ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 95-120

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Ottawa, 27 March 1995

Decision CRTC 95-120

Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc.,
Quebec City, Quebec - 940796600

Licence renewal for CHOI-FM

Following a Public Hearing in Montréal on 19 December 1994, the Commission renews the broadcasting licence for CHOI-FM Quebec City from 1 September 1995 to 31 March 1996, subject to the conditions in effect under the current licence, as well as to those conditions specified in the licence to be issued. This term will enable the licensee to comply with the Commission's requirements with respect to the ownership of this station, as outlined below.

The application to renew CHOI-FM's licence was considered in the context of a major restructuring of the AM radio stations operated in the province of Quebec by Radiomutuel Inc. and Télémédia Communications Inc. (Télémédia) including, ultimately, the transfer of the licensee to Télémédia. In Decision CRTC 95-119 of today's date, the Commission has approved an application to transfer all the issued and outstanding shares of Les Entreprises de Radiodiffusion de la Capitale Inc. (ERC) to Télémédia. Télémédia will obtain, as a result of this transaction, 100% control of ERC.

Télémédia also owns radio station CITF-FM in Quebec City. The Commission's longstanding policy relating to common ownership is that two radio broadcasting undertakings of the same class serving the same market in the same language should not fall under common ownership. The Commission notes that Télémédia undertook to divest itself of CHOI-FM, if the above-mentioned transfer of control application was approved. Consistent with Télémédia's commitment and the Commission's policy, the Commission directs Télémédia to file, within six months of the date of this decision, an application for authority to transfer effective ownership or control of CHOI-FM to a third party. Should Télémédia be unable to file the required application within the specified period, it will be required to place CHOI-FM in trust until a decision is released by the Commission.

The Commission notes the licensee's non-compliance with subsection 2.2(5) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations), which stipulates that "except as otherwise provided pursuant to a condition of its licence, an A.M. or F.M. licensee licensed to operate in the French language shall, each broadcast week, devote 65 per cent or more of its vocal musical selections from content category 2 to musical selections in the French language and schedule those selections in a reasonable manner throughout each broadcast day."

In submitting the logger tapes of the programming broadcast by CHOI-FM during the week of 13 to 19 March 1994, the licensee acknowledged that it had broadcast only 64% French-language vocal music. Moreover, an examination of the station's playlists revealed a level of 63%. The licensee explained that the shortfall during that week was the result of interviews and comments by program hosts taking up more than the usual time, thus reducing the air time available for music. The licensee also stated that in future, it would exceed the 65% level required by the regulations in order to ensure compliance at all times.

The Commission views with great concern the licensee's failure to comply with the regulatory requirements regarding French-language vocal music. It intends to monitor the licensee's performance during the new licence term, and directs the licensee to take all necessary measures to ensure that the regulations are adhered to at all times.

The Commission approves the application to delete the condition of licence which requires the licensee to devote at least 8 hours each broadcast week to music from Category 3 (Traditional and Special Interest). This approval is consistent with the policy set out in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111 "An FM Policy For the Nineties", which does not require FM licensees to make a minimum commitment to non-format music.

The Commission reaffirms the particular importance it attaches to the development of Canadian talent and has noted the level of the licensee's commitment for this purpose in light of the station's financial situation.

In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, the Commission announced implementation of its employment equity policy. It advised licensees that, at the time of licence renewal or upon considering applications for authority to transfer ownership or control, it would review with applicants their practices and plans to ensure equitable employment. In keeping with this policy, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.

The Commission acknowledges the interventions received in support of this renewal application.

Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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