ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 97-321

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Ottawa, 10 July 1997
Decision CRTC 97-321
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Canmore and Banff, Alberta - 199617206
Conversion of CFHC from AM to FM - Approved
1. Following a Public Hearing in Toronto beginning on 26 May 1997, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Canmore on the frequency 106.5 MHz, channel 293A, with an effective radiated power of 360 watts, and a transmitter at Banff, operating on the same frequency of 106.5 MHz, channel 293B, with an effective radiated power of 200 watts.
2. Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2003, upon surrender of the current licence for CFHC Canmore/Banff. This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.
3. Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers) currently operates the radio programming undertaking CFHC Canmore/Banff and will cease operation of that AM undertaking following the implementation of the FM station. During a transition period of three months, Rogers will simulcast the programming of CFHC on the proposed FM station. At the end of this period, the Commission requires the applicant to surrender the licence currently issued to CFHC.
4. Rogers is the licensee of CHFM-FM Calgary, which has a transmitter in Banff. Although Rogers currently operates an AM transmitter in Banff for CFHC, approval of this application will result in Rogers operating two FM transmitters in Banff. This situation would require an exception to the Commission's common ownership policy, which generally prohibits a licensee from operating two undertakings of the same type in the same language, in the same market.
5. In support of its application, Rogers stated that the two transmitters "only rebroadcast the programming service of an originating FM service", and such transmitters are excluded from the definition of a station. In addition, Rogers stated that Banff has no local originating station, and that conversion of CFHC to the FM band will not negatively affect diversity of listening choices in Banff. Rogers added that approval of the application would provide a consistent and high-quality broadcast signal on the same frequency over the entire coverage area, allowing it to repatriate listeners from Calgary stations with enhanced local programming.
6. The Commission has considered the applicant's arguments and is convinced that approval of this application will provide a better quality service to the Banff population, and that an exception to the common ownership policy is warranted in this case.
7. The new station will broadcast local programming between 6:00 a.m and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The balance of the programming will be provided by the Pelmorex radio network.
8. As part of its application, Rogers also requested approval to broadcast a level of hit material of up to 85% . This proposal would not be in accordance with the Commission's FM Policy outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111 dated 17 December 1990, which states that FM stations should restrict their use of hits to less than 50% of all music selections broadcast each week. The applicant has requested flexibility based on the provisions contained in Public Notice CRTC 1992-3, titled Guidelines for Assessing Applications for Programming Flexibility From Licensees of Radio Stations in Border Markets and Small Markets (the Guidelines).
9. In support of its proposal, Rogers expressed its belief that the Canmore market qualified for programming flexibility under the Guidelines, and stated that approval of the request would allow it to continue to program a similar mix of music to that currently broadcast on CFHC. Rogers stated that, with little change to the programming, current listeners would not be alienated, and the financial viability of the station would improve.
10. The Guidelines stipulate, as criteria used to assess applications for programming flexibility for small market stations, those with a market population of less than 100,000, or those in unprofitable markets. The Commission is satisfied that the Canmore market meets the criteria of a small market as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1992-3 and, based on the evidence available to it, it is satisfied that approval of this request will not have any negative impact on other stations.
11. Accordingly, the new FM station is relieved from Promise of Performance commitments with respect to the maximum level of hits.
12. It is a condition of licence that this station not be operated within the Specialty format as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1995-60, or as amended from time to time by the Commission.
13. The licensee is required, by condition of licence, to make payments to third parties involved in Canadian talent development at the level identified for it in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Distribution Guidelines For Canadian Talent Development, as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1995-196 or as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission, and to report the names of the third parties associated with Canadian talent development, together with the amounts paid to each, on its annual return. The payments required under this condition of licence are over and above any outstanding commitments to Canadian talent development offered as benefits in an application to acquire ownership or control of the undertaking.
14. It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the CAB's Sex-Role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming, as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee remains a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
15. It is also a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the provisions of the CAB's Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, as amended from time to time and accepted by the Commission.
16. The Commission notes that this licensee is subject to the Employment Equity Act that came into effect on 24 October 1996 (1996 EEA), and therefore files reports concerning employment equity with Human Resources Development Canada. As a result of a consequential amendment to the Broadcasting Act, the Commission no longer has the authority to apply its employment equity policy to any undertaking that is subject to the 1996 EEA.
17. This authority will only be effective and the licence will only be issued at such time as the construction of the undertaking is completed and it is prepared to commence operation. If the construction is not completed within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where the applicant applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete construction and commence operation before the expiry of this period, and that an extension of time is in the public interest, within such further periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission, the licence will not be issued. The applicant is required to advise the Commission (before the expiry of the twelve-month period or any extension thereof) in writing, once it has completed construction and is prepared to commence operation.
18. The Department of Industry has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable, and that a 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.
19. In accordance with subsection 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence, and the authority will only be granted, at such time as written notification is received from the Department of Industry that its technical requirements have been met, and that a Broadcasting Certificate will be issued.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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