ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 93-77

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Ottawa, 25 February 1993
Decision CRTC 93-77
CIRC Radio Inc.
Toronto, Ontario - 920687100
Following a Public Hearing beginning on 30 November 1992 in the National Capital Region, the Commission approves the application by CIRC Radio Inc. (CIRC) to amend the broadcasting licence for CIRV-FM Toronto, by changing the frequency from 88.7 MHz to 88.9 MHz; by increasing the effective radiated power from 250 watts to 413 watts; and by relocating the transmitter site from 380 Dixon Road in Weston to the First Canadian Place Building in downtown Toronto.
CIRV-FM, an ethnic station, currently broadcasts 126 hours of programming each week, of which 121 hours 30 minutes are devoted to ethnic programming, directed to the Greek, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and South Asian communities.
CIRC submitted this application because, despite a power increase approved in Decision CRTC 90-809 dated 28 August 1990, CIRV-FM continues to experience interference from WBFO-FM, Buffalo, New York, which also broadcasts on 88.7 MHz. According to CIRC, the strong signal from WBFO-FM reduces CIRV-FM's interference-free contour to a substantially smaller area than the usual limit of protected service for FM stations. CIRC stated that, as a result, CIRV-FM has been severely limited in its ability to provide coverage to the ethnic groups that it was licensed to serve. The licensee claimed that:  it is ... nearly impossible to sell advertising to Greek and Chinese businesses and very difficult to build ties with the Greek and Chinese communities, as long as CIRV-FM's signal remains largely unavailable in most areas where Greek and Chinese businesses are situated and where Greek and Chinese populations reside.
To support this claim, CIRC noted that, currently, it obtains only 3% of its revenues from advertising sold during its Greek-language programming, even though 17% of its programming schedule is devoted to programming in this language. Similarly, CIRC obtains only 1% of its advertising revenues from advertising sold in the Chinese community, despite the fact that 9% of its ethnic programming schedule is devoted to Chinese-language programming.
The Commission is satisfied that the technical amendments approved herein will eliminate the co-channel interference created by WBFO-FM on the present CIRV-FM frequency, and will enable the licensee to provide better service to multilingual audiences within Metropolitan Toronto and within the projected 500 uv/m (54 dBu) coverage area. Further, the Commission notes that these amendments will enable the licensee to direct its marketing activities to businesses in the areas specified in the application.
At the hearing, the panel discussed with CIRC the Commission's policy outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1985-139 dated 4 July 1985 and entitled "A Broadcasting Policy Reflecting Canada's Linguistic and Cultural Diversity". The discussion focused on the requirement that licensees of ethnic stations provide broadly-based services to ethnic groups within the coverage area of their undertakings, and that they meet the needs of smaller ethnic communities in that area. In this regard, the Commission notes CIRC's commitment to increase, by year two of its operation on the 88.9 MHz frequency, the number of groups and languages served from the current six to nine, and to ensure that the programming directed to these additional groups and languages addresses the needs of smaller, ethnic communities.
As part of this application, CIRC also made a commitment to increase, beginning in the second year of CIRV-FM's operation on 88.9 MHz, the licensee's annual direct expenditures on Canadian talent development from $22,500 each year to $36,300 annually.
The Commission acknowledges the opposing interventions submitted by CHIN Radio/TV International, Greek-Canadian Radio Station Limited, and Aristidis Maragos, a Greek-language producer. The interveners expressed concern regarding the diminished potential in advertising revenues from Greek businesses due to an over-abundance of Greek-language programming on radio and Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operations (SCMO) in Toronto, as well as a lack of growth in audience levels in the Greek community. The Commission also received an intervention in support of CIRC's application from CKMW Radio Ltd., licensee of ethnic station CIAO Brampton, Ontario. This intervener claimed that no revenues would be "syphoned off" from existing ethnic broadcasters as a result of the proposed amendments to CIRV-FM's licence. Based upon the evidence available to it, the Commission is satisfied that the amendments to CIRV-FM's technical parameters approved herein will not have any undue impact on other licensed ethnic broadcasters operating in the Toronto area.
The Commission acknowledges the more than 400 interventions submitted in support of this application by civic, business, religious and government leaders, as well as by individual members of the ethnic communities in Toronto. The Department of Communications (DOC) has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable, and that an amendment to the Broadcasting Certificate will only be issued once it has been determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.
In accordance with subsection 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence amendment, and the authority granted herein may only be implemented, at such time as written notification is received from the DOC that its technical requirements have been met, and that an amended Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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