Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-264
Ottawa, 26 July 2019
New Song Communications Ministries Ltd.
Saint John, New Brunswick
Public record for this application: 2018-0200-2
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
19 March 2019
Community radio station in Saint John
The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio station in Saint John, New Brunswick.
- The Commission received an application by New Song Communications Ministries Ltd. (New Song) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Commission received an intervention in support of this application.
- New Song is a not for profit corporation controlled by its board of directors. The applicant indicated that, should this application be approved, it will change its name to CINB-FM Communications Inc.
- The station would operate on frequency 96.1 MHz (channel 241A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,726 watts (maximum ERP of 2,500 watts with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of 29.8 metres).
- The applicant indicated that, during each broadcast week, the station would broadcast 126 hours of local programming.
- More specifically, programming would consist of music, spoken word programming, local (30%) and regional (20%) news, local sports and different programs about agriculture, public service and health. The station’s musical content would be drawn from a mix of 65% content category 2 (popular music) with 25% of sub-category 21 (pop, rock, and dance) and a minimum of 20% content category 3 (special interest music).
- In regard to local talent, the applicant stated that it would provide local community groups with opportunities to publicize their events and programs. Also, the applicant intends to organize fundraisers for community non-profit organizations, offer broadcasting opportunities in local high schools, and undertake other community partnerships.
- In regard to volunteer participation, the applicant indicated that this new community radio station will attract volunteers from Saint John and surrounding communities who will have the opportunity to help with sports coverage, music programming, news coverage, sales, marketing and technical support with the station’s website. The applicant has many years of radio experience through its volunteer base and looks forward to building its volunteer team with both new and experienced broadcasters.
- New Song plans to become a member of the National Community & Campus Radio Association of Canada (NCRA). The applicant stated that this membership will allow the radio station to broadcast a variety of programs appealing to various age groups, as all radio stations who are members of the NCRA of Canada contribute to a pool of programming which is made available to all members. New Song already has a partnership with the New Brunswick Community College to give students the opportunity to become involved with the radio station. The applicant also mentioned that several retired broadcasters showed interest to come back on the airwaves on a voluntary/part time basis. Therefore, the applicant considers that it will be able to provide a significant amount of community news and local sports.
Commission’s analysis and decisions
- After examining the record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues it must address relate to the following:
- the financial impact on existing radio stations in the Saint John radio market; and
- the diversity of programming.
Financial impact on existing radio stations in the market
- Saint John is currently served by six English-language commercial stations, one Christian station, one campus station and one French community station. The proposed station would be the only English-language community radio station in the city.
- The proposed primary service contour (3mV/m) would provide service to Rothesay, Quispamsis and a small portion of Saint John. The secondary service contour (0.5 mV/m) would reach Hampton to the North, and most of Saint John to the South.
- The applicant stated that advertising revenues are anticipated to come from local retailers that currently do not advertise on the radio. The total projected revenues represents a small portion of the Saint John market’s revenues.
- In light of the above, and given the nature of the proposed service, the Commission finds that approval of this application would not have any undue negative financial impact on existing stations in the market.
Diversity of programming
- New Song’s proposed service would be the only English-language community radio station in the market. Therefore, the Commission is of the view that the proposed station would add diversity to the market of Saint John.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission is satisfied that the application is consistent with the provisions for community radio stations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by New Song Communications Ministries Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Saint John, New Brunswick. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.
- Pursuant to section 16 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, all licensees of campus, community and Native radio stations must participate in the National Public Alerting System.
- Revised content categories and subcategories for radio, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-819, 5 November 2010
- Campus and community radio policy,Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-264
Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement for the low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Saint John, New Brunswick
The licence will take effect 1 September 2019 and expire 31 August 2026.
The station will operate at 96.1 MHz (channel 241A) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 1,726 watts (maximum ERP of 2,500 watts, non directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 29.8 metres).
The Department of Industry’s BPR-3: Application Procedures and Rules for FM Broadcasting Undertakings specifies that a low-power FM radio station is considered a secondary assignment operating on an unprotected channel. Should an FM station or transmitter with protected status be granted a frequency incompatible with that used by the low-power station considered in this decision, the applicant may need to cease the operation of that low-power station, or file an application to change its frequency and/or technical parameters.
Pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, no licence may be issued until the Department of Industry 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 only 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 26 July 2021. 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.
Conditions of licence
- The licensee shall adhere to the conditions of licence set out in Standard conditions of licence for campus and community stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-304, 22 May 2012, as well as to the conditions set out in the broadcasting licence for the undertaking.
As set out in Campus and community radio policy, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499, 22 July 2010, the Commission expects all community and campus licensees to file yearly updates on the composition of their boards of directors. These annual updates can be submitted at the time of submission of annual returns, following annual board of directors’ elections, or at any other time. As noted in Appendix 3 to that regulatory policy, licensees may submit such documentation via the Commission’s website.
The Commission expects the licensee to reflect the cultural diversity of Canada in its programming and employment practices.
The Commission considers that community radio stations should be particularly sensitive to employment equity issues in order to reflect fully the communities they serve. It encourages the licensee to consider these issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
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