ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-480

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Decision CRTC 2001-480

Ottawa, 10 August 2001

Bras d'Or Broadcasting Limited
Sydney, Nova Scotia 2001-0298-9

Application processed by Public Notice CRTC 2001-54 dated 15 May 2001

Transfer of control


The Commission approves the application for authority to transfer the effective ownership and control of Bras d'Or Broadcasting Limited (Bras d'Or), licensee of CHER Sydney, to Maritime Broadcasting System Limited (MBS).


MBS is the licensee of a number of radio stations in the Maritimes, including ten in Nova Scotia. Two of these are the other commercial radio stations serving Sydney (CJCB and CKPE-FM). MBS also owns 40% of the issued shares of Bras d'Or. As proposed in this application, MBS will purchase an additional 55% of the shares of Bras d'Or, thereby bringing its holdings in that company's shares to 95% of the total.


Financial consideration for the shares to be purchased by MBS is $300,000. Based on the evidence filed with the application, the Commission has no concerns with respect to the availability or the adequacy of the required financing. The Commission is also satisfied that the nature and quantitative value of the benefits offered by the purchaser are in keeping with the commercial radio policy set out in Public Notice CRTC 1998-41. Specifically, MBS committed to contribute a minimum of $18,000 over five years, or 6% of the value of the transaction, to the Canadian broadcasting system. Half of the amount will be allocated to FACTOR, while the remainder is earmarked for the Radio Starmaker Fund to assist in the marketing of Canadian music.


The level of concentration of ownership in the Province of Nova Scotia, and the possible impact this may have on the diversity of voices, were matters raised by the Commission in Public Notice CRTC 2001-54 announcing this application. In response to its notice, the Commission received seven interventions, all of which were in support. Among other things, the interveners cited the applicant's responsible performance as a broadcaster. They were confident that, under one owner, there would be no deterioration in the service provided by the three Sydney radio stations. The Commission notes in this instance that approval of this application is consistent with the common ownership policy set out in PN 1998-41. According to this policy, in markets served by fewer than eight commercial radio stations in a given language, a person may be permitted to own as many as three of them, including no more than two in a single band (AM or FM).


In addition to the services of the three commercial radio stations now all to be operated by MBS, Sydney receives the programming of both Radio One and Radio Two of the CBC, as well as that of television stations operated by the CBC, CTV and CanWest Global. Sydney's media also include a daily newspaper owned by CanWest Global. The Commission is thus of the view that Sydney residents will continue to have access to an adequate level of diversity in news voices. Moreover, the Commission is satisfied that approval will bring about improvement in the financial performance of CHER and ensure that the local service offered by the station is preserved.

Secretary General
This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative forma upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-08-10

Date modified: