ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 89-114

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Ottawa, 6 April 1989
Decision CRTC 89-114
Western Manitoba Broadcasters Limited
Brandon, Foxwarren, Melita and McCreary, Manitoba - 881074900
Following a Public Hearing in Winnipeg commencing 12 October 1988, the Commission renews the broadcasting licences for CKX-TV Brandon and its rebroadcasting undertakings CKX-TV-1 Foxwarren, CKX-TV-2 Melita and CKX-TV-3 McCreary from 1 September 1989 to 31 August 1994, subject to the conditions specified in the appendix to this decision and in the licences to be issued.
CKX-TV and its rebroadcasting undertakings are wholly owned by Western Manitoba Broadcasters Limited (Western) which is controlled by Mr. Stuart Craig of Brandon. Western is also the licensee of CKX and CJCM-FM Brandon and of CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg which was licensed by the Commission in Decision CRTC 86-433 dated 8 May 1986.
CKX-TV, which is the only local television service in Brandon, commenced broadcasting on 28 January 1955 as an affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English-language television network. Each week the station broadcasts 39 hours of network programming, as required by its affiliation agreement, supplemented by 18 hours of optional CBC programming. It currently schedules 25 hours 10 minutes of original local programming per week, with the balance of its schedule comprised of acquired Canadian and non-Canadian programs.
With respect to its local programming, CKX-TV has focused mainly on news and public affairs programming with special emphasis on agricultural news from western Manitoba which is of particular importance to its largely rural audiences. Over the term of its current licence, the station has increased its weekly public affairs and information programming by one hour and has been involved in co-operative productions with CHMI-TV, including five hours per week of morning and afternoon newscasts which the licensee undertook to continue as a co-operative project in the new licence term. Since 1986 the two stations have also co-operated in the production of more than 45 hours of programs in other categories. In this regard, the Commission refers the licensee to the Public Notice introducing this and the other television renewal decisions released today wherein it is specified that it will permit co-operative programs in the information and sports categories which are being broadcast as of today's date to be considered as a local program on each of the participating stations only for the duration of the new licence term.
At the public hearing, Western stated that the licensing of CHMI-TV has had a very positive effect on both the quantity and quality of its news coverage noting that:
we're the only Manitoba television service with four studios ... and nine ENG units covering events across the province.
The Dauphin studio, which is operated by Western, operates under the name Intermountain Television and produces 3 hours 30 minutes weekly of local news, weather and sports programming which, by special arrangement with the CBC, is inserted into the CBWST Dauphin program schedule with local commercials.
CKX-TV currently broadcasts five local news packages per day totalling 18 hours 10 minutes of original news programming each week. In 1988/89, the station will broadcast 20 half-hour public affairs documentary specials to be aired on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. The licensee explained that it recently hired a full-time researcher for documentaries and that this has enabled it to double this type of programming. The licensee has committed to maintain this level of public affairs programming during the new term of licence.
The station has continued to provide opportunities for the development of Canadian musical talent. Its support for amateur and professional talent over the current licence term has been evidenced by its regularly-scheduled student concert series "Music from Brandon" which is produced in co-operation with the Brandon University School of Music and features local classical and contemporary music talent, as well as the nightly program "Rockline". Both programs are co-operatively produced with CHMI-TV. The licensee informed the Commission that CFPL-TV London, Ontario recently agreed to purchase 21/2 hours per week of "Rockline" and stated that it considers the program has potential for national syndication. The Commission notes that CKX-TV has also sponsored the string competition in the Brandon Music Festival for over 30 years, offering a trophy and an annual scholarship.
At the hearing CKX-TV described its continuing involvement with "The Western Hour", a program featuring local native talent. The licensee noted that because government funding for this project has been reduced over the past year, CKX-TV has provided production equipment to the program producer and has broadcast this weekly program free-of-charge. It hopes to continue its support for this program and in order to increase the production standards and make it more attractive for potential sale to other western Canada markets, a co-venture agreement was recently concluded among Western, the program producer and the provincial Cultural Industries Development Office.
Over the term of its current licence, CKX-TV has produced 25 hours of special programs including local golf tournaments, fund-raising auctions for a local Kinsmen Club, election coverage, and reports about agricultural exhibitions.
The station is also involved in some co-productions with local independent producers. In this regard, the licensee outlined a current project with Brandon Production House, "Recital at the Odd", a Christmas concert in a 1920s setting for which the station's financial commitment is approximately $8,600.
With respect to revenues, the Commission notes that CKX-TV will continue to rely heavily on local advertising and that it has successfully renewed arrangements with Moffat Communications Limited and CanWest Broadcasting Ltd. which permit it to continue to insert local commercials on the CKYB-TV Brandon, CKYB-TV-1 McCreary, CKYD-TV Dauphin and CKND-TV-2 Minnedosa, Manitoba transmitters. These commercial substitution arrangements represent, on average, approximately 45% of CKX-TV's total revenues.
The licensee stated at the hearing that its revenues from the CBC have been frozen for the past few years due to the Corporation's financial constraints and that, because the signals of the Winnipeg independent station CKND-TV and the Winnipeg CTV affiliate CKY-TV are available in the Brandon market, there has been a negative impact on CKX-TV's ability to sell national advertising. Nevertheless, the licensee stated that the provincial economy remains relatively stable and that it projects annual revenue increases of approximately 5% during the new licence term.
With respect to the broadcast of Canadian programming, during its current licence term CKX-TV exceeded the minimum annual requirement of 60% over the broadcast day, and in the 1985/86 broadcast year reported a daily average of 74% Canadian content. While the Promise of Performance in the renewal application indicates a commitment to provide a minimum of 60% Canadian content, at the hearing CKX-TV stated that, as its program schedule is highly dependent upon CBC network programming, the station will most likely achieve approximately 70% during the broadcast day.
According to its financial projections, CKX-TV will expend $640,000 on Canadian programming in the first year of the new licence term. As stated in the Public Notice introducing this and other television renewal decisions issued today, the Commission expects licensees of television stations that earned less than $10 million in total advertising revenues in 1987/88 to adhere to their projected first-year expenditures for Canadian programming at a minimum, and to adjust such expenditures in subsequent years in accordance with the prescribed formula, which is linked to station advertising revenues. The Commission is satisfied that this approach offers a reasonable and fair means of ensuring that the Canadian program expenditures of each station keep pace with changes in its revenue. Accordingly, inasmuch as CKX-TV's advertising revenues in 1987/88 were less than $10 million, this expectation applies in respect of this station.
The Commission notes with interest Western's longer-range plans which it forecasts may be implemented during the new term of licence. Western stated at the hearing that it envisages applying to the Commission for new channels to extend the CHMI-TV service into the Brandon/Dauphin region which would enable CKX-TV to carry the full CBC network service. The Commission reminds Western that should it proceed with these plans, the prior approval of the Commission will be required for any new CHMI-TV transmitters. Further, the Commission would expect to be advised of any changes to CKX-TV's local programming.
In its proposed Promise of Performance for the new term of its licence, CKX-TV has undertaken to schedule a total of 25 hours 10 minutes per week of original local production. The Commission expects CKX-TV to adhere, at a minimum, to the level of local production specified in its application throughout the new licence term.
CKX-TV stated that it intends to continue to seek opportunities for co-operative productions with CHMI-TV. In this regard, the Commission notes that its co-operative programming policy outlined in Public Notices CRTC 1985-58 dated 20 March 1985 and CRTC 1986-177 dated 23 July 1986 was clearly intended to encourage the production of programming in under-represented categories. It was not anticipated that co-operatively-produced local news programs would result from the Commission's more flexible approach.
Nevertheless, in the case of CKX-TV, the Commission notes that such news programs represent an addition to the strictly local newscasts produced by the station and that there has not been a reduction in the quantity of local news programming directed to audiences in Brandon and area. Further, the Commission agrees that the combined resources of CKX-TV and CHMI-TV have resulted in an improvement in the quality of news coverage on both a local and regional basis.
For these reasons, as discussed in the Public Notice introducing this and other renewal decisions, for the new licence term the Commission will consider the co-operatively produced news and information programming currently broadcast by CKX-TV to be local productions for the purpose of CKX-TV's Promise of Performance.
With respect to other program categories, the Commission notes the co-operative projects which CKX-TV and CHMI-TV have undertaken in the music and entertainment categories and expects the licensee to continue these or similar efforts. The Commission also encourages CKX-TV during the new licence term, to explore additional program initiatives in other program categories that could be undertaken on a co-operative basis with the Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg station.
The Commission has taken note of the licensee's commitment to spend $250,000 in each of the next five years to update CKX-TV's equipment and production facilities. According to the application, the licensee intends to purchase new studio cameras and mobile equipment, convert to stereo sound and replace its videotape facilities.
In renewing these licences, the Commission also authorizes the licensee to make use of the Vertical Blanking Interval. The Commission expects the licensee to adhere to the guidelines set out in Appendix A to Public Notice CRTC 1989-23 dated 23 March 1989 entitled "Services Using the Vertical Blanking Interval (Television) or Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation (FM)".
With respect to services for the deaf and hearing impaired, CKX-TV will continue to broadcast closed-captioned network programs totalling approximately 450 hours each year, and undertook at the hearing to purchase the necessary equipment in order to caption its local newscasts, assuming that the capital cost is in the area of $10,000. The Commission expects the licensee to close caption, at a minimum, headlines and appropriate scripted portions of its early evening local newscasts during the course of the new licence term.
The Commission also expects CKX-TV to acquire a telephone device for the deaf (TDD) during the first year of the new licence term and to install it wherever is most appropriate, such as in the master control room, to ensure access to the station by deaf and hearing-impaired viewers over the entire broadcast day.
Based on CKX-TV's past accomplishments as reviewed at the Winnipeg hearing, including its provision of local news and information programming and the co-operative initiatives undertaken with the new Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg station, the Commission is satisfied with the licensee's performance over the current licence term. Further, inasmuch as Western intends to maintain its level of local production over the course of the new licence term, as well as to provide a comprehensive schedule of CBC programming, the Commission considers that the full-term renewal granted herein is warranted.
The Commission acknowledges the supportive intervention received from Brandon Production House. Matters raised in the intervention by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters have been addressed in the afore-mentioned introductory Public Notice of today's date.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General
Conditions of licence for CKX-TV Brandon and its rebroadcasting undertakings, CKX-TV-1 Foxwarren, CKX-TV-2 Melita and CKX-TV-3 McCreary
1. The licensee shall operate these broadcasting undertakings as affiliates of the English-language television network operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
2. The licensee shall adhere to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' self-regulatory guidelines on sex-role stereotyping, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
3. The licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children published by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

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