ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-236

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Ottawa, 20 March 1986
Decision CRTC 86-236
CIRC Radio Inc.
Toronto, Ontario - 852323500
Following a Public Hearing in Toronto commencing 3 December 1985, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an FM radio station at Toronto on the frequency 88.7 MHz, channel 204, with an effective radiated power of 22 watts. The new licence will be for an "ethnic station" as defined in the Radio (F.M.) Broadcasting Regulations as amended (SOR/86-194 dated 6 February 1986).
The Commission will issue a licence expiring 30 September 1990, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
The Commission notes that the station will be operated in the "Group I" music format, which encompasses international pop songs, popularizations of folk idioms and popular music reflecting Canada's various cultures.
The Commission considers that CIRC Radio Inc. (CIRC) has demonstrated that it can "fill a niche between the existing multilingual stations and closed-circuit stations". It has also taken into account the applicant's financial viability and the broadcasting experience of several of the principal shareholders who have been associated with the Canadian Portuguese Radio Club (CPRC), a successful closed-circuit radio operation in Toronto. The licensee has indicated that CPRC will cease operation upon issuance of the new FM licence and that its financial and creative resources will become available to the new station.
In accordance with the applicant's proposal, as conditions of licence, CIRC will devote 114 hours (90%) of the broadcast week to ethnic programming of Types A and B, and will provide programming directed to a minimum of six cultural groups in six or more different languages.
CIRC indicated it would expand its services "as the needs of various communities demand, as the Commission requires and as our circumstances allow". The Commission notes that CIRC has specifically excluded the Italian community, a major cultural group in the Toronto market, from its target audience on the grounds that it is "the base of many existing systems and existing stations".
The new FM station will provide over-the-air radio services to various ethnic groups by means of a low-power transmitter which, in the applicant's view, is the most cost-effective means of serving ethnic neighbourhoods. The Commission notes that this proposal is predicated on the use of a "drop-in" channel and represents an efficient utilization of the broadcasting spectrum, given the scarcity of frequencies, both AM and FM, in the Metropolitan Toronto area. It considers that the applicant should be able to provide an interference-free service to northwestern Toronto and the surrounding area enclosed by the 3mV/m (primary) contour and an adequate signal to a much larger area, including parts of Metropolitan Toronto and Mississauga.
The channel approved by this decision is an unprotected channel. Accordingly, the applicant would have to select another channel for the operation of the station should optimum utilization of the broadcasting spectrum so require.
It is a condition of licence that in that portion of the broadcast week during which it broadcasts ethnic programs, the applicant should maintain a minimum Canadian content level of 7% for category 5 musical selections. As an exception to policy, having taken into consideration the arguments presented by the applicant at the hearing, the Commission accepts a minimum level of 3% for category 6. However, the Commission expects CIRC to make every effort to exceed these levels.
The Commission has taken note of the applicant's commitment to provide its listeners with a comprehensive news and information service. It has undertaken to broadcast 45 hours 6 minutes of Spoken Word programming per week, including 13 hours 21 minutes of News and 20 hours 40 minutes of Enrichment material.
In support of Canadian talent and production, CIRC will organize an annual song festival featuring contestants from various ethnic groups and has allocated $10,000 for this purpose. CIRC has also made a commitment to contribute $1,500 per year to FACTOR/CTL.
Further, consistent with the objectives set out in Public Notice CRTC 1985-241, the Commission expects CIRC to participate in any initiatives taken towards the development of the Canadian ethnic recording and production industries.
The Commission also notes the applicant's plans for children's programming, including Chinese and Greek presentations from Monday to Friday and a Portuguese program every Saturday. These presentations will feature music and stories focusing on the respective traditions and cultural heritage of each language group.
Drawing on expertise and resources from within the community, the applicant has established an independent advisory board composed of representatives of the ethnic groups to be served by the new station. This board will meet every two months and should provide a link between the CIRC board of directors and the communities which make up the station's target audience.
In accordance with paragraph 22(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence, and 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.
It is a condition of this licence that construction of the station be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of receipt of written notification from the Department of Communications that it will issue a Technical Construction and Operating Certificate or such further period as the Commission may, upon receipt of a request for extension before the expiry of the said twelve months, deem appropriate under the circumstances.
The Commission has received numerous interventions in support of this application and a number of interventions in opposition for various reasons, including the use of the proposed frequency, and the possible duplication of ethnic services currently available.
The Commission has considered all of the interveners' views and it is satisfied that approval of this application is in the public interest.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General

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