ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-811

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Ottawa, 29 August 1986
Decision CRTC 86-811
Annapolis Valley Radio Ltd.
Kentville, Nova Scotia - 860710300
Following a Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 17 June 1986, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CKWM-FM Kentville from 1 October 1986 to 30 September 1989, subject to the conditions specified 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 FM stations in the region.
As a full-time rebroadcaster of the CBC's English-language stereo network, CKWM-FM currently provides a Classical-Fine Arts radio service to the Annapolis Valley. In its renewal application, the licensee proposes not to renew its affiliation agreement with the CBC and to operate CKWM-FM as a local radio service in the Group I music format.
In support of its application, Annapolis Valley Radio Ltd. (AVR) cited the strong support demonstrated by area residents for a similar service in 1984. At that time, CHUM Limited sought unsuccessfully to establish at Middleton a rebroadcaster of CIOO-FM Halifax. The licensee quoted the Commission's concern, expressed in the decision denying CHUM Limited's application, that "alternate, local FM service be provided to the Annapolis Valley at the earliest date" (Decision CRTC 84-1049 dated 21 December 1984). AVR also described its investment in new studio equipment and additional staff necessary to implement the proposed service.
The Commission received a number of written interventions opposing AVR's proposed disaffiliation from the CBC. Representatives of the Corporation appeared at the hearing to intervene in support of the renewal of CKWM-FM's licence, provided the station continued to operate as an affiliate of its English-language stereo network.
The CBC indicated that its own plans to establish an FM transmitter in the Annapolis Valley had been delayed by budget cuts. While it supported AVR's proposal to provide a local service, the CBC contended that the licensee was contractually bound for a period of two years, commencing 1 September 1986, to broadcast at least 50 hours per week of its English-language stereo network service.
On the other hand, AVR is of the view that its contract with the CBC is null and void as of 31 August 1986. The licensee also suggested that such programming would be incompatible with its proposed Group I format.
The Commission explored with AVR and the CBC various arrangements, such as twin-sticking and the leasing of technical facilities, to ascertain whether both AVR's desire to establish a Group I local service and the CBC's desire to maintain a presence in the Annapolis Valley might be accommodated.
The Commission notes that the CBC expressed a willingness to discuss with AVR the scheduling and source of the Classical-Fine Arts programming in question as well as alternative technical arrangements. AVR similarly indicated that it was "open to other suggestions that might help [the CBC]... twin-sticking or transmitter facilities or [studio] space."
The Commission approves the licensee's proposed Promise of Performance, which would result in CKWM-FM becoming a local radio service operating in the Group I music format. Authority to implement the new Promise of Performance will only take effect, however, at such time as AVR and the CBC enter into an agreement, a copy of which must be filed with the Commission, to ensure continued, uninterrupted provision of the CBC's full English-language stereo network service in the Annapolis Valley. Until such an agreement is concluded, AVR is required, as a condition of licence, to provide the CBC stereo network service, in line with its current Promise of Performance which remains in effect.
The Commission notes that AVR's new Promise of Performance indicates a very low commitment to news and that the proposed foreground format programming is predominantly musicbased. When questioned at the hearing on the effects of disaffiliation, specifically with regard to news programming, AVR replied that the FM operation was "primarily targeted towards the music listener" and would provide "highlights" of the news while its AM undertaking would develop stories in more detail.
The Commission reminds the licensee that the FM policy expects "FM licensees to develop a broader and deeper treatment of news and information" than that provided on the AM band. The Commission encourages AVR, once the new Promise of Performance takes effect, to supplement its minimal commitment to news with complementary backgrounding information and to consider a mix of spoken word and musical elements in its foreground programming in order to expand the diversity of the service offered to its listeners.
The licensee has allocated an annual budget of $2,500 in support of Canadian talent through the production of jingles, songs and other material designed to promote the station and its ventures. AVR will also contribute more than $500 annually to FACTOR/CTL. The Commission encourages such efforts and will look to the licensee to develop other initiatives designed to provide exposure for local talent once the new local service is implemented.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General

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