ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 85-355

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Ottawa, 21 May 1985
Decision CRTC 85-355
Rawlco Communications Ltd.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - 842752800
Following a Public Hearing in Regina, Saskatchewan on 26 March 1985, the Commission approves the application for authority to acquire the assets of CFMC-FM Saskatoon from General Broadcasting Ltd. and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of that undertaking. The Commission will issue a joint FM licence to Rawlco Communications Ltd. (Rawlco) upon surrender of the current licence. The licence will expire 31 March 1990 and be subject to the conditions specified in the licence to be issued.
The station will operate on the 95.1 MHz frequency with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts and the transmitter site will be co-located with CKOM Saskatoon, also owned by the applicant. The Commission notes that the proposed technical parameters reflect significant changes from the 103.9 MHz frequency and power of 6,020 watts under which CFMC-FM is currently operating. These technical changes will make full use of the station's frequency and will increase considerably its signal strength in Saskatoon and surrounding area.
However, in accordance with paragraph 22(1)b) of the Broadcasting Act, the authority granted herein may only be implemented at such time as written notification is received from the Department of Communications that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate.
The Commission is satisfied that the applicant's proposal for shared transmission, newsroom and studio facilities will permit the realization of substantial financial and programming benefits, and that approval of a joint AM-FM operation is in the public interest. In this regard the applicant has made a firm commitment to provide the Saskatoon community with distinctly different services on CKOM and CFMC-FM.
The Commission notes that CFMC-FM will operate within musical Group II, which encompasses the current Progressive format of the station as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1984-151. Under the Promise of Performance submitted by the applicant, CFMC-FM will draw from subcategory 52 (Pop and Rock-Harder) for a minimum of 70% of its playlist.
The Commission notes Rawlco's undertaking to provide adequate financial and Programming resources to develop CFMC-FM into a truly alternative and distinctive information service for the community. This is in accordance with the Commission's policy that licensees of joint FM stations provide alternative news voices on their AM and FM undertakings. A major commitment in this regard is the applicant's proposed weekday half-hour public affairs program entitled "FM Magazine". Locally produced, using the resources of the station's newsroom and programming staff, this program will provide in-depth treatment of topics, issues and personalities of interest to Saskatoon.
The licensee proposes to broadcast 6 hours per week of Traditional and Special Interest (category 6) music, a reduction from the currently authorized level of 10 hours/week. The Commission approves a minimum of 8 hours per week of music from this category and expects the applicant to decrease the amount of category 5 music proportionately.
In its policy statement on the Review of Radio in March 1983 and in a number of subsequent decisions, the Commission reaffirmed that FM stations authorized to broadcast Traditional and Special Interest music programming would generally not be permitted to reduce such programming to a level of less than 8 hours per week. In doing so, the Commission emphasized the importance of providing an adequate level of specialized music in order to ensure that varied and comprehensive listening fare is available and it considers that a departure from this policy is not warranted in this case. The Commission notes the applicant's intention to program light classical, jazz and contemporary religious music selections as a means of fulfilling its category 6 music commitment.
In its application, the licensee proposes a 20% level of Canadian content in the music broadcast on CFMC-FM, a reduction from the currently authorized level of 30%. The Commission notes that 20% is the minimum acceptable level under the Commission's guidelines for Group II FM radio stations, as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1984-151, and has taken into account Rawlco's commitment to produce and broadcast, over and above its 20% commitment to Canadian content, a daily foreground program devoted exclusively to Canadian music and artists, as well as a daily music journal "Rock and Roll News" which will include first play of local artists' tapes and interviews with the artists.
The Commission acknowledges the applicant's undertaking to allocate an annual budget of $30,000 for the promotion and support of local and regional creative talent. This fund will cover the cost of: four live broadcasts of Canadian artists in concert; the production of a record album featuring local talent; a radio-drama script competition; a $1,000 scholarship for students of the performing arts at the University of Saskatchewan; as well as free air-time in support of the Saskatoon Symphony Society and two local theatre groups.
The Commission will follow closely the licensee's efforts to adhere to its Promise of Performance and to the requirements of this decision in accordance with the Commission's policies and regulations.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General

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