Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-401

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Reference: 2019-127

Ottawa, 6 December 2019

Sheet Harbour Radio Society
Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia

Public record for this application: 2018-1094-5
Public hearing in the National Capital Region
11 July 2019

Low-power community radio station in Sheet Harbour

The Commission approves an application for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio station in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia.

The application

  1. The Commission received an application by Sheet Harbour Radio Society (SHRS) for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. The Commission received interventions in support of this application.
  2. SHRS is a not-for-profit corporation controlled by its board of directors.
  3. The station would operate on frequency 94.7 MHz (channel 234LP) with an average effective radiated power of 45 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of -18.8 metres).
  4. The applicant indicated that the station would broadcast 126 hours of programming each broadcast week, of which all 126 hours would be devoted to local programming.
  5. In each broadcast week, 3 hours and 30 minutes of spoken word programming would be devoted to news, with 95% of its newscasts devoted to local news and 5% devoted to regional news. The station would broadcast a community bulletin three times a day, six days a week, featuring information on community events and interviews with local individuals of interest to the community. Further, it would broadcast locally produced programs such as “Coastal Café”, which would highlight information about the eastern shore of Nova Scotia.
  6. In regard to the music programming to be broadcast, approximately 82% would be drawn from content category 2 (Popular Music 66%, and Country and Country-Oriented 16%) and approximately 16% would be drawn from content category 3 (Special Interest Music). Further, SHRS stated that it would feature local musicians on its “Locals” program, which would be broadcast daily.
  7. In regard to volunteer participation, SHRS indicated that it has engaged students and adults from the community as volunteers to fill the roles of producers, interviewers, marketers, and board members. Two co-managing directors would supervise the volunteers.

Commission’s analysis and decision

  1. The proposed community station would be the first dedicated service for the Sheet Harbour community.
  2. The proposed community station would serve a population of 192 in its primary (i.e., 3 mV/m) service contour and a population of 906 in its secondary (i.e., 0.5 mV/m) service contour.
  3. The Commission expects community radio stations to provide programming differing in style and substance from that provided by other elements of the broadcasting system, particularly commercial radio stations and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Such programming should consist of music, especially Canadian music, not generally heard on commercial stations (including special interest music, as well as styles of popular music seldom broadcast), in-depth spoken word programming and programming targeted to specific groups within the community.
  4. In regard to the present case, the Commission finds that SHRS’s proposed service would serve Sheet Harbour through a broad variety of programs focused on the community, and would help new local artists gain on-air exposure, thereby adding diversity to the Sheet Harbour radio market.
  5. The Commission is satisfied that the application complies with the provisions for community radio stations set out in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-499. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Sheet Harbour Radio Society for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. The terms and conditions of licence are set out in the appendix to this decision.

Reminder

  1. Pursuant to section 16 of the Radio Regulations, 1986, all licensees of community and radio stations must participate in the National Public Alerting System.

Secretary General

Related documents

* This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2019-401

Terms, conditions of licence, expectation and encouragement for the low-power, English-language community FM radio programming undertaking in Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia

Terms

The licence will expire 31 August 2026.

The station will operate at 94.7 MHz (channel 234LP) with an effective radiated power of 45 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of the antenna above average terrain of -18.8 metres).

The Commission reminds the applicant that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry (the Department) notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued. Therefore, in the absence of the notification by the Department, the applicant will not be able to implement the new undertaking approved in this decision.

Given that the technical parameters approved in this decision are for a low-power unprotected FM service, the Commission also reminds the applicant that it will have to select another frequency if the Department so requires.

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 6 December 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

  1. 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.

Expectation

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.

Encouragement

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.

The Commission encourages the applicant to amend its bylaws to ensure that the chief executive officer and not less than 80% of its directors are Canadian, as defined in the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of non-Canadians). The Commission also encourages the applicant to file an executed copy of its amended bylaws no later than 90 days following the date of this decision.

These technical parameters reflect those approved by the Department of Industry.

These content categories, and other content categories and subcategories, are set out in the appendix to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-819.

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