ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 84-302

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Ottawa, 29 March 1984
Decision CRTC 84-302
Radio Communautaire du Bas St-Laurent
Rimouski, Quebec - 832679500 - 832249700 - 831479100
At a Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 13 December 1983, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission considered the applications by Radio Communautaire du Bas St-Laurent to amend the broadcasting licence and Promise of Performance for CKLE-FM Rimouski.
The licensee proposed to amend its Promise of Performance by deleting the authorized maximum of 4 minutes per hour of restricted advertising and by establishing an average daily distribution of restricted advertising that would contain, at certain times of the day, a maximum of 6 minutes of restricted advertising per hour. The licensee planned to broadcast 6 minutes of restricted advertising per hour in the morning, between 6 AM and noon.
In its application, the licensee indicated that approval of this proposal would enable it to make its operations cost-effective and to broadcast, without commercial interruptions, foreground programs produced by volunteers and distributed primarily in the afternoon and evening.
The Commission acknowledges the interventions of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Association canadienne de la Radio et de la Télévision de langue française Inc. in opposition to these applications. These interveners emphasized their concerns regarding the commercial orientation of this community radio station, which contravenes its mandate.
While the Commission recognizes that many community radio stations are presently experiencing financial difficulties, it is nevertheless concerned by the gradual shift of these stations in recent years towards greater commercialization. The Commission considers that this trend is contrary to the role of community radio and could affect, either directly or indirectly, their community nature and the balance of broadcasting services available in a given market. Moreover, the Commission considers that this proposal to increase the amount of time devoted to advertising per hour would accelerate this trend further toward increased commercialization of community radio, and it is not prepared to approve such a request at this time. However, the Commission intends to review this matter within the broader context of a public hearing on the nature and role of community radio in Canada, and with the regulations governing it.
Accordingly, it denies the application to amend the Promise of Performance of CKLE-FM Rimouski by broadcasting 6 minutes of restricted advertising per hour.
The Commission, however, approves the proposal to delete the existing condition of licence concerning the broadcasting of restricted advertising and to substitute therefor the condition of licence described below. The Commission believes that this revised condition of licence will give the licensee greater flexibility and should enable it to generate more advertising revenue for its financial recovery, while complying with the Commission's policies.
As outlined in the Policy statement on the Review of Radio dated 3 March 1983 (Public Notice CRTC 1983-43) the Commission authorizes the licensee, as a condition of licence, to broadcast a maximum of 4 minutes per hour of restricted advertising. In line with the definition in this statement as to what constitutes restricted advertising, the licensee is authorized to broadcast simple statements of sponsorship which identify the sponsors of a program or of the station. Such statements may incorporate the name of the sponsor, the business address, hours of business, and a brief general description of the types of services or products which the sponsor provides, including the price, name and brand name of the product. These statements must not contain language which attempts to persuade consumers to purchase and thus must not contain references to convenience, durability or desirability or contain other comparative or competitive references.
The Commission will also allow the station to accept payment for classified advertisements on behalf of individuals and for informational messages on behalf of organizations engaged in community affairs and activities of a non-profit nature.
The Commission reminds the licensee that it is required to derive most of these revenues from sponsors in the area it is licensed to serve and will not be permitted to use pre-produced national advertising messages.
However, the Commission reminds the licensee that in the analysis that it conducted in 1983, it found that the licensee was not complying with its condition of licence pertaining to the broadcasting of restricted advertising. It intends to review this matter with the licensee at the renewal of its licence which expires 30 September 1984.
The licensee also proposed to amend its Promise of Performance by increasing the amount of news (Category O) from 4 hours and 5 minutes to 6 hours and 25 minutes per week, by reducing the amount of local and regional news, which now dominates this category, to nearly 30%, and by decreasing the amount of Category 7 music (Traditional and Special Interest) from 6 hours to 5 hours per week.
The Commission approves the proposals to increase the amount of news from 4 hours and 5 minutes to 6 hours and 25 minutes per week, and to decrease the amount of Category 7 music from 6 hours to 5 hours per week.
The Commission, however, denies the proposal to reduce to nearly 30% the amount of local and regional news broadcast by CKLE-FM. The Commission feels that such a drastic reduction could affect the community orientation of the station, which must meet the needs and reflect the character of its community. The Commission further notes that different media sources already offer a complete provincial, national and international news service in the Rimouski area. The Commission plans to review this matter with the licensee at the renewal of its licence.
The Commission also acknowledges the intervention of the Association des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires du Québec in support of the applications noted above.
J.G. Patenaude Secretary General

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