ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-143
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Route reference: 2012-457
Ottawa, 21 March 2013
Ottawa Media Inc.
Application 2011-0125-3, received 27 January 2011
CJWL-FM Ottawa – Licence renewal
The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CJWL-FM Ottawa from 1 April 2013 to 31 August 2019.
The Commission denies the licensee’s request for an exception to the policy on the broadcast of hits by English-language FM radio stations in the bilingual markets of Montréal and Ottawa-Gatineau.
Further, to ensure that the licensee meets its outstanding commitments to the development of Canadian talent, the Commission imposes a condition of licence requiring the licensee to contribute $53,279 to eligible Canadian content development (CCD) initiatives by 31 August 2013. This contribution is in addition to the required basic annual contribution to CCD set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986.
1. Ottawa Media Inc. (Ottawa Media) applied to renew the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio station CJWL-FM Ottawa. The licence expires 31 March 2013.1 The Commission did not receive any interventions concerning this application.
2. Ottawa Media proposed to delete its condition of licence concerning contributions to Canadian talent development (CTD) set out in Broadcasting Decision 2005-254. The licensee stated that in the future it wished to make a basic contribution to Canadian content development (CCD) at the level set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations). In Broadcasting Public Notice 2006-158, the Commission replaced the expression CTD with CCD and set out a list of eligible CCD initiatives. The CCD regime was later put into effect through changes to the Regulations. Under the CCD regime, licensees are required to adhere to section 15 of the Regulations, but may also propose additional contributions to CCD, which are generally set out in conditions of licence.
3. Further, the licensee requested an exception to the policy on the broadcast of hits by English-language FM radio stations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-61. This policy requires English-language commercial FM radio stations in the bilingual markets of Montréal and Ottawa-Gatineau to ensure that less than 50% of all their weekly musical selections are hits. Ottawa Media submitted that the hits policy had had a detrimental effect on its ability to compete and to offer its New Easy Listening format to its audience. Specifically, it noted that the 50+ demographic tended to seek out music with which it was familiar and submitted that the hits policy prevented CJWL-FM from offering such music. Ottawa Media added that it operated on an “impaired signal,” despite having made successful applications for technical amendments to improve its coverage. It submitted that as a result of this impairment and the restriction on the broadcast of hits, attracting and maintaining listeners was challenging.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
4. After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed are the following:
- CCD contributions; and
- the request for an exception to the policy on the broadcast of hits.
5. As set out in Broadcasting Decision 2005-254, the licensee was required to contribute $4 million over seven consecutive broadcast years to the development and promotion of Canadian talent, to be allocated as follows:
- Year 1: $362,500
- Year 2: $572,500
- Year 3: $577,500
- Year 4: $602,500
- Year 5: $637,500
- Year 6: $622,500
- Year 7: $625,000
6. The Commission notes that CJWL-FM began operations in the 2005-2006 broadcast year. Consistent with Broadcasting Information Bulletin 2009-251, the licensee should have made a pro-rated contribution of $151,042 for that year and paid the remainder of the amount owed for the first year of operations following the seventh year of operation in the 2012-2013 broadcast year. The Commission notes that the licensee contributed $78,922 in the 2005-2006 broadcast year, incurring a shortfall of $72,120. However, the licensee increased its contribution in the 2006-2007 broadcast year to meet and exceed this shortfall. The licensee also exceeded the required contributions in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 broadcast years, but incurred a shortfall of $17,914 for the 2009-2010 broadcast year.2 Given that the licensee has exceeded the required contribution in previous years, the Commission considers that the shortfall for the 2009-2010 broadcast year has been met.
7. The licensee claimed a total of $4,033,411 in CCD expenditures over the licence term. However, in claiming its expenditures for its Capital Concert initiative for the 2007-2008 to 2009-2010 broadcast years, the licensee failed to deduct proceeds from ticket sales. As a result, the ineligible expenditures total $86,690 for those broadcast years.
8. The Commission notes that as of 31 August 2012, the licensee has contributed $3,946,721 in eligible expenditures to CCD. Therefore, the licensee did not complete its required $4 million contribution, leaving an amount due of $53,279.
9. Accordingly, in the appendix to this decision, the Commission has imposed a condition of licence requiring the licensee to contribute $53,279 to eligible CCD initiatives by 31 August 2013. Given that the licensee’s future CCD contributions will be made in line with the CCD regime set out in section 15 of the Regulations, the Commission has also deleted the current condition of licence relating to CTD payments.
Request for an exception to the policy on the broadcast of hits
10. The Commission notes that in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-61 it found that the policy on the broadcast of hits in the bilingual markets of Montréal and Ottawa‑Gatineau continues to have a positive effect on linguistic duality. The Commission concluded that the policy would therefore remain in effect.
11. The Commission further notes that the limit concerning the broadcast of hits is part of the operational realities of any commercial radio station doing business in the bilingual market of Ottawa-Gatineau. The Commission is therefore of the view that making an exception for CJWL-FM as regards this restriction would disturb the regulatory balance in the market and confer an unfair advantage to the licensee. Further, the Commission considers that it would be more appropriate to address the application of the hits policy to Ottawa-Gatineau market in the context of a policy review than in the context of this application.
12. Finally, the Commission notes that CJWL-FM operates in a musical format described in its licensing decision as featuring a broad range of musical styles, including crooners, standards, ballads, love songs and contemporary hits drawn from both current and past musical eras.3 Moreover, the station is not locked into a specialty format, and Ottawa Media already has the flexibility to broaden its existing music offering or transition to a different format.
13. In light of the above, the Commission denies the applicant’s request for an exception to the policy on the broadcast of hits by English-language FM radio stations in the bilingual markets of Montréal and Ottawa-Gatineau.
14. The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CJWL-FM Ottawa from 1 April 2013 to 31 August 2019. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- Various radio programming undertakings – Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-456, 28 August 2012
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-790, 19 December 2011
- Administrative renewals, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-558, 31 August 2011
- Clarifications regarding Canadian content development contributions made by commercial radio stations, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2009-251, 5 May 2009
- Policy regarding the broadcast of hits by English-language FM radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-61, 11 February 2009
- Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006
- English-language adult standards/easy listening FM radio station in Ottawa, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2005-254, 23 June 2005
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-143
Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CJWL-FM Ottawa
The licence will expire 31 August 2019.
Conditions of licence
1. The licensee shall adhere to the conditions set out in Conditions of licence for commercial AM and FM radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-62, 11 February 2009.
2. As an exception to the percentage of Canadian musical selections set out in sections 2.2(8) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), the licensee shall devote at least 40% of its musical selections from content category 2 (Popular Music) in each broadcast week to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.
For the purposes of this condition, the terms “broadcast week,” “Canadian selection,” “content category” and “musical selection” shall have the same meaning as that set out in the Regulations.
3. In addition to the required basic annual contribution to Canadian content development (CCD) set out in section 15 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, as amended from time to time, the licensee shall make a contribution of $53,279 to eligible CCD initiatives by 31 August 2013. Parties and initiatives fulfilling the definition of eligible initiatives are set out in paragraph 108 of Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006.
The Commission expects the licensee to reflect the cultural diversity of Canada in its programming and employment practices.
In accordance with Implementation of an employment equity policy, Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, 1 September 1992, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
 The original licence expiry date for this station was 31 August 2011. The licence was administratively renewed from 1 September 2011 to 31 March 2013 as a result of Broadcasting Decisions 2011-558, 2011-790 and 2012-456.
 Since the licensee has been renewed administratively since 31 August 2011, the Commission did not conduct audits of the CCD contributions for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 broadcast years.
- Date modified: