ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-439

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-439

  Ottawa, 3 September 2003
  Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
  Application 2002-0827-4
Public Hearing in the National Capital Region
26 May 2003

FM radio station in Portage la Prairie

  In this decision, the Commission approves the application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. to operate an English-language FM radio station in Portage la Prairie.
  The application


The Commission received an application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. (Golden West) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Portage la Prairie. The applicant proposed to operate at 96.5 MHz (channel 243B) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 24,000 watts.


Golden West currently operates the AM radio programming undertaking CFRY and its transmitter CFRY-1-FM Portage la Prairie. The applicant stated that the proposed new FM station would provide listeners with access to the higher technical quality of sound that is inherent with an FM signal. It also submitted that the combination of an AM station and an FM station originating in Portage la Prairie would offer a broader range of radio service to listeners in that city and in the surrounding rural communities in south-western Manitoba.


Golden West stated that the new FM station would operate seven days a week. All of the programming aired in each broadcast week would be local and station-produced. The station would be primarily music-driven and would offer an eclectic music format featuring a variety of category 2 (popular) music drawn from the following subcategories: pop, rock and dance; country; and easy listening. It would also feature some folk music drawn from category 3 (special interest) music. The spoken word programming would consist of local news, sports and weather scheduled on a regular basis throughout the broadcast week. Newscasts would be broadcast hourly in the morning, noon and afternoon drive periods.


Golden West confirmed that it will participate in the plan developed by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) for contributions by radio licensees to Canadian talent development. Under this plan, based on the size of Portage la Prairie, a radio licensee would normally be expected to contribute a minimum of $400 in each broadcast year to eligible third parties for the development of Canadian musical and other artistic talent. In addition, the applicant made a commitment to contribute $600, in each broadcast year, to Portage la Prairie High School's music programs.


The Commission received an intervention by Inner City Films commenting on the application and an intervention by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) opposing the application.


The Commission notes the comments by Inner City Films, the concerns it raised on the subject of cultural diversity, and its desire to see an "opening up (of) a new dialogue on diversity."


The CBC alleged that the proposed use of 96.5 MHz (channel 243B) would conflict with its Long Range Radio Plan (LRRP), which identifies the use of the same frequency for a future La Première Chaîne service in Portage la Prairie as well as the use of 96.3 MHz (channel 242A) for a future La Première Chaîne service in St-Jean Baptiste, Manitoba.


In response to the CBC, Golden West stated that there are no class B allotments in the Department of Industry's (the Department) FM Allotment Plan for Portage la Prairie. Golden West claimed that, in order to meet its coverage objectives, it needs a class B frequency capable of operating with an ERP of 20,000 watts to 25,000 watts. It also submitted that, since it plans to co-locate its proposed new FM station with CFRY-1-FM so that the two operations can share antenna, it must find a frequency that is within 1.5 MHz and 4.0 MHz of 93.1 MHz (channel 226), CFRY-1-FM's existing frequency. The applicant maintained that 96.5 MHz (channel 243B) meets all of its technical requirements. It also noted that, while the Department's FM Allotment Plan identifies this frequency in Portage la Prairie as class A, the frequency could be upgraded to class B.


Golden West did not respond to the CBC's concerns regarding the potential conflict with its proposal for St-Jean Baptiste.
  The Commission's analysis and determination


The Commission has considered all relevant information and arguments presented by both the applicant and the CBC. While the Commission recognizes the importance of the CBC's LRRP, both parties understand that the frequencies identified in the plan are not reserved for the exclusive use of the CBC in all cases. Where a private broadcaster presents a compelling case for a channel listed in the CBC's LRRP and is able to demonstrate that a viable alternative is clearly available to the CBC, the Commission has been disposed to give favourable consideration to an application by the private broadcaster.


In the present case, the applicant has proposed another frequency that is available for use by the CBC in the Portage la Prairie area. The Commission considers that this frequency would be a suitable alternative for the CBC, subject to approval by the Department.


The Commission notes that the CBC initially identified 96.3 MHz (channel 242A) for future use in St-Jean Baptiste in its 1988 LRRP. The frequency is still identified for future use in that community in the CBC's current LRRP. However, the frequency does not appear in the Department's FM Allotment Plan for St-Jean Baptiste.


The Commission finds that the applicant has presented a convincing argument that 96.5 MHz (channel 243B) represents the best means available to provide service to its proposed audience. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Portage la Prairie at 96.5 MHz (channel 243B) with an ERP of 24,000 watts.
  Issuance of the licence


The licence will expire 31 August 2010 and will be subject to the conditions set outin New licence form for commercial radio stations, Public Notice CRTC 1999-137, 24 August 1999, including a condition of licence requiring the licensee to make contributions to Canadian talent development in accordance with the CAB's plan. The licence will also be subject to the following condition:

The licensee shall contribute a minimum of $600, in each broadcast year, to Portage la Prairie High School's music programs.


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


The Commission reminds the applicant that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.


Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 3 September 2005. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.
  Employment equity


Because this licensee is subject to the Employment Equity Act and files reports concerning employment equity with Human Resources Development Canada, its employment equity practices are not examined by the Commission.
  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: 2003-09-03

Date modified: