ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1991-75

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 23 July 1991
Public Notice CRTC 1991-75
The Potential Uses for the Former CKO Frequencies
In Public Notice CRTC 1990-80, the Commission invited public comment with respect to the future use of the former CKO frequencies.
In response, the Commission received a total of 87 submissions relating to the substance of the public notice, of which 54 came from public interest groups or members of the general public, 29 from broadcasters or broadcasting-related individuals and enterprises, and four from others.
More than two-thirds (60) of the submissions -- mostly from public interest groups -- came from the Toronto area, with 35 specifically
addressing the use of the Toronto frequency 99.1 MHz (Channel 256) for a "Dance" or "Black Music" format station. None of these submissions addressed the issue of what should happen to the other former CKO frequencies.
Only one of the 27 submissions from other areas of Canada mentioned the "Dance" or "Black Music" issue; virtually all of these submissions advocated the use of these frequencies for a national service. Overall, 38 submissions argued that the former CKO frequencies should be used as a block for the broadcast of a national service. Of these, 14 favoured an all-news network, 11 proposed a network to serve the needs of Francophones outside Quebec, four a network for senior citizens, and three an ethnic-multicultural network. Among other proposals were ones for an alternative private commercial national service, a Dance music network, and a service for the young.
Of the other 49 submissions, 36 addressed only the "Dance" format in Toronto, and three advocated the use of 99.1 MHz for an ethnic-multicultural service. Three submissions urged that existing broadcasters be allowed to use these frequencies to upgrade their signals. Two advocated a delay in dealing with the issue in light of the current economic climate.
Five suggested that the Commission avoid making any prior specifications regarding the use of the former CKO frequencies with respect to programming or ownership. Rather, they suggested that the Commission hear applications, whether for individual frequencies or for the entire block of frequencies, and decide upon such applications on their own merits.
The Commission has carefully examined the submissions. Although it finds merit in many of the often divergent proposals, it has determined that the appropriate and equitable approach would be to consider, on their respective merits, all applications it may receive, whether for use of one or a group of frequencies, and whether by those proposing new services or by existing broadcasters seeking to upgrade their signals. Given the present state of the economy and of the radio industry in Canada, the Commission is also aware that it must evaluate not only the desirability of the various proposed alternatives, but their feasibility as well. It must also consider the impact of any licensing decisions regarding the former CKO frequencies on the radio stations recently licensed in areas where CKO stations had been in operation.
In light of these considerations the Commission has decided to make these frequencies available once the FM freeze is lifted on 1 September 1991. The Commission will then be able to assess applications it may receive for any or all of those frequencies, whether for national or for local services, taking into account the new FM policy and regulations.
The Commission wishes to stress that all applications for the use of these frequencies for new services will be considered in accordance with the procedures and criteria it has adopted, and which are announced in Public Notice CRTC 1991-74 of today's date, entitled Radio Market Policy.
Related Document: Public Notice CRTC 1990-80: Potential Uses of the Former CKO Radio Frequencies: Call for Comments.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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