ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 86-1128

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Ottawa, 26 November 1986
Decision CRTC 86-1128
Radio Communautaire du Bas St-Laurent Inc.
Rimouski, Quebec - 853145100Related document
Public Notice CRTC 1986-152 dated 26 June 1986 entitled, "The Licence Renewals of a Number of Community Stations."
Following a Public Hearing in Sainte-Foy, Quebec on 16 June 1986, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CKLE-FM Rimouski from 1 January 1987 to 30 September 1987 only, subject to the conditions specified in the licence to be issued.
In accordance with the licensee's proposal and the Commission's policy statement on The Review of Community Radio (Public Notice CRTC 1985-194 dated 26 August 1985), the Commission will issue a special FM licence for community radio, Type B, to this station, which will be operated in the Group IV music format.
Since its inception, CKLE-FM has had difficulty in adhering to the Commission's regulations and policies. Over the past few years, the Commission has cautioned the station several times, and in early 1986, a broadcaster from the Rimouski region filed a complaint about the inconsistency of the station's music format, an excessive amount of English-language music, a shortage of news programming, and the presentation of more advertising than is permitted.
Beginning with its analyses in 1982 and subsequently in 1983 and 1984, the Commission has noted the station's non-compliance with respect to advertising practices. The 1982 and 1983 analyses also revealed deficiencies with respect to French-language vocal music, with levels of 37 % and 50 % compared with a commitment of 70 %. Furthermore, the 1984 analysis indicated significant deficiencies with respect to spoken word and foreground format programming, especially on the weekend, and a music format that differed from the MOR format for which it was authorized during the period of analysis.
On 29 March 1984 (Decision CRTC 84-302), the Commission denied the licensee's application to amend its Promise of Performance by broadcasting up to 6 minutes of restricted advertising at certain times. The Commission reminded 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, and that it intended to review this matter at the next licence renewal. Taking into account, however, the licensee's difficult financial position, and in order to give it the greatest possible flexibility in generating more advertising revenue while adhering to Commission policies, the Commission authorized the licensee to broadcast restricted advertising according to the broader definition set out in Public Notice 1983-43 dated 3 March 1983 on The Review of Radio.
In two subsequent decisions (CRTC 84-625 and 85-149 dated 31 July 1984 and 28 March 1985 respectively), the Commission renewed CKLE-FM's licence for short periods in order to allow the licensee to participate fully in the consultations and in the 23 April 1985 Public Hearing on the Review of Community Radio. The Commission informed the licensee that it could not make a proper assessment of the situation until such time as the broadcasting undertaking was being operated in conformity with the requirements of Decision CRTC 84-302. The Commission also reminded the licensee that failure to comply could jeopardize the next renewal of its licence.
According to an analysis of CKLE-FM's programming conducted by the Commission over three days (17, 21 and 22 September 1985), it appeared that the licensee's performance had deteriorated with respect to virtually every aspect of its Promise of Performance. There were major problems particularly in terms of spoken word programming foreground format programming, and French-language vocal music. At the time, music accounted for more than 80 % of CKLE-FM's airtime, which affected the community nature of the station and the distinctive character of its programming. Furthermore, an analysis of the advertising broadcast on 5 August 1985 again revealed non-compliance.
In program self-assessment reports for the weeks of 16 to 22 September 1985, 1 to 7 December 1985 and 17 to 23 March 1986, the licensee confirmed deficiencies in a number of areas, particularly in spoken word programming, with levels of about 30% instead of 43.7%; in foreground format programming, with an average of 13% instead of 20.6%; in music format during the week of September 1985; and in advertising during December 1985. The licensee further acknowledged its numerous deficiencies at the 16 June 1986 hearing.
In its new Promise of Performance which was reviewed at the 16 June 1986 hearing, the licensee proposed a reduction in its spoken word programming from 43 7% to 16% of its broadcast time, a decrease in the level of news from 5.3% to 4.5% and a reduction from 10 hours to 6 hours per week in the time reserved for commercial-free or unsponsored programming produced by groups or individuals from the community.
In light of CKLE-FM's general state of non-compliance and its failure to take corrective measures despite repeated warnings, the Commission denies the amendments noted above. It approves, however, the proposal to broadcast a daily average of 4 minutes of advertising per hour, with a maximum of 6 minutes per hour, in accordance with the community radio policy for Type B stations.
In renewing CKLE-FM's licence for a short period of time, the Commission has taken into account the fact that the licensee could benefit from the Commission's new community radio policy in resolving some of its operational difficulties, particularly with respect to advertising.
The Commission requires the licensee, however, to take immediate measures to rectify the serious problems revealed by the analyses and self-assessments, in particular its non-compliance with respect to the amount of advertising, an excessive level of music programming with far too many hits, its unsatisfactory performance with respect to spoken word and foreground/mosaic programming, and an inadequate level of French-language vocal music. In accordance with the community radio policy, such measure must result in programming aimed at achieving a minimum objective of 35% spoken word, and, in accordance with the licensee's commitments, levels of 20% foreground programming and 65% combined foreground/mosaic programming. In accordance with the proposed Group IV music format, the licensee must offer a wide choice of musical selections, using all or most of the subcategories in category 5 (Music-General), including at least 65% French-language vocal music.
The Commission strongly urges the licensee to take advantage of this short renewal period to undertake a thorough review of its approach to community radio. On the basis of statements made at the hearing, the Commission notes that the present management seems to have lost interest in the principle of community radio, and invites it to consult its members and the general public on its future orientation. This revision is particularly needed in the new broadcasting environment in Rimouski resulting from the denial of the licensee's application to transform CKLE-FM into a commercial independent station and the licensing of a new FM station in Rimouski (Decision CRTC 86-1127 of today's date). Should the licensee conclude from this review that it cannot or does not wish to opt firmly for a genuine community station, the licensee should surrender its licence to the Commission.
In the coming months, the Commission intends to conduct further analyses of CKLE-FM's programming to confirm whether the station is adhering to all of its requirements. The Commission will forward a copy of the results of these analyses to the licensee, which will be given an opportunity to submit its comments thereon.
As part of its consideration of the next licence renewal application, the Commission will call the licensee to a public hearing, at which time it will have to demonstrate its compliance to the Commission's satisfaction, or show cause as to why its licence should be renewed. The Commission warns the licensee that any deviation from the requirements set out in this decision, its conditions of licence, the community radio policy and the Radio Regulations, 1986 dated 18 September 1986, may jeopardize the renewal of its licence.
The Commission acknowledges the written interventions submitted by the Association des radiodiffuseurs Communautaires du Québec and Mrs. Monique Vézina, Minister of External Relations and Member for Rimouski/Témiscouata in support of this application, and the opposing intervention submitted by Radio communautaire du Comté Inc. The Commission has also noted the concerns expressed by the Conseil populaire des communications de l'est du Québec Inc., the Association canadienne de la radio et de la télévision de langue française Inc. and Radio Côte-Nord Inc.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General

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