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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 92-599

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Decision

Ottawa, 20 August 1992
Decision CRTC 92-599
Key Radio Limited
Kitchener, Ontario - 911877900 - 912998200
Following a Public Hearing in Toronto beginning on 19 May 1992, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CKGL-FM Kitchener from 1 September 1992 to 31 August 1996, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
This term will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other radio stations in the area.
The Commission also approves
the application by Key Radio Limited (Key) to amend the Promise of Performance for CKGL-FM by changing the program format from Group II (Country) to Group I (Pop, Rock and Dance).
The Commission notes that Key has indicated that it will concurrently change the musical orientation of its joint AM station, CHYM Kitchener, from adult contemporary to country, and that it will maintain the country music service on the AM band for, at a minimum, all of the new licence term granted herein to the FM station.
In addition to CHYM and CKGL-FM, three other local commercial stations currently serve the Kitchener market: CIAM Cambridge, an "oldies-based adult contemporary" station owned by Power Broadcasting Inc.; CKKW Kitchener, a "contemporary hits" station; and CFCA-FM Kitchener, a "Group 1" station. CKKW and CFCA-FM are licensed to 965427 Ontario Inc. as a consequence of Decision CRTC 92-589 dated 19 August 1992, which approved that company's applications to acquire the assets of these radio stations from Electrohome Limited (Electrohome), doing business under the name and style of CAP Communications. The Commission notes that out-of-market stations, primarily Toronto stations, have a larger listening share of the Kitchener market than do these local commercial stations.
According to Key, since this request entails only a "switch" of formats and does not involve any change in those formats, approval will not lessen diversity in the market. Moreover, Key argued that the format switch would enable it to repatriate some of the listeners currently lost to out-of-market stations. In support of this claim, Key presented the results of research studies indicating that, while the majority of outside tuning goes to FM stations with an adult contemporary and pop rock format (Group 1), many of these listeners would prefer to tune to a local Group 1 FM station which would provide local news and information. Moreover, Key claimed that repatriation of local audiences would make radio a "more attractive medium" for advertisers and would therefore provide increased opportunities for all local stations.
With regard to its commitment to move the country music format to the AM band, Key claimed that its research indicates that a majority of the listeners to out-of-market country stations would prefer to listen to a local country station on AM.
The Commission notes that, while CHYM is currently profitable, audience erosion to out-of-market FM stations has led to decreasing revenues and profits in the last two years. In the circumstances, the Commission considers it reasonable that Key take measures to respond to downward trends as a means to forestall financial difficulties in the future.
In approving this request, the Commission has also taken into consideration the commitments made by Key regarding the transfer of some existing programs from FM to AM and the addition of new programs on both stations. Key also made a commitment to increase the news content on the FM station to 6 hours and 51 minutes weekly, an increase of 2 hours and 31 minutes over the level proposed in the renewal application. The Commission also notes Key's commitment to contribute $60,000 annually over six years to Canadian Women in Radio and Television.
The Commission acknowledges the more than 125 interventions submitted in support of the proposed exchange of formats between CHYM and CKGL-FM. The Commission has also noted the opposing interventions submitted by Electrohome, and by 965427 Ontario Inc., which recently acquired the assets of CKKW and CFCA-FM from Electrohome. Both Electrohome and 965427 Ontario Inc. claimed, among other things, that approval of the format switch would allow Key's station CKGL-FM to occupy the central adult contemporary FM niche of the 25 to 49 years age group, thereby locking CFCA-FM into its "...current 55 plus audience [and] out of the more saleable demographics including 35-45, which is crucial for the survival of any radio station".
In response, Key stated that there would be less programming duplication on the FM band following the proposed format switch than what currently exists between the present country format on CKGL-FM and the Group I format on CFCA-FM.
In this regard, the Commission notes that the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) statistics for Kitchener for spring 1992 showed large ratings increases for CFCA-FM in the 35-54 age group, indicating that CFCA-FM is now very competitive with CHYM among these listeners. Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation (Bayshore), licensee of CFOS and CIXK-FM Owen Sound, Ontario, and CKNX Broadcasting Limited, licensee of CKNX and CKNX-FM Wingham, Ontario, also submitted opposing interventions, claiming that approval of the format change would cause harm to their operations. The Commission is satisfied with Key's replies to these interventions.
In its intervention, Bayshore also raised the longstanding issue of interference from CHYM, operating on frequency 570 kHz, with the intervener's station CFOS, operating on frequency 560 kHz. The Commisison intends to address this issue in the context of its consideration of an application (920148400) recently submitted by Bayshore for a power increase to improve CFOS's signal and to overcome interference.
While not opposing the proposed format change, Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin), licensee of CIDC-FM Orangeville, asked the Commission to defer its decision on Key's application until the Commission had reviewed the intervener's own request to change CIDC-FM's format. The Commission notes that Dufferin has since withdrawn its application.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and is satisfied with the annual budgets allocated and the initiatives proposed by the licensee in this respect. It encourages the licensee, during the new licence term, to continue its efforts towards the support, development and on-air exposure of local and regional talent.
The Commission acknowledges the intervention submitted by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in support of CKGL-FM's licence renewal.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General