Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Carmela Laurignano (Dufferin Communications Inc.)

Ottawa, 10 July 2019 

BY E-MAIL

Carmela Laurignano
Vice-president and Radio Group Manager
5312 Dundas Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M9B 1B3
carmela@evanovradio.com

RE: Application 2019-0312-0 – CFWC-FM Brantford

Dear Mrs. Laurignano,

This is in reference to the above-noted application by Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin) for technical and programming amendments for the English-language commercial specialty radio programming undertaking CFWC-FM Braford, Ontntario.

In order to pursue the analysis of this application, please address the following.

  1. Outstanding tangible benefits

As stated in paragraph 17 of Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-260, the licensee of CFWC-FM, Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin) is subject to the following tangible benefits requirement:

“17. Given that the seven-year period has not yet ended, there are unfulfilled benefits totalling $6,484 ($3,242 for each of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 broadcast years).
The Commission directs Dufferin to fulfill these outstanding tangible benefits, to be allocated equally as follows over the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 broadcast years:
◦ 3% of the value of the transaction ($3,242) to the Radio Starmaker Fund or Fonds Radiostar;
◦ 1.5% of the value of the transaction ($1,621) to FACTOR or MUSICACTION;
◦ 1% of the value of the transaction ($1,081), at the discretion of Dufferin, to any eligible CCD initiative; and
◦ 0.5% of the value of the transaction ($540) to the CRFC.”

However, according to Commission records, the licensee contributed $0.00 in CCD contributions during the 2016-2017 broadcast year to fulfil the above-noted tangible benefit requirement, thereby representing a potential shortfall of $3,242.  It would therefore appear that the licensee is in apparent non-compliance with the above-noted requirement for the 2016-2017 broadcast year.

You are reminded that, as stated in Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2009-251, if a payment is made after 31 August, the Commission will consider the licensee to have failed to comply with its obligation to make annual CCD contributions during the applicable broadcast year. Furthermore, annual contributions required by requirement cannot be deferred, in whole or in part, to any subsequent broadcast year unless prior authority is sought and obtained from the Commission.

In light of the information above:

  1. Please explain the circumstances of this tangible benefits shortfall.
  2. Please specify what measures have been or will be put in place to ensure that payments relating to the station’s tangible benefits commitments are made.
  3. Please specify the date by which the shortfall will be expended and supporting documents will be filed. You are reminded that the licensee will need to provide the Commission with the necessary proofs of payment and eligibility once the shortfall has been expended.
  1. Outstanding tangible benefits

As stated in paragraph 17 of Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-260, the licensee of CFWC-FM, Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin) is subject to the following tangible benefits requirement:

17. Given that the seven-year period has not yet ended, there are unfulfilled benefits totalling $6,484 ($3,242 for each of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 broadcast years).
The Commission directs Dufferin to fulfill these outstanding tangible benefits, to be allocated equally as follows over the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 broadcast years:
◦ 3% of the value of the transaction ($3,242) to the Radio Starmaker Fund or Fonds Radiostar;
◦ 1.5% of the value of the transaction ($1,621) to FACTOR or MUSICACTION;
◦ 1% of the value of the transaction ($1,081), at the discretion of Dufferin, to any eligible CCD initiative; and
◦ 0.5% of the value of the transaction ($540) to the CRFC.”

However, according to Commission records, during the 2017-2018 broadcast year, the licensee contributed only $2,702 in CCD contributions, the entirety of which was paid to FACTOR.  Resulting in the following potential shortfalls:

It would therefore appear that the licensee is in apparent non-compliance with the above-noted requirement, with a potential shortfall of $1,891.

You are reminded that, as stated in Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2009-251, if a payment is made after 31 August, the Commission will consider the licensee to have failed to comply with its obligation to make annual CCD contributions during the applicable broadcast year. Furthermore, annual contributions required by requirement cannot be deferred, in whole or in part, to any subsequent broadcast year unless prior authority is sought and obtained from the Commission.

In light of the information above:

  1. Please explain the circumstances of this tangible benefits shortfall.
  2. Please specify what measures have been or will be put in place to ensure that payments relating to the station’s tangible benefits commitments are made.
  3. Please specify the date by which the shortfall will be expended and supporting documents will be filed. You are reminded that the licensee will need to provide the Commission with the necessary proofs of payment and eligibility once the shortfall has been expended.
  1. Tangible benefits

As stated in paragraph 15 of Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-260, the licensee of CFWC-FM, Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin) is subject to the following tangible benefits requirement:

15.As set out in the tangible benefits policy, tangible benefits must generally represent at least 6% of the value of the transaction. The Commission has calculated the tangible benefits package to be $26,400 (6% of $440,000).
The Commission directs Dufferin to expend $26,400 in equal amounts over seven consecutive broadcast years, to be allocated as follows:
◦ 3% of the value of the transaction ($13,200) to the Radio Starmaker Fund or Fonds Radiostar;
◦ 1.5% of the value of the transaction ($6,600) to FACTOR or MUSICACTION;
◦ 1% of the value of the transaction ($4,400), at the discretion of the purchaser, to any eligible      Canadian content development (CCD) initiatives; and
◦ 0.5% of the value of the transaction ($2,200) to the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC).”

According to Commission records, the licensee reported CCD contributions in the amount of $629 to Coast 2 Coast Music Canada during the 2017-2018 broadcast year to fulfill the above-noted tangible benefit requirement.

However, Commission staff note that the licensee did not file sufficient proof of eligibility for these contributions. Footnote1

Without additional documentation to demonstrate how the reported CCD contributions were used and how the initiative qualifies as eligible, this initiative may be deemed ineligible by the Commission.

In light of the above:

  1. Please explain the circumstances of this apparent non‐compliance.
  2. Please explain how the use of these contributions for the above-noted initiative complies with the Commission’s eligibility criteria noted in subsection 15(1) of the Regulations and paragraphs 97 through 112 of the Commercial Radio Policy 2006 (PN CRTC 2006-158).
  3. Please provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate the eligibility of the above-noted initiative and breakdown how the CCD contributions were expended. This can include a letter from the third party that received the funds or a printout or brochure of the event that explicitly links the claimed expenses to the initiative.

Please note that without sufficient proof of eligibility for the initiative in question, the licensee may be found in non-compliance with the above-noted condition of licence for the 2017-2018 broadcast year.

  1. Outstanding tangible benefits

As stated in paragraph 21 of Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-260, the licensee of CFWC-FM, Dufferin Communications Inc. (Dufferin) is subject to the following tangible benefits requirement:

21. In light of the above, the Commission directs Dufferin to fulfill the outstanding tangible benefits for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 broadcast years by contributing the required amount of $1,080 to eligible CCD initiatives within 90 days of the issuance of the new broadcasting licence for CFWC-FM.”

However, according to Commission records, the licensee paid the required contribution of $1,080 on 09 February 2018 although the decision stipulates that the contribution must be paid within 90 days of the issuance of the new broadcasting licence for CFWC-FM (i.e. before 20 October 2017).  The payment appears to have been made 4 months late.

It would therefore appear that the licensee is in apparent non-compliance with the above-noted requirement.

You are reminded that, if a payment is made after the deadline, the Commission can consider the licensee to have failed to comply with its obligation to pay punctual contribution within the deadline. Furthermore, punctual contributions required by condition of licence cannot be delayed, in whole or in part, unless prior authority is sought and obtained from the Commission.

In light of the information above:

  1. Please explain the circumstances of this apparent non‐compliance.
  2. Please specify what measures have been or will be put in place to full future compliance with the licensee’s regulatory obligations for CCD contributions during the new licence.

Staff finds it necessary to obtain this information from the applicant in order to provide for a complete record and to make a determination with respect to the proposed technical amendment.

The information requested herein should be submitted to the Commission by no later than 16 July 2019, failing which, the application may be returned to be completed and resubmitted with the Commission should Dufferin wish to pursue this proposal.

The Commission requires the response or other documents to be submitted electronically by using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and filling the “Broadcasting and Telecom Cover page” or the “Broadcasting Cover Page” located on this web page.   Also on this web page you will find information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Filing Broadcasting and Canadian Program Certification documents with the CRTC: Privacy and Security”.

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Should you need further information concerningthis application, please do not hesitate to contact me by telephone at 873-353-9274, by fax at 819-994-0218 or by e-mail at valentina.bourgeois@crtc.gc.ca .

Yours sincerely

Original signed by Analyst

Valentina Bourgeois
Senior Analyst, Radio Policy & Applications

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