ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 98-131

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Ottawa, 21 April 1998

Decision CRTC 98-131

Central Island Broadcasting Ltd.

Comox-Strathcona Regional District, including the communities of Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River, British Columbia - 199708955

New FM radio programming undertaking

1. Following a Public Hearing in the National Capital Region beginning on 16 February 1998, the Commission approves the application for a broadcasting licence for an English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Courtenay, to serve the Comox-Strathcona Regional District, on the frequency 97.3 MHz, channel 247B, with an effective radiated power of 4,700 watts.

2. Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2004. This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.

3. The applicant is the licensee of CKEG and CKWV-FM Nanaimo as well as CKCI Parksville, located about 60 kilometres south of the proposed new service, which will serve the communities of Courtenay, Comox and Campbell River.

4. The applicant proposed to establish a primary office, studio and on-air facility at Courtenay, with similar satellite facilities at Campbell River. Day-to-day programming would be done predominantly from the Courtenay studio. Local programming inserts including news, weather and sports or community information would be presented from the Campbell River studio.

5. The applicant also indicated that it would offer a minimum of 3.5 hours of commercial-free access programming, including 10 daily vignettes of 3 minutes. These vignettes would be researched, written and produced by local community organizations or special interest groups.

6. The Commission acknowledges the large number of interventions received in support of the application.

7. Two interventions opposing the application were received, including one from CFCP Radio Ltd., licensee of radio stations CFCP Courtenay, CFWB Campbell River, CHQB Powell River and CFNI Port Hardy. Both interveners raised concerns over the potential negative impact that approval of Central Island Broadcasting Ltd.'s proposal would have on local radio services.

8. In reply, the applicant stated that its proposed service would be the first local commercial FM radio service in the area and would bring an alternative radio voice to one of the most populated yet underserved regions of British Columbia. It added that, based on its extensive market research and its knowledge of the area, "there is no question of the region's ability to embrace, support and let prosper (a regional FM service) while continuing to maintain its long-standing local radio broadcasts in its respective markets".

9. The Commission has reviewed the interveners' arguments, as well as the applicant's response thereto. Based on the evidence available to it, the Commission is satisfied that the new radio service will not have undue negative impact on existing radio services.

10. In the area of Canadian talent development, the applicant proposed an direct cost budget of $8,000 in each of the first five years of the licence term, increasing to $10,000 in the sixth and seventh years, for a total of $60,000 over the licence term. The proposals include an amount of $6,000 each year towards a local talent show. The Commission accepts the annual budgets and the initiatives proposed in this regard and reminds the applicant that adherence to its annual direct cost commitments for Canadian talent development is required, by condition of licence.

11. It is a condition of licence that the licensee refrain from soliciting or accepting local advertising for broadcast during any broadcast week when less than one-third of the programming aired is local. The definition of local programming shall be as set out on page 8 of Public Notice CRTC 1993-38, or as amended from time to time by the Commission.

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. It is a condition of licence that the licensee adhere to the guidelines 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 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.

14. 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.

15. 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. In this regard, 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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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