ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-555
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Route reference: 2010-95
Ottawa, 6 August 2010
RNC MÉDIA inc.
Val-d’Or, La Sarre and Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Applications 2010-0009-1 and 2010-0001-0, received 4 January 2010
CJGO-FM La Sarre and CHGO-FM Val-d’Or – Licence amendments
The Commission approves the applications by RNC MÉDIA Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio station CJGO-FM La Sarre by adding an FM transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda, and to amend the broadcasting licence for the radio station CHGO-FM Val-d’Or by deleting its transmitter CHGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda. The licensee will now use the rebroadcasting transmitter that it currently operates at Rouyn-Noranda to broadcast the programming of CJGO-FM instead of the programming of CHGO-FM.
1. The Commission received applications from RNC MÉDIA Inc. (RNC) to amend the broadcasting licence for the commercial radio programming undertaking CJGO-FM La Sarre in order to add an FM transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda, and to amend the broadcasting licence for the commercial radio programming undertaking CHGO-FM Val-d’Or in order to delete the transmitter CHGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda.
2. RNC proposed to use the rebroadcasting transmitter it currently operates at Rouyn-Noranda to broadcast the programming of CJGO-FM instead of the programming of CHGO-FM. The licensee did not request any changes to the technical parameters of the transmitter. RNC stated that the proposed change would allow it to better serve listeners in Abitibi by accentuating the differences between the programming for the eastern (Val-d’Or and Amos) and western (La Sarre and Rouyn-Noranda) portions of the area, which are served by CHGO-FM and CJGO-FM, respectively.
3. The Commission received interventions in support of the applications, as well as an intervention in opposition from Astral Media Radio inc. (Astral). The interventions and the licensee’s reply can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”
Commission’s analysis and determinations
4. After examining the applications in light of applicable regulations and policies, as well as the interventions and the licensee’s reply, the Commission considers that the primary issues to be addressed are the following:
- the allegation that the licensee would be violating its conditions of licence;
- the allegation that the licensee, through these applications, intends to introduce a new FM radio station in Rouyn-Noranda and circumvent the established competitive process;
- the technical and economic reasons cited by the licensee in support of its applications;
- the diversity of programming and of news sources in Rouyn-Noranda; and
- the impact that approval of the applications would have on the financial health of stations operating in Rouyn-Noranda.
Allegation that the licensee would be violating its conditions of licence
5. In its intervention, Astral claimed that the programming rebroadcast by CHGO-FM-1 constitutes a violation of CHGO-FM’s conditions of licence.
6. In response to Astral’s intervention, RNC stated that it complies with all of its conditions of licence and that CHGO-FM-1 rebroadcasts CHGO-FM programming in its entirety.
7. A review of the program schedules provided by the licensee reveals that 58 hours of CJGO-FM programming are inserted into CHGO-FM programming through a “network” (non-local), as defined in the Broadcasting Act. The review also reveals that CHGO-FM-1 rebroadcasts CHGO-FM programming in its entirety. The Commission is therefore satisfied that RNC complies with its conditions of licence in this regard.
Allegation that the licensee, through these applications, intends to introduce a new FM radio station in Rouyn-Noranda and circumvent the established competitive process
8. In its intervention, Astral also stated that broadcasting CJGO-FM programming with the transmitter operating in Rouyn-Noranda constitutes an indirect introduction of a new FM radio station into this market.
9. The Commission notes that RNC currently serves Rouyn-Noranda by operating the transmitter CHGO-FM-1 and by inserting 58 hours of CJGO-FM programming for La Sarre and Rouyn-Noranda into CHGO-FM programming. Broadcasting local programming also allows the licensee to solicit advertising in this market, in accordance with Commercial Radio Policy 2006, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-158, 15 December 2006.
10. The Commission is of the view that approval of the applications would result in minor changes to the programming broadcast by the Rouyn-Noranda transmitter. It does not signify the entry of a new commercial radio station into this market and does not constitute a circumvention of the established competitive licensing process.
Economic and technical reasons cited by the licensee in support of its applications
11. RNC expects that the approval of its applications would enable it to increase its local advertising revenues by 2% per year over the next three years. To do this, it would offer new local promotional opportunities to small-budget advertisers by dividing the large area formed by Val-d’Or, Amos, La Sarre and Rouyn-Noranda into two distinct advertising markets and by setting more competitive rates.
12. The Commission is of the view that approval of RNC’s applications would help increase opportunities for advertisers in the markets concerned and that the projected revenue growth would contribute to the sound financial health of CHGO-FM and CJGO-FM.
Diversity of programming and of news sources in Rouyn-Noranda
13. The licensee wished to highlight the individual characteristics of eastern and western Abitibi in terms of news and information, and thus provide, through local news, a more faithful representation of the political, economic, cultural, meteorological, and sports-related realities of the two areas. The proposed programming changes would result in the broadcast of two different morning shows: one for eastern Abitibi on CHGO-FM and one for western Abitibi on CJGO-FM. RNC added that it would also be able to offer its listeners more attractive entertainment programming, for example, hockey games of both regions’ Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams, which usually play on the same night of the week.
14. The Commission is of the view that approving the applications would allow the licensee to enrich its local programming and news sources and thus better serve listeners within its authorized coverage area. The licensee would thus be able to maintain a competitive position while giving Abitibi an additional voice.
Impact that approval of the applications would have on the financial health of stations operating in Rouyn-Noranda
15. RNC anticipates little impact on the revenue of its commercial radio station CHOA-FM Rouyn-Noranda and on the revenues of commercial radio stations CJMM-FM Rouyn-Noranda and CJMV-FM Val-d’Or, operated by Astral, because the stations have different music formats and target audiences. In its intervention, Astral did not specify what impact RNC’s estimated increase in advertising revenue would have on the financial health of its stations.
16. The Commission is of the view that the additional revenue that RNC hopes to generate represents only a small percentage of the total advertising revenue in the Rouyn-Noranda, Amos, Val-d’Or and La Sarre markets. The other commercial radio stations in the region, including Astral’s stations, are well established, and their financial health should not be threatened.
17. In light of the foregoing, the Commission approves the applications by RNC MÉDIA Inc. to amend the broadcasting licence for the commercial radio programming undertaking CJGO-FM La Sarre by adding an FM transmitter at Rouyn-Noranda, and to amend the broadcasting licence for the commercial radio programming undertaking CHGO-FM Val-d’Or by deleting the transmitter CHGO-FM-1 Rouyn-Noranda.
18. The Commission notes that approval of these applications will have no technical impact since all of the rebroadcasting transmitter’s technical parameters will remain the same, the transmitter will not be moved, and no change to the authorized contours is planned.
*This decision is to be appended to each licence.
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