ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2000-205

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Decision CRTC 2000-205

Ottawa, 16 June 2000
CHWO Ontario Inc. on behalf of 1210361 Ontario Inc. (general partner) and Ken Harrigan, George Patton, Terry Patterson and Peter Gilgan (the limited partners)
Toronto/Hornby, Ontario - 199911673
31 January 2000 Public Hearing

New "adult standards" AM radio station in Toronto


The Commission approves the application by CHWO Ontario Inc., on behalf of 1210361 Ontario Inc. (the general partner), and Ken Harrigan, George Patton, Terry Patterson and Peter Gilgan (the limited partners), in a limited partnership known as AM 740 PrimeTime Radio (PrimeTime, the applicant), for a broadcasting licence for an English-language AM radio programming undertaking at Toronto.


Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence to the general and limited partners of the limited partnership, expiring 31 August 2006. This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.

The new station


PrimeTime proposed that the new station would offer music and spoken word programming of particular relevance to listeners who are 50 years of age or older, a format currently being broadcast by the licensee on CHWO Oakville. At the hearing, Mr. Michael Caine, owner of CHWO Ontario Inc., described the new station as "an oasis in the desert of rock and talk radio that currently exists in Toronto", and the musical format as "a mix of M.O.R., easy listening, '50s pop, big band, swing and nostalgia".


The licence will be subject to conditions related to levels of local programming, Canadian content, financial support for Canadian talent and adherence to industry codes relating to programming standards. These conditions are either set out below or in the licence to be issued. As noted in Public Notice CRTC 1999-137, standard conditions of licence are now set out only on the licence form.



CHWO Radio Limited is the licensee of CHWO Oakville, and of CJMR Mississauga which currently operate on the assigned AM frequencies of 1250 kHz and 1320 kHz respectively. The musical format of CHWO is described as "adult standards", similar to the format proposed for the new station. CJMR is licensed as an ethnic station and must devote not less than 60% of its schedule to ethnic programming. It currently broadcasts approximately 50 hours of contemporary Christian music during weekdays.


At the hearing, PrimeTime set out a series of proposals related to the formats of its existing radio stations that it committed to implement if its application for a new station was approved.


PrimeTime proposed to transfer to the new station the "adult standards" format currently broadcast on CHWO. That station would then absorb the existing Christian music programming from CJMR, and be re-named "JOY 1250". Finally, CJMR would replace its Christian programming with additional ethnic programs.


The Commission expects the applicant to adhere to its commitments regarding CHWO and CJMR as set out above.


The applicant proposes to broadcast on the 740 kHz frequency as soon as possible; at the latest within 12 months. PrimeTime stated that the new station's signal would be simulcast on CHWO for a period not longer than 3 months. At the end of that period, "JOY 1250" Oakville will be launched using the former CHWO frequency.

Quality of the application


Public Notice CRTC 2000-84 serves as a preamble to this and other decisions related to Toronto radio service published today. In that notice, the Commission sets out all the general factors considered by it in making this decision.


The Commission notes that PrimeTime proposed to serve a large and growing demographic with a commercial service of broad general appeal. In addition to approving the use of the powerful signal of 740 kHz to serve the widest possible sector of the population, the Commission considers that a primary factor underlying its decision to grant a licence to PrimeTime is the quality of the application, in all the circumstances.


The Commission is satisfied that PrimeTime has presented a high-quality application. In reaching this decision, the Commission considered the applicant's business plan, and its proposed contribution to programming format diversity in the Toronto market. It also based its decision upon PrimeTime's plans for the reflection of the community to be served, and its proposals for the development of Canadian talent.

Business plan and programming format


As noted above, PrimeTime's business plan is based upon its contention that the population over 50 years of age is the fastest growing age demographic in Canada, and that no radio service in Toronto is directly serving this substantial audience.


PrimeTime's plans are to transfer the "adult standards" musical format currently broadcast on CHWO to the new station. The applicant stated that, although two Toronto radio stations, CHFI-FM and CHUM, currently play some of the music it proposes to broadcast on the new station, no more than 10% of the music to be played on the new station would likely be broadcast on either of these two stations. PrimeTime added that no Toronto radio stations filed interventions in opposition to its application "in terms of their concern of potential audience loss".


The application proposed that the new station would adhere to a condition of licence relating to Canadian content, identical to that which currently applies to CHWO. That condition requires the licensee to ensure that at least 30% of all pop music selections broadcast are Canadian. An exception to this condition is made for periods during which predominately older music is played. A condition of licence detailing these requirements is set out below.


The Commission notes the increasing size of the over-fifty demographic, relative to the population as a whole, and that currently no local commercial radio station directly targets this large sector of the population with a popular music-based format. Based on the very large population within the signal range of 740 kHz, and the large potential audience for this service, the Commission considers that this application represents the best use of this frequency.


The Commission considers that PrimeTime has presented a well-formulated business plan based on offering a radio service of broad general appeal distinct from those currently available in Toronto. The Commission is satisfied that the new station will maximize the use of a frequency capable of reaching a large audience.

Reflection of community


The applicant indicated that it will hire on-air broadcasters "who have the personality, experience and professionalism that are expected by the mature audience". In addition to regular news, weather, sports, traffic and business reports, the program hosts will provide anecdotes, humorous stories, personal insights and thoughts for the day.


Some currently successful programs on CHWO will be transferred to the new station, including the "S.A.L.T. Report", addressing the problems of crime related to seniors, "Big Band Panorama", "Swing Time", "Flashback", "Make Believe Ballroom" and "Saturday Seniors with Earl Warren", a magazine-style show with studio guests.


While PrimeTime will place its original musical emphasis on big band, orchestral pop and swing music, the applicant states that, as the years go by, it will adjust its musical focus to remain appealing to audiences over 50 years of age.


The licensee also presented plans for an Advisory Council made up of a number of prominent Canadians, which will meet twice a year with the management of the station. The council will assist the licensee in assessing the station's performance and gaining insights into emerging issues of interest to its target demographic.

Canadian talent development


PrimeTime stated that its plans for the development of Canadian talent were based on support for a significant but largely ignored domestic music sector. PrimeTime committed to devote at least $36,000 annually to Canadian talent development (CTD) initiatives, including a yearly $5,000 donation to FACTOR.


The individual initiatives include yearly contributions of $10,000 to the music program at Humber College, for the school's "Big Band", which focuses on jazz and pop orchestral music. The money will be used for instruments, equipment, CD recordings and instructor fees for professional musicians to give master classes.


PrimeTime will also donate $6,000 annually to Theatre Sheridan, part of the Music Theatre program at Sheridan College. The applicant noted that the donation will support the stars of the future in a genre of music that is particularly appealing to PrimeTime's target audience.


Canadian Music Week will receive $10,000 annually, to develop workshops and other activities of specific interest to performers and producers of big band music and musical theatre.


The new station will also contribute $5,000 annually to establish a "Toronto Big Band Festival" in which high school jazz bands will compete for prize money to be donated to school music programs. The contest will be administered by the Toronto Musicians' Union.


The Commission notes the initiatives set out above, and a condition of licence related to the financial commitment is set out below. It notes that the total yearly contribution is in excess of the amount required for radio stations in communities of the same size as Toronto, participating in the funding plan sponsored by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.


The Commission reminds the licensee that all funds expended must meet the Commission's criteria for generally accepted, direct Canadian talent development, as set out in Public Notice CRTC 1990-111.

Conditions of licence


This licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. By conditions of licence, the licensee must:
  • expend, at a minimum, annual direct contributions of $36,000 for the development of Canadian talent,
  • as an exception to the percentage of Canadian musical selections set out in sections 2.2(8) and 2.2(9) of the Radio Regulations, 1986,
(a) in any broadcast week where at least 90% of musical selections from content category 2 that it broadcasts are selections released before 1 January 1981:
(i) in that broadcast week, excluding those periods referred to in paragraphs (b)(i) and (b)(ii), devote 30% or more of its musical selections from content category 2 to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety; and
(ii) between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., in the period beginning on Monday of that week and ending on Friday of the same broadcast week, excluding those periods referred to in paragraphs (b)(i) and (b)(ii), devote 30% or more of its musical selections from content category 2 to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety;
(b) in those periods of category 2 music:
i) consisting exclusively of music composed before 1956, devote a weekly average of 2% or more of its musical selections from content category 2 broadcast during those periods to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety;
(i) consisting of 90% or more but not exclusively, of music composed before 1956, devote a weekly average of 10% or more of its musical selections from content category 2 broadcast during those periods to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.
For purposes of this condition the terms "broadcast week", "content category" and "musical selection" shall have the meaning set out in section 2 of the Radio Regulations, 1986.
With regard to the above-noted condition of licence, whenever requested by the Commission to submit information concerning the station's broadcasting of Canadian music, the licensee must ascertain the date of composition of the selections it broadcasts and it must identify the programming periods which include the broadcast of pre-1956 music and musical selections released before 1 January 1981 but after 1955.

Other matters


This authority will only be effective and the Commission will only issue the licence at such time as it receives a duly signed and executed limited partnership agreement, within 90 days of the date of this decision.


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.


With respect to employment equity, the Commission notes that, as discussed at the hearing, PrimeTime has undertaken to engage the services of any qualified candidate from the four designated groups for any employment position that becomes available. In this regard it stated in its application: "Even though it is not always possible to maintain an equitable balance, our Human Resources goal will be to do so."

Technical matters


The licence will only be issued and effective when the new station is ready to begin operation. When the licensee has completed construction and is prepared to commence operation, it must advise the Commission in writing. If the station is not constructed and ready to operate within 12 months of today’s date, extensions to this time frame may be granted provided that the licensee applies in writing to the Commission before the 12-month period or any extension of that period expires.


As proposed, the new AM station will operate on the frequency 740 kHz with a transmitter power of 50,000 watts.


In accordance with section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence and grant the authority to operate when it receives notification from the Department of Industry that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.



The Commission acknowledges and has considered all of the interventions submitted in support of this application, as well as one in opposition from a competing applicant, and one expressing general concerns, from the Canadian Independent Record Production Association.

Related CRTC documents

• Public Notice 1999-137New licence form for commercial radio stations
• Public Notice 1999-119Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking to serve Toronto, Ontario
• Public Notice 1990-111An FM policy for the nineties
• Public Notice 1998-85Order in Council P.C. 1998-800 concerning the reservation of radio frequencies in the Toronto Market.
Secretary General
This decision is to be appended to the licence.  It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:
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