ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 93-737

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Ottawa, 9 December 1993
Decision CRTC 93-737
Radio Dégelis Inc.
Dégelis, Quebec - 930813100
Conversion from AM to FM
Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 27 September 1993, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence to carry on a French-language FM radio programming undertaking at Dégelis to replace the existing AM station CFVD Dégelis. This approval is subject to the condition that the applicant file, within three months of the date of this decision, revisions to its proposed technical parameters acceptable to the Commission, and which would produce a 0.5 mV/m official contour for the proposed FM station that excludes the community of Saint-Jacques, northwest of Edmundston, New Brunswick, but which yields essentially the same coverage proposed in this application in the areas of Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski, Quebec. Accordingly, the complete application will only be approved by the Commission and an FM licence will only be issued to the applicant once the Commission and the Department of Communications (DOC) have approved the revised technical parameters and the DOC has provided written confirmation to the applicant that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued with respect to the revised technical parameters.
Should the Commission and the DOC approve the revised technical parameters, the Commission will issue a licence expiring on 31 August 1996, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued, upon surrender of the licence for CFVD Dégelis. This term will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other radio stations in the area.
Radio Dégelis Inc. has been licensed to operate CFVD for the past 15 years. CFVD programming is rebroadcast by three transmitters, CFVD-FM-1 Cabano, CFVD-FM-2 Pohénégamook, and CFVD-FM-3 Squatec. Despite efforts to improve its coverage, the applicant estimates that about 40% of the residents of Témiscouata County cannot receive the CFVD signal satisfactorily because of the mountainous terrain in the region. The applicant is confident that converting the AM station to FM will resolve these coverage problems effectively and provide listeners with a better quality stereo signal. It also stated that it might be able to shut down its transmitter CFVD-FM-1 Cabano after the new FM station goes on the air.
Written interventions concerning this application were filed by Radio Edmundston Ltée, licensee for CJEM Edmundston; Syndicat des Communications de la République du Madawaska, representing the employees of CJEM; Coopérative des Montagnes Ltée, licensee of community radio station CFAI-FM Edmundston; and Radio CJFP 1986 Limitée/CIMB-FM Mont-Bleu Limitée of Rivière-du-Loup. The above interveners did not oppose CFVD's conversion to the FM band, but did oppose the extension of the new station's contour to include areas outside of the existing AM contour. They argued that the new FM signal would cover new areas of northwestern New Brunswick, including the City of Edmundston, and some parts of Rivière-du-Loup County in Quebec. The interveners stated that they were concerned that this would cause further fragmentation of their audiences and decrease their advertising revenues in already difficult financial times.
Responding to these interventions, the applicant stated that the mountains separating the Témiscouata area from northwestern New Brunswick, and the fact that the Témiscouata area, Rivière-du-Loup, and northwestern New Brunswick each constitutes its own distinct community of interest, provide natural protection for these three separate markets. The applicant added that northwestern New Brunswick and the Rivière-du-Loup area have always been secondary markets for CFVD, and its revenues from these markets, while modest, still contribute significantly to the profitability of its undertaking. It expects that most of the additional revenues generated by the new FM station will come from the Témiscouata area and that revenues from its secondary markets will be unchanged.
The Commission has carefully considered the arguments of the applicant and the interveners. It notes that the 0.5 mV/m official contour proposed for the new FM station is considerably larger than the area currently served by CFVD during the day, and includes the City of Edmundston. In this regard, the Commission examined the financial situation of the two stations serving the Edmundston market. It notes that CJEM has been only marginally profitable in recent years, and CFAI-FM has been losing money since going on the air in 1991. Given these circumstances, the Commission has concluded that approving the application as filed would have adverse repercussions in the Edmundston market which could lead to a reduction in quality, or even a loss, of existing radio services. On the other hand, the Commission is of the view that the applicant's proposal should not unduly affect the financial situation of the existing radio stations in the Rivière-du-Loup market.
Consequently, as stated above, the Commission has not approved the technical parameters as proposed. In accordance with the condition stipulated in the opening paragraph of this decision and with subsection 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will issue a licence to the applicant only after revised technical parameters that meet the above requirements have been approved by the Commission and the DOC, and only after the DOC has provided written confirmation to the Commission that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued with respect to the said technical parameters.
It is a condition of licence that the authority granted herein be implemented within twelve months of the date of receipt of written notification from the DOC that it will issue a Broadcasting Certificate or, where the applicant applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot implement its authority before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
The applicant indicated that no major programming changes are planned. It intends to operate the new FM station in the Group I format (Pop, Rock and Dance). It also indicated that, during the evening, it will broadcast programming received from CHOI-FM Quebec City.
The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and notes the applicant's commitment to make annual direct expenditures of $2,225 for this purpose. The Commission, however, advises the licensee that the commitments of $1,025 and $200 for record and cassette draws and telephone interviews, respectively, do not qualify as direct expenditures for Canadian talent initiatives. The Commission does accept the $1,000 allocated to an amateur talent contest as an eligible expenditure.
The Commission encourages the applicant to continue its efforts, during the licence term, towards the support, development and on-air exposure of local and regional talent. It is a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the guide-lines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) "Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
It is also a condition of licence that the applicant adhere to the provisions of the CAB's "Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children", as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59 dated 1 September 1992 and entitled "Implementation of an Employment Equity Policy", the Commission announced that the employment equity practices of broadcasters would be subject to examination by the Commission. It encourages the applicant to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
The Commission acknowledges the written intervention filed by the Société Touristique du Témiscouata in support of this application.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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