ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-145

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-145

  Ottawa, 18 May 2007
  Pineridge Broadcasting Inc.
Cobourg, Ontario
  Application 2006-1654-2, received 14 December 2006
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-6
16 January 2007

CHUC-FM Cobourg - Technical change

  The Commission approves an application to change CHUC-FM's authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power from 1,030 watts to 6,300 watts, and by increasing the antenna height.

The application

1. The Commission received an application by Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. (Pineridge) requesting to change the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CHUC-FM Cobourg, by increasing the average effective radiated power from 1,030 watts to 6,300 watts, and by increasing the antenna height.
2. Pineridge indicated that the purpose of the proposed changes was to resolve reception deficiencies in CHUC-FM's primary service area of Northumberland County.
3. In the Commission's view, the principal issue raised by this application is the question of whether the proposed changes would have an impact on any other radio station in any other radio market.


4. The Commission received interventions in support of this application. It also received an intervention in opposition to this application from Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus), licensee of CJXY-FM Burlington, and an intervention from CHUM Limited (CHUM), licensee of CKPT and CKQM-FM Peterborough, which offered general comments.
5. Interventions in support of Pineridge's proposal generally stated that CHUC-FM's signal is not consistent throughout Northumberland County and that the station provides a valuable service to the area.
6. Corus based its opposition on the possibility that Pineridge's proposed changes could result in interference to CJXY-FM through a phenomenon known as "thermal ducting". Thermal ducting is described as co-channel interference due to atmospheric conditions causing variations in the propagation of signals through layers of warm and cold air. These layers can trap radio signals and conduct the signals over long distances causing high signal levels at distances well beyond the normal range of reception.
7. In reply to Corus' intervention, Pineridge stated that no proof of the possibility of thermal ducting has been provided, and noted that its proposal meets all of the criteria for such applications set out by the Department of Industry (the Department).
8. CHUM expressed the view that Pineridge's proposal was an attempt to increase CHUC-FM's share in the Peterborough market, and indicated that its AM station CKPT1 would be vulnerable to such competition.
9. In response to CHUM's intervention, Pineridge reiterated that its proposal is based on improving CHUC-FM's signal in Northumberland County, and that CHUM is a more dominant broadcaster in the area than is Pineridge.

Commission's analysis

10. With regard to the suggestion that approval of this application would represent a risk for interference to radio stations in Burlington, the Commission notes that CHUC-FM makes use of a directional antenna which is oriented in the opposite direction to Burlington. It further notes that power levels in the direction of Burlington would not change significantly as a result of approval of this application. The Commission is therefore of the view that the possibility of thermal ducting resulting from approval of this application would be unlikely.
11. With respect to the Peterborough market, the Commission notes that in 2006, the Peterborough market as a whole reported an above-average profit before interest and tax margin. Also, while BBM surveys reveal that CHUC-FM currently garners a relatively small share of all tuning from listeners over the age of 12 in Peterborough, the CHUM station CKQM-FM Peterborough attracts a significant share of all Cobourg listeners, compared to that of CHUC-FM. The Commission is satisfied that the two factors above indicate that the Peterborough market would not be susceptible to negative impact from stations outside that market.
12. Based on all of the above, the Commission concludes that, while the authorized contours of CHUC-FM would be increased significantly if this application were approved, such an approval would not be expected to have a significant impact on any other station in any other market.
13. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. to change CHUC-FM's authorized contours by increasing the average effective radiated power from 1,030 watts to 6,300 watts, and by increasing the antenna height.
14. The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
  Secretary General
  This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site: 
1An application by CHUM Limited to convert CKPT to the FM band was approved in CKPT Peterborough - Conversion to FM band, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-99, 23 March 2007.

Date Modified: 2007-05-18

Date modified: