ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-257

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By FAX: (416) 935-8288

Decision CRTC 2001-257

Ottawa, 4 May 2001

Mr. Gary L. Miles
Executive Vice President, Radio Operations
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
777 Jarvis Street
Toronto, Ontario
M4Y 3B7

Complaint from Standard Radio Inc. ("Standard") concerning Rogers Broadcasting Limited's ("Rogers") operation of CIOX-FM, Smiths Falls, and CKVX-FM, Chilliwack.

Dear Mr. Miles:

1. The Complaint

This is further to the Standard complaint of 9 January 2001 concerning the operation of CIOX-FM, Smiths Falls and CKVX-FM, Chilliwack.

Standard contends that:

1) Rogers continues to operate its Smiths Falls and Chilliwack radio stations in a manner that is inconsistent with current CRTC requirements.
2) Both CIOX-FM and CKVX-FM continue to largely and predominantly target the audiences in the nearby urban markets of Ottawa in the case of CIOX-FM, and Vancouver in the case of CKVX-FM, consequently neglecting their mandate to provide local programming services to the people of Smiths Falls and Chilliwack respectively.
3) The change in the manner in which Rogers operates CIOX-FM and CKVX-FM has a negative impact on the quality and level of radio services available in the local communities in question as well as having a negative impact on existing radio stations licensed to serve the Cities of Ottawa and Vancouver, and
4) Rogers' non-compliance with current CRTC requirements has had, and will continue to have, an adverse effect on the integrity of the broadcast regulatory regime.

Standard requests that the Commission review the operation of CIOX-FM and CKVX-FM and take any and all necessary action in order to ensure that these two radio stations operate in a manner that is consistent with established CRTC requirements.

2. Information Considered

In analysing this complaint, the Commission has taken into account all the submissions of the parties as follows: Standard's complaint letter dated 9 January 2001, Rogers' response dated 6 February 2001, and Standard's reply dated 14 February 2001.

In addition to reviewing the submissions of the parties and so as to permit it to establish, directly, if Rogers is breaching the Commission's statement of what it considers appropriate conduct with respect to the operation of CIOX-FM and CKVX-FM, the Commission requested Rogers to submit the program logs and the logger tapes pertaining to the programming broadcast by the stations for the week of 28 January to 3 February 2001. The Commission reviewed the program broadcast during two days, 1 and 3 February 2001.

3. Determination

The Commission is concerned that Rogers appears to be not fully respecting the guidelines for CFVX-FM and CIOX-FM in that:

(a)  Both stations continue to identify themselves on a basis that includes exclusive references to the Cities of Ottawa or Vancouver.
(b)  Both stations did not include references to the areas they are licensed to serve in all their traffic and weather reports.
(c)  Both stations have not included, on a regular basis, references to local news and events in the communities they are licensed to serve.
(d)  It has not been substantiated that the CIOX-FM service includes programs received from studios in Smiths Falls as required by its licence.

The Commission would also point out that the Commercial Radio Policy 1998 states that:

"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."

Furthermore, the Commission reminds Rogers that in Decision CRTC 2000-445, which amended CKVX-FM's licence by deleting the condition of licence requiring that all of the station's permanent studio facilities be located outside the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the Commission reiterated that CKVX-FM's mandate is to provide a locally oriented radio service to listeners throughout the Fraser Valley.

In addition, the Common Ownership policy, contained in the Commercial Radio Policy 1998 specifies that:

"In markets with eight commercial stations or more operating in a given language, a person may be permitted to own or control as many as two AM and two FM stations in that language."

Accordingly, Rogers must ensure that its operation of its five radio stations, 3 Ottawa based and two regional, does not offend this policy, failing which the Commission may wish to call Rogers to a public hearing to explore ways to rectify the situation.

The Commission notes that this is the second occasion that the Commission has made a determination on substantially the same issues. Rogers is therefore required to report to the Commission within 30 days on the steps it has taken to fully comply with the statement of appropriate conduct expressed in the Commission's 19 May 2000 letter. Thereafter, Rogers is to file bi-monthly reports (certified by the appropriate Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer) attesting to its compliance with these provisions until the Commission notifies it that the bi-monthly reports may be dispensed with. These reports should also specifically indicate what programming broadcast on CIOX-FM Smiths Falls in fact originated in that city.

Please note that all of the correspondence on the matter, including the monthly reports, will be placed on the public files and the issue will be monitored closely and re-examined at the renewal of the respective stations, at the latest.

Yours sincerely,

Ursula Menke
Secretary General

c.c.: Mr. Gary Slaight - FAX: (416) 323-6800

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