ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-346

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Decision CRTC 2001-346

Ottawa, 15 June 2001

Northern Native Broadcasting
Terrace, British Columbia 1999-1668-1

Application processed by Public Notice CRTC 2000-105 dated 17 July 2000

Licence renewal for native radio station CFNR-FM and its transmitters


The Commission renews the broadcasting licence for the Type B native radio undertaking CFNR-FM Terrace and its transmitters, from 1 September 2001 to 31 August 2008, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued.

Changes in conditions of licence for native undertakings


In Public Notice CRTC 2001-70 also released today, the Commission introduced changes to conditions of licence for some native radio undertakings. As indicated in the notice, the Commission no longer imposes limits on the advertising broadcast by native radio stations and networks. However, it requires that they broadcast a Canadian content level of at least 35% in popular (category 2) music. Consequently, it is a condition of licence that the licensee devote a minimum of 35% of all category 2 musical selections broadcast, during each broadcast week, to Canadian selections.


In Public Notice 2001-70, the Commission further stated that, depending upon the particular circumstances of each case, it would either encourage or require native radio stations, that wish to broadcast wrap-around programming after their daily sign-off, to use programming from another native radio station or network.



The Commission received eighteen interventions supporting CFNR-FM's licence renewal. Telemedia Radio (West) Inc., licensee of CFTK and CJFW-FM, commercial radio stations serving Terrace, also filed an intervention opposing the removal of the condition of licence restricting the amount of advertising that CFNR-FM may broadcast. The intervener claimed that, during the current licence term, the licensee had frequently breached this requirement and should, therefore, not be granted greater flexibility in this area.


Telemedia also alleged that CFNR-FM is not fulfilling its obligation to offer native programming. It contended that the licensee is trying to position itself as an advertising-based, mainstream music station rather than as a native radio undertaking that is specifically oriented to the native population, reflecting the particular interests and needs of the native audience it is licensed to serve.


The licensee responded that, on the whole, it had adhered to its condition of licence on advertising during the current licence term. It acknowledged that it had exceeded its advertising limits on several occasions during the summer of 2000 when it was implementing a system for computerized traffic scheduling of its programming. The licensee explained that the non-compliance was a result of staff errors in using the new computer equipment and did not reflect any disregard for the Commission's requirements.


The licensee further maintained that CFNR-FM does broadcast programs directed specifically to its Aboriginal audience that reflect native life, concerns and culture. At the same time, its audience has demonstrated that it also wants a radio station that offers programming with a "guitar/rock driven music focus" and some commercial content.

The Commission's findings


In view of its decision to no longer impose restrictions on advertising on native radio stations, the Commission does not consider that it would be appropriate to continue to require CFNR-FM to abide by its current condition of licence on advertising.


The Commission notes that CFNR-FM operates in a rock format. It originates its own programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week, and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays. During the remainder of each broadcast day, it airs wrap-around programming from CFMI, a commercial Vancouver station operating in the classic rock format.


The Commission considers that CFNR-FM would better meet the intent of the Native Broadcasting Policy if, rather than offering programming from CFMI during the evening periods, the station broadcast wrap-around programming from another native station or network. Nevertheless, the Commission understands the licensee's arguments that its listeners enjoy a radio service that offers a rock format. The Commission also recognizes that, at the present time, the licensee may have difficulty in acquiring wrap-around programming in a rock format from another native radio station or network. As noted in Public Notice CRTC 2001-70 , however, the Commission has recently licensed a new, national native radio network to be known as Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVRN) (Decision CRTC 2001-39). Once it commences operation, it will be available 24 hours a day to all regions across the country. The music format offered by AVRN may be more suited to CFNR-FM's listeners.


The Commission requires that, beginning on 1 January 2002, if the licensee wishes to offer wrap-around programming after its daily sign-off, it must, by condition of licence, broadcast programming from another native radio station or network.


In the Commission's view, removing restrictions on the amount of advertising that native radio undertakings may broadcast will give them the potential to generate more revenues. If the licensee has difficulty obtaining wrap-around programming from another native radio station or network that is compatible with CFNR-FM's format, the Commission encourages the licensee to consider using some of its additional revenues to hire staff who can provide its own local programming during the evening periods in the rock format preferred by its Aboriginal listeners. CFNR-FM would, therefore, not need to air any wrap-around programming during its broadcast day.

Related CRTC documents

. Public Notice 2001-70  - Changes to conditions of licence for certain native radio undertakings

. Decision 2000-271 - Native radio programming undertakings and networks - One-year renewals

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:

Date Modified: 2001-06-15

Date modified: