ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2000-361

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Decision CRTC 2000-361
Ottawa, 24 August 2000
Denis Losier, on behalf of a company to be incorporated
Moncton, New Brunswick – 199909264

Radio Beauséjour inc.
Shédiac, New Brunswick – 199906921

6 March 2000 Public Hearing
in Moncton
New commercial French-language FM radio service in Moncton
At a public hearing in Moncton, the Commission examined applications for new French-language FM radio stations submitted by Denis Losier, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, and by Radio Beauséjour inc. The two applications were technically mutually exclusive and competitive in terms of the market to be served. The Commission has approved the application by Denis Losier.


The Commission approves the application by Denis Losier, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, for a broadcasting licence to carry on a French-language FM radio programming undertaking at Moncton. Accordingly, the Commission denies the competing application by Radio Beauséjour inc. Both applicants proposed to use the same frequency (99.9 MHz).


Subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 2005. The licence will be subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. The Commission has granted a licence term that is less than the maximum of seven years permitted by the Broadcasting Act (the Act) in order to schedule the renewal of this licence in accordance with the regional plan established by the Commission.
The Moncton radio market


In addition to the French-language radio services of the CBC's La Première Chaîne and La Chaîne culturelle, Moncton is currently served by two French-language community radio services. These are the campus/community station CKUM-FM, operated by Les Médias Acadiens Universitaires inc., and CJSE-FM Shédiac, a Type B community radio station operated by Radio Beauséjour. The latter proposed to operate a second community radio station in the same market.


The only commercial French-language radio station ever to have served Moncton (CHLR) ceased operation in January 1985. The application by Denis Losier is intended to restore a private commercial French-language radio service to Moncton. There are currently three private English-language radio stations in Moncton.
Competitive aspect


The applications by Denis Losier and Radio Beauséjour both proposed to serve Moncton and the surrounding area. The main studio for the station proposed by Radio Beauséjour would have been shared with CJSE-FM at Shédiac, although Moncton was the main service area intended for the station. Because both applications proposed to broadcast on a frequency of 99.9 MHz, only one could be approved as submitted.


On the other hand, the two applications were fundamentally different with respect to the nature of the station proposed. Denis Losier proposed to operate a private commercial station, whereas Radio Beauséjour proposed to operate a community radio station. In examining the merits of these two applications, therefore, the Commission relied on two quite distinct sets of criteria, one based on the commercial radio policy, and the other based on the community radio policy.


At the same public hearing, the Commission also examined other competing applications to operate new English-language FM radio stations in Moncton. These applications are dealt with in separate decisions also released today.
Application by Radio Beauséjour


Radio Beauséjour's original application was submitted under the previous community and campus radio policy. At the public hearing, however, the applicant agreed to comply with the requirements of the new Community Radio Policy, published 28 January 2000 (Public Notice CRTC 2000-13). In particular, the applicant confirmed that it was proposing to operate a Type B community radio station, and that it would honour the requirements of the new policy concerning spoken word content and Canadian content for Category 2 and Category 3 music.


Radio Beauséjour stated that its community station proposal [translation] "is primarily a continuation" of CJSE-FM and is intended to improve service to its whole audience, from the rural Acadian fishing communities to the urban world of Moncton. Its plan was for two community stations that would complement each other and benefit from the resulting synergy. While CJSE-FM would focus on a more rural audience, with a Country and Adult-Contemporary musical format, the second station would be more urban-oriented, offering a format that would include popular music, rock, jazz, blues as well as less conventional music.


The Community radio policy describes the role and mandate of a community station as follows:

The primary focus of a community radio station is to provide community access to the airwaves and to offer diverse programming that reflects the needs and interests of the community that the station is licensed to serve, including:

  • music by new and local talent;
  • music not generally broadcast by commercial stations;
  • spoken word programming; and
  • local information.


The Commission examined all of these areas with the applicant at the public hearing. Radio Beauséjour was not able to satisfy the Commission that its proposed second community station in the Moncton area would be truly distinct in nature from CJSE-FM, or that it would add to the diversity of voices in the market.


The Commission took into consideration the many interventions in support of the Radio Beauséjour application. In particular, these came from the Société des Acadiens et des Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, the Société nationale de l’Acadie, the Association des radios communautaires acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada. Many individuals from southeastern New Brunswick also signed petitions in favour of Radio Beauséjour's application.


Most of the interventions in support of the Radio Beauséjour application emphasized CJSE-FM’s substantial success since it went on air nearly six years ago. Special attention was drawn to the considerable and very positive effect that CJSE-FM has had on the development of the French-speaking communities in this region of New-Brunswick.


Speaking of the successes of CJSE-FM, Radio Beauséjour pointed out that it was [translation] "one of the best success stories in community radio" and that this station [translation] "was not only a great community success, but a financial success as well." In this regard, the Commission notes that CJSE-FM reported total revenues in 1999 of more than $1 million, which is four times the average for all community radio stations in Canada.


The Commission acknowledges the quality of the community radio service currently provided by CJSE-FM and Radio Beauséjour's success in terms of its ability to generate additional revenues and hold fundraisers. It points out that the streamlined requirements contained in the new Community radio policy, including the removal of restrictions on the amount of advertising that may be broadcast by Type B stations, should provide new flexibility for Radio Beauséjour in this regard. The Commission is therefore satisfied that denial of the application by Radio Beauséjour does not constitute a threat to the viability or development of CJSE-FM.


In this context, the Commission is satisfied that Radio Beauséjour has all the necessary resources to serve all segments of its audience under the mandate given to CJSE-FM. The Commission is also satisfied that this station is in a position to implement the plans contained in the current application, and thereby to fulfil the expectations and wishes expressed in the many interventions supporting Radio Beauséjour's application.


In view of all the foregoing, the Commission has denied the application by Radio Beauséjour to operate a second community radio station in the Moncton area.
Application by Denis Losier
The public process


In a number of recent decisions, the Commission has discussed various factors relating to the implementation of its new Commercial Radio Policy 1998 (Public Notice CRTC 1998-41), and the assessment of competitive applications.


The Commission considers that, while their importance will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the market concerned, there are four main factors that are usually relevant to the evaluation of competing applications:
  • the quality of the applications
  • the impact on the market of a new entrant
  • the competitive state of the market, and
  • the diversity of news voices in the community.


The Commission discussed these factors with the applicant at the public hearing, and considered them in reaching its determination.
Quality of the application


The Commission considers that approval of the application by Denis Losier is consistent with the objectives of the Commercial Radio Policy, which reflect a number of the principal broadcasting policy objectives set out in section 3 of the Act. In particular, the policy states that radio should provide listeners with varied and comprehensive programming from a variety of sources including the CBC, private commercial stations and not-for-profit stations. It adds that the presence of different news voices should be encouraged and programming should reflect Canada’s linguistic duality. In addition, section 3(1)(k) of the Act provides that "a range of broadcasting services in English and in French shall be extended to all Canadians as resources become available." As the Moncton market is currently served by CBC, a campus station and a community station, this proposal introduces a viable commercial player.


Denis Losier proposed to operate a new general-interest French-language FM radio station in Moncton. He proposed a highly targeted programming format that would complement existing services and contribute to diversity. The music format would focus on contemporary hits, with a mixture of popular music, rock, folk, blues and easy listening music. Thematic music programs on musical periods and styles are planned for the schedule. The applicant has also made a commitment to broadcast at least a 65% level of French-language vocal music in category 2, as required by the Radio Regulations, 1986.


As noted above, the new station proposed by Denis Losier will effectively restore a private French-language radio service to Moncton. It will introduce new competition aimed at satisfying the French-speaking audience of this region; it will also benefit the population as a whole by offering more choice in programming. Moreover, this approval should contribute to the development of a private French-language radio industry in Moncton.


Approval of the application submitted by Denis Losier will also have the effect of introducing a new news voice to the market. Newscasts covering political, social, sports and community current events will be broadcast from an independent newsroom.


Another factor taken into account by the Commission in evaluating the quality of this application concerns the additional resources that will be devoted to the development of Canadian talent in the Moncton area.


As part of its application, Denis Losier made a commitment to participate in the Canadian talent development funding plan created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), which prescribes a yearly contribution of $3,000 for stations in markets such as Moncton. In accordance with this commitment, the licensee is required by condition of licence to allocate a minimum of $3,000 each year to MusicAction or to another industry fund dedicated to the development of Canadian talent.


In addition to the amount prescribed by the CAB plan, the Commission notes Denis Losier's commitment to contribute an additional minimum of $22,000 per year over a seven-year period (a total of $154,000) for an annual talent contest, not including the associated promotional budget. This annual event will be broadcast and will be used to promote Francophone talent in the Moncton area and in the neighbouring counties of Westmorland and Kent.


Consistent with that commitment, it is a condition of licence that, in addition to the contributions to the CAB plan noted above, Denis Losier make annual contributions of the type described above, of $22,000.


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.


The Commission has also noted the applicant's commitment to remit $2,500 annually to the Département d'information et de communication of the Université de Moncton. This amount is to be used to award scholarships to students in the field of broadcasting. The Commission points out that this type of commitment is not generally considered an acceptable Canadian talent development initiative. However, the Commission has decided to accept it as a benefit to the Canadian broadcasting system. The Commission expects the licensee to honour this commitment over the full licence term. It has also noted the plans to develop a program of practical training sessions involving the proposed station and the Université de Moncton to enable broadcasting students to work in a commercial radio environment.


In addition to the conditions of licence with respect to Canadian talent development set out above, the licensee will also be subject to conditions related to local programming and industry codes. As noted in Public Notice CRTC 1999-137, standard conditions of licence are now set out only on the licence form.
Impact on the market


The Commission considers that the Moncton market can support one additional French-language radio station. It also considers that the sustained economic growth in Moncton over the past decade will favour implementation of the commercial radio station plans submitted by Denis Losier.


Denis Losier stated that his application was well supported by the business community of the region, including the Moncton Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Moncton Economic Commission and several private sector companies. In this regard, he mentioned that a number of these companies had confirmed their intention to use the proposed station to reach the French-language market. According to the applicant, 50% of the revenues of the new station will come from new advertising budgets and will therefore have little impact on the established media.


The applicant also argued that other regions in New Brunswick have French-language private and community radio stations which coexist successfully. He mentioned the regions of Edmundston-Grand Sault, Bathurst and the Acadian Peninsula and the fact that the advertising markets in those three regions are much smaller than that of the Moncton region.


The Commission has concluded that the introduction of a private French-language radio service in Moncton should not have an undue impact on the other radio stations in the market. Concerning the impact on the community station CJSE-FM, the Commission notes that this station is already well established after some six years of operation. It also enjoys an enviable financial situation, since it ranks first among community radio stations in Canada in terms of total revenues. The Commission has also taken into account the intervention by the campus community station CKUM-FM and its argument that the station's financial situation would be precarious. Considering the specific audience of CKUM-FM, which is academic and university-oriented for the most part, and the advertising clientele associated with it, the Commission does not believe that CKUM-FM would be unduly harmed by the introduction of a commercial French-language station in Moncton.
Independence of the licensee company


Denis Losier (OBCI) will hold 51% of the common shares of the licensee company to be incorporated. The remaining 49% of common shares will be held by 2423698 Nova Scotia Limited. The latter is the parent company of Maritime Broadcasting System Limited (Maritime Broadcasting), which operates two English-language radio stations in Moncton – CKCW and CFQM-FM.


Moreover, Maritime Broadcasting will provide 50%, or $300,000, of the financing for the proposed station. In addition, a draft agreement filed with the application by Denis Losier provides that the new station will share the premises and administrative services of Maritime Broadcasting in Moncton.


Even though Denis Losier (OBCI) will hold 51% of the shares of the licensee company to be incorporated, the Commission wished to ensure that Maritime Broadcasting would not have de facto control of the company because of the financing it will provide and the proposed agreement to share its premises and administrative services. A number of interveners also indicated their concerns in this regard.


In response, Denis Losier stated that he would exercise full control over the licensee company, and that the new station would be operated independently and separately from Maritime Broadcasting. He added that the other shareholder would not hold more powers than those normally reserved for a minority shareholder. He indicated that the station would be managed independently in the areas of sales, news programming and administration.


Denis Losier also argued that this partnership with a broadcaster that is well established in Moncton offers his proposal a better chance for success, as well as the assurance of long-term stability. The Commission is satisfied with the applicant's response.
Technical matters


As proposed, the new FM station will be operated on the frequency 99.9 MHz (channel 260B) with an effective radiated power of 9,500 watts.


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.


The Department of Industry has advised the Commission that this application is conditionally technically acceptable. The Department will only issue a broadcasting certificate once it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.


In accordance with section 22(1) of the 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.
Other matters


This authority will only be effective and the Commission will only issue the licence at such time as it receives documentation establishing that an eligible Canadian corporation has been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects and that this corporation may be issued a licence.


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.


The Commission acknowledges and has considered all of the interventions submitted with respect to each of these applications.
Related CRTC documents
• Public Notice 1999-137New licence form for commercial radio stations
• Public Notice 1998-41Commercial Radio Policy
• Public Notice 2000-13Community radio policy
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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