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Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES AVANT
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
October 30, 2006 le 30 octobre 2006
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Barbara Cram Chairperson / Présidente
Michel Arpin Vice-Chair, Broadcasting / Vice‑président, radiodiffusion
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Chantal Boulet Secretary / Secrétaire
Leanne Bennett Legal Counsel /
Lyne Cape Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
October 30, 2006 le 30 octobre 2006
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Newcap Inc. 7 / 35
Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited 81 / 340
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. 115 / 551
Radio CJVR Ltd. 151 / 764
1182743 Alberta Ltd. 209 / 1076
Vista Radio Ltd. 256 / 1291
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. 300 / 1489
Regina, Saskatchewan / Regina (Saskatchewan)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Monday, October 30, 2006
at 0930 / L'audience débute le lundi
30 octobre 2006 à 0930
LISTNUM 95 \l 11 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
LISTNUM 95 \l 12 Bonjours mesdames et messieurs.
LISTNUM 95 \l 13 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Regina. My name is Barbara Cram and I'm the Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan for the CRTC. I will be presiding over this hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 14 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues Michel Arpin, Vice‑Chair of Broadcasting; Rita Cugini, to my right, Regional Commissioner for Ontario; Ronald Williams, Regional Commissioner for Alberta, to Commissioner Cugini's right ‑‑ Alberta and the Northwest Territories; and Joan Pennefather, National Commissioner, on my far left.
LISTNUM 95 \l 15 The Commission team assisting us includes the Manager of Radio Applications and Policy Lyne Cape, who is also acting as Hearing Manager; Leanne Bennett, Legal Counsel; and Hearing Secretary Chantal Boulet.
LISTNUM 95 \l 16 Please speak with Ms Boulet if you have any questions with regard to the hearing procedures.
LISTNUM 95 \l 17 At this hearing we will study eight applications to operate a new English language commercial FM radio station in the Medicine Hat, Alberta, market. We will also hear an application to change the frequency and authorized contours of radio station CJLT‑FM Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 18 The panel will then consider five applications to operate a new English language commercial FM radio station, and one application to operate a new English and Aboriginal language Native type B FM radio station in the Regina market. As well, we will examine an application to amend the licence of the Native radio station, CJLR‑FM La Ronge, in order to add an FM transmitter in Regina.
LISTNUM 95 \l 19 Finally, we will consider eight applications to operate a new English language commercial FM radio station, and one application to operate a new English and Aboriginal language Native type B FM radio station in the Saskatoon market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 110 Some applications are competing technically for the same frequencies in the Medicine Hat, Regina, and Saskatoon markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 111 We will study the proposals in light of the cultural, economic and social objectives defined in The Broadcasting Act, and regulations flowing from it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 112 The panel will base its decision on several criteria, including the state of the competition and the diversity of editorial voices in each market, as well as the quality of the applications. It will look at the ability of the markets to support new radio stations, the financial resources of each applicant, and proposed initiatives for the development of Canadian talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 113 Le comité fondera sa décision sur plusieurs critères, dont l'état de la concurrence et la diversité des voix éditoriales dans chaque marché ainsi que la qualité des demandes. Il examinera également la capacité des marchés à soutenir de nouvelles stations de radio, les ressources financières de chaque requérante et les initiatives proposées pour le développement des talents canadiens.
LISTNUM 95 \l 114 We will then look at the applications to renew Aboriginal Voices Radio's licence for its radio undertakings at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. The Commission will discuss a number of issues with the licencee, including its programming commitments and its apparent non‑compliance with certain sections of the Radio Regulations 1986, and conditions of licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 115 I will now invite the hearing secretary, Ms Boulet, to explain the procedures we will be following.
LISTNUM 95 \l 116 Ms Boulet...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 117 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 118 Good morning, everyone. Before beginning I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of this hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 119 When you are in the hearing room we would ask that you please turn off your cell phones, beepers and black berries, as they are an unwelcome distractions to participants and commissioners, and they may cause interference on the internal communication system. We would appreciate your cooperation with respect to this throughout the hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 120 We expect the hearing to take approximately one week. We will begin each morning, starting tomorrow, at 8:30, and finish around 7:30. We will take one hour for lunch and a 15‑minute break in the morning and afternoon. We will let you know of any schedule changes that may occur.
LISTNUM 95 \l 121 The Tuscany Room, just outside on your right, will serve as the examination room, where you can examine the public files of the applications being considered at this hearing. As indicated in the agenda, you may reach the examination room by calling 306‑790‑4735.
LISTNUM 95 \l 122 There is a transcript, a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting at the table in front of me. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of this transcript, please approach the reporter during a break. Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's website shortly after the conclusion of the hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 123 Simultaneous translation is also available during the hearing. You can obtain a translation receiver from the technician sitting at the back of the room. The English interpretation is on channel 1 and the French is on channel 2.
LISTNUM 95 \l 124 Finally, we will proceed at this hearing with a four‑phase process as follows: First, we will hear each applicant in the agenda order, and each applicant will be granted 20 minutes to make his presentation. Questions from the Commission will follow each presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 125 Phase II is where applicants reappear in the same order to intervene if they wish on the competing applications. Ten minutes are allowed for this purpose. And again, questions from the Commission may follow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 126 In Phase III other parties will appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their appearing intervention, and ten minutes will be allowed for each presentation. Again, questions may follow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 127 Phase IV, finally, provides an opportunity for each applicant to reply to all the interventions submitted on their application. Applicants appear in reverse order and ten minutes are allowed for this reply. And again, questions may follow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 128 For the record, I would like to indicate that the letter dated October 4, 2006, regarding the use of frequency 102.9 megahertz from the applicant carrying on business as Northwestern Radio Partnership, has been added to the public record of this application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 129 Also e‑mails dated October 23 and 24, 2006, from the applicant Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., as well as the Commission's response dated October 27, 2006, clarifying the calculation of CKAV‑FM's spoken word programming, were also added to the public record of AVR's application 2006 0872‑1.
LISTNUM 95 \l 130 These documents are all available for your review in the public examination room.
LISTNUM 95 \l 131 And we're now ready to proceed to item 1 on the agenda, which is an application by Newcap Inc. for a licence to operate an English language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 132 The new station would operate on frequency 105.3 megahertz (channel 287C) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 214.4 metres).
LISTNUM 95 \l 133 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Robert Steele, who will introduce his colleagues. You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 134 Mr. Steele...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 135 MR. STEELE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 136 Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission Staff. I'm Rob Steele, president and chief executive officer of Newcap Radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 137 Before we begin our presentation I'd like to introduce our team. Seated in the front row to my immediate right is David Murray, recently named chief operating officer for Newcap Radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 138 Beside Dave is Ron Thompson who heads up our Southern Alberta group. Ron has over 40 years in radio, with the last 25 years in Red Deer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 139 Next to Ron is Sue Stevenson, news director of our Southern Alberta group of stations, including KG Country and Z 99 Red Deer. Sue has over 25 years of news experience in radio, with 20 of it in the newsroom in Red Deer. At Newcap we are particularly proud of the quality of the news we provide in Alberta, and early this year, KG Country won the RTNDA award for best national newscast in the market category.
LISTNUM 95 \l 140 Next to Sue is Mark Maheu, executive vice‑president and chief strategist for Newcap Radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 141 Beside Mark is Glenda Spenrath, assistant GM of Newcap's Alberta Radio Group East, based in Lloydminster. And rounding out our panel is Brad Boechler, our VP of sales.
LISTNUM 95 \l 142 In this application we are looking to extend our news programming and community service to an additional market in Alberta. Medicine Hat is really a good news story, and to give you some of the economic background I will ask Glenda Spenrath to elaborate.
LISTNUM 95 \l 143 Glenda...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 144 MS SPENRATH: Thank you, Rob.
LISTNUM 95 \l 145 Medicine Hat has a growing and diversified economy, with strengths in oil and gas, information technology, machinery and food processing. Its economy is broad‑based and well positioned for solid long‑term growth. Medicine Hat shares in Alberta's economic good fortune. Medicine Hat's population grew over seven percent between 2001 and 2006, and FP Markets projects another five percent growth between now and 2011.
LISTNUM 95 \l 146 Similarly, retail sales are projected to grow in Medicine Hat by 35 percent over the next five years; whereas, the corresponding rate for Canada is 28 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 147 These economic statistics paint a very positive picture, and an even more tangible example of economic growth, from January to May of this year housing starts in Medicine Hat were up a robust 32 percent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 148 In Medicine Hat a new entrant will be facing a strong entrenched competitor in Pattison. Its two FM stations are well positioned in an AC format that draws two‑thirds of the listeners in the market at least once a week, and a heritage country station that draws 37 percent of the market during each week with high satisfaction ratings according to our research.
LISTNUM 95 \l 149 Their radio stations share facilities with their television stations and enjoy the economies of scale that accompany this kind of operation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 150 To be successful in this market a new entrant will have to provide high quality programming. We have a track record of providing excellent programming in all the markets that we serve. The synergies we bring in the back office, as well as the added value of our Alberta news group, mean that we can devote the resources necessary to make the station a success.
LISTNUM 95 \l 151 We must be willing to be patient for profits to come. Our business plan does not envisage showing operating profits until the third year of operations, and pre‑tax profits do not happen until year five. All the other applicants foresee profits at the latest in year three, and some in the first year.
LISTNUM 95 \l 152 We will maximize synergies to increase sales and generate incremental radio advertising revenues.
LISTNUM 95 \l 153 And we will direct the savings from back office and other administrative efficiencies to on‑air programming for listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 154 To tell you a bit more about our Alberta Radio Group and our Southern Alberta stations, here is Ron Thompson.
LISTNUM 95 \l 155 MR. THOMPSON: Thanks Glenda. Good morning, Madam Chair and Members of the Commission.
LISTNUM 95 \l 156 When Newcap purchased the Telemedia stations in Alberta, it was decided that to provide high quality service in the many small markets served, capital investment and programming improvements were needed to make markets viable. The research and capital investment of Newcap is over $5 million put into many small markets we serve in Alberta. They've resulted in more jobs, more local service and better local reflection.
LISTNUM 95 \l 157 Newcap also created three subdivisions to further group stations regionally that have even more similarities. The three groups are based in Lloydminster, Edson, and Red Deer. The Red Deer stations anchor the Southern Alberta Group of seven stations in Red Deer, Blairmore, Brooks, Stettler, and Drumheller. These stations have a great deal of political, social, economic and cultural characteristics in common. With mixed economies based upon both the resource industries and agriculture, among others.
LISTNUM 95 \l 158 Adding Medicine Hat to this group would benefit all the other markets in the Southern Alberta Group, providing coverage of southeast Alberta while allowing us to provide a higher quality programming focus in that market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 159 A the same time, Medicine Hat's size means that we can invest in a strong local team, with all of the programming decisions being made in that market. We expect that we will be live and local at least 120 hours per broadcast week with occasional features from one of the larger markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 160 For example, if Nickelback is playing in Edmonton or Red Deer, our local rock stations in those markets can interview the band and provide interview clips that our Medicine Hat rock station would not otherwise enjoy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 161 To talk a bit about the news approach, I'd like to introduce Sue Stevenson our Red Deer news director.
LISTNUM 95 \l 162 MS STEVENSON: Thanks, Ron, and good morning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 163 In a radio environment that has increasing music choices from satellites, the Internet and iPods, we realize that to compete we have two strategic advantages. We are local and we are live. For this reason, you may have noticed in all three of the applications on this hearing we increased our commitment to news over the course of the written process to five hours and 45 minutes per week, and at least 75 percent of this weekly total will be local news.
LISTNUM 95 \l 164 Newcap Radio strongly believes that local news is the key to success in markets like Medicine Hat. For example, in many smaller Alberta markets we have significantly increased our local news content. The feedback from listeners and our clients has been very positive, to say the least.
LISTNUM 95 \l 165 Newcap has introduced a news access system that allows Red Deer and our other southern Alberta stations to instantly share stories through what's called a wire relay system. It has greatly increased news content of local interest on all stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 166 Newcap has instituted a protocol to share stories and interviews as well with our other centres right across the province for both news and agriculture.
LISTNUM 95 \l 167 The agriculture sector is an important part of Medicine Hat's economy, and as such, will receive extensive coverage on our station. Newcap stations in Red Deer, Camrose and Lloydminster have dedicated agricultural reporters who routinely share information. It has proven to be a good asset and is an area that we are aggressively trying to grow. Medicine Hat radio will benefit from our established expertise in this agricultural area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 168 In Red Deer we have operated mobile community studios for some time. We use our two vehicles to broadcast live from locations around our service area. This summer CKGY‑FM and CIZZ‑FM in Red Deer were appointed the official voice of the 2006 Alberta Summer Games, and we put our mobile studios at the disposal of the games to provide live coverage at the various venues. We combined this with our Newcap Alberta synergies to provide our stations with exclusive coverage of the games, which resulted in their communities getting realtime information on how their area athletes were doing. We intend to have a mobile studio in Medicine Hat as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 169 We are proposing to provide five‑minute newscasts each day of the week through morning drive, at noon, and in afternoon drive in Medicine Hat, and that includes weekends. This will be supplemented during the weekday by shorter updates on the half hour in the morning drive.
LISTNUM 95 \l 170 Our three full time and one half time reporters will be supported by regional news information from our 12 reporters in other southern Alberta markets. And around the province we currently have over 50 dedicated reporters and journalists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 171 We will also provide a range of other local information features, including 35 weekly community event updates, 35 weekly public affairs reports, which we plan to call The Hat Today, and a one‑hour weekly public affairs program The Hat This Week. We see the news department following various Medicine Hat events through the week in the community updates, while local issues might be tracked on our public affairs updates. On the weekend the top local news events and public affairs topics will be developed into the hour‑long show. Some weeks this might track one particularly hot issue like the municipal elections race. Other weeks might see more diverse topics covered.
LISTNUM 95 \l 172 We will also seek out our listeners' opinions on issues of the day with our listener pole, The Hat Line. We hope to make this the coffee shop topic by asking for opinions throughout the week and then airing the feedback later in the week as a feature of our morning show.
LISTNUM 95 \l 173 Of course, our spoken word will include our announcers' talk about the music they are playing, about the events around Medicine Hat, as well as humour and other entertainment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 174 And now to talk to you about our format choice and the sound of the station, here is Mark Maheu.
LISTNUM 95 \l 175 MR. MAHEU: Thank you, Sue. Good morning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 176 It's fairly clear when you review all the research presented at this hearing that what is most missing in Medicine Hat is a rock radio station. Most of the applicants for a new station who tested multiple formats found that rock tested the highest in Medicine Hat. The question for an applicant, and maybe for the Commission, I suppose, as well, is what kind of rock should that be?
LISTNUM 95 \l 177 The research that we commissioned showed two clear market voids, classic rock and classic hits. The research found that 44 percent would listen to classic rock most of the time or all the time, and 39 percent for classic hits. The strongest demand for classic rock was among men aged 18 to 49, while the stronger demand for classic hits was with women, particularly those aged 35 to 54. At the same time, there was still strong interest among men for classic hits and among women, particularly those 35 to 54, for classic rock. So they would both work together.
LISTNUM 95 \l 178 After we asked about the perceptions and the availability of the formats among those who liked them the most, we calculated the percentage of format void. These two formats ranked the highest again at 24 percent for classic hits ‑‑ or classic rock/classic hits, and 23 percent for classic rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 179 Our conclusion after looking at all the research was to blend the most common elements of each format into one single format proposition. Our format choice of a classic rock and classic hits hybrid is called The Rock. The Rock combines the very best of mainstream classic rock from artists like The Who, Tragically Hip and Led Zeppelin, and it mixes it in with the classic hits sound of artists like Foreigner, Elton John and Brian Adams.
LISTNUM 95 \l 180 The station will sound like a rock station, but a mainstream adult‑targeted version. Since there are presently no stations playing rock in Medicine Hat, The Rock will also play some new music from Canadian artists like Sam Roberts, Mobile and Arcade Fire.
LISTNUM 95 \l 181 We'll also provide compelling music features to keep our listeners interested and involved.
LISTNUM 95 \l 182 One of those programs will be called The Way Back Machine and it's a Friday night show, it's a bit of a rock'n'roll house party, where from eight to ten The Rock rolls the best classic rock from the late‑'60s and the early‑'70s.
LISTNUM 95 \l 183 We'll also be featuring a program called Saturday Night in Concert where we will have live performance material from the legends of classic rock. From seven until 8:00 at night listeners enjoy front‑row seats as The Rock rolls the live cuts, and we'll do that commercial free.
LISTNUM 95 \l 184 Far West Rock will feature the new music makers from Western Canada week nights at 6 p.m.
LISTNUM 95 \l 185 And Sunday's at 6, we fire up the MP3 player to feature the newest and unreleased tracks from Canadian music makers participating in Newcap's making of the band initiatives taking place in Calgary and in Ottawa.
LISTNUM 95 \l 186 We will solicit Medicine Hat bands' participation in entering our soon to be announced Calgary Canadian Talent Development program. You may remember that we've proposed to devote half of our $7 million in CTD in Calgary to a program called Making of the Band. This program is designed to find and showcase upcoming new Alberta artists, and we propose to use all of our Alberta radio stations to promote this initiative.
LISTNUM 95 \l 187 Given the format we propose in Medicine Hat, it will be a natural extension of this initiative to the benefit of aspiring Medicine Hat performers. Entries from Medicine Hat will be featured and showcased in regular rotation on the proposed station The Rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 188 Our Medicine Hat spending on Canadian talent development will target two areas. The newest musicians in the system, students, and the national initiatives designed to support and showcase our emerging stars. We will contribute $100,000 each year to the development of Canadian talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 189 We will provide the Medicine Hat School Boards with $40,000 each year in total to help students develop musical literacy. Four programs will each receive $10,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 190 Instruments for deserving and needy students, music scholarships for the most promising students, support for their music festivals and support for their musical curriculum.
LISTNUM 95 \l 191 On the national level, we will provide $40,000 each year to the Radio Starmaker Fund to support their efforts for emerging artists. We will also ask them to target this to Alberta artists to the extent that they are able.
LISTNUM 95 \l 192 And we will also provide an annual contribution of $20,000 to Canada Music Week with a view to financing an Alberta Music showcase at their annual Toronto event. We have already spoken with CMW and they support this initiative.
LISTNUM 95 \l 193 Our local and national Medicine Hat initiatives combined with our on‑air support for our national Making of the Band initiatives, will provide support to emerging talents at many levels of their development.
LISTNUM 95 \l 194 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, Newcap is before you this morning looking to provide a new service for the listeners of Medicine Hat. Our proposal for a new rock formatted station goes well beyond a format choice for the market. Our proposal is focused on delivering a truly local radio station for listeners of Medicine Hat. A radio station leaning heavily on spoken word, local news and service to the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 195 The radio listener's world is changing rapidly. Every day there are new listening choices popping up. Conventional radio is challenged to find new ways to keep people coming back to local radio. At Newcap we believe a big part of the solution to maintaining and building audiences is to create a broadcast content that is not easily duplicated. This is why we believe our proposal for Medicine Hat will be successful. An iPod, satellite radio or internet radio station never did spot news coverage from an accident, a fire or a flood. Being live and being local can and will be the difference, and we believe our proposal for Medicine Hat will make a difference. We'll be a new editorial voice in the market, along with providing new listening choices to the market in a format that it indicates it would enjoy the most.
LISTNUM 95 \l 196 Medicine Hat, as you may well know, is enjoying excellent economic growth right now, which bodes very well for new entrants into the radio market. Our financial projections for Medicine Hat are modest, achievable, and they will likely cause little or no material impact on incumbent broadcasters.
LISTNUM 95 \l 197 Newcap Radio has an excellent track record in Alberta, and we truly want to be part of the Medicine Hat community. We see it as an important community, and we would be very proud to serve it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 198 To that end, we have proposed significant benefits, including a Canadian Talent Development package totalling $700,000 over the first seven years of a licence. This, combined with our strong local programming proposals, we believe makes Newcap the best choice to be licenced in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 199 We thank you for your time and attention this morning. We'd be pleased to answer any questions you have about our proposal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Steele and panel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1101 Commissioner Pennefather...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1102 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1103 Good morning, Mr. Steele. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1104 I'll direct my questions to you, Mr. Steele, but if you would indicate to whom we ‑‑ you would pass on the answers, that would be great.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1105 MR. STEELE: You can direct your questions to Mr. Maheu, if you wouldn't mind, and he will pass them on if it's ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1106 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I shall. Mr. Maheu, we'll start with the programming with the music component. And your presentation this morning on that point and others actually has provided quite a bit of clarification, but I think it is important to go through the points and get a clear understanding of where you're positioning your approach to music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1107 In the Supplementary Brief and again this morning, you discuss, I think, what is a mix of classic hits and classic rock, and a mix which brings in both the male and female audiences. Let's ‑‑ I'd like to understand a little bit better how that works and why then you've decided to brand the proposed station as rock? In fact, in your Supplementary Brief I think you call it The Rock 99.1, but I think you might mean Rock 105.3.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1108 Why have you ‑‑ if we can break that down this way. On the classic hits component of this mix, can you elaborate on how that's going to work? Is it a selection that's leaning more to the AOR variety or more to the top 40 variety, and can you give us some examples to demonstrate how the classic hits component will be heard by the audience?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1109 MR. MAHEU: Sure, I'd be very happy to, Commissioner Pennefather. It's just to help you clarify and understand really what we're going to sound like and where these components come from.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1110 As we discussed in our Supplementary Brief and again in our remarks this morning, it's a little bit unique, our approach in Medicine Hat, from what you might find in other markets. Not very often would you combine two formats like this to hybrid it and make it one. If I could, just before I explain the elements of that, I'd like to fill you in on why we're even doing it and looking at it that way, because obviously when you look at the research, there are two pretty significant opportunities here, one in classic rock and one in classic hits. The first question is, well, why not one or the other because there's a pretty significant opportunity.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1111 And the reason for that is in a market the size of Medicine Hat, it is on the smaller size of a medium‑sized market. There are only 67,000 people in Medicine Hat. So ‑‑ and there are only two existing radio stations in the market today, an AC and a country. And to be very narrow in a market that small would, in a way, be doing a disservice to the market because we'd only be serving a very, you know, limited number of people, those who like classic rock or, say, classic hits. But what's unique about these two formats, classic rock and classic hits, is they're rather complementary, and they do overlap quite well. And they are also two formats that unlike, say, trying to mix top 40 and country together, you would find when you research both of those constituencies that there's very little overlap there. People who love top 40 aren't really country fans, and vice versa. But when you look at classic hits and classic rock, there is a lot of commonality between these two groups of people, and some of the music universe inside of those two formats is shared.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1112 So when we looked at the opportunity in Medicine Hat, and the research came back and said, well, classic hits is a good opportunity and so is classic rock, we looked at it a little bit deeper and we found that with men, classic rock was certainly their first choice, and with women classic hits was their first choice. But when you go down to second choices it was vice versa, where women who enjoyed classic hits also enjoyed some classic rock, and many who liked classic rock also enjoyed some classic hits. So it brought us to the point where we had to figure out a way to be wide enough in a market as small as Medicine Hat to have an offering that would be listenable to the most number of people. And we were fortunate because classic hits and classic rock are very complementary.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1113 To answer your question specifically about what genre of classic hits would work with classic rock, there are a number of different flavours across Canada right now and in the United States of classic hits. There is one flavour which is very much based in the pop top 40 sound from the '80s and '90s with a sprinkling of '70s and a little bit of today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1114 There are other classic hit stations that lean a little bit more to the rock side of classic hits, where there is some top 40 in the mix, but it's more on the songs that charted on the rock charts from the '80s and '90s.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1115 What we're proposing in Medicine Hat is to take the real core of classic rock, the super stars of classic rock from the late‑'70s, the '80s and the '90s, and combine it with the classic ‑‑ the classic hits version that is a little more rock leaning. So there's going to be less top 40 or pop sound in the classic hits component of this hybrid format. So that plays a little better to the rock sensibilities on the classic rock side, and certainly makes sense for the classic hits people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1116 Where some classic hits stations you might be hearing songs by Hewey Louis and the News or Madonna from the '80s and the '90s, you would not hear that on our proposal for The Rock. You would be hearing songs from Foreigner and Elton John and people like that on the classic hits side, blended in with classic rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1117 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think that's helpful, because if we look at the research that you've included in your Supplementary Brief, I don't believe that you submitted a separate research report. You included it with your Supplementary Brief, so I'm using that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1118 It would appear that the classic hits component came out though a little ahead from page 7 of your Supplementary Brief of classic rock. In your statement today, you say that the station will sound like a rock station ‑‑ will sound like a rock station, but a mainstream adult‑targeted version. Can you really do both?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1119 MR. MAHEU: We believe you can, and you make a good point on classic hits where it did come out ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1120 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1121 MR. MAHEU: ‑‑ just a hair above classic rock. Part of our consideration when we were putting our proposal together to make it a rock station rather than a hits station, was the fact that there is a ‑‑ somewhat of a mainstream AC radio station in the marketplace already. We know from our experience and the research that we've done, if you put a more classic hits based format on, it's going to steal much more from AC radio, or mainstream AC, and we felt there was just much more room for us to carve out our own audience and our own constituency of listeners as a rock leaning hybrid rather than a classic hits leaning hybrid.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1122 So we felt that: A) we'd be able to generate an audience that is not being served right now at all, and we needed to position that radio station to be different; and B) it would infringe less on the existing AC that is in the marketplace today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1123 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, I think that's the last ‑‑ the latter part of your comment, was part of my point, that the AC served in the community today is skewed to females at, I think, what is your target demographic. So again, they would appear to be well served in the market. One would have assumed then that you would lean more towards the rock component. To help us understand then, there are three components to your hybrid, if you will. Can you have a hybrid of three? Tribrid?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 1124 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The classic rock, the classic hits and the newer rock, can you give us a sense of the proportions, the percentage more or less, of the play list and if each component will be broadcast throughout the broadcast day, or will there be particular components of the broadcast day which will be ‑‑ in which you will carry one or other of the three components of your rock?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1125 MR. MAHEU: Sure. First of all, just on the components of what part of the broadcast day they might air, just so members of the Commission have a ‑‑ as clear an understanding as possible. We're not really proposing or anticipating to do any day parting on the radio station. So we're not going to be a little more rocky or a little more current at night and a little more gold based and familiar during the day. The idea here is to really focus the radio station with a consistent sound on a 24/7 basis, so very little day parting.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1126 As to your question about the percentages or components of new music versus ‑‑ on your tribrid approach of how much current music, how much classic rock and how much classic hits. Under normal circumstances, and this really is a bit unique, because in virtually any other market that has more signals in it, we would not try to do as much in terms of the combination of different music styles. We wouldn't try to do as much in a larger market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1127 The competition likely would not let you get away with it if there were four or five or six radio stations in a market. But looking at the size of this market and the minimal amount of service it has right now, we can be a little broader than we normally would be in trying to please a few more people than we would normally try to please.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1128 The current component of the radio station we anticipate to really be 10 percent or less. And to be forthright, the current component is really in there to give us an opportunity to play some of the new Canadian releases that are out there right now, for two reasons. Number one, there is a lot of good new Canadian music out there right now in the rock genre. And secondly, a little more self‑serving reason, it allows us to lean a little less heavily on some of the Canadian gold that ‑‑ from the '70s, '80s and '90s that is approaching the critical burn out level. So that's why we introduced a slightly small percentage of current music to the sound. So about 10 percent of the music that you're going to hear on the radio station will be new or newer, released in the last couple of years, and a large percentage of that is going to be Canadian.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1129 The radio station, for the most part, is going to be firmly based in rock. In terms of classic rock, and ‑‑ and rock based classic hits songs, it's virtually the rest of the ‑‑ of the music sound of the radio station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1130 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the rest 90. And of the classic rock and classic hits, is there ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1131 MR. MAHEU: It's probably 60/30 classic rocks, 30 percent classic hits. The funny part about that, it's kind of hard to describe. Between classic rock and classic hits, the 60 and the 30, there are songs that could fall into either side of that category as you might appreciate, so ‑‑ but just to give you an idea, 60 percent would be that traditional classic rock that you would think of, you know, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, and bands, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Springstein. And then on that 30 percent part, you're going to have more pop/rock oriented top 40 chart type of hit songs from people like Elton John, Genesis, Phil Collins and folks like that, but finding the best songs that work with both constituencies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1132 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Speaking of both constituencies though in terms of being precise, which I'm sure is an exercise you've gone through in terms of the advertising issue looking at it. Your Supplementary Brief refers to ‑‑ on page 7 to the audience will be predominantly male, 35 to 44 men. And you've suggested as well that men aged 18 to 24 would be attracted to your format due to the 10 percent active rock component. So just to be clear for the record, what is the general and core audience you would serve with your rock/classic rock blend, just to clarify?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1133 MR. MAHEU: Sure. The ‑‑ you know, in a market this small we can look at a broader target audience than we would in a large market where you're really narrowing it down to a certain demographic group. But the broad target audience for the radio station is adults 25 to 54, with a skew more men than women. The real tight targeting of the radio station is 35 to 49 year olds, more men than women.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1134 At the end of the day, in terms of cumulative audience, our experience has been that you're going to have slightly more men in terms of total numbers, cumulative audience, slightly more men than women listening to the radio station. And in terms of hours tuned, we're anticipating probably 60 percent of the hours tuned to 62 percent will be male, and 38 to 40 percent will be female hours tuned. Although the cumulative hours will be rather close.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1135 And in terms of, if I can, on the younger part of the audience, the 18 to 24 men coming to the radio station, it will be partly because a little bit of the new music we play, but to be quite honest, we're not going to play enough new music for young 18 to 24‑year‑old guys to love this radio station a lot. But by virtue of the fact that it will be the only rock offering in the market, we are going to get some tuning from 18 to 24s almost by default. We're not going to actively target them obviously because there are so many people in that 25 to 54 group that want this radio station, but they'll certainly come to it because there's no alternative choice for them in the marketplace to listen to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1136 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Maheu.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1137 I'm going to ask you a question now about a response you gave to our deficiency letter. And your response is dated August 14. And you've indicated that nearly 100 percent of your program will be locally produced, and that voice tracked or automated programming will air only in non‑regulated hours between midnight and 5:30. You've also indicated your intention to offer some syndicated programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1138 Could you tell us what type of syndicated programming would be offered and on average the number of hours per week you would devote to this type of programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1139 MR. MAHEU: Our intention, Commissioner, is to be as live and as local as we can possibly be whenever we can possibly do it. And we thought long and hard about this, and we made reference to it a little bit in our opening remarks, that we feel going forward for radio to be competitive, especially in smaller markets, we need to be live and we need to put people on the air and have people in the radio station. And we're doing that not only in our proposal for Medicine Hat, but throughout Alberta, and all our radio stations across the country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1140 There's a ‑‑ this is our strategy and this is our approach. There are different opinions out there, but we believe that pouring money back into people and content on the air is going to be what helps differentiate us from competition.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1141 In terms of voice tracking, we're only going to be voice tracked right now, we propose, between midnight and six. It's actually probably going to be probably midnight to 5:30. But in the unregulated hours, we will employ voice tracking to reduce our expenses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1142 We're going to be live with real people behind microphones in the radio station from six in the morning until midnight seven days a week. We do want to have the opportunity to look at some potential syndicated programs. We have not chosen any yet, but there are some interesting programs out there. We talked about our in‑concert program. There are some live syndicated programs that are available in Canada and the United States, we're going to look at some of those. There may be some rock documentary type of programs. There are some long‑form documentaries about the Beetles and the Rolling Stones and bands like that that we may look at airing from time to time, but the majority, the vast overwhelming majority of our programming is local originating programming with real people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1143 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I see in your comments this morning we expect we will be live and local at least 120 hours per broadcast week.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1144 MR. MAHEU: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1145 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Can we take that as a specific answer?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1146 MR. MAHEU: Absolutely, yes. And if I may, just to supplement that. When we are doing some features, or if we are running some syndicated programming between six in the morning and midnight, if we do run some of that type of programming there is going to be a real person in the studio. It's not going to be in a computer in an automated system. We're still going to offer service and surveillance, weather, et cetera, during those hours when those programs are airing. And if there's anything going on in the city or whatever, there is somebody there to answer the phone in the radio station. So we are ‑‑ we are live and we are doing business and it's not off a computer and turn off the lights on your way out the door.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1147 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1148 Before we leave the music, one last question. I think you've given us a good sense of the play list and your approach to the mix. As you know, other applicants have also proposed the use of the terms classic rock, classic hits. Very briefly, how would you describe your approach in comparison? How does it differ from the approach that others have tabled?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1149 MR. MAHEU: Specifically the difference with our proposal to the others is the fact that we're the only proposal looking to make a hybrid out of classic hits and classic rock. There are other proposals that are looking to incorporate alternative rock and mainstream rock and classic rock together, but our proposal really takes ‑‑ is rooted and based in familiar music with a small current component. The other proposals that are looking to put a rock station on are generally a little younger, have more different genres of music being put together into one format.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1150 Our experience is with classic hits and classic rock, we do them as independent formats in a lot of different markets with a great deal of success, is that those two genres of music are very complementary, because partly they really target a very similar demographic group as opposed to, say, trying to mix alternative rock with classic rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1151 You know, when you take those two genres, they both fall under the rock umbrella, but they're both kind of at polar ends of the rock scale, and it's very difficult to hybrid a format that, say, is targeted to 16 to 29 year olds with a format that's targeted predominantly to 35 to 54 year olds.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1152 So we believe that our proposal here, that's how it's different, that we've taken two genres that are demographically complementary, sound ‑‑ they sound complementary in terms of the intensity and the texture of the sound of the music that we would play, and we put them together.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1153 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1154 I'm going to turn now to another component of the 120 hours of locally produced programming, and that is the news and spoken word. I should say spoken word comprised of news, traditional news and non‑news. And I believe with your presentation this morning there is a ‑‑ a document which puts ‑‑ lists the components of the scheduled news, the non‑news and the hours. So if we repeat a little bit of this, those were some of my questions to try to clarify these points, but perhaps to also add a little more substance to what we're going ‑‑ what the audience would hear.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1155 When we got to the deficiency on August 14th, you raised your news packages from 53 news packages, for a total of 3.5 hours, to 81 news packages of various lengths, for a total of five hours and 45 minutes of news. I see it here as five hours and 75 minutes, and in your presentation this morning you said five hours and 45 minutes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1156 Just can we clear for the record the news, per se, the packages as described in this document Monday to Friday, Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Is it five hour and 75, or five hours and 45?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1157 MR. MAHEU: If I can, Commissioner, just to clarify. Five hours and 45 minutes we've done it numerically down the sheet, so that's 5.75 hours. So that's the ‑‑ five hours and 45 minutes would be five and three‑quarter hours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1158 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I see.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1159 MR. MAHEU: And ‑‑ sorry for the confusion. So 5.75 hours, which would be five hours and 45 minutes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1160 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. So it's still five hours and 45 as such in terms of the news itself, okay?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1161 MR. MAHEU: That is correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1162 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's what I had added up from the August 14th deficiency. In terms of the ‑‑ the news itself, you've talked this morning about the content of the newscast and you will have on staff, as I understand your August 14th deficiency and your Supplementary Brief at page 9, two journalist announcers and one news director. You also discussed this morning the possible synergies with other Alberta holdings. Do you intend, however, to hire more journalist announcers or draw ‑‑ or is it going to be supported ‑‑ your increase from 53 to 81 supported by the synergies with the other operations in Alberta?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1163 MR. MAHEU: I'm going to ask Sue Stevenson in a moment to just kind of elaborate on that a little bit if I could. But I want to make quite clear that our proposal for Medicine Hat, the journalists and the radio reporters that we're going to hire for the marketplace, are going to work in Medicine Hat, collecting news, creating news programs and delivering it on the air in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1164 When we talk about the synergies throughout the Alberta Radio Group, it's really the icing on the cake. It's not the cake. The cake is good service done by people in Medicine Hat for the people of Medicine Hat. But one of the things that we do bring to the table is the ability to access all the reporting work and the news coverage that's being done throughout the Province of Alberta because we are in so many markets, and we think that it kind of makes us a bit unique and gives us a bit of a leg up that we can cover stories in other areas that just can't be covered by our competition, because we are in so many places. And we think that makes for a more robust and real substantive news approach.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1165 And, Sue, if you wouldn't mind elaborating a little bit on what our intentions are in terms of doing news in Medicine Hat with people here, and maybe how we can work in what we're doing through the rest of the radio room.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1166 MS STEVENSON: Thanks, Mark. Of course the reporters, journalists who are based in Medicine Hat, that is their focus. They're focusing on City Hall, they're focusing on doing streeters on the hot topic of the day, going and talking to the city planners or the school board, agriculture. That is their focus. Local news is their business.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1167 Now, what the ARG south stations can add to that is ‑‑ it's really a complementary service. The Medicine Hat reporters have their own local news. What we have in the ARG south is a group of reporters that can complement the Medicine Hat service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1168 We may have a story in Red Deer that deals with the river that goes through Medicine Hat. Well, we in Red Deer are going to send that to Medicine Hat, and they will be able to incorporate that into their newscast. So really it's a win, win situation in that regard.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1169 News content of course, you know, we've stated 75 percent local, and that is ‑‑ you know, that's not going to happen every newscast. Some newscasts are going to be 100 percent, some newscasts may be 65 percent, but the Medicine Hat reporters will be complemented by our resources elsewhere in the province. Not just in the southern Alberta markets, but in the rest of the province. We have over 50 reporters on the ground right across Alberta, and it's really a win, win situation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1170 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think if we could just pursue that. I wanted to be sure I understood you. The 75 percent of the news would be local news, and that was in your August 14th deficiency as well, but you said that could change so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1171 MS STEVENSON: No. On average it's always going to be 75 percent or more.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1172 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1173 MS STEVENSON: And, you know, given by what we do in Red Deer, it's the or more.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1174 You know, there is going to be a day where you're going to have more local stories that you can even put in your newscast, the next day might be a little slower. It's going to balance out.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1175 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So does this 75 percent cover only the news portion, or does it include the weather and sports and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1176 MS STEVENSON: The five‑minute newscasts, of course, would cover weather and traffic and sports. But all those are local issues. People want to know ‑‑ if there's a storm out on the highway, that's top of mind. That's what they want to know about. If there's a bad accident that's affecting traffic, that, of course, is local content, because that's what people want to hear, and that's what we would deliver.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1177 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You recognize the ‑‑ the interest in discussing this as well because you explained well this morning the synergies that you are bringing to your proposed station from your other Alberta stations. So it's the balance in trying to understand as yet how local, the live and local, what it will really mean for Medicine Hat listeners.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1178 Will the 75 percent local content in newscasts be measured over the week or over the broadcast day?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1179 MS STEVENSON: I think it would have to be over the week, just for the reasons that I mentioned. You know, news doesn't happen in a vacuum. We have national news, we have international news. Of course you strive to localize that. If we have something happening in Afghanistan, of course Medicine Hat has a large military base there, you know, so you can tie that in. So you're looking for every angle to localize that story.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1180 But, you know, as I said, it doesn't exist in a vacuum. If there's a big national story, that might supersede local. If you have another 9/11, for instance, you know what's going to lead the news, so you can't say every single cast is going to be 75 percent, but during the week it's going average out to that or more.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1181 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: When you responded to this point in the August 14th deficiency, and I think you also spoke to that again today, Ms Stevenson. You increased the news packages from 53 to 81, stating that the radio environment has increasing music choices from satellite and iPods. We have to compete, we have to be local and live ‑‑ compete local and live. And you used that same rationale for increasing your involvement and your commitment to spoken word.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1182 The increase is in the news packages, why did you focus on increasing the number of news packages as opposed to the other component of your spoken word proposal, which is non‑news?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1183 MS STEVENSON: I'm going to let Mr. Maheu answer that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1184 MR. MAHEU: Thanks, Sue. This is really in response, and this is characteristic of an approach we've taken on a number of our applications, and an approach that we've taken and implemented at our radio stations across the country. And I touched on it in our opening remarks.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1185 The radio world is changing and it's changing quickly. And we plan on being in this business and being successful in it for a long time to come. We have seen this pendulum kind of swing back and forth. If you look back to the late‑'80s and through the early to mid‑'90s, when economic times were tough for AM radio and radio in general, things that were cut out of radio, and I'm unfortunately old enough to have been in the business during those times, newsrooms got slashed, sports departments disappeared.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1186 The music centric orientation of radio became paramount. Everything was about the music, and everything else, including talent, surveillance, news and weather was cut back because people cost money.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1187 What we found at Newcap, and I'm sure other companies are looking at it as well, in a world where we're not necessarily the king of the hill any more, where people can program their own play lists into an iPod and take it anywhere or pop it in their car, or listen on line to pretty much any music choice they want any time they want, radio broadcasts coming over on cell phones so you can listen to the music you want or even watch TV, so we have to re‑invent and re‑think our whole proposition.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1188 It's been a great run for radio. We've had it pretty darn good, but now the competition is starting to close in around us, and it's non‑traditional competition. The interesting thing about the non‑traditional competition is it's made us kind of go back to our roots what made radio famous to begin with. Good local service done by real people doing things you couldn't get anywhere else, and it really isn't that complicated.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1189 So we don't want to make it sound like it's some sort of big, elaborate, you know, well‑researched and well‑thought out idea. It's pretty much coming to the common sense basics that in order for us to compete in our markets, and we operate in a lot of small and medium‑sized markets, where people's expectations of us are maybe a little higher than they are in major markets where they have so many choices, that we have to re‑invest and re‑think our proposition, and that begins with people and service.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1190 And we think the way we can be different in markets like Medicine Hat, is to really go back to the basics. Put a little more money, time and effort into good people and good ideas, and do some spoken word. It's an unrated market, there's limited competition. This isn't a contest to see who can play 12 in a row commercial free, this is really a market that's going to respond to radio stations that reach out, become part of the community and reflect what's going on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1191 And that's really our approach in our response in the deficiency, what it was all about. We've kind of come to this conclusion in a lot of our markets, that we've got to beef up the amount of local news and information that we're actually providing on the air, be more than just a stick cranking out hit after hit after hit, and start doing things that bring people back to the medium of radio and keep them listening to us. So that was really the reason for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1192 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So you increased the scheduled news component. And on the non‑news, I think this sheet answers my question that I had coming in, is to get some precision on the number of hour that the community events updates, the public affairs reports, the one‑hour news public affairs announcer talk comes to 19 hours ‑‑ 19.95 hours, correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1193 MR. MAHEU: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1194 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: She can be taught. And could you tell us a little bit more about the listener poll?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1195 MR. MAHEU: Sure. Maybe, Sue, would you mind doing that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1196 MS STEVENSON: Not at all. A listener poll is ‑‑ would be a way to engage our listeners. You're going to take the hot topic of the day, whether it be the end of free parking downtown or whatever, and you're going to poll your listeners on that and try and get some compelling answers that you're going to be able to use on the air. It's an effort to really engage our listeners in what we do, and we see it as a very good tool to use for that, to kind of gauge what the community is thinking.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1197 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think you called it The Hat Line?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1198 MS STEVENSON: That's right, The Hat Line.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1199 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Why?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1200 MS STEVENSON: Have a little fun with it. It doesn't always have to be serious, you know, so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1201 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It isn't always serious. The Hat Line, so throw your hat in kind of thing, discussion?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1202 MS STEVENSON: Exactly.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1203 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right. We're going to move now to Canadian talent development. And I'm looking at clearly your revised proposal through the August 14th deficiency, and you described it again in your comments this morning. And just a couple of clarifications.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1204 I believe in the August 14th deficiency we described a school board, and today we have school boards. And I know there are two school boards in Medicine Hat, the Catholic School Board of Education and Medicine Hat School District number 76. So are we clear that it is a proposal to support both school boards?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1205 MR. MAHEU: That is correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1206 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And could you describe to us then how that will work in terms of disbursement of the 40,000 amongst the two school boards?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1207 MR. MAHEU: Yeah. The funds would be split evenly between both school boards. That was an oversight on our part in the reply to deficiency for the singular there. So it would be $20,000 to each school board each year for seven years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1208 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So they will be split evenly between the two school boards?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1209 MR. MAHEU: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1210 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And you indicated that they would have control over the distribution of the funds in the same deficiency letter, and your expectation is that it will be divided into ‑‑ the funds will be divided into four equal parts, which you've described again this morning in terms of instruments, scholarships, support for festivals and for the music curriculum.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1211 Could you explain to us if the school boards have the control over the distribution, how you would assure that this breakdown would be carried forward and whether the control of the funds entails the control over which schools or students have access to the appropriate funding? How would you maintain some sense that the funds would actually be disbursed as you have proposed here if they have control of the disbursement?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1212 MR. MAHEU: It's certainly a point we've contemplated, and our approach to that would be pretty straight‑forward. The staff or the management of the radio station would work with the school boards and liaise with them on an annual basis. Obviously we want to monitor how that money is being spent and whether it's working or not. Are we getting ‑‑ is the school getting the desired result and are we seeing it do what we thought it would do, because we also need to report back to you each year that we've spent the money and it's been done appropriately. So there would be an ongoing dialogue and a relationship between the radio station management and the school boards. I would envisage that there would be a meeting at least a couple of times a year to update each other on how it's going.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1213 I think we want to ‑‑ we laid it out for you in our presentation and in our application so you got a good sense of where that money was going to be used. I think we need to be somewhat flexible in speaking and in working with the school boards, where maybe in a particular year a need in a certain area exceeds the amount that maybe they spent the previous year, and money from one area maybe gets moved to the other. So if each school board has $20,000 and it's five, five, five and five, there might be one year where, you know, they don't need to buy music stands this year because they did it last year, but they want to go to a couple of extra music festivals and need extra money. I think there needs to be some flexibility because the educators, I think, are in the best position to decide what the needs of the students are and where the money could best be used.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1214 You know, I ‑‑ we want to give them as much latitude as possible as long as we're working together, knowing that that money is being spent on what it was proposed for, and that's to develop young talent for the future.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1215 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think that's the point as far as ‑‑ I can certainly follow your point about flexibility, but clearly the Commission is interested in knowing, in fact, at the end of the day, if, in fact, these funds are supporting Canadian talent development as per the contributions approved by the Commission.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1216 So backing up again on this point, have you had discussions with the school boards, and if so, at what stage are those discussion and are there any specific agreements to the points that you've raised in terms of: A) flexibility; but B) reporting?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1217 MR. MAHEU: Dave Murray has certainly been riding point on this particular issue and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1218 MR. MURRAY: We ‑‑ Al Anderson actually was the one that made contact with the school boards. We don't have a lot of information about that with us today, but we found that, in our experience and Glenda could give some examples in Lloydminster, for example, where we are giving a significant amount of money to the schools there, that there is very much a need and it is in those areas. And most of the details will be worked out, if we're lucky enough to be granted a licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1219 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay, thank you very much. You also changed your proposed Canadian Talent Development and are now proposing to ‑‑ I think it's 40,000 to Canadian Music Week. Can you tell the Commission why you made the change from the previous proposal?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1220 MR. MAHEU: The proposal from the southeastern Alberta musicians ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1221 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's correct, convention.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1222 MR. MAHEU: Well, there are certainly a lot of worthy places for money to go to develop Canadian talent. We have proposed a ‑‑ a southeastern Alberta musicians convention as part of another application that was heard previously by the Commission. And when we went through it, it was one of those ideas that I think if we had more money and more time, this thing could grow into something really big. When we proposed it there were a lot of questions about it, a lot of unanswered questions, and we didn't want to bog down ‑‑ you know,we're working with a small radio station here in Medicine Hat if we get it. You know, it's going to be a modest radio station. And an effort of that size is going to take a lot of people and a lot of organization, and we felt that at this point in time it didn't make a lot of sense for us to tie up the amount of time, effort and energy it would take to pull that off.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1223 But what we did know is that there are a lot of worthy areas out there. Radio Starmaker Fund is certainly one we've supported over a long period of time, and we're kind of really excited about the Canada Music Week proposal. We talked to Canada Music Week about doing a specific showcase of Alberta talent, and they were quite excited by that idea. And the money we're proposing for that is $20,000 each year that would go specifically in Toronto, during Canada Music Week, an Alberta music showcase. Which I think many up and coming artists from Alberta, and Medicine Hat in particular, could take advantage of. And we would ‑‑ we would get behind that and I think it could do ‑‑ it could do a lot to expose some of the talent that is happening in southern Alberta, specifically in the Medicine Hat area. So we think the money is well‑spent in that area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1224 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You say that you have a view to financing an Alberta music showcase at the annual event. And the CNW support, is that support in form of written agreement?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1225 MR. MAHEU: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1226 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It is?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1227 MR. MAHEU: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1228 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If you could table that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1229 MR. MAHEU: Sure.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1230 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1231 My last area of questioning is in the area of the business plan and your economic analysis. In your Supplementary Brief at page 7 you outline for us your audience share which you propose the new station would ‑‑ would gain at 20 percent. If I understand correctly, you're looking at 12 percent of its share points from the audience of CFMY, and your projections indicate that eight percent of the audience share will come from out‑of‑market stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1232 Could you help us by identifying the out‑of‑market stations from which you would expect to repatriate audiences and the extent to which these stations will contribute to the eight percent share that you project for repatriated audiences?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1233 MR. MAHEU: I believe the out‑of‑market stations really are lumped into a category called others. And the others category comprise anything from out‑of‑market radio stations, internet listening, et cetera. So we can't really quantify station call letters or station names when we talk about out of market, but what we are talking about is other listening choices that are not available generally in the Medicine Hat area. So a little bit of it, as you see, you know, comes from ‑‑ comes from CBC and CJLT. It's a point here and a point there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1234 There's no one particular out‑of‑market radio station because there's not a lot that gets into Medicine Hat. But there are, you know, when people drive south there are stations coming out of the U.S. that you can hear in your car and things like that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1235 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. On your revenue projections, which we have in front of us, based on your application. In looking at that and looking at the market, what is your comment on the Medicine Hat market's ability to support one new station or more than one new station at this time?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1236 MR. MAHEU: That's a really good question, and our thinking has changed on that. As you may note from the dates on our application, we, I think, triggered this call a couple years ago when we filed. And when we did our research and our homework on Medicine Hat a couple years ago, things were a little bit different then than they are today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1237 They were still pretty good, but Medicine Hat was feeling the effects of the BSE cattle quarantine, exports to the United States and so on, which has now pretty much passed and things are different. The economy in Medicine Hat has grown ahead of expectations by quite a bit over the past couple of years. I'm going to ask Glenda to maybe comment on that in just a second because she's done some excellent homework on what's going on in the economy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1238 When we originally applied, we put our application in in 2004, we felt that there was certainly room for one, and that's kind of what we were thinking, and our business plan was based on that. But looking at what's happening now, and FP Markets, what they're reporting, and just talking to some business people in Medicine Hat, things are a lot better than I think many anticipated they would be today. And we're of the mind, based on the retail sales and everything else that is going on in the marketplace, that, you know, there is room for two.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1239 Here we are in late‑2006 instead of the middle of 2004, and we believe now the market has grown to the point and shows growth for the future that we could handle two.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1240 Glenda, do you have some of the stuff that you found out?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1241 MS SPENRATH: Yes. Actually, since our filing two years ago, I have looked at the indicators over the past two years for 2005 and 2006 from the FP Markets published by the Financial Post. And what we're finding or what I found when I looked over this research, is that the actual results are actually leapfrogging ahead of prior projections. And the biggest thing is the financial analysts are really being challenged in Alberta to keep up with the boom that's going on out here. To give an example of that, when you look at some of the major financial indicators that would give us, you know, an indication that there is room in this market for additional entrants, one of them is the retail sales in the market. If you look at where they were in 2005, they were projecting the retail sales for the Medicine Hat market to be at $1.05 billion generated in 2005. At that time they were looking at projecting ahead to 2007 the retail sales for the market being at $1.17 billion.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1242 Well, here we are today in 2006, 2007 hasn't happened yet, and we're already at $1.29 billion in estimated retail sales for the Medicine Hat market. So, I mean, we've surpassed 2000's retail sales and we've done it a year early. And if you take that onto the population, for example, there's another area that's a good indicator. Last year they were projecting the Medicine Hat market to be at 67,000 by 2007, here we are today and they're estimating the population to be 67,500 according to the FP Markets Research, and so again we're meeting next year's goals this year.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1243 Another indicator would be the new housing starts. And as everywhere else in Alberta, it's booming, and we're looking at new housing starts for January to May of 2006 for Medicine Hat being at 32 percent, which is astounding. But when you look back at the results for 2005 ‑‑ or 2002 to 2006, the jump came in 2004, and we've been pacing still 30 to 40 percent ahead in housing starts from the 2002 to 2004 period. So, you know, it's growing faster that we can project it, so I really do believe there is room in the market for two new stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1244 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just on the population growth, what, in your view, is the percentage growth rate? You mentioned a number, but what is the percentage of population growth that you have seen in the reports?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1245 MS SPENRATH: What they had said in 2001 to 2006 was about six percent growth in population during that period of time. And they're looking ahead for 2006 to 2011 to be another five percent. It's anybody's guess. Maybe eight percent at this point. That was yesterday.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1246 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And going forward, do you see that being maintained?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1247 MS SPENRATH: I think what's happening in Alberta ‑‑ I don't think you could say it could be maintained indefinitely at all. When you see what's happening it's fabulous out here, but it's not realistic to say that it's going to go on at this pace for ten or 11 years. But I think that five percent at this point over the next five years would be realistic, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1248 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The population within the contour at 105.3, what is that population and do you expect growth in that population as well?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1249 MR. MAHEU: Dave, do you have the contour handy in our Supplementary Brief? I think it's in the 80,000 range. I'll just get that for you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1250 MR. MURRAY: Yeah, the population in the three millivolt contour is 61,091 people. And in the .5 almost 68,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1251 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: 68,000. What impact would licensing ‑‑ you mention the possibility of one, the possibility of two. What would be the impact of licensing a somewhat similar rock, classic rock, rock, classic hits format, or even the adult standards modern nostalgia formats stations, what impact would that have on your application?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1252 MR. MAHEU: Well, the impact, if you licenced another classic rock or classic hits application along with Newcap's hybrid proposal, it would certainly be giving the folks who like classic rock and classic hits a lot of choice because there would be two stations kind of trying to deliver that to them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1253 We would suggest that if we were fortunate enough to be licenced as one of the choices in Medicine Hat, and in the Commission's wisdom if you decided to licence a second, a classic rock or a classic hits format would not necessarily be as complementary with our offering as maybe some of the other proposals that have been put forth.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1254 When you take a look at the audience targeting demographically, and the life group music choice, and how to best serve the market if you were going to do two, obviously there are a number of rock and classic rock proposals that fall into a reasonable area, and then there are older targeting softer formats that are also being proposed. So if you were to ask us which one would work best with what we are proposing, it would be an older, softer format, and I think there are a couple of those being proposed by Mr. Larsen and Mr. Hildebrand. They would certainly provide an alternative to the marketplace that's not there, and would not compete with classic rock, classic hits hybrid, and there would be minimum overlap. There would be lots of overlap with the other ones.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1255 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So in your view, the ‑‑ it is possible to licence two stations in this market to add to the current incumbent stations, and provided that there was ‑‑ the effect on your application, however, if we also licence another classic rock station, would that make it impossible to achieve your revenue projections?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1256 MR. MAHEU: No, it would not make it impossible. It would certainly make it more difficult because it is a smaller, medium‑sized market, and the vast majority of the revenue that we would be projecting to do would be retail, local advertising sales, and part of what drives local advertising sales is results and offering something different to advertisers to get them those results. And if we're out knocking on doors and, you know, the word comes down, hey, there's two new radio stations coming to town, and, hey, they're both the same, it's going to make it more difficult for the new radio stations to go out there and differentiate themselves and establish their business in the marketplace because they are going to really be competing head‑on for listenership and audience, and certainly advertising revenue. So it would not be impossible, it would just make it a lot more difficult.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1257 I think if it were the case, and I certainly can't speak for other licencees, but speaking on behalf of Newcap, if we were licenced and another classic rock or classic hits station were licenced, we would do what we always do. We'd go back into the market and say, okay, we do some more research and go here's what we've got. We've got a classic rock station that's coming on and we want to be classic hits, classic rock hybrid. We'd go to the marketplace, do our homework and find out how can we make this work? What's the best formula, the best approach to put this on and actually get an audience and to be successful. So we would do whatever it takes to make it work.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1258 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So it would knock your 20 percent share projection down if we licenced a similar classic rock?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1259 MR. MAHEU: We'd probably end up splitting that share. We'd probably grow the share maybe to 28, and then we'd both split it somehow to whatever degree that would be.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1260 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. Thank you very much, and thank you for your responses to my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1261 Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Maheu and Commissioner Pennefather.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1263 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1264 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Mrs. Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1265 When I read your ‑‑ all of the applications for Medicine Hat and ‑‑ and the material prepared by staff, there were numerous references to the Suffield armed forces base, which is somewhere around 50 kilometers west ‑‑ northwest of ‑‑ of Medicine Hat. And I also read that they do contribute somewhere close to $120 million to retail sales in the Medicine Hat market. Is Suffield of some importance for your business plan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1266 MR. MAHEU: It would be of importance to the extent that we wanted a 100,000 watt signal so that we would be heard there, for sure, and because we believe that's important. They are an important part of the community in terms of the retail sales and the local economy, so to that extent they are important, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1267 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Now, in your programming plan, have you provided for some things specific for the armed force or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1268 MR. MAHEU: I think what you are ‑‑ our plan would be because they are an important part of the community, and especially now more than ever with what's going on around the world, I think that would be handled more in the spoken word area. The reflection of the radio station, if we're going to be The Rock and some of these members of the forces are going to be our listeners, I think we need to be doing things on the radio station in terms of spoken word and featured spoken word that makes sense to them and that they can relate to and enjoy listening to.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1269 In terms of special programming musically for that specific group of people, that's probably something we would look at down the road. I think the biggest thing though is to build an audience and to build some loyalty and partisanship with that constituency is through our spoken word, and being able to talk about things and report on things that are reflective of what they are doing and things that they would find interest in.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1270 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you for your summary sheet.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1271 And I notice that you've provided me with my answer to my question regarding median age, which you've put at 48 years old. The ‑‑ but your classic hits will carry more to female, while your classic rock portion of your hybrid programming, and even tribrid, with alternative rock, will cater more towards male. Overall, will it be more male or female driven?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1272 MR. MAHEU: Slightly more male than female in terms of music appeal.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1273 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1274 MR. MAHEU: We'll try to mitigate that because the market is of a size where you can do some things ‑‑ you have a little more flexibility, let's say, than in a major market. And I think some of our commitment to spoken word and the kind of news and information that we're going to do on the radio station, although it's branded as a rock station, it's going ‑‑ as we mentioned, it's going to be a very mainstream accessible rock station, so that women who enjoy the slightly harder side of classic hits and rock are going to feel very much at home on this radio station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1275 It's not going to be as much of a guy's radio station as you might hear ‑‑ as what we ‑‑ say what we do in Edmonton at K Rock, which is very focused on men. This is going to be very much more of a mainstream approach in terms of production value, how we position it, the content of the news, the personalities, et cetera. So women will feel at home, even though the music is not going to be liked as much by them as it is by men. But we're still looking at an audience split of about 60/40 in terms of hours tuned.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1276 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mrs Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1277 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1278 Commissioner Cugini...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1279 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr. Maheu and team, good morning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1280 I just have a question to fine tune a little bit your format, and with a particular focus on the Canadian component, and perhaps an even finer tune on the 10 percent new or newer artists that you referred to earlier. And the questioning really goes to the diversity of music choices available in the market. You mentioned Sam Roberts, Arcade Fire, Mobile, and I know they're just as examples, and including the Tragically Hip. But would you agree with me that I might be ‑‑ I might hear those bands on CFMY currently? Like, you know, their format could accommodate Mobile or Arcade Fire or Sam Roberts?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1281 MR. MAHEU: It could. And those are only examples for sure, but ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1282 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So how extensive a list is there out there that would provide an opportunity for more exposure to more Canadian artists?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1283 MR. MAHEU: Well, that's always the ‑‑ that's always the challenge when you're doing a gold based format, is, you know, looking at that part of the Broadcast Act where predominantly Canadian, and taking a look at the Canadian music that you can play.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1284 In a gold‑based format ‑‑ we're kind of cheating the gold‑based format here a little bit, and we're only doing that because ‑‑ to be forthright, because the market is small enough that you can do it. If you try to do that kind of thing in a major market you'd really pay the price because you cannot be that wide.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1285 But in terms of the current component, there are a lot of good bands making good Canadian music today. When we talk about Arcade Fire, for instance, on a classic rock radio station, that's a bit of a stretch because it leans ‑‑ active rock alternative, you know. We play it on our alternative rock stations. And, you know, it's a bit of a stretch, but we could play it because we're not going to be penalized in a market the size of Medicine Hat with ten other radio stations trying to carve up the pie where you have to be so right on the music all the time. We can take a little licence there, so ‑‑ but in terms of finding an outlet for current Canadian performers, it's very difficult in gold‑based formats because it is what it is. It's Guess Who, it's April Wine, it's Brian Adams, it's Triumph, you know, and all the usual great bands from the past.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1286 What we wanted to try to do here is to at least ‑‑ and we're doing this on a lot of our classic rock stations too, like in Edmonton and Cold Lake and even in Saint John's, Newfoundland, where traditionally these stations have been 100 percent pure classic rock gold, no currents, we've started to play and introduce some current Canadian music on those radio stations, as long as it fits the essence of the radio station, sort of sounds like it belongs.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1287 We'd be doing the same thing with the rock in Medicine Hat, where we would judiciously look at, you know, can we play a couple of new tracks from the Tragically Hip album? Absolutely. Sounds like classic rock, fits the essence of what we're trying to do. Are there songs from Arcade Fire we could play? Yes, yes, there are.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1288 And we want to do that partly because if don't we're going to be recycling the same gold list over and over and over again. And it works with some degree of success in a lot of markets, but we're seeing through the music testing we're doing in markets of all sizes, that the life expectancy of some of that Canadian gold, because classic rock and classic hits is so popular now, is really starting to fade.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1289 Like, the like‑a‑lot scores are way down, the tired‑of scores are through the roof on a lot of those library titles that we've counted on. So we've got to find new ways to re‑invent these gold‑based formats to accommodate the Canadian component, which is part of our responsibility, and we think the current portion is part of it. And although we're only proposing about 10 percent of our sound be current, of that 10 percent, of 100 records or 100 songs that you'd hear on the radio station, 10 percent of them would be new, and of those ten, I would suggest that seven are going to be Canadian. Seven to eight, to take a little bit of the heat off the gold library.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1290 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Maheu. Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I have a few questions, and the first one is, and I noticed that in both your letters of the 14th of August and, I guess, the 20th, you talked about being live to air for 126 hours. But of course you were at the Edmonton Hearing where I asked if you would agree to a COL on live to air during the 426 hours of the broadcast week. And so today you say live and local at least 120 hours during the broadcast week, and you would agree to a COL saying you would be live to air at least 120 hours during the broadcast week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1292 MR. MAHEU: Yes, we would.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1293 THE CHAIRPERSON: You were talking about money to Starmaker, and that you were asking that they would target it to Alberta to the extent that they can. What is the extent that they can?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1294 MR. MAHEU: It's ‑‑ it's pretty simple. If there is an artist that meets the criteria for Radio Starmaker funding that particular year or time frame in the course of the year where the money is available, and they are from Alberta, they're going to get it. In other words, if it comes down to an Alberta artist and an artist from some other part of Canada, and there's only so much money, our money is going to the Alberta artist.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1295 What Starmaker says though, and they are right, there are only so many artists that they look at each year that meets the criteria for number of units sold and to be eligible for that additional funding. And if there's not an Alberta artist eligible that year, our money is just going to go into the general fund to promote Canadian talent to the next level. But we've asked them that in case of a tie, or in case of an Alberta artist being available and eligible for funding, that our money be directed specifically to them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1296 And, you know, Nickelback was one of the first ‑‑ you know,there's an Alberta band that was one of the first beneficiaries of the Starmaker Fund that really took that band up a notch to the next level. They've done very well. We're hoping over the course of the seven years that we're sending this money to Starmaker on behalf of the Medicine Hat station, that there are at least a few years where there is an Alberta artist that will be able to take advantage of it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1297 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would this money be incremental to that otherwise allocated by Starmaker?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1298 MR. MAHEU: We're going to send them that cheque each year and we want to know what the money went for. So, you know, obviously ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1299 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can you ‑‑ do you have a letter from Starmaker saying what the extent possible really means?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1300 MR. MAHEU: We have a ‑‑ we have a pretty good relationship with Starmaker. We don't have a letter. We can certainly get one. We've got their say‑so on it. But we can certainly get a letter and have it described, to the extent that they can, what that exactly means.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1302 MR. MAHEU: But we ‑‑ we're operating on the assumption that we've always had with Starmaker in our conversations with them, that they have a certain number of candidates each year that meet their criteria for funding, they fund them accordingly. And obviously we want, in the case of Medicine Hat, that if we have money available that we want it for somebody not only from Alberta, but from southern Alberta would be even better. But that can't ‑‑ they can't always guarantee that. But if you'd like a letter we could certainly file one.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1303 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1304 MR. MAHEU: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1305 THE CHAIRPERSON: My next question is you didn't really answer Commissioner Pennefather when she said why did you beef up the news and not your non‑news spoken word programming? In other words, you beefed up your news in response to satellite radio and et cetera, but you didn't beef up the community event updates, the public affairs reports, and ‑‑ I'm not talking about DJ talk, but, I mean, you didn't increase those. And it would seem to me that on the news it would be far easier to recycle the same stories when you're increasing your news, as opposed to the community updates and public affairs reports that might require more staff input. Is that why you only beefed up the news and not the non‑news programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1306 MR. MAHEU: Not exactly. We did not beef up the community event reports and the public affairs reports because we felt that 35 per week on each was pretty substantial to begin with. We did feel though when we looked back on the amount of news that we were doing that given where we wanted to go and what we wanted to accomplish, it wasn't enough.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1307 In terms of, you know, whether it's easier to recycle news or it needs more work to be put into the updates and so on, I think it's a fair observation. Our experience has been, and would be in Medicine Hat, we're trying to build long‑time spent listening, especially in a gold‑based format like a classic rock, classic hits hybrid, and we're going to have to do a better job, as we're starting to do in a lot of our locations, on taking a ‑‑ an approach to news where we're doing more rewrites, we're doing more ‑‑ we're out gathering more actualities, we're cutting them up differently so that the newscasts that you hear at 8:00 in the morning on our radio station in Medicine Hat will sound substantially different from the newscast your heard at 7:30 if you're listening, you know, over the course of 40 minutes, because any more ‑‑ the expectations are going up, especially in a small market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1308 We're faced with this particular situation in Charlottetown, where we just, you know, converted CHTNA into FM, and it's a big station for news on the island. And we were really surprised when we were converted there, the amount of time spent listening being done to the radio station. They love it, and people are listening four, five, six hours straight, you know, and you can't keep rerunning the same newscast every hour. Not only does it not sound very good, people won't tolerate it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1309 So in this particular case, that's why we're going to have three and a half people in the news department, because we're going to have to get people that know how to write, and we're going to take a much more proactive approach to going out and gathering news. And technology helps us do that a lot these days as well, so we can get more actualities on the air and do a much better job of creating a news cast. So the clip you heard of the mayer at 7:30 as part of story that was happening, it may be a different clip that you hear from the mayor at 8:00.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1310 So substantively, the newscast is the same news, but it's being presented in a slightly different way so you don't fatigue and get burned out on it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1311 THE CHAIRPERSON: And my final question is, you were saying to my colleague that there would be a problem if a classic rock or classic hits format was also licenced. The reality is, we don't regulate those, and it's going to be a race, isn't it?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1312 MR. MAHEU: It would be a race to who could get on first and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1313 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then the second person would just have to adjust?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1314 MR. MAHEU: Would have to adjust, absolutely. And that's why we go and do research and figure it out.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1315 Again, at the end of the day, we don't decide and the Commission really doesn't decide what format is going to be in a market, the listeners will decide what they want and how they want it. And if we do our jobs properly we will give them what they want. As long as it lives up to the spirit of what was intended originally, and that we honour our commitments and our promises and do a good job for the marketplace, and we would intend on doing that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1317 Counsel?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1318 MS BENNETT: Thanks. I just want to establish the filing dates for the letters that you agreed that you would file. The letter ‑‑ or the written agreement with respect to the Alberta Music Showcase at the Canada Music Week, could you indicate when you could file that letter?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1319 MR. MAHEU: Could a week from today be okay?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1320 MS BENNETT: I think that's fine.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1321 MR. MAHEU: Would that be all right?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1322 MS BENNETT: And the second letter from Starmaker describing the extent to which they can target Alberta artists?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1323 MR. MAHEU: Could we file that at the same time?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1324 MS BENNETT: Okay. Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Steele, Mr. Maheu, Panel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1326 We'll now take ‑‑ you have two minutes to tell us how wonderful you are and why you are better than everybody else. I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1327 MR. MAHEU: How about we take 40 seconds? Just to sum up, thank you very much for hearing our proposal this morning. I know you've got a very long week ahead of you, lots of applications, lots of good ideas for not only Medicine Hat, but for other markets as well. We appreciate the opportunity to lead off this morning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1328 To sum up, you know, for Medicine Hat we're proposing something that's a little bit different. It is a hybrid. It is something new that hasn't really been done a lot anywhere else. We just want you to know, please, if you decide that this is the most worthy use of that frequency that we'll do a good job on it, we'll take the judicious care we need to do to put together a great radio station that delivers on the needs and wants of the people in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1329 They've told us through the research clearly they want this kind of music in the marketplace. We believe we have a very good track record of delivering this type of music in this format in markets this size and smaller. We're very comfortable and excited about markets like Medicine Hat. It's one we very much want to be a part of. And if you give us the licence we promise we'll go in and roll up our sleeves and we'll do a very good job for the people of Medicine Hat. You have our word on that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1330 Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Once again thank you, Mr. Steele, Mr. Maheu and panel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1332 We'll now take 15 minutes. By my watch that will be 20 after 11.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1105 / Suspension à 1105
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1120 / Reprise à 1120
LISTNUM 95 \l 1333 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1334 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1335 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1336 We'll now proceed with item 2 on the agenda of this public hearing, which is an application by Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited to amend the licence of radio programming undertaking CJLT‑FM Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1337 The licencee proposes to amend the licence by changing the frequency from 99.5 megahertz (channel 258LP) to 93.7 megahertz (channel 229A).
LISTNUM 95 \l 1338 The licencee also proposes to change the authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power from 48 to 2,300 watts, by relocating the transmitter and by increasing the antenna height (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 99.5 metres).
LISTNUM 95 \l 1339 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Scott Raible. And Mr. Raible, you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 1340 MR. RAIBLE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1341 To the honourable members of the Commission and to others here at this hearing, good morning.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1342 Lighthouse Broadcasting has been broadcasting and serving Medicine Hat since April 2003 with a strong commitment to entertain and encourage the listeners of Medicine Hat through high quality Christian music and programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1343 As quoted by a letter from the Mayor of Medicine Hat written in support of our application for our technical amendment, CJLT‑FM has been a welcomed business in Medicine Hat providing a radio station with religious programming. This business has been well received by the community since their commencement of broadcasting in our community. Lighthouse Broadcasting supports the vision of Medicine Hat as being a Community of Choice providing alternate programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1344 We've been committed to Medicine Hat, providing free promotional assistance to non‑profit charitable organizations and local businesses just starting up. Lighthouse Broadcasting also has local features such as local hero of the month featuring and supporting our local police and firefighters serving our communities.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1345 We also feature various non‑profit groups and organizations on the air supporting the different events that take place in our community. We're also used by the Medicine Hat College for job showing opportunities in radio, as well as bringing local school choirs on the air. And we're proud supporters of the Medicine Hat High School Dry Grad and the annual Medicine Hat Jazz Fest that takes place in the community every year.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1346 We've also been a platform for local and Canadian Christian bands that you can't hear anywhere else in Medicine Hat, such as Medicine Hat's own Cross Rock, Play it Again and Minister Joe C, and some of the national Canadian bands that we feature are Amanda Falk, Downhere, and Starfield, just to name a few.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1347 Indeed Lighthouse Broadcasting won the small business of the year for 2005 award as presented by Autracor(ph) and the Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1348 The one complaint that we have received over and over again was that our signal was not strong in many part of the city, even those that fall well within our 3.0 MV contour and our original map. This became an issue both with listeners and advertisers, as a commercial licence and a station dedicated to providing our listeners with high quality programming, this of course has caused a problem. Whereas in the end of the 2005 fiscal year we had a $12,000 profit, this past year we've had actually a deficit.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1349 The reason we heard back from advertisers is that our signal wasn't strong enough and they do not have confidence in the strength of our signal. Many of them asked our sales team to come back once our signal is increased. We've tried several ways to compensate that, unfortunately we are still fuzzy in many areas that we should reach according to our original map and some listeners complain they can't get us on their alarm clocks because they want to listen to us when they wake up in the morning, as well as even in their cars, and, again, in some areas that should be covered according to our original application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1350 Our technical staff tells us that because of the coulees in Medicine Hat and recent construction, the only way to compensate is to increase our signal strength and broadcast from a higher location.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1351 As we, of course, are a commercial radio station, in order to remain economically viable it is imperative that we are able to cover our entire city effectively. In response to our community, listeners and advertisers, we feel the best course of action is to increase our signal strength and relocate our transmitter to the CBC tower in the Cypress County area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1352 We have approached CBC and they have given us written approval, upon condition of CRTC acceptance, to broadcast from their tower. Pippin Technical, which provided our technical Brief, has been in constant contact with the engineers from CBC and has agreed that our proposed signal will be able to adequately cover our broadcast area and will not interfere with any existing frequencies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1353 Industry Canada has also given us conditional approval for our amendment upon condition of the CRTC acceptance.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1354 We will remain committed to fulfil our commitment in our original application to the City of Medicine Hat. Though we have requested a power boost, may I note, it is only enough to reach our city. We are not asking for a 100,000 watt or even 20,000, we're asking for 2,300 watts in order to effectively serve our community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1355 In our comparison chart, our contours are focused on Medicine Hat, and as our community is growing it will allow our signal to carry on into the new developments of Medicine Hat, as well as the existing areas that we should be reaching in our 3.0 MV contour, but currently are not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1356 As stated in our application, Lighthouse Broadcasting will be willing to accept any reasonable conditions of licence in order to obtain a technical amendment to our broadcast licence. As a condition of licence we would increase our commitment to the City of Medicine Hat by offering an annual scholarship of an additional $500 to local students who wish to pursue music at the Medicine Hat College. This would be in addition to the $400 scholarship we are currently doing for Canadian talent development.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1357 I also want to take this moment and reaffirm Lighthouse Broadcasting's commitment to our Christian music format, and that the purpose of this power boost and technical amendment is to keep CJLT‑FM economically viable as a commercial radio station in Medicine Hat, and allow us to reach all of our current and potential listeners in our community with a strong, clear signal. This is particularly important to us due to the potential of future radio station in our market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1358 In closing, please let me read you the ten reasons we think you should approve Lighthouse Broadcasting's request for our technical amendment:
LISTNUM 95 \l 1359 ‑ (10) Lighthouse Broadcasting is the only applicant applying for this frequency;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1360 ‑ (9) As a condition of licence, Lighthouse Broadcasting will increase our CTD to a total of $900 to the Medicine Hat College, which will benefit local Medicine Hat musicians;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1361 ‑ (8) There are no negative interventions against our application;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1362 ‑ (7) This is our second attempt for this technical amendment, and Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited has responded to the Commission's request for more compelling reasons to grant us our request;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1363 ‑ (6) It will provide Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited an opportunity at economic stability, especially with the potential arrival of other stations in our market;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1364 ‑ (5) Lighthouse Broadcasting is the only station serving the Christian music format, and we are committed to the Christian music format, and of course would make it a condition of licence;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1365 ‑ (4) We are the only outlet for local, regional and Canadian musicians and artists of this format in Medicine Hat, and we support them by playing their music and promoting their events. On average we have about 16 percent Cancon if not more than that;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1366 ‑ (3) Lighthouse Broadcasting is locally owned. We provide local jobs;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1367 ‑ (2) We also promote community events and businesses;
LISTNUM 95 \l 1368 ‑ (1) And the most important reason to grant us our technical amendment is our listeners. It will allow the listeners of Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited to receive a higher quality signal of the desired music and programming, especially those in areas outlined in our original application, but are not currently able to receive the signal, and therefore more adequately meeting the need for a Christian music format in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1369 On behalf of Lighthouse Broadcasting, I thank you in advance for consideration of this request and I look forward to your questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1371 Commissioner Williams.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1372 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning. Is it Mr. Raible?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1373 MR. RAIBLE: Mr. Raible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1374 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Raible. Your application and your presentation to us this morning were quite thorough, however we have a few questions of clarification for you this morning and we will try to work our way through them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1375 In decision 2003‑12 you were licenced to serve the City of Medicine Hat, and in your current application for technical change you indicate that the station's principal marketing activities as a result of your increase in power will be directed towards the communities of Medicine Hat, Redcliff, Bow Island and Dunmore, all of which lie within the new proposed contours. I also note that the proposed five millivolt contour would include other communities, such as Bullshead, Bowell, and Vale.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1376 Hypothetically, let's say you were approached by a community group in Red Cliff, Dunmore, Bow Island or Vale asking you to cover a church dance or maybe a recital. Your station is creating interest in these communities. You have stated that your personal marketing activities under this new technical proposal would include these communities. Would you ‑‑ would you reorient a portion of your local reflection programming to include content relevant to these new communities?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1377 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely. In fact, what we have done currently right now, because parts of Red Cliff are able to get us a little bit, we have been bringing on Red Cliff organizations to support their events, like Red Cliff Days.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1378 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Could you explain your need to reflect these additional communities in your local and spoken word programming? Since your stated rationale in applying for this technical amendment is to increase your signal strength to address coverage deficiency specific to Medicine Hat and your ability to serve Medicine Hat as you were originally licenced.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1379 MR. RAIBLE: Okay. Let's see if I can answer this correctly. By serving Medicine Hat and by reflecting on what's happening in Medicine Hat as well we could also reflect what's happening in Dunmore and Red Cliff. Things that happen in Medicine Hat usually affect those outlying communities as well. At the same time we will be able to actually communicate what's happening in those communities to the greater city at large.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1380 By ‑‑ what we have currently now, we have ‑‑ we would invite local groups from those areas to come on. During our morning show we actually have a spot every Friday morning where local groups can come on and explain to our listeners what's happening, so they would be included in that. Also we have a feature where local ministers or pasters from various denominations come and have one week free of doing what we call an on‑air devotional, and ministers from those communities would be invited as well to partake of that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1381 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: For the record, if your proposal was approved would you maintain the current conditions of licence as set out in your licence and the appended decision 2003‑12?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1382 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. That was loud.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1383 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I note in your deficiency response dated 26 October 2005, you indicated you would devote $500 a year towards a music scholarship to the Medicine Hat College. Who will be responsible for the allocation of the funds, and how will the recipients be chosen?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1384 MR. RAIBLE: Lighthouse Broadcasting would be giving the money to the Medicine Hat College Scholarship Foundation, and what would happen is the requirements to obtain that scholarship would have to be based on the fact they'd be applying to go to Medicine Hat College, be a member of the music program, and then myself with a couple other members of the Medicine Hat Cultural Centre and community would try and determine the best qualified applicant from those requirements.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1385 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What criteria would you be using to choose the best qualified applicant?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1386 MR. RAIBLE: Again, we'd be looking to make sure they were applying for a music program at the Medicine Hat College and we'd be looking at their dedication and various aspects like that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1387 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Could you comment on ‑‑ please comment on the commission imposing a conditional licence requiring that you make equal annual payments over seven consecutive broadcast years to the CTD initiative you've targeted, totalling $3,500?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1388 MR. RAIBLE: I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear the question.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1389 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Could you please comment on the Commission imposing a condition of licence requiring that you make equal annual payments over seven consecutive broadcast years to the CTD initiative that you have targeted totalling 3,500? If it became a conditional licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1390 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, we would definitely do it, yes. We would accept that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1391 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Under the CAB plan as conditional licence, annual CTD payments by Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited for a small market station should be 400 per year. I had a question ‑‑ I had a question prepared that was to ask you ‑‑ ask you that it appeared that no payments have been made, but we received this document just this morning, stating that you're pleased to inform the Medicine Hat College Foundation has received a cheque for $800 from Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited, and these funds will be used to provide scholarships for students enrolled in the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music Academy Program for 2005/2006 academic years. When was this payment made?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1392 MR. RAIBLE: The payment was made actually on Friday. And if I can clarify what happened there, we made this agreement with the college in 2005, and we felt ‑‑ we thought everything was organized and ready to go. I guess they didn't proceed with it, they were waiting for a fax I guess they didn't get, but they didn't tell us about it. So we've been under the impression that we've been having this going for the last two years.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1393 When the request came from the CRTC to obviously provide proof and documentation, we went ahead to get that, only to find out that they had everything ready from 2005, but they didn't proceed with it and didn't notify us that they had not. So we got a hold of them immediately and settled ‑‑ asked what had happened. They explained, and so we, anyway, paid for 2005 and 2006. And we've asked that they would be able to explain that to you as well, should you have any questions, because we were quite surprised to find that out.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1394 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, thank you. In CRTC Broadcasting decision 2004‑549, the Commission denied a previous application by you for a change in frequency and an increase in transmitter power. In that decision, the Commission stated you had not presented compelling evidence of either economic or technical need for the proposed changes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1395 With respect to economic need ‑‑ just give me a second while I find the information you provided. Can you tell us how your revenues and expenditures during your first two years of operation may have differed from those projected in your original business plan and where they have differed, provide us some reasons.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1396 MR. RAIBLE: Okay. I guess projections are never as accurate as when you're actually on the ground running a radio station, so for us ‑‑ for myself, experience has probably been the greatest teacher of what expenditures are real and what you can expect from economic forecasts. So for us it was a real learning curve. However, things were very well in 2005 as far as we were considering, but due to the fact that our advertisers could no longer have confidence in our signal, we found they weren't renewing, and it was simply because of the fact of the weakness of our signal strength. So we have confidence that once we can get our technical boost we can retain and regain the advertisers we had, for example, in 2005.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1397 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Based on the information you've provided me here, you seem to have suffered a revenue drop of between 15 and 20 percent; would that be fair over those ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1398 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1399 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: ‑‑ the time period we're talking about? Okay. Now, you said experience is a good teacher in terms of projections. Can you please tell us how you arrived at the revenue projections you included in this application? For example, what factors did you take into account projecting the amount of local advertising revenue?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1400 MR. RAIBLE: We're looking at ‑‑ when we originally made the application in 2005, we were looking at several of the ‑‑ I guess what ‑‑ sorry. I guess we were looking at what we were currently generating at the time and what we could potentially get.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1401 Things have changed in the last fiscal year. We weren't ‑‑ I guess we honestly weren't counting on our signal not being as strong as it was, and so we were faced, I guess, in a situation we didn't count on being in. And the importance of our technical amendment has really been stressed this past fiscal year, which is why I included in that package not just a copy of our 2005 fiscal year, but our 2006 as well, so you can see the drop in revenue. And when we've gone back to our advertisers, they keep on mentioning the signal strength.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1402 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In our decision 2004‑549, the Commission denied a previous application for a change in frequency and in increase in transmitter power. In that decision the Commission stated you had not presented compelling evidence of the technical need for these proposed changes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1403 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1404 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Could you please describe the changes which resulted in the submission of this new application that occurred since the Commission's last decision on Lighthouse Broadcasting, which also was based on a proposal to change the authorized contour by increasing the effect of radiated power and antenna height?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1405 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1406 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What's changed since the last time?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1407 MR. RAIBLE: What we've tried to do is we've tried to include, I guess, a clear picture, both from our listeners as well as with comparative maps, to show you that areas that we should be getting in our original application in our 3 MV contour, we're just not getting them. Key main areas we're just not reaching. So we're hoping to show that with the overlay, that this signal strength will obviously get those key areas, and at the same time, we believe we're still serving Medicine Hat and area. We're not serving any other major markets. We're keeping true to our original intent of the original application, which is to serve Medicine Hat with high quality programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1408 We've also tried to provide information from Pippin Tech. And again, I believe if you look at the positive letters of support from our listeners, they'll mention over and over again that they ‑‑ the reason they're supporting us in this decision is because they want to hear us in their homes and in their basement, and many of those positive interventions are within the 3 MV contour. We didn't have that information in our last application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1409 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Your answers have satisfied my list of questions here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1410 I'm completed, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1411 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1412 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1413 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1414 You have showed us a map that you have in your hand. Is it one of the maps that you put in your folder?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1415 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. If you look in your ‑‑ in the package on the back tab, the first map will be of our original ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1416 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: The Pippin map, yeah, which is the original technical ‑‑ taken out of the original technical brief that you submitted?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1417 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1418 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: And what you're saying is that even in the interior of your 3 microvolt per metre, the coverage is not good enough, so even people don't ‑‑ can't listen to the station in their home, particularly in their basement, as you said?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1419 MR. RAIBLE: Or in their base ‑‑ in their businesses. We have clients, for example, who live on 3rd Street ‑‑ who have businesses, sorry, on 3rd Street, and other areas right in the middle of our 3 MV contour, would love to play our station, especially if they're advertising with us, but they can't. Every time they get a fuzzy signal they question whether they should be advertising with us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1420 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Exactly, okay. Now, on your covering page of the document that you gave us this morning, which went ‑‑ which is going in the public record?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1421 MS BENNETT: Sorry, could you repeat the question?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1422 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: The document that we received, it's totally going into the public record?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1423 MS BENNETT: Yes. I have a couple of questions to clarify exactly what we've got, but the documents will be put on the top of the licencee's file.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1424 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Okay, fine. Now, you addressed ‑‑ you said earlier today that ‑‑ how many employees ‑‑ you're locally owned and you provide local jobs. How many employees do you have?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1425 MR. RAIBLE: Including myself, we have seven local employees.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1426 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: And how many are on air?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1427 MR. RAIBLE: Five of them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1428 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Five of them?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1429 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1430 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And including yourself?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1431 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1432 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You also provided us with financial material regarding the year ‑‑ your profit and loss financials for the year 2006. And could I question you on those financials?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1433 MR. RAIBLE: If you like to you can, and I'll do my very best to answer them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1434 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Because I'm seeing, and you provided us ‑‑ there are two lines that I wonder if you could help me in getting more details. You have travel, and you have a $12,000 expense under travel, which for a station of your size, seems to me somehow significant and ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1435 MR. RAIBLE: As you can tell, I don't handle the finances at the station, but I'll do my very best to answer that. I believe that included not just travel, but anything promotional to do with the station as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1436 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You have another line that is called promotion somewhere ‑‑ somewhere up there. I've noticed that you have sales promotions with another $5,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1437 MR. RAIBLE: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1438 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: If you can't answer, could you provide us with an answer, say, within the next week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1439 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1440 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Written answer?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1441 MR. RAIBLE: Yes
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1442 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: I also have a similar question regarding line 54, 55, which is donations. And again, I have a fairly big number under donations. Do you know what that is all about?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1443 MR. RAIBLE: That I can explain. Obviously we're a Christian radio station, so our religious beliefs, I guess, are ‑‑ motivate everything that we do. So what we do is we give back to the community, and so we believe in tagging 10 percent back to local churches and charities. No matter what, how much money we make, that's what we do. So that is the reason for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1444 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Okay, that's fine, no problem. I don't see anywhere bad debts because you don't have any bad debts, your clients are paying correctly?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1445 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. And ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1446 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Lucky you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1447 MR. RAIBLE: We've got good clients.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1448 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You've got good clients.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1449 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1450 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1452 Thank you, Mr. Raible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1453 So it is ‑‑ and I also notice that in the year before you have travel of 15,000, so I'd ask you to explain both?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1454 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1455 THE CHAIRPERSON: And why they would be legitimate business expenses.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1456 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1457 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I ask you then secondly, why we should consider the donations as a legitimate business expense, when it is not generally a business expense in radio stations? I mean, you're saying we're not profitable or won't be profitable, but at the same time you have 20,000 in each year as a ‑‑ as an expense, and why should we consider for you it's a legitimate expense when we don't habitually do that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1458 MR. RAIBLE: Again, we do that for ‑‑ I don't know how this sounds. We do this for religious conscience or whatever. What I could do is I could actually find out why we consider it an expense when I talk to my accountant, but I just know that's what we have done as a principle of business, is just take ten percent off every month what we make, off the top, and we donate it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Yeah, if you could ‑‑ if you could ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1460 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1461 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I'm confused as to when you actually went on air. The decision was issued 21 January 2003.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1462 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1463 THE CHAIRPERSON: Today you say you've been on air since April '03.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1464 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1465 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your Supplementary Brief at page 1 you said 2002, at page 1. And subsequently you said you've been broadcasting for two years. So ‑‑ that's your Supplementary Brief, I'm sorry. Your application said since 2002, your Supplementary Brief said you've been broadcasting for two years. Tell me when did you really go on the air?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1466 MR. RAIBLE: I believe we were approved in January 2003. We were on the air in April 2003, very quickly right after that. I apologize for any oversight, for any confusion that would be in that application, but we have been on the air since April 2003.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1467 THE CHAIRPERSON: So did you file your annual report as required by the regs for that year at the end ‑‑ effective the end of August?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1468 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1469 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you pay CTD that year?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1470 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1471 THE CHAIRPERSON: And to whom did you pay it?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1472 MR. RAIBLE: I would have to double check and see who we paid it to, but I know we did.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why do you know you did?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1474 MR. RAIBLE: Because it's a condition of licence, so I remember us doing that, but then after ‑‑ for 2005 we decided we needed a better Canadian Talent Development plan, and we felt that the scholarships, after talking to other radio stations in similar markets, would be a ‑‑ a better use of the money.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1476 MR. RAIBLE: Of the CTD.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our information was that was your annual report for 2003 was not filed. Could you provide us with a copy of that within a week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1478 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1479 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you then file your annual report for 2004, for the year ending August 31, 2004?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1480 MR. RAIBLE: Again, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1481 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our information is you did not. Can you provide us a copy of that within one week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1482 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. You bet you.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1483 THE CHAIRPERSON: So then you say ‑‑ so in the year 2004, you say again that you made ‑‑ you paid your CTD?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1484 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1485 THE CHAIRPERSON: For both 2003 and 2004, can you provide us with a copy of the cheque showing that you paid the CTD?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1486 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. Yes, we will, within a week.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1487 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then you say you decided to go to Medicine Hat College?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1488 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1489 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you did that, but they didn't proceed with it. Why didn't you write a cheque that would then push them to proceed with it?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1490 MR. RAIBLE: Good question. Again, I don't handle the financial end of the business. We had made all the arrangements on the telephone. They had faxed us a contract, we had faxed a contract back, and I was under the impression that it was taken care of and that my financial department would look after any invoices that came in. I guess I have to do a much better job boning up and making sure in the future that things get taken care of.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1491 When it came to our intention last week that it hadn't been taken care of, we contacted them. We wanted to find out what had happened. They, for whatever reason, didn't let us know.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1492 Again, it's our responsibility. We took care of it the minute we found out, and we provided ‑‑ we paid for 2005 and 2006, and we have proof of that payment as well. But again, I do apologize, we should have been much more on the ball in that one and that's my fault.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1493 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's your condition of licence?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1494 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1495 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. If indeed it appears that our records show you did not file your annual reports for 2003 and 2004, it also appears that you have remedied your non‑compliance in terms of your CTD recently, habitually the Commission is not inclined to grant people relief if they are in non‑compliance. Why would we grant you relief if you were in non‑compliance?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1496 MR. RAIBLE: I guess we would ‑‑ we would not knowingly be in non‑compliance. We want to comply to every ‑‑ everything you ask us to do. You've asked us to do reasonable conditions of licences, and so we want to meet those. And all I can promise to the CRTC, and I guess I have to show it by my actions, is that much more professional and making sure we commit and keep and follow‑up on every commitment and condition of licence that is granted to us. And you would definitely see that, no matter if you give us the application ‑‑ the request for amendment or not, we will definitely be better at doing that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1497 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Raible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1498 Oh, Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1499 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Filing of annual returns is a part of the regulation book, and so ‑‑ and it is very important that you file your annual return because we're collecting the information and providing statistics for all the broadcasters in this country, and we're publishing on a yearly basis and monitoring the report that is used largely by various groups, including the OACD. And it's very important that the numbers that we're providing those are complete and are showing the real picture how broadcasting is in this country.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1500 If you will make sure that in the future to provide your annual return in due time. They're due each year at the latest on November 30th of each year, and it is ‑‑ it is a very important tool for managing the ‑‑ the broadcasting system.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1501 MR. RAIBLE: If I may, I remember ‑‑ I know we did the 2003/2004 annual return because I remember being helped very patiently by ‑‑ by employees of the CRTC. So that's why I know it was done because I remember how patient they were with us figuring out how to do it. So we will find out for whatever reason why you don't have a copy, because I remember us doing it. And I know when I talked to Kim last week, she said there were some problems with some faxing of things back in that time. Again, I'm not sure, but we will make sure that you get 2003/2004.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Along with proof of when you filed it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1503 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1504 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1505 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Just one more question of clarification on your donations. The donations are to be 10 percent of your gross revenue; is that correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1506 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, every month.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1507 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Maybe when you speak with your accountant then, he seems to have donated a little more than 10 percent. It's probably ‑‑ probably almost 10 percent over contribution. You might want to check his math on that one as well because it is affecting your bottom line in a negative manner.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1508 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1509 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1510 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, I have another question, Mr. Raible. When Commissioner Williams was asking you questions, I thought the whole essence of your argument on lack of coverage was that in the first year you broadcast your advertisers thought your coverage was better than it was. Is that your point?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1511 MR. RAIBLE: In our first couple years, advertisers were just excited that there was another alternative to radio in Medicine Hat, and many of them really liked the idea of Christian music programming. However, over the years, as they were listening and getting feedback from their clients ‑‑ from their customers, the responses seemed to be, yeah, we listen to it live, but not in our cars because we can't get it in certain areas or we can't get it into our businesses. So when terms came up for renewal, we noticed consistently businesses saying, you know, we like what you're doing, we like the sound, but we just don't have confidence in the consistency of your signal to get all of Medicine Hat. And so because of that, we noticed advertising revenue slowly dropping off, and then especially when they had the BSE crisis in Medicine Hat, we really felt that as businesses were being very careful with their advertising dollars, wanting to go with stations that had clear coverage across the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1512 I know we've tried many different days to make do with what we have because we want to be good stewards of what we have. Again and again we keep on hearing that we need to increase our signal strength so people can get it consistently in their cars in the City of Medicine Hat, in their homes and in their business.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1513 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when we get your annual ‑‑ copies of your annual reports as filed, we will notice a consistent decrease in advertising income over the years; is that correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1514 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1516 Counsel...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1517 MS BENNETT: Thanks. I have one substantive follow‑up question, and just a couple of housekeeping matters just to sort out what we've got here to put on the file. But the first question is just a substantive question on the number of people that would be within the proposed contour.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1518 So could you just confirm that approval of your application would increase the population covered by your 3 millivolt per metre contour from 35,000 people to just over 66,000?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1519 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, that would be correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1520 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you. Now, I just want to go to sort of nailing down all of the things that will be filed, but firstly I want to just confirm that what we have here in the package that you filed today on page 4 and page 5, are the revised annual returns for the years ending August 31st, 2005 and 2006, that were requested by the Commission staff; is that correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1521 MR. RAIBLE: Yeah, I don't know ‑‑ I don't believe 2006 was, but 2005 definitely was.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1522 MS BENNETT: Okay. Now, have these been filed separately with the Commission, or is it your expectation that we will forward this to them, monitoring ‑‑ or the annual return group?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1523 MR. RAIBLE: 2005 has already been submitted with all the information.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1524 MS BENNETT: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1525 MR. RAIBLE: And 2006 will be as well, but 2005 they already have it, Kim already has it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1526 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you. Now, just to go back through some of the things that you've agreed to file this morning. Firstly, you agreed to file a clarification on the 10 percent profit that goes back to the community. Could you indicate when you could file that information?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1527 MR. RAIBLE: Within one week.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1528 MS BENNETT: Okay. Now, secondly, you have agreed to file the annual reports for the years ending August 31st, 2003 and 2004, with a proof of when you filed those returns. When will you do that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1529 MR. RAIBLE: Within a week as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1530 MS BENNETT: One week, okay. And lastly, it was the copies of the cheques for payment of CTD for the years 2003, 2004, I believe?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1532 MS BENNETT: Yes. Is that one week as well?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1533 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1534 MS BENNETT: Okay. Thank you, I believe that's everything.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You now have your two minutes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1536 MR. RAIBLE: Again, I just want to thank you so much for the CRTC ‑‑ for hearing our request for a technical amendment for Lighthouse Broadcasting. We believe that this technical amendment will not only improve economic stability for Alive 99.5, but also improve the quality that our clients and our listeners can receive of their favourite Christian Canadian and other music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1537 Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Raible.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1539 Madam secretary, do you have anything to add to the record at this moment?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1540 THE SECRETARY: No, madam chair. Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1541 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will take a one‑hour lunch break, which means we will reconvene at 1:05.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1205 / Suspension à 1205
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1305 / Reprise à 1305
LISTNUM 95 \l 1542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1543 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1544 THE SECRETARY: Before ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1545 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are presently experiencing technical difficulties, please standby.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1546 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1547 Before we introduce the next application, I would just like to clarify ‑‑ to indicate for the record that the letter dated October 30th from the foundation coordinator with respect to the Lighthouse Broadcasting application that we heard prior to the lunch, will be placed on the application file of Lighthouse Broadcasting.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1548 And we now proceed to item 3 on the agenda, which is an application by Golden West Broadcasting Limited for a licence to operate an English language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Medicine Hat. The new station would operate on frequency 101.5 megahertz (channel 268C1) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 96.0 metres).
LISTNUM 95 \l 1549 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Elmer Hildebrand, who will introduce his colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1550 Mr. Hildebrand...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 1551 MR. HILDEBRAND: Thank you. Madam Chair, members of the Commission and Commission staff, thank you so much for having us here today for this important hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1552 My name is Elmer Hildebrand, president/CEO of Golden West Broadcasting. I'm also on the Board of the Canadian Women in Communications, secretary‑treasurer of BBM and the Radio Marketing Bureau.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1553 With me here today are Lyndon Friesen, executive vice‑president and chief operating officer of Golden West. Keith Leask to my right, senior, manager for Alberta. And Barrie Vice on my far left, program/music coordinator for Golden West.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1554 As many of you know, I have been in the small market radio business since 1957, so next year we are marking our 50th anniversary. Lyndon Friesen has been with Golden West since 1975; Keith Leask joined our company in 1983, and Barrie Vice is the rookie of our team arriving in 1990.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1555 Golden West has made its mark serving the prairies, and Medicine Hat is a perfect fit for our group of stations in the prairies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1556 We started in 1957 with a small 1,000 watt radio station in Altona, Manitoba. Altona is still the site of our head office, and the community has seen steady growth since 1957 and now has a population of 3,500 people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1557 From these modest beginnings in '57 our organization has continued to grow, always serving non‑metro markets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1558 Today we operate AM stations in 13 prairie communities and FM stations in 12. Just like everyone else, our AM stations are not experiencing a lot of growth, so we must increase the number of FM stations so our company will have long‑term viability when AM radio ultimately falls off into the sunset.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1559 This then brings us to our application to provide local radio service to Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1560 Keith Leask will now outline our plans for news and information for the community of Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1561 Keith...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1562 MR. LEASK: News from the community is likely ‑‑ excuse me, is likely the most important thing we do at Golden West Broadcasting. It's how we remain relevant to our listeners. It will be no different in Medicine Hat, as we deliver to that growing community the kind of radio news service that they deserve.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1563 Each weekday, Golden West will air a comprehensive three‑minute local newscast at the top of the hour at six, seven, eight, nine and 10 a.m. An additional newscast will air during the peak morning drive time at 7:30. One‑and‑a‑half minute sportscasts will follow the newscast at six, seven, 7:30 and eight. Three‑minute newscasts will also air during the midday and afternoon drive times at 1:00, two, four, five, and 6 p.m., with an extra newscast at 5:30. One and a half minutes of sports will follow each news segment at four, five, 5:30 and six. And you'll see the first of the two charts that show this very clearly in your package.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1564 It's hard to capture all that's going on in a growing city on a daily basis during three minutes of news. That's why we're proposing a one‑half hour noon hour show called Medicine Hat Today to air each weekday from 12 until 12:30. This show will feature expanded news and sports, as well as features on items that are important to the citizens of Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1565 These will include the oil industry, agriculture, Medicine Hat City Council, the School Board and other education stories, including Medicine Hat College, recreation organizations, business and the Chamber of Commerce and news about the social fabric of the city.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1566 This fast‑paced half hour will also include a good news feature that we'll call "Southeastern Success Stories." This will highlight accomplishments and successes, both large and small, of people, organizations and businesses in Medicine Hat and area. This feature will also air daily during our morning and afternoon drive time periods because everyone likes to hear something good about their neighbours and business associates.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1567 This news coverage, combined with our weekend news coverage, means a total of just over five and one‑half hours and one hour and 20 minutes of sports, in addition to our ongoing surveillance of local traffic, local weather, community news and local entertainment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1568 Golden West will have a four‑person newsroom to cover all of the news in the area, including a dedicated reporter to cover regular beats and features.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1569 MR. HILDEBRAND: Barrie Vice will now outline our music plans for Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1570 MR. VICE: Thank you, Elmer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1571 Golden West will play a hand‑picked mix of classic rock and modern rock to appeal to a broad base of listeners between 25 and 50. This format will incorporate new rock music from artists like Train, Coldplay, U2, Stone Temple Pilots, 3 Doors Down and Evanescence, along with great Canadian modern rock artists like Nickelback, Sam Roberts, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Sloan and AlexisonFire. As well as artists from the '70s, '80s and '90s, such as the Rolling Stones, Kansas, Boston, Pink Floyd, The Doors, April Wine and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1572 This format will skew 35 plus, and would be appealing to both male and females, while at the same time being completely different from what the incumbent stations are playing in Medicine Hat, which is country, and a pop music blend. Golden West would commit to playing 40 percent Canadian content and we would do so as a condition of licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1573 MR. HILDEBRAND: Lyndon Friesen will now outline our plans to distribute $100,000 in direct contribution to Canadian Talent Developments.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1574 MR. FRIESEN: Golden West Broadcasting has committed ‑‑ has committed to $100,000 over the first term of our licence in direct contributions to Canadian Talent Development. $10,000 per year in years one through five, and $25,000 per year for years six and seven. We also have a chart to indicate how that will be distributed.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1575 Although our plans call for those monies to be split between four groups during the first five $10,000 contribution years and five groups for the $25,000 contribution years, many more individuals will directly benefit from those CTD contributions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1576 The Medicine Hat College has one of the finest conservatories of music and dance in western Canada. Both advance students enrolled in the academy programs, and students who are average, are taking the various courses for the pure love of music and dance, are a part of this fine program.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1577 Although there are generally scholarships readily available for the academy students, this is not the case for non‑academy students. As the college tells us, very often musical training must come to an end for some of these students simply because they cannot afford to continue their studies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1578 Golden West will set up scholarships through five of the musical divisions at the conservatory of music and dance at the Medicine Hat College. $500 will be available each year to deserving non‑academy students in vocal, piano, strings, brass and percussion divisions. We would leave it up to the instructors in those divisions to select a needy and deserving student for the scholarships each year.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1579 The second portion of our CTD contributions would go to the Medicine Hat School Districts junior and senior high band programs at the Alexandra Junior High, Medicine Hat High and the Crescent Heights High School. As you're likely aware, school band programs have been slashed in recent years. In discussions with some of the music instructors in the school divisions, the purchase of new instruments is high on their list of priorities. The $2,500 that Golden West would provide for these schools annually would be earmarked for the purchase of new band instruments each year. $500 to Alexandra High or Junior High, $1,000 each to Medicine Hat High and Crescent Heights High.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1580 Again, we would leave it up to the people who know best where the needs are, the instructors of the programs, to determine how the money would best be spent to acquire new instruments.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1581 A third portion of the CTD contributions would go to the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival. For 11 years now the Medicine Hat Jazz Society has brought the Jazz Fest to the streets, clubs and concert halls of Medicine Hat. Now, with the opening in October of 2005 of the multi‑million dollar Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, the Jazz Festival has a beautiful new venue to attract even more spectators than the 5,000 people who now attend annually.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1582 The Medicine Hat Jazz Society is a not‑for‑profit organization and is a registered charity. Golden West Broadcasting would contribute $2,500 annually as a sponsor of the Jazz Festival. We would also provide extensive additional on‑air support and promotion of the Jazz Fest.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1583 The final portion of the CTD funding would go to the Medicine Hat Folk and Roots Music Club and their monthly singer/songwriter nights. These nights are held at various venues throughout Medicine Hat. Each month approximately ten singers and songwriters of a variety of genres of music come together to perform their original works. The music of these evenings and the performers has not been to judge, but to encourage. However, occasionally someone stands out from the crowd and deserves a chance to record their music. Golden West, along with the club's executive would select a deserving performer who would then be given a total of $2,500 to record and package their music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1584 Golden West would then promote the CD and the performer on the station in an attempt to spur on sales of the CD, all of which would go, of course, directly to the performer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1585 In years six and seven: The above ‑‑ the above‑mentioned organizations will continue to receive their assigned benefits through years six and seven, however, we have intentionally left $30,000 unassigned, or $15,000 per year. Once we become better established in the community and have solidified relationships, we will have a much better handle on which local organizations have the greatest need and would most benefit from financial contributions. The recipient organizations of this initiative would be directed to reflect our musical format.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1586 MR. HILDEBRAND: That details Golden West's Canadian Talent Development contributions. On top of these direct contributions, we will make ‑‑ Golden West makes music development an integral part of our commitment to the communities we call our home. We will air weekly a 30‑minute music program called "Made in Alberta," which will spotlight music from across Alberta, focusing on many of the artists we will be promoting from the southwestern portion of the province around the Medicine Hat area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1587 This is something we do everywhere through our Golden West group of radio stations, and even though the program has continued for several years in some cases, we find there is never a shortage of great material to feature, from new emerging artists to established musical artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1588 We note that there are other applications from Medicine Hat that you have to consider. All of the applications are credible, but we maintain Golden West would be the best suited to provide a new radio service to Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1589 We have projected the lowest revenues from any of the stations applying, and therefore, we would have the least impact on the existing radio stations in the market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1590 I would also like to make a comment that goes back to what you heard this morning, where Mr. Maheu was saying that some years ago, during tough times, many broadcasters cut back in newsrooms as far as news people and sports people and information people. Golden West did just the opposite. When we saw everybody was cutting back in their newsrooms, we added people. So we have continued to add people to our news operations, and that has stood us in good stead, and that is what would make us, I think, the best application for Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1591 Our track record in providing real local service all the time is well established. We have the experience, the people and the resources to give Medicine Hat the kind of community service that is superior by any measure to any of the applications before you this week, and we hope that you would grant us a licence at the end of this meeting, and now we will be prepared to answer any questions you have. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1593 Commissioner Cugini...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1594 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Gentlemen, good afternoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1595 Mr. Hildebrand, your experience shows in that you must have anticipated some of the questions that we would have for you today and you did answer some of them in your oral presentation. So regrettably, I do have some more for you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1596 The first area I would like to cover is your format because in your application you called it a "popular format," and here today you're telling us that it's going to be a mix of classic rock and modern rock. So is that what you meant by popular all along?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1597 MR. HILDEBRAND: You know, in our case, music is not the most important part of our business plan. Music is something that we obviously want to do, but our music genre is much broader and is very hard to sort of put in a narrow slot, you know, so we feel it would be popular, but it would be a much broader skew of music than you've heard either this morning or you will hear later this afternoon.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1598 We think the most important part of our broadcast schedule is actually the news and information that we provide. Music is generally available anywhere from satellite to CD to iPods, to any number of other sources. But local news and information is the thing that makes us relevant, and that is the most important piece. So our genre of music would not be a narrow segment, but a much broader base of music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1599 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: We'll get to your local news and spoken word programming because I sense that you're quite anxious to talk to us more about that. But I hope you can appreciate that format ‑‑ music format is one of the factors that we consider, not only in terms of the incumbent stations in the market, but as well from the other applicants in these proceedings.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1600 We don't licence format, that's true, but, of course, it forms the basis of your business plan and assessment of the market and so on, so I am going to delve a little bit into your format. Is there going to ‑‑ is your classic rock and modern rock going to be day parted or is it going to be seamlessly blended throughout the day?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1601 MR. HILDEBRAND: I'll ask Barrie Vice to answer that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1602 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1603 MR. VICE: Sure. No, we have no plans to day part music. Our intent is to seamlessly blend, as you put it, through the day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1604 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And your target audience is 25 to 50?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1605 MR. VICE: Yeah.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1606 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you plan on skewing more male or female with this format?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1607 MR. VICE: I think we see it as something that we hope would appeal to both sides because of, as Elmer has mentioned, the broad nature of it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1608 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And I will ask the question that Vice‑Chair Arpin usually asks, and what is the median age of your listeners?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1609 MR. VICE: I think we're typically looking at 35 plus. I would say around, if we need a number, 42. But 35 plus is our ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1610 MR. HILDEBRAND: 42.5.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
LISTNUM 95 \l 1611 MR. VICE: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1612 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How do you see ‑‑ what do you see as the difference between this format and what's currently available in this market?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1613 MR. VICE: I think this format will have music ‑‑ will put music on the radio station that isn't currently ‑‑ or on the radio in this market that isn't currently on the radio in this market because of its ‑‑ because of its rock roots.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1614 I think ‑‑ I think we'll be pulling our music largely from the '80s and the '90s. We mentioned some of the artists that we plan on spotlighting. We mentioned the new rock component, so ‑‑ it's certainly not our intent to duplicate, you know, much or anything that's on the radio currently.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1615 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And what differentiates this format from any of the other applicants?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1616 MR. VICE: Again, not being familiar with what the other applicants will be saying, only having seen this morning, I think it's the broad based nature of our format that probably sets it apart and makes it a little bit different.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1617 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1618 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think maybe ‑‑ just to add to that, I think we will also be featuring more local music than might normally be the case, simply because that's part of our, you know, local inbred policies that we have at all of our stations, to feature as much local material as we can. And that doesn't ever get on the chart, so ‑‑ but we find it's important, and we find that there is an audience for that when you do that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1619 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You also mentioned in your application that with this station you plan on repatriating people who currently tune out of market to your radio station. How will this music format do that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1620 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I think the repatriation will be accelerated more by what is aired between the music. The news and information will really be drawing people back. They may have been listening to CBC, and CBC doesn't do much local news, and they certainly can't get any local news on any of the other genres, so that's what we have found again in other markets. Once we get involved with the local community, that in itself repatriates a lot of people to our radio station and then the music just balances out the whole product for the day.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1621 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Local programming and spoken word. So from what you've told us today, if my math is correct, it's six and a half hours of local programming? Of spoken word programming, I apologize? 390 minutes is six and a half hours?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1622 MR. HILDEBRAND: I'll have Lyndon Friesen talk about that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1623 MR. FRIESEN: Yeah, I think on the ‑‑ if you refer to the chart that we provided, it ‑‑ we tried to make it quite clear. Six hours and 55 minutes including ‑‑ and that is just the local newscasts and local sports casts. It doesn't add the features or the news ‑‑ the daily news feature. It doesn't include everything else that we do that we can't or haven't quantified.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1624 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So that's Monday to Friday six and a half, right? The 390 minutes?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1625 MR. FRIESEN: Right. And 25.5 ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1626 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And 25 minutes on Saturday, so let's say seven hours. And that is strictly news, weather, sports, surveillance material?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1627 MR. FRIESEN: It is 100 percent local. We have a policy within our entire organization that our newscasts and our local information, and as you can see earlier, we actually will hire four people that ‑‑ four news people that specifically do nothing but gather local news information and then that's why we can make this kind of commitment.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1628 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And the program that you spoke of today ‑‑ or this morning, "Medicine Hat Today," is that the news program or a public affairs program?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1629 MR. FRIESEN: I think I would characterize it more as a public affairs program. Maybe I'll let Keith Leask describe it better.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1630 MR. LEASK: Now it's on. We anticipate that that will be a program that fleshes out the news that we do during the regular newscasts. It will be encompassing a longer form of news. It will also encompass interviews with community people. Like I said, the southeastern success stories feature will encompass that in there as well. It will just be to flesh out the news that we're doing on a regular basis more.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1631 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And will that ‑‑ is that part of the seven hours, or is that in addition to the seven hours?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1632 MR. FRIESEN: That's part of the seven hours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1633 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And that program will also be produced by the four‑person newsroom?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1634 MR. FRIESEN: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1635 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Is there any other programming staff that will be hired?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1636 MR. LEASK: Programming staff?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1637 MR. HILDEBRAND: There will be programming staff hired as well in addition to news people.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1638 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And how many programming staff do you ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1639 MR. HILDEBRAND: We expect four.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1640 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Four. So if we were to add DJ banter, for example, to that seven hours, what would your total spoken word programming commitment be?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1641 MR. HILDEBRAND: Everybody is very quiet when you ask ‑‑ you know, how much would the DJ banter add up to in hours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1642 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Just so we can arrive at a total of spoken word programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1643 MR. HILDEBRAND: At best it would be an estimate that we can give you here, but certainly every hour there would be anywhere from five to seven minutes of additional information that's provided during breaks.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1644 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. And do you plan on doing any voice tracking?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1645 MR. HILDEBRAND: Any what?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1646 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Voice tracking?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1647 MR. HILDEBRAND: We would probably do a little voice tracking to assist during various day parts, but we plan to be live basically from six to 12 midnight, and we would be, as somebody said this morning, we'd be answering the phone during that time. So we are going to be fully staffed.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1648 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So you might have voice tracking between midnight and 6 a.m.?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1649 MR. HILDEBRAND: We would.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1650 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Monday to Friday or Monday to Sunday?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1651 MR. HILDEBRAND: Monday to Sunday, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1652 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Monday to Sunday, okay. I am now going to move on to CTD. And thank you for the details in your presentation. You also are committing to the CAB $400?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1653 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1654 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And that's in addition to?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1655 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I think that's part of the whole package, but we could easily say that's in addition to, if you would like us to say that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1656 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And will you accept as a condition of licence the incremental expenses of your CTD going ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1657 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1658 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: ‑‑ $10,000 years one to five and $25,000 years six and seven?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1659 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1660 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, the 30 ‑‑ you said there was $30,000 unassigned that you have left. What are your plans in terms of informing the Commission of how you're going to spend that $30,000 if you are established in the market?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1661 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, we obviously ‑‑ I mean, as Lyndon indicated, we are leaving some of that in abeyance as to who would get that. Because a lot of things happen in a community like Medicine Hat between sign‑on and seven years later. There will be events that will appear that we don't even know about yet. So we felt it made some sense not to earmark it all in advance in case there were some organizations that would be, you know, applicable to the CTD policies, and so we would put that in abeyance and say we would tell the Commission in year four or five, here is what we are planning to do in year six and seven. Basically just to give us a little flexibility because it's very hard to make seven‑year plans.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1662 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Synergies: In response to deficiency questions you did indicate that there may be some synergies with your High River, Okotoks operation. Could you just expand a little bit on where you see the synergies and how it will impact this station if licenced?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1663 MR. HILDEBRAND: We see a lot of synergies between High River and Okotoks, as well as Medicine Hat, in overall management of the operation, in news coverage. There will be obvious sharing of news stories for southern Alberta between those three radio stations. There would be synergies by coordinating ideas between program people, and there could also be some synergies with our operation in Swift Current, which is to the east of Medicine Hat, which covers a similar area to Medicine Hat. So we see a lot of synergies in our organization across the prairies that we can call on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1664 We have, you know, what we think experts in a lot of departments, and they're available then to all of the radio stations. So that's one of the pluses that we see being able to give to Medicine Hat. We really give Medicine Hat the benefit of our experience over the last 50 years. And the synergies are always very hard to quantify, but we know from previous experience where we have launched new radio stations that there are a lot.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1665 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How do you see the newsrooms, for example, elaborating or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1666 MR. HILDEBRAND: The newsrooms would not only collaborate, they would also share whatever news is generated in High River, Okotoks and southern Alberta, would be shared with the newsroom in Medicine Hat. And in all likelihood would also be shared with Swift Current and vice versa. As an example, in Manitoba, where we have more radio stations than in Alberta, obviously all of the news from all of the newsrooms is shared, and so if there are particular stories that are applicable in different areas, then we already have the information. And so those kind of things would be applicable here as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1667 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And are there any other back‑office functions that will be shared between the ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1668 MR. HILDEBRAND: A lot. The traffic and the creative and accounting and overall management is all shared, so we have huge savings in that area. Again, we have the experience to make this work, and we find that the most important things for a community is to have visible news people and visible program people. They're really not concerned who does the accounting.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1669 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And speaking of accounting, we're going to move on to your projections. You are by far the lowest in terms of your advertising projections of all the Medicine Hat applicants. I was wondering if you could tell us what are the factors you took into consideration in coming up with these financial projections?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1670 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, basically, again, we were calling on experience in other markets, and I think as the Commission knows, we tend to be conservative in our estimates of revenue projections. And in all likelihood, we would work hard to exceed these, but we felt that this made some sense going into the process. And we're projecting very little national business because that's not something that really comes through to smaller markets like Medicine Hat a great deal. And we are finding even now more and more of the national business is being concentrated in the top seven markets. We're seeing erosion of national business even in markets like Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, because the cost of advertising by national clients in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal is rising dramatically, and so many of the budgets that used to come our way in the prairies don't come our way any more simply because of the added costs the advertiser needs to cover those three big markets. So we see us making our living in the future, broadly speaking, by selling retail advertising on the street.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1671 And so when Commission staff have asked me in the past how do we come up with our numbers? By and large, we have to rely on our experience from past years in other markets, and as I say, we generally try to be conservative.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1672 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Some might argue that you're being overly conservative because you are proposing perhaps one of the most popular music formats, and by being over conservative you're underestimating your impact on the incumbents.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1673 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I'm sure that case can be made. And as I say, if we can over‑achieve these numbers we'd be happy to do that, but we think that this makes some sense going forward. And we also feel that this would have the least impact on the existing broadcasters in the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1674 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How many radio stations do you think Medicine Hat can support?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1675 MR. HILDEBRAND: One of the concerns that certainly I've expressed before to the Commission is that the ‑‑ overlicencing is a concern. And so we're hearing and we're seeing that Medicine Hat has some growth over the past number of years and can project some growth, but I think it is important not to licence too many radio stations. So from our perspective, we would say that this is a conundrum that the Commission will have to determine. We're hoping that we would be licenced, and if in the Commission's wisdom they licence more than one, we would find our way through the process and ‑‑ but I think it's important not to overlicence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1676 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Mr. Hildebrand, gentlemen, thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1677 Thank you, Madam Chair. Those are my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1678 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1679 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1680 You mentioned the High River, Okotoks, Swift Current. You never mentioned Lethbridge, but you have been granted a licence to operate a communicate‑based Christian music station in Lethbridge. Do you see any synergies from a ‑‑ from the news perspective with Lethbridge, which is probably much closer to Medicine Hat than any of the other markets that you've mentioned?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1681 MR. HILDEBRAND: The reason that I didn't mention it yet is we still have that radio station to launch at a full power. Right now it's a low power operation, and we're working at launching the full power, which was approved by the Commission. And certainly there will be synergies there as well, but at this point, we ‑‑ because we haven't launched it yet, it's sort of hard to say how much the integration will be. And the format is also quite different than what we're proposing here, but certainly from administration and the back‑end operations, there would be a lot of synergies. And once the station is fully operational in Lethbridge, that newsroom would also be plugged in with all of our other newsrooms, so that all of that material would be available.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1682 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1683 THE CHAIRPERSON: Than you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1684 I have a few more questions. I think number one, I'd like to start with your financial projections in your application. And it's just a ‑‑ it jarred me at ‑‑ it's 4.1. Now, the pages aren't paginated in our ‑‑ but I see no local revenue, and I'm wondering, that's got to be a typo? Everything should be moved down?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1685 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes, it's basically all local revenue, yes. It's obviously in the wrong line.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1686 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So everything in network should go down to national?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1687 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1688 THE CHAIRPERSON: And everything in national should go down to local?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1689 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1690 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I just couldn't understand that. And in exhibit ‑‑ or chart 1, I notice it refers to three minutes of local news and one and a half minutes of local sports. Now, my colleague, Commissioner Cugini, referred to news, sports, weather and traffic. Is weather and traffic separate from these 4.5 minutes?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1691 MR. FRIESEN: Yes, it is.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1692 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would that be part of the five to seven minutes an hour of DJ banter you're talking about?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1693 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1694 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The easiest way we could probably compare, would be what's called scripted word. And in those cases we normally use weather to include in scripted word. Could you give me an idea of what news, weather, sport and surveillance per hour would be, or per chunk would be?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1695 MR. HILDEBRAND: You know, I think all of that was included in the package that I mentioned earlier. This would be, I think I said five to seven minutes an hour, and I think that's all inclusive there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, okay. Now, I carefully read your reply to interventions ‑‑ or reply to deficiencies dated July 24th, and if I can take you to page 3, right after the bullet about voice tracking. And I wanted to know ‑‑ what you said today, and I'm not the stenographer so I may be wrong, you said you would be live to air 6 a.m. to 12 midnight?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1697 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1698 THE CHAIRPERSON: So page 3 of that reply to interventions contemplates some voice tracking in the evenings?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1699 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think what we would contemplate there, we would have an individual in the radio station who would be doing a variety of things, including answering the phones, taking calls from the news reporters that were out, and he would or she would be doing some voice tracking while they're still in the studio so they could continue doing two jobs at the same time. So this wouldn't be the kind of voice tracking where they would be leaving the building.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1700 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how many hours during 6 a.m. to midnight would be live to air programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1701 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, with the exception of the kind of situation that I referred to, in the evening everything.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1702 THE CHAIRPERSON: So would you agree to a COL?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1703 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1704 THE CHAIRPERSON: To live to air programming from ‑‑ during the entirety of the broadcast regulated week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1705 MR. HILDEBRAND: Sure.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1706 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And then also on the same page of the reply to deficiencies, you were referring ‑‑ you were asked about what you were going to be doing in relation to the CTD. And your answer consisted of one sentence ‑‑ two sentences. We will be splitting up the 10,000 into four specific contributions to local musical groups. The sixth and seventh year amount of 25,000 will be split between five groups. And you agree with me that today is the first time you've shown us where in particular you've chosen to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1707 MR. HILDEBRAND: That's right, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1708 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ allocate these monies?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1709 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why did you by ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1711 MR. HILDEBRAND: By and large, from earlier hearings that we attended, we felt it prudent to provide more detail today, and that's why the charts were being provided. We anticipated some of your questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1712 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the problem is that none of the people with whom you are competing have had a chance to look at this ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1713 MR. HILDEBRAND: I see.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1714 THE CHAIRPERSON: And provide their input and deal with the competitive side of that. So I guess I'll go on. You talk about the contribution to the Jazz Festival, does the $2,500 include on‑air support and promotion? No?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1715 MR. FRIESEN: No.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1716 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The same with the Medicine Hat Folk and Roots Music Club, you talk about the recording program and then you've got on‑air support and promotion. On‑air support and promotion is not part of the $2,500?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1717 MR. FRIESEN: The $2,500 is a cash support, all of the rest is on top of that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1718 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And what will the funding to the Jazz Festival be used for?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1719 MR. HILDEBRAND: Keith Leask will provide an answer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1720 MR. LEASK: That will be ‑‑ when I spoke to Lyle Revic(ph), who is the chairman of the Jazz Festival, that will be used for doing things like staging the shows, promotion ‑‑ promotion outside of the radio station, you know, for doing certain things. And just, you know, it will be designed to enhance the program, enhance the Jazz Festival to do that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1721 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in your view, is that appropriate CTD in accordance with our policy?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1722 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think so.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1723 MR. LEASK: I believe so too.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1724 THE CHAIRPERSON: The next one, the Folk Festival initiative, again, what is ‑‑ that is for recording solely; is that correct?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1725 MR. LEASK: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now, today you said that you would be using a classic modern rock format, and I believe we ‑‑ Commissioner Cugini stated to you at ‑‑ or asked the difference between what you said in your application, which was popular music, if I understand. I guess my point again is, do you see this as a change from popular ‑‑ popular format to the classic modern rock? And if so, would you consider your lack of specificity in your application as being perhaps unfair to the other applicants?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1727 MR. HILDEBRAND: I don't think so because popular music covers a broad spectrum, and so we will be certainly very different from anything that's being broadcast in Medicine Hat at the present time, and, you know, we think that this broadly falls into that category.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1729 Commissioner Pennefather...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1730 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1731 Just back to the Canadian Talent Development chart briefly. I think if I recall in your response to questions from my colleagues, you ‑‑ in talking about years six and seven, which is the 30,000, it's a fair chunk of the overall proposal, and it's left fairly vague as to where this money would go.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1732 You ‑‑ I think you put it, Mr. Hildebrand, it would be as you see things evolve and what may come up. But is it possible though for you to assure us that in choosing some projects for this $30,000, which is a fairly significant part of the 100,000, that these projects would be in line with Commission policy on eligible contributions to Canadian talent development?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1733 MR. HILDEBRAND: Absolutely, we would assure the Commission of that. I think I also then draw the Commission's attention to the fact that as an organization we have achieved or exceeded our CTD commitments in the past, and that we would be certain to do that again here. But we can absolutely assure you that it will fall into the policy of the Commission today and at that time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1734 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1735 Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1736 THE CHAIRPERSON: On that subject, when would you be in a position to inform us of your intentions as to whom the recipient of your largesse would be of that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1737 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, we could, let's say, advise the Commission of that in year four.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1739 Counsel...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1740 MS BENNETT: Thanks. I just have two brief questions with respect to conditions of licence. You've indicated that you plan to provide 40 percent Canadian content in your overall musical selections. Could you comment on the imposition of that 40 percent as a COL?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1741 MR. HILDEBRAND: That's fine.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1742 MS BENNETT: Okay. And then secondly, was your intention to provide the 40 percent as well between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1743 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1744 MS BENNETT: And would a COL in relation to that be acceptable as well?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1745 MR. HILDEBRAND: It would be.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1746 MS BENNETT: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1747 MR. HILDEBRAND: And just as an add‑on, our company has a policy of doing 40 percent in all of our radio stations as a floor, and, in most instances, we would be more between 40 and 45, so we're happy with a COL on all of these things.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1748 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1749 Those are my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hildebrand, Panel.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1751 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1752 MR. HILDEBRAND: I ‑‑ I ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1753 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your two minutes of fame, I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1754 MR. HILDEBRAND: No, I still have something left to say.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1755 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you do. I'm sure you do.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1756 MR. HILDEBRAND: Again, we don't want to take two minutes. We want to thank the Commission for allowing us to appear here today. The Commission knows well what Golden West has been able to provide to the prairies over the past years, and we would take it as an honour to be able to do the same thing in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1757 Our company is positioned to grow. We're 50 years old, and as a Canadian broadcaster, that may be getting a little long in the tooth, but we have a lot of young people that are eager to provide service for many years to come, and we know that we can provide a great service to the Medicine Hat community, and we look forward to doing that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1758 Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1759 THE CHAIRPERSON: I really thank you, Mr. Hildebrand and panel. Thank you very much.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1760 Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1761 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would now call on the next applicant to come forward for their presentation, Radio CJVR Limited.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1762 We'll now proceed with item 4 on the agenda, which is an application by Radio CJVR Limited for a licence to operate a commercial English‑language FM commercial ‑‑ sorry, English‑language FM radio programming undertaking in Medicine Hat. The new station would operate on frequency 102.1 megahertz (channel 271C1) with average effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 96.0 metres).
LISTNUM 95 \l 1763 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Ken Singer, who will introduce his colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Mr. Singer...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 1764 MR. SINGER: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners, and Staff.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1765 Before we begin our presentation, I'd like to introduce the members of our team. My name is Ken Singer. I'm vice‑president of broadcast operations for our company. On my right is the president and owner of Radio CJVR, Gene Fabro. To Gene's right is Linda Rheaume, administrative manager for Radio CJVR's two stations in Melfort and our new FM station in Whitecourt, Albert, CIXM‑FM. Next to Linda is Jessica Schnell, director of research services at Insightrix Research of Saskatoon, and Jessica is trained in a wide variety of analysis techniques and earned her Bachelor of Science degree with great distinction from the University of Regina with a combined major in mathematics and statistics. Next to her is Corrin Harper, a partner at Insightrix Research. Corrin earned her Bachelor's degree in commerce and a Master's of business administration from the University of Saskatchewan. To my left is Kevin Gemmell, recently appointed as station manager and sales manager of our two Melfort stations, CJVR‑FM and CKJH‑AM. Kevin has been with our company over ten years. And on my far left is Dean Sinclair, a broadcast veteran whose 30‑year career includes programming, on‑air sales, and senior management experience. Dean has provided input and direction for our proposed classic rock musical format. I'm sorry I've got Corrin and Jessica mixed up at the end. I guess there's been a little seating adjustment here, so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1766 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, Radio CJVR is pleased to appear before you today seeking approval to establish a classic rock formatted FM station on frequency 102.1 to serve Medicine Hat and surrounding communities. If approved, CJVR will provide Medicine Hat residents with an exciting FM station whose unduplicated classic rock format will bring significant musical and spoken word programming diversity and added listener choice to the local radio market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1767 In keeping with Medicine Hat's reputation as a community of choice, relative to the quality of life, economic opportunities, business growth, and social support that it affords its residents, Classic Rock 102 will provide a further important element of choice, namely a local radio service dedicated to fulfilling the needs and preferences of the area's underserved 25 to 54‑year‑old listening public.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1768 Despite the fact that the city of Medicine Hat has a growing population in excess of 56,000 persons, and overall 170,000 within its trading area, residents are very limited in their choice of local radio offerings. Currently, Medicine Hat is served by three private FM radio stations, two of which are owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1769 Approval of CJVR's proposed Classic 102 programming undertaking will establish competitive balance within Medicine Hat's local radio spectrum by providing, among other important elements, an alternative editorial perspective. Beyond adding programming diversity, listener choice, competitive balance, and a distinct news voice, approval of Classic 102 will increase ownership diversity within Medicine Hat's private radio sector.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1770 The addition of Alberta's Fabro family to Medicine Hat's radio ownership ranks will create a healthy competition between two independent western Canadian broadcasters in an underserved market with a rapidly growing economy and sufficient advertising revenue to sustain new and existing FM undertakings.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1771 CJVR has strived over the past 15 years under the Fabro family's ownership. Since acquiring CJVR in 1991, they have contributed stability and business acumen, along with strong financial and moral support to our management and staff.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1772 If Classic 102 is approved, CJVR will bring to Medicine Hat that same commitment to excellence, broadcast professionalism, and dedication to local community service that has been our trademark in serving the needs of our listeners over the past four decades.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1773 MR. FABRO: Madam Chair, when CJVR appeared before the Commission this past June at Edmonton, we had just received approval to acquire the shares of 1097282 Alberta Limited, licencee of CIXM Whitecourt, Alberta, whose authority as originally granted, had not been implemented.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1774 At the Edmonton hearing CJVR gave the Commission its undertaking to have CIXM FM on air and serving the listening needs of Whitecourt residents by mid‑September 2006. I'm pleased to advise the Commission today that CIXM was successfully launched in mid‑September, and the response over the past 45 days from the residents and business community in Whitecourt and area has been nothing less than spectacular.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1775 Having established CIXM, our earlier proposals for Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray, coupled with this application for Medicine Hat, are vital to CJVR's strategic broadcast plan to increase its critical mass in Alberta.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1776 I think it is fair to say that Medicine Hat and our Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray initiatives are as important to the stability of CIXM Whitecourt, as Saskatoon and Regina are to the continued viability of CKJH‑AM and CJVR‑FM Melfort.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1777 CJVR must grow its critical mass by expanding its radio operations in both Alberta and Saskatchewan while such opportunities for growth still exist.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1778 MR. GEMMELL: Madam Chair and Commissioners, in response to the call for applications to serve Medicine Hat, CJVR engaged Insightrix Research Services of Saskatoon to conduct a consumer demand study to assess the market's potential for a new FM station and to identify service voids relative to musical and spoken word programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1779 Among its many significant findings, the IRS survey underlines strong listener need and preference for a greater choice in music and a more focused approach to news and informational programming, specific to Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1780 As noted earlier, radio listeners in Medicine Hat have limited musical options to choose from. Essentially, CFMY's hot AC format skews towards the younger 18 to 24 demographic, while CHAT's country music format is more attractive to the older 45 to 64‑year‑old listener. And CJLT's contemporary Christian music format attracts a limited audience of all age groups.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1781 Lost in the middle are the 25 to 54‑year‑olds, and, in particular, those 25 to 44‑years‑old who tune to distant stations, satellite radio, and other audio options to source their preference for classic rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1782 The IRS survey indicates that 83 percent of respondents aged 35 to 44, 78 percent of those 25 to 34, and 63 percent of those aged 45 to 54 say they would spend more time listening to the radio if they had access to a local classic rock station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1783 Further to the IRS survey results in relation to listener demand for a local classic rock station, CJVR was moved by the heartfelt comments articulated by many Medicine Hat residents in their letters and e‑mails filed with the Commission in support of our application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1784 The following examples are representatives of the many comments, which captured the listener frustration and need for a local classic rock station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1785 Ben Wenzel states in part: Our current stations play country and young adult music leaving all us baby boomers, who grew up with rock music, without a listening choice.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1786 Angela Pederson comments in part: I'm only 23, and I grew up listening to all my parents' favourite rock classics, and I think it would be great and well‑received.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1787 Art Railton states: I believe there is tremendous support for this format, and it will bring people back to local radio rather than listening to Sirius or XM Satellite Radion. Me for one.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1788 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, CJVR, in programming its proposed new FM station musically will specialize in playing classic rock including milestone rock albums. The playlist will feature music by artists such as Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Santana, Bryan Adams, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, The Guess Who, Neil Young, The Beatles, Tragically Hip, and Streetheart, to name but a few. We'd like to provide you with a sense of how Classic 102 will sound and feel musically with the following montage.
‑‑‑ Audio Clip / Clip audio
LISTNUM 95 \l 1789 MR. SINGER: CJVR, in bringing fresh musical diversity to Medicine Hat, will compliment rather than compete with existing music formats.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1790 Classic 102 will further enhance that diversity through its in‑studio production of two special musical programs. In this regard, CJVR will produce a 20‑minute program, Canadians On Track, that will run weekdays at 3 p.m. Four Canadian rock artists will be featured daily in five‑minute segments in which each artist will be profiled and their music played.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1791 The second program, Alberta Rocks, a 60‑minute weekly special that will run in prime time on Saturday from eight to 9 p.m.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1792 As such, CJVR will aggressively seek out new and emerging Alberta artists and showcase their talent on that program. I would add that providing such windows of opportunity for established and emerging talent in prime time, like our commitment to 40‑percent Canadian content, is integral to CJVR's overall approach to Canadian talent development.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1793 MR. GEMMELL: Madam Chair and Commissioners, among the key findings of the IRS study is the fact that nearly 87 percent of respondents on hearing a description of the proposed FM's musical and spoken word programming stated they were very or somewhat likely to listen to the station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1794 On the basis of gender, 94 percent of males and 81 percent of females said they were very or somewhat likely to listen.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1795 A further breakdown by age group indicates that 92 percent of respondents aged 35 to 44 are very or somewhat likely to listen to the station, followed by 88 percent of those aged 25 to 34 and 83 percent within the 45/54 age category.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1796 Further to the music, respondents were near unanimous in defining their common informational needs and priorities relevant to Medicine Hat. For example, 99 percent agreed that local news and weather was a priority, while 97 percent stressed the need for ongoing information on community events and activities and regular updates on road conditions and closures.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1797 In response to meeting listener needs for locally relevant news and information, CJVR will employ three full‑time news reporters. Their work will be supplemented by a network of community correspondence and resource persons from various disciplines who will work ‑‑ who will assist in compiling information to be presented in the form of special features throughout the broadcast day and on weekends.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1798 With respect to newscasts, the station will present locally originated news at the top of the hour and every half hour in the mornings and again during selected hours throughout the day. Classic 102 will also broadcast news on weekends. In all, the station will provide over five hours of scheduled newscasts per week plus additional surveillance material when necessary and as it becomes available.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1799 Given the importance that respondents placed on traffic and road conditions, a minimum of 12 reports will air daily between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The Medicine Hat area historically has experienced critical weather extremes, often causing school closures and dangerous driving conditions. At such times, Classic 102 will air more frequent weather bulletins, engage the use of weather watchers, and bring in additional people to staff the snow desk and ensure locals are frequently updated on school closings and school bus cancellations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1800 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, in 40 years of broadcasting to both urban and rural communities, CJVR has consistently provided its listeners with spoken word initiatives that focus on where they live and on those elements that influence and shape their daily lives and activities and impact on their communities.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1801 As such, CJVR has devised an inclusive broadcast plan for Classic 102 that enables it to keep a finger on the pulse of daily events and activities occurring within Medicine Hat and surrounding communities.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1802 This will be achieved in a number of ways, including the recruitment of a network of community correspondents who will be responsible for regularly providing Classic 102 with news and information specific to their communities.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1803 These 90‑second reports from our community correspondents, known as Community Connections, will be featured four times daily as part of Classic 102's regular program schedule.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1804 Information on current and upcoming events and activities within the coverage area will be highlighted every hour by Classic 102's Culturally Speaking information snippets.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1805 A further exciting daily initiative, Live from the Esplanade will feature a midday arts and entertainment report from the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, which brings together Medicine Hat's museum, archives and art gallery, performing arts theater, and discovery centre under one roof.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1806 As well, Classic 102 will produce the 60‑minute news magazine show, a community perspective, which will run Sunday at 10 a.m. The program will initially focus on youth issues and activities, the area's diverse business sector, Medicine Hat's growing ethnicity, and an omnibus component that will focus on whatever is topical in the area from week to week.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1807 In keeping with CJVR's deep‑rooted sense of community, Classic 102, through its newscasts and many special programs will ensure that the cultural diversity within each community served is truly reflected.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1808 A further prime source for exposing and reflecting the area's cultural diversity will be realized through the collection of stories, folklore, and other such materials by groups and individuals who will transform them into vignettes. These many stories, in turn, will be featured throughout Classic 102's daily program schedule.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1809 MR. FABRO: Madam Chair and Commissioners, CJVR brings to Medicine Hat a proud legacy of excellence, achievement, and commitment to the development of Canadian talent.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1810 As such, CJVR has been recognized for its efforts six years in succession at the national level, and 11 years running at the provincial level by the Canadian and Saskatchewan Country Music Associations respectively.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1811 In planning our strategy for Medicine Hat, we opted to apply a combined approach, which incorporates an on‑air exposure of artists' music and financial support through a series of direct spending initiatives.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1812 While cash dollars are obviously important, hard air‑time currency and on‑air promotion is tremendously valuable to new and emerging artists who need the exposure and the public recognition to advance their musical careers.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1813 With respect to direct expenditures, Classic 102 has committed to a minimum of $40,000 per year or $280,000 over the licence term on its Canadian talent development initiatives, which include 21,000 for each of the CAB/FACTOR Talent Fund, broadcast journalism scholarships, music scholarships, $42,000 for Alberta Rocks Boot Camp, $175,000 for opening acts.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1814 Further to the $280,000 in direct expenditures, CJVR is committing to a minimum of 1.225 million over seven years for indirect on‑air expenditures.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1815 CJVR is excited by the synergistic values created for talent development initiatives when direct and indirect expenditure allocations are combined to maximize their total effectiveness.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1816 MR. GEMMELL: Madam Chair, a recent episode of CBC's television program, Venture, described Medicine Hat as being about "as close to economic heaven as it gets in Canada." Venture's portrayal of Medicine Hat, when coupled with Mayor Garth Vallely's description of its economy as "firing on all cylinders" aptly captures the reality of the dramatic growth and development that is taking place.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1817 In examining some of the local market's key economic indicators, it is estimated that Medicine Hat's 2005 population of more than 56,000 will grow by almost 22 percent by 2012.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1818 The retail sales in 2003 ‑‑ in 2005 were $1.053 billion, some 47 percent above the national average.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1819 The FP market report estimates they will escalate by over 11 percent to 1.171 billion in 2007 and a further 17.3 percent increase to 1.373 billion by 2010.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1820 With its natural resource‑based economy, growing population, expanding retail core, and inextricable linkage to Alberta's stunning economic growth, Medicine Hat's ability to sustain existing local radio stations and accommodate a much needed new FM service is, from CJVR's perspective, beyond doubt.
2005 retail sales are estimated at $1.053 billion. Advertising expenditures represent four percent of retail sales or $42 million available.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1821 CJVR's market analysis shows 14 percent of the advertising dollars are available for radio or about $6 million. We estimate the current operators take about $4 million, leaving $2 million on the table for a new operator.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1822 CJVR budgeted $1.35 million in first‑year revenue.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1823 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, the following are but some of the many important considerations that my colleagues and I feel warrant approval of our application for a classic rock FM station on frequency 102.1.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1824 Classic 102's unduplicated music format will add significant programming diversity and listener choice to Medicine Hat's local radio market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1825 Through Classic 102's unique music format and locally relevant spoken word initiatives, many of the unfulfilled listener needs and preferences of Medicine Hat's 25 to 54 underserved demographic will be met.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1826 The new classic rock station will help produce out‑of‑market tuning by repatriating listeners and drawing former listeners away from alternative audio options. This will result in new listeners and increased hours of tuning to local radio, without impacting on existing stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1827 The listening public's desire for more choice, coupled with the commercial appeal of its classic rock format will result in new radio dollars being added to Medicine Hat's market with minimal impact on existing stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1828 Approval of a new classic rock station will provide local and national advertisers with a more cost‑efficient advertising vehicle to target and serve Medicine Hat's maturing 25 to 54 adult population.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1829 The addition of Classic 102 will establish competitive balance within the Medicine Hat radio market by providing, among other important elements, a distinct alternative news voice and increased ownership diversity.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1830 CJVR, if approved, will provide a minimum of $280,000 in direct spending on Canadian talent development initiatives ‑‑ development initiatives over the term of the licence, as well as 1.225 million budget for indirect on‑air expenditures.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1831 Classic 102 will maximize the utilization of the 102.1 frequency by extending its unduplicated classic rock format to serve the largely underserved 25 to 54 listenership spectrum within the Medicine Hat area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1832 Approval of Classic 102 will result in the creation of 16 full‑time and two part‑time employment equity opportunities within Medicine Hat's radio market.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1833 Classic 102, through its daily musical and spoken word programming, will reflect the growing cultural diversity within Medicine Hat's broader community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1834 MR. FABRO: Madam Chair and Commissioners, my family believes that it is important to the public interest and to the ownership structure of Canada's private broadcasting system that voices of independent broadcasters be encouraged and maintained.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1835 Equally, it is our view that motivated independent broadcasters, like CJVR, have an important and continuing role to play within western Canada's commercial radio sector at a time when ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1836 We are proud of what we've accomplished in Melfort, both in terms of quality of service that our radio stations provide to over 150,000 residents of over 100 communities throughout northeast Saskatchewan and the success that CJVR has experienced in our Canadian talent development endeavours.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1837 Last month, CJVR had the privilege of launching CIXM Whitecourt. It is our hope that the Whitecourt launch represents the first of several FM stations that we'll have the honour of bringing to air in the coming months.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1838 On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to thank the Commission for this opportunity to appear, and we respectfully ask for your approval of this application, which is central to CJVR's strategic broadcast plan.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1839 We will be pleased to answer any questions that the panel may have. Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1840 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Fabro. Should I address Mr. Singer with my questions, and then he can send them wherever he'd like.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1841 I'm just going to be talking about programming. And you've said classic rock again here today, but in your Supplementary Brief at page 7, you actually talk about classic hits. That was a typo?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1842 MR. SINGER: Yes, that would be, I apologize for that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1843 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And in terms of the mix that you're going to be using for classic rock because there's one that sort of skews older, and I must say, from the sounds of it, that one ‑‑ the clip that you provided us with had me liking it a lot better than I think my nephew would. Are you essentially trying to skew more to the 45‑plus or ‑‑ or where are you trying to skew that classic rock? Mr. Singer...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1844 MR. SINGER: I'll let Dean Sinclair speak to that point, Madam chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1845 MR. SINCLAIR: Thank you, Ken.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1846 Thank you, Madam Chair. The bullet for the station is essentially 35 to 44. The research in the market will show the interest for the format was 25 to 44, and a big part of that has to do with the absence of the format, in general, in the market in terms of rock music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1847 In the mixture, we tried to give you an example of how the station would sound. It is, as you mentioned earlier, a true classic rock station, and where it comes from, it draws music from the '60s, '70s, and predominantly '80s, so there's a real mixture of product in there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1848 The format itself is really artist‑driven. It's not a hit‑driven station unlike what a classic hits station would be. And, as such, with artists, it gives us a great example ‑‑ a great chance to play a lot of product from those artists over those decades. It's a deep‑track station, album‑oriented.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1849 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what about the new music artists that would be on this ‑‑ on this ‑‑ on your format, would it be the emerging AOR or the new alternative rock, or modern? Mr. Sinclair...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1850 MR. SINCLAIR: Thank you, Madam Chair. I don't think we would close the door to anybody wanting to get airtime, but, essentially, we would ‑‑ there would be a combination of rock music, whatever form that may take, broad‑based rock, and there could be some pop artists that cross over as well too, but, essentially, we would want to stay within the rock genre.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1851 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you ‑‑ and I'm going to go directly to Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Singer. Can you tell me what is different in your proposal as to format between yours and Harvard's, yours and Newcap's, yours and Vista, yours and Pat Lough, and the classic modern rock as proposed by Mr. Hildebrand?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1852 MR. SINCLAIR: Absolutely. Thank you, Madam Chair. First of all, as we just talked about, the essence of this station is pure classic rock, so, predominantly, it's an older‑based station, '60s, '70s, '80s. It may creep up into the '90s. The good thing about the format is that it will add newer old music each year as, of course, the audience ages.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1853 Just based on my interpretation of the other applications, what I see with Newcap, as Mr. Maheu said this morning, a combination of blended rock with classic rock and classic hits. The classic hits format is a wide interpretive format across Canada. But, essentially, by nature, classic hits is gold for top 40 stations from years ago, and top 40, by nature, played music from country, rock, and pop, but predominantly hit‑driven. So a classic hit station is an older version of that. I disagree with comments made earlier that it crosses over a lot with classic rock because it doesn't. It's more pop‑driven, so there are very big distinct differences between ‑‑ there's a little bit of overlap in terms of artists, but not in terms of the songs. So in their case, it would add that component of more classic hits music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1854 With respect, I believe, to the Vista application, Mr. Larsen's, the way that I read it, it does mention 35‑54 as a demo, but, again, focuses predominantly on '80s music. So in this case, you'd be missing with ‑‑ compared to ours, the '60s and the '70s music as well. I think there was a mention or a reference in there about K‑Tel albums and that, so that was more '80's‑driven.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1855 With respect to Harvard's application, the demographic, as I read it, is 18‑49, so it's a bit younger. And you get that by adding in the modern and alternative formats as well. They're more new‑based, and so classic rock becomes maybe a bit of a spice format instead of a mainstream format in that particular application. We may call that a barbecue format.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1856 In Rogers' ‑‑ Rogers', what I read was broad‑based rock, which was 25‑54, and it's probably closer in some ways to what we would do, although steps up a little more into the '90s music, so it's a little more current‑based. In other words, it would lop of anything prior to 1970 and add on things plus 1990. So there's two decades of difference between that application and the one that we're proposing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1857 Mr. Lough's application, again, not dissimilar to what I see with Newcap in where it blends hit music as well, the classic hits and also some alternative. I think there's a reference in there of going after 18 to 34 audience. That becomes a very broad radio station, as well, so ‑‑ they've also talked about playing some oldies, I believe, Sunday morning or something like that, so, again, that's astray from the format. I hope that helps.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1858 THE CHAIRPERSON: And is there any ‑‑ can you distinguish yourselves from what Mr. Hildebrand described his format as today?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1859 MR. SINGER: I'm sorry, I forgot about that. That was a new entry for us today to get down. It appears to us that it would lean more newer based. I have to tell you, I didn't quite get a grasp on the format entirely. It's sort of ‑‑ I don't think it would fall under our definition of popular music. It's certainly music out today, but popular, generally, is pop music, so they talked about more rock flavour. It seemed to be more current or newer‑based than it did on pure classic rock.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Spoken word. Now, I think, number one, I'm going to ask you if you can, within a week of today's hearing, provide us with the equivalent of Newcap's chart so that we have it in clear ‑‑ sort of an apples‑to‑apples comparison of spoken word programming, non‑news, and feature programming in minutes and hours. Could we have that, Mr. Singer?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1861 MR. SINGER: No, problem, Madam Chair, we'll file that with you possibly even today.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 1862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because I still was having problems counting minutes and hours when we were ‑‑ when you were talking today, but I want to start off with the inclusive broadcasting plan, and you referred to it again, and this inclusive plan seems to be largely based on volunteers. Is that the concept?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1863 MR. SINGER: We have a ‑‑ I would say not primarily on volunteers, but it certainly would be an ingredient. Our plan to develop a number of community correspondents is ‑‑ it's an add‑on to our news resources in terms of our news department will be a full‑service news department and with three news people in it. But the correspondents are really our connection to these communities we propose to serve. These would be people that are residents of smaller communities and of Medicine Hat that are largely the ‑‑ involved with a lot of the events and organizations that are going on in those communities. We ‑‑ we, certainly, recognize that small communities ‑‑ I happen to live in one in Melfort, and it's difficult not to become very involved in just about anything that goes on in that community. So if you want to know about what's going on, talk to somebody that's on a committee or whatever. So it's our feeling that these correspondents would certainly be a go‑to for us to talk to them about events, functions that are planned for the area, and also to provide us with any information of news events in those communities, as well as ‑‑ but our news people will be digging those stories in addition to that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1864 THE CHAIRPERSON: So aside from the community volunteers, what else is involved in your inclusive broadcast plan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1865 MR. SINGER: Would you like me to go through the list one‑by‑one?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1866 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'd like you to give me ‑‑ and I don't need descriptors, I just need to understand the skeleton of this plan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1867 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm, okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1868 THE CHAIRPERSON: It includes community volunteers, number one, and then are you going to go into the specific programming that you've referred to? Is that ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1869 MR. SINGER: Yes, our ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1871 MR. SINGER: I have a list of spoken word programming initiatives that we have outlined in our Brief.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, and you'll give that to me in the chart. So what else, then, is the inclusive broadcast plan? You have the community volunteers, the spoken word programming. Is there anything else in this inclusive broadcast plan?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1873 MR. SINGER: Well, I guess it's the sum total of our spoken word programming, which, as you mentioned, is indicated in features such as Community Connections, Culturally Speaking, our community perspective programs.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1875 MR. SINGER: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1876 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have three people in the newsroom, a station producer, an in‑studio producer, and another person. What will that job ‑‑ what will that job be called, just reporter, I guess?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1877 MR. SINGER: The news department will be a news director and reporters. The in‑studio producer is more on the commercial side ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, on the creative stuff.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1879 MR. SINGER: ‑‑ our commercial producer, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So what I need to figure out is I am living in Suffield, and I am your community correspondent, and I want to tell you about what's going on in Suffield.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1881 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who do I contact to relay this information?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1883 MR. SINGER: Our news director would be the one that coordinates these correspondents' information.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1885 MR. SINGER: Now, we also have ‑‑ we'll have a website as well and an opportunity for e‑mails and listener feedback as well, but ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1886 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, again, that's the responsibility of the news director?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1887 MR. SINGER: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And I am phoning in, and I am talking about some activity, and I guess what I do is I either ‑‑ you either tape me, or you read what I say in my e‑mail?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1889 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that what happens in terms of these ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1891 MR. SINGER: There would be ‑‑ as we develop these correspondents, our plan would be that we would have some training with them as to the type of material, the ‑‑ just, you know, the ‑‑ I guess the format of the information that we require from them, and it wouldn't always be someone out in a community picking up the phone and calling us, we may ‑‑ our news department may be alerted there's something going on at Suffield, as you pointed out, and pick up the call ‑‑ pick up the phone and talk to any number. We don't propose to have only one person there, we might have several, depending on the size of the community. But, most definitely, there would be a training and an orientation type of a process with these individuals.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1892 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that's ‑‑ that was what I was headed for.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1893 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1894 THE CHAIRPERSON: There will be a training before these people do this?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1895 MR. SINGER: Yes, there would be, and we're not suggesting that they would be ‑‑ you know, have the same abilities that a trained journalist would have, but, you know, we want to hear their perspective as a resident of that community, more or less, give us the high points of this item. We may use a part of their voice clip, we may do the whole thing, but, really, it would be driven by ‑‑ more like an interview process more than develop a story and file it with us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay. So how would you select these people?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1897 MR. SINGER: I think the number one thing is we would ‑‑ it doesn't take long to find out who the potential people are in these communities, as I say. And, you know, in Melfort, where we operate two radio stations, we have developed such a rapport with the over 100 communities we serve. We do know people in those communities, and they know us, and we've really developed this over the period of time that we have kind of go‑to list, and if a really bad storm strikes in a certain area, our news department has a list of people that they know live in that area that they can pick up the phone and ask them what the condition is there specifically, as opposed to assuming that it's a widespread storm or whatever. And, certainly, that's ‑‑ you know, as I say, we ‑‑ on the air, we encourage people. If you have something going on in your community, let us know. Or over the period of time, we get to know who these organizers of these various events are, and, as I say, they're from all walks of life, teachers, lawyers, doctors, homemakers, farmers. We definitely have a broad range of contacts, so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1898 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if I described this as a rolodex ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1899 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1900 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ in order to be able to have somebody to phone on each and every issue ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1901 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1902 THE CHAIRPERSON: How far would I be wrong?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1903 MR. SINGER: Well, for sure we would certainly keep a database of the type of that listing, but I think from the point of view of recognizing that, you know, today we talked to Mary Smith from, you know, this organization in that community. I think when others hear that, they say, hey, I've got a story to tell too, and that's been our experience. They pick up the phone, and, say, you know, we'd like to tell you about what's going on in our community as well. So it's kind of ‑‑ it starts with ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1904 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's not that they do the programming at all?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1905 MR. SINGER: Oh, no, no.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1906 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's that your news people do the programming ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1907 MR. SINGER: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1908 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ they have the list of the people and their phone numbers, and they phone them for comments, and they may or may not use them. Is that ‑‑ is that where I ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1909 MR. SINGER: But at the same time, what I'm saying is I think that there's information coming to us that's unsolicited as well because there's a pride in these communities and these smaller organizations that don't have this type of local coverage. If you pick up any weekly newspaper in Saskatchewan or in Alberta to that ‑‑ as far as that goes, you'll see that kind of pride. You'll see little stories that say, gee, that's not necessarily hard news, but it certainly is something worthy of sharing with the rest of the residents in the area. And, definitely, I think the contribution to those types of stories is ‑‑ usually just starts with, gee, I better let, you know, the radio station know about this because they have this program that profiles communities and events going on. So it's ‑‑ I guess it's a step beyond just taking a fax or an e‑mail from somebody that said there is going to be this event on, and here's what's going on. We're trying to find some people that are involved in the community who can tell us their story about that event. So, I think, yes, we will call out and ask questions, but we'll also be answering the phone and the e‑mails and the fax from people that are contributing this without being solicited.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1910 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at the end of the day, my concern is with who retains editorial control, and who ensures adherence to all the standards?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1911 MR. SINGER: That is the responsibility of us, as broadcasters, to ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1912 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in terms of your inclusive broadcast plan with these ‑‑ I'm going to call them community correspondents ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1913 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1914 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ who is the one who retains ‑‑ what person in your chart is retaining responsibility for the control and adherence?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1915 MR. SINGER: It would be the news director and his staff.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1916 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And what kind of qualifications would you be looking at in terms of the news director and their staff in order to ensure that there would be compliance with the standards?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1917 MR. SINGER: Our news directors certainly have ‑‑ they've got to have, you know, some experience for sure, but they've been trained in their orientation to work with us. They fully understand the parameters of what we expect from our news department, and the news director recruits and develops his or her news people as well, so that training is passed on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1918 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. You see, when I read your Brief, I thought that ‑‑ and I've been talking about the news, but I'm going to move into the longer form programming, this Culturally Speaking, and I had ‑‑ I've got to say nightmares about somebody getting on and saying something incredibly anti‑Muslim because we have a community person who, you know, strongly believes his beliefs, but that you were just going to sort of let it go.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1919 MR. SINGER: No, no.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1920 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Culturally Speaking will be a news gathering from these community correspondents, but then the actual production of that will be done by your news people?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1921 MR. SINGER: It's not exclusive to gathering from the correspondents. Culturally Speaking is a ‑‑ it's a reflection of what's going on in our listening area. So, in some cases, we may have a correspondent, in some cases we may not. We may have picked up on something that's going on from another source.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1922 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at the end of the day, my point is it's not volunteer programmed?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1923 MR. SINGER: No, no, it's not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1924 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And neither is your other community programming that you referred to? There was another ‑‑ Community Connections?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1925 MR. SINGER: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1926 THE CHAIRPERSON: That will not be ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1927 MR. SINGER: It's not programmed by the correspondents, it's programmed by our news director's news team who will develop the story and the final on‑air product.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1928 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. If I can take you to your letter of August 17, and I just needed to get ‑‑ it's answer C.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1929 MR. SINGER: Concerning the hours of local programming?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1930 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, the hours of live to air. When will that 14 percent of the broadcast week be automated, as you say, or voice tracked?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1931 MR. SINGER: Our proposal is Monday through Friday we will be live 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., so 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be the ‑‑ we'll use voice tracking.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1932 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it will be two hours Monday to Friday, eight to ten, that will be voice tracked?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1933 MR. SINGER: Correct ‑‑ or ten to ‑‑ I'm sorry, ten to midnight.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1935 MR. SINGER: It's six to ten live, ten to midnight voice tracked.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1936 THE CHAIRPERSON: Correct, yes. At page 62 of your Supplementary Brief, you were talking about critical weather extremes, and you don't have to go to that. Is there anybody in the station ‑‑ would there be anybody in the station 24 hours a day?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1937 MR. SINGER: No, there would not, but what we have in place in our present newsrooms is a plan of when such weather strikes, we have got a plan that we bring people in immediately if it is a time when we don't have someone in the newsroom, and that includes not just news staff, it includes extra programming staff. Really at the ‑‑ we have a ‑‑ I guess it's an emergency weather plan more or less, and we call it a snow desk plan in the winter months, but with the way the weather can be unpredictable at other times of the year, it would apply there as well.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1938 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. So then you talk about an emergency advisory service at page 70.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1939 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1940 THE CHAIRPERSON: And if I can refer to it, you talk about it ‑‑ well, what I want to figure out is how it works. Page 70 at the top whereby, "Its broadcasting facilities will, in times of emergency, be available 24/7 to all levels of government and attendant agencies when it may be critical." Do you have a protocol for this?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1941 MR. SINGER: Our intention here is that given a licence, an opportunity to operate in a new community, is ‑‑ we would work immediately to coordinate with the emergency measures organizations, amateur radio operators clubs, kind of plug into the whole infrastructure of what a community does when there is a disaster of any sort, and just make our radio station ‑‑ our transmitter available to them in terms of where can we play a role, and, you know, to what degree. If it means dropping our programming totally and just carrying public service announcements of what to do in an emergency situation, that we would ‑‑ we would spearhead the coordination of those types of measures, and, certainly, I respect that there's a lot of communities that may have this in place already, but as a broadcasting outlet, we would just like to make it very clear that we're there to serve and play our role in, you know, getting the message out to the people in our listening area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1942 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you don't necessarily have a protocol established ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1943 MR. SINGER: Not a ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1944 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ say, within your present licence ‑‑ with your present licencees?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1945 MR. SINGER: No, we do not.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1946 THE CHAIRPERSON: No? Because I can see, frankly, the Boy Scouts, you know, I mean, if you take it to sort of the extreme, wanting to take over your airwaves and, you know, sort of Captain Smith, you know, wants to make sure everybody should be looking out for, you know, Jimmy Jones because he threw a rock through a window. And so I guess my concern is with having a protocol that sort of tightly retains the licencee's control over the station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1947 MR. SINGER: The ‑‑ this would be developed very carefully with the authorities. I mean, the police, obviously ‑‑ we're talking about a major emergency situation here.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1948 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you define that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1949 MR. SINGER: Well, and that, again, is ‑‑ it would be a part of our plan to develop ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Should it be harm to life, or should it be harm to property?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1951 MR. SINGER: Safety. Harm to ‑‑ you know, safety issues, certainly health issues, that type of thing. If ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Harm to property? A tornado that only harms property?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1953 MR. SINGER: Well, certainly. I would consider that to be a role where we, as broadcasters, could play a very important role in helping people cope with that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Now, how many programmers are you planning on hiring?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1955 MR. SINGER: How many ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Programmers?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1957 MR. SINGER: ‑‑ programmers? We will have one program director who will also be our morning host. You're talking about a program director?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1958 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm talking about programmers, people in the cage from 6 a.m. until ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1959 MR. SINGER: Oh, oh, on‑air staff?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1960 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ 10 p.m., yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1961 MR. SINGER: I'll let Linda Rheaume run you through our staff lineup because Linda has a chart on it.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, good enough.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1963 MS RHEAUME: Thank you, Ken.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1964 Madam Chair, our plan is to have a programming department consisting of, as Ken has already said a news team with one news director and two news ‑‑ sports reporters. The on‑air team consisting of a program director, who would be the a.m. announcer, a midday announcer, a p.m. announcer, and two swing announcers, one being a part‑time. Those would be actual on‑air announcers.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1965 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. I want to go back to these volunteers for a moment. I guess I'm trying to think. It appears ‑‑ what size is Melville [sic]?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1966 MR. SINGER: Melfort?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Melfort, yes, sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1968 MR. SINGER: Melfort is just under 6,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I ask myself if the larger the community, the less available sort of volunteers would be ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1970 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1971 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ because they get involved in different things, and, certainly, in a ‑‑ in a building community, you know, I'm sure the unemployment or the employment rate or the unemployment rate in Lethbridge is ‑‑ or in Medicine Hat is very low. So I ask myself, if the kind of smaller town, prairie community volunteer concept would be able to graft itself on the Hat in terms of sort of a different dynamic there?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1972 MR. SINGER: I think that there ‑‑ you know, there may be ‑‑ in a younger demographic, there might be a little different dynamic. Our former mayor has just moved to Medicine Hat. I think he'd make a great correspondent for us because he certainly knows community life, but I think you've got to look within a community of Medicine Hat as pockets of smaller communities, not the big picture. You know, we're talking about organizations here, I guess, if you'd want to identify them. I mean, you might be the head of the Kinsmen organization in Medicine Hat. Well, you know, if there's Kinsmen activities and things going on, well, that's our correspondent for the Kinsmen community. And, you know, within Medicine Hat, I think there's quite a few like that. But I'm talking about, as well, beyond Medicine Hat are the small, you know, communities of several hundred, not several thousand people. And, again, it's something that we feel that with promotion, some of those are going to come out of the woodwork and say, hey, count me in, I'd like to share some information about what we're doing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1973 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, okay. Are you planning on any programming synergies between your existing stations with this proposed station?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1974 MR. SINGER: Yes, we most definitely are, and before ‑‑ I'll let Linda speak to the actual positions, but one of the ‑‑ the key synergies to us is we would have some cross‑training opportunities here between our other radio stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1975 THE CHAIRPERSON: The question was programming synergies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1976 MR. SINGER: Programming synergies, we do have a number of positions. I'll let Linda speak to those.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1977 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I was just talking about synergies in programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1978 MR. SINGER: Oh, oh, the actual format? I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1979 THE CHAIRPERSON: Programming synergies, please.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1980 MR. SINGER: I don't ‑‑ like, we're ‑‑ we don't currently operate a classic rock format on any of our stations, so as far as musical programming, no. The closest thing to it would be our format in Melfort on our oldies AM station. I suppose there's some degree of sharing there, but from the point of view of, I guess, production for our programming, the production elements of our programming, yes, there would be some synergies that ‑‑ for example, we might produce a promo for Medicine Hat in our Melfort production studio and so on.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1981 THE CHAIRPERSON: Voicing?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1982 MR. SINGER: Yes. But actual programming elements, no. The news direction and I guess the style of news we do, there's some synergies there from a news point of view in terms of sharing stories between our ‑‑ especially our new Whitecourt station and Medicine Hat. There would be some synergies in an exchange of stories that are Alberta, and where Saskatchewan and Alberta stories could be tied together as well, there would be some synergies in that area.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, Ms Rheaume, the operating synergies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1984 MS RHEAUME: Thank you. With sharing stations, there are certain positions that would be shared, especially the admin side, the traffic, our two ‑‑ and ones that will for sure be shared between the two stations ‑‑ or three stations. With Whitecourt, we already do that. Our engineer will share responsibilities with our Melfort and Whitecourt and, hopefully, Medicine Hat. Other synergies that are ‑‑ we have already used between Melfort and Whitecourt is our music director programming and helping both with the country music format. That may not be as available with the Medicine Hat synergy that way, but we ‑‑ you know, we see it between Melfort and Whitecourt. I believe, you know, those are the positions where we see, and then as Ken had mentioned as well, the training of our people, we, you know, sent ‑‑ we use those synergies. When we started Whitecourt, we sent the news director to Whitecourt to help train, you know, to fit into our style of radio. As well as our producer went there, and our promotions manager went there to help train those people. So I feel we would probably do that the same way in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1985 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The Canadian content. It appears that in your application and in your Supplementary Brief you did not refer to the fact that you would be exceeding the regulatory requirement of Canadian content. And, apparently, now, and I noticed, you have said that you would adhere to a COL for 40 percent?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1986 MR. SINGER: Correct.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1987 THE CHAIRPERSON: Normally in competing proceedings, we're not open to people revising their commitments, especially something like this, at the hearing because we end up in a bidding war. Would you care to comment on this?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1988 MR. SINGER: I have to be honest with you. We, Madam Chair, all along, had the plan to be at 40 percent, and in preparing for this hearing, we recognized that in no place had we written that down on the actual application. It ‑‑ it was added to our presentation today, most definitely. I was certain we had made an indication of that in our application, but I ‑‑ somebody else discovered it. Nobody has pointed it out to me yet, but we have not found it in there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1989 THE CHAIRPERSON: How would you feel if this happened to another party and you were sitting in the back of the room ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1990 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm. Well ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1991 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ and you found out somebody was upping their Canadian content out of something that had not been ‑‑ how would you feel ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1992 MR. SINGER: Well ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1993 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ if you were not there, but one of the other applicants?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1994 MR. SINGER: Well, I mean, I don't know. I don't look at it as a great advantage. If we ‑‑ I guess I will take the Commission's advisement on that. If we must be at 35 percent rather than 40 percent, then fine, but it wasn't our intention to use that as a ‑‑ as any lever to give us an unfair advantage here. 40 percent is what we ‑‑ we submitted with our newest radio station, and we don't ‑‑ our history in Melfort has been we are long ‑‑ well over the regulated level of content, so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1995 THE CHAIRPERSON: But this is a competitive hearing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1996 MR. SINGER: Yes, I understand that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 1997 THE CHAIRPERSON: And my question was, how would you feel if you were one of the competitors? Would you feel it would be fair that we would accept this?
LISTNUM 95 \l 1998 MR. SINGER: I would have to say that I wouldn't consider it to be a real concern to me in terms of ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 1999 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you, Mr. Singer.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11000 MR. SINGER: ‑‑ the playing ‑‑ even playing field.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11001 THE CHAIRPERSON: On your CTD, the Alberta Rocks Boot Camp, you're going to be spending $6,000 a year with 4,500 to industry professionals for it looks like a two‑day skill development kind of thing. Are you thinking about using a particular theme throughout the whole two days or doing a more generalist approach for the two days?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11002 MR. SINGER: I think there would be several areas of opportunity for the attendees to that. We might bring a ‑‑ somebody like a Randy Bachman to this who could speak ‑‑ you take a Canadian performer, such as Randy, who has a great ability as a recording artist, a writer, a touring artist, a producer. We see this as an opportunity to bring some industry specialists together and have musicians and performers have dialogue with them on whatever topics. Certainly there ‑‑ if you were developing new artists, planning the production of a new CD, or your CD is done and you need ‑‑ where do I go from here? I'm an independent artist, how would I ‑‑ how would I take this to the next level? We see this as an opportunity to deal with ‑‑ more with the business side of the music industry, and, certainly, beyond chord structures and great arrangements, it's ‑‑ but at the same time, you're going to have a gathering of musicians, so I think there's going to be a lot of sharing of information and development ideas.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11003 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I'm not hearing that it's like a seminar kind of style. Is it ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11004 MR. SINGER: Yeah, it would be structured as, like, various workshops with a panel or an individual.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11005 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And I see you saying you'd like the Randy Bachmans of the world to come. Do you think they'd come for 4,500 for two days?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11006 MR. SINGER: I used Randy Bachman as an example, I guess. I don't know that for sure, but I do think that there are ‑‑ there is a pool of talented people out there who would ‑‑ who have a passion for the music industry. We see them all the time on the country music side at ‑‑ if you've ever attended a country music awards weekend, the sharing of information that goes on there is overwhelming between the musicians and established artists and emerging artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11007 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Moving on to the opening act, and I see that is 25,000 a year. How many artists a year would you think that would hire?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11008 MR. SINGER: I think that that would be difficult for me to put a number on that. I would say that that is ‑‑ we will do everything we can to make that affect as many artists as possible. There's going to be different situations and different expectations in terms of remuneration for different size acts, but our intent here is to flow a hundred percent of that 25,000 directly to those performers. So our goal is to do whatever we can to give them some exposure in front of larger audiences, and if it's ‑‑ if it's ten acts at 2,500, great. We certainly would think that would do more than saying ‑‑ you know, paying two acts $12,500 kind of a thing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Would you agree to a COL that you would pay $700,000 in CTD, payable in the sum of $100,000 per year over seven consecutive years? The concept is ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11010 MR. SINGER: I'm sorry, I don't understand your question, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11011 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ the concept is that often, people begin operating a year or so after the licence is out.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11012 MR. SINGER: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11013 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there is CTD left owing that goes into the renewal period.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11014 MR. SINGER: Yes, yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11015 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that the concept is that you would agree to a COL that it would go for a period of seven consecutive years from commencement?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11016 MR. SINGER: I think I'll defer that to Gene.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11017 MR. FABRO: Well, yes, I think you have the number wrong. We didn't commit 700,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11018 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're right, I'm sorry, 280,000.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11019 MR. FABRO: Yes, yes. Well, we would commit 280 over the licence period or ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11020 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, over ‑‑ yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11021 MR. FABRO: Okay.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11022 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11023 MR. FABRO: Yes, that's fine.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11024 THE CHAIRPERSON: 700,000, that's a ‑‑ now, on page 74 of your Brief you talk about FACTOR and giving money to FACTOR, and you say, "We will do so only with the understanding that every dollar committed will be allocated and spent on local artists within the Medicine Hat area." Do you have a letter from FACTOR saying that?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11025 MR. SINGER: We do not have that, but we have had discussions with FACTOR saying that is a workable situation, so that's our understanding as we approach this opportunity.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11026 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you discuss with FACTOR whether those monies would be incremental to those that would have otherwise been spent in the Alberta or Medicine Hat area?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11027 MR. SINGER: That is our intention, that we would want them to be incremental. They shouldn't replace money that was there.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11028 THE CHAIRPERSON: And are you aware that with FACTOR if the money allocated in any particular province is not, in fact, spent in that particular year, it rolls over and goes into the general fund?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11029 MR. SINGER: We would do whatever we can to make sure that that is spent on an annual basis. That is our commitment to cutting that cheque to them so ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11030 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you provide us with a letter from FACTOR referring to the three things: One, the commitment to going towards Medicine Hat artists; two, that it is incremental to that otherwise being spent; and, three, whether or not there will be a roll over into the general fund if the money is not spent?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11031 MR. SINGER: We can ‑‑ we'd be happy to do that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11032 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you can provide us with that within a week?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11033 MR. SINGER: Yes, I will.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 11035 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many new stations do you think Medicine Hat can accommodate?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11036 MR. SINGER: The million‑dollar question. Our business plan, too, is based on, you know, adding one more radio station to the marketplace, but as the research has been amplified in the applications heard so far, we continue to see more and more growth in the market. We're more encouraged today about Medicine Hat than we were when we filed.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11037 I'll let Kevin Gemmell speak to that, just in terms of ‑‑ I guess the short answer is, yes, we believe there is room for more than one player, based on our findings in terms of the increases in revenue, and if you'd like more on that, I'll ask Kevin to speak to that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11038 MR. GEMMELL: Thanks, Ken.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11039 And, Madam Chair, I'll talk largely towards the Financial Post estimated retail sales. As all of the worthy applicants ‑‑ those that quoted a number they used the 2005 number of $1.053 billion in retail sales. It was expected by 2007 to go into the $1.1 billion range, in fact, the 2006 estimate is already at 1.288 billion. When we look ahead to ‑‑ two years to 2008, essentially, any one or number of stations that are approved for Medicine Hat probably won't sign on until about a year from now or later. If you use the 2008 year, the estimated retail sales are to be $1.454 billion. Using the calculations that we quoted earlier, four percent of the retail sales determines the total amount of advertising dollars available in the market, and then using about 14 percent as radio share, there's going to be about $8 million available in the Medicine Hat market for the 2008 year, which is lots of room to operate profitably.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11040 THE CHAIRPERSON: And because we don't regulate formats, what would you do if we licenced yourselves and any one of the others that I previously talked with Mr. Sinclair about?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11041 MR. SINGER: I'll answer that. Madam Chair, I think we'd do everything in our power to be the first one on the air.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11042 THE CHAIRPERSON: To get there first?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11043 MR. SINGER: Secondly, if we weren't the first one on the air, then we would, as we did in preparing for this market hearing, we would do further research and find out what the niche is to us. We're confident that there is a very strong demand in the market for some other choices, be it one or two more choices. I don't think Medicine Hat's growth is going to slow down by the time a successful applicant or applicants gets their station on the air, and, definitely, we feel that there is room in the market to find a niche that would allow us to be profitable.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11044 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11045 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11046 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11047 I want to come back to your community volunteer program. Are you paying them, or do you have an incentive program so that it will entice them to keep cooperating?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11048 MR. SINGER: I ‑‑ no, we have no plan to pay them. We feel that, again, they're sharing information about their communities. Their pride is what it is, and we certainly ‑‑ you know, we will consider doing some things to thank them along the way, but in terms of a cash remuneration, no, we ‑‑ in Whitecourt, we have just gotten on the air, and we're developing that plan there, and we have done a number of, what we call, XM 105 news watches, and they're wrist‑watches with our logo on them, and we plan to reward some of these people with some type of an incentive on a, you know, monthly contribution type of thing or ‑‑ but, you know, as far as remuneration from a point of view of a pay cheque, no.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11049 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: But you're running some contests so the ones that are bringing the most interesting information ‑‑ piece of information, the more ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11050 MR. SINGER: Yeah, that's likely the way that will be handled.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11051 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: That's the way you're going to be doing it? Your answer to the last question of my colleague, Madam ‑‑ Mrs. ‑‑ Madam Cram, about being the first on air ‑‑ when I'm looking at all the applications, and except Newcap and Paul Larsen, you are all looking to implement yourself on the CBC site. You expect the CBC to allow one of you to go first or ‑‑ or because more than likely, if we were to grant more than one licence, then you're going to need to install a combiner and everything. Do you expect one will be able to go first?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11052 MR. SINGER: I would like to defer that to ‑‑ if I could get back to you from in consultation with our technical people. I'm not really a hundred percent sure just what the technical parameters are in terms of the timing of that. I guess what I'm thinking of is separate from the transmitter equipment, building studio, developing a staff, and so on, that is an area that we are familiar ‑‑ or I am familiar with. As far as how quickly we could secure space on the tower, I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I'd be happy to file a response to that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11053 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Could we ‑‑ could you talk to your engineer, say, before the end of the day so that by the time that you come back for the intervention you give us your answer?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11054 MR. SINGER: I could do that, Commissioner Arpin.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 11055 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Okay. The ‑‑ I've already asked all the other applicants what were the median age of their listeners, and if you were to be skewing more male or female, whatever, can I have your reply?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11056 MR. SINGER: We would ‑‑ our format would skew slightly more towards male ‑‑
LISTNUM 95 \l 11057 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Yes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11058 MR. SINGER: And if the Insightrix girls can back me up on this, I believe the median age that we determined was 38.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11059 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, for those ‑‑ those were my questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11060 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I forgot my favourite one was would you agree to a COL that you would be live to air 116 hours during the broadcast week because there was the ten hours Monday to Friday, ten to 12?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11061 MR. SINGER: Yes, we would agree.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11062 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. I hand it back to Mr. Singer or Mr. Fabro for your two minutes to sum up and convince us.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11063 MR. FABRO: Thank you, Madam Chair, some great questions today, and I think we did a great job in answering all your questions.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11064 What we've proven today is that there is an opportunity in the market. There is a significant demand, and we've done our homework in terms of our research, and we found the right format.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11065 We have a tremendous human capital in our company. Our ten most senior people have an average of 18 years, on average, with us and 22 years in the business.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11066 We are well‑financed. We have tremendous corporate will and determination. We have a solid business plan. There's not too many holes in it. We have every detail covered.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11067 CJVR has been a trusted friend to 150,000 listeners in a hundred communities in northeast Saskatchewan for over 40 years, and we want to bring our brand of radio, great music, locally relevant to Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11068 We need to grow our business. The status quo is not good enough. We want to play a larger role as an independent voice in Canadian broadcasting.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11069 My family comes from a history of entrepreneurs, and we deliver on our promises. We just ask you for this chance to deliver on this promise and give us a licence in Medicine Hat. Thank you for your time.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11070 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Fabro, Panel. We'll now take a 15‑minute break. My watch is ten after, so that would be 3:35 ‑‑ 3:25, 3:25.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1509 / Suspension à 1509
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1528 / Reprise à 1528
LISTNUM 95 \l 11071 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11072 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11073 We will now proceed with item 5 on the agenda, which is an application by 1182743 Alberta Limited, for a licence to operate an English‑language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Medicine Hat. The new station would operate on frequency 102.1 megahertz (channel 271C) with effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 208.5 metres).
LISTNUM 95 \l 11074 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Paul Larsen, who will introduce his colleague. You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11075 Mr. Larsen...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
LISTNUM 95 \l 11076 MR. LARSEN: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11077 Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners, CRTC Staff. My name is Paul Larsen, and I am president of 1182743 Alberta Limited, and with me today is Mary Mills. Mary is the president of Norscot Holdings Limited, my business partner.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11078 We're excited to present our application for a new radio station to serve Medicine Hat, Alberta.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11079 In our presentation today, we'll be touching on the vibrant economy in Medicine Hat and southern Alberta, the need for a radio service targeting the large and growing 45‑plus population in Medicine Hat, and how our exciting new radio station will compliment, rather than compete with the existing stations in the market, and benefit Canadian recording artists, the Canadian Radio Industry, and most importantly, benefit the community of Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11080 As the Commission's aware, we were recently awarded a licence to serve Lethbridge, Alberta, located just 200 kilometres west of Medicine Hat, and we're very grateful that the commission saw the benefits of our application and business plan and entrusted us with our first licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11081 We're in the early stages of assembling our team and preparing for a spring launch in Lethbridge.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11082 Now that we, officially, have a broadcast licence, we'll be renaming our numbered company and will be known corporately as Clear Sky Radio Inc.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11083 This is our fourth hearing appearance this year for new FM applications, and our message has been clear from the start. Our goal is to build a strong, new, regional radio company, not just a single licence. And to create a viable and self‑sustaining business, it is essential for us to gain critical mass in the early stages of our development, and Medicine Hat presents the most logical opportunity for our next growth stage.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11084 First and foremost, Medicine Hat is geographically close to Lethbridge. This will allow me and our management team to maintain a regular presence in both markets, which is critical in an owner/operator situation such as ours. Further, the two communities share much in common, including similar demographics, economic drivers and other synergies.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11085 Our application represents the best opportunity to leverage the synergies that exist between these two southern Alberta communities and to bring a new radio service to Medicine Hat that will compliment the market without significantly impacting existing operators.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11086 If licenced, our radio station will be known as The Lounge. Our target audience will be adults 35 to 64, with a focus on those 45 and older. Our application is the only one at this hearing targeting the mature adult audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11087 Medicine Hat is currently served by two local commercial FM radio stations, CFMY and CHAT, both owned by Pattison. There is also a low‑power specialty Christian FM, as well as the CBC radio one service and the provincial CKUA network.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11088 Ownership and market tuning is obviously dominated by Pattison's two stations, as they really are the only local choice.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11089 While Medicine Hat is not BBM rated, our research indicates that 62.2 percent of those aged 35 to 64 tune into the Pattison stations weekly.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11090 Our research study also identified significant out‑of‑market tuning by 35 to 64 year olds in Medicine Hat, specifically the Calgary AM radio stations that penetrate the market. And this is the same pattern that we saw in Lethbridge.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11091 As you can see on the slide on the screen, in Medicine Hat, our research shows that Calgary's CHQR, CKMX, CFAC, and CFFR have a combined market share of 10.8 percent with adults aged 35 to 64, and, further, another 8.9 percent of 35 to 64 year olds in Medicine Hat are tuning into other unidentified AM or FM radio stations from outside the market, likely from cable.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11092 Combined out‑of‑market tuning to adults 35 to 64 totals 19.7 percent. The Lounge will repatriate the significant out‑of‑market tuning, attracting these Medicine Hat adult listeners to local radio with a music format specifically designed for them, and one featuring extensive local news, weather, sports, and community content. We may also gain listeners from satellite or cable, internet, radio, personal CDs and MP3s, and people who have simply quit listening or given up on mainstream radio because they've been unable to find their music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11093 Our research shows 84.8 percent of 35 to 64 year olds in Medicine Hat would definitely or probably listen to our new station, The Lounge. And of those, 41.4 percent said The Lounge would become their favourite radio station.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11094 We call our format modern nostalgia. It is a mix of classic adult standards from the past, mixed with new songs and new artists who are reviving adult formatted music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11095 Our format is not just old songs. At least 50 percent of our music will be newer than 1981 to comply with hit/non‑hit rules. This exciting mix of new and old music creates an especially unique sound targeted to the mature adult.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11096 And Canadians are leading the way in the creation of this music style around the world. Artists like Vancouver's Michael Buble, Toronto's Matt Dusk, and Vancouver Island's Diana Krall. Sadly, these great Canadian artists receive virtually no airplay on Medicine Hat radio, something that we propose to fix.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11097 Of significance is the number of relatively unknown Canadian artists who will receive regular prime time airplay on The Lounge. None of these artists receive airplay in Medicine Hat today. Artists like Dawn Aitken, Karin Plato, Carol Welsman, Andrea Menard, Denzal Sinclair, Suzie Vinnick, and there are many, many others who we simply don't have time to mention today, but who we did name in our Supplementary Brief.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11098 The Lounge will also feature Canadian superstars such as Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Bachman, and Paul Anka, who are still producing new music and touring. Even though these names are instantly familiar, they too suffer from a lack of radio airplay. The Lounge will play not only their established hits, but, also, their new music.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11099 Canadian music will be featured prominently in our programming, scheduled evenly throughout each hour. We will play 40 percent Canadian content weekly, and to ensure significant airplay of newer Canadian music, 50 percent of our Canadian songs will be released in 2000 or later.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11100 Of course, The Lounge will also feature international artists, many of them lesser known singers, again, ensuring diversity. Names like Steve Tyrell, Renee Olstead, Jamie Cullum. They're not household names, but they're exceptional new artists recording great music that is not currently featured on Medicine Hat radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11101 The Lounge will feature well‑known artists who are rerecording great standards and new songs in the standard style. Artists like Rod Stewart, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr. and others.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11102 And we'll play the artists who originated and pioneered this music style, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and many others.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11103 And singers from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, artists, who despite superstar status, receive very little airplay on Medicine Hat radio. Names like Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, The Carpenters, and others. And, again, we will play their new music in addition to the hits.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11104 We will blend these diverse music styles together to create an appealing mix of music, new and old, targeted to Medicine Hat's adult audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11105 The Lounge will also bring a new independent news and information voice to Medicine Hat. We will place a significant emphasis on spoken word relating to news, our music, the community, and the lifestyle of Medicine Hat's adult population.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11106 If licenced, The Lounge will provide hourly locally produced newscasts between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11107 Our research showed the demand for news, particularly local news. 94.1 percent of total respondents said news and information specific to Medicine Hat is important, and we will provide it for them.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11108 If licenced, our Medicine Hat newsroom would benefit from synergies with Lethbridge newsroom, enabling our two stations to offer a unique southern Alberta regional perspective and coverage when appropriate.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11109 In total, The Lounge Medicine Hat will provide 93 newscasts per week, totalling four hours and 33 minutes.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11110 Other spoken word, including sports, road reports, agricultural and business news, arts and entertainment will total another two hours and 30 minutes weekly.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11111 Medicine Hat's adult audience wants to hear about important topics such as municipal issues, cultural events, health, and finance. The Lounge will air a daily magazine program called Medicine Hat At Noon to address this need.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11112 Our spoken word will reflect Medicine Hat's diversity and provide listeners with a balance of news, entertainment, and community information. Our spoken word programming totals 22 hours and nine minutes weekly, approximately 18 percent of the broadcast week. On top of that will be announcer show prep., community ad libs, and live interviews, which will add even more spoken word dimension to The Lounge.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11113 We've made this strong commitment to spoken word based on what Medicine Hat adults told us in our research and because we believe it is the spoken word content that truly differentiates great local radio from average radio. And with increasing competition for listeners from music‑focused services such as satellite radio, MP3 players, and internet streaming, the local spoken word content of our programming will be the biggest competitive advantage that we will have over these generic music services and will be the most critical component of our overall programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11114 In our research, we asked about the importance of exposure and promotion of local and Canadian artists. 78.9 percent of those surveyed says it is important. Our Canadian talent development starts first and foremost with airplay of new and emerging Canadian artists, most of whom receive no airplay on Medicine Hat radio today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11115 A cornerstone of our indirect CTD initiatives is a commitment to play new Canadian music. We propose that at least 50 percent of our Canadian content will be songs released in 2000 or later, ensuring airplay of a high percentage of newer Canadian songs and artists. This initiative is unique and exclusive to our application.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11116 Further, to demonstrate our commitment to Canadian music, we will play 40 percent Canadian content over the broadcast week, five percent over the mandated amount.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11117 Canadian artists told us consistently that what they need from radio is simple, airplay and exposure, and The Lounge will ensure this through these two commitments.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11118 We are firm believers in Canadian talent development, both direct financial and, the equally important, non‑monetary means. Our direct CTD contribution will be $129,500 over the initial licence term, a significant contribution for a new broadcast entity.
100 percent of our direct CTD will stay in the Medicine Hat region. Our annual proposals include: post‑secondary music and journalism bursaries for Medicine Hat students, the purchase of music instruments for Medicine Hat schools, funding of the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival and the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival, funding to FACTOR, which Canadian artists told us is a critical source of funding for development of their music, and our FACTOR contributions will come back to southern Alberta artists, and our original song competition will be of direct benefit to local and regional independent Canadian artists.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11119 Our direct CTD commitments will be supported with significant on‑air promotional support, website exposure, and other marketing.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11120 In addition to our unique Canadian content airplay and our direct CTD plans, we also propose two significant indirect CTD initiatives. First is the Indie Lounge, a weekly one‑hour program focusing exclusively on independent Canadian music. While we will be highly supportive of Canadian music throughout our programming, the Indie Lounge will give us a platform to explore artists more thoroughly. Second, is a unique educational partnership with southern Alberta's broadcasting schools, which we call future broadcasters. If licenced, we will work with these schools to place students in actual paid jobs at The Lounge that will assist them in their education and development of their radio skills. These positions include on air, news, and production, and we're firmly committed to giving young broadcasters a start at our radio stations.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11121 We strongly believe that radio is a public service, and we take that role very seriously. In the community, The Lounge will be highly supportive of Medicine Hat events, charities, the arts and entertainment community, and cultural groups. Medicine Hat has a vibrant arts community. There are many annual festivals and events, and The Lounge will be front and center broadcasting live from each of them. Some of these include the Spectrum Festival, the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede, Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival, the Medicine Hat Film Festival, and many others.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11122 Medicine Hat is a culturally diverse city with a strong not‑for‑profit and social community. There are many individual organizations that promote and offer activities and services relating to multi‑cultural interests within the city.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11123 We've already reached out to many of these organizations ensuring our support through no‑charge public service announcements and interviews if we are licenced. These will be invaluable in assisting these groups with fundraising initiatives and general awareness. Further, the on‑air exposure of these groups and events will ensure that our programming is inclusive of Medicine Hat's entire population spectrum.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11124 Our news department will take into account the diversity of Medicine Hat and establish contacts with the city's cultural communities to ensure The Lounge includes their news in our programming.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11125 Medicine Hat has a rich First Nations history, and we will make a strong effort to connect with the Aboriginal populations in the region.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11126 We are committed to reflecting diversity within our company as well through employment and provided information to this in our application. And our music format lends itself perfectly to reflecting cultural diversity. The vast and varied music styles that comprise The Lounge music format include artists and musicians from every background and region of Canada and beyond, and we will encourage Canadian artists, from all backgrounds, to submit new music for airplay consideration.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11127 The Medicine Hat economy is vibrant and well‑diversified. Major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, natural resources, finance, and real estate. Canadian forces base, Suffield, is another significant contributor to the area's economy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11128 Medicine Hat's retail sales are very strong with 2005 sales of over $1 billion, 47 percent higher than the national average, according to the Financial Post Markets. Retail sales in Medicine Hat are forecast to continue growing at a significant rate, reaching nearly $1.2 billion by 2007 and close to $1.4 billion by 2010.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11129 The correlation between retail sales and radio advertising sales is well‑documented, and we believe that Medicine Hat's stronger than average retail sales, coupled with the fact that they are forecast to continue to grow at a significant rate, indicate that Medicine Hat can sustain a new radio service or services at this time, and we strongly believe that our proposed radio station and format is the right one for Medicine Hat at this time. The demographics certainly support this position.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11130 Medicine Hat is experiencing rapid population growth, particularly in the upper demographics. According to the 2005 municipal census, the city population has grown 9.4 percent since the 2001 federal census, and now totals over 56,000 people, and the trading area is more than double that.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11131 The largest population increases have occurred within the 45‑plus age groups, the target audience for The Lounge. The 2005 municipal census is not fully broken down, so we refer to the 1996 and 2001 federal census to show the growth of the 45‑plus population specifically.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11132 As you can see by the graph on the screen, the Medicine Hat population of adults 45 and up increased 18.9 percent between 1996 and 2001, and, by comparison, those aged 0 to 44 jumped only 4.5 percent during that same period.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11133 According to the 2001 federal census, 38 percent of Medicine Hat residents are 45 or older, and they total over 19,000 people. Over one‑third of the Medicine Hat population is over the age of 45.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11134 This audience deserves a new radio station custom tailored for them. Local businesses that market to this impressive demographic deserve a targeted radio station to reach this audience, and The Lounge will be both.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11135 The Lounge will open up new advertising opportunities for retailers and manufacturers, who, until now, have had no viable local radio source on which to advertise their products and services to the 45‑plus population.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11136 Today's 45‑plus consumer is still very much an active consumer. They are far from retiring. Many are still working, but on their own terms as consultants or starting their own businesses, and they are purchasing second homes, luxury vacation condos, travel, new vehicles, recreation activities, in addition to their daily needs. This audience grew up listening to radio, and radio is one of the most effective advertising mediums to reach these active, mature consumers, but only if there are radio stations that are targeted to them, and The Lounge will be that radio station in Medicine Hat.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11137 In summary, The Lounge will bring a new format to Medicine Hat, one with virtually no overlap with existing stations. The Lounge will fill a void for the fastest growing demographic in Medicine Hat, one that already comprises over one‑third of the total population.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11138 The Lounge will repatriate a significant portion of the Medicine Hat adult population to local radio.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11139 The Lounge will provide significant news and other spoken word elements that are important to our target audience.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11140 Our station will bring a new independent news and information voice to the community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11141 The Lounge will be highly active in the community, and community service will be the foundation upon which our company and our radio station is built.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11142 The Lounge is the only application before you at this hearing that will specifically fill the needs of this dynamic and growing segment of the population, what we believe to be the most undeserved demographic on Medicine Hat radio today.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11143 We're excited about the possibility of bringing our unique and innovative format to another southern Alberta community.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11144 We're building a strong, new regional radio company in western Canada. We're already licenced in southern Alberta, and Medicine Hat is the most logical market to grant us our second licence.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11145 I thank you for this opportunity to present our application for The Lounge, Medicine Hat, and we're looking forward to your questions. Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11146 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11147 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11148 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11149 Mr. Larsen, Mrs. Mills, the ‑‑ well, let me start to say that we've seen you in Calgary, we saw you again in Edmonton, and, again ‑‑ and always with the same format, so that it's quite clear in our mind what you're ‑‑ have ‑‑ what you're looking to do, so we may have limited questions based on the format. I note you acknowledge having been granted a licence for Lethbridge, and I know that you were an applicant for Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11150 So my questions will mainly relate to the specifics ‑‑ specifics of Medicine Hat, the impact on the existing service, the potential synergy with your new Lethbridge licence or ‑‑ as well as the potential synergies that you may have with Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray if a licence was to be granted to your group, and the impact those synergies may have on your business plan, including programming synergy.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11151 So I will start, first, with some clarification questions regarding Norscot and the applicant corporation. The ‑‑ your application shows Norscot Holdings as being one of the two shareholders, and you introduced Mrs. Mills as being the president of Norscot Holding; whereas, the shareholder's agreement that was filed with the Commission on March 14th, 2006, makes reference to Norscot Investment Limited.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11152 Is the Norscot Holding and Norscot Investment the same ‑‑ the same organization, or what is the correct name of your organization, and what is the ‑‑ is there a difference between Norscot Holdings and Norscot Investment?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11153 MS MILLS: Yes, sir. We changed our name in the past year from Norscot Holdings Limited to Norscot Investments Limited just to better reflect the business involvement that we have. We could file papers that show the official change of name.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11154 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: That's what my second question was to be. When could we expect you to file the change in the name?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11155 MS MILLS: I can get that to you this week.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
LISTNUM 95 \l 11156 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You can get ‑‑ and, again, you also, Mr. Larsen, said that you're changing the name of the numbered corporation to Clear Sky Radio Inc. Is the paper done, or is it in the works, or ‑‑ and when could you file the change in the name of the corporation?
LISTNUM 95 \l 11157 MR. LARSEN: Yes, Vice‑Chair, the name change was just completed within the past two to three weeks, and I can provide that documentation as early as tomorrow.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11158 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Well, I'd prefer that you file it in ‑‑ directly to Ingetsano(ph) so that it goes to the right place, otherwise it will end up in the public hearing file, and the ownership group may never know about those two changes. So I will request that you ‑‑ they be forwarded to Ingetsano(ph) as soon as you can.
LISTNUM 95 \l 11159 MR. LARSEN: Absolutely.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement