ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1997-104

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 1 August 1997
Public Notice CRTC 1997-104
A Review of the Commission's Policies for Commercial Radio
1. In Public Notice CRTC 1997-105 issued today, the Commission set out an agenda for reviewing its policies for all sectors of radio to ensure that these policies remain appropriate in a changing broadcasting environment.
2. This notice sets out a procedural framework and process for reviewing the commercial sector of radio. This process will culminate in a Public Hearing to be held at The Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Hull, Quebec, commencing at 9 a.m. on Monday, 1 December 1997. As indicated in Public Notice CRTC 1997-105, the Commission considers that its review of commercial radio policy should focus on ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to Canadian music and other programming that reflects their communities and their country. A strong radio industry that emphasizes Canadian programming is vital to the achievement of this goal.
3. The current regulatory framework for radio is based on principles derived from the Broadcasting Act (the Act). These principles can be summarized as follows:
· Radio programming should be predominantly Canadian;
· Radio should provide listeners with varied and comprehensive programming from a variety of sources including the CBC, commercial stations and not-for-profit stations. The presence of different editorial voices should be encouraged and listeners should have a diversity of programming from which to choose;
· Programming should be of high standard and balanced on matters of public concern;
· Radio should provide service that is relevant to local communities;
· Programming should reflect Canada's linguistic duality; and
· Programming should reflect Canada's cultural diversity, including the needs and interests of aboriginal peoples.
4. The Commission also makes its licensing decisions with the goal of ensuring that the introduction of an additional AM or FM station will not unduly affect the ability of existing commercial AM and FM stations to meet their obligations under the Act, the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations) and the commitments made in their Promises of Performance.
5. During the forthcoming review, the Commission wishes to examine each of the policies and regulatory mechanisms it has developed to implement these principles to determine whether they continue to be relevant and effective as the radio industry moves into an era characterized by increased competition from Canadian and foreign sources and the disappearance of the technical disparity between AM and FM stations as the conversion to digital radio occurs. For those mechanisms that are considered to be no longer relevant and effective, the Commission is interested in considering suggestions for new approaches. For those mechanisms that are considered to be still relevant and effective, the Commission is interested in receiving suggestions concerning how they might be improved. To provide a context for this discussion, the following sections of this notice describe the mechanisms currently used to implement the principles for radio set out above, highlight some concerns that have been raised, and suggest some questions which may be addressed by interested parties during the public review process while not foreclosing other questions that interested parties may wish to raise.
6. This principle is currently implemented primarily through the regulatory requirements for Canadian content in music.
7. Section 2.2 of the regulations sets out the minimum levels of Canadian musical selections required of private radio stations. The regulations generally require that at least 30% of popular music selections (category 2) broadcast each week must be Canadian selections, and at least 10% of traditional and special interest music selections (category 3) broadcast each week must be Canadian selections. The lower level of Canadian content for category 3 selections has been established because of the more limited availability of Canadian recordings for more specialized types of music such as classical and jazz. Where 7% or more of the musical selections broadcast during an ethnic programming period are Canadian selections, this programming will not be considered in determining whether or not a licensee is in compliance with the weekly
30% and 10% Canadian content requirements set out above.
8. To qualify as a Canadian selection, a musical selection must generally fulfil at least two of the following conditions, generally referred to as the MAPL system:
· M (music) - the music is composed entirely by a Canadian.
· A (artist) - the music is, or the lyrics are, performed principally by a Canadian.
· P (production) - the musical selection consists of a live performance that is recorded wholly in Canada, or performed wholly in Canada and broadcast live in Canada.
· L (Lyrics) - The lyrics are entirely written by a Canadian.
· The musical selection was performed live or recorded after September 1, 1991 and a Canadian who has collaborated with a non-Canadian receives at least half of the credit as a composer and lyricist.
9. There are also three special cases where a musical selection may qualify as Canadian, even if it does not satisfy two points of the MAPL system. An instrumental performance of a musical composition written or composed entirely by a Canadian, a performance of a musical composition that a Canadian has composed for instruments only, and a musical selection that has already qualified as a Canadian selection under previous regulations, are all deemed to be Canadian selections.
10. The regulations also specify that Canadian selections must be reasonably distributed throughout each broadcast day. While no formal definition of the terms "reasonably even" and "significant presence" have been developed, in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111 dated 17 December 1990 and entitled An FM Policy for the Nineties, the Commission set out the following criteria for determining if the distribution of Canadian selections is reasonable:
· at least 25% of the popular music selections (category 2) broadcast between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday must be Canadian;
· there should be a reasonably even distribution of Canadian selections in the above dayparts and throughout the broadcast week; and
· there should be a significant presence of Canadian music in high audience periods, these traditionally being morning and afternoon drive.
11. In addition to regulating the level of Canadian musical selections that is broadcast, the Commission has adopted policy guidelines with respect to contributions to Canadian talent development. In the context of applications to renew their licences, private radio stations must make an annual financial commitment for the development of Canadian talent. Licensees have the option of applying to adhere to the CAB Distribution Guidelines for Canadian Talent Development as a means of fulfilling this obligation. These guidelines are designed to ensure that at least $1.8 million is contributed annually to third parties associated with Canadian talent development. Such third parties include FACTOR, MusicAction, national and provincial music organizations, performing arts groups, schools and scholarship recipients. The complete policy for Canadian talent development is set out in Public Notices CRTC 1995-196 Contributions by Radio Stations to Canadian Talent Development - A New Approach and CRTC 1996-114 Implementation of the New Approach to Canadian Talent Development.
12. Over the years, considerable discussion about the Canadian content requirements for radio has taken place. There has been general agreement that these requirements have been an important factor in stimulating the development of a strong Canadian recording and music publishing industry.
13. The Task Force on the Future of the Canadian Music Industry, which reported to the Department of Canadian Heritage in 1996, made several statements and recommendations regarding Canadian content requirements and the Commission wishes to explore these suggestions. These include the following:
· Canadian content requirements for the vast majority of stations should be raised to 35%;
· The levels of Canadian music broadcast in peak listening times should be reviewed and, if necessary, the Commission should modify its regulatory policies to require a higher percentage of Canadian music in peak time; and
· Adequate provision has not been made to encourage the broadcast of new Canadian recordings.
14. The MAPL system for defining a Canadian selection was last reviewed in 1993 and minor changes were made. Since then, some have noted the considerable success enjoyed by some Canadian artists who have recorded outside the country and have argued that the performance of a selection by a Canadian artist should automatically qualify a musical selection as Canadian. Others consider that use of a Canadian producer should qualify for a credit even if the actual production work is done outside the country. Those who oppose such changes are concerned that changing the MAPL system in these ways would have a negative impact on the entire Canadian music industry, by decreasing the use of music by Canadian composers and songwriters and the use of Canadian recording facilities.
15. A new concern relates to the origin of programming. In the past, almost all radio programming has been produced locally or elsewhere in Canada, and concerns with respect to Canadian content have focused on the musical selections that have been played within these Canadian-produced programs.
16. More recently, however, Canadian networks and syndicators have begun to acquire the rights for foreign-produced programming. In light of this development, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to consider whether or not radio should also be subject to a minimum requirement for programming produced in Canada.
Matters for Consideration
17. The Commission's current approach to Canadian content on radio focusses on the level of Canadian musical selections that are played. Is this approach still relevant and effective? If not, is there another
incentive-based approach or other method
that could more effectively implement the goals set out in the Act?
18. If a regulation setting a minimum level of Canadian music is still desirable:
a) Is the current definition of a "Canadian selection" still appropriate? If not, what changes could be made to the definition to make it more effective?
b) What levels of Canadian music should be required of commercial radio stations?
c) How can the Commission assure that Canadian selections are scheduled "in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day", including in prime listening periods?
d) What measures should be taken to promote the airplay of music produced by new Canadian artists?
19. Given the increase in the use of radio programming produced outside of Canada, is a Canadian content requirement related to the origin of programming necessary? If so, what type and level of requirement would be appropriate?
Diversity of Voices
Common Ownership Policy
20. The Commission's common ownership policy is the primary means by which it ensures that a diversity of voices exists in a community.
21. The Commission generally limits one party to ownership of a maximum of one AM and one FM station in the same language in the same market. Departures from this policy are permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
22. The Commission's definition of a "market" for purposes of this policy is set out in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111, as follows:
The Commission will define the market of an FM station to be any area within either the 3 mv/m signal contour, or the Central Area of the community served by the station as defined by BBM, whichever is smaller.
In the case of an AM station, the Commission will define a market as any area found within either the 15 mv/m (daytime) signal contour, or the Central Area as defined by BBM, whichever is smaller.
23. While ownership by one party of more than one AM and one FM station in the same market is generally not accepted, the Commission has allowed local management agreements whereby some management functions of radio stations owned by different licensees are combined so that they can operate more efficiently.
24. The Commission's policy on such agreements is set out in Public Notice CRTC 1996-138, Commission's Approach to Dealing With Local Management Agreements In Canadian Radio Markets. The policy generally states that the Commission will accept local management agreements in any size of market, provided the agreements satisfy four criteria. First, the licensees must maintain distinct and separate programming and news services and management. Second, the ownership of all assets of each undertaking must remain with each licensee. Third, each licensee must retain responsibility for the programming and news staff employed by its undertaking. Fourth, the implementation of a local management agreement must not result in any change in the effective control of the undertaking in question.
25. The Commission last reviewed its common ownership policy in 1995. At that time, some suggested that the policy be relaxed to allow broadcasters to own additional stations in a market. The Commission, however, decided not to change the policy for three reasons:
· First, it was the Commission's view that, if one owner controlled several stations, it would be far less likely that each station would provide a genuinely distinct editorial view on matters of public concern.
· Second, the Commission considered that, if current restrictions were eliminated, particular licensees could dominate certain markets, resulting in a decrease in the level of competition in those markets.
· Third, the Commission was concerned that many licensees currently owning both an AM and an FM station in a market might choose to "flip" the AM station to the FM band and thus end up with two FM stations in the market. The Commission was concerned that any policy change that could prompt a large number of licensees in a particular region to abandon the AM band might make it difficult for the remaining AM stations to survive.
26. Since the publication of the 1995 public announcement, some have continued to argue that the ownership policy guidelines should be relaxed to permit one party to own more than one AM and one FM station per language in a market. Several arguments have been advanced in support of such a change.
27. As the radio industry becomes more competitive, it is possible that allowing one party to own additional radio stations could place the industry as a whole on a more solid financial foundation.
28. In addition, the licensing of new television services and the extension of the signals of others, together with the licensing of both French and English-language specialty news and headline services has increased the news voices available to Canadians in many areas. Some would argue that this makes the maintenance of the current number of distinct radio news voices less critical than in the past.
29. It has also been noted that, in some markets where local management agreements have been implemented, a wider range of musical programming has been made available because stations are reluctant to compete directly against each other. It might be expected that an increase in musical diversity would also occur in markets where one owner controlled several stations. Economies of scale resulting from a relaxation of ownership guidelines might also reduce the need for AM and FM simulcasting.
30. Finally, the Commission considers that it might be appropriate to ask those applying to own more than one AM and one FM station in a market, to make additional commitments in furtherance of the Commission's policies for radio. This could include new commitments for higher levels of local programming or commitments to broadcast higher levels of music by new Canadian artists.
Matters for Consideration
31. The Commission currently limits one party to ownership of a maximum of one AM and one FM station in the same language in any given market. This policy is designed to ensure that there is a diversity of radio voices in a community. Given the increased availability of electronic media choices, are such limitations still necessary?
32. If ownership limits are still appropriate, the following questions are suggested:
33. With respect to the issue of possible new limits on common ownership:
a) If the Commission were to relax its current common ownership policy, what should the new limits be?
b) Should these limits be expressed in terms of an absolute number of stations in a market, the percentage of the stations in a market that one licensee can hold, or the market share that any one licensee can control?
c) Should these limits be the same for all sizes of markets?
d) Should there be limits on the number of stations that any one corporate group could own on a regional or national basis? If so, what should these limits be? Should ownership of other media besides radio be considered in developing these limits?
34. With respect to the issue of the conversion of AM stations to the FM band:
a) Should licensees that currently own both an AM and FM station in any market be permitted to convert their AM station to the FM band? Under what conditions?
b) If such conversions were permitted, what should the Commission do in markets where there are not enough FM frequencies to accommodate all existing AM stations?
35. With respect to the issue of additional commitments in furtherance of the objectives of the Act:
a) In assessing applications for either new stations or for the transfer of stations that would result in a licensee controlling more than one AM and one FM station in a market, what level and nature of commitments should the Commission expect applicants to make in order to further the achievement of the regulatory principles for radio set out in the introduction to this document? Should applicants, for example, be expected to demonstrate how their proposals would maintain or increase the amount or quality of local programming, increase the diversity of programming available in their communities or make additional commitments to increase exposure of Canadian musical and other creative expression?
b) It is expected that, if such transfer of ownership applications are received, many will be submitted by radio broadcasters who already have significant radio holdings either in the same region or elsewhere in Canada. Should there be a special role for such licensees to play in providing innovative and diverse forms of programming, or in providing exposure and support for Canadian talent on a regional or national basis?
Radio Market Policy
36. In order to help ensure that radio stations, once established, have the resources available to them to fulfil their programming obligations and thus provide a diverse, high quality service to the public, the Commission has established a Radio Market Policy which is set out in Public Notice CRTC 1991-74 dated 23 July 1991.
37. In that public notice, the Commission established a set of criteria that could be used by the public to give indications, at an early stage, of the capacity of markets to support additional commercial radio stations.
38. The basic criterion established in the public notice was that the introduction of an additional AM or FM station must not unduly affect the ability of existing commercial AM and FM stations to discharge their programming responsibilities. Three tests were formulated to give an early assessment of the capacity of a market to accept an additional radio station. The three tests measure group profitability, individual profitability and growth of revenue within the market.
39. A market is deemed to have passed the test of "group profitability" if the average total profitability of all commercial radio stations as a group in the market over the preceding five years is positive. Profits are measured before interest and taxes (PBIT).
40. The indicator of "individual profitability" is a ratio of the total number of instances where individual stations were profitable (positive PBIT) over the number of stations in operation in each of the last five years. A market is judged to have passed this testwhen the percentage of profitable stations is 50% or better.
41. To test for "revenue growth", the growth of total advertising revenue within the market is examined. A market fails the test when advertising revenues show no real growth (growth after inflation) over the preceding five years.
42. When a market fails one or more of the tests, this is taken as an indication that existing radio stations are likely experiencing difficulties. Under such circumstances, the Commission is not likely to authorize the introduction of an additional radio station whose operation is based on advertising revenues, without compelling evidence that the market can support such an undertaking.
43. The Commission considers that the radio market criteria have been helpful in ensuring that radio stations have adequate resources available to them to fulfil their programming responsibilities. However, the profitability of radio, especially that of AM stations, remains quite low. This would appear to support the retention of market entry criteria.
44. On the other hand, the Commission has, in recent years, relied more heavily on competition to help ensure that a diversity of programming is available to listeners. At the same time, certain parties in the broadcasting industry have argued that current common ownership guidelines should be relaxed somewhat. The Commission considers that it is appropriate to examine the effect that relaxing the radio market entry criteria might have on the level of competition within different markets.
Matters for Consideration
45. The Commission currently applies criteria which serve to limit the number of radio stations in a market, in order to ensure that existing stations have the resources to fulfil their programming commitments.
a) In an era of increasing competition, which could imply unsuccessful ventures, should the Commission continue to limit the number of commercial radio stations in a market? If so, in what situations?
b) If a radio market policy is maintained, are there any specific changes that should be made, in order to allow for the introduction of new services which will increase choice for listeners while ensuring that existing stations have the resources necessary to fulfil their programming commitments?
Diversity of Programming
46. One means of encouraging diversity in radio programming resides in the licensing of three different sectors of radio: CBC radio, not-for-profit stations and commercial radio. Each of these sectors has a different role to play within the broadcasting system and provides a different style of programming.
47. Within the commercial sector, the Commission has increasingly relied on competition and market forces to encourage diversity. In addition, the Commission has developed the following three policies to foster diversity in radio programming.
48. First, commercial radio stations are required to make commitments to either operate within, or not operate within, the "Specialty" format. This format is defined as one in which either the language of broadcast is neither English nor French, more than 50% of the broadcast week is devoted to Spoken Word programming, or, less than 70% of the music broadcast is from subcategory 21 (Pop, Rock and Dance) and/or subcategory 22 (Country and Country-oriented). Examples of specialty format stations include stations specializing in ethnic programming, news or talk programming, traditional and special interest music programming, or a combination of a number of different types of programming.
49. The Commission has considered that a separate format for specialty stations is a useful tool to ensure a measure of programming diversity in a market and to encourage the introduction of new stations that would add to the diversity of programming available to listeners.
50. Second, the Commission has a policy which stipulates that English-language commercial FM stations must generally limit the use of hit musical selections to less than 50% of all musical selections broadcast each week. This policy is implemented through commitments made in the Promise of Performance.
51. In April of this year, the Commission issued Public Notice CRTC 1997-42 entitled Revised Policy on the Use of Hits by English-Language FM Radio Stations. In that public notice, the Commission noted that a more general review of its radio policies was forthcoming and that it did not want to take actions that would preclude consideration of the hits policy in the context of that review. It therefore decided not to institute a process wherein licensees would be invited to eliminate the commitment set out in the Promises of Performance with respect to a maximum level of hits.
52. In Public Notice CRTC 1997-42, the Commission redefined what constitutes a "hit" for purposes of the policy. It indicated that campus and community stations, as well as English-language commercial FM stations operating in the Montreal and Ottawa/Hull markets would continue to operate under the existing definition and system for determining compliance with respect to the use of hit material. For these stations, a hit is defined as a musical selection that has reached one of the top 40 positions on one or more of a number of designated charts.
53. For English-language commercial FM stations in markets other than Montreal and Ottawa/Hull, the Commission revised the definition of a hit as follows:
A hit is any selection that, up to and including 31 December 1980, reached one of the Top 40 positions in the charts used by the Commission to determine hits. All other selections will be considered as non-hits for purposes of determining compliance with a station's Promise of Performance.
54. The Commission considered that the revised policy would increase diversity by allowing the contemporary hit radio format to emerge on the FM band while still preserving a niche for AM "oldies" stations. The different definition for Montreal and Ottawa/Hull was adopted to respond to the concerns of French-language FM licensees operating in these two bilingual markets who believed that, because of the requirements they must meet with respect to French-language vocal music, they would have difficulty competing with all-hit English-language FM stations.
55. Third, the regulations generally limit simulcasting by commonly owned AM and FM stations serving the same market, to a maximum of 42 hours per broadcast week in order to ensure that each station provides a distinct service.
56. The licensing of additional radio stations has increased the choice available to listeners. However, some parties have expressed concern that the range of programming provided by commercial radio stations is relatively limited, because such stations tend to concentrate on providing programming to only those age brackets and social demographic groups that are most attractive to advertisers.
57. Licensing more stations has the potential of increasing diversity, but could have a negative impact on the financial viability of existing undertakings. As discussed earlier, permitting greater concentration of ownership has the potential of increasing the program formats that are available in the market. On the other hand, such increased concentration might serve to limit competition and also decrease the diversity of editorial voices available in a community.
Matters for Consideration
58. The Commission currently applies a number of measures, described above, to encourage diversity in the programming of commercial radio stations. In an increasingly competitive environment, are policies and regulations designed to encourage such diversity still necessary? If so, what specific mechanisms are appropriate?
59. Is there a timeframe, or are there particular circumstances under which the Commission should move to eliminate all restrictions on the programming of hit musical selections by commercial FM stations?
60. In order to help ensure that programming is of high standard, the regulations prohibit the broadcast of: anything in contravention of the law; any abusive comment that, when taken in context, tends or is likely to expose an individual to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability; any obscene or profane language; any false or misleading news; any telephone conversation or interview without consent; and advertising of alcoholic beverages unless it meets the standards of the applicable code and the regulations.
61. Radio broadcasters must also adhere to the Broadcast Code of Advertising To Children and the Sex-role Portrayal Code for Television and Radio Programming, by condition of licence. Application of the sex-role portrayal code as a condition of licence is, upon request, suspended for members of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council so long as they remain members of that Council.
62. The Commission has also established a policy on open-line programming which is set out in Public Notice CRTC 1988-213. This policy requires licensees that have shown themselves unable to meet the provisions of the Act and regulations with respect to open-line programming, to develop appropriate guidelines and other control mechanisms that address the requirements regarding abusive comment, balance and programming of high standard as set out in the Act and the regulations.
63. Paragraph 3 (1)(i)(iv) of the Act states that the programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system should "provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern."
64. Policies that provide guidance on the implementation of the balance requirement for commercial radio include Public Notice CRTC 1993-78 entitled Religious Broadcasting Policy, and Public Notice CRTC 1988-142 entitled A Policy With Respect to Election Campaign Broadcasting.
65. The Commission notes that the policies relating to religious programming and election campaign broadcasting cover all media and it does not consider it appropriate to amend them in the context of a review limited to radio. As a result, the Commission only intends to review as part of this process, the policy on open-line broadcasting and the provision of the regulations that prohibits the broadcast of telephone conversations without the consent of the callers, both of which are unique to radio.
Matters for Consideration
66. Are the policies respecting open-line programming and the regulation that generally indicates that a telephone conversation or interview may not be broadcast unless the prior consent of the person interviewed has been obtained still relevant and effective in ensuring that programming broadcast is of high standard? If so, are there any changes to these mechanisms that should be made?
67. Are any other measures, in addition to those currently in effect, necessary to ensure that radio programming is of high standard and provides a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern?
68. Licensees of commercial FM stations in markets served by more than one private commercial radio station are generally required to devote at least one-third of the broadcast week to local programming if they wish to solicit or accept local advertising. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
69. The one-third guideline for local programming does not, however, apply to commercial AM stations in order to give such stations which are generally less profitable, additional flexibility to make use of network programming services. At the time of licence renewal, licensees of AM radio stations are asked to indicate the level of local programming they will provide and how they will ensure that spoken word material of direct and particular relevance to the communities they serve is included in their programming. The Commission has the option of imposing conditions of licence with respect to local programming for these stations on a case-by-case basis.
70. The definition of local programming is set out as follows, in Public Notice CRTC 1993-38:
Local programming includes programming that originates with the station or is produced separately and exclusively for the station. It does not include programming received from another station and rebroadcast simultaneously or at a later time; nor does it include network or syndicated programming that is five minutes or longer unless it is produced either by the station or in the local community by arrangement with the station.
In their local programming, licensees must include spoken word material of direct and particular relevance to the community served, such as local news, weather and sports, and the promotion of local events and activities.
71. Paragraph 3(1)(i)(ii) of the Act states that programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system should be drawn from local, regional, national and international sources.
72. Private radio has historically provided a high level of programming that addresses matters of local concern. The Commission last reviewed its local programming policy in 1995 and decided at that time that the policy should be retained to ensure that radio continues to fulfil this important role.
Matters For Consideration
73. The Commission currently expects all radio stations to provide programming of direct relevance to their local communities. FM stations in competitive markets must ensure that at least one-third of their programming is local programming in any broadcast week where they propose to broadcast local advertising. In an era of increasing competition, are regulatory mechanisms related to local programming still necessary?
74. If mechanisms related to local programming are still necessary, are the Commission's current local programming policies, including the one-third requirement for FM stations in competitive markets, the most effective means of ensuring that private radio stations provide a strong local service? If not, what alternative methods would be more effective?
75. If the current local programming policy is generally effective:
a) Are there circumstances under which private commercial FM stations should make more substantial commitments to local programming than the one-third level set out in the local programming policy? Are there circumstances when a level of less than one-third would be appropriate? If so, what would these circumstances be?
b) Are there circumstances under which the one-third requirement should be applied to AM? If so, what should these circumstances be?
76. As one way of ensuring that French-language radio stations reflect the needs and interests of their audiences, these stations are required to ensure that at least 65% of the vocal popular music selections that they broadcast each week are in the French language, and to schedule these selections in a reasonable manner throughout the broadcast day. These requirements were incorporated into the regulations in 1993.
77. The Commission's approach to this issue is based on two related goals. It wishes to protect and foster the development of a francophone recording industry which will, in turn, allow francophones to have access to the musical culture of their language. The Commission has always felt that it is the responsibility of French-language broadcasters to continue their efforts to contribute, within their financial means, to the development of French-language expression.
78. Since the Commission has decided to explore the adequacy of current provisions related to the reasonable distribution of Canadian music, it considers that it is also appropriate to explore the distribution that French-language selections receive. Furthermore, the Commission has not defined what constitutes reasonable distribution with respect to French-language vocal music selections and considers that it is appropriate to examine this topic during this review.
Matters for Consideration
79. The Commission's current approach to ensuring the presence of French-language content focusses on the level of French-language musical selections that are played. Is this approach still the most relevant and effective? If not, what other methods might serve to ensure the presence of French-language vocal music and other Francophone programming?
80. If the current regulation is still relevant and effective:
a) How should reasonable distribution of French-language musical selections be defined?
b) Is reasonable distribution occurring now or are there problem areas?
c) If there are problem areas, how might they be addressed?
81. In order to ensure that the broadcasting system reflects Canada's cultural diversity, including the needs and interests of aboriginal peoples, separate policies for native broadcasting and ethnic programming have been established. As indicated in Public Notice CRTC 1997-105, issued today, the Commission will conduct separate reviews of these two policies.
82. The Commission will hold a two-stage written comment process prior to the 1 December 1997 oral public hearing.
83. During the first stage, the Commission invites written comments on the matters for consideration set out above. The deadline for the submission of written comments during the first stage is Tuesday, 30 September 1997.
84. These initial comments will be made available for examination by the public as soon as possible following the deadlines for filing, in the Commission's offices at the addresses provided below.
85. Interested parties, including those who may not have participated in the first stage of the process, will then have an opportunity to submit written comments in the second stage regarding any issue raised in the first round of comments.
86. The deadline for written comments submitted as part of this second stage is Monday, 3 November 1997.
87. The Commission considers that this process should provide interested parties a full opportunity to make their views known during the written phases of this proceeding. In the interest of focusing and streamlining the oral phase of the proceeding, the Commission will not generally be prepared to entertain discussion on issues other than those raised by interested parties in the written comments.
88. The Commission will only accept submissions that are received by the Commission on or before the prescribed dates noted above.
89. The Commission offers the following additional information respecting procedural requirements:
a) Submissions filed in response to this notice should be complete and focused. In the case of submissions over five pages in length, the Commission would appreciate the inclusion of a short executive summary.
b) Interested parties wishing to appear at the public hearing must have participated in the first or second stage of the written process.
c) Any party requesting to appear at the public hearing must provide clear reasons, on the first page of its submission, as to why its written submission is not sufficient and why an appearance is necessary. The Commission will inform each party whether its request to appear is granted.
d) In the second stage of the written process, comments should be limited to issues raised in the submissions received during the first stage of the process. Any interested party who submits comments during the second stage of the written process must identify, on the first page of its submission, the parties whose first-stage submissions are being addressed.
e) To ensure effective use of time at the public hearing, the Commission may use a written question process to obtain additional information from those who have filed submissions, after either the first or second stage of the written process. The questions and answers will form part of the public record and may be consulted by other parties.
f) Comments filed in response to this notice must be addressed to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A ON2 and must be filed in hard copy form.
g) All comments will be considered by the Commission, and will form part of the public record of the proceeding without further notification, provided the procedure set out above has been followed. Interested parties are therefore strongly encouraged and expected to monitor the content of the public examination files.
Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
Promenade du Portage
Room 201
Hull, Quebec
Tel.: (819) 997-2429
TDD (819) 994-0423
Telecopier (819) 994-0218
CRTC - Halifax Office
Bank of Commerce Bldg.
Barrington Street
Suite 1007
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3K8
CRTC - Montréal Office
Place Montréal Trust
McGill College Avenue
Suite 1920
Montréal, Quebec
H3A 3J6
CRTC - Winnipeg Office
275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2B3
CRTC - Vancouver Office
Suite 530 - 580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 3B6
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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