691 MS. GONDEK: They're very interesting.
692 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
693 MS. GONDEK: If I could just pepper that with some numbers.
694 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, please.
695 MS. GONDEK: When we did the energy consumer telephone survey in August of 2011, it was indicated by 37 percent of those interviewed that they've listened to SurSangam, and that made it the most listened-to Calgary ethnic station in that survey.
696 In addition, when they were asked about all stations, including all the FM stations out there, SurSangam was the third most-listened to station. And its competitor was AM 660, which is news, and Fairchild.
697 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: How frequently are you doing this type of polling?
698 Thinking again to the initial line of my questioning, as ethnic media becomes more and more significant in the marketplace -- presently even Fairchild, in their wisdom, choose not to be BBM subscribers. But as the market evolves and becomes so significant, how are you going to continue to provide advertisers, particularly mainstream advertisers, and groups like the Commission with numbers that we can take to the bank?
699 MR. KAHLON: Actually, that is a difficult thing for us as well, and that is the difficult thing, I would say, because we have all these national advertisers, you know, 10, 12 of them now, all these big names. And we just didn't have data to sell them.
700 That's the first thing they ask us as well, about how many listeners do you have. And unfortunately, all we can say is these many sets we have sold and this is the type of response, which is why we don't have as many -- we don't have the -- you know, the 20 percent or 30 percent break comparative proportions because it is very difficult to sell to the national advertisers.
701 Local advertisers, we don't even create a plan for them, you know. It's just they know -- they just come to us and we just don't have the slots at times. But I -- you know, I definitely agree, we need to do a lot more polling, a lot more surveys if we have to be successful with this new station because we need data to sell to all these other languages that we are proposed.
702 And even -- sorry.
703 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No, I was just telling the Chair I just have one more question.
704 MR. KAHLON: Yeah. Even talking to the cultural groups, you know, they -- we brought in people who know their communities, and like we have Amjad Ali here, and Renato Barnachea. The filipino community will do, you know -- they basically know their market. They know they can -- there is demand. They can sell it. However, you know, we need more data. We definitely acknowledge that.
705 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: SurSangam, which is not, as you know, part of the scope of this hearing, but still, I have to assume that after 10 years it's viable financially.
706 MR. KAHLON: It is.
707 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So from my understanding because I read through your brief, but it wasn't quite clear to me.
708 If it's viable and you're proposing to enter the market with another station that is predominantly going after south Asian market, the south Asian market right now is less than the Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin market, but growing fast.
709 But what we're seeing now is the smaller part of the pie getting subdivided and the larger part of the pie being relatively isolated. And my question is this.
710 Understanding that there would be a transition, do you see yourself continuing to operate your SCMO in perpetuity, or would the intention be to migrate when the time is appropriate your assets fully over to a mainstream licence, should you get one?
711 MR. KAHLON: I mean, DCS can help and I think when we discussed it, we said we're going to migrate all of our employees from SurSangam. We're going to take, you know, all our translators and all our news producers. They're going to go to the new station.
712 So -- and then the question is what is left over there. And we said the founder of SurSangam, he said he has agreed to run SurSangam and make a business case out of it. And at some point, he figures that, you know, he's still going to cater to the different target group and make it financially viable, although it would lose a lot of its revenues and it would not be as competitive, nowhere as competitive to the other SCMOs that are there in the market because maybe they will take more revenue from the lower pie.
713 Like as I mentioned, there is, you know, a very low advertising rate level, and there's a much higher -- three times higher advertising rate, so maybe $200 or $300 to $1,200, $1,500.
714 The SCMOs would end up taking some of our advertisers who did not want to pay the extra money to go to the commercial one; however, Gurinder has a value proposition for the station, as we mentioned, that he believes that there is programs that can be directed to targeted groups that can be repeat programming from Radio Connect that would actually, you know, be listened by these groups over there.
715 We can have a lot more music programming. And he also entertained the idea of including, you know, one or two more languages, the ones that we're not serving, besides the Hindi, Punjabi. So perhaps give more hours to the Filipino over there and we were debating we could probably give more time to Gujarati and Bengali on that station.
716 MS. GONDEK: And that's really the benefit of having the SCMO for now for a period of time and evaluating what direction to take it in.
717 You asked whether it would operate in perpetuity. It's hard to say. It became a launching point for Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and now Tagalog to be able to make this application to move forward to FM. If SurSangam as a station can assist other languages in gaining that listenership, perhaps we can help other communities in achieving the type of goals we're trying to do today.
718 So we would keep it going as long as it's helpful to others.
719 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
720 Commissioner Patrone.
721 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning.
722 I just would like some clarity regarding your financial projections. You've broken them down between the primary language advertisers and secondary language advertisers.
723 And in terms of the growth of your primary language advertisers, you've forecast three percent in years 5, 6 and 7, which struck me as relatively modest given your projections for population growth in that community.
724 But the second part of that is you forecast slightly stronger growth in your secondary language group, which I would think is Chinese. Is that -- do I have that correct?
725 MR. KAHLON: No, that is -- there are 16 languages. Like we have Filipino, Malay, Vietnamese and then we go, you know, Polish, Italian, Ukranian, other ones, I guess. And then there's Tagalog, Bengali.
726 And we have a lot of the languages that we have worked -- we have talked to those people to actually -- for programming.
727 They considered as good markets, you know, they entertained the idea of broker programming with us because that's what they wanted. They figured they could actually build a business case for those languages.
728 We didn't want to follow that model, so we said we would rather -- like we wanted them as contract employees instead. And I think they are happy with that idea so far.
729 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I just see a disconnect between your projected revenue growth and the growth of language advertisers, primary language advertisers. And I was just curious as to what you base that on, especially, as I mentioned, your growth -- your projected -- the projected growth that you've provided for us in terms of visible minority population and south Asian population projected to be 200,000 by 2013.
730 How did you come up with the three percent for the last five -- or last three years of your seven-year projections?
731 MR. KAHLON: We figured the average was around -- you know, it's been -- it's fluctuated even, you know, for ethnic. It's like locals maybe three, four, six, even the down time it was 3.4 or something from the data that the Commission had.
732 However, we -- the way we understand the market, it's like there's a lot of Punjabi Hindi advertisers, and we have -- between the three of -- the three SCMOs here and the Fairchild, we have explored a lot of them.
733 And you know, bringing all those advertisers that we have on SurSangam onto the new station and projecting about 30 percent new ones, we didn't see as much growth over the later years. We thought that it was more reasonable to an economy that is, you know, not moving too fast, it is just pretty much stable over there.
734 We didn't want to go to the two percent when it's down two to three percent, but we didn't want to go jump to maybe seven, 10 because we don't, we don't think it might be possible based on how many advertisers we have personally gone and talked to and explored.
735 But as I was answering, you know, Commissioner Simpson that we need to get more data for that.
736 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: As I see the secondary language group outstripping, outgrowing your primary, would there be a temptation going forward to tweak the programming to the degree that you could in order to meet the projected growth of your secondary language group, you know what I mean?
737 MR. KAHLON: Yes.
738 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: If you're starting to make more and more money with your secondary advertising language group, does that not change your business case going forward?
739 MR. KAHLON: Yes, it's a little difficult question. I mean, that's the question that we get from -- when we talk to the cultural groups and these people who are the producers.
740 They're asking that the idea you're giving us, you know, two hours or five hours. I mean, our community is growing more and, you know, depending upon, you know, Canada's immigration patterns, which country they want to focus on, it might be that, you know, certain languages could be more.
741 I guess we'll have to come back to you. I mean, it's -- you know, ask you if we can change the quotas because yeah, we're definitely open. I mean, we want to address the needs in the community and this is based on talking to them and still keeping our core target in the -- you know, for Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu because right now there is a lot more of them.
742 But yes, I think we might have to change in the future and --
743 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much.
744 Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
745 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Patrone.
746 Just briefly to follow up to Commissioner Simpson's question, given the fact that data gathering will be much more important by your own admission going forward, have those costs been taken into consideration in your expenses?
747 MR. KAHLON: Unfortunately not. We did not include data gathering costs. I think we --
748 THE CHAIRPERSON: Honest answer's always the best answer.
749 MS. GONDEK: There is room in --
750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Here we go.
751 MS. GONDEK: In the sales and advertising budget and promotions, there's a little bit of room. We've obviously got costs like purchasing, news programming. What's the word I'm looking for?
752 MR. KAHLON: Yes. And I guess we identified 50,000. I already committed that. I said, you know, the view is that 50,000 was suited for production, so --
753 MS. GONDEK: We're fighting about what to spend the money on.
754 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, yeah.
755 MS. GONDEK: But absolutely, we realize that there is a need for research. Our other commitment to research, obviously, is to engage closely with our advisory committee and ensure that we're meeting the needs of the community out there. So we see research, not only the qualitative side of it being community engagement, but we realize the need for strong numbers so that we can come, you know, to you with something to say that's documented.
756 THE CHAIRPERSON: The costs of those numbers are not indicated on your expenses as such.
757 MS. GONDEK: It's not a direct line item.
758 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great, because I thought counsel was far right, second row.
759 And then just briefly following up on the excellent engineering-based answer that was given following Madame Cugini's question, at the end of the day, 1420 given your own projections of a 30 percent revenue drop, it's not really viable.
760 MR. KAHLON: It is --
761 THE CHAIRPERSON: What's your response to that?
762 MR. KAHLON: We would have to make -- yeah, we'll have to make cuts, you know, I would say. It's just that right now we have, you know, nine hosts plus 18 other ones.
763 The way we thought that we could -- 1.5 million, I think that's sort of the lowest number that we could actually set up the towers as, and --
764 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, it's really not viable.
765 MR. KAHLON: Yes. Yes.
766 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's not.
767 MR. KAHLON: It is not viable. Like it --
768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you like to take that request off the table?
769 MR. KAHLON: No, because we --
770 MR. KAHLON: Mr. Chair, I think that's a difficult question, but I think the way -- we know we can make it work because we have crunched some numbers on AM. But it's -- it is not our first choice, for sure.
771 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I'll leave it at that.
772 Thank you very much. We really appreciate it.
773 Yes, Mme Letourneau, il y a un engagement? Go ahead.
774 MS. LETOURNEAU: One small thing. One undertaking, to answer Commissioner's Cugini question earlier at the beginning.
775 The Commissioner will expect Unison to provide an alternative for the 5000 CCD contribution. Would it be possible by Phase 4 of this hearing? Your reply?
776 MR. KAHLON: Yes, definitely we will.
777 MS. LETOURNEAU: Thank you.
778 MR. KAHLON: Thank you.
779 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thanks so much.
780 We're going to take 10 minutes and we're going to come back with Mme Ventura.
781 THE SECRETARY: Alberta Mosaic Radio Broadcasting Inc.
782 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great, thanks so much. We'll see you in 10.
--- Upon recessing at 1130
--- Upon resuming at 1143
783 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hi, guys. Good late morning.
784 Madam Ventura, I see we have a show ready to go.
785 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
786 We will now proceed with item 3 on the Agenda, which is an application by Alberta Mosaic Radio Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial specialty FM radio programming undertaking in Calgary. The new station would operate on frequency 95.3 MHz (channel 237B) with an average effective radiated power of 1,871 watts (maximum ERP of 7,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 331 metres).
787 Appearing for the applicant is Sukhwinder Badh. Please introduce your colleagues, after which you will have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
788 MR. BADH: Thank you.
789 Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners, Commission staff, other applicants and members of the public. My name is Sukhwinder Badh, but everyone calls me Suki. I'm the controlling shareholder of Alberta Mosaic Radio Broadcasting Inc., the applicant for a new ethnic FM station we are calling Mosaic.
790 Before we start our presentation in chief, I would like to present you with our panel team. I know that I find it hard to follow all of the names from all the different backgrounds, so we have provided you with a chart that shows each of the panel members.
791 To my immediate right is Gursharan Buttar. Gursharan and his son Sharnpreet, known as Sharn, who is seated immediately behind his dad, are my partners in this application. Gursharan operates an SCMO service in Edmonton as well as providing South Asian programs on a Wetaskiwin radio station. Sharn, who recently received a law degree from the University of Manchester, has extensive experience in Calgary ethnic radio and, in particular, in youth programming.
792 To Gursharan's right is Hieu Ngo, who has agreed to serve as the Chair of our Advisory Council. He was Chair of the Calgary Ethno-Cultural Council, holds a doctorate in Social Work and teaches at the University of Calgary.
793 To Hieu's right is Phina Brooks, who will address our approach to African and Caribbean programming. Phina originally came to Canada from Nigeria. She's a filmmaker with television production experience.
794 To my immediate left is Jaspreet Gill, who will serve as our News Director. Jas speaks multiples languages, including English, Punjabi, Hindi, French and even un poco Italiano. She also is a certified sales professional and will help train our multiethnic sales team.
795 To her left is Sinela Jurkova, who will serve as a Coordinator of Eastern European programs and our Community Affairs Coordinator. Sinela is a professional journalist, holds master's degrees in Slavic Linguistics and Communications and Culture. She speaks five languages, including her mother tongue of Bulgarian. She is also very active in service delivery to the immigrant community as a Cultural Resource Coordinator for the Calgary Multicultural Centre.
796 To Sinela's left is Alejandro Pinzon, known to everyone as Alex. He is of Colombian origin and currently provides about six hours per week of Spanish-language programming. Alex will coordinate and produce our Latino block of programs and will also be involved in our station sales team.
797 Next to Alex is Marek Domaradzki. He was educated as a lawyer and works as a certified immigration consultant here in Calgary. He was the Manager of the Polish Canadian Centre for many years and has been producing the long-running Polish program, "Polska Fala." He will produce the Polish programming on Mosaic FM and coordinate the Eastern European block.
798 Immediately behind Marek is Tudor Dinca. Tudor is the Youth Coordinator for the Romanian Canadian Cultural Association of Calgary. He will also form part of our cross-cultural youth team along with Sharn.
799 Beside Tudor is Lilian Hamdan, who is of Lebanese origin and will be part of our Arabic programming team. Lilian speaks Arabic and Greek. She will also work with Khalil Hijazi and Edo Abu Bhatr(ph) -- and if I may ask Edo to stand up please for a sec, thank you -- who is in the audience. In addition to working on our youth programming, they will be an important part of our Arabic programming team.
800 Beside Lilian is Peter Fleming, our regulatory consultant, who will be a director of the company. Peter has worked for 25 years at the CRTC in a variety of capacities. He will be the person responsible for ensuring that we stay in compliance.
801 Next to Peter is Jennifer Rempel, Executive Director of the Calgary Multicultural Arts Society, who will be an important part of our multicultural concert.
802 Next to Jennifer is Debra McLoughlin of Strategic Inc., who conducted our economic and consumer research.
803 Beside Debra is Maurice Beauséjour of YRH and Associates, who did our engineering studies and brief.
804 And beside Maurice is our legal counsel and my longtime associate, Guy Giorno of Fasken Martineau.
805 I also would like to mention the presence of Irina Makvina(ph), our Russian producer, who is in the audience.
806 I will ask Sinela to start our presentation.
807 MS JURKOVA: Good morning. I'm humbled and pleased to be part of this team today.
808 As an immigrant and someone who works with many ethnocultural communities, I am familiar with the challenges newcomers face as they settle in a new country: culture shock, professional and educational recognition, just to name a few.
809 We all want to keep the best of our regional culture, while at the same time embracing Canadian values. Successful integration will bring economic, social and cultural richness to Canada.
810 When immigrants arrive, first, they have to satisfy their immediate needs: finding a place to live, job, school and learning English. Later on, they build connections with their community, neighbours, other communities and friends. And the next level is to become engaged in the society, fully participate in economic, cultural and social activities, and contribute to the society.
811 In Calgary, all the three levels of government, the non-profit and corporate sectors work collaboratively to provide programs and services that help greater and smoother settlement and integration of immigrants. On the screen you can see the number of agencies and institutions that have such a mandate.
812 What is the role of ethnic radio then? Radio can help to create an understanding of the many cultures while making new arrivals feel welcome with familiar music, poetry and other cultural elements. Or radio can also reinforce segregation and isolation by focusing only on the homeland culture, and the local ethnic community re-fighting ethnic battles from the past.
813 Recently at the forum organized by the Calgary Multicultural Centre, "How does ethnicity shape media in Calgary," over a hundred participants shared their opinion and concerns that media do not use their full potential and do not play an active enough role in promoting ethnic diversity and bridging the gap between established residents and newcomers.
814 Mosaic FM proposes to be a force for integration and to be a positive actor on the media stage. And how?
815 - By emphasizing commonalities in regularly schedule programming;
816 - By providing cross-cultural programs in English so we can be exposed to common experiences in a common language; and
817 - By being one radio station with 16 languages rather than 16 different radio stations.
818 MS McLAUGHLIN: The chart on the screen, Table 2 in your handouts, shows the growth of the ethnic communities in Calgary from 2001 to 2006. We estimate that the population from ethnic backgrounds is over one-quarter of the total population of the city and is clearly growing.
819 While many people think that the ethnic population is essentially limited to the part of the city where we are right now, this is in fact inaccurate.
820 For the next slide, we used Google maps and plotted ethnic businesses, place of worship and community centres on the map of Calgary. The pins are colour-coded by ethnic group. As you can see, these locations are in each quadrant of the city. This does not include residences, which would scatter the population even further afield. The black lines are our contours filed with the application.
821 The next chart shows the English-language and ethnic radio services. Approximately 750,000 people have access to 16 commercial services licensed to serve Calgary, two English CBC stations, CKUA-FM, an excellent student FM station and spill stations from around the area. The chart also shows all of the commercial formats available in the market.
822 The next slide shows the languages provided by the one ethnic radio service in the area, Fairchild Radio. There it is. Clearly, the Chinese are relatively well served, while other communities are less so, and this chart does not show the schedule where most of the other language groups are served by brokered programming in the evenings and on weekends.
823 I conducted research for Alberta Mosaic Radio which compared two panels, both randomly selected, with one representative of Calgary's general population and the other constructed from ethnic groups other than the Chinese. Here are some of the differences in the findings.
824 - The level of satisfaction with radio within the ethnic communities is well below that of the mainstream community.
825 - The demand among the ethnic communities for an ethnic station is much higher than the demand in the mainstream sample for a new English-language station.
826 - Interestingly, both the mainstream community and the ethnic communities showed high approval for a new ethnic station.
827 - Licensing a new English service will not necessarily address dissatisfaction as no single missing format was identified by the non-ethnic sample.
828 MR. BADH: I have applied on several occasions for new radio stations to the Commission. In one case I applied for an ethnic station and in two others I applied for a Triple A format. I'm not wedded to the idea of ethnic station, but rather to providing radio service. Debra's research confirmed for me that the real need in Calgary was for an ethnic station.
829 Calgary is different from Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto, each of which has multiple large communities that can sustain many ethnic radio services. Calgary has a large ethnic population with many communities that are underserved. Only one of these communities can sustain a service and that's the South Asian community, but the South Asian community here is nowhere near the size of the communities in Toronto or Vancouver, nor is it as mature.
830 We developed an idea of grouping those with commonalities in regular program blocks that would be of interest to more than one language group and would also provide substantial audiences for interested advertisers.
831 The pillars of our service are South Asians, Eastern Europeans, Latinos, African and Caribbean people, and Arabs, and a keystone of our schedule is cross-cultural programming.
832 Another guiding principle is to avoid brokerage by creating multilingual, multi-ethnic broadcasting, rather than a South Asian station with a handful of brokered programs.
833 Central to providing a cohesive program schedule will be our news and programming staff as well as our Community Affairs Coordinator.
834 MS GILL: We propose a strong news department of four people, two full-time and two part-time. This will be supplemented by Canadian Press and Associate Press news services as well as two freelancers available to us in India and Pakistan. We will also have access to content from Mr. Buttar's operations in Edmonton. Of course, many of our programmers will also act as reporters within their own communities.
835 Our News Director will assign reporters to local news stories each day. All of our reporters will be fluent in English and at least one community language. Each will bring back stories and clips in whatever language is available on that story and these will go into our news computer, which we are calling Mosaic Share, along with wire and voice services. The News Director will select the key stories of the day and the programmer for each language will then re-voice these stories in their own language and add in stories of more specific interest to their communities.
836 We will also develop a number of spoken word features that are summarized on the slide before you and will be available to all of our language groups.
837 "Mosaic Moments." There will be short facts that will be available to each program.
838 "Mosaic Word of the Day." Each day we will pick an English word and each of our programmers will use that word, put it in various sentences in context, providing translation and encourage its use by doing a weekly contest.
839 "Mosaic Topic of the Day." An example of this is how we will build content during the week that report cards, for example, are coming home from school. Rather than having little Suki, Manuel or Ivan tell mom that F stands for fabulous, we will provide information on how to read the report card with the assistance of an educator.
840 "Mosaic On Your Side." We will seek out input in each program from listeners about issues that are happening that need to be explored. We will pick one each week and our reporters will investigate these, preparing stories for the next week.
841 Most of our features will be anchored in our noon-hour cross-cultural program, but we will also have language-specific versions, and, of course, all of our programs will be available on our Web site.
842 We will also work with all the social and cultural organizations that Sinela showed you earlier, such as the Calgary Police Service, Making Changes, the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth and dozens of others to develop programming content that highlights their contribution and is relevant to our audience.
843 For example, we might provide a series of program features on spousal violence by reaching out to the Calgary Police Service's Diversity Group to provide information on the law in a multiple of languages. We would also reach out to the Alberta Immigrant Women's Network for insight into the services they provide and to CRIEC or Making Changes for information on how to find employment.
844 These and many other features will provide a shared experience to all of our communities we serve. Our cross-cultural women's and youth programs will also provide an opportunity for direct sharing of experiences in English.
845 Of course, we will also provide programming specific to each of the communities we serve.
846 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: I have provided service to the South Asian communities of both Edmonton and Calgary. While there are multiple languages, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu predominate. Hindi is an official language in India, as is English, and Punjabis are the largest group in Canada. So we have concentrated our largest amount of South Asian programming in these languages. Our focus, however, will be broadly South Asian.
847 Our morning show will be largely in Punjabi. It will mirror any morning drive in city, spoken words, but this strong emphasis on local news, sports, weather and traffic, and a hint of music.
848 We expect to attract interviews with Calgary newsmakers such as Mayor, MLAs, MPs and others.
849 This would also be an important window for the agencies that serve the communities. This will be followed by a similar show in Hindi, but with a more mid emphasis given the general understanding of Hindi among various Indian groups and the similarity of languages to Urdu.
850 The focus will be reasonably broad. This will be an excellent place for some of the features that Jas just described.
851 We then will move to a pure music program with a strong emphasis on Bollywood and other Indian pop music.
852 Given the large number of Hindu Canadians that live in cities, we expect a high level of Canadian content in this program.
853 Our afternoon drive program will be a lighter version of the morning program with the news and information, but with more focus on entertainment, community events. This will be a place here for some of the mosaic features as well.
854 At 6:00 p.m. we will provide a half an hour news, a mix of local, regional, national and international, and then it will be followed by an hour long talk show, sometimes with guests, but always with an opportunity for audience participation, whether that is via mail, text or calls.
855 Weekend programming will include a senior program in Punjabi, a weekly community digest in Hindi, and three hour programming in Urdu. With both community news and events, mosaic features and traditional Pakistani music. We will also provide three hour long programming for the smaller South Asian communities.
856 MR. DOMARADZKI: The population statistics for those with Eastern European and Balkan backgrounds are misleading in a number of ways.
857 First, you might conclude that the largest and most active community is Ukrainian. At the same time you would wonder how some other communities might warrant service.
858 I have been providing an hour per week of Polish programming for almost 19 years. I could provide more programming if it were not for the cost of buying time. An hour is very limiting and only permits a cursory review of what is going on in the community.
859 As the letters of intervention demonstrate, regularly scheduled programming for those with Eastern European origins attracted a great deal of interest. Interestingly, the Ukrainian community did not show a great deal of interest, whereas two smaller communities, Romanians and Bulgarians, did.
860 Being limited to a small number of hours of brokered time at present also limits the commercial potential. My clients in the Polish community are interested in reaching out to those who might buy their sausages, buy insurance, have their teeth taken care of or access a range of products and services, from communities other than their own.
861 The provision of a fully staffed newsroom will give all programmers access to more content to create our programs. The mosaic features will also give newcomers a better understanding of their community.
862 MR. PINZON: Thank you, Merek. You show me the opposite, I hand you the microphone on Thursdays, not you are handing me the microphone.
863 I am very excited to be part of this panel since I truly believe that the proper integration of new Canadians will result in our own success as a community.
864 The Latino community in Calgary was the second fastest growing ethnic group in the city between 2001 and 2006 according to official statistics. This growth has accelerated over the last few years with the arrival of thousands of Latinos that currently work and build their lives in Calgary and area.
865 I have been providing an hour of Spanish programming during weekdays for over eight years now. I know up close the difference we could make with 16 extra hours of Spanish programming. The need for this is real and huge.
866 Having a well staffed newsroom, and the ability to produce programs with more topics is very exciting to say the least. From the commercial point of view, being able to sell advertising to the mainstream economy to effectively reach these markets is a tangible benefit for both advertisers and potential customers.
867 Each evening the Latino program will start with "Contacto Directo", or "Direct Contact", a two hour show with public affairs, community events and relevant guests.
868 Then we have an hour per day of what I call "Community Development", with topics that contribute to personal growth, family affairs and more.
869 Of course, by being Latino's we have to have our music. Then we will ahead into that precisely. Salsa, Meringue, Cumbia, Cuban Jazz, Mariachi and many other styles will be featured from 11 o'clock to midnight. We will have an in-show feature each night on one of the many styles. And of course when we have a Canadian Latino release of whatever style, it could be Oscar Lopez with Flamenco from Manitoba, Nelly Furtado from Toronto, or my good friend Alex Cuba from Vancouver, we will feature that as well.
870 MS BROOKS: Much like the Eastern Europeans, the Caribbean and African numbers at first glance are misleading. There are many people from many countries with even more mother tongues. Not one community is large enough to sustain service on its own. But we have a lot in common. All of us come from a common experience of colonialism, racial differentiation and the feeling of coming from the tropics to a cold land.
871 While many of the communities have their own organizations, they also have coalitions to give voice to similar preoccupations, schooling, policing, keeping pride in our heritage, while adapting to a new country. Many of these concerns are common across groups and we often ally with others, particularly in the Ethno-Cultural Council.
872 To echo what the others have said, our weekly programs will provide a wide range of news and public affairs programming. But life is not only about developing understanding; it is also about having fun. If Alex thinks that Latino music is diverse, wait until he has heard all of the different music from the Caribbean with Ska, Calypso, Soca and Reggae, to mention but a few, and from Africa with more music styles than there are countries, music genres such as JuJu, Fuji, Afrobeat, Makossa and Highlife and many, many more.
873 MS HAMDAN: The Arabic speaking community of Calgary includes people from many countries. The largest communities are Lebanese and Egyptian. Many people may think that all Arabs are Muslims. However, we have a strong Christian minority, communities from back home who coexist with Muslims here in Calgary.
874 We are a very young community. As a matter of fact, the 2006 Census shows that one-third of us are under the age of 15, and that's the largest of any visible minority group in Calgary.
875 So our Arabic programming team is probably the youngest group at Mosaic FM. Khalil and Soumaya and I are all young and we are all fluently bilingual. I also speak Greek since I was born and raised in Athens prior to coming to Canada.
876 We want to be a reflection of the true nature of Arabic culture and not the stereotype in the media. So our program will be a mix of news, community events, mosaic features, music, poetry and discussion of the arts. We will reach out to the community organizations and to cultural groups. For example, the Arabic Film Festival in Calgary is becoming an important cultural institution so we will be seeking content from them.
877 You heard from Alex and from Phima how great their music is, and no doubt it is, but we Arabs know how to have a great time, too, so we will be bringing out the best of Arab music, from back home and from Arab Canadian artists as well.
878 MR. FLEMING: We have proposed an annual contribution of $50,000 above and beyond the regulatory requirement for Canadian Content Development. It is made up of four components each year:
879 $10,000 to FACTOR, or $70,000 over the term of the licence;
880 $5,000 in broadcast journalism scholarships at Mount Royal University;
881 $5,000 to the Raga Mala Music Society for scholarships to those studying Indian traditional music; and
882 $30,000 for an annual multicultural music festival, or $210,000 over the term of the licence.
883 Initially we thought that we would have to use a portion of the money we have allocated to pay for the infrastructure, but then we met Jennifer Rempel of the Calgary Multicultural Arts Society. The Society, a not-for-profit group, runs a number of festivals in Calgary and Red Deer. Jennifer outlined to us both the process and expense in putting together these types of events.
884 They have made a proposal to us that they develop a free Multicultural Festival and make our free concert the central focus of the event. This way all of our money can go to the artists.
885 We will issue a call for demos from artists from the multicultural community, promoting the opportunity on-air. We will select a representative from every community possible and we will find a well-known Canadian ethnic performer to anchor the event and provide 10 performers exposure at the event. A judging panel will pick the top three performers who will win a range of prizes, the most important of which will be recording time in a local studio.
886 Now, to sum up, here is Suki again.
887 MR. BADH: Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission, Calgary is a unique market, unlike any other in the country. It has a great economic future with no PST and a favourable tax structure.
888 Calgary has become a city of newcomers. These newcomers come from all over Canada, from Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario to the east and from B.C. to the west, and from around the world.
889 Calgary attracts visible minorities and other ethnic population, not only from their home countries, but also from their first cities of arrival in Canada. The ethnic population here is diversified and the City has had the foresight to give itself institutions that aim at integrating new arrivals. Just one example, the Calgary Police Service has had a Diversity Resource team for over 20 years, with a dozen liaison officers, many of whom are bilingual or even multilingual.
890 This diversity can also benefit Calgary because of the connections that ethnic residents have with developing economies around the world. In an era of freer trade, when the Prime Minister recognizes the need to diversity our markets, having residents who are at ease in other cultures is a strategic asset.
891 This diversity has fuelled an expansion in culture as well. There are hybrid musical groups throughout the city, including a Vietnamese world beat fusion artist, a Greek folk dancing troupe with people of many backgrounds, a Ukrainian-Arabic dancing group and many other fusions of culture.
892 Radio here does not reflect this diversity. There are multiple varieties of Hit, Rock, Adult Contemporary and Spoken Word formats here, but only one single ethnic station -- that does a good job, but cannot be expected to serve all of the communities in the city.
893 Calgary's ethnic communities are unique as well, they do not need a copy of ethnic stations from elsewhere. There are too many communities here that are growing, with about one quarter of the population in 2006 reporting that they were from a visible minority. All of these communities deserve service and not token service.
894 We have presented an application based on a truly broad based coalition of programs -- not a South Asian station, although this is where we will make our bread and butter -- but a single station with multiple groups. We are also very focussed on providing programming to the communities that will help them understand Calgary, Alberta and Canada; that will address their commonalities with each other rather than their differences; that will provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange; and that will provide high quality information, discussion and entertainment.
895 Mr. Chair, Commissioners, we believe that we more than adequately meet your evaluation criteria with an application with a strong business plan, with a strong emphasis on local reflection, a new editorial voice, strong Canadian content and meaningful Canadian content development. We also meet and exceed the requirements of the ethnic policy.
896 Thank you for your attention. We welcome your questions.
897 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
898 Commissioner Menzies will be the first to address you questions.
899 My only question is: Why do you have to rub it in that you have this favourable tax structure to all us easterners that just got off --
900 MR. BADH: I'm sorry, I can't help it, I'm an economist.
901 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and your PST.
902 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks again.
903 Commissioner Menzies...?
904 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: In the charts that you showed us, what was the definition for ethnic that you were using? I was guessing from stats I had previously seen that it had to do with mother tongue in terms of language?
905 MR. BADH: Yes, mother tongue is one of them, but I have nieces and nephews that are Canadian born, they wear turbans and so forth, do not speak the language as well, but they do communicate in -- so it's not just speech, it's not just the origins, it goes a little bit beyond the 3 Ds as they say, dance, dress and dinner. We go beyond that.
906 And in addition to this, I would like to ask, actually, Debra to address the definition, because Debra McLaughlin did most of our research.
907 MS McLAUGHLIN: Those charts were constructed on mother tongue, so it's non-official mother tongue.
908 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, okay. Thank you. That's what I was guessing.
909 For your enterprise here, what business sectors would be the primary sources of revenue for your programming. To make it easier, your primary programming in Punjabi. What would you be working on, real estate, automotive, food? What would be the primary advertisers?
910 MR. BADH: Here I'm going to ask both Alej and Marek to jump in, but before I get into that -- and Gursharan can jump in as well, because Gursharan has been doing Calgary. He has done Calgary and he is currently operating in Edmonton.
911 The South Asian community is diverse, right. At one time I guess we could be labelled as labourers, farm workers, et cetera, but nowadays -- I mean look at me for example, I'm an immigrant. I'm an economist. There are other people who are lawyers, doctors, dentists. We at one time used to shop at one ethnic grocery store, now there are multiple grocery stores. Rather than perhaps going to Safeway we will go to Fruiticana -- who, by the way, gave me a letter of intervention in support for advertising.
912 We have our own flour brand Sher Atta, it's sort of becoming a national advertiser; we have insurance companies; we have service sector as well; high tech areas, computer, laptop. It's almost as diverse as mainstream. Actually, it is as diverse as main community.
913 Alej can speak for the Latino group as well.
915 MR. PINZON: Yes. Well, speaking the same language is just a strategic advantage for any business. If you are a dentist and you open a clinic here in Calgary, of course you want to capture that market. It's your own people, you can call it that way, it's your own language. However, the main source of business is all the population in Calgary.
916 There is a wide variety of businesses in my community for example, Latino, there is bakeries, there is dentists, there is lawyers, there is, I don't know, 13 different realtors that want to cater not only to our group as Latinos, but other ethnic groups and the mainstream.
917 I have, on the other side, a lot of big companies here in Canada approaching me saying, "We want to reach different communities, how can we cater your Latin community being the second biggest here in Calgary and other communities?" When I present them with a plan that is limited to one hour per day on weekdays, that is worthless for them and that limits my ability to sell. So being able to open both markets either way, it's a huge advantage for us as an ethnic station as it is.
918 MR. DOMARADZKI: I really like not the brokerage system which Mosaic presents. I have been having a Polish language program one hour per week for the last almost 19 years, so selling one hour to the one group makes sales very limited. I have been approached by a number of potential commercial givers why not more.
919 So the audience is interested in the product -- and I mentioned sausages, but not only delis I'm talking about, there are a number of, let's say, Polish speaking and English speaking chiropractors, dentists lawyers and real estate agents that might be interested to buy the product, but product which is broadcasted through the number of hours, not one hour per week. They do not want to be limited to the one hour audience only.
920 So this is, from my point of view, the answer to your questions, Mr. Commissioner.
921 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Just let me try again because I'm not sure -- I got an answer, I didn't really get an answer. Maybe I didn't explain myself properly.
922 What I was after was, would it be your primary -- when you are charting your revenue and building your business, what I heard was small business would be the answer from what's there, but I want to just confirm that because I can find a car dealership up the street here and somebody will be -- there will be a salesman there who can speak Punjabi or perhaps a Chinese dialect to sell me the car, and I might not find that salesman in a different part of the city.
923 Is automotive, for instance, a revenue stream that you would tap into? Is real estate or realtors for listings, even though they are technically small businesses, or food stores?
924 What would be your majors? Or is just more or less like a community small business professionals, immigration consultants, that sort of thing?
925 MR. BADH: The answer is yes to all of those comments that you made.
926 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That was a better answer than the first one.
927 MR. BADH: Thank you.
928 You know what, I mean here I will go one step beyond, and that is is you -- Commissioner Simpson earlier said that Vancouver is almost 50 percent ethnic, if not more; Calgary is 25 percent. You know what, the mainstream national retailers have also realized there is 50 percent of the market in Vancouver, 25 percent of the market in Calgary that they are not reaching, all right.
929 So we will get those. National sales haven't arrived yet, but at the same time we have 250,000 ethnics that can sustain all sorts of business. We have retail, we have financial, we have automotive we have food restaurants, insurance, real estate.
930 So the answer is yes to your question.
931 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you for confirming that I was correct.
932 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One of the features we look for in licensing is the local nature of broadcasting so please help me understand the role of your news freelancers in India and Pakistan and elsewhere. How will they be contributing to local broadcasting in Calgary?
933 MR. BADH: If I understand your question, Commissioner, with respect to local and live, our application, we have stated that 100 percent of our programming and 100 percent of our news -- sorry.
934 Was your question with respect to news or programming?
935 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, I wanted to know the role that the freelancers in Pakistan and India would play. Like I'm familiar with trends in media and there are online newspapers you would call them, or newspapers period these days who ship work offshore because you can get freelancers in Manila, you can get them in Poland -- Manila, the Philippines and India are very popular because of the high Anglophone or English-speaking populations who will do work much cheaper, so you simply e-mail them a press release from the Calgary Police Service, they rewrite it and send it back.
936 Is that how it works or how is this working?
937 MR. BADH: I will start off by an example in terms of how we treat local content or international.
938 Right now there is an election going on in Punjab. Well, you say, "You know what, yeah, Canada has something to do with it in terms of its concern", but what we will do is we will localize the international news. How do we do that? Well, you know, there is tremendous -- as Gursharan Buttar will tell you, there is tremendous interest in elections in India but, you know, what, there are South Asians living here that are experts on that. How does that affect Calgary? How does non-resident Indian living in Canada, all right, what's happening in India?
939 So in other words, what I'm trying to say is, we will localize the national and we will always lead with local news.
940 Does that answer your question?
941 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No.
942 MR. BADH: All right.
943 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I mean it answered a question --
944 MR. BADH: Okay.
945 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- but it was really about the role of the freelancers. You have two full-time and two part-time people in Calgary was my understanding, plus you are going to use freelancers in India and Pakistan. Later in your written submission there is a reference to using them elsewhere, too, perhaps Poland or someplace else.
946 What do they do? Because they are subscribing to AP and CP so you have national and international feeds.
947 MR BADH: Yes.
948 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What do those people do? Do they provide more local content for here?
949 MR. BADH: They will provide Indian content with a local angle to it.
950 As I mentioned, let's say party "X" gets elected in Punjab and they have a platform with respect to real estate ownership, they will give us that and then we will get an expert of Indian Affairs from Calgary and we will talk with that individual. So we will use the report -- live is always better -- and I'm going to actually ask Alej to explain a little bit further how it would work in the Latino community.
951 MR. PINZON: I have been doing radio for eight years here, and we are definitely not CNN, so we cannot have Anderson Cooper flying to wherever the events are happening.
952 What we mean by freelancer is local people, local journalists, sometimes students.
953 For example, in Peru, five years ago they had an earthquake, and I called the university there and they put me in contact with a student of journalism, and as a freelancer he was on the air, reporting what was happening in the streets of these little towns that were affected by the earthquake.
954 That way we can have someone there, letting people know what is happening, and that link is very important because it brings a sense of what is going on there.
955 That is our freelance concept.
956 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So your foreign freelancers are people who are filing foreign news uniquely to you.
957 MR. PINZON: They would be providing news from the place --
958 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: They are not part of the local news production team.
959 MR. PINZON: No.
960 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, good. I just wanted to be clear on that, because modern media trends are -- many media use that now, offshore freelancers, because they are a lot cheaper.
961 How do you intend to design your programming?
962 You said that you will try to design your programming so that it's not going in the same language up against Fairchild currently. How would you design that, and why would you choose to not go head on and compete?
963 MR. BADH: As we indicated earlier, there are about 16 stations -- 18 -- serving 750, and one serving 250,000.
964 So, clearly, there is room in the market for two.
965 Secondly, I think that Fairchild's model is a little bit different from ours, and Fairchild's objectives are a little bit different from ours.
966 I think that Fairchild does a good job in terms of serving Eastern Asians, and our model is serving South Asians.
967 I think the other thing is, most of the hours that Fairchild has allocated are sort of non-prime times, and we are offering prime times, because the second-fastest growing community in terms of ethnics is the South Asian community, and they are able to handle prime time.
968 I am going to ask Peter to comment on this briefly, as well.
969 MR. FLEMING: When we looked at Fairchild's schedule when we were designing our own, what we thought was: Why would we ask the Polish community to have to choose between one of two hours at the same time? Why couldn't we actually grow the market, so that they would have more programming choices?
970 If, when we are running Polish, Fairchild is carrying Spanish, it is not really a threat to us, and it's not a threat to them, and what we are hoping to do is expand the amount of service available in the market.
971 So we deliberately -- and, by the way, we also took into account the ethnic programs on SJSW, the student station, which has a number of specific ethnic programs.
972 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
973 Just to clarify it further, then, how would you effectively see the market, the advertising or the revenue market, growing to meet that, as opposed to splitting an existing market?
974 MR. BADH: As Alex mentioned and Marek mentioned, they are simply not getting enough hours right now, and there is a demand for more. The South Asian community has arrived. The Eastern European community has arrived.
975 I think that we can grow the market, and, as they say, a rising tide raises all ships.
976 In addition, with the Mosaic vision, if these producers -- and our station is allowed to sell across the station, rather than just selling to 10,000 individuals or 2,000 individuals for one community, under the Mosaic vision we will be able to sell entirely across the board.
977 As Alex has also mentioned, he has problems fitting in advertisers over there. For example, he has one hour, and he has two realtors, and he says that he can get two more.
978 So there is room there.
979 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
980 How would the transfer of revenue -- you made reference in your written submission from your SCMOs that there would be a transfer of revenue from them. How would that take place?
981 MR. BADH: In markets where the South Asian community -- the three SCMOs are predominantly South Asian community services. Actually 100 percent is South Asian community services.
982 In other markets, such as Toronto and Vancouver, where there were SCMOs before, over-the-air FMs or AMs -- after the over-the-air radio stations were licensed, they did attract a significant amount of advertisers on over-the-air FMs.
983 The SCMOs then eventually developed a new niche, or some sort of a different way of programming, for their survival, and I think that, at the end of the day, the SCMOs -- the signal isn't as strong --
984 Excuse me for a second.
985 Actually, Gursharan does operate an SCMO, so perhaps he is in a better position to answer.
986 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Thank you very much.
987 Actually, I am running an SCMO in Edmonton. In the South Asian community we have three SCMOs in Edmonton, similar to Calgary.
988 On Rogers 101.7 right now, 16 hours, Punjabi and Hindi predominantly, have been running for the last three and a half years.
989 Did it affect us? Yes, it did. But there are two or three layers of different revenues, and listenership and the market that exist in the South Asian community.
990 We have found a new way of operating SCMOs. They are all operating, all profitably, even until today. It just affected us in the beginning; then we found a whole new market.
991 I can explain, if you will allow me, sir.
992 Mainstream, there are more national advertisers, and the bigger advertisers, like Bell Canada or Rogers or Wind Mobile or Air Canada or Air India, are big dealerships. But there are smaller, you know, like, business interests in the community that cannot afford to go onto, you know, like an FM station or an open-air station, because it costs more.
993 And in Edmonton and Calgary right now, there are 16 newspapers in Punjabi alone, running into both communities, and they all have pages filled with advertisements. That is the growth, that is the strength that the community has to support on-air stations, with the help of national advertisers, and the smaller group -- the newcomers and the smaller businesses, like a small restaurant or a small grocery store or a small clothing store or a small -- you know, like, any beauticians, they cannot afford to go to open air, so they keep running their ads and their messages through the SCMOs.
994 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Mr. Badh, I need to get one thing for the record. I notice that in your written submission you made reference to what I took to be a public appointment that you held with a committee shared with the Heritage Department and the Minister of Public Safety and that sort of stuff.
995 Are we clear on that?
996 I am not familiar with the nature of that public appointment, but I just want to make sure that, for the record, that is not something that is managed under the Conflict of Interest Act, in terms of holding a public licence or applying for a public licence and having a public appointment.
997 MR. BADH: Thank you. I think, on that one, I would like to pass it on to our legal advisor, Guy Giorno.
998 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I thought he might know.
999 MR. BADH: Oh, I'm sorry.
1000 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It's a private appointment, not a public one?
1001 MR. BADH: Oh, my appointment, it was, actually, a one-time, three-department appointment -- Heritage, Public Safety and National --
1002 Let me get this straight.
1003 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I think it was security.
1004 MR. BADH: It is on national security. It's Border Security, Public Service --
1005 The three departments again --
1006 Let me back up a bit.
1007 Heritage, Public Safety and Justice. Thank you.
1008 It was an appointment that -- I have been sitting on the Roundtable on National Security for the past four years. I don't think it's a conflict. I don't follow the question.
1009 MR. GIORNO: Thank you. Suki, I will jump in now.
1010 The appointment described by Mr. Badh is not an appointment by Cabinet and does not make him either a public office holder or a reporting public office holder under the Conflict of Interest Act.
1011 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you, that's what I needed to know.
1012 Generally, in an ethnic station like this, how much competition do you get -- how much market fragmentation do you get from foreign internet-based radio?
1013 You know, you can walk into many stores or businesses in Calgary and there will be a radio station playing, but it's something over the internet, and it might be a radio station from Beirut, it might be a radio station from Bangalore or Manila or something like that. There are a lot of people in the immigrant population that like to get news and music from home.
1014 How big a feature is that for you competitively, in terms of getting those people to listen to you, rather than to the station from home?
1015 MR. BADH: I think that if you put something on the air, you will always find a listener or two. I think for radio to be effective it has to be local. It has to be in the community, by the community, and serve the community that it intends to.
1016 I am going to actually ask Alex to jump in, because he has some experience in that, as well.
1017 MR. PINZON: Thanks a lot.
1018 The idea of an ethnic station is not to bring music or entertainment or news from the countries that we have left as immigrants. For that, Mr. Commissioner, you are right -- and that was a strong point that I was making when we were putting together our application -- for that we have the internet nowadays. There are thousands of sources if I want to know what happened in Mexico or in Colombia, my own country.
1019 No, we are trying to facilitate the transition of a newcomer to a new Canadian.
1020 It's funny, we all call immigrants new Canadians, but we don't truly become new Canadians until we adapt to our society. That is when we jump in.
1021 For example, there is not a single source of Spanish local Calgary news here in Calgary. So for a newcomer -- and I know that we will have to learn English eventually, but if I am in that transition, I have no access to Spanish news to know what the mayor said yesterday at City Council.
1022 That is what we want to do. We want to facilitate or accelerate that process of becoming a new Canadian from a newcomer. It is to localize our news, localize our content, and have a coherent message as a station for all immigrants.
1023 It's not about bringing content from the international arena.
1024 MR. BADH: I would like to actually ask Debra to comment on this, as well.
1025 MS McLAUGHLIN: When we did the measurement of the market, we actually had an open-ended question to ask people exactly what they were listening to currently, and we did get some internet stations recorded, but it only amounted to 2.2 percent of the people who said they would probably listen to the station. So it was relatively low at that time.
1026 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
1027 What would be your features, particularly because your emphasis is on South Asia, in dealing with generational transitional issues? What sort of programming or talk will you feature in terms of that, because, as with all newcomers, sooner or later -- parents grow up with one set of values from where they come from, and their children adopt another set of values. Even if they are all growing up in the same city it happens, but particularly between cultures.
1028 What sort of role do you see this station playing in that?
1029 MR. BADH: Before I get Jas and perhaps Sharn to jump in on this, the whole concept of Mosaic is building bridges, is integration, whether it's across cultures or whether it's across generations.
1030 We have a number of features which Jas can elaborate on.
1031 Jas, would you like to elaborate on that?
1032 MS GILL: Definitely.
1033 With the integration portion, we have a feature called "Mosaic Moment". The complicated thing is, you are asking how this is all going to fit together in the station.
1034 "Mosaic Moment" will be -- for example, there are more people in the world with smartphones than toothbrushes right now. That's an actual fact of Digital Buzz.
1035 What we are going to do with that, to make sure that every single program and every single language receives this information, just on that one segment, would be that we would be running, like, 15 to 30-second spots in every language. So that each programmer would come in and re-voice it -- take the English and re-voice it.
1036 We are going to have that computer called "Mosaic Share", which is going to have all of this information in it, so that each programmer can go and take it and put it into their native language.
1037 "Mosaic Word of the Day" is something that is also going to be across every single program that we are going to run. So every single language is going to cover it.
1038 "Mosaic Word of the Day" also teaches English. As Alex was saying, there is no local content, so learning English -- yes, we have to do that one day.
1039 Again, with that, we are going to run a 60-second spot throughout all of the programs every day, and we are going to cover it -- so it's about 60 minutes a week, and we are going to share that information.
1040 Going deeper into that Mosaic topic of the day, it gets a little more complicated, but this is where we are going to kind of dive into a topic such as report cards, as we mentioned in our opening remarks. It could be something like that. It is going to be in English in the main cross-cultural portion, but, yes, how are we going to translate that to other programs? We are going to take snippets of it -- 5 minutes, 10 minutes -- in English, and then each programmer is going to translate that 5 minutes into 5 minutes of their own language.
1041 So Alex, before he starts his program, is going to do about an hour's worth of prep, where he comes in and takes this information from "Mosaic Share", translates that information into Latin, so that when he prepares it, his audience actually knows what we covered in that program.
1042 Then, again, also reinforcing, once people's English gets better, they can also jump into that cross-cultural women's program and take part further.
1043 Or, if they have a hard time listening to it in English, and they want to listen to it slower, all of the programs will be available on our website, in an audio vault, so you can listen to it again.
1044 "Mosaic on Your Side" is something where we are going to go into more in-depth kind of investigative reporting. Again, it's a similar concept. We are going to have an in-depth part where we cover it in English for 30 minutes in our cross-cultural program, the noon-hour program, but in-depth we are going to do snippets again. We are going to have 5-minute and 10-minute snippets in every other program, kind of reinforcing that information in other languages, so making sure that all of the key components of being a newcomer to Calgary, you have all of the information. You have it in your native language, which all programmers are going to translate, and we are going to have it available on our website.
1045 Social media plays a huge role in this -- making sure we are tweeting it out, making sure it's on our Facebook page.
1046 Again, on Facebook, all of our programmers -- like a Punjabi programmer can actually type in Gurmukhi. So, if someone doesn't want to read it in English, they can read it in Punjabi. There is a Google translation that we can put up on our website.
1047 Most of the languages will be covered; not every single one, but that is also --
1048 If you want me to go further, I have a lot more information.
1049 MR. BADH: For the generational gap, Commissioner, we have a cross-cultural program on youth, as well, which fits into our cross-cultural theme. Sharn can address the youth programming.
1050 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: Thank you.
1051 What we have done to approach this question is actually a two-pronged approach. It is why and how.
1052 We are not only targeting the newly immigrated youth that have recently come to Canada, but also the first generational youth who are dealing with issues of their own, issues such as the fact that our language skills in English are better than our parents'. The parent-child role has reversed, in essence, where we are looked to by them to help them in dealing with daily issues.
1053 What we are trying to do is attempting to create a hub, where we can have all people from different backgrounds, different scenarios, come together to share their problems and have solutions given to them from people who have gone through what they have gone through.
1054 At times we don't have anybody, an older cousin or an older friend, to look toward, so they can approach us through social media. That is going to be a large supportive tool of ours.
1055 Now, how. What we have done is, that segment -- the program we have, the cross-cultural program on Saturdays, we have split that into three segments. Now, the first show will be entirely on updates of what is happening in the city, which is more relevant to the youth.
1056 Now, if I were to approach the program this week, I would approach the Ecstasy problem that has been reported quite heavily in Calgary. It would be a great educational tool, as well as an enlightening tool.
1057 New CD releases, what new bands are coming to Calgary, what is happening in the movies -- all cross-cultural aspects of them.
1058 The second segment will focus on a system where we will have one of our trained hosts working on this program with a co-host from a different culture, sort of a guest co-host.
1059 Now, what we will do for the second segment is look at that co-host's culture, look at, for example, the Yoruba youth, what is going on in the city in their community, and what their culture is all about, to help educate the youth out there on each other's cultures, because we go to school together, we deal with each other, and we don't have a lot of the knowledge that we should about one another.
1060 The last hour will be a lot more serious, a bit more serious actually. Throughout the week we will ask our audience to send us tweets, Facebook messages, SMSs, with issues that they find relevant, that they need information on, or experiences they would like to share.
1061 So for that last part of the segment we will have entirely -- find an expert to discuss the topics that are being discussed -- or have been sent to us in a larger volume.
1062 They will do their research and we will parlay to the youth audience everything we have found, and share experiences.
1063 MR. BADH: Commissioner, if I may, part of our cross-cultural theme -- integration -- the noon-hour show from 12:00 to 1:00 -- the topic of the day that Jas mentioned, the Mosaic topic of the day, that could be a topic itself, whereby we would invite some youth, we would invite some elderly people, and we would ask them what the issues are and where the communication gaps are.
1064 Then, the next day, we would invite some experts, some counsellors perhaps, on how to solve this problem and how to move on.
1065 And then what we will do is, we will take the summaries from that noon-hour show and have snippets of them throughout the day.
1066 That is one way of getting across -- whether it's the generational gap, whether it's the foreign credential recognition, et cetera. So that would probably fit very nicely into the topic of the day.
1067 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thanks.
1068 I noted also in your written submission that, in terms of news, you want to do a 40/10/20/30, which I recall as local, regional, national and international percentages. How are you going to do that with two full-time reporters?
1069 Do those reporters file their reports in English, and then each of the programmers translates those stories into the language that they are using, or are the reporters in your primary language, Punjabi, and then they translate it into English and others translate it from there?
1070 MR. BADH: Let me start off with an example of how a station such as Mosaic would work.
1071 I was asked to serve on the Canadian Immigration Task Force, and after a couple of the meetings, OMNI would send their Chinese-Canadian-speaking reporter to interview us, and he would interview me in English.
1072 And then, at the end of the day, he would ask me to provide a snippet in Punjabi, so that they could use it over there.
1073 We are going to use a similar concept. The working language of Mosaic FM will be English. Each reporter will have an additional language. The clip will be made available in English, it will be flagged, and if there is, let's say, a South Asian individual that is coming up and we need to have a Punjabi clip, that will be translated by the Punjabi-speaking person in the news department, and that will be made available on "Mosaic Share" for all of the Punjabi programming, similarly for Latino, similarly for Eastern European, and so forth.
1074 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's a lot of work, is it not?
1075 MS GILL: No, it happens all the time.
1076 If you ask Alex, he is preparing his program right now, and Sharn, you could even ask him, from his experience at SCMO.
1077 Currently, the localized news that Calgarians get is in English, predominantly. There is not enough ethnic service already that just comes out in Punjabi or Spanish, it's all in English. All of it is getting translated somehow.
1078 But, with our reporters, we get to create our own news. With our reporters, we actually get to physically send our reporters out now and get our own clips.
1079 And when we are doing that, we get added value, so it's like the mayor can speak two languages. We can get English and Gujarati. Or, if someone else -- like Suki was saying, his example, if he was being interviewed, we could get a Punjabi clip and an English clip.
1080 So we will have English for sure, and our programmers -- what they do is, they wrap the news. So they can put the clip in if it's very important and wrap it in their native language, so that the information gets out there.
1081 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I understand that. Thanks.
1082 MR. BADH: And I think you are right, Commissioner, it is going to be a lot of work. There is no doubt. I mean, these people will be working.
1083 May I pass this on to Sinela for a second?
1084 MS JURKOVA: I just want to mention something from a journalism perspective, because you said that this is a lot of work. Yes, journalism is a lot of work, it's true.
1085 And this is a dynamic area, where everything can change by the minute. So even if we have translated news, in the next five minutes this news will be changed.
1086 So these people who are on the stage, even freelancers, even part-time or full-time, they should be prepared, and I am sure they are because they are, first, multilingual. All of them have journalism experience and they know what it means to work in dynamic areas like this.
1087 So I don't see the problem in translating. I have been working myself for more than 15 years in different countries reporting in different language, English changing French, German, Russian, so it happens. It happens all over the world.
1088 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just was wondering because anyone with experience with journalists would know is that what you said isn't what always gets reported, and then if it gets translated once or twice, if you miss a word or two, the meaning of the story can change quite a bit.
1089 So I'm not saying that it won't be terribly -- perfectly accurate with you. I just was interested in the challenge you had posed for yourselves.
1090 MR. BADH: If I may add, Commissioner, if you look around the table, on average, I think we speak over three languages each and every one of us. Jas and Sinela are at five, and I think the minimum we have is two.
1091 So this is our team, and it's indicative of what's going to happen with Mosaic.
1092 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: In terms of your sources of Canadian content in music, what will you be doing locally in terms of emerging artists? What have you got in mind specifically for giving opportunities to Calgary and area artists?
1093 MR. BADH: Before I jump into it, I'm going to ask Peter and Sharn to comment on that as well because we've had a lengthy discussion.
1094 There are some groups that are easily attainable, while there's others that are not. Perhaps Sharn, Peter can jump in and give the Commissioner an example of Canadian content with respect to Calgary and Edmonton?
1095 MR. FLEMING: Maybe I'll start, and then I can move on to Sharn.
1096 Sharn's going to tell you, but I'll do it in more detail, the existing SCMO, which is not regulated for Canadian content, does about 15 percent Canadian content per week. So we recognize that there are lesser amounts in various groups, depending on how long they've been there and the nature of their community.
1097 So we will design it to take advantage of the strengths and to try and make sure that we find the minimum in the smaller communities.
1098 One of the ways we will do this is we're going to work --
1099 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry. Just to make sure I understood, you're doing 15 percent now in the SCMOs and --
1100 MR. FLEMING: In the -- in Mr. Badh's --
1101 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But this application is 10.
1102 MR BADH: I'm clear that only --
1103 MR. FLEMING: Understood.
1104 MR. BADH: Not only SCMO.
1105 MR. FLEMING: All I'd say is it's not --
1106 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I think it's -- no, I just think it's really exciting that you can do 15.
1107 MR. FLEMING: And we propose 12, which as you may know, is above the regulatory requirement. And one of the reasons is we feel confident we can -- the south Asian base can provide us.
1108 Other communities also have a significant amount of music, and to reach that, we will probably have to reach across the country. So for example, Alex referred to his friend Alex Kouba(ph) from Vancouver, who provides a variety of things.
1109 One of the things that's also very exciting and is happening more and more here is, in fact, we're getting cross-cultural fusions of music, so we will have, for example, not necessarily in Calgary, but there is a band from Vancouver called "From Delhi to Dublin", so it's a mixture of Irish music and Punjabi music. And we would be looking to feature some of those kinds of shows.
1110 We'll also work with Jennifer. Jennifer runs a number of concerts across the city and in Red Deer. Alex is actually her recording engineer for some of those shows, and we have a lot of -- there's a lot of things we can take from local musicians and use them and put them in features.
1111 Some of the quality is not the same as CD quality, but if you do a feature such as from the festivals, then you can actually feature them and people will suffer through them, just like if you listen to, I don't know, a live album of Peter Frampton. It's not necessarily the same as it was when he was in the studio.
1112 So we think we can do a fair amount by taking that.
1113 And another place we will look for is our multi-cultural concert. We will make a context of it in the sense we will be calling people to send us in CDs and demos.
1114 Again, maybe not the highest quality, but it will create buzz and we'll be able to use that as well against our Canadian content requirement.
1115 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
1116 MR. BADH: Commissioner, I think Sharn can probably test it because not only do the Butchers offer -- operate an SCMO, but they also operate over the air AM station in Wetaskiwin, which they're required to meet that, so it's very much doable.
1117 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
1118 You said your preference is to produce all programming locally in your written submission.
1119 Are you willing to undertake some sort of commitment to that in writing in terms of locally-produced content?
1120 MR. BADH: The answer to your question some sort of commitment, definitely, yes, we are willing to.
1121 Actually, what we've stated is that we're going to be 100 percent --
1122 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Locally produced?
1123 MR. BADH: Yeah. Hang on a sec. Sorry.
1124 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Don't ever say 100.
1125 MR. BADH: Yeah, sorry about that. We're 100 percent live and we're 100 percent local, but having said that, all right, I didn't know because you didn't specify the percentage, but our application says 100 percent and 100 percent.
1126 But having said that, it would be nice to have some flexibility. Why? A number of reasons. Sometimes a host gets sick, sometimes a host is on holidays or, at times, you know what, one of the themes that we found here on this Mosaic team is that we all love soccer, football.
1127 With the Olympics coming up, you know what, we might want to have some Olympic coverage, so it's not necessarily going to be --
1128 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, I understand.
1129 Maybe just give it some thought and come back to us with something like that, if you --
1130 MR. BADH: Okay. Well, I'll give you some --
1131 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I don't want -- no, stop because you'll get yourself in trouble before you think this through.
1132 So give yourself some time to think this through and some back to us with it because we're going to see you again, okay. But I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say.
1133 In terms of co-production, when you mentioned that, I was curious to know how that sounds or how that works. It sort of sounds to me like you produce a program that appeals to advertise -- or you have somebody on salary. They produce a program. They go out and find a sponsor for it, something that will appeal to advertisers, and then they put that program on.
1134 Is that correct? Okay. Tell me how it works.
1135 MR. BADH: How it works is we've definitely moved away from brokerage. Every individual is going to be working for the station.
1136 Now, as Alex had indicated earlier and Marek had indicated earlier, they have greater ability to sell.
1137 The programmers will not be selling. We've got a fully-staffed sales team, a sales manager, and I think there's four in sales.
1138 The advantage is Alex has got a 16-hour show, all right. This would qualify him as a part-timer, so what we'll do is we'll supplement that by putting him in sales as well and making him a full-time employee of Mosaic. So he's got 16 hours and then he can sell the rest of it.
1139 The interesting thing I've discovered about ethnic broadcasting is the ability of on-air talent to sell is far greater than perhaps a salesman, so I think Alex does have business background and perhaps Alex can touch upon that as well.
1140 MR. PINZON: When you sell an hour in radio -- and this is probably my personal opinion, but it's closest to the fact -- you not only lose control on the programming because you sold the hour, but you lose a great opportunity as a radio station, and it's to have a coherent message, to have a united identity, in this case, as an ethnic station.
1141 I think that is an idea appealing to a lot of advertisers here in Canada. Remember, we said it in our initial presentation, 25 percent of the Canadian population -- that's one in every four people in Calgary -- is somehow new here.
1142 It's a huge market, so just as is happening in the Indian programs and in other programs with wider presence in the market, Bell, Air Canada, American Airlines from the States -- I mean, there's a huge market out there for them. They're missing out in 25 percent of the population.
1143 If we have a coherent message, if we have a huge -- a bigger identity as a radio station with, let's say, the topic of the day or the Mosaic feature, we can sell a very successful business product instead of here, my name is Alex, I have one hour every day and would you like to support me by advertising your flights to Mexico. They don't see that as a viable or something enough for them.
1144 Now we have a good product that will give them access to 25 percent of our population.
1145 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, so you're selling to multiple advertisers as opposed to -- like the area that I might wanted to explore with you was how do you avoid a single advertiser influencing the content of the program that you create if you just have one single sponsor/advertiser for a program.
1146 MR. G. BUTTAR: Commissioner, I'm going to ask Peter to jump in here.
1147 MR. FLEMING: One of the reasons, in fact, we want to avoid brokerage is precisely that. We want to sell radio the way that English language or French language radio sells it. We're going to have a sales team that's going to go out, we're going to sell spots in -- across our schedule to the extent that's possible.
1148 It would probably be naïve to expect that all of the Latino people that Alex would be selling to now are going to want to buy out into other groups, but some of them may. And you know, if you've got a bakery selling empanadas and you want to reach, there's other people who would like those empanadas and we can offer them to reach into other communities.
1149 So we actually will have a professional sales team. Some of our producers -- for Example, Marek has said he doesn't really want to be involved in selling, so he wouldn't be doing that. But maybe one or two of our other producers might also take some of their time and be part of our sales team.
1150 And it's really -- we're aiming at making a more professional sales team than sort of a brokerage model.
1151 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
1152 While we were on Hispanic programming, how is your Hispanic program doing to be different than Fairchild's?
1153 MR. PINZON: Currently at Fairchild we have 12 hours of Hispanic programming. Half of those 12 hours is mainly religious. It's Christian. We don't have the opportunity to expand that programming type into news or even more family current affairs.
1154 Not only that, we're very careful in not overlapping our programming at Mosaic with Fairchild, which I think does a great job. But also, the content will be a lot wider.
1155 For example, the hour that I have from 10 to 11 o'clock and midnight which will also be available on our website in our vault for everybody that cannot listen at that time, it's all based in what I call community development, family affairs, how to build a better relationship with your -- if you're not Canadian, how can you learn to establish a better relationship with your children's teachers, for example. How can you approach the law or why the law or the police here is not a threat like it's actually perceived in other countries.
1156 So that component of education will be present in 60 more hours. When I built up my show eight years ago, I researched a little bit with marketing on what Latinos were looking for, and what a big surprise, they wanted to be entertained. They wanted to drive on the Deerfoot Trail and be entertained with music and know what was going on in the charts.
1157 That didn't surprise me as number one. I would have liked to have a news program, but they said no, we have enough news from around the world. Why don't we keep it light, and this is what we need, a little bit more of our culture.
1158 Having the opportunity of expanding that, it's amazing. And the reach -- like just the campaign that we did in 2008, please don't drink and drive -- a lot of young people from a lot of countries in Latin America were drinking and driving. Not because they're bad people. It's because they don't know how bad that can be.
1159 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I understand.
1160 MR. FLEMING: Mr. Menzies, if I could just step in for a second, just one last thing.
1161 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Quickly.
1162 MR. FLEMING: The five hours that you -- that aren't religious on Fairchild are Alex's five hours a week, and so what we were looking for --
1163 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What I was trying to get at was how his five hours would be different than --
1164 MR. FLEMING: So we would encourage him to continue there and, right there, that tends to be a very much more cursory omnibus, so he'd be able to do one thing there.
1165 So we would cross-promote that on both -- on our station and hopefully he'd be able to do it if Fairchild allows him to on the other station.
1166 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, I think I understand that.
1167 I need to know -- because we mentioned religion, it's another good segue -- how much of your programming overall is going to be of a religious nature, a directly religious nature. And what are your plans to meet the balance requirements in those areas?
1168 MR. BADH: Instead of calling our program religious -- I don't think it's going to be religious. It's going to be more spirituality.
1169 And it's 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday, the idea being the morning, it's a spiritual program. It's not an explicitly religious one. There would not be generally religious services but, rather, reflections.
1170 They'd include soothing music, poetry, a little bit of perhaps prayer sessions or readings. Friday morning prayers might be sort of more traditional. Lectures and sermons, none. Solicitation of funds, none.
1171 The programmer will be told what the religious broadcasting policy is, and the programmer will be fully compliant and the station will make sure that happens.
1172 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How? How is the question.
1173 MR. BADH: Well, we'll have a manual, we'll have training. Mr. Fleming is our adviser on regulatory affairs and policy, and we'll make sure that individuals train.
1174 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So he will be the person who's accountable for all this?
1175 MR. BADH: I will be the person that's accountable for all this --
1176 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And he'll be the person who's --
1177 MR. BADH: -- along with --
1178 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: -- responsible for it.
1179 MR. BADH: At the end of the day, the buck stops with myself 70 percent and Butchers 30 percent.
1180 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. How would your community advisory board be structured and what will be its role?
1181 MR. BADH: I'm going to get Hugh to jump in.
1182 The community advisory board is our eyes and ears. For a radio to be successful, not only has it to be local, but it has to reflect.
1183 And what we did was after we filed, Mr. Fleming and I searched long and hard and we came across Dr. Hugh Ngo, who chairs the Ethnocultural Council of Calgary, which represents about 27 different organizations.
1184 And we sat down with Dr. Ngo and we liked his view, and he is -- in conjunction with Calgary Multicultural Centre, he'll be the Chair. He's agreed to do that and we're going to get an individual from CMC, and perhaps you can jump in here.
1185 DR. NGO: Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to address your question.
1186 If you recall, some years ago I met you when you were the editor of the Calgary Herald. And I think at the time, I think you championed on the role of consulting with the diverse communities in how we deal with media.
1187 And I was part of the group that talked with you on that, and I think the reason I'm mentioning it, because that kind of advisory role will continue with this radio station.
1188 I'm very impressed with the large vision of this radio station that you will welcome the opportunity of integration of people from diverse backgrounds, so focusing on immigrants, but people who also engage in civic participation and citizenship.
1189 So that's a very good vision to have as a radio station.
1190 So on the basis of that good vision, the advisory committee will be the conscience of the radio station in asking tougher questions. I think he has been interrogated many times by me about integration and what do you do with the growth of the radio station.
1191 So the -- I hope that the advisory role will involve people from diverse communities, from diverse groups to ask critical questions that help the radio station to truly reflect of the integration and promote civic participation of diverse communities and groups in all arenas, from the arts to politics to socioeconomic integration.
1192 MR. BADH: For me, the groups are going to be chosen from a diverse background. There will be south Asian representative, eastern European, Latino, Afro-Caribbean, Arabic, smaller communities, et cetera, gender balanced, age balanced. And we're not necessarily going to ask the programmers for input in terms of who you get; we're going to select individuals based on their credibility and experience in the community.
1193 And we will pay them an honorarium and we will have forum. We'll meet with the Chair and we'll have a forum where I'll be present, the Butchers will be present, our program director, our news directors will be present. And it's not going to be a pleasant meeting, at times, I'm sure, but we -- that's what we'll do.
1194 And I'm just wondering if Mr. Fleming could care to comment on this.
1195 MR. FLEMING: Actually, I think you've pretty well covered it.
1196 The only thing I would just point out is that the Chair will be -- our founding Chair is Dr. Ngo, and our Vice-Chair will be from the Calgary Multicultural Centre as well. And we will have not only people from each of what we called our founding blocks, if you will, but we will also look for somebody perhaps even communities that we don't serve yet to try and provide us with input.
1197 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I just have two more questions, one quickly for Ms. Brooks.
1198 How do you manage -- how many different groups do you have under your umbrella because I -- the Calgary Caribbean population is vibrant but relatively small, plus you've got new groups such as the Sudanese from Africa and more west Africans than before.
1199 How many language groups are under your umbrella?
1200 MS. BROOKS: Well, as diverse as we are, we have a lot in common. The Sudanese community is actually the largest African community in Calgary. The Nigerian community is actually large as well, but we do have one big thing in common, and that is the pidgin English.
1201 And the pidgin English is very similar to the Caribbean patois where especially the west African countries, they speak -- they understand pidgin English and they can -- and they also understand English, of course.
1202 So basically, because they share a lot as well as food and manner of speaking and understanding each other, I think you can integrate the Afro-Caribbean community together to understand the language on the air and to be able to tune in and be a part of the discussions.
1203 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
1204 Okay. The last question is in your business plan, you put down a -- right from year one a 3.9 percent market share. And is that of the total market, or is that of a sub-set of the market because it seems if the answer is that it's of the total market, it seems ambitious to me.
1205 MR. BADH: You know what, the more qualified person, expert who's done the research, I'm going to call upon her.
1207 MS. McLAUGHLIN: What we did was in the research we collected the average hours of tuning to each of the groups. And we've calculated that share as a portion of the total market.
1208 And when we look at -- there's BBM data that is published and then BBM data that isn't published. When we look at it, it's not that far off the mark.
1209 Is it ambitious? I don't think so. I mean, it -- you really don't have a perspective on that because BBM has never collected it. And PPMs will likely never collect it because of the method by which they do it.
1210 But if you simply look at the -- we have the entire market. We have the non-ethnic and ethnic markets, and that's an appropriate share based on the hours of tuning that they reported to us.
1211 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So that's of the -- because the ratings we usually look at, the top-rated station in the city will still be something like 9.7 or something like that.
1212 MS. McLAUGHLIN: That's right, but --
1213 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But that's the official, and you're saying there's a secret BBM data that --
1214 MS. McLAUGHLIN: Secret, I don't think I used that word.
1215 What there is, is there's published data that is collected and published on the stations that pay the fee, and then there's a broader view of that data.
1216 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: There's the numbers we get and then the numbers they use to sell. Is that right?
1217 MS. McLAUGHLIN: All right. We'll go with that.
1218 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
1219 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Menzies.
1220 I think Mr. Menzies was quite thorough in his questions and hasn't left anything else on the table for us to chew away it. And given that it's -- we're well into empanada time, also known as lunch time, we'll call it quits there.
1221 Mme Letourneau, est-ce qu'il y a des engagements, or are we good?
1222 MS. LETOURNEAU: There is one undertaking. The Commission expects the applicant to come back in Phase 4 with a commitment from local programming. Thank you.
1223 MR. BADH: We will. Thank you.
1224 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1225 We will continue at 2:30 with Multicultural Broadcasting. And they will be followed by Punjabi.
1226 THE SECRETARY: That's correct.
1227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
--- Upon recessing at 1310
--- Upon resuming at 1432
1228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and for the slight change of time.
1229 Madam Ventura.
1230 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1231 We will now proceed with Item 4 on the Agenda which is an application by Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Calgary.
1232 The new station would operate on frequency 106.7 MHz (channel 294B) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,100 watts (maximum ERP of 8,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 236 metres).
1233 Appearing for the applicant is Bejoy Samuel. Please introduce your colleagues. After which you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
1234 Thank you.
1235 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you. Good afternoon.
1236 I am Bejoy Samuel, General Manager RED FM.
1237 Thank you for giving us this opportunity to highlight a very important unmet need in Calgary.
1238 Before I introduce our team and begin our presentation, may I say that we are very excited to be here because our vision is to serve the ethnic communities across western Canada with great local radio stations.
1239 We have appeared before the Commission in 2008 for a licence in Edmonton and here we are again, all excited that we are a step closer to our vision.
1240 Along with me on my left is our legal counsel, Mark Lewis, from Lewis Birnberg Hanet.
1241 On my right is President of Red FM, Kulwinder Sanghera.
1242 Sitting besides him is Pooja Sekhon, our Vancouver news reporter and talk show host.
1243 Besides Pooja is Harjinder Thind, our Vancouver news director and talk show host.
1244 In the second row our Calgary music show host is Gurverinder Dhaliwal.
1245 Sitting next to Gurverinder is Anna Jun. Anna is the Calgary Korean producer and also the president of Calgary Korean Women's Association.
1246 Beside Anna is Almin. Almin is from StyleLabs, the company that has done three focus groups for us.
1247 Beside Almin is Kerry Wicks from Mediastats Information Services which did the consumer survey and the business survey.
1248 And beside Kerry is Jim Moltner, our engineering consultant from Teknyx.
1249 Now, I would like to begin our presentation.
1250 Today in our presentation we'll be looking at two main questions: Is there a need for an ethnic radio station in Calgary? And what are the strengths of RED FM?
1251 To answer the first question let's look at four points: Population facts, imbalance in Calgary's radio availability, the business case and the expectation.
1252 Over the years there has been tremendous growth in Calgary's visible minority population but we have to rely on outdated census from 2006 to quantify this growth.
1253 Between 2001 and 2006, the visible minority population had increased by 43 percent and, in 2006 nearly one in four belonged to a visible minority group.
1254 The largest were the Chinese with 66,400 people, South Asians with 57,700 people and Filipinos with 25,565 people respectively.
1255 Because this historical census data does not reflect the current population profile of Calgary, RED FM retained Stats Canada to produce three separate population projections for 2016, which is approximately mid-way through the first license term. Even in the most conservative projection, the South Asian population will almost double and surpass the Chinese population (to range between 106,000 and 114,000). The Filipino population will range between 42,000 and 45,000.
1256 This increase in population is also increasing the distinct needs of ethnic groups. CRTC has been fulfilling the needs of ethnic groups by licensing ethnic stations across Canada and here we are today in Calgary addressing the need for an ethnic station in Calgary.
1257 In Calgary there are 18 commercial radio stations serving the needs of 832,405 people who are not a visible minority, in a way one radio station for every 46,000 people. And then there is Fairchild, an ethnic FM station that predominantly caters to the Chinese population.
1258 Although the South Asian population is almost equal to the Chinese population, yet it does not have a fulltime radio service catering to its needs. It's like there are two siblings of almost same age; one gets all the love, attention and necessary things to be happy, whereas the other gets very little and has many unmet needs.
1259 The evident need is for an ethnic radio station catering to South Asians and other underserved communities.
1260 And here's the best part, this need is supported by a very strong business case. Hundreds of local businesses have demonstrated their support to the ethnic radio applicants during the interventions phase.
1261 During the research interviews conducted by StyleLabs, 90 percent of the advertising agencies believed that there is a deficiency in tools and media available to effectively reach Calgary's South Asian market.
1262 100 percent of these respondents stated that a radio solution would remedy part, if not most, of this requirement.
1263 An interesting fact to highlight is that if you were to analyze which format gets the highest support from members of the public who have written to the Commission in this licensing process, the clear winner is an ethnic station.
1264 Many ethnic communities are excited with the expectation that finally there could be a radio station for them. May we present to you a video to illustrate the benefits of an ethnic station and the community involvement it can facilitate?
--- Video Presentation
1265 MR. SANGHERA: Now this brings us to the next us to the next big question: What are the strengths of RED FM?
1266 Our unique strengths include our vision, experience, extensive research, robust business plan, attractive local programming plan; result-oriented CCD plan. This is reflected in quality of application, market impact, competitive state of the market, diversity of voices.
1267 Since 1992, we have been serving Calgary through our national TV program "Des Pardes" with advertisers located in Calgary music and film distribution and live concerts.
1268 According to several surveys conducted by BBM Analytics over the last five years, RED FM Vancouver has consistently sustained its leadership position in serving the South Asian community. In 2011, RED FM had 82 percent weekly reach and 51 percent daily reach. Based on our experience and our programming strategy, we are very confident that we can operate a successful radio station in Calgary.
1269 RED FM proposes an attractive and a well-designed programming plan that is focused on local programming and engages 23 ethnic groups in 19 languages.
1270 Our core audience, South Asian community; secondary audience, Filipino, Arabic & Vietnamese; tertiary audience, 11 ethnic groups in nine languages.
1271 Based on our experience, we not only picked the largest underserved mother tongue languages but also have proposed service to a maximum number of groups as possible thereby fulfilling the broad service requirement and objectives of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy.
1272 Local Programming Commitments and Benefits: RED FM has established its brand as a local radio station in Vancouver. We are committed on operating a very local radio station in Calgary as well.
1273 Our conditions of license on a weekly basis will include: 100 percent ethnic programming, 95 percent local programming at a minimum; and a minimum of 90 percent third-language programming.
1274 MS JUN: We have extensively researched the distinct and the diverse needs of our target audience. Often important information that an English language radio station may be disseminating will not reach the majority of the ethnic population.
1275 Every respondent to the focus groups conducted by StyleLabs put high emphasis on the importance of cultural retention and a strong intent on passing it on to their children. According to the Mediastats consumer survey, satisfaction is quite low regarding how cultural needs are being met by current radio offerings.
1276 MR. THIND: We propose to offer a "full service" radio format which provides a wide variety of information and entertainment through talk shows, music shows, hourly news, regular traffic reports, weather updates, business reports and special features.
1277 The guiding philosophy of our talk shows will be to inform, inspire, educate and empower our listeners.
1278 n our current affairs talk show we will not only inform on the latest local and national developments but will also discuss the story behind the news story with experts. We will discuss topics like government's initiatives on healthcare and job creation, by-law changes that are needed.
1279 This talk show will be an interactive forum for the people to voice their opinions and we will regularly invite important guests like elected city councillors, mayor and police officers to directly talk to our listeners and be aware of their problems.
1280 With our women's talk show, women will have a soul mate that listens and understands their needs, a voice that will raise their issues that otherwise might be overlooked. Topics like, you know, early signs of domestic violence and how to encourage family friendly workplace.
1281 This show will connect listeners with social service and other local resources available. In our open line talk show, "The Great Debate" we will encourage listeners to debate on many topics. The point of this show is that one host takes a position and the other takes a different or opposing position and people join in with their views.
1282 So we know that there is a lack of news coverage in Calgary to our target audience. We have an exceptional reputation for covering local news in Vancouver and many mainstream media outlets find us a good resource for local breaking news.
1283 We have been responsible for a number of investigative news reports that resulted in government policy changes or police investigations. We plan to have the same proactive approach here to news reporting in Calgary.
1284 And our reporters will cover local beats including municipal, courtroom, press conferences, breaking news and local community events.
1285 We propose 66 weekly newscasts in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu, 15 weekly newscasts and community updates in Filipino, Vietnamese and Arabic and 12 community updates per week in smaller community shows.
1286 MS SEKHON: Music. Music is instrumental instrumental in the retention of cultural heritage. Our research reveals that music plays a pivotal role in the lives of ethnic radio listeners. RED FM will play a wide variety of music catering to tastes of our target audience. While our three p.m. to five p.m. show "Sur Punjab de" will play the best of traditional Punjabi music that brings back nostalgic memories of Punjab, our Hindi show "Zabardast Hits" will play hit Bollywood music that will make the evening drive a pleasure.
1287 RED FM will commit to 10 percent Canadian music content, on a weekly basis. The diversity inherent in our format will lead to on-air exposure for artists that receive very little or no airplay.
1288 We serve smaller ethnic communities by providing magazine format shows, with music, community updates and interviews. Based on our operational model successfully implemented in Vancouver for the last six years, we will provide free airtime and production services to nine community producers. This model has been designed as an alternative to airtime brokerage.
1289 We are committed to develop new emerging ethnic local talent and have proposed a large amount of $553,000 over and above basic CCD contribution. This entire amount will be spent locally to support Calgary-based artists.
1290 It's our experience that to make a star, you need more than just the initial recognition that a talent contest provides. We propose a carefully planned, results oriented seven-year CCD proposal that will result in the discovery of new and emerging artists. There will be two annual talent contests.
1291 RED FM's CCD proposal supports creation of new audio content, training, intensive promotion, touring and showcasing.
1292 In this era of internet, it's very important for an artist to have a website. RED FM has proposed to organize photo-shoots and develop websites for the winners of our talent contests.
1293 MR. DHALIWAL: We are financially healthy and propose this high quality radio service based on a robust, conservative and sustainable business plan that has the ability to fulfil our proposed programming plans and commitments.
1294 As you saw in the video our philosophy is "By the community, for the community" and we will make this a reality at every opportunity. We will start many annual events that bring the whole community of Calgary together.
1295 Because of RED FM's synergies with its station in Vancouver, RED FM will be able to offer many additional benefits to the South Asian community of Calgary. This is unique to RED FM, a very useful bonus. At the same time RED FM Calgary will be locally focused.
1296 MR. SAMUEL: We are passionate about serving Calgary serving Calgary and have proposed three viable frequencies supported by full technical briefs.
1297 Our proposal provides a framework for licensing an ethnic radio service and an English-language service.
1298 Our first choice is the FM 106.7 MHz frequency which has been approved by Industry Canada. Although this frequency has limited reach due to co-channel constraints, yet it would provide adequate coverage to the current ethnic population of Calgary.
1299 Alternatively, should the Commission only license an ethnic radio service then we would prefer to operate on the higher powered FM 95.3 MHz as it would provide a superior level of service.
1300 We have filed a complete technical brief for AM 1420. However, an AM radio station will be very expensive to build and operate.
1301 We will face significant difficulties in getting municipal approvals to build an AM transmitter in the Calgary area.
1302 We have provided a set of financial projections, and a different set of license conditions, should the Commission license our application for an AM operation.
1303 This brings us to market impact and competitive state of the market.
1304 Our extensive research through consumer survey, business survey, focus groups and interviews with advertising agencies demonstrates that there is a need -- there is a demand and a market for our proposed service.
1305 The Advertiser Survey Highlights show that 77 percent of the existing advertisers would increase their advertising budget. 71 percent of the new businesses that currently do not advertise indicated their willingness to begin advertising on the new station.
1306 Focus Groups: Focus group respondents were presented with the RED FM concept proposed for Calgary.
1307 100 percent of the respondents indicated that they would advertise with Red FM. 90 percent indicated that pending concept validation, they would migrate additional budget allotted to other mediums to radio as well.
1308 All respondents believed that this is the ideal time to launch a "South Asian-Focused" radio station and the barrier to entry would be very low.
1309 Now, let's look at the audience share of existing stations as per our consumer survey: SCMO listening represented only 19 percent across all respondents. Fairchild got only 2 percent of "mentions". 91 percent indicated they were at least "somewhat" likely to listen to the new station. We do not foresee significant audience or revenue fragmentation of incumbent radio services arising from the licensing of RED FM.
1310 In a market that is dominated by vertically-integrated media companies that have their head offices in eastern Canada, licensing of our application will:
1311 - Increase the diversity of programming available to listeners;
1312 - Contribute to rebalancing media ownership;
1313 - Strengthen a western-Canada based independent, ethnic broadcaster;
1314 - Add to the diversity of voices available in the market and provide an independent editorial voice.
1315 In closing, may we humbly say that we have proposed an excellent local programming plan and result oriented CCD initiatives based on our community mind set, experience, extensive research and solid business plan.
1316 Our vision for Calgary is to be a locally focused radio service available on the FM A voice that is fuelled by passion to be relevant to its listeners through its engaging programming, a leader that is at the forefront with initiatives that strengthen local talent and community resources.
1317 Thank you.
1318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. That was an exceptional presentation, really appreciate it.
1319 Commissioner Simpson.
1320 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. Good afternoon, pleasure to see you.
1321 In the last presentation Commissioner Menzies left off on a line of questioning with Mosaic Radio that I would like to pick up on with yourselves.
1322 It had to do with my interest in Mosaic's and your programming proposals because I found them both interesting in that they were much more balanced and reflective of the ethnic demography of the market than going after, you know, a pure South or South-East Asian marketplace. I found that encouraging.
1323 The line of questioning that Commissioner Menzies left off on that I was going to ask if he hadn't had to do with helping me and my fellow panellists understand how you build your relevance in an ethnic marketplace when you are programming to a wide diversification of South Asian, South-East Asian, Eastern and Western European, Russian markets where each community unto themselves have their needs of an ethnic station.
1324 But how do you manage to market yourself because, as I understand, you do this in Vancouver. How do you manage to market yourself to such a diverse group of ethnic markets and be relevant to them all?
1325 MR. SANGHERA: We look at this having done radio for six years. First it has make business sense. Can we have a business plan that we can generate revenue?
1326 When we looked at this we looked at the South Asian community and there is large businesses here available and the population is there in the future by Stats Canada. It will double in the next few years.
1327 Having done that, then we looked at the other communities. Me and Bijoy went to a lot of communities and organizations, meet them one by one and then try to understand what is missing in their community.
1328 We come up with a plan and then we know also a lot of the smaller communities cannot afford to pay for the airtime. I have been monitoring other ethnic radio stations. There is a lot of high turnover because a lot of the smaller ethnic stations cannot pay for the brokerage.
1329 So we have been doing something that is working for us. We said, okay, we are going to provide a free platform for the smaller ethnic communities.
1330 Having done that, then we look at how we are going to allot the time. So what we did, we know the South Asians have to get the primetime to generate the revenue. So we allotted them into the primetime and then according to the population basis we slotted them on the weekend slots.
1331 MR. SAMUEL: In terms of relevance, if I can add, every community has its own distinct needs and from a perspective of being able to cater to them, the success lies in how well do you know your community.
1332 Each of a host from different --- so the 19 languages that we are proposing, each of the hosts will be community-minded people who are grounded in their community. They will be resourceful people who will come to them and say, "You know, I have this problem". This will start with them and those are the problems, those are the issues that we will reflect.
1333 We have been doing that in Vancouver very well and that is the success of catering to so many languages with a community mind set.
1334 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The brokerage model, as I am beginning to understand, was an easy way for the broadcaster to be able to find paid content to be able to satisfy its marketing ambitions and its licence requirements.
1335 I have heard a lot today and I'm sure I will throughout the rest of the week that the brokerage model is not being offered as part of our revenue formula by many of the applicants because of what you just described, that a lot of the markets can't afford to pay for access. And you feel that it's a better business model to offer that access and in return you get a better relationship with the community.
1336 The next question I would like to ask has to do with that economic model. So two lines of questioning:
1337 First of all on the programming side, I think I heard you say that you are going to have to build on a keystone or a cornerstone in your financial plan for return on investment from the South Asian part of the programming. Is that correct?
1338 MR. SANGHERA: Correct.
1339 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
1340 And I think, if my memory serves me correctly, you would reluctantly, if asked, accept a condition of licence where you would not program to the Chinese community.
1341 Did I recall that correctly?
1342 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
1343 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
1344 So should you be successful and find yourself not only faced with renewed competition and perhaps awakening a sleeping giant in Fairchild and acknowledging SCMO has not necessarily been licenced but still being a reality, do you have -- have you anticipated in your business plan the possibility that you won't make your plan should you find yourself fighting the headwinds of increased competition in the South Asian market?
1345 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
1346 When we made our business plan we came into making this business plan from a position of having done that in Vancouver. We've operated in a market where there are two U.S. stations that were there and when we started our operation in Vancouver, a seven-year projection was achieved in the third year itself. So we're used to facing competition. We have been doing it. Our reach into the market is 82 percent on a weekly basis and 54 percent on a daily basis.
1347 There are other stations as well. There are three radio stations that are catering to the same South Asian market, but we have been providing this high level of local programming that automatically attracts listeners. Listeners, a large base attracts advertisers, and that has worked very well for us there and we're going to reflect the same in Calgary as well.
1348 However, if you say that should times change and if we face any problems going forward, we are financially very healthy and the synergies with RED FM in Vancouver is that we can take care of any financial storm that comes along.
1349 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
1350 As Commissioner Cugini said, you anticipate my next question.
1351 On the subject of advertising, your application was very research-heavy, which was very gratifying because in an application environment where we don't have dBms and other things to draw on, it's nice to see some data.
1352 I just wanted to clarify for the record that in your oral presentation you were making reference to advertising surveys. Is that the StyleLabs survey that you included with your application?
1353 MR. SAMUEL: The advertising? We did an advertising survey through Mediastats, and Kerry could speak more on that. StyleLabs did focus groups. They did two consumer focus groups and they did one business focus group catering to local businesses here.
1354 Apart from that, StyleLabs also did advertising agency interviews because we propose to get a lot of corporate clients as well. So we wanted to know is there an appetite for the programming that we are proposing. So we went to local and national advertisers and StyleLabs did that for us.
1355 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Was that survey part of your submissions on the record?
1356 MR. SAMUEL: Yes.
1357 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, good. Thank you very much.
1358 Continuing on the programming side for a second -- or, sorry, to finish off on the research side, you are proposing to continue to do what I would consider to be exhaustive research in the market as you go on, if successful? That's built into your budget; is that correct?
1359 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please. It is in our marketing plan.
1360 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Just out of curiosity, how frequently would you be doing such surveys?
1361 MR. SAMUEL: In Vancouver we've been doing this BBM -- we commissioned BBM Analytics, a division of BBM, to do the survey for us and they do it every once in two years. And we will follow the same pattern.
1362 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: On the programming side now for a second, it's been my understanding that the success that you've been enjoying -- which is not my words but I'm hearing anecdotally -- the more recent success you've been enjoying in penetrating the South Asian community has been the result of introducing more talk into your format; is that correct?
1363 MR. SAMUEL: The success that we have in Vancouver is because we provide -- we cater to the needs of the people. People have different kinds of needs, and as a radio station we said: people have a need for news, we will provide local news; people have a need for discussing topics to tell about what is important to them locally, so we have talk shows; people also love music and we have music shows as well; people like to -- in the South Asian community people like to argue a lot, so we have "The Great Debate," something they like, so that show gets real good listenership.
1364 So it's about taking all the needs that are there and trying to fulfil them. It's like imagine there's no other station catering. In the English language you have multi formats that cater to different needs of an audience. For ethnic, this is one station that's going to try and do everything. Instead of going after a certain niche, we would like to be an umbrella for all the needs. Thank you.
1365 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just to refine this though -- thank you for that, but to refine the question, based on your experiences in the Vancouver market as they potentially would apply to your programming in Calgary, not just on the broad issue of spoken word but on more of the talk show format, "The Great Debate" is a call-in format; is that correct?
1366 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please. And Pooja Sekhon is our host who does it, so maybe she could --
1367 MS SEKHON: Yes, I'm the one who does "The Great Debate" and I usually have a very interesting topic. Sometimes it's a social issue. Sometimes it's a political issue. Current affairs issues, we take issues from India.
1368 I have a male co-host and we usually take -- of course, since it's a debate show, he takes one side and I take the other side, and then we encourage people to call in and give their opinion.
1369 And it's very interesting because sometimes -- usually with callers, what it is, they would not like to sometimes give their opinion and follow the opinion of the prior caller. With this format, "The Great Debate," people feel a little relaxed to share their opinion because they know both sides are being represented.
1370 MR. KASSAMALI: Sorry, I just wanted to add a couple of comments.
1371 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, go ahead.
1372 MR. KASSAMALI: I represent StyleLabs and just a backgrounder before I add my comments. So we're a marketing agency that is headquartered in Calgary and we focus very heavily on youth and the ethnic market. And I guess we've constructed a very good understanding of what the youth and the ethnic youth are looking for.
1373 And one of the -- you know, the things that we're noticing is that, one, it's emerging and growing, like we said in the presentation. They're very, very big on cultural retention. And the biggest thing, not just in radio but in general, is that they're very, very loyal if you provide them an avenue for a two-way conversation. And I think that that's what talk really does.
1374 Like when we did the focus groups, we realized that it was the music that brought the audience in, but the sustainability and the retention came from the talk and the engagement and giving these people the ability to voice their opinions.
1375 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I have no doubt when you ask opinions, you get them, and I think that that brings my next question to the fore, which is as you have applied the call-in and the dialogue format with the community, it does tighten the bonds definitely, but how have you learned to manage the debate so that the debate stays constructive and coherent?
1376 Because there has been criticism not just of your experiences but of certain ethnic stations in general that debate gets off the rails in a way that becomes problematic for everyone. What did you learn and how would you take what you've learned to this new application?
1377 MR. SAMUEL: If I can start --
1378 MS SEKHON: Yes, sure.
1379 MR. SAMUEL: -- and Pooja can add.
1380 When we started radio six years ago in Vancouver, there were two U.S. stations and they had this style where the listeners would call in and they could speak anything. They could speak their mind as they would speak in an office or a room. And they would have a lot of profanity on it. They could speak as they wanted.
1381 When we went on air, one of the differences that we did was we educated our listeners as to how to speak on air. We made them understand that if you're going to speak anything that is not right as per our standards, you're going to get dumped. So that has got -- our community in Vancouver has now learned the limits of what could be said on air, and now they learned not to be very argumentative but be nice and still get their point in.
1382 MS SEKHON: Yes. So it's like, you know, repeatedly we mention on air that freedom does not mean -- I mean your freedom ends where other persons' rights are being violated. So if you are using abusive language or you're going beyond the topic or you're actually attacking someone personally, that is not accepted. So these kinds of messages we keep passing.
1383 Plus, as a host, we have full control of the show. We have, of course, as Bijoy mentioned, the technical side, which is a dump button. But otherwise, as well, the moment we feel the caller is going off topic, right there and then we tell the caller, you're going off topic, let's stick to the topic. So over the years we have learned how to do it.
1384 MR. SAMUEL: And, recognizing what you said, every time the show starts, both the hosts would remind people because of the nature of debate that it's very important to stay with the topic as well as to mind what you're saying. That's done every time.
1385 MR. LEWIS: Commissioner Simpson, if I may add, there's a very interesting balance that happens in Vancouver radio because, as you're aware, there's two radio stations that are -- one is almost across the road from RED FM and it doesn't abide by CBSC standards or Canadian standards and uses a U.S. transmitter, and there's been a lot of litigation by people based on libel, slander, defamation.
1386 I've been with these folks since the beginning and we've had one threatened defamation suit now in six years and it was not -- I mean it was just puffery. There was no basis to it.
1387 And we have -- the program hosts, including the non-South Asian hosts are well versed in the CBSC rules, of the limits of Canadian broadcasting libel and defamation. We have refreshers every so often. We've had one complaint to the CBSC over the last six years and some adjustments were made. It related to balance on a particular topic and show.
1388 So it's a long way of saying that even though it's a very volatile community and the other stations that are not regulated stray off of those boundaries, this station or RED FM's management has been very, very instrumental in making sure that their listeners stay within the box.
1389 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Excellent, thank you.
1390 You have an advisory council in Vancouver that guides you, do you?
1391 MR. SAMUEL: What we do is we take regular feedback from people on a daily basis and --
1392 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I just need a yes or no.
1393 MR. SANGHERA: We do. What we do is we -- advisory means how do you want to get feedback from the community, and as you see, RED FM is all about community. And when it comes to advice, I feel advice comes straight from the public. So we have been very much -- on that we have been getting direct advice from the community.
1394 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Do you feel that -- or is there a plan to construct an advisory council to guide you in your initial years in Calgary?
1395 MR. SANGHERA: What I find in Vancouver, because like Bijoy said, South Asians are very much -- if they don't like anything, they phone you and complain. Me being there like 10 to 12 hours a day, I meet my communities. I'm trying to understand and I think -- I can tell from my experience that is the best way.
1396 What I learned now is to do open houses. I did a test. On the weekend I have tea, coffee, everything for them. I said I want to hear from you what you want to see on RED FM and what don't you like on RED FM. And people come and tell you and then they feel that their needs are heard and their concerns are heard. We have been implementing that and we have been very successful.
1397 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I am sorry, I may be mishearing you, but are you saying that you're going to become the advisory council? Do you feel one is necessary, and I guess I'm hearing no.
1398 MR. SAMUEL: No.
1399 MR. SANGHERA: No. We will get direct feedback from the community.
1400 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Then what assurances or what measures or comforts can you offer the Commission that you would fulfil the guidelines that you set out in your programming and policy regarding open-line programming in such a way that it's not subjective, which it potentially could be if you were your own judge and jury?
1401 MR. SAMUEL: We could take a condition of licence to hold us by.
1402 The reason we don't have an advisory committee is because truly by the time the advisory committee -- if there's a problem, people will come to us immediately and the person who has a problem wants to get it dealt with then and there. We realize this way we are more accountable to the people we are serving.
1403 And we have an open line on radio as well. We do these shows where we say, okay, this is the day we are doing an open house, come in and tell us what you want us to do. People actually guide us. They say, you know, this is good, maybe you should improve that or that is bad.
1404 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So you're saying that there's a good interaction between your listener and the management.
1405 One of the first questions I asked this morning was to do with the balance -- I had asked, I think, the first presenter to instruct this Commission with some information or understanding as to how various ethnic communities -- in particular I'm thinking of the South Asian and Southeast Asian communities -- are totally entwined between religion, politics and their social fabric, much more than perhaps has been witnessed in other parts of the communities within Canada, where, you know, again, religion and politics are something that you stay away from at the dinner table and on the air.
1406 So if you're self-medicating or self-administrating with a particular cultural viewpoint to your understanding of religion and politics -- and understanding and appreciating your input that you will be guided by your listener -- do you feel qualified to be able to take that information you're getting in other ethnic communities that you're not personally a part of and understand that community's needs enough to apply their concerns to better the programming?
1407 It's a very long-winded way of saying that you may have a better understanding of certain communities than others and do you feel qualified enough to not have advisors sitting at your side?
1408 MR. SAMUEL: What is important is the moment of truth. The moment of truth is the moment we go away from our commitments to our communities, the smaller communities for example, whom we may not understand so well as we would understand the South Asian community, that's when we will get complaints and we will also depend on our -- we depend on our host of the different shows to guide us as well.
1409 But we have an attitude of serving people. It's the attitude that makes the difference. If there's a problem, we want to fix it right away.
1410 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I will get off of that. I know it is starting to sound like a broken record.
1411 In the issue of synergies, you're one of the applicants who has a broadcasting background and another operation that can lend tools and experiences to this operation.
1412 Could you just, in generality, explain to me from management and administration and programming perspectives individually what synergies you see? Immediately, you're obviously lending the RED brand to this potential operation, but how do you see yourself balancing the resources of your Vancouver operation to bolster the success of Calgary?
1413 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
1414 In terms of synergies, Vancouver station is very healthy and we have a very big team at our station. Some of the synergies that we can bring are through the voiceover talent pool.
1415 What happens is when you create ads, especially ethnic ads, you need to have the resource of creating different -- creating ads with different voices, which is very hard for a small ethnic producer to do. We would bring the pool of voiceover talent that we have in Vancouver to help with production of good-quality commercials that will reflect -- many people say we like your ads because they create theatre of the mind, and to create theatre of mind, you need diversity in voices.
1416 And that is something we will be able to offer through synergies with Vancouver. And we have a huge pool with us and it wouldn't affect in any way our operation in Vancouver.
1417 When it comes to programming, let me go to business reports. We produce two business reports. One is Canada Business Report and another is India Business Report. These are high-quality business reports that are produced every day in Vancouver.
1418 We propose to take these business reports and play them here in Calgary as well. They wouldn't in any way affect Vancouver, but it will add to what is being played on air in Calgary.
1419 And in terms of other things, we have a South Asian correspondent in India. What this person does is he comes onto the talk show with Mr. Thind and he talks about things that are happening in India, things that are important to people in Vancouver. They would like to know what's happening about the election that was cited earlier. And so this person would talk about it and people get an opportunity to listen as to what is happening.
1420 The same correspondent, because the salary would be paid by Vancouver, would also start doing a similar one with the Calgary host, where he would have a segment and he would talk about what's the latest that is happening from a perspective of what is important for people here.
1421 Our research shows that people are interested in news from home and news from India as well. So to cater to that, we will bring in the segment as well as part of a synergy.
1422 MR. SANGHERA: If I can add, the biggest synergy I see is for local talent. Local talent will get a lot of exposure, bigger exposure. In our CCD also, we are very much committed to develop the local talent.
1423 MR. SAMUEL: And from the accounting side of it, what will happen is we will have -- we have a good accounting team in Vancouver. So some of the administrative costs could be lowered because we would have -- like if there are things -- the payroll that has to be done, that can be generated out of Vancouver. So that is another synergy that we would provide on an administrative basis.
1424 The whole team in Calgary will be local. There will be a general manager here who will take care of everything that is happening here.
1425 MS SEKHON: To add to the local talent synergy that Kulwinder was mentioning, last year our RED FM Idol winner was actually from Alberta.
1426 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. I think I just have one or two questions to wrap up.
1427 On your CCD contributions, they are substantial. They are as much as two times that of some of the other applicants.
1428 And the first part of my questioning in this area is: Is this percentage -- as a percentage of revenue in your projections for Calgary, is this an approximate -- does it have an approximate similarity to the CCD contributions that you've been historically committing yourself to in Vancouver? Have you lived with this kind of a high budget and made it work in Vancouver, so that we can have confidence in this proposal?
1429 MR. SANGHERA: We started with Vancouver with a lower amount, $30,000. Then as the revenue grew, we had a similar type -- I would say now it's a similar type of budget, yes.
1430 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I couldn't help but notice that your commitment starting year one, you haven't prorated anything, which is courageous, and I presume, again, you've budgeted for this? Because it's a big chunk of money out of your first year operational costs.
1431 MR. SANGHERA: Yes, we have budgeted.
1432 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The second part of the questioning has to do with its application. I fully understand because your proposal was fairly exhaustive in terms of how you would spend the money and you understand the vagaries of CCD with respect to third party, you know, arm's length, but does it tie back or are you finding that that kind of a commitment with respect to ethnic applications, particularly ones that are broadly based, going right back to my first question on the breadth of ethnic markets you're going after, is CCD a way for you to be able to help penetrate and solidify your relationship with those various markets?
1433 MR. SAMUEL: Absolutely. We have a multicultural talent contest which we will be doing apart from the South Asian talent contest and that will allow -- what happens with this talent contest as detailed here is we go out two weeks. We say -- the host would start saying: Okay, we're going to have a talent contest. For all those people who are interested, come and participate in an open house.
1434 These are off-air auditions that happen. That's a great way of getting people within the community to come forward and say, yeah, I think I can sing, well, let me try it out.
1435 So yes, it will connect us better with the community for sure. And while it starts with a talent contest, it goes on. It's like after the talent contest, you're setting up this runner to run the race and you're equipping them with many more things.
1436 That's why we've proposed a photo shoot. We've proposed touring as well for some of the multicultural contest winners. We've said that we will allocate $2,000 each. Thank you.
1437 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Last question, or questions.
1438 With respect to your news staff, what's the body count that you're going to have in your newsroom?
1439 MR. SANGHERA: We have four full-time people, two part-time.
1440 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And just answer this question if you wouldn't mind to satisfy my own curiosity. You had made reference in your oral presentation to a television show that you produce. Now, I'm not familiar with this. What is its purpose?
1441 MR. SANGHERA: Since 1992 we have been doing a television show across Canada. We buy airtime from Vision TV and we air it on prime time across Canada. It's the oldest South Asian show. Mr. Thind does an interview and we have another host who takes care of the entertainment side. It's the only Indian show that provides not just music, the quality information, the talk shows for the immigrants, for the South Asians. He is the icon for all Canada. The show is very popular. All political, high level community people have been on this station. They realize it's the best way to reach South Asian community.
1442 MR. THIND: This program is called "Days Per Days" and we have two sections of it. One is musical and the other section is what's new in the community. It's interview information section from the Prime Minister of Canada to the British Columbia Premier, Ministers and, you know, important people coming from India or other countries from Pakistan.
1443 So we cannot broadcast that program across the country. It's a very popular program and we are continuing to having success with that.
1444 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: How many years did you say it's been on?
1445 MR. SANGHERA: Since 1992.
1446 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Nineteen ninety-two. And the name of the program again is...?
1447 MR. SANGHERA: "Days Per Days".
1448 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And is it branded in any way, shape or form as part of the Red empire?
1449 MR. SANGHERA: No.
1450 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Empire of one.
1451 MR. SANGHERA: It sells, the name itself.
1452 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you very much.
1453 Those are my questions.
1454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Empire name, but trying.
1455 A local Calgarian may have a question for you.
1456 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, I do.
1457 I'm trying to differentiate between want and need and wanting to have something to serve a community or a community wanting it is fine and that's legitimate. I'm just trying to get a sense of where the biggest need is for, say, Calgary's visible minority communities.
1458 I know this is superficial on the face of it, but when you look at the city, like a quarter of the MLAs are from visible minority backgrounds; a quarter of the MPs are from visible minority backgrounds; the Mayor is from a visible minority background, and I know that can just be on the surface.
1459 But where is the biggest need within the visible minority community for opportunity to connect and take full advantage of what Calgary has to offer?
1460 MR. THIND: The need is I think to the ordinary people living in Calgary. The new immigrants coming in here, they have very little knowledge about Canada, they have very little knowledge about Alberta, the need is to understand the structure of this country, the political structure, the social structure. I think this radio in Calgary will be very instrumental in order to educate those people who are coming in here that are less educated. They are hard workers, but they do not understand the structure of this country.
1461 I think it's very important to have a local radio station here who can serve the needs of the new immigrants or people living here since a long time, because there is no radio station as Red FM in Vancouver or Surrey so a lot of people do not understand the basics of our political system, of our social system, social services we have, and people just are ignorant.
1462 Our station has become 4-1-1 of the community so similarly we can provide more services to the people and those people really need this radio station. That's fine MLAs and MPs, we are talking about an ordinary worker, an immigrant or a citizen who was born somewhere else and settled here in Surrey -- or in Calgary.
1463 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Then do you achieve that primarily through your talk programming?
1464 MR. THIND: Yes. Our talk shows are very instrumental, very effective.
1465 I remember over the years people who do not understand anything about our political system discussing the Constitution of Canada, you know, freedoms and our rights, fundamental rights, and notwithstanding clause in the lunch rooms of a workplace. That is because we were able to educate them successfully.
1466 Similarly, we need a radio station in Calgary in order to educate people or inspire them.
1467 MR. SAMUEL: And if I can add, too --
1468 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sorry, go ahead?
1469 MR. SAMUEL: Sorry. Sorry.
1470 We got many research done to understand what exactly are the needs of the community. So when you look at the new immigrants there is a huge population of new immigrants and new immigrants come with a different mindset when they come into Calgary and assimilate. They need help. Their real need is to understand how to go about things. A radio station will bring about -- will inform them on social services available, inform them on the Canadian way of life.
1471 Plus, if I can also tell you language, language is a problem, a barrier for many people. The need is for people to understand information that is being -- otherwise they cannot understand on an English-language radio station. The real need is when as an portion of the community starts understanding, oh, these are the relevant changes that are happening within my community.
1472 When a person starts understanding things, that is when you are catering to their need.
1473 The other need that we have is for music. People like music a lot, but presently on radio they don't have access to good music because there is very little amount available in the evening times, but nothing during the prime time. So the need is when you belong to a certain culture and you want -- you like listening to music that you have grown up with. So the need is to have music as well.
1474 And news as well. If I can also direct -- pardon me?
1475 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Just to segue in there, because that's what I was going to ask about, news.
1476 In terms of the numbers you gave Commissioner Simpson and on page 16 of your supplementary brief you mentioned some of the points people need to know about by-law changes and that sort of thing.
1477 How do you achieve that with two full-time reporters in a city this big? I mean you have just fundamentals of coverage for a couple of reporters, City Hall, school board, cops, courts, the usual stuff.
1478 MS SEKHON: Yes. Actually, it's not very difficult, especially in this age where social media is available to you, internet websites.
1479 Two full-time reporters can easily cover four stories and in any local market in any city there are usually four major stories that happen.
1480 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Four stories each?
1481 MS SEKHON: Four stories, yes, combined. Two stories, one person.
1482 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Two stories, okay.
1483 MS SEKHON: With travelling and everything involved.
1484 So four stories in a city, four major stories, and then you have other stories that you can verify.
1485 For example, I will give you an example. Last week there was a listener who called in telling me about some kind of evacuation. Immediately I tweeted, because B.C. RCMP is on Twitter. Immediately I tweeted asking B.C. RCMP, "Is there an evacuation in this particular temple?" It's a Sikh temple. And the Sergeant got back, saying, "Yes, there is an evacuation, but it's not serious. There was a crane that hit some high wires, so nothing serious, no injuries, no fatalities."
1486 So in this age it is very easy to verify news, to gather news.
1487 Physically you have to go and of course cover court cases because there is no media or cameras allowed in there. Otherwise, press conferences, other community events, and two reports full-time can cover four major news stories.
1488 MR. SAMUEL: This is backed by newswire services that we have in Vancouver. We have broadcast news. So there is a lot of news that we get there. But local news, yes, the reporters would go and cover as well. So two in our experience is good to cover.
1489 MS SEKHON: A lot of mainstream actually have two news reporters full time and they have like 24 hours news station.
1490 MR. THIND: We do have a lot of cooperation from the citizens from other listeners. We have built a bond of trust with them. Anything happens in the community we are the first one who will get the news from the general public, then we will verify it and then we will broadcast it. That's why we are the leader in breaking news.
1491 And the mainstream media also takes some news from us, the reason being that the community, they feel comfortable in their own language to feed us the news information, then we verify it and broadcast it.
1492 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Just to finish I just wanted to go back with when you were talking to Commissioner Simpson about you used your talk shows, that people like to argue and people who are on talk shows do like to argue and that sort of stuff, but how you use -- you said you educated people in terms of how to express themselves and where there were problems.
1493 One of the things about open forums is that it's fun for them to be open, but I think, as I heard Preston Manning say one time, that the problem with letting people say anything is that people will say anything.
1494 MS SEKHON: That's true.
1495 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So how do you transition? When you say you educate people, like how does that happen?
1496 MR. THIND: Like Buddha said, number one is the attitude of the host, training of the host. We abide by the CRTC, we have regular updates and training how to control the caller, how to keep him in line to the topic. We do have a technical support that we can dump a call if somebody is saying something defamatory or something else.
1497 So we have been successful in order to keep the callers focussed on the topic instead of saying something which can really be insulting to somebody, or a profanity or something, it never happened.
1498 Topics are so intense sometimes and topics of the talk shows, including the guests, let's say the Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has to say something, he comes into my show and we sit down. He speaks English only and I translate into Punjabi and people are interested asking questions. Sometimes they ask questions in Punjabi language so I translate for the Minister.
1499 So conversations are great, we didn't have any difficulty in order to keep the callers, we couldn't control them or couldn't keep them focussed. We have the training and the skills in order to keep the callers onto the topic.
1500 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thanks.
1501 MR. KASSAMALI: You were talking about need earlier and I just wanted to add something really quick here.
1502 One thing that we haven't really looked at is the youth are the ones that are going to be listening to this station for the next 40, 50, 60 years and a station like Red FM, what it's going to do is it's going to provide a nexus between the young generation and the old generation.
1503 Like what we found when we were talking to these respondents in the focus group is that they really wanted to know what was happening back home where their parents and grandparents came from. There is no real source to do that on radio, right.
1504 The other part of it is, you know, being able to pass on their mother tongue to their kids, right. There is no way to do that right now as well because there is such limited availability, right.
1505 Then the third part of it is just overall having the ability to have a voice within your community, but from a Canadian context.
1506 So here you are and regular media is going to give you one perspective. Well, this is going to give you, you know, your cultural perspective on current issues and that just adds a third dimension to your perspective in general.
1507 THE CHAIRPERSON: Shouldn't the case be made that 40, 50, 60 years down the road that your community, and every ethnic community, should be listening to mainstream English or French media?
1508 MR. SANGHERA: If you look at history our community has been here over 100 years.
1509 Cultural tension in our community is very high. Just to give you an example, I have done weddings for -- I used to do weddings. I had done a wedding of third generations in Canada. It's Indian people living in third generation. They play -- 75 to 95 percent of music is Indian.
1510 So it's very hard to -- even I am a strong believer that Indian culture -- being living in joint families the culture gets passed on and it's going to remain like that. Even the youth will talk English, but the cultural content is going to remain there.
1511 MR. THIND: As long as we do.
1512 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does the Red station or any ethnic station have a responsibility to help in integrating newly arrived immigrants to this country?
1513 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, we do.
1514 MR. THIND: We have regular programming on integration. Not assimilation, integration. We have shows on, let's say, Canadian way of life. We are making people aware -- especially South Asian people making aware that what the Canadian way of life is; what is the -- you know, Christmas, anything, Easter, all those things, like we are having regular programming on those things that people do understand that and it helps them to integrate into the Canadian society.
1515 MS SEKHON: Just to add to -- go ahead.
1516 There was another example that I wanted to cite.
1517 Sports is like a big thing when we talk about integration and we started life Punjabi commentary for ice hockey so that the older generation can understand the game and then they can sit with their kids and watch.
1518 So that is another example that I wanted.
1519 MR. THIND: And the music. I listened to Jesse B, my son listened to Jesse B. Music is such an adherent that it keeps the two generations close and that has helped a great lot.
1520 MS WICKS: I would like to just add something from the back here as well Can you hear me?
1521 You made a very good point about South Asian or Chinese, or any group for that matter, should they assimilate into Canadian culture.
1522 I would also argue there is a need for Canadian sort of us mainstream white guys to learn their culture. The cross-cultural benefits go both ways and as such having a South Asian station or a Chinese station, I think there will always be a place for ethnic stations in Canada, regardless of how long these groups have been here.
1523 I know in my own personal experience, my daughter's boyfriend is Tamil and they listen to CMR in Toronto, they go to Hindu weddings wearing Hindu outfits, but these are two very, very -- I mean, well, my daughter is obviously not South Asian, but these are people who probably 40 years from now would still go to Hindu weddings wearing Hindu clothing because they appreciate those cultures. It's not just assimilating.
1524 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it's a mixed marriage situation in my mind and I understand that, and that's fine.
1525 MS WICKS: No, I'm not saying my own personal situation is the reason, I'm just saying cross-cultural appreciation goes both ways.
1526 THE CHAIRPERSON: It certainly does.
1527 MS WICKS: And I can see that going for many years to come.
1528 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you don't need ethnic radio necessarily to create cross-cultural appreciation.
1529 MR. SANGHERA: I just want to add something.
1530 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead, sir.
1531 MR. SANGHERA: When you say integration, every year on Canada Day we are the first ones to participate and have a live broadcasting and encourage our guardians to be part of Canada, the celebration, and is for me the highlight of every year on Canada Day celebration, and when it's a fusion festival we are there, when there is a winterfest we are always there. So we encourage community to participate in it.
1532 MR. SAMUEL: To add to what Kulwinder is saying, the City of Surrey is testament to it. They have thanked us numerous times. Before Red FM there were very few South Asians who would come for Canada Day celebrations at the Cloverdale ground, they wouldn't go. Our task was to bring them there, to make them proud, that you have to come and celebrate. Don't look at it as a holiday where you are going to sit back and relax, be proud of what you are doing, come. We have increased the numbers of people who come and that is just an example of integration.
1533 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. And to go to a question Commissioner Menzies asked earlier that I really enjoyed, I liked that question, the Deerfoot divide or --
1534 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Wall.
1535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wall. How will Red contribute, participate in helping members of the Southeast Asian community break down that wall and get on the other side of that wall?
1536 MS SEKHON: As Mr. Thind had mentioned, we have regular programming on that.
1537 For example, in Vancouver there are a couple of organizations that come on our talk shows on a regular basis, Progressive Intercultural Society, PICS, is an example -- there are a couple of more organizations -- they help new immigrants learn about the culture, the language, a lot of programs, employment, how to make your Resume, how to prepare for an interview, job fairs. We broadcast live from job fairs to encourage people to come and drop in their Resumes. Big companies are hiring, RCMP, defence forces, everyone. So this is how we do it.
1538 The employment centre, they usually come and talk about what new programs they have and what resources they have, how can they help new immigrants integrate as let's find new job, resettle and just feel at home.
1539 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what skills are required. Great.
1540 Briefly on the spoken word and then just one more question after this one.
1541 You mentioned that you would have a 40 percent spoken word on a weekly basis. How much of that will be dedicated to news?
1542 MR. SANGHERA: The news is seven hours, 45 minutes.
1543 THE CHAIRPERSON: Seven hours, 45 minutes.
1544 MR. SANGHERA: For the weekly basis.
1545 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, I interrupted you.
1546 MR. SANGHERA: I'm sorry, seven hours, 45 minutes per week.
1547 THE CHAIRPERSON: How much of that will be local news?
1548 MR. SANGHERA: Seventy per cent.
1549 MR. THIND: But let me tell you, the majority of the news costs are local news. We have set up a system -- as the News Director I can tell you that the majority of the news is local news, then we have regional news, then we have national news and international news. So that's the format we have kept and we intend to keep the same format here.
1550 The stress and the emphasis will be on local news.
1551 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that sufficient time to reflect all the communities that you will be serving?
1552 MR. SANGHERA: It is. It is I believe. We are doing every hour, it is sufficient.
1553 THE CHAIRPERSON: Fairchild is proving 23 hours of Southeast Asian programming. I think people have mentioned that earlier in the day.
1554 What will your service add to that service that's already being provided by Fairchild?
1555 MR. SANGHERA: We can add prime time programming where business is going to get the opportunity to promote their product. At this moment there is no prime time Monday to Friday radio available to the South Asian community for the audience or the business community.
1556 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate the fact that you have optimistic expectations and there's nothing wrong with that, people should aim high. Your year seven figure is over $2 million in expected revenue. Would that figure apply to all three frequencies that you are requesting?
1557 MR. SANGHERA: On AM we have a separate set of financials and it is lower.
1558 THE CHAIRPERSON: But on the two FM? On the FMs?
1559 MR. SANGHERA: FM we have seven -- I believe by seventh year we reach $2 million.
1560 MR. SAMUEL: And it will apply on both the frequencies.
1561 THE CHAIRPERSON: On 95.3 or on --
1562 MR. SAMUEL: Yes. On both frequencies.
1563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Either/or?
1564 MR. SAMUEL: On both it will be the same.
1565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Despite the fact that the coverage is completely different and much more limited?
1566 MR. LEWIS: The 106.7 covers the entire ethnic community of Calgary and there is some margin for growth of the city. So it works very, very well. 95.3 is 100,000 watts and it covers a much larger rural area, but that's not where the population is centred at the present time.
1567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you so much.
1568 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
1569 THE CHAIRPERSON: We appreciate it.
1570 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
1571 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are going to take a 10-minute break and we will come back with Punjabi.
1572 THE SECRETARY: With Punjabi World Network.
1573 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1545
--- Upon resuming at 1604
1574 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon
1575 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1576 We will now proceed with Item 5 on the Agenda which is an application by Punjabi -- World Network Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial AM radio programming undertaking in Calgary.
1577 The new station would operate on frequency 1,670 kHz (Class B) with a transmitter power of 5,000 watts daytime and 1,000 watts night time.
1578 Appearing for the applicant is Mrs. Brar. Please introduce your colleagues, after which you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
1579 Thank you.
1580 MS BRAR: Thank you.
1581 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, CRTC staff, very good afternoon today.
1582 My name is Deepshikha Brar. I host the evening radio talk shows at Spice FM, our SCMO channel. I do it in three languages; Punjabi, Hindi, and English.
1583 I would like to introduce you to the Punjabi World Network team, starting from your left and my right:
1584 Amandeep Dhanda: A major role in pulling this application together, and works in strategy and marketing with us.
1585 Joti Chera is our station manager. He keeps the wheels turning day-to-day at our SCMO station, Spice FM. He will help speak to some of our operational issues.
1586 Nisha Patel is the head of our alumni association.
1587 Amandeep Doad is our President and 50 percent shareholder in the company.
1588 Bram Abramson is here as our counsel.
1589 MR. CHERA: Sitting behind us are some additional members of our team who may be called on to field questions, starting again from your left and my right we have Mr. Marcelo Aquino, former president of the Pangasinan Society of Calgary -- is advising the station on Filipino programming.
1590 To his left and your right we have Mr. Kuldip Parmar who is the other investor in the company.
1591 Next we have Sana Khan, our very popular Urdu host.
1592 Next is Mr. Harnarayan Singh, a journalist who may be best known for his Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. Very proud of him. He is the head of our Local Advisory Council as well.
1593 And then finally we have Mr. Steve Olson who is the Academic Chair for Radio, Television and Broadcast News Program at SAIT. He is also helping select our local advisory council and has promised to provide advice for the AM station.
1594 MR. DOAD: we are privileged and excited to be here today. This is the 10th anniversary of our serving Calgary.
1595 With your permission we would like to show a short video to really get across who we are, what we do, and what we can do.
1596 For those who are listening at home, the video will be also available at our website tomorrow morning at spicefm.ca.
--- Video Presentation
1597 MR. DOAD: As you can imagine, launching an SCMO station, serving South Asians in 2009 in Calgary was a real challenge:
1598 First, we were not the incumbent. We were the third to the market. That meant competing and doing things differently.
1599 Second, we couldn't just flip a switch. We knew we had to grow the market, so we reached out to potential listeners and explained how SCMO worked. Then we had to sell them home units and car units. Radio is usually free. Selling units is not easy.
1600 Third, there was this little thing called a recession. We were licensed in March 2009 and we started our serve on June 7, 2009.
1601 Established broadcasters were asking the CRTC for relief. We were trying to sign up advertisers and launch a new service. Well, our team hit the streets, signed up advertisers, developed what we think is some innovative programming and we are still here.
1602 We thank the CRTC for entrusting the CBC with an SCMO licence that relies on our programming. We are here today because we believe Calgary is ready for us to take the next step.
1604 MS PATEL: Good afternoon. My name is Nisha Patel. I am a television reporter and producer with experience at 680News and Citytv as well as CBC television and radio.
1605 But my journalism career began right here in Calgary with this station. This team provided me with a valuable opportunity to learn the ropes of the media business and I have gone on to work at mainstream stations right across the country.
1606 So I am very proud to still be able to contribute to this station and this community as the head of Team Spice's Alumni Association.
1607 The Alumni Association will serve as a support network for visible-minority media professionals, providing mentorship and networking opportunities for those who are just getting started.
1608 We recognize that more and more the Spice listenership are bilingual Canadians who straddle both communities, and we believe Spice is and will continue to be part of the media appetite of these Canadians.
1609 Team Spice's links with the community are integrated into the company's governance. In addition to the Alumni Association, there are the Local and Youth Advisory Councils.
1610 The Youth Advisory Council is all about making sure that the station truly serves as a generational bridge for youth to provide cultural programming with a Canadian client. This includes shows like Simran Johal's Youth Free-for-All, or Live DJ Time at night.
1611 We also have multi-platform delivery like web streaming, a Facebook presence, and free mobile apps like Tune In Radio.
1612 The Youth Advisory Council will be five young people, such as university students or young professionals who have a strong interest in the media. Three will represent South Asian language speakers, one Filipino speaker and one Arabic speaker.
1613 One Youth Council member will sit on the Local Advisory Council.
1614 A little bit about the Local Advisory Council: It will have seven people; the chair, the Youth Council representative and five independent community representatives, again three South Asians, one Filipino and one Arabic speaker.
1615 Local Council members will act as ombudspersons, meeting regularly to discuss issues about the station and the community.
1616 The Local Council members will appoint the Youth Council members based on their interest and experience.
1617 The Local Council will in turn be chosen by an initial selection committee, Mr. Singh and Mr. Olson who you have been introduced to, as well as Irv Ratushniak, who heads broadcast journalism at Mount Royal College.
1618 Women are required to make up at least two of the five Youth Council members and at least three of the seven Local Council members.
1619 The heads of the Local Council will actually sit on Punjabi World Network's Board of Directors. The Board will be 50 percent women and no one will be added to the board unless they live in Calgary.
1620 So you have the Alumni Association, the Youth Advisory Council as well as the Local Advisory Council. This is integrated into the very structure of of the station. These are part of Spice's values and commitments and they are a core part of this application, and I believe they set a Spice part.
1621 MR. CHERA: Almost all of our programming will be locally-produced. The only exception will be a 15-minute BBC and Voice of America news segment daily.
1622 That means a commitment of 122 and a half hours per week of local programming. 42 hours of it will be spoken word which breaks down like this: About half of it will be open line programming where we take the local pulse. About a quarter will be public affairs, cultural programming, and light banter. The other quarter of our spoken-word programming will be news, weather and traffic. To accomplish that, we will rely on:
1623 - A local news director and two reporters;
1624 - Phone-ins from South Asian print journalists in other cities, for national news; and
1625 - Reports from correspondents abroad.
1626 None of our programming will be brokerage. In fact, none of it ever has been.
1627 We will exceed all Canadian content guidelines, including 10 percent of the South Asian, Arabic and Filipino music. We will continue to promote emerging artists in all of our programming, our Canadian content, in-depth profiles in our evening cultural magazine and Live DJ at night time.
1628 We will serve 13 communities in eight languages. We will continue to provide innovative, local, community-based service to listeners. We will continue to work with advertisers to design campaigns that really work.
1629 MR. DHANDA: Unlike the other ethnic applicants in this proceeding, we have not applied for an FM licence. We have applied to broadcast at 1670 AM. As backup frequencies we explained that if the Commission did wish to licence more than one AM station, it could do that at 1690 and 1650 AM, our second choice.
1630 Simply put, we recognize that it is part of your responsibility to ensure that each available slot reaches its highest and best use. In our view, that means an AM radio station for Calgary's South Asian and smaller ethnic communities.
1631 Having begun our radio operations during a recession is really imprinted in our DNA. We wanted to compete by combining a highly entertaining service that left brokerage behind, and focused on winning listeners.
1632 As we now build on our success to climb to the next level, our big shift is from entertainment to news and information. Our application takes what we know about being a competitor in the Calgary market, and designs a prudent, sustainable plan for serving listeners and advertisers well into the future.
1633 Other applicants have commissioned and submitted lengthy studies. We have focused on the kinds of information at the heart of those studies, and pounded the pavement to try and go one better.
1634 In terms of advertisers, we have 100 commitments from local businesses who know us and want to stay with us on the AM dial. In terms of listeners, we have a petition from 4,500 Calgarians who want to hear us at home, in shops, at work, and in the car. That's one in 20 South Asian Calgarians. We think that's a very good sample.
1635 By the same token, our cost and revenue projections are modest:
1636 In terms of cost, the synergies between our TV operations, our existing SCMO operations and our local character are very, very significant.
1637 In terms of revenues, we know what the market will bear. Our plan is based on realistic expectations.
1638 So are our CCD commitments. We have pledged four annual scholarships to broadcasting students at SAIT. We have pledged to leverage our expertise by growing our very popular local competitions. And then we want to promote the winners heavily -- by spending money on promotion, but also by leveraging our considerable contacts across the country.
1639 We realize that some of the applicants have come in with FM plans and very big revenue and CCD expectations for Calgary. We know Calgary, and we view the market a little bit differently.
1640 But we want to be clear. Our CCD commitments are linked closely with our revenue expectations, which are very conservative. To the extent revenues exceed expectations those additional dollars will not be pure profit. We will spend them on programming and on CCD.
1641 In fact, just so we are clear, we are willing to quantify that. We are going to spend at least a quarter of any revenue that exceeds our projections on CCD. We are going to spend at least another quarter of it on programming expenses.
1642 We have come in with a very conservative model because we know it is one that works. We are not about relying on fair-weather forecasts, but we do want to give you a complete picture of our future, sun or shine.
1643 We would be pleased to answer any questions that you might have.
1644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation.
1645 Commissioner Patrone.
1646 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1647 I very much appreciated your presentation today, including your video. It's always nice to see a well-produced visual representation of what you do.
1648 I'm curious, in the event that you are awarded a licence, what would happen to Spice?
1649 MR. DHANDA: Yes. We have worked with the Spice SCMO. We've worked hard without the audience and now we're ready to go on the AM. So basically our plan is to have the SCMO operational for the first six months to switch our audience all to the AM frequency.
1650 And once that is done, we're just giving it thought. There are some other communities like the Filipino or the Arabic community that are growing and they can also use the same system as us, work and build their programming and grow from there.
1651 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. So if I understand correctly, you would have the six-month overlap between --
1652 MR. DHANDA: Yes, that's correct.
1653 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- following the launch of your AM?
1654 MR. DHANDA: Yes, that is correct.
1655 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And then that would be the end, you would wrap up --
1656 MR. DHANDA: Yes.
1657 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Can you tell me what you're doing currently with Canadian artists?
1658 MR. DHANDA: I will forward this to Joti Chera.
1659 MR. CHERA: Yes. From the beginning of our SCMO launch, we really have stayed involved with our community and we have tried our best to stay connected. So that means that we have tried our best to promote local talent that exists by having them come onto our shows, you know, do interviews, we would play their music. So anything that we could do though our channel, we've done.
1660 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I am curious as to whether you maintained a level of CanCon, whether that factored into what you're doing on the Internet, whether or not you had a certain part of your programming dedicated for Canadian music or whether it was just as you go kind of thing.
1661 MR. CHERA: On the SCMO?
1662 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
1663 MR. CHERA: Okay. The SCMO channel isn't heavily regulated, as you know -- it's not regulated. So basically we have responded to our community, what are they wanting more of, and since Calgary is a growing city, we do have a lot of artists that are coming up but not a whole bunch. So whenever we come across a talent that we see that has potential or shows interest, we bring them to our station and we make sure that it's highlighted.
1664 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Given your experience with Spice, is it your view that the market can support the addition of more than one new ethnic radio station targeting the South Asian community?
1665 I'm always a little reticent about asking questions like that because it raises expectations that are not always met, but what's your view on that?
1666 MR. CHERA: From our experience, from what we have experienced in the last couple of years through our radio station, it's very difficult to get the advertising dollars from the South Asian community. One, we're on an SCMO channel. A lot of people understand what that technology is or how that system works, right?
1667 But if we're given the opportunity to go onto an AM station and if there's competition right off the bat, it would be a little difficult because Calgary is Calgary. It's not Vancouver or Toronto. It's a smaller market. So I think one station would be the way to go at this time.
1668 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Thanks. I appreciate that.
1669 Now, Fairchild has committed 23 hours of programming aimed at the South Asian community. How will PWN differentiate its programming from what's already out there?
1670 MR. CHERA: Oh, quality. Quality and control, that's for sure.
1671 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm sure they will be happy to hear that.
1672 MR. CHERA: What I mean by that is their programming is brokeraged. So when you brokerage a programming, you basically lose a bit of quality and control because these are independent producers that are coming on and producing their shows.
1673 We are going to be providing not just a couple of hours on the weekend to the South Asian community, we are going to be providing 24 hours of, you know, programming to this growing demographic. So that's a big difference.
1674 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. I appreciate you clarifying your local programming commitment on page 7 of your oral presentation and the breakdown of spoken word, news, phone-in, your current affairs programming, because we currently have several different commitments from your organization on record.
1675 Originally, you proposed 100 hours and then in a letter dated November 4th that commitment went up to 105 and now it's 122.5. So it appears to be a moving target.
1676 Can I just get your firm commitment on where you stand in terms of a minimum level of local programming?
1677 MR. DHANDA: Yes. Like on our normal weekly schedule we'll be broadcasting 122.5 hours of local programming, but for the condition of licence we'll take 105 hours of local programming.
1678 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: It was interesting to see that you will be airing or you intend to air the "Voice of America" broadcast because, as you know, it's the official external broadcast institution of the United Stated federal government and some see it as an instrument of propaganda.
1679 Any concerns about balance there?
1680 MR. DHANDA: Yes. Any news feed that will be coming from overseas will be strictly monitored and then we will be playing that.
1681 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You would be listening to it first and then --
1682 MR. DHANDA: Yes, that's correct.
1683 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You talk about the 15-minute BBC. Is it news segments from the BBC? Newscasts, is that what you're going to be airing from them?
1684 MR. CHERA: That's right. It's a news broadcast. And once again, because it's a recording that we are receiving, so it would be monitored and edited accordingly, if needed.
1685 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And can you tell us the source of any other programming? Is that it?
1686 MR. CHERA: For international?
1687 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Other than the local news that you will be doing, your 122.5 hours, is there any other source for your programming?
1688 MR. CHERA: For news programming?
1689 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, spoken word.
1690 MR. CHERA: Yes. We have several talk shows that we will be broadcasting, as you can see in the schedule, music shows, news, community shows. We even have women's show. So we do have a lot of different shows in our programming.
1691 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Regarding the phone-ins from South Asian print journalists, when I saw national news -- when I think of national news, I think of Canada.
1692 You are talking about Canadian cities here, not South Asian cities; is that right?
1693 MR. CHERA: That's right, Canadian cities.
1694 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You are talking about paid stringers who will be filing reports for you?
1695 MR. CHERA: Yes. We plan to network with other broadcasters in other cities. That will be the most cost-effective, going about gathering news.
1696 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
1697 MR. CHERA: Yes.
1698 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So it will be pooled, a pooled source of reports; is that right? I mean, will there be arrangements with other news organizations?
1699 MR. CHERA: That's right.
1700 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And they will be doing reports -- they will be filing reports for --
1701 MR. CHERA: No. We would take the information and it would be produced in the studio, then relayed.
1702 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes. And how many of these print journalists do you think you will -- and in how many cities will they be serving you, do you think?
1703 MR. CHERA: Well, we will try definitely to cover Alberta, first of all, like Edmonton, then B.C. As time goes, our goal would be to have a well enough network where we can cover Canada, but that's too far ahead.
1704 But we've done something similar already on our SCMO channel. Deepshikha can explain.
1705 MS BRAR: Thank you, Joti.
1706 Usually we try to share the reporting with quite a few print media. For example, Mr. Harpreet Sandhu from "Deshvidesh Times" asked me lots of times for special Calgary happenings. So we do that vice versa.
1707 I would like to share a few opportunities when we worked in cooperation.
1708 When Calgary elected the first Muslim origin mayor and she is the first Muslim mayor in Canada, so it was quite the news for Canada. So he interviewed me for that story for his paper as I was following the whole mayoral election at that time.
1709 And also, a couple of years ago, a girl was found killed in a Calgary home with newborn babies and it was quite the news, and because I was following that, so we incorporated these kinds of things all the time.
1710 MR. CHERA: If I can add, that was basically -- that's what triggered our idea that we could do this in the future.
1711 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Let's talk about religious programming for a minute. As you know, applicants seeking to provide religious programming need to ensure balance in order to protect their listeners against intolerance and exploitation.
1712 How much of that type of programming do you intend to do, if any?
1713 MR. CHERA: We don't plan to have any sort of religious programming because, as you already know, we're targeting the South Asian community and there are several different religions that fall under that category. So we want to serve the community by what brings them together and that's not religion, it's culture, it's language. So we totally left religion alone.
1714 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But you're doing open-line shows --
1715 MR. CHERA: Yes, we are.
1716 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- and sometimes, as you know, discussions can take you all over the map --
1717 MR. CHERA: They totally can.
1718 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: -- including areas of religion, and if that were to happen from one caller, given the diversity of your community as far as religions are concerned, if that could generate complaints?
1719 MR. CHERA: Yes, it totally can. Any sort of topic can arise. But our defence to that would be education and what I mean by that is we are -- that's why we have created the advisory councils. We are working with Mr. Steve Olson -- I'm a past student of his as well -- so we really believe in education so we will be educating our hosts. We plan to have workshops with SAIT was well where a representative from SAIT can come in and educate our host how to handle situations.
1720 On the technology end, we would obviously have a delayer and if somebody calls in -- the calls would be screened as well.
1721 So we are going to try our best to control and monitor how the show is being relayed.
1722 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
1723 MR. CHERA: One more thing. If we are granted we would also be joining the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
1724 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Council, yes.
1725 MR. CHERA: So we plan to do that as well.
1726 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: How long is the delay?
1727 MR. CHERA: Seven seconds.
1728 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Seven seconds.
1729 MR. CHERA: That's right.
1730 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: Actually, I just wanted to add that we already have that mechanism in place in our studio. It's not something we are going to get, it's already in place and we are already using it.
1731 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, because you have to avoid suggestions of censorship and that sort of thing.
1732 So the Advisory Council, would they be handling any complains in-house for instance before it were, say, to go to CBSC? Would there be any attempt in-house to handle complaints of that variety?
1733 MR. CHERA: Yes, definitely. As the station manager I'm going to be basically the contact with the Council. We will be meeting, I would say, about ever two months to discuss any sort of issues or comments that we have received from our listeners and they would do vice versa, they would tell us or tell me what kind of information they have.
1734 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
1735 MR. CHERA: Yes.
1736 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Why do you think AM radio is the best way to reach Calgary's South Asian community, as you state on page 8 of your presentation?
1737 MR. CHERA: For Calgary, AM is the answer. We want to make maximize -- what do you call it? See, FM right now -- sorry, I'm all over the map right now, but let me come back onto the page.
1738 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That's okay. Breathe. It's okay.
1739 MR. CHERA: FM is not ready for South Asian community. It's the growing community. The numbers are not there. We want to make millions, but that's not the reality. We understand the market here, it's a growing market and AM is the best answer because we will be maximizing that channel to its best potential, whereas FM we would not be.
1740 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: How do you see the audio quality between what you are putting out now --
1741 MR. CHERA: The audio quality is going to sound like HD for us, because right now the SCMO, it has disturbance, it's not -- if I could measure it, AM would be a 10, the SCMO that we are serving right now is at like 3, 3.5.
1742 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I appreciate, by the way, your collection of 4,500 names supporting your application and I agree with you that that is a pretty substantial sample.
1743 Have you made that available to the Commission, just out of curiosity? I haven't seen it, that petition.
1744 MR. DHANDA: That was made available, yes.
1745 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. I haven't seen it. I will have a look at it.
1746 To what degree did those sample help you prepare for this proceeding and your application going forward?
1747 Did you ask them what type of programming they would like to see, or that sort of thing?
1748 MR. CHERA: Our main question when we were doing that was: Would you like to have an actual open-air South Asian channel? And 100 percent of the people said yes. Because SCMO is not doing justice to Calgary at this time. People are having to buy, spend money to listen, right.
1749 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
1750 MR. CHERA: And second, the quality isn't there.
1751 COMMISSION PATRONE: Is that the size of your audience now on your current internet is 4,500, the 4,500 names on the petition. Is that about the size of what your listenership is currently?
1752 MR. CHERA: No. I believe it would be much more than that.
1753 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Much more than that.
1754 MR. CHERA: Yes.
1755 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: On page 9 you say your cost in revenue numbers are modest, but you have in fact forecasted profitability in the first year of operation. Normally applicants are less optimistic and thus able to prepare themselves for losses over a much longer period of time.
1756 How realistic are those projections?
1757 MR. DHANDA: Just by way of background, like Spice commenced its operations almost three years ago so basically we started building a business step-by-step, like building the listenership, building advertising revenues, so we reached a certain level there.
1758 This application is a transfer from SCMO to AM, so we are not starting from scratch. We already had the foundation laid down. Like we have invested significantly into operations, like we got our own studios, we got modernized studios, we got programming sources in place, so we are continuing on those resources right now.
1759 And then we got petitions -- I mean letters of commitments from our existing advertisers that want to move with the AM. So basically that was the point that we based our projections on.
1760 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right. So your internet production, you would be pushing people onto the AM station, telling everybody you know, that what you are hearing here you can sort of hear on the AM dial. SO I guess that's why you feel -- I'm not putting words in your mouth, but you are kind of hoping to hit the ground running.
1761 MR. DHANDA: Yes. There are two aspects to it.
1762 First of all, there are listeners on the SCMO. It shows there is a significant demand, I mean there are three SCMOs making a living out of this operation in Calgary so people really want this kind of programming and they are willing to even buy an SCMO receiver. So there is a clear demand.
1763 So this is a natural switch because, as Joti mentioned, the quality is a big difference.
1764 There are some listeners that are reluctant to buy these specialized receivers and I think the added convenience of just getting on the dial, the convenience of programming on the dial definitely there would be a lot more listeners in addition to that.
1765 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Despite the best laid plans of course things can always turn out more expensive than originally thought.
1766 How prepared are you to go the long distance, assuming that you can't reach profitability, saying the first few years, are you able to financially sustain an extended period of losses?
1767 MR. DHANDA: Again I would like to mention that like we started with SCMO operations and we built upon that.
1768 As a matter of fact, I started when there was a recession so we know how to build a business. We put together everything step-by-step, process-by-process and we got things in place. I mean we got advertisers who were committed to us, so got a significantly good operations that's going on right now.
1769 But our projections are in line with the market. Like with our relationships with our advertisers, we surveyed them and we have asked them what revenue -- or what slots they are comfortable with, so we based our revenue projections based upon those.
1770 So taking that into consideration, our plan is very, very robust.
1771 But just in case, if things happen like as you say, I mean if things happen, we have backup funding in place to sustain our operations.
1772 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: In your forecast you say that only 2.5 percent or about $14,000 of your year two revenues will come from the existing radio station, the incumbent.
1773 How did you arrive at that number?
1774 MR. CHERA: We arrived at the number because we are already in the market. We already have a strong clientele that wants to transfer with us. So we really are not going to be targeting -- try to target people that are already on 94.7. Once we are on AM it's going to give us an opportunity to go to the national advertisers, "Hey, we are on an AM channel." Because they easily understand Am than SCMO.
1775 So basically that's why we would not be tapping into the existing radio. We have our own clients, we won't be going to print media looking for clients there and trying to get some national clients as well.
1776 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Does the 2.5 percent represent the degree to which Spice has encroached on the incumbent radio station's market?
1777 MR. CHERA: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
1778 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have your internet
1779 MR. CHERA: SCMO.
1780 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right.
1781 MR. CHERA: Yes.
1782 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Have you been able to gauge the degree to which that operation has eaten into the market, the radio market, Fairchild's operation?
1783 MR. DHANDA: Yes. It is very difficult question to answer because there is no realistic way of analyzing those figures.
1784 But there are advertisers that do advertise with SCMO and also on Fairchild.
1785 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Would you be prepared to offer proof of financing on a confidential basis, should the Commission require it?
1786 MR. CHERA: Yes.
1787 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to switch over to CCD commitments.
1788 You do talk about support for local music competitions. You commit $121,000 as an over and above commitment.
1789 Is that correct?
1790 MR. DHANDA: Yes, that's correct.
1791 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Could you tell us a little more about the annual music contests in terms of how they will work, how they are organized, that kind of thing?
1792 MR. CHERA: We would host like a talent show that we would invite any of the local talent to come out and participate at these events. We would take the winner of that show and we would create CDs of their music and try to distribute them throughout Canada.
1793 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Now, would these CDs be produced in-house? Would you be using your studios in order to do that?
1794 MR. CHERA: We would be outsourcing.
1795 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Because you know that as an over and above CCD is seen as a contribution to the system rather than an in-house contribution to your own programming, if you know what I mean.
1796 MR. CHERA: Yes. Yes, no. We would not make the CDs in house, no.
1797 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay, yes. I just wanted to see that you understood the spirit of CCD as we intended it.
1798 And if the Commission deems one of those expenditures as not qualifying, do you have a backup plan?
1799 MR. CHERA: To promote the talent?
1800 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Concerning your commitment, your over and above your CCD commitments, if they were deemed not to qualify?
1801 MR. DHANDA: Yes. I think we need some time to think about that, so we can file that with the Commission later on.
1802 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That's fine.
1803 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
1804 Thank you very much.
1805 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Patrone.
1806 Briefly, have you submitted a CAPEX on the costs of setting up shop for an AM frequency?
1807 MR. DHANDA: Could you repeat that question again?
1808 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Have you deposited with the Commission the potential costs of setting up an AM frequency?
1809 MR. DHANDA: Yes.
1810 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tower, land?
1811 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: Yes we did. Yes, as part of our application.
1812 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have you costed that expenditure?
1813 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: Yes.
1814 THE CHAIRPERSON: What would that cost be?
1815 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: I'm sorry about that.
1816 THE CHAIRPERSON: No problem.
1817 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: The costs for the transmitter planned is $112,000.
1818 THE CHAIRPERSON: $112,000.
1819 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: Yes.
1820 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that includes the land and transmitter?
1821 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: You see, we are leasing the land. We are leasing the land.
1822 And I just want to clarify, this AM plan is for the low power AM and it doesn't require all land use, because we are transmitting from -- we will be transmitting from an antenna which is less than 45 feet and it is exempt from public consultation and all that.
1823 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1824 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: So it would be just the money to lease the land. We are leasing the land. We already have filed that with Industry Canada and also with the Commission.
1825 THE CHAIRPERSON: Speaking of Industry Canada, have you received approval on the two backup frequencies you mentioned on page 8, 1690 and 1950?
1826 Do you have TAs for those two frequencies?
1827 MR. DHANDA: Yes, we did a consultation with Industry Canada and those frequencies are clean.
1828 THE CHAIRPERSON: They are what, I'm sorry?
1829 MR. DHANDA: They are clean. I meant they can be used in Calgary, just as 1670.
1830 THE CHAIRPERSON: In our Notice of Consultation we made it clear that we would not hear you unless you had your TA on time with your submission.
1831 Did you deposit your TAs for 1650 and 1690 when you deposited for 1670?
1832 MR. DHANDA: Yes, we deposited a TA for 1670, but not for 1650 and 1690.
1833 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you do not have a 1690 or 1650 TA?
1834 MR. DHANDA: No we don't have it on paper, but we got a verbal agreement from Industry Canada.
1835 THE CHAIRPERSON: But given our Notice of Consultation you understand we cannot take into consideration those two frequencies?
1836 MR. DHANDA: Yes, we understand that.
1837 THE CHAIRPERSON: You understand that?
1838 MR. DHANDA: Yes.
1839 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1840 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may -- just pardon my interruption -- just add one more thing, to pick up something from a minute ago.
1841 Just on CAPEX there is further information, I think it's 5.1 of the application, just in case -- for further analysis later. So there are further details in the application and it is section 5.1.
1842 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that figure correct until 5.1?
1843 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes. The only difference is the $12,000 figure for land which was submitted when we submitted the information regarding the TA, given Industry Canada's requirements in terms of the siting of the antenna.
1844 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1845 MR. ABRAMSON: So that was submitted to the Commission, but it was submitted after having submitted the initial application form. So, as we explained in the letter when we filed the TA, there is a $12,000 difference and that has been submitted with the Commission.
1846 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We will take a look at that; thank you.
1847 Just a little question. Voice of America, you would not be broadcasting that live, given Commissioner Patrone's question?
1848 MR. DHANDA: Yes, that's correct. This would be recorded.
1849 THE CHAIRPERSON: It would be recorded, okay.
1850 What would the cost of the receiver be? Currently the cost of the receiver in Calgary for the 10.1, what would it cost a listener to buy that?
1851 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: When we introduced that car receiver they cost the listeners $30 and the home receivers, they are about anywhere from $50 to $120.
1852 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1853 We have heard a lot about the growing population of the South Asian community in Calgary, well over 100,000. Over the next few years it will surpass the Chinese community. I think the figure I saw here this morning was 114,000 roughly by 2016.
1854 Yet you mentioned that you didn't think FM was, at the end of the day, the best use of frequency for that community. You didn't think it was big enough, it couldn't support an FM station.
1855 MR. CHERA: We just found the AM channel a much better choice because we have seen this type of method. Because when you think about AM you think about, "Oh my God, a million dollar project", but that's not what we presented here. We did our research and figured out a way where we can keep our costs low, which is going to help us survive over the seven years, so that's what we presented.
1856 So that's why we didn't -- we want to let the big boys take the FM.
1857 MR. DHANDA: Actually, we have seen these type of stations really in the Montreal and Toronto markets and there are lots of them there. That's where we kind of -- that's when we were searching for an AM frequency -- sorry, searching for an open frequency, that's where we get the idea from.
1858 The other thing, we looking at the population groups we were serving, I mean definitely they speak other languages, but if you look at most of the Calgarians, they don't speak those languages. It's still a very small percentage of that and they will never switch to basically ethnic languages. So I think this AM frequency will be the optimum use for ethnic broadcasting.
1859 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: And we also think that the FM frequency should be used for its best potential. Like we are 100,000 maybe by this time and then the Calgary population is 1.1 million. We cannot make the Calgary population switch their language to Punjabi, right, so we have to think about it. This belongs to the bigger market, it doesn't belong to us.
1860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Peter, any questions?
1861 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.
1862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Menzies may have a question for you.
1863 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One thing I have learned more in this is that there is actually a lot of options for radio for Punjabi speakers in Calgary that I wasn't aware of in terms of the SCMOs.
1864 So if you were selling me an ad, why would I buy an ad on your station instead of the other guys?
1865 MR. CHERA: Because we have really focussed on branding ourselves. We wanted to sound cool, hip, modern. Because you can have the best programs, but if you are not branding yourself, if you are not marketing yourself the listeners won't commit and the advertisers won't want to advertise.
1866 So we have really engaged ourselves with the community. We try to go out to every event that happens in our community, like you see on the video, so we try to make ourselves visual in the community so they can see us so we can become more popular. So that attracts clients. That's what --
1867 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How many listeners would my ad reach with you guys instead of the other fellows we have heard from today who are already SCMOs?
1868 MR. DHANDA: Actually that's one difficult thing with the SCMO scenario, like there is no exact way for matching the audience reach, so basically it's about -- as Joti said, it's about branding yourself and that's about it. It's how people see your brand.
1869 MR. CHERA: It's really hard to measure the listenership on the SCMO channels.
1870 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, I understand that, but 357 people like you on Facebook, so how many does that -- I mean roughly how many people are we talking about, 5,000, 10,000, 2,000? Bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a house?
1871 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: I think it's not -- 300 people, that's -- like we are two years in the market. If you -- everybody has a Facebook page. You refer to the other two --
1872 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's more than Alison Redford has right now, so I'm not saying it's --
1873 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: No, it's more than anybody else has in Calgary so we are proud of that, to achieve that.
1874 Because we focus on second generations. We don't want to be fossilized as an immigrant-only or seniors-only station.
1875 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
1876 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: We engage the second and third generations in our station to achieve this goal.
1877 MR. CHERA: Actually, I do have an example that I can tell you that maybe might help.
1878 We did a live on location for a telephone provider, Mobilicity, and they were very impressed. They actually told us that they did a live on location with another mainstream radio station and we produced better results. When they had a live on location done with the mainstream station they sold about 34 units I believe, and when we did our live on location we sold 67. So just to give you an idea.
1879 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I was just trying to get some idea of where you sat with all that.
1880 And did you say something about Brooks earlier or did I misunderstand?
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1881 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you.
1882 THE CHAIRPERSON: There are no more questions.
1883 It's nice, I get it, if you build cool they will come, sort of the model of Spice.
--- Off microphone / Sans microphone
1884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Moira, la parole est à vous.
1885 MS LÉTOURNEAU: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Only one clarification.
1886 After consultation with Commissioner Patrone, the Commission expects the applicant to file, on a confidential basis, proof of financing by Phase IV.
1887 MR. AMANDEEP DOAD: That's no problem. We will get it.
1888 MS LÉTOURNEAU: Thank you.
1889 MR. CHERA: Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to explain ourselves.
1890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you did a great job. We really appreciate it a lot.
1891 MR. CHERA: Thank you.
1892 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Ventura, tomorrow morning 9:00 a.m.?
1893 THE SECRETARY: That's correct. We will start tomorrow morning with Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership.
1894 Thank you.
1895 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned 1659, to resume on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 0900