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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.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Various broadcasting applications /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Quartz Ballroom Quartz Ballroom
Matrix Hotel Matrix Hôtel
10001-107th Street 10001-107th Street
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 2, 2008 Le 2 juin 2008
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 broadcasting applications /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Elizabeth Duncan Chairperson / Présidente
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Candice Molnar Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Cindy Ventura Secretary / Sécretaire
Lyne Cape Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
Véronique Lehoux Legal Counsel
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Quartz Ballroom Quartz Ballroom
Matrix Hotel Matrix Hôtel
10001-107th Street 10001-107th Street
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 2, 2008 Le 2 juin 2008
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Guldasta Broadcasting Inc. 926 / 6084
Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. 977 / 6480
CIAM Media Broadcasting Association 1049 / 6964
Frank Torres (OBCI) 1091 / 7266
Black Gold Broadcasting Inc. (OBCI) 1155 / 7636
Edmonton, Alberta / Edmonton (Alberta)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 0930 /
L'audience reprend le lundi 2 juin 2008 à 0930
6058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the second week of this public hearing.
6059 My name is Elizabeth Duncan, and I am a CRTC Commissioner for the Atlantic Region. I will be presiding over this hearing.
6060 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues Rita Cugini, Regional Commissioner for Ontario, and Candice Molnar, Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
6061 The Commission team assisting us includes Hearing Manager Lyne Cape, who is also Manager of Radio Operations and Policy, Véronique Lehoux, Legal Counsel, and Cindy Ventura, Hearing Secretary.
6062 Please speak with Ms Ventura if you have any questions regarding hearing procedures.
6063 The first part of this hearing was held last week, at which time we considered radio applications for the Drumheller and Red Deer markets.
6064 During the second phase the panel will examine 11 applications to operate an FM commercial radio station in Edmonton.
6065 We will also study an application to operate an FM Type B community radio station in the same market, as well as an application by the Native Type A station CFWE‑FM to add technical facilities at Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
6066 Finally, we will look at an application to operate an English‑language FM commercial radio station in Leduc.
6067 All of these applications will be treated as competitive radio applications for Edmonton.
6068 I now invite the Hearing Secretary, Cindy Ventura, to explain the procedures that we will be following.
6069 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
6070 Before beginning, I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters for the benefit of those who were not in the room last week.
6071 Le service d'interprétation simultanée est disponible durant cette audience. Vous pouvez vous procurer un récepteur auprès du technicien à l'arrière de la salle. L'interprétation anglaise se trouve au canal 1 et l'interprétation française au canal 2.
6072 When you are in the hearing room, we would ask that you please turn off your cell phones, beepers and BlackBerrys, as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communications systems used by our translators.
6073 We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
6074 Starting tomorrow, we will begin each morning at 9 a.m. We will take an hour for lunch, and a break in the morning and in the afternoon. We will let you know of any schedule changes as they may occur.
6075 The Amber B Room will serve as the examination room, where you can examine the public files of the applications being considered at this hearing.
6076 As indicated on the agenda, the telephone number of the examination room is 780‑429‑7498.
6077 There is a verbatim transcript of the 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 Court Reporter during a break.
6078 Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's website shortly after the conclusion of the hearing.
6079 Now, Madam Chair, we will proceed with Item 13 on the agenda, which is an application by Guldasta Broadcasting Inc. for a licence to operate an FM commercial ethnic radio programming undertaking in Edmonton.
6080 The new station would operate on Frequency 98.5 MHz, Channel 253B, with an effective radiated power of 7,300 watts, non‑directional antenna, antenna height of 247 metres.
6081 Appearing for the Applicant is Gursharan Buttar.
6082 Please introduce your colleagues. You will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
6083 Mr. Buttar.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
6084 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Madam Chair, Commissioners, and CRTC Staff, good morning.
6085 My name is Gursharan Buttar, and I am leading my team in our presentation to the CRTC for an application by Guldasta Broadcasting Inc. to obtain an ethnic licence for the Edmonton South Asian community.
6086 We have a family business, and I will first introduce the many Buttars of our delegation.
6087 Beside me is my wife of 24 years, Guppreet Buttar. President of Guldasta Broadcasting, Guppreet has been a resident of Edmonton for the past 26 years, constantly working in all of our family businesses. She is the boss at home, too.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6088 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Beside Guppreet is our oldest child, Sharnpreet Buttar. Sharnpreet is completing his degree in business at the University of Alberta, and acts as a company financial planner.
6089 At the far end of the table is Sapreet Buttar, our daughter, who is enrolled in the business program at the University of Alberta, and has been involved in our youth programming for the past four years.
6090 Both of our children are life‑long residents of Edmonton.
6091 On my left is Rajwinder Klair, Sur Sangam's Marketing Manager. He has been with the station for the past four years, on the air, and involved in an increasingly responsible management role with this station.
6092 Beside Rajwinder is Shabir Pathan, who has been a broadcast host to the South Asian community for more than 25 years in Edmonton, and one of the city's pioneers of South Asian broadcasting. He acts as a program director for our Hindi and Gujrati programming.
6093 In the second row, starting from my left, your right, we have our corporate accountant, Mel Bhatia, a Certified Management Accountant, who has represented us for the past five years.
6094 Next to him is our corporate legal counsel, Barinder Pannu, who served for 27 years as a Crown prosecutor before moving to his current private practice. Mr. Pannu is one of the most widely respected lawyers in Edmonton.
6095 Next to Mr. Pannu is Saira Qureishy, an on‑air personality with Sur Sangam since the very beginning. Saira is our Pakistani Program Coordinator.
6096 Sanjivan Atwal is one of our youth program hosts, and beside her is Lovepreet Sangha, an on‑air host who specializes in Bhangra, Bollywood and Punjabi music programming.
6097 Finally, in order to demonstrate our commitment to diversity, we introduce to you our two visible minorities, Tamison Bencz, from the Edmonton Food Bank, and Matthew McBride, who has travelled from Vancouver to assist us in our appearance before the Commission today.
6098 I will now begin with our opening presentation.
6099 Madam Chair and Commissioners, welcome to Edmonton, the city of champions, the capital of Alberta, and one of the most progressive communities in the nation.
6100 Edmonton is home to 730,000 citizens, and has grown by almost 10 percent in the past five years. Of these residents, an estimated 10 percent are of South Asian origin. The community is one of the rapidly growing sectors of the overall community profile, which reflects the growth of the South Asian population in every province in Canada.
6101 Guldasta Broadcasting is applying to the CRTC for a licence to serve this community with a conventional over‑the‑air radio service, a radio service dedicated to a specific market segment that makes up to 10 percent of the local population.
6102 Our application is the product of years of service to the South Asian community on the CKUA sub‑carrier.
6103 Operating as Sur Sangam Radio, we have been producing a wide range of programs and services for our target market for over six years. Our application proposes to continue our long and dedicated service to our community in the same manner that most Edmontonians are able to receive radio service by the free over‑the‑air radio service.
6104 With this application we wish to grow our established service using our existing studio facilities in order to maintain our long relationship with the Edmonton South Asian community as their preferred option for radio communication.
6105 Our application is for an ethnic licence, and in keeping with the guiding principles of the radio Act and CRTC directions, we propose to serve a number of ethnic groups, in a variety of languages, while at the same time keeping a focus on the broad range of South Asian listeners. This range includes people with their origins in Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, for example, in a blend of Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, and Bengali, to name some of our proposed language services.
6106 While this application is for a new FM radio service, Guldasta Broadcasting is no Punjabi come lately. Our station and all of our programming is based in and originates from the City of Edmonton. We are 100 percent local, dealing exclusively with local issues, events and interests, and we have been doing so on Sur Sangam and on TV for almost a decade.
6107 In order to demonstrate the depth of our community commitment, and the duration of our proven service and dedication to the City of Edmonton and all of its residents, we would like to present a video that tells our story in the words of the community.
6108 Please roll the video.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
6109 MR. SHARNPREET BUTTAR: In order to continue our long service to Edmonton's South Asian community we must expand. For this reason, we are before the CRTC today to apply for an ethnic licence to carry on a broadcast undertaking on 98.5 FM.
6110 This expansion of our reach will allow us to continue to serve all Edmontonians with our mix of music, cultural and current affairs coverage, in a medium and method that more appropriately reflect the way our current audience would prefer to obtain their radio services.
6111 Our service includes 2,778 minutes of spoken word programming weekly. This includes 2,316 minutes of structured spoken word, and an estimated 462 minutes of DJ ad lib content.
6112 We play at least 900 songs weekly, of which at least 90 will be emerging Canadian artists, and a minimum of 108 songs, or 12 percent of our total playlist will be Canadian content.
6113 Our plans for an over‑the‑air service include a major expansion of our existing broadcast facilities. We intend to double the square footage of our studios, adding an additional full guest studio, a new recording booth, and expanded office space for staff and guests.
6114 In addition to studio expansion, we intend to upgrade and modernize our entire air chain with the latest studio software and broadcast equipment.
6115 Our proposed radio station will operate on 98.5 FM, from a tower site southwest of Edmonton, operating at 7,200 watts of effective radiated power.
6116 We have agreed to work closely with our consulting engineers and interested parties to ensure that our signal will not encroach on any existing services.
6117 To ensure the highest level of technical quality possible, we will be acquiring new, state of the art transmitting equipment that meets or exceeds today's technical broadcast standards.
6118 In January, prior to filing this application, we conducted research to determine the viability of expanding our existing SCMO service to a conventional radio station service.
6119 Our research involved extensive reviews of our several years of historical records to validate financial patterns. We conducted individual interviews with over 200 existing and previous advertising clients to gauge not only the acceptance of the proposed service, but the anticipated level of revenue that we may expect should this licence be approved.
6120 We also evaluated the existing media landscape for South Asian interests. Our community is a heavy consumer of media, with many newspapers and magazines circulated weekly.
6121 In the case of the broadcast services available, none are truly dedicated to the South Asian community. In some cases, the programming available to the South Asian community comes from outside sources, such as Vancouver's controversial South Asian broadcast ventures.
6122 There is no single, truly dedicated, over‑the‑air radio service that reaches all of the South Asian community, and our application proposes to fill that gap. Our proposal aims to create a radio station that will serve our target audience in the same manner that others in Edmonton are served.
6123 Guldasta proposes a radio station, delivered over the air, that serves its market in a conventional manner: a morning show featuring news, sports, weather and local surveillance material; locally produced spoken word programming; a heavy emphasis on community involvement and visibility; and local studios that produce this content 24 hours per day.
6124 Any Edmonton resident can wake up in the morning and turn on their favourite station, one dedicated and targeted toward them. We propose exactly the same idea for Guldasta Broadcasting, a radio station clearly targeted toward a specific market segment, which delivers entertainment and information that appeals to that market.
6125 The market we are targeting, incidentally, is South Asian. It makes sense for Guldasta to target the South Asian market with an ethnic licence. This licence accepts and provides for some of the challenges related to Canadian music resources for ethnic groups. It provides us with the flexibility to broadcast in the multiple languages that encompass the broad description of "South Asian", and it allows us to compete side‑by‑side with other members of mainstream Edmonton broadcasting.
6126 Ultimately, that is what Guldasta has aspired to do all along ‑‑ to be able to participate as Canadians in the Canadian broadcast industry, bringing our unique culture to others, and open‑heartedly inviting others to participate in our own culture.
6127 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Madam Chair and Commissioners, our assembled team here today welcomes the CRTC's examination of our application.
6128 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Buttar.
6129 I will be conducting the initial questioning, and then the other Commissioners will very likely have questions as well.
6130 I would first like to confirm that you are willing to accept a Condition of Licence requiring you to devote 100 percent of your total programming during the broadcast week to ethnic programming.
6131 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Also, are you willing to accept a Condition of Licence requiring you to devote at least 90 percent of your total programming provided during the broadcast week to third‑language programming?
6133 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, ma'am.
6134 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am just confirming those. Thank you.
6135 I would like to confirm that, as per your deficiency response of February 29th, you are willing to accept as a Condition of Licence a minimum level of 12 percent Canadian content for Category 3 music throughout the broadcast week.
6136 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6137 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am wondering now, because it is important to us to consider diversity in the market and how that is going to be achieved, if you could describe for us the differences and similarities between the service you are proposing and what CIAM Media Broadcasting Association is proposing, and if you could explain why you believe that your application is better suited to serve this market.
6138 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: First of all, we are local, and we have been running the SCMO service for the last six years.
6139 In addition, some of my team members have been involved in local media for over 25 years, and myself for the last 12 years. We know and live in this community. We are the pulse of the community, and we think that we could service much better locally, and we will concentrate on the issues that are more important to Edmontonians.
6140 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6141 I have a similar question with respect to the competing application by the Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation. I am interested to know, again, what you consider the differences and similarities to be, and why your application would be better suited to serve the market.
6142 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: There is one thing with my experience in serving the South Asian community. What I find now is that the South Asian community has grown to the extent where it can support its own media outlet.
6143 We have many, many languages, and that model has existed at CKUA, in our community, for the last many years, and that model existed 25 years ago.
6144 Today is a new age. The community has grown quite a bit since that time, and our team feels very strongly that the South Asian community will be served properly if they have their own media, which will include all of those languages ‑‑ Tamil, Gujrati, and a few other languages ‑‑ which are not included anywhere else in the media.
6145 Bringing in all of these smaller groups with the bigger communities, like Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, will mean that the South Asian community will be able to support a media outlet at this time.
6146 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you highlight for me again which of the languages ‑‑ you are proposing seven principal languages, as I understand it. Which of those would be unique to your service?
6147 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We will have Punjabi, Hindi ‑‑
6148 THE CHAIRPERSON: But Punjabi and Hindi, are they unique to your service, or are they also available on the other services?
6149 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: They are also available on the other services.
6150 What are unique are Myanmar and Tamil, and Gujrati, which has not been anywhere until now.
6151 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have more questions along this line, but rather than lose my flow, I will ask them later. Thank you.
6152 Already their exists in the community Rogers CKER‑FM, and I am wondering how your proposed service would bring added diversity to the market, given that their service offers 97 hours of South Asian language programming and 24 hours of Chinese.
6153 I know you are not proposing Chinese, but how will yours be different from the 97 hours offered on CKER?
6154 MR. GURSHARAN: That 97 hours offered ‑‑ first, it just started a few months back. Before that it was not there. On the 1st of October they started with 76 hours. Before that it was only 14 hours ‑‑ 13 to 14 hours per week.
6155 On the other hand, they are starting at seven o'clock at night, and running all night, including all of those hours. Our application is focused on more prime time, daytime listenership, when they need the radio the most ‑‑ driving trucks and taxis and other walks of life. They need the programming at that time.
6156 It is our proposal to have a 24‑hour dedicated service to the South Asian community.
6157 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your service will be live?
6158 I understand that there will be 126 hours of local programming, and 112 hours live‑to‑air?
6159 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6160 THE CHAIRPERSON: The remaining 10 hours, would they be voice‑tracked or pre‑recorded?
6161 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Pre‑recorded.
6162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Done by yourself?
6163 Prepared by yourself?
6164 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6165 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your brief you describe a daily talk show that will be a mix of languages that serve the South Asian community, primarily Hindi and Punjabi. This program, you say, will occupy 560 minutes in each week, which is a substantial programming block.
6166 I am wondering if you could explain how that appeals to all of the other ethnic groups that you are serving ‑‑ the five other groups that you are serving.
6167 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: This is a unique application. All of the South Asian community ‑‑ they are from different cultures and different languages, but we are all used to living together for years and years, so, somewhat, we understand each other.
6168 And with my experience and our team's experience, and with our daily approach ‑‑
6169 South Asians accept these languages. Even if it is not one of their own languages, they will still listen to it.
6170 Music is very common.
6171 THE CHAIRPERSON: Music is common, but would people understand all of the different languages?
6172 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Not 100 percent, but they can pick up some parts of it.
6173 Especially when there is some English, like one or two words ‑‑ when English comes into our conversation, people pick those up and they can relate to that.
6174 THE CHAIRPERSON: You wouldn't expect, then, to lose a portion of your audience every day for that. You think that people would stay tuned, anyway, for the music.
6175 Is that what you are suggesting?
6176 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6177 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will you be doing any exchange of programs with other ethnic broadcasters?
6178 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No.
6179 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would like to talk about the CCD commitment ‑‑ Canadian Content Development.
6180 First of all, I would like to know if you are willing to accept the imposition of a transitionary Canadian Content Development Condition of Licence, which will expire when the amendments to the Radio Regulations come into force.
6181 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6183 Now, I am a little confused about the amount of your CCD. I will point to all of the areas where I see it is slightly different.
6184 In your March 13th response you indicated that you would make CCD contributions annually in line with the policy, $500 to FACTOR. In that response you indicated that you wish to exceed the minimum requirements.
6185 That is in your March 13th letter, if you are trying to find it, in Section 8.1.(d).
6186 And then you indicate that you are willing to pay additional amounts of $14,500 in every year of the term of the licence.
6187 However, in your response to Question 5 on February 29th, you refer to $500, plus $15,000 in over‑and‑above.
6188 Also, in Section 3 of your supplementary brief you mention a performance subsidy of $1,500 in cash payments that would be made to local artists, increasing by 5 percent annually.
6189 This subsidy is addressed again in your February 29th letter; however, it is not clear if the $1,500 is included in the $14,500 or the $15,000.
6190 I think I could have asked this question in a more direct manner.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6191 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just bear with me, it's written this way.
6192 Then, on your financial projections it shows as $16,500.
6193 So why don't you just explain to me what it is, and that will answer the question.
6194 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: The $1,500 is not included in the $15,000.
6195 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not included?
6196 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: It's not.
6197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not intended. Okay.
6198 And the total then...?
6199 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: $16,500.
6200 THE CHAIRPERSON: $16,500.
6201 And that is all over‑and‑above?
6202 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6203 THE CHAIRPERSON: I should have just asked you that straight out.
6204 Could you identify, then, the CCD initiatives that you will be supporting?
6205 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We contacted NAIT, the northern technical institute, and they accepted our offer. We will be sending them money.
6206 And they have already accepted a condition where they will spend that money according to CRTC rules.
6207 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are going to give, I assume, the 20 percent to FACTOR that is required, and the balance will go to NAIT?
6208 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: The balance is going to NAIT, yes.
6209 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are not increasing your $16,500, it is straight across each year?
6210 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No, it will increase 5 percent each year.
6211 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps what I will ask you to do, if you wouldn't mind, say, by the end of the day on Wednesday, if that is possible, to just give us a little table that sets out your CCD, and that ties into your financial statement.
6212 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Sure.
6213 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6214 We want to make sure that it ties into the financial statements, so if it's different, I will get you to amend your statement as well.
6216 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Sure.
6217 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6218 You were originally going to give some funds to the Sikh Federation of Edmonton, but that's not the case any more.
6219 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Not the case.
6221 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's not the case any more.
6222 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Thanks.
6223 Do you have a confirmation from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology?
6224 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, we do.
6225 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will you file that with the Commission?
6226 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Will do.
6227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wednesday, as well, if that's possible?
6228 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Sure.
6229 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6230 I am curious to know, on an ongoing basis, what you will do to ensure that NAIT uses those funds in accordance with the policy.
6231 In other words, will you be in contact with them each year to ‑‑
6232 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6233 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to get a little more information on your advisory council.
6234 You gave us some information in your February 29th response, where you indicated that you will have a chair and seven delegates, each representing a different ethnic community, a family and community advocate, and a Canadian Content Development advocate.
6235 You describe the role of the delegates, that their role will be to ensure that their specific communities are fairly represented in programming and advertising opportunities, and that the advocates will be responsible for promoting the interests of their specific interest area.
6236 I understand that they will meet quarterly.
6237 Is that correct?
6238 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6239 THE CHAIRPERSON: How will the chair be selected?
6240 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We will give a voting right to all of the councillors, and we will elect our chair to direct the council.
6241 THE CHAIRPERSON: So the chair would not be an additional position, then, it would be someone from within?
6242 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: From the seven.
6243 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will it be from the seven or the nine?
6244 Will it include the other advocates?
6245 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Right now we have seven, and we are still debating. We have commitments from the other groups. They even stated that in their letters of support. We requested them to be part of our advisory council, and they accepted that.
6246 And we are waiting for their response and the name of the person who they would like to send us.
6247 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are still considering seven languages, seven ethnic groups, seven delegates represented ‑‑
6248 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6249 THE CHAIRPERSON: The other two, the family and community advocate, and the Canadian Content Development advocate, would they be voting on the chair as well?
6250 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6251 THE CHAIRPERSON: And could they possibly be voted the chair, either one of them?
6252 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, they could be.
6253 THE CHAIRPERSON: What criteria were you intending to use to select the delegates?
6254 I was curious if you were just inviting suggestions from each community.
6255 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Actually, most of the communities have different organizations, where they have a cultural director, or where they have a language director, and we will ask specifically for one of those people who are directly working either with the culture or with the language program, and they will be designated on our advisory committee.
6256 THE CHAIRPERSON: How long a term would you see each delegate serving?
6257 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Two years.
6258 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would they be eligible for re‑election or reappointment by their communities?
6259 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: It would depend on their own community council's rules and regulations if they would elect them again. If they would like to send the same people to us again, we would consider them.
6260 But, according to their constitution, if they don't allow them to serve over two years, then we will have to change to a new council, according to their terms and conditions.
6261 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was curious if you could describe for me in a little more detail what the family and community advocate and the Canadian Content Development advocate would be doing.
6262 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: They will be monitoring and making suggestions about the content and the music selection, and about the talk shows, and the different community concerns, and we will take their considerations into account and decide from there.
6263 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are there any specific responsibilities for the Canadian Content Development advocate?
6264 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, there will be.
6265 All of the emerging artists and all of the Canadian content, they will be looking after that part, as well, for us.
6266 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, as a group, they are going to bring to you ideas for programming.
6267 I was curious to know how you will decide which programs will make it to air.
6268 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We have a very strong team working with Radio Sur Sangam, and they have lots of experience. Mr. Shabir Pathan has been doing this work for 25 years.
6269 And we have been working for years and years with the community, and we have some ideas.
6270 We will work with them closely, and it will be a mutual understanding with them, but the final decision will be ours. We will decide what to do and where to go from there.
6271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6272 This is going back a little bit to your opening comments, with respect to the ability of the market to support more than one ethnic radio station.
6273 The 2006 census recorded 14,000 South Asians identifying Punjabi as their mother tongue. You indicated in your deficiency response that there are an estimated 80,000 persons of Punjabi/Hindi origin, and an additional 30,000 persons of South Asian ethnic groups.
6274 Today I think you referred to ‑‑
6275 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Eighty.
6276 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You reference your source for the information as the City of Edmonton Staff, in consultations you had with them.
6277 I am wondering if there are any studies publicly available to support the numbers.
6278 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: First of all, I would like to explain about the Punjabi‑speaking population. Lots of people, even if they are Punjabi, they don't put in the census that they are Punjabi, they just put that they are an English‑speaking family, and this is a new change as a Canadian.
6279 So those numbers are not correct numbers.
6280 And being in the media ‑‑
6281 Since 2006, until now, there has been lots of migration to Edmonton.
6282 Even according to the 2006 census, the South Asian community grew by 35 percent in the country and in the city, which is bigger than any other community.
6283 And that growth, plus newcomers after 2006, who migrated from Winnipeg, or Vancouver, or Toronto. There are lots of people here who are travelling with their families from India, from Singapore, from Malaysia, who are Hindi/Punjabi‑speaking.
6284 And thousands of people are on permit right now, and they are working in Alberta. They are not part of the census.
6285 So, collecting all of those numbers together, they add up to somewhere near a population of 80,000 people who understand and speak Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, or other languages.
6286 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you wouldn't have a publicly available study to support it, would you?
6287 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Actually, before we submitted the application we made a phone call to the Government of Alberta, and this is an unofficial report given to us by them.
6288 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6289 You did some research, you mentioned. Would your research have given you any idea?
6290 It would be pretty hard to tell from that anyway, I would think.
6291 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6292 Actually, in the last six years ‑‑ and I have been in the business for 12 years ‑‑ research is ongoing every day.
6293 And over 20,000 radio sets have been sold into the South Asian community; not only the South Asian community, only Hindi and Punjabi‑speaking people. And, in 20,000 households, maybe some people have two or three radios in their homes.
6294 Right now Rajwinder and myself are working with the client lists and the prospects for our advertising. There are over 700 South Asian businesses in the community, which could generate lots of revenue to support the radio station.
6295 Plus, our estimate is pretty accurate, according to us, that there are 80,000 people living in the metro Edmonton area who are South Asian.
6296 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are saying that there are 20,000 radios or receivers that have been sold.
6297 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right, in the last 11 years.
6298 The SCMO has existed since 1995 in Edmonton.
6299 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6300 I was curious to know, as well, if you had a population breakdown by ethnic group of the seven groups that you are proposing to serve.
6301 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: I don't have anything ready at this time, but I have most of the figures, which we can work on, and we could file that on Wednesday with the other documentation.
6302 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would be good.
6303 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6304 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
6305 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your deficiency response February 29th to question 21 you indicated the sources of your projected Year 2 revenues. That was in a response to a question we would have asked.
6306 I'm wondering what percentage of your revenues you think would come from CKER‑FM. You didn't indicate any on your table and I'm just wondering, do you think that none of your revenues would come from CKER?
6307 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No, none of them.
6308 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a reason that you think that? They haven't been at it as long? You are saying they have only just recently increased the hours of programming they do?
6309 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: SCMOs, there is three SCMOs in our community and they are holding the most of the business in South Asian communities, for years and years. CKER more rely on national accounts and on the bigger accounts like Wal‑Mart and other outfits. And hardly anybody from South Asian community advertise on CKER.
6310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, I had a question here about the other SCMO services in Edmonton. They are all as well doing South Asian?
6311 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: They are doing South Asian but we are the ones who started the local programming and still there is SCMO who broadcast outside sources from Vancouver for more than 20 hours per day.
6312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I didn't understand.
6313 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Most SCMOs in our city ‑‑
6314 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6315 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: ‑‑ they only produce three to four hours local programming in the evening.
6316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see.
6317 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Most of the programming comes from Surrey, B.C.
6318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6319 THE CHAIRPERSON: I notice ‑‑ let me ask you this first. Do you expect that your advertising rates will increase substantially from what you are currently charging on your SCMO service?
6320 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6321 THE CHAIRPERSON: You do. And as part of your research and polling your existing clients, and you mentioned you were also talking to previous clients of your SCMO, did you discuss rates with them as well?
6322 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6323 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you don't expect that's going to be ‑‑
6324 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Most of them even stated in their letters that we are willing to support, continuous support with the FM station.
6325 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you are expecting 30 percent of your Year 2 revenues will come from your current station?
6326 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6327 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I was just curious to know what percent of your current advertisers do you expect will make the move to the FM service?
6328 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: I'm very ‑‑ in discussion with them and relationship established with them for years and years, I would say at least 80 percent.
6329 THE CHAIRPERSON: 80?
6330 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6331 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are forecasting a 1 percent audience share, 12 plus audience share in Year 1, increasing annually by a quarter of a percent over seven years. I'm just wondering how does that 1 percent share for Year 1 compare to your current audience? Do you have any feel for that?
6332 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That will be a very big growth on our part.
6333 THE CHAIRPERSON: Will it?
6334 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: It will be very big.
6335 THE CHAIRPERSON: Even in Year 1?
6336 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6337 THE CHAIRPERSON: And your SCMO service, would you just discontinue it completely?
6338 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We will still keep the SCMO service.
6339 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will still be operating it?
6340 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: SCMO, yes.
6341 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So if I have an SCMO receiver can I receive all of the SCMO services offered in the community, pickup all of them?
6342 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Most of. Not every SCMO server, most SCMO servers are setup that way. We are going to receive all the SCMO services.
6343 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So I'm wondering then ‑‑ well, I will come back to that.
6344 I'm wondering how many people you will employ and what will be the composition of your staff.
6345 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We will have five to six fulltime employees and eight part‑time employees to start with.
6346 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how will they be assigned, you know sales, admin, marketing?
6347 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6348 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many ‑‑ how will that breakdown, your news department in particular?
6349 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We have big news staff. We will have three people working in the city in the news department and we have a team of newscasters working in other ‑‑ New York City, countries in India, Pakistan. They are directly employed with us, Guldasta Broadcasting. So including them we are the team of 12 to 13 people even right now and we will be growing to 15 or so in the near future if we have this approved.
6350 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your international correspondents, if you like; is that what you are saying, working in ‑‑
6351 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: That's right.
6352 THE CHAIRPERSON: And how many of those would you have?
6353 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: We have 11 right now.
6354 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so they bring you breaking news items ‑‑
6355 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Breaking news, yes.
6356 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ that kind of thing?
6357 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6358 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6359 I had a question here. I noticed that there is a considerable difference between your financial projections and those of the Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation. I don't know if you had a chance to look at their application?
6360 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6361 THE CHAIRPERSON: So they are proposing Year 1 revenues of 815,000 growing to 2 million and 60 over the seven‑year period annually for a total of 10 million, 154 and you are proposing 430,000 Year 1 growing to 682,000 in Year 7 for a 3.8 million total for the seven years.
6362 So your projected revenues are about 38 percent of that that's projected by Multicultural Broadcasting and similarly with your expenses. They are about 36.5 percent. So I'm just wondering if you would care to comment on the significant difference.
6363 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, with our experience of this market and working with them years and years this is a very commonsense business plan we have. It's achievable. And we know it's very modest and we can grow even bigger than that. But this is achievable commonsense business plan we put forward to the Commission at this time.
6364 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I understand that to be conservative. So how conservative is it? Do you think it's 80 percent of what you might achieve or 60 percent or you don't even think of it in terms like that?
6365 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Actually, at this time I know we can do better than this but 80 percent I cannot comment at this point.
6366 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then can I gather from that you are not expecting it to be significantly different? You are comfortable with what you have? You don't have to give me a number if you don't ‑‑
6367 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: With the growth consideration at this point if it keeps growing at the same pace it will be a considerable difference.
6368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6369 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: But if there is no growth still with this number we are safer to say that even, you know, like if we don't have the same growth continue for coming years we will still be comfortable with the numbers, what we just put forward to the Commission.
6370 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Thank you.
6371 I notice that your Year 3 expenses as a percent of your total revenue looks odd compared to the percent of revenue for Alberta, and also as well as forecast by the Multicultural Corporation. I don't know if you would have had a chance to look or to do that kind of a comparison.
6372 But for example ‑‑ I suppose you are not ‑‑ it's not actually the ‑‑ the Multicultural Corporation is 97 percent expenses of the revenue, their operating expenses total and yours total 91.6. I suppose that's not such a significant difference percentage‑wise. The difference is just in the quantum.
6373 But I notice your payroll and benefits, 50 percent of your revenues ‑‑ or sorry, your payrolls and benefits would be at 50 percent of your revenues and you have broken that out on a separate line, whereas normally it's allocated to programming, technical, sales; promotion. Are you able to tell us how that payroll and benefits would split up, like if we wanted to add it to the programming line? For example, your programming expenses are 8 percent of revenue whereas for the Province of Alberta it's 37.6 percent of revenue and for Multicultural it's 41.6.
6374 Are you able to break your payroll and benefits down? And actually, you wouldn't even have to do it right now if you could just give it to us with your undertaking.
6375 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Sure, thank you.
6376 THE CHAIRPERSON: That gives you a chance to look at it.
6377 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Thank you very much.
6378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6379 And I notice in particular that your programming expenses are $21,300 compared to $460 for multicultural broadcasting in Year 2. So I understand that yours is on a different scale but once you reallocate your expenses that number I expect will come up, because I would assume all of your salaries are in the one line.
6380 We will see when you do it, and I think that will answer that question that I had.
6381 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Thank you.
6382 THE CHAIRPERSON: Given the strength of the competitive environment in the Edmonton market, what will be the effect on your business plans if the results are not as you projected and you incur larger losses for a longer period of time ‑‑ and for a longer period of time?
6383 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Can you repeat that, please?
6384 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure. I'm just wondering if you don't achieve the results that you have forecasted and if I see that you have forecasted a negative PBIT for the first two years and Year 3 you are looking at a positive, but if it's longer, if it takes three or four years to turnaround what are you prepared to do?
6385 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6386 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you prepared to put in additional funds?
6387 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: First of all, with this business plan we are very confident that this will work. And if it's not we are all prepared for it and we have some ‑‑ we will have some funds allocated in that case. If that happens we will have funds to subsidize.
6388 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you consider reducing operating expenses, in particular programming expenses, to make up for any shortfall?
6389 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No, actually, I am a very big believer in team work and a proper team can take you towards your goal and cutting back on the team is not a good business plan ‑‑ according to me.
6390 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
6391 I'm wondering, how many new licences do you think the Edmonton market can support?
6392 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: In the ethnic?
6393 THE CHAIRPERSON: Both actually, I was going to ask of you. Ethnic is part B but you can do whichever you like.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6394 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6395 At this point I think one licence will be well supported and maybe two, and what ‑‑ South Asian community at this point can support one more licence, that's for sure. And I cannot comment on the other communities.
6396 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6397 So your projections are based on one South Asian ‑‑ one ethnic community, like one ethnic licence?
6398 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: One ethnic licence.
6399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, good enough. Thank you.
6400 All right. I will just see if my any of my colleagues ‑‑ Commissioner Cugini.
6401 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
6402 Good morning.
6403 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Good morning.
6404 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I just have a couple of follow‑up questions.
6405 In your discussions with Chair Duncan you did talk about mother tongue and ethnic origin and it's often a conversation that is had with ethnic media. I would like you to tell us and expand a little bit on why you think it's important that we consider ethnic origin as well as statistics related to mother tongue and why it's particularly important for the South Asian community.
6406 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: South Asian community has grown very fast in the past few years and they all bring their culture and their values with them. And it's very important for them to diversify the Canadian society to welcome the other cultural values and their beliefs into all cultures and at the same time have our cultural values and our customs to be shared by the other communities.
6407 Radio and this media is very important vehicle to diversify the community and be part of the bigger communities, like all the other Canadian communities and communication and diversify it and to know the others and tell about us to the others. This will be very appropriate vehicle for that.
6408 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: But ethnic origin statistics capture second, third, fourth, fifth generation South Asian Canadians, any second, third, fourth or fifth generation immigrant population. Is there enough of an audience base to keep ‑‑ to sustain a radio station going forward that has dedicated almost 100 percent to South Asian programming?
6409 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, there will be.
6410 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And for generations to come. In 20 years do you have enough of a population base that is going to sustain this radio station?
6411 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes, yes. There is two reasons for that.
6412 One, we have a third or second, fourth generation coming up in Canada. At the same time, we are the biggest growing community with the immigration, new immigrants from India and from other parts of the world.
6413 And on the same note, second or third generation even though they are Canadians and we are proud to be Canadians and English is our first language, more radio stations ‑‑ and communication is a very important part to learning and keeping in touch with our culture, our roots and our language.
6414 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And the fact that you have some younger South Asian people on your panel is not lost on me. So thank you for that.
6415 Again, following up on the conversation with Chairperson Duncan regarding the similarities and differences with other applicants, if we look specifically at the application by Multicultural Broadcasting they are including more languages in their application but the languages that you are targeting they have also included, I think, if my math is correct, to a total of about 45 hours. You are 100 percent South Asian.
6416 My question to you is this: In a community like ‑‑ in a market like Edmonton where as great as it is that South Asian isn't the only ethnic community, why should we consider your application to better serve the Edmonton market rather than that of Multicultural broadcasting which has a wider scope and will therefore appeal to a wider audience and more language groups?
6417 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: With my broadcasting experience that model is already existing in our community with the CKER and that model is very old when the community was only in the hundreds, maybe in thousands at that time, and now the community has grown and only radio services are profitable these days where they don't lose the audience all day around.
6418 And to keeping that in mind, focusing on one community and one group or similar communities is the way of broadcasting at this area. That's what I believe in.
6419 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, thank you very much and thank you for your responses this morning.
6420 Thank you, Madam Chair.
6421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner Cugini.
6422 Commissioner Molnar.
6423 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, good morning.
6424 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Good morning.
6425 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I just have a couple of questions as follow up.
6426 You mentioned to Chairperson Duncan that you would plan if you were successful in this licence to retain your SCMO service.
6427 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6428 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And I wondered if you could explain to me why you would retain that? What's the benefit of that service in addition to this?
6429 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Since there is the news and there is a discussion in the community that we are applying for an FM station, we have been approached by some of the communities which cannot afford FM station at this time. They cannot support ethnic station at this time. And they are already inquiring about adding those communities onto SCMO.
6430 I feel that with the diversity there is a chance to bring other languages who can benefit from that. That is the main reason for me to keep that SCMO with the FM station.
6431 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry, just so I understand, because you are broadcasting outside of Edmonton as well as in Edmonton with that SCMO?
6432 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No, I only broadcast into Edmonton with that SCMO. Communities within Edmonton approached us for the SCMO service, if they can add their language and their programming onto SCMO if we have FM station approved.
6433 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. So you would see potentially changing the makeup of what's in that SCMO. So you would use this FM station to focus on your South Asian, the seven groups. I think it was seven targeted groups within the South Asian community, and you would expand the SCMO to different communities ‑‑
6434 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: I will ‑‑ I will explain that again.
6435 What it is ‑‑ South Asian community, I'm including seven languages. But if you know South Asian origins there is 41 languages, more than that, and some of that is not even included in this application. They are small groups like 1,000, 800 some other people, and their languages will be added into SCMO and their programming will be added into SCMO.
6436 It will be South Asian. It will be ethnic, but totally different languages, small groups where there needs some programming and some community voices to be broadcasted and it will be focused on those languages.
6437 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
6438 Will it be operated entirely separately or will you have some synergies with the FM radio station
6439 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Separately.
6440 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Separately?
6441 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6442 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
6443 Just one more question. Obviously, I take ‑‑ well, I take ‑‑ I shouldn't say obviously but I take from the video that you provided that you are very successful with a broad audience appeal and a successful outreach to the community. And I wondered what you felt might be the impact upon your SCMO if the successful applicant here was not yourself, if we had ‑‑ one of the other ethnic applicants were to achieve a licence, would that have ‑‑ what sort of impacts would that have on your company?
6444 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: It will have a big impact. Like any other city we are ‑‑ it's a record we have ‑‑ vendor licence where there is open frequencies. SCMO don't exist in similar languages. That's why I was discussing to switch the SCMO services to different languages if we have the FM licence.
6445 If this licence is given to somebody else our SCMO subscribers will be affected very badly.
6446 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So where you say that there is capacity to licence another applicant, there is capacity to licence another applicant and keep your SCMO healthy and whole or not?
6447 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No.
6448 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So there isn't capacity?
6449 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: There isn't a ‑‑ because we will be competing in similar languages, similar cultures. There is a capacity if we change the direction of the SCMO just their viability, but if we are focussing in the same community like right now I'm serving Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi and Urdu‑speaking and if a licence is granted for the similar languages to another licence it will affect the SCMO big time.
6450 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you. I understand.
6451 Those are my questions.
6452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6453 Mr. Buttar, Commissioner Molnar's question reminded me of one that I overlooked asking.
6454 I just wanted to know, since you are going to be continuing the SCMO operation if any of the programming done for that station will end up on your FM service?
6455 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: No, there is a totally different format for the FM station.
6456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. No, that's great. That concludes our questions.
6457 Legal? Yes, Legal.
6458 MS LEMOUX: Thank you, Madam Chair.
6459 I have one follow‑up question on the CCD contributions. So in response to a question asked by Madam Chair you have agreed to a transitional condition of licence for the CCD contribution regime.
6460 However, I would like a confirmation from you that you also agree to have your over and above contributions of $16,500 for each of the seven years of operation imposed by condition of licence.
6461 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Yes.
6462 MS LEMOUX: Thank you.
6463 THE CHAIRPERSON: This is ‑‑ we have sort of gotten into this little custom of giving you two minutes, if you like, to tell us why Guldasta Broadcasting should be granted the licence.
6464 MR. GURSHARAN BUTTAR: Sapreet.
6465 MS SAPREET BUTTAR: Members of the Commission, first, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. Edmonton's entire South Asian community is excited at the opportunity to obtain a full service radio station they can receive over the air without the need of special equipment.
6466 Guldasta Broadcasting has been a champion of this community for many years and have been deeply committed to community service as a way to strengthen our own culture, to share our cultures with others and to discover other cultures that surround us. We have extensive experience in serving this community and extensive experience in running a radio station from a business and a financial point of view.
6467 We have an excellent highly‑trained staff in all positions ready to take on this exciting new challenge. As you can see, our family is entirely committed to our business plan. The successes we have shared in the past are our strongest point in planning and forecasting the future.
6468 We are Edmonton all the way. We share not only our family and community culture but the lifestyle and culture of any Canadian family, hot summers, cold winters and diehard support for the Oilers add an exciting and positive hope for the future.
6469 Our future is one in which we aspire to continue what our family has done for so long and which our community wishes for us to continue.
6470 We have a strong financial base to start from, excellent support from our professional advisors and massive community backing, as indicated in the interventions filed on our behalf by not only the South Asian community but members from across Edmonton's ethnic and cultural spectrum.
6471 It is a privilege to appear before you today to present our proposal for a new FM radio station for Edmonton.
6472 The entire Guldasta team thanks the Commission for their consideration of our application and, as well, we look forward to having you here for some butter chicken for our launch party.
6473 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6474 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will take a 15‑minute break.
6475 I don't think I have got the right time. I'm on Toronto time there. What is it? 11:00, thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1047 / Suspension à 1047
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1109 / Reprise à 1109
6476 THE SECRETARY: We are ready to begin with Item 14 which is an application by Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. for a licence to operate an FM commercial ethnic radio programming undertaking in Edmonton.
6477 The new station would operate on frequency 95.7 MHz (channel 239B) with an average effective radiated power of 10,600 watts (maximum effective radiated power of 20,000 watts/antenna height of 175.5 metres).
6478 Appearing for the applicant is Bijoy Samuel. Please introduce your colleagues and then you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
6479 Mr. Samuel.
PRESENTATION / PRESENTATION
6480 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
6481 Good morning, Madam Chair, and members of the Commission.
6482 I am Bijoy Samuel, General Manager of ReD‑FM. I have been associated with the company for five years.
6483 Seated next to me is Kulwinder Sanghera. Kulwinder is the President of ReD‑FM and was honoured as the business person of the year in 2006 by the Surrey Board of Trade.
6484 We have developed a strong local team. Here are the members of our panel.
6485 Kulmit Sangha has lived in Edmonton for 31 years. He is a respected radio host and started his radio career many years ago at CKER‑FM. Kulmit presently operates his own SCMO in Edmonton and will be part of our team providing strong, local programming.
6486 Suknit Lamba joined us as a host when we started ReD‑FM in Vancouver and she relocated to Edmonton about a year ago after getting married. Upon moving to Edmonton Suknit re‑established her radio career and she hosted Punjabi and Hindi shows on CKER‑FM.
6487 Our Chinese host, Catherine, is not here. But in her place Pan is here with us today. Pan Zhang is a Mandarin host and she has been living in Edmonton for the last 10 years and has hosted shows on CKER‑FM for many years. Pan was also a radio host in China.
6488 Tina Tolvay is a Filipino host. Tina has lived in Edmonton for more than two decades and has a rich experience of hosting Filipino shows on CKER‑FM. Tina was instrumental in organizing local Filipino talent contests and one of the winners in fact went on to participate in the Canadian Idol.
6489 As you can see, we have an excellent team, rich in local radio experience and they are well known to Edmonton radio listeners.
6490 Harjinder Thind is a news director and talk show host in Vancouver. He also co‑hosts on national television show Des Pardes. Harjinder is legendary with fan following amongst South Asians across Canada. His talk shows are on current affairs and provide an intelligent forum for discussion. Until a few months ago his radio program was broadcast in Edmonton and he has a huge following in Edmonton.
6491 Michael Pedersen is our technical director and is responsible for many key initiatives like the ReD‑FM Run and the Surrey Food Drive.
6492 Mark Lewis is our broadcast lawyer and a partner at Lewis Birnberg Hanet LLP. He has worked with us since we applied for a licence in Vancouver.
6493 Kerry Wicks is the President and CEO of Mediastats Incorporated. She has personally handled our project and her company has conducted research for us in Edmonton.
6494 We will now start our presentation.
6495 Canada has opened its arms wide to immigrants from many countries. Our policies encourage multiculturalism. Today, the world views Canada as a true multicultural country and as citizens of this beautiful country we are very excited to be here today, expressing the urgent need for an ethnic radio station to serve Edmonton, and we thank you for giving us this opportunity.
6496 You may know that the last ethnic commercial radio licence was granted 28 years ago in 1980. That's true. It's been a long time. It's exciting because we believe it's about time that the ethnic population of Edmonton gets another ethnic radio station. Hopefully, the Commission will also share our excitement.
6497 Another reason for our excitement is because we are well positioned to take this responsibility and passionately reflect the growing ethnic diversity of Edmonton.
6498 The big questions are: How has the population grown in 28 years? What are their unmet needs? How are we addressing them? Why are we the best applicant to take this responsibility?
6499 So let's look at the first question, how has the population grown? Over the years, growth in infrastructure, economy and population have made Edmonton an excellent market to establish a new ethnic radio station and to cater to the increasing number of immigrants whose mother tongue is not English or French.
6500 Since 1980 Edmonton's ethnic population has more than doubled to 189,775 people and the face of Edmonton has changed drastically. It is now home for many ethnic communities that have grown enormously in size; South Asians, Chinese, Filipinos are the top three ethnic groups that have come in large numbers to Edmonton.
6501 MR. SANGHERA: Need for a new ethnic radio station: The population growth has created a wide gap between the ethnic radio service available and diverse need for many growing ethnic communities. While there are 17 commercial English‑language radio stations serving the mainstream market, even after 28 years only one commercial radio station is catering to the needs of 20 percent of Edmonton's population. Many ethnic groups do not have radio service while others have a minimum service.
6502 The Commission is likely aware that on a population per station basis the Edmonton ethnic radio market is underserved. Other Canadian cities and towns have per capita more ethnic radio service than Edmonton. In Vancouver, two Canadian, two American ethnic radio stations serving the South Asians for 200,000 people. Recently, the Commission granted an ethnic radio licence in Windsor, Ontario to serve an ethnic population of 75,000. Large multi‑station ownership groups collectively command an audience share of 84.2 percent of Edmonton's radio.
6503 It is noteworthy to emphasize that just one company owns 100 percent of commercial ethnic radio and ethnic television station in Edmonton, plus English‑language TV, television and radio stations. This is a highly concentrated media market.
6504 The licensing of ReD‑FM will bring balance and diversity of voices in the market.
6505 MS WICKS: The survey conducted by Mediastats revealed many interesting facts about the need for a new ethnic radio station. Only 30.75 percent of respondents indicated that they were very satisfied with the existing radio stations. For those respondents who were less than very satisfied with available programming, their reasons were diverse, not enough or no programming available in their home language, or the program not being very appealing accounted for their top responses.
6506 These sources again point to a high language retention factor which corroborates our notion that the market is in need of more and diverse ethnic programming to serve its new and expanding immigration population.
6507 In terms of respondents preferences regarding types of programming 65.5 percent of those surveyed were very interested in news from their home country and just under 60 percent were very interested in news from their community in Edmonton.
6508 While 54 and a quarter (54.25) percent of the respondents do not at all frequently listen to CKER‑FM, only 23.25 percent said they do listen very frequently to CKER‑FM. A high total of 88 and a quarter (88.25) percent responded that they would listen to our new ethnic radio station.
6509 Again, these results provide a strong suggestion that additional ethnic radio programming is in almost urgent need in this growing market. The urgency to address this need is accentuated by the fact that the current immigration pattern is rapidly increasing the ethnic population in Edmonton.
6510 MR. SANGHERA: ReD‑FM shall fulfill this need by catering to 16.2 percent of Edmonton's population in 20 different languages targeted toward 23 ethnic groups. We will now present a brief video.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation video
6511 MR. SANGHERA: ReD‑FM also meets a broad service requirement settled in the Ethnic Broadcast Policy. We understand the need to nurture programming directed towards some other ethnic communities so that they too can have a voice. We have the resources and experience to give voice to the truly underserved groups in Edmonton.
6512 MS LAMBA: So how are we fulfilling their needs through ReD‑FM? ReD‑FM will provide a distinct radio service through the local reflection of ethnic communities with special emphasis on local and regional news, local community information as well as intelligent talk shows that stimulate debate and community participation and, of course, great music.
6513 We will increase choices in music for a growing and diverse ethnic population.
6514 We recognize that each community has different needs, interests and capabilities and ReD‑FM shall play a very unique role in strengthening ethnic communities in Edmonton.
6515 Many new immigrants find radio to be a great source of learning and information as they integrate into a new environment. ReD‑FM will be their primary resource.
6516 MR. THIND: ReD‑FM believes that the value of talk show is imperative and shall engage its audience with well‑researched topics. Our talk shows will be community driven and shall encompass a wide range of social, political, health, cultural and economic issues with high local relevance.
6517 ReD‑FM is a strong advocate of feminine issues and topics such as equality in the workplace, balancing careers and family, and domestic violence will be discussed.
6518 On youth talk shows we will discuss topics such as identity crises, gangs, positive role models and lack of quality time between parents and youth.
6519 The reality check talk show will encourage cross‑cultural understanding and multiculturalism. We shall have open line shows to provide an interactive forum to encourage discussions and debate on issues important to our diverse ethnic communities, thus providing Edmonton's ethnic communities exposure to various points of view and allowing them to conduct intelligent discussions and make informed decisions.
6520 Two informative 90‑second features will be produced per day on a variety of topics, including health, active lifestyle, job availability, local artists, role models, word on the street and festivals.
6521 In news programming, as stated earlier, according to the survey conducted by Mediastats, a majority of the respondents are interested in news. Our analysis determined that most of the news available on ethnic radio consists of international news, much of it homeland news.
6522 Internet has made the world a global village, and for the internet savvy news from back home is available easily on the internet. But radio still excels in providing live immediate local news as it happens, and that's exactly what we will do. ReD‑FM shall fulfill the unmet needs for news with a strong emphasis on local news with 87 newscasts during our Punjabi, Filipino, Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin and Cantonese programs, 14 community updates with news from back home in 14 different languages on the weekend.
6523 Whereas most new English‑language FM stations commit to approximately 15 hours per week of spoken word programming mainly on weekdays, our proposal delivers a large amount of spoken word content seven days a week. News and intelligent spoken word programming are at the heart of our proposal.
6524 MS LAMBA: Music plays a very important part in the lives of her listeners. Music is key to the retention of cultural heritage. ReD‑FM's music shows will create a good environment for an ethnic population as the drive to work in the mornings. And while they are at work ReD‑FM shall adopt the role of a background radio station, providing great music. For those coming back to their homes from a hard day's work, ReD‑FM will help them unwind.
6525 ReD‑FM will play a wide variety of music that appeals to target audiences. To be successful today in ethnic radio we know that we must provide micro‑niche formats and cater to the tastes of listeners of different ages. We have been successful in providing specialized music programs for younger listeners as well as more traditional music which encourages entire families to listen to radio together.
6526 ReD‑FM will commit by way of a condition of licence to 10 percent Canadian music content on a weekly basis.
6527 MR. PEDERSEN: Canadian Content Development: Our Canadian Content Development plan is designed to achieve the following; creation of audio content for broadcasting, fulfilment of objectives set out in the Broadcasting Act through the airplay of Canadian music which provides a showcase for the work of Canadian artists.
6528 ReD‑FM shall direct its basic annual CCD contribution of $13,301 over seven years to Grant MacEwen College to be used for bursaries for students enrolled in music programs.
6529 ReD‑FM shall direct $351,494 over seven years as contributions over and above our basic annual CCD contributions. This money will be disbursed as follows: $28,000 over seven years to the University of Alberta, School of Journalism for bursaries to students enrolled in journalism programs; $21,000 over seven years to FACTOR; $39,000 annually on three local music talent contests for Filipinos, South Asians and Chinese artists. Winners will be given an opportunity to work with music composers to produce their work at recording studios and 500 CDs will be produced for distribution to ethnic radio stations.
6530 $29,494 over seven years to the South Asian Lyric Society and the Chinese Lyric Society.
6531 Amongst the ethnic applicants ReD‑FM has committed to spend the highest amount of money on well‑targeted CCD initiatives. In just two years talent contests sponsored by ReD‑FM Vancouver have generated hundreds of entries. Successful contestants have not only received the support of their community in Canada but one contestant has gone on to compete internationally.
6532 We would like to show you a quick video clip illustrating our first two successful talent shows.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
6533 MR. PEDERSEN: In our experience, talent competitions unite communities and are catalysts for community building. We propose to do the same in Edmonton.
6534 Thank you.
6535 MR. SAMUEL: Business plan: The radio market in Edmonton is very strong and has grown tremendously over the last 28 years. Total revenue for all Edmonton radio stations increased from 48.3 million in 2002 to 70.9 million in 2006 with an average growth rate of 10.1 percent.
6536 We have a strong business plan with well‑calculated conservative sales estimates and a format that is very much needed.
6537 The influx of various ethnic groups has led to an increase in ethnic businesses. These businesses constantly need advertising and many have submitted support letters indicating their intention to advertise on our radio station.
6538 The beauty of radio is that it's live, local and immediate. This is a big advantage for many advertisers. A safe strategy is to encourage advertisers to explore the potential of this powerful medium but keeping the pricing of our ads affordable. Positive developments like national advertisers focusing more on reaching ethnic populations and a projected growth in Edmonton of 107,000 people by 2007 to 2012 backup our business plan.
6539 We will increase new radio advertising revenue and create new broadcasting jobs locally while achieving financial success with minimal impact on other broadcasters.
6540 Now, let's discuss why are we the most suitable candidates to operate the new station.
6541 The ReD‑FM advantage: We thank you for granting us the licence in Vancouver. We would like to share with you what we have done with the responsibility with which you entrusted us.
6542 Last year we commissioned a survey through BBM Analytics and you will be happy to know that ReD‑FM was the number one radio station amongst the U.S. and Canadian South Asian ethnic stations this year.
6543 Solutions Research Group conducted the second annual survey, known as Diversity in Canada (Wave 2), and ReD‑FM again was the number one South Asian radio station in Vancouver.
6544 This success is driven by many factors. We are passionate about ethnic radio and put our heart and soul into making ReD‑FM Vancouver an exemplary multicultural radio station. While we expect our listeners to listen to us, it begins with us listening to our listeners and catering to their needs.
6545 Community involvement: Our philosophy is by the community, for the community and we translate this into reality everyday by taking up projects that benefit the community. As you saw in the video, the best part is that the community gets involved with us and we partner together for success. It is no longer just a ReD‑FM initiative but rather the entire communities.
6546 ReD‑FM has also helped many social and cultural organizations to promote their events and give exposure to their initiatives. In fact, Kulwinder is a member of the city's multicultural advisory board and is presently helping the city organize Fusion Festival as part of its cultural capital of Canada celebrations, built upon credibility and trust and news.
6547 One thing that ReD‑FM has truly earned is the trust of our community. The community now has a credible source of local news and information they can trust and rely on. We have successfully competed in a region served by two unlicensed Canadian broadcasters who utilize U.S. transmitters to beam into Canada. Neither broadcaster adheres to Canadian broadcast regulations or Canadian broadcast standards and there is the difference.
6548 We truly believe that audience acceptance of our programming is based upon playing by the rules, providing balanced, intelligent, well‑produced programming and giving back to the community we serve. ReD‑FM Edmonton will be built upon these principles.
6549 MR. SANGHERA: We believe that our application for a new ethnic radio service will force the market demand by increasing the programming for many underserved groups, providing distinct, independent news voices, increasing music choices, all of which benefit the local communities while achieving the objectives of the ethnic policy and the Broadcasting Act.
6550 To us it is about being locally relevant to our audience. After all, it is all about the people we serve and in Edmonton we shall do as we have done in Vancouver, succeed with hard work, passion and dedication. We have been highly privileged to have earned your trust. We thank you for listening to us and our team is ready for your questions.
6551 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar will begin the questioning.
6552 Thank you.
6553 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Good morning.
6554 I assume you have been here for the first presentation that we heard from Guldasta this morning?
6555 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please.
6556 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes.
6557 My questions will follow very similar to those that we shared with Guldasta. So let me begin by asking about your condition of licence. So the ethnic broadcast policy, as you know, may impose upon you a condition of licence regarding your proposed levels of ethnic and third language programming.
6558 MR. SAMUEL: Yes.
6559 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You have proposed 100 percent of your total weekly programming be devoted to ethnic programming and at least 96 percent of all your weekly programming be third language programming.
6560 MR. SAMUEL: We take condition of licence for 90 percent for the third languages.
6561 MR. SANGHERA: Yes, third language. Yes.
6562 MR. SAMUEL: It's 90.
6563 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, 96 percent?
6564 MR. SANGHERA: Nine‑zero (90).
6565 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: 90 percent will be third language?
6566 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6567 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I'm just going to refer then ‑‑ I have a schedule of your ethnic and third language programming that shows you ‑‑ do you have that schedule in your brief?
6568 MR. SANGHERA: Yes, please. In our schedule it's 96 percent, but we will take a condition of licence at 90 percent.
6569 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And what is your planned change from your schedule?
6570 MR. SANGHERA: Planned change for schedule ‑‑ as you know, Canada is a multicultural community. We have a third and fourth generation. We may need to increase a little bit more English in order to target our youth.
6571 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, okay. So I'm going to leave that and our legal counsel may have more questions on that, but 90 percent for English or for ‑‑
6572 MR. SANGHERA: Third language.
6573 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Third language.
6574 As you pointed out in your brief, you are very aware that Edmonton is currently served by an ethnic language station, CKER‑FM and there is the three ethnic SCMOs operating in the region.
6575 Can you tell me, and we will maybe take these one at a time, if you could explain to us the similarities and differences between the station you have proposed and that, for example, of Guldasta that was before you?
6576 MR. SAMUEL: Sure, please.
6577 I will start and others will join in, please.
6578 If you would look at the broad service requirement while the South Asian community has grown tremendously, the fact of life is that other communities have also grown and they do merit more radio programming. We understand that and we are providing services for bigger communities as well like Chinese and Filipino communities who need it. So while we agree that South Asians do need radio programming, we also think that the Chinese and Filipino and the other communities need it.
6579 If you would look at it, we are providing more local programming from ‑‑ I mean we have local news whereas Guldasta has more of international news. They have said previously that they have too many international staff reporting, whereas we have many more local reporters because our whole emphasis is on local relevance.
6580 In terms of business plan, well, I tried understanding their business plan but my capacity is limited to what I could understand in it. From our perspective, if you would look at it, our programming costs ‑‑ their programming costs are around $20,000 whereas ours are at $489,000. We just don't know how we could run a quality radio station on $20,000.
6581 So to provide quality service you do need the right infrastructure, you do need the right people to be available and you have to invest in your people, and that is what we are when you compare with them.
6582 MR. SANGHERA: As compared to the CKER when we designed our schedule ‑‑
6583 MR. SAMUEL: In our ‑‑
6584 MR. SANGHERA: Sorry. When we designed our schedule we looked at CKER. CKER was not serving ‑‑ CKER was serving groups but there ‑‑ a lot of other groups were left over. So when I designed the schedule we added six more groups that was not getting their airplay.
6585 How are we going to be different? When we competed in Vancouver against two American stations we know we had challenges so we worked as a team and we focused on our talk shows that have local relevance. We know the immigrant community needs information. That is very important because they are newly settling in Edmonton. So our talk shows are intelligently discussed and at the end we give a lot of information that is needed to the community.
6586 And when it comes to the music we will play music from regional CDs that is a quality sound that will attract the people on FM dial. People expect quality.
6587 So I think when you play music, music has to appealing to the audience and we do ‑‑ our music does appeal to the audience.
6588 MR. SAMUEL: And if I can go back to the business plan that I was referring to, there are two points.
6589 One is Guldasta has higher than the national average for national revenues from its first year of operations to the seventh. But if you would compare ours, our national revenue is a little bit lower than what is the trend around.
6590 And in terms of achieving the business plan that we have, we have a wider advertising base as compared to ‑‑ so we have the advantage of the South Asian market that was so rightly expressed as quite big and can support the programming, but we also have the Chinese community who is equally big. So our advertising base is almost double than what is of Guldasta.
6591 And going back to CKER of what Kulwinder was mentioning, often times of what we've observed I guess sometimes their Punjabi radio programming doesn't even originate from their station.
6592 To us it is very important that what programming we do is under our control, it is originating from our station.
6593 We know that CKER has programming presently from SCMO known as Radio Punjab. That, again, I think is a very big difference because it's all about the community you want to serve and reflect.
6594 I think from my side ‑‑ CKER has another thing, if I can go on. There's volunteers. They have too many volunteers working for them, and we don't believe in volunteerism. When it comes to commitment to do a radio program there should be money invested and seeing that they can do the program properly. There should be resources available so that they can do their programs.
6595 That is a big difference between CKER and us.
6596 Suknit, would you like to add something.
6597 MS LAMBA: To add on to the CKER programming, mainly the South Asian side, of course with all the other ‑‑ there's a lot of volunteers, as it was mentioned by Bijoy, but the South Asian programming Bijoy already mentioned that it doesn't even come from the station, it comes from an SCMO station.
6598 Also the quality of programming. Since I worked with ReD‑FM in Vancouver and moved here about a year ago, I think the quality of the programming is really different as compared to ReD‑FM.
6599 ReD‑FM's quality programming is really high and it also caters to the younger audience which I personally, being a young person, hopefully, I don't think I would listen to that kind of talk shows because 90 per cent of the time they talk about what's happening back home and not what's happening here locally.
6600 So, local news is absolutely not there, there's no local news in South Asian languages, all the news is either back home from India or Pakistan.
6601 And Kulwinder mentioned about music quality which I would like to add into.
6602 I listen ‑‑ I worked at CKER as well and I hear a lot of dead air and I think that's because the music doesn't come from original CDs, it comes from some pirated websites.
6603 So, that is something ReD‑FM has never done. I've worked with ReD‑FM for over a year and we were not allowed to play music from anywhere else except original. And the quality of programming was really better at ReD‑FM as compared to CKER.
6605 MR. SAMUEL: Mike, would you like to add?
6606 MR. PEDERSEN: I would also like to add, if I could, I've been with ReD‑FM in Vancouver for two and a half years and right from the get‑go it was made apparent to me that our objective was to create a multicultural station that sounded like English FM stations. That was very important to them and that's a model that we've built upon.
6607 And getting into the sell‑vision environment, we had to retrain a lot of our clients about making commercials and about quality and delivering a product.
6608 And in the last two and a half years everyone has really come around and we believe that we can generate a product in Edmonton, the same as we do in Vancouver, and we think that we'll have a great response from our potential clients for that reason.
6609 You know, we try to emulate FM that is predominant in the English world and we think it's quite effective when we apply it to our multicultural model.
6610 MR. SAMUEL: And while we have the opportunity of getting an ethnic licence, it's also important that the smaller groups who do not have any radio available to them also have at least minimum coming in for them.
6611 That is what is the major difference in our application and Guldasta.
6612 Sorry, we've been going between Guldasta and CKER, but I hope that answers your question.
6613 MR. PEDERSEN: I should add one more thing, I'm sorry.
6614 As far as our weekend programming goes in Vancouver, and the model would remain the same for Edmonton, with the smaller groups, we also provide a service to them. To promote them we do their station imaging and their show imaging as well as all the commercials, so they have the opportunity to promote their own show and to find their own sponsors and we have a model to build commercials for them to encourage their own programming.
6615 MR. THIND: I want to say something about this Edmonton audience, because really the people of Edmonton never really tasted the flavour of real radio station. They've been served in, you know, hits and misses. You know, sometimes American radio is being broadcasted from Vancouver, SCMO in, you know, bits and pieces.
6616 You know, our proposal provides for 24 hour, a full‑time radio station that will really enhance the fabric of the society here in order to provide more information, current affairs and that will really strengthen the economic, political and social structure in the community in Edmonton.
6617 MR. SAMUEL: I would end that our schedule complements with CKER.
6618 Thank you.
6619 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, what did you say your schedule complements?
6620 MR. SAMUEL: Yes. Our programming schedule complements the programming schedule of CKER.
6621 The on‑air programming schedule complements the programming schedule of CKER.
6622 MR. LEWIS: Perhaps I could comment.
6623 When the research was done and the application was filed, it was shortly after CKER had changed its programming schedule and dropped some hours of ethnic programming.
6624 So, the schedule has been designed two ways. One is that the concept being, a member of the South Asian community only has a limited hours of programming that they can receive on that station, on CKER.
6625 We're not programming head‑to‑head in South Asian hours, it's counter programming, so that there would be Chinese programming when they're in South Asian, so that the listener, as you may have heard on the video, can access programming during a wider period of the day or evening in their own language by tuning to two stations in the market, or more, or SCMO as well.
6626 MS ZHANG: May I just add a comment. Right now with CKER from Monday to Saturday, they provide Chinese radio program broadcasting to the Chinese community here which is one to five o'clock in the afternoon.
6627 Now, the Mandarin program lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. Now, when ReD‑FM come in we'll be able to complement the CKER program by broadcasting at a prime time in the evening.
6628 We plan to do three hours Cantonese broadcasting and three hours Mandarin broadcasting a day.
6629 MS TOLVAY: Can I add also. For the Filipino program, we only broadcast two hours every week and that's on Saturday and we would like to expand by broadcasting every day, Monday to Friday.
6630 So, the newcomers, the Filipino nurses ‑‑ there are Filipino nurses recruited by Capital Health coming, there are 600 people coming. And other companies like Tim Horton's in Fort McMurray, for instance, they have workers that are coming from all over the Philippines as well as in Europe, and they have no access to a Filipino program except that two hours on Saturdays.
6631 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
6632 MS TOLVAY: Thank you.
6633 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm a bit afraid to ask, but would you like to comment on how your format and station compares to that that's being proposed by CIAM as well?
6634 MR. SAMUEL: CIAM is proposing ‑‑ there's a big difference. CIAM is more on ‑‑ it's a community radio station; whereas we are a commercial radio station.
6635 CIAM has programming towards the Chinese community but, again, this would be like what Guldasta Broadcasting is saying, let's do just Punjabi; CIAM is saying, let's do Chinese majority.
6636 But here we are saying that Chinese have grown, Filipinos have grown and so has South Asian. So, we think that the need is not just limited to one community, the need is wide spread. So, that would be one.
6637 And would someone else like to add anything?
6638 MR. SANGHERA: I think the frequency they're proposing is 250 watts. I think they will not be able to serve the entire demographic population.
6639 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Just a couple of follow‑up questions.
6640 You mentioned CIAM is focused upon the Chinese and Guldasta was focused on South Asian and you cover a wide target audience, I think 23 communities in 20 languages.
6641 The applicant before you mentioned that that's an old model. Would you like to comment on that at all?
6642 MR. SAMUEL: Certainly. I don't know what's old about it. I understand the community is growing. The needs have changed, the needs are there for 23 different groups. I don't know what's old about it.
6643 Maybe he was referring to the model of how the programming was administered to these groups. We feel that we need to provide ‑‑ that's what it's all about, provide programming to as many languages as possible.
6644 MR. SANGHERA: And we have a similar model working in Vancouver. We just started two years ago and we have been very successful.
6645 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
6646 MR. LEWIS: If I could just add something. I will be brief, but ‑‑
6647 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Is this related to CIAM?
6648 MR. LEWIS: Yes.
6649 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
6650 MR. LEWIS: There are two issues that we face. One is, CIAM is a voluntary radio station, it doesn't appear to have any paid staff and there's a major difference in terms of people who are coming in voluntarily to do a community program versus people who are paid to be there to research their programs, and that's a big difference.
6651 The second thing that I think we have to take into account is the fact that ReD‑FM doesn't use ‑‑ and this is getting back to the old model ‑‑ we don't use a brokerage model. In other words, the other language groups who constitute the balance of the week, the smaller groups who have a few hours a week of programming are not brokers, they're not paying the radio station and buying the air time, they're part of the radio station and they have a relationship.
6652 And, as Mr. Pedersen indicated earlier, the radio station provides the production services for them and they're involved in the production of programs, the staff ‑‑ those producers come in and they understand broadcast standards, we have courses for them, they understand what is required under the Broadcasting Act in terms of balance and the nature of the programming they're producing.
6653 And that's a very, very different divide compared to community broadcasting.
6654 And I'll just leave it at that, but it's a totally different, I think, dynamic in terms of the way in which ReD‑FM approaches radio.
6655 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6656 I'd just like to go back to something mentioned. You mentioned that you will be broadcasting to six groups that are not getting air play today; is that right?
6657 MR. SANGHERA: At the time when I designed the schedule, we monitored the CKER programming and at that time we were including six more groups to provide them the service.
6658 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
6659 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, unique.
6660 MR. SANGHERA: New groups.
6661 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Would you be able to just quickly point out which of those groups will be newly served by your market?
6662 MR. SANGHERA: Korean, Bujurati, Urdu, Vietnamese, Farsi.
6663 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry, I think I missed it. Could you do that again.
6664 MR. SANGHERA: Okay. Korean.
6665 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Korean, yes.
6666 MR. SANGHERA: Farsi, Bujurati, Urdu and Vietnamese.
6667 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6668 Sorry, just one more question regarding the existence of the incumbent station and adding a new ethnic station.
6669 Can you tell me why it is you believe that the South Asian and Chinese communities are large enough to support the addition of another ethnic station?
6670 MR. SAMUEL: Kerry, would you like to answer that?
6671 MS WICKS: Sure, I'll start off and then you can jump in.
6672 According to our statistics, and we started with Statistics Canada numbers, the groups in total that we're planning to serve, which are our top 18 lines on our model but they include the 23 groups, are 163,158 people.
6673 Now, that sounds lower than perhaps some of the other numbers you've heard in other applications and we do agree that, to a large extent, some of these numbers are under reported. You would probably be safe to say the market is more like a couple of hundred thousand.
6674 And this is based on information from the City of Edmonton on the fact that as our previous ‑‑ the previous applicant mentioned, not everybody accurately reports their ethnic origin and then, of course, there has been additional immigration and growth in the community since 2006 when these figures were calculated.
6675 So, for a group of a couple of hundred thousand people spread across these groups, if you divide them between the two mainstream stations, not counting some of the other media outlets, that's a hundred thousand potential listeners per group.
6676 And if you take the number of mainstream radio stations on the air serving Anglophones, you're down around 30, 40, 50,000 potential people or audience per station.
6677 So, we think that's a healthy market.
6678 Our research ‑‑ our consumer research also supports that there is an interest in the programming, in more types and diverse types of programming.
6679 MR. SAMUEL: And if I could add. If we take you back to Vancouver market, it's a population of 200,000 people approximately which are being served by two American radio stations and two CRTC licensed radio stations catering to the South Asian community.
6680 Now, if we divide those 200 ‑‑ and many more SCMOs.
6681 If we divide the 200 into all of this, you could say that about 50,000 per say could be for each radio station and if each of the radio stations are able to survive with more than 7‑million, I think Edmonton is a better picture here.
6682 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So let me just throw it out there. Do you think there's room for more than one additional ethnic radio station?
6683 MR. SAMUEL: I definitely ‑‑ I definitely believe that there is room for one more additional radio station, and especially with us, because we are able to target two of the growing communities which have two separate advertising base, that just helps achieve better results.
6684 At the same time, probably CIAM, since it's a community‑based station, it wouldn't be affecting our business model.
6685 MR. PEDERSEN: Could I also add one point about revenue. With the previous applicant, he made it apparent that his revenue would come from his single community, but because of the standards we adhere to at ReD‑FM in Vancouver, not only do we do advertising for South Asian businesses, we also do advertising for the English market, the utilities, telecommunications.
6686 They come to us now when they want to market to the South Asian community, and I think that's another form of revenue that we could develop here in Edmonton.
6687 MR. SAMUEL: And I think 28 years is a long time with an audience growing for another ethnic radio station, yes, certainly.
6688 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6689 I'd just like to refer back to the research you were speaking of and just ‑‑ I want to receive some clarity as it regards whether or not we're speaking of a population ‑‑ are you speaking of the full population, the full ethnic population, are you speaking of new immigrants, or are you speaking of people who can speak the language?
6690 MS WICKS: Are you asking about the ‑‑ in terms of quantifying the number of potential listeners, or are you asking about the consumer research when we phone and talked to people? I'm not sure.
6691 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'll refer you to page 12 of the supplementary brief.
6692 Sorry, it doesn't appear to be page 12. Perhaps page 17.
6693 MS WICKS: So, you're referring back to the population figures?
6694 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Right. And I'm assuming that you're using these population figures to support the population base for your target audience?
6695 MS WICKS: Yes, Ma'am. These figures ‑‑ these figures are from Statistics Canada. We derive them from casting our projected contour over ‑‑ we use a geocartographical software and we project it over the population within our projected service area.
6696 So, it's not the exact Edmonton CMA, if anything we under estimate to some extent because we are only capturing figures within the proposed contour not the greater Edmonton area.
6697 So, the figures in our original submission, the figures on this chart summarize just the households that would be found within that contour.
6698 So, people who live outside of Edmonton and drive in to work during the day or migrant workers, anybody who's arrived, as I mentioned before, after the census was taken, none of this is included in our written population numbers.
6699 That's why when the gentleman said earlier this morning he was estimating South Asian population that was quite a bit higher, I said that we do support that because, if anything, we under count our figures.
6700 MR. SAMUEL: As well as ‑‑
6701 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And just so that we understand the basis of this, this is the full ethnic group population. So, is it anticipated that they all are able to speak in the ethnic languages that you're proposing to broadcast in?
6702 MS WICKS: Well, there's ‑‑ and I think you posed this question of the earlier group as well. There's different ways of counting "ethnicity".
6703 There's your ethnic origin where you come from, which casts a wider net, if you will, regardless of whether you speak the language of where your family came from.
6704 Then there's mother tongue which tightens the sample a little bit, because it assumes at some point in your life you spoke that language, whether you use it actively now. Those people would certainly be eligible for an ethnic service, ours or anybody else's because they would have the knowledge of that langauge.
6705 And then there's home language, which is the smallest way of defining the group, because those are people actively using the service right now.
6706 It's our view that we are serving potentially all of these people. We have programming in language. We have, as Kulwinder noted earlier, some English, cross‑cultural programming.
6707 And the other thing is, in some of these groups, South Asian is one example, there are people from one background who speak and understand the languages of the other backgrounds.
6708 So, potentially, if you're looking at the whole target market, some of these people that we surveyed or that you see in the census, self identify with more than one group and, therefore, they're eligible to enjoy, listen to, participate in the programming targeted at different groups.
6709 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6710 MR. SAMUEL: Can I add that since the time we applied until now, if you would see how the population has changed, so many migrant workers are coming in because there's a big labour shortage here.
6711 We have heard from Tina who said that more than 500 nurses came in ‑‑ 600 nurses actually came in for Capital Health. Tim Horton's recruited in a big way, Flint Energy. They include ‑‑ Suknit was telling ‑‑
6712 MS LAMBA: About 400 people from Philippines, which are still not here but they are in the process of coming here.
6713 MR. SAMUEL: So the population is ever growing.
6714 MS WICKS: I should actually just add one more point of clarification. The original criteria we used ‑‑ I mean, when you're choosing your groups and your programming you go through many layers and many models, many conversations, but the criteria we started with was the home language which is, as I mentioned a minute or two ago, the smallest ‑‑ if anything it gives you the smallest possible sample, so you don't over inflate your expectations when you start looking at programming to the different groups.
6715 Then you add on ‑‑ or you can go to mother tongue to add on additional people if you choose. You look at new immigration as the previous applicants mentioned.
6716 And then there are many other sources, the city itself, the province and so on as well.
6717 But the original counts and the original totals, which come to the 160‑ish thousands is based on the home language within the contour only.
6718 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
6719 I'd like to move on to ask a couple of questions related to synergies with your Vancouver station.
6720 I note from your application that you're proposing 116 hours of local programming in Edmonton and 10 hours originating from your Vancouver stations.
6721 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please. Sorry.
6722 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So, that is one of the synergies, you'll be taking programming produced in Vancouver and moving it here to ‑‑
6723 MR. SAMUEL: Yes. And the reason for that, while we believe strongly in localism, why did we propose 10 hours from outside of Edmonton per week. There's a big reason.
6724 We have two hosts who are famous across Canada. When people from Edmonton visit Vancouver and when they listen to them they want something similar in Edmonton.
6725 When they watch ‑‑ when people from ‑‑ relatives come and talk about, you know how good Harjinder Thind is, he spoke about something which I never knew. He educated.
6726 Harjinder Thind is sitting with us and he could react to it.
6727 But what we bring to Edmonton with just those 10 hours of programming is, it will be in two programs, one is a talk show for one hour and one is a music show. Both Harjinder Thind and Baljinder Atwal are on this produced television that has been going across Canada for the longest time, it's about 15 years plus and people in Edmonton have been watching them.
6728 People call us for our television shows and say, what you spoke is relevant, I'm happy that you spoke about it, it happened in my family.
6729 There are many examples I think which Mr. Thind can also add to it.
6730 So, that is the reason why we are bringing in these two shows because we want to add to Edmonton. As Mr. Thind rightly said, they need to see what radio really is, they need to experience, they need to get excited about radio.
6731 If you come back to Vancouver and talk to anyone on the streets about ReD‑FM, people are excited about it. They feel that they're part of the radio station. We want to bring the same thing here.
6732 And that is the only reason why we want to do these two programs from Vancouver.
6733 I would ask Mr. Thind to add.
6734 MR. THIND: There are a lot of commonalities, if you really observe, of a community in Vancouver and Edmonton. Those commonalities, like, we're talking talk shows, we have common problems, we are trying to educate them or create awareness in certain things, integration in the society, new immigrants coming in. I mean, we have a lot of things in common which we are already doing successfully in Vancouver, we want to implement here.
6735 And those are the commonalities. That's why these 10 hours are added.
6736 So, because they're successful there, they like them.
6737 We have experimented broadcasting my talk show from Vancouver to here in Edmonton and people of Edmonton participated in it, they loved it, they liked it because we were talking those things which are common here and in Vancouver.
6738 So, that's why these 10 hours are added.
6739 MS LAMBA: And ‑‑
6740 MR. SAMUEL: And if I can add ‑‑ and if I can add, and I'll let Suknit answer it. Once this program was on, people got so excited about it, they were so involved in the discussions and then they asked a big question, and I'll ask Suknit to tell what was the question that they were calling in to Suknit and asking.
6741 MS LAMBA: When Mr. Thind's program was taken off air, I was on the air at that time when he was supposed to be and I got 100 calls not saying, why you are here, but saying where is Mr. Thind?
6742 So, just wanted to mention that people in Edmonton already know him and love him and they would love to have him on air again here.
6743 MR. SAMUEL: And our answer would be, here he is on 95.7.
6744 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
6745 In addition to the 10 hours, I understand that ‑‑ I want to make sure I pronounce this correctly ‑‑ Mr. Sanghera; is that right?
6746 MR. SANGHERA: That's right.
6747 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: That's right. You're the owner of the South Asian Broadcasting Corporation and it's indicated in the brief that the South Asian Broadcasting Corporation will cover the pre‑operating costs of the proposed station; correct?
6748 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6749 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Are there any other anticipated synergies with the South Asian Broadcasting Corporation, anything else we'll see?
6750 MR. SANGHERA: Production. As Michael said, what we want to do, we want the ethnic station to sound like a mainstream station and what we will do is use Michael's expert ‑‑ and he's an expert in commercial imaging and we will use that.
6751 MR. SAMUEL: And if I can add. Radio is all about theatre of the mind and we want to create the right theatre of the mind for people.
6752 I wouldn't say whether they have expressed whether they've got it or not, but I would say we would be able to bring that.
6753 And, so, from Vancouver the synergy would be, we have a big team of people working with us under Michael's supervision who would be able to produce the right kind of ad for people here in Vancouver (sic) so that businesses flourish with response.
6754 So, that is one of the synergies that we would bring on the production side of it.
6755 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6756 And, you know, I heard about the great quality programming you'll bring and the high quality production in commercials and so on, and I'm an accountant and so I need to ask you about the cost side as well.
6757 Is there anything you would see as it relates to synergies on the cost side from having this station as well as those in Vancouver?
6758 MR. SAMUEL: Definitely, yes. What we find is, for example, with two ‑‑ when we have a larger creative base in Vancouver we would not ‑‑ we would not need too many creative people in Edmonton, we would have one copywriter and one production person helping us.
6759 So, we could ‑‑ on a cost side, it would help us to ‑‑ how should I say ‑‑ rightly spread our budget. So that would be one that we would save on.
6760 Anything else that you could add?
6761 MR. SANGHERA: Plus from the management, myself and Bijoy will manage Edmonton station. There will be no management fees initially.
6762 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And those synergies are reflected already in the financial projections that you provided?
6763 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please.
6764 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6765 I just want to clarify your Canadian content development proposal.
6766 There were some discrepancies within the different parts of your application regarding those.
6767 Now, what I would like to do, if I could, is I noted in your opening statements you did detail your over and above CCD contributions and they are $351,494 over the seven‑year term as detailed here.
6768 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, please.
6769 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And, so, this is your commitment to over and above CCD?
6770 MR. SAMUEL: Yes.
6771 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And will you accept that as a transitionary condition of licence too?
6772 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6773 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6774 I'd like to move on to the issue of your advisory council. You indicated that you'll establish an advisory council consisting of seven members selected from different ethnic groups served by your station.
6775 Could you please tell us who will be responsible for selecting the initial seven members.
6776 MR. SAMUEL: Kulwinder and I would be responsible for meeting with various community leaders, actually going and finding out who the right people are who could be selected.
6777 So, it wouldn't be just coming across a name and then saying can you be on our advisory, it's going to be talking to different people and finding out whether the person will reflect the community or not.
6778 So, the representation that we would have on the advisory would be broad based and selection would be done after careful consideration within the management.
6779 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm sorry, just to be clear, so they would propose to you ‑‑
6780 MR. SAMUEL: No, that's what I ‑‑
6781 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ persons from the ‑‑ okay, go ahead.
6782 MR. SAMUEL: Sorry. What we've done, throughout the process of the application here, as well as in Edmonton, we have gone out on the street, met people, discussed their needs and, in doing so, we've come to know who the right community‑minded people are.
6783 So, it's not just a name that we are putting on the advisory, but a person who truly believes in serving his or her community.
6784 So, we would actually go out into the communities, find the right people and then select them.
6785 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So, you would select the members?
6786 MR. SAMUEL: Yes, the management would.
6787 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Will those members serve for a specific amount of time?
6788 MR. SANGHERA: Yes. They'll ‑‑ maybe two‑year term. Every two year we'll change the advisory.
6789 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I just want to talk about new media distribution platforms.
6790 You note in your application that you intend to do Internet streaming. Can you elaborate what or how you would propose to use the Internet or other alternate forms of new media distribution ‑‑ or new distribution platforms to complement your service?
6791 MR. SAMUEL: Definitely. One of them being ‑‑ new media, one of them being the Internet.
6792 ReD‑FM, if you look at what we're playing right now in Vancouver ‑‑ I got an e‑mail Tuesday morning from our hostess saying, you'll be happy to know Singapore ‑‑ people in Singapore have called in and said that you have an amazing program going on. That's the power of Internet, it's all around.
6793 So, in Edmonton as well we would be airing ‑‑ streaming on the Internet, so that people who have different lifestyles and are not able to reach our radio station on 95.7 can still have access to good quality programming.
6794 So, yes, we would be using Internet, as well as we'll be using Internet for another thing, station contests. Station contests is another big area where the Internet could be involved with.
6795 So, here we have a contest which says ‑‑ we recently did this in Vancouver. We said, give your mommy some money, it was Mother's Day. We wanted people to participate and help win a prize.
6796 So, I will let Michael talk about the contest, please.
6797 MR. PEDERSEN: Actually, the Internet is a big part of our program in Vancouver. We do use it for all of our contests, not just giving out rules, but also for participating in contests, but we also appreciate that not everybody has access or knowledge about the Internet, so we always try to incorporate systems that allow people to participate over the phone, radio, or Internet.
6798 It is definitely a major tool for us. As well as our streaming audio, we have online polls that we do with questions for our talk shows. We also periodically post shows where, you know, a chef has come in and given recipes and people say, oh, I want that show.
6799 So, we have a system to post popular shows. Sometimes Mr. Thind interviews people and people want to get clips of it.
6800 It's definitely an integral part. I mean, the Internet is here to stay, so we definitely embrace it in our system.
6801 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6802 I'm going to move on to technical for just one minute, and certainly not my area of expertise at all, but our technical experts have advised me that your station could be subject to significant interference related to the third adjacent frequency.
6803 Are you aware of that issue?
6804 MR. SANGHERA: No, we're not aware of it.
6805 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You're not aware of it?
6806 MR. SANGHERA: Last letter we got was ‑‑ it said, from Industry Canada that your frequency is accepted interference free. This e‑mail we received was I believe a month ago.
6807 MR. SAMUEL: And should you want, we could by Wednesday consult our technical person, Jim Moltner(ph) and get back to you on that, if you wish.
6808 MR. LEWIS: Yes. We had a discussion with our engineer yesterday on this frequency and alternative frequencies. To our knowledge, there are no serious impediments, particularly in light of the quality of radios that are now available, so we don't see a third adjacency being a significant limiting factor to the business plan or the coverage of the station.
6809 We chose this frequency, incidentally, in consultation with Mr. Moltner because we were quite concerned about the fact that this frequency could yield a level of service within the ethnic communities of Edmonton without ‑‑ let me put it this way, disenfranchising perhaps English language stations that might need greater coverage at 100 kilowatts.
6810 So, we specifically looked for a frequency that would deliver interference free coverage in the city and the CMA.
6811 But we will get back to you by Wednesday on anything else you may want us to contribute on that issue.
6812 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I think I will ‑‑ I would ask that you do. It has been pointed out to us that there may be some technical limitations, some potential interference with the CKRA FM which operates at channel 242.
6813 So, if you would like to get back and, at the same time, perhaps identify if there would be any unanticipated costs related to that that may have not been contained in your business plan.
6814 MR. SAMUEL: Certainly.
6815 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6816 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Finally, and I know you have spoke to me about your business plan as we talked about the different elements and how your advertising estimates ‑‑ your revenue estimates have been created and I know that you looked at those of the other applicants and feel confident in your estimates.
6817 But I wondered if you had actually done any sensitivity analysis and looked at, you know, what would occur.
6818 I believe that you have projected that you would be PBIT positive in year three, net income positive in year 4, yeah.
6819 So, I wondered if you had taken a look at that and considered what might happen if revenues don't come in quite as quickly as you had anticipated?
6820 MR. SAMUEL: Yes. In fact, we went and consulted the communities, found out from advertisers as to what is it that would take.
6821 A lot of advertisers presently are not advertising on the existing radio stations. Plus we asked them as to what is it that they would ‑‑ what would be affordable?
6822 If you would look at the previous applicant he had a rate of $40 or $45. We are proposing just $15 to $18 to start with.
6823 So, our business plan is based on affordability for the advertiser to encourage them to try the powerful medium. So, it's a well calculated conservative business plan.
6824 If you look at what we did in Vancouver, the year seven projection that we had, we achieved that in year second.
6825 We are not ‑‑ we just ‑‑ on that fact, we are not going ahead feeling very happy about it and estimating a similar one, we are doing it on a very conservative side, on the flip side and saying, yes, it's going to take us time to develop the market and how best can we do it, make the rates affordable.
6826 So, we've kept our business plan very conservative.
6827 If you look at the new trend with a lot of companies advertising on an national perspective, we have got ‑‑ we've got relationships with them which will be of an advantage to us here in Vancouver ‑‑ here in Edmonton.
6828 As well as, there's a lot of money available through co‑op advertising. We will be able to derive a lot of money from the co‑op advertising.
6829 So, we feel that our business plan is solid based on what is affordable within the market.
6830 MR. SANGHERA: We've been very successful in the auto industry in Vancouver. We know there's 200,000 ethnic population and auto industry definitely want to attract the ethnic population.
6831 What we do and what we have done in Vancouver, we met them and we understand what they want to achieve and we designed a campaign for them. We know the ethnic population are going to need automobile and we know auto dealers have co‑op.
6832 What we have done, we have done experiments. One auto ‑‑ City Honda would say, I'm only selling 120 cars. If you design a campaign, of I reach 140, I will give you $1,500 more per month.
6833 And we sat down and we said, what is missing and how can we increase his sales. So, we have a team that designed a campaign and we went back to him, it's been last six months, and he has been giving us $1,500 extra a month because he's achieving his target.
6834 MR. SAMUEL: So, yes, he did test us. He said for the first six months I'm going to test if this works, and if you can meet my target ‑‑ help me meet my target, that is the point, help me meet my target of sales that I need to, then the next six months of the year I will give you 1,500 more.
6835 What we're trying to bring forth is, in sales it's not just about trying to sell a commercial, it's trying ‑‑ it's all about trying to work as partners with the client and trying to achieve success for them.
6836 The single most thing that matters to any advertiser is response. And that is ‑‑ we specialize in having a team that understands how can we best create good campaigns that get good response.
6837 We bring that to the table as part of our synergy too. Thank you.
6838 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. And certainly you are much more knowledgeable in the manner of generating those relationships and building that advertising base than I.
6839 But you are entering a market with, I believe, 14 incumbents and, so, it could be a little tight, so perhaps it might take a little bit longer to establish those relationships, generate the revenues than you had here.
6840 My question is in ‑‑ you know, let's take it as a scenario ‑‑ may not occur, hopefully it doesn't incur ‑‑ but if it does take a little longer, if the losses stretch out a little longer, what would be your anticipated outcome to that?
6841 MR. SANGHERA: Can I add something. I've been doing TV programs more than 15 years, I have tested an augmented market, I have people right now advertising on my TV shows.
6842 We understand the community, we know there's no good radio station. If you provide quality radio station, there's enough business here, there's 200,000 population, easily two radio station can survive.
6843 In Vancouver when we started there was two other established radio station for five years and when we started, within couple of months we became No. 1 radio station.
6844 And we know if you provide content, local that is entrusted to the community, definitely the business community wants to target that and we know there's a potential number of backups.
6845 MR. SAMUEL: In Vancouver we did a live on‑location for Auto West BMW. The guy had so much sales that day, the Vice‑President of BMW came for two hours to the Vancouver Airport, asked the person to come in and said, what is it that you did different, that you achieved this record?
6846 The difference was it's all about understanding your client and creating something which would work for them and that is what we would facilitate here.
6847 And in planning budgets, often what companies do, if you would say that, yes, there are so many English language stations. Take a company like Telus for example, when Telus plans its budget out, it says what are the different niche that we need to cater to so that they achieve their targets.
6848 So, while they have a certain amount allocated for a certain budget and for a certain format, they may think that, okay, there are people who can afford a smart phone are listening into a certain radio station, so here's our budget for the people of those kind.
6849 But I think population has grown so much, now companies, since we deal with them, we know that they have special budgets allocated for them, their budgets are actually expanding.
6850 So, they go on layers like, let's take which other communities that we need to start accessing.
6851 So, I feel that there is a strong, positive force in the market which would help us get our ‑‑ achieve our business plan.
6852 MR. SANGHERA: Plus, you've got our financial statement from Vancouver of ReD‑FM, and we are financially very strong, and if it takes even extra years, then we are prepared for it.
6853 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. Those are my questions. Thank you.
6854 MR. THIND: To answer your question, we have the strength and resources in order to carry on broadcasting, even if we don't make profit at the scheduled time, that we can continue without laying off any people.
6855 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6856 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have a few questions for you.
6857 I notice that you're projecting to take 90 per cent of your year two revenues from the market ‑‑ from the existing radio station, which would be CHER I gather, and I'm just wondering why so low? Why do you think it would only be nine per cent concern about the impact on the market?
6858 MR. SANGHERA: If you look at currently, like Mr. Guldasta said, hardly anyone advertise on CKER because there's no quality radio, and if they're not advertising we are not taking any revenue from them.
6859 Our revenue model is going to be that we're going to attract new advertisers. We know there's a lot of co‑op money available here and we know our television station client base.
6860 So, a lot of our revenue is going to be new revenue.
6861 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just ‑‑ would you mind explaining to me, co‑op money, what you mean by that again? Is that the premium you were talking about that you get if you go over a certain target or...?
6862 MR. SANGHERA: Every auto industry and mobile cell phone, if they advertise they get 50 per cent money from the company.
6863 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6864 MR. SANGHERA: So, we encourage them.
6865 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, yes, of course, that sounds smart.
6866 MS WICKS: Also, if I could just add a little piece to your previous part of your question.
6867 When we went out and surveyed the advertisers initially, quite frankly, our results were a little discouraging and we think ‑‑ the research showed that in large part it wasn't that they didn't want to advertise on radio, it was that the current offerings weren't exactly what they were looking for.
6868 So, we followed up the original research we did with a more focused style, literally door‑to‑door, person‑to‑person, business‑to‑business research that these gentlemen had conducted here in the market to see if we had missed something, because it was ‑‑ the results were really, as I say, a little discouraging and so we needed to validate them with another method of research to see if the market really was there.
6869 So, that (a) answers the question why we're very confident that the market is there because we surveyed it different ways; but (b) it also underscores the fact that we really don't think we're going to be taking from the existing station because there's not ‑‑ not as much to take as one might think.
6870 MR. SAMUEL: One of the stories that I have to share, and as part of the process as we were speaking to one of the advertisers who used to add advertise on CKER, she said ‑‑ I asked her, why is it that you don't, I mean it makes sense, that there's a population you should.
6871 She said, I would love to, it's just that my ad never gets changed. She says, my ad stays the same. I call them up and ask them to change the ad, the ad doesn't change.
6872 So, that's precisely the point. I said, really, doesn't it change. But I said, your business model ‑‑ she has a cloth store. I said your business model requires that you have some kind of sale, maybe once a week or maybe once in a month just to energize and bring you extra traffic. Don't you do that? She says, no. My ad ‑‑ I call them but they won't change.
6873 So, there have been a precedent of things that a lot of dissatisfaction amongst the people.
6874 That is why ‑‑ if you would take us to what we do. Very frequently we have to keep changing ads for the furniture industry, the car industry because they have the same product available at almost the same pricing.
6875 So, we have to create new ‑‑ we help them create sales. We call it probably Mother's Day sale, we come up with something, we come up with four‑hour Magna sale. We say, come in in the four hours and you're going to get prices below 50 per cent.
6876 And we work with the client and say, you would really have to give that kind of a discount. So that we're not just doing something for the sake of doing, and it makes sense for them to do it in a short time, clear the inventory and get much more.
6877 I think advertisers here would also benefit once we come on air.
6878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Thind.
6879 MR. THIND: Actually, the business people in Edmonton haven't experienced the thrill of the radio. They haven't seen the power of the radio yet.
6880 If you put an ad on the radio and it's played and 15 minutes after they have 10 calls or there are 15 people in the store. They haven't experienced it because we've been flooding this market with the Vancouver ads, with various programming coming from there.
6881 Once they taste that, once the business people in Edmonton feel the magic and the power of the radio more and more investment will come.
6882 MR. LEWIS: Excuse me. There's another element that's very unusual here that we looked at and this is why the number for new to radio in this market, or not currently using radio.
6883 With the migration patterns that are happening, a lot of people from British Columbia also relocating to Alberta, a lot of companies that are what I would call regional but not national who serve the ethnic markets such as travel agents, financial services companies, immigration consultants are now opening ‑‑ I wouldn't call them branch offices, but offices in Calgary and Edmonton, and they already have existing very large monthly advertising commitments with ReD‑FM in Vancouver, and they've expressed commitments that they would buy air time here and they're not currently using media in Edmonton.
6884 So that, again, is factored in as to why the number is so large in the application.
6885 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's another aspect of your synergies, I gather.
6886 MR. LEWIS: Yes.
6887 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to go back. You mentioned about your advertising rates being $15, but obviously you're not selling to the BMW dealership for $15, I wouldn't expect; are you? Or Telus either?
6888 MR. SAMUEL: No. From them we would get a higher rate. So, how it works is, for the local retailer it would be between 15 and 18, so we would make it affordable to them.
6889 For the national clients, they would be paying much more.
6890 If you take a look at what we do with Vancouver, presently we charge $55 from the mainstream advertisers because they can afford it, and this is a fact that is not hidden from the advertising agencies.
6891 We just make it more affordable for the retailers by subsidizing it for them.
6892 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many ‑‑ I'm sorry, did you want to add something to that?
6893 MR. SANGHERA: No, I'm okay.
6894 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. How many employees overall?
6895 MR. SAMUEL: In Edmonton?
6896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6897 MR. SAMUEL: 25, full time and part time included.
6898 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. That's a lot. I'm just wondering, in listening to the type of advertiser that you're going to be after if there wouldn't be room for more than one commercial ethnic station in Edmonton; new, that is?
6899 MR. SAMUEL: Sorry, I didn't understand it properly. Could you please...
6900 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm just wondering because of your approach to advertisers and, you know, the synergies you have in Vancouver and the relationships you have established there and your approach to business, 25 people, the way you're going to go after getting these ad dollars, if you think the market couldn't also support another commercial FM ethnic station.
6901 MR. SANGHERA: We know the market at this moment is ready for one ‑‑ another commercial FM station.
6902 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6903 MR. SAMUEL: And if you would compare us with Guldasta, they are having one advertising base, say the Punjabi community, but ‑‑ and CIAM of course is going for community dollars that would come through donations.
6904 But here we are, we are going to take the Chinese community and the South Asian. So, it's just that it's a wider base.
6905 So, we think it's very positive and strong.
6906 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I appreciate that and that's actually what prompted me to ask the question about whether there would be room for another.
6907 I do have ‑‑ I just want to make sure that I don't...
6908 The famous announcer that you mentioned that's on your station in Vancouver and you mentioned that he had been in the Edmonton market; is that what you said, or...?
6909 MR. THIND: I'm the one that broadcast that, it is called Harginder Thind Show. We have sent the signal here through another radio station and they've been broadcasting here for a few months and we got a tremendous amount of response and people have participated from calling from here and ‑‑ because there are, like I said, similarities in our communities and the issues are very common and on those issues, the people really liked it here.
6910 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, is some of your broadcasting then ‑‑ some of your programming from Vancouver obviously then is sold into the market here?
6911 MR. SAMUEL: It's not sold ‑‑
6912 MR. THIND: It wasn't sold, it was given out and ‑‑
6913 MR. SAMUEL: As a goodwill gesture.
6914 MR. THIND: It was a radio station here who asked us. We cooperated with that, other radio stations and other media outlets.
6915 So, we let them play but the advertisement was still playing from Surrey, Vancouver area, the lower mainland, advertisement was playing and the programming content was very common and we increased the content about the current affairs, Albertan issues, Alberta, Edmonton, Calgary issues, so that way people were quite, you know, liking it.
6916 MR. SAMUEL: And this brings us back to the big question, that Edmonton is missing the kind of radio that we do in Vancouver and that was precisely the reason they came up to us and said, can you please help us.
6917 And, so, if that answers your question, please.
6918 THE CHAIRPERSON: It does. I wanted to go back to the change that you made at the outset with respect to the COL and the third language programming.
6919 And you're reducing it to 90 per cent, and I understand that, and I understand your reason, but I'm just wondering, because the licence is for seven years, are you not then concerned that 90 per cent might be too high as a COL?
6920 MR. SAMUEL: No, we are very comfortable with that.
6921 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6922 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much.
6924 MS LEMOUX: Thank you. I have two questions of clarification with respect to CCD again.
6925 So, the first one is only with respect to your basic annual CCD contributions.
6926 I just want to confirm with you that you agree only with the basic annual ones throughout the entire condition of licence and it's a transitionary one until the regulations are amended or come into force in September, only to the basic?
6927 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6928 MS LEMOUX: First question.
6929 Okay. The second question, with respect to the over and above, you've provided us in your oral presentation with a number which is $351,400 ‑‑ sorry, I should say it in French ‑‑ what we need ‑‑ because this will be imposed as a condition of licence, so what we need is the amount for each year for the seven years.
6930 So, could you provide us that either now or either by Wednesday?
6931 MR. SANGHERA: I think it's in my application already.
6932 MS LEMOUX: Okay.
6933 MR. SANGHERA: We will check it one more time. The correction is there because the first time I did the calculation with over and above I included the basic CCD.
6934 MS LEMOUX: Yes, thanks. So, could you provide us with an amended table ‑‑
6935 MR. LEWIS: By Wednesday.
6936 MR. SANGHERA: Yes.
6937 MS LEMOUX: So that it is clear for us when we write the conditions of licence.
6938 MR. SANGHERA: Okay.
6939 MS LEMOUX: Thank you very much.
6940 Thank you.
6941 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Samuel and Mr. Sanghera. We're going to adjourn now for lunch ‑‑
6942 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
6943 THE CHAIRPERSON: This is your two minutes, sorry. It's a good thing I have an assistant here.
6944 MR. SAMUEL: These are two good minutes for us.
6945 Kulwinder, would you go ahead.
6946 MR. SANGHERA: Our application fulfils the needs of ethnic communities who have grown in size. It provides programming to communities who have no programming in their languages.
6947 We have the highest CCD of ethnic applicants and have committed to play a significant level of emerging artist.
6948 It meets the broad service requirements in the Ethnic Policy with the maximum number of language and groups served, more than double the other applicants.
6949 Our strength is in local news and current event coverages. We propose significant level of high quality spoken word programming and open line programming with a local relevance.
6950 We have a solid track record of excelling in local talent initiatives. We are experienced broadcaster, but we are immigrants ourselves. We understand the needs of the ethnic community.
6951 We have a sustainable business plan which would grow the market. We are committed to strengthening the community and social services around us. Our philosophy for the community by the community which results in everyday benefits.
6952 We would be the first visible minority licensee in Edmonton bringing a balance to the highly concentrated ownership and we would bring a new editorial and new voice to the market.
6953 We have passionately filled our commitments with our Vancouver licence and shall do so in Edmonton as well.
6954 So, please grant us this licence.
6955 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you once again.
6956 So, we'll take an hour for lunch and we'll be back at a quarter to two, let's say.
6957 Thank you.
6958 MR. SAMUEL: Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1239 / Suspension à 1239
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1347 / Reprise à 1347
6959 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with Item 15 which is an application by CIAM Media Broadcasting Association for a licence to operate a non‑commercial FM Type B community radio station to broadcast ethnic programming in Edmonton.
6960 The new station would operate on frequency 107.3, Channel 297A‑1 with an effective radiated power of 250 watts, non‑directional antennae, antennae height of 65 metres.
6961 Appearing for the applicant is Andrew Mak.
6962 Please introduce your colleagues and you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
6963 Mr. Mak.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
6964 MR MAK: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Madam Commissioners.
6965 My name is Andrew Mak. I'm the Vice‑President of CIAM Media.
6966 Today with me during the presentation we have Mr. Michael Sandstrom, President of CIAM and Mrs. Yvonne Chiu, Executive Director, Multicultural Health Brokers Co‑Op.
6967 Present at today's hearing we also have three directors of CIAM Media. Mr. Henry Fehr, Mr. Phil Peters, Mr. Raymond Sparklingeyes, as well as a Director of Chinese Outreach Edmonton, Mrs. Phoebe Chiu.
6968 As our application is for a non‑commercial ethnic programming radio station, we are glad to have a number of ethnic community leaders here to show their support.
6969 I'll ask them to introduce themselves starting from my far right.
6970 MR. SPARKLINGEYES: Raymond Sparklingeyes. A native Elder on our reservation and a former Band councillor of the Band on our reserve. And also a board director now for six years of this organization.
6971 MS HITAYEZU: My name is Chantal Hitayezu, bon jour, representing the African‑French.
6972 MR. FEHR: Henry Fehr. I'm a director and I represent the Mennonite, the low German speaking community.
6973 MR. LURI: Joseph Luri, representing the Sudanese community.
6974 MR. MENGISTRU: My name is Mr. Mengistru, representing Algerian community in Edmonton.
6975 MR. BARZANJI: Jalal Barzanji, it's not my last name, it's my wife's last name. Maybe like her you didn't recognize my last name, it's Barzanji.
6976 So, I'm the President of Canadian (inaudible) Association. I'm here to support this idea.
6977 Thank you.
6978 MR. JIMALE: My name is Mohamed Jimale, and I am the President of the Alberta Somali Association for Advocacy and Support.
6979 MR. MAK: As you can see, we have so many support from the ethnic community towards our application, not only physical presence but also the ‑‑ you can see the diversity and colours that they represent and we are very happy to be here to present our application to CRTC.
6980 We have been working very hard for the last three hours, with long hours of preparations, extensive community consultation and sharing our vision with the diverse ethnic community in Edmonton.
6981 It is clear that there's a strong need for ethnic programming in a non‑commercial community radio format in Edmonton.
6982 CIAM Media is greatly honoured and privileged to serve the ethnic communities of Edmonton through FM radio broadcasting.
6983 In today's presentation we will cover the following topics. An introduction of who CIAM Media is, and we'll also talk about the urgent needs of Edmonton's ethnic communities; and, therefore, by CIAM's vision for non‑commercial ethnic programming and broadcasting; and then, finally, we'll conclude with our concluding remarks.
6984 Thank you.
6985 MR. SANDSTROM: I will definitely represent the minorities of all minorities, you hear that when you hear my accent. I'm Swedish and live here in Canada for many years and I count it a privilege to be a part of this minority group and speak on their behalf as well as a team member.
6986 CIAM is an all‑Alberta Edmonton based non‑profit media group and have been in full operation since 2003. Presently we are broadcasting non‑commercial community radio in nine locations in Alberta and B.C. with a strong ethnic content.
6987 We consist of multi‑ethnic volunteer leadership group of dedicated broadcast professionals with many years of ethnic experience who also have long broadcast know‑how in an all‑Canadian context.
6988 CIAM focuses on non‑commercial ethnic community broadcasting. We believe in community involvement and partnership from the greater ethnic community. We care for the small and needy ethnic communities and to provide a long needed voice for these valuable yet often neglected minorities.
6989 Community presence is important to CIAM. All of our membership, leadership and operational staff are, therefore, recruited locally and members of the community at large in which we serve.
6990 Presently 90 per cent of the CIAM staff is volunteers representing close to 150 people in various communities.
6991 CIAM believes it is utmost important to establish an advisory council consisting of members of the ethnic community we serve. It is at the core of our vision to encourage participation and to communicate, interact and involve by participation the ethnic community we serve as to ongoing provide the best and most relevant programming for respective community.
6992 One of CIAM's strengths is our vision for community team work. We believe in community involvement and partnership from the greater ethnic community in Edmonton. Together we serve as a team, a beautiful multi‑ethnic body, diverse with different functions and gifting, yet moving in unity for one purpose and one goal, to bring good news to Edmonton's ethnic people.
6993 MS CHIU: (Speaking Mandarin) I just spoke in Mandarin everyone and wish you all well this afternoon.
6994 I am Yvonne. I would like to talk a little bit about the urgent need of the Edmonton ethnic communities.
6995 Edmonton is home for some of the largest and fastest growing multicultural and multi‑ethnic communities in Canada. The visible ethnic minority population in Edmonton consists of a diverse and multicultural ethnic community which makes the city known for its mosaic beauty the cultural capital of Canada.
6996 Edmonton consists of emerging and fast growing smaller minority refugee communities which have diverse and complex needs. The growth in the ethnic population is expected to rapidly continue. However, with growth in the ethnic populations comes increased need for infrastructure and expansion in community dialogue and broadcasting.
6997 In Edmonton, CKER, owned by Rogers, provides the only ethnic commercial radio FM service. CKER does predominantly broadcast programming in East Indian languages, 97 hours per week.
6998 There is also SCMO service which provides ethnic radio services, largely in East Indian languages as well.
6999 From an overall Canadian ethnic broadcasting perspective, Vancouver has eight radio stations broadcasting in an ethnic context, Toronto has seven stations, Montreal has four, Calgary has three, while Edmonton only has one ethnic station, excluding Campus Radio and SCMO services.
7000 It is clear that comparative to other Canadian cities' ethnic broadcasting, which has a rich and diverse ethnic programming, the size and growth of Edmonton's ethnic community, Edmonton is the least served major city in Canada in regards to ethnic programming and its growing ethnic population.
7001 For example, the Chinese community is the largest and fastest growing ethnic community in Edmonton and it is expected to continue to grow rapidly.
7002 The Chinese‑speaking community in Edmonton has its origin and common bond in 56 official ethnic groups from China, as well as from Taiwan, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries with ethnic Chinese origin.
7003 Actually China's official language is Mandarin and spoken and understood by more than 1.4‑billion people world wide, including most Canadian‑speaking people. A majority of Edmonton's Chinese community speaks and understand Mandarin.
7004 Now, Chinese broadcasting, only one existing ethnic commercial radio station in Edmonton, however, the majority of programming is in Cantonese, 88 per cent or 21 hours per week. Only three hours, 12 per cent is designated to Mandarin programming.
7005 From a linguistic point of view, it is clear that the Chinese ethnic minority population is comparatively under served overall and especially in regards to Mandarin programming.
7006 We believe there is an urgent need for Chinese programming, especially in the non‑commercial ethnic community broadcasting context.
7007 Many other ethnic communities, especially minority ethnic groups in the Edmonton area have few programming choices and have no or limited access to commercial radio addressing issues specific to their needs.
7008 For example, minority ethnic language such as Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Sudanese, Erithean, Somali and low German are currently the least served in ethnic radio of all minority groups in Edmonton, proportionally to their needs, present size and expected growth.
7009 In addition, there is limited access to ethnic programs in English, especially targeting ethnic youth and French programming for Francophone African immigrants.
7010 We also recognize that the Aboriginal population is Edmonton has very limited access to receiving programming in spoken word in their Aboriginal languages. The inner city Aboriginal community has urgent social needs which need to be addressed through varied means, especially radio.
7011 Over the years these minority ethnic communities have been struggling to gain access to radio broadcasting as ways to break down social isolation and information barriers, support individuals and families in overcoming lack of connection between them and mainstream society and build strong and vibrant communities within the cultural mosaic in Edmonton.
7012 It has been difficult for leaders and resource people within these communities to be successful in these efforts without their right context, expertise, support and opportunities. We are privileged to have several of these community advisors and resource people here today. Shortly we will have a chance to hear from their heart sharing a short video presentation.
7013 There is also limited access to youth radio in Edmonton, especially in the context of ethnic youth and language training. It is important to foster integration, yet a unique voice and participation of these minority ethnic groups as part of a larger Edmonton community.
7014 Our ethnic youth need to be trained and encouraged in capacity‑building efforts in radio broadcasting which would provide a rare opportunity for many of them to be exposed to work within media and potential consideration as career options.
7015 Many minority ethnic communities lack both access to training, technical and financial resources. In addition, there is limited access to broadcasts and program facilities in Edmonton. The emerging ethnic communities need to be trained to produce and broadcast programming that target the unique informational and community development needs of their respective communities.
7016 As such, they desire to have access broadcasting, training, facilities to fulfil their important vision, a vision that is truly at the core of Edmonton's minority ethnic communities and CIAM.
7017 Thank you.
7018 MR. MAK: We will now show a video presentation.
7019 MR. SPARKLINGEYES: Not supposed to happen, eh?
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
7020 MR. SANDSTROM: CIAM's vision is to serve Edmonton with a much needed non‑commercial ethnic community broadcast in Edmonton. We will provide ethnic community broadcasting in a format representing non‑commercialist community involvement through volunteers, free access to training and availability and opportunities for broadcasting no matter, technical or financial resources or size of the ethnic minority group.
7021 Our heart is to serve and care for the interest and needs of the under served multi‑ethnic beautiful communities in Edmonton, from the largest and fastest growing Chinese community to the smallest minority communities, which often lacks both remedial training and financial resources, as well as in community access to the air waves over existing commercial ethnic stations.
7022 As we have heard, the Chinese Mandarin‑speaking community, the largest ethnic group in Edmonton, has only a mere three hours of broadcasting per week on existing commercial ethnic radio in Edmonton. Many other minority ethnic groups have no or very limited broadcasting opportunities as well.
7023 CIAM recognizes the urgent need of these under served ethnic communities. We will provide 76 hours of Chinese Mandarin programming weekly, as well as 38 hours of programming in Japanese, Korean, Sudanese, Kurdish, Erithean, Somali, low German as well as ethnic programming in English and French and languages to Aboriginal Canadians, which will add to the availability of local ethnic programming and expand and enhance the range and diversity of ethnic programs available to the residents of Edmonton.
7024 Our desire is to complement and expand, not to replace and compete with existing commercial ethnic broadcasting in Edmonton.
7025 In short, CIAM will have 90 per cent local and regional programs with a strong emphasis on ethnic news events, sports, community messages, call‑in request hours, counselling, panel discussions and current affairs. We will also cover programming relevant to the needs of the ethnic community such as immigration, community development, health promotion, education, finances, housing and cross‑cultural issues, ESL and other areas.
7026 CIAM will provide technical expertise, training, broadcasting and programming facilities right in Edmonton. Ninety per cent of the staff of CIAM will be volunteers and recruited from the local ethnic community led by a team consisting of a full‑time station manager, broadcast and program director.
7027 CIAM believes in the next generation. It's important to provide ethnic programming relevant to the challenges and great needs of Edmonton's ethnic youth. We will have a special focus on English and French‑speaking ethnic youth and language training to foster integration, yet a unique voice and participation of these minority ethnic groups as part of the larger ethnic Edmonton community.
7028 In all, CIAM would like to encourage this generation in this new ethnic media, as we believe they will play a vital part in the future of Edmonton.
7029 We have many gifted ethnic artists, young and old, in Edmonton, Alberta and Canada. Our heart burden is to encourage and provide opportunities and a strong exposure for existing new and developing artists, especially from local ethnic communities in the area.
7030 CIAM Media plan to devote a minimum of seven per cent of all musical selections broadcasting during ethnic programming periods to Canadian selections and a minimum of 12 per cent of Category 3 music to Canadian musical selections during periods other than ethnic broadcasting.
7031 CIAM will be active in the Edmonton ethnic community. We will, for instance, broadcast live from ethnic jamborees and talent nights, organized live concerts and talent weekends, participate in cultural events, provide recordings from Edmonton's various local ethnic groups. A local talent contest will be held on a regular basis.
7032 In this context and content, we believe CIAM will provide a facility for local programming and also broadcasting which differs in language, style, content, purpose from existing broadcasting from commercial station in Edmonton.
7033 Canadian Content Development, CCD, is of utmost important for CIAM Media. Although not required as a non‑commercial broadcaster, CIAM Media is committed to contribute to local music and arts talent development a minimum of $8,000 yearly. That will go towards University of Alberta, Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology ‑‑ hard for me to pronounce ‑‑ CIAM Media music, art and talent scholarship, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Heritage Music Festival, Mission Fest Edmonton, Folksway Live and Street Performers Festival in Edmonton.
7034 CIAM will provide ongoing opportunities for the local community to participate in programming.
7035 We look forward to work closely with the schools and colleges in the area in aspects of training and recruiting volunteers and staff.
7036 Qualified and mature ethnic students will also have a chance to volunteer in programming and technical support. Each year seven open houses will be held and the station will be open to visits from interested ethnic community groups and interested individuals to learn more about radio and broadcasting.
7037 Several radio training workshops will also be held on a regular basis.
7038 CIAM Media will actively seek to recruit ethnic volunteers in keeping a close relationship with ethnic groups in Edmonton through the CIAM Media advisory council. The advisory council will always play a significant role in the station's operations.
7039 MR. MAK: The CIAM team recognizes the urgency of the community's needs and is well prepared to start, develop and operate a non‑commercial ethnic community broadcasting station in Edmonton.
7040 Currently CIAM has already assembled a large inventory of programming in ethnic languages consisting of music, talks, panel discussion, history and cultural programming, et cetera.
7041 We have also lined up volunteers, workers and have located a broadcasting studio with facilities in production by teaming up with Edmonton Chinese Outreach which has been broadcasting in Edmonton for more than 20 years.
7042 To support the CCD objective, we are prepared to provide free access to training and program development opportunities to ethnic groups and youths.
7043 In preparing for our application, we worked closely with many ethnic communities and have identified a need for a broader range and diversity of ethnic broadcasting in Edmonton.
7044 CIAM is ready to go and we'll upgrade the broadcasting facility to Class B in two years.
7045 With strong community support, the majority of the start‑up costs have already been pledged. Thanks to generous donations, commitment from a broad community of volunteers, cooperation and synergies by ethnic groups in pooling resources in broadcasting facilities, strong technical and programming support from Care Radio Broadcasting, our station identity is CJAO 107.3 FM, is in a good position to start operation in Edmonton.
7046 In conclusion, CIAM Media would like to thank CRTC for all their very professional and responsive services during our application process. It has been a great pleasure to work with your staff.
7047 Thank you.
7048 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your presentation.
7049 Commissioner Cugini will lead the questions.
7050 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much, and thank you for your last statement. We always certainly do appreciate it when people recognize the hard work that our staff does.
7051 Also, I'd like to say that I wish I could say welcome in every one of the languages that you represent, so I'm going to compensate by simply saying, "benvenuti", which is my second language and that's Italian, by the way.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7052 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: My colleagues started a pattern with asking questions with the other two applicants, and I'm going to continue along this pattern, so perhaps you will expect this next set of questions, anyway.
7053 You stated in your application that that at least 98.4 per cent of the total programming provided during the broadcast week will be ethnic, and will you accept this as a condition of licence?
7054 MR. SANDSTROM: Yes, we will.
7055 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: The second commitment you make is that 74.8 per cent of the programming will be third language. And will you accept this as a condition of licence?
7056 MR. SANDSTROM: Yes.
7057 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, in terms of the third language programming, you state that 60 per cent of it will be directed toward the Chinese community and of that the majority will be in Mandarin; correct?
7058 MR. SANDSTROM: That's all correct, yeah.
7059 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And, of course, we know that CKER is in the market and you also confirmed in your oral presentation today that it's providing Chinese programming from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
7060 I'm curious to know, how will the programming that you offer be different that is targeting the Chinese community than what is currently being offered on CKER?
7061 MR. SANDSTROM: Well, it's a bit exciting to tackle that question because we, in a sense, answered that earlier.
7062 We are ‑‑
7063 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, I'm going to give you a second chance.
7064 MR. SANDSTROM: The present broadcast situation is that CKER is broadcasting a very limited amount of Mandarin programming.
7065 Now, the ethnic Chinese community in Edmonton consists of 70 per cent Mandarin ethnic background that understands only Mandarin. Twenty‑one hour of CKER's broadcasting is in Cantonese which is not understood by the majority of the Chinese ethnic community in Edmonton.
7066 So, we have a problem here and that's why we have heard the cry from the Mandarin‑speaking community that is also the fastest growing segment of the Chinese community into Canada and is continually expected to do that in the future for broadcasting, urgent need. So, it is ‑‑
7067 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, I believe I also read in your application, however, that your plan was to not schedule programming targeting the Chinese community at the same time as CKER?
7068 MR. SANDSTROM: That's right, yeah.
7069 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. So, I'm Mandarin‑speaking and I live in Edmonton. If I combine what CKER offers and what you're going to offer, how many hours of Mandarin language programming will that give me in Edmonton?
7070 MR. SANDSTROM: You will have total of 76 hours from us and three hours from CKER.
7071 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And Cantonese?
7072 MR. SANDSTROM: Cantonese will be 21 hours only from CKER.
7073 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Now, one of the things, and you did talk about it today and I got a little bit more information from your video, but the ethnic programming in English and French and it's 19 per cent and 4.8 per cent of your programming respectively.
7074 I just want you to expand a little bit on your plans for this kind of programming, and is it for ethnic groups who have a large retention of the English language, or whose first language is English?
7075 I mean, are you going to program to the Irish community, for example, or is this a combination of that plus programming for the second generation?
7076 MR. SANDSTROM: First of all, the English language is understood by the majority of Edmonton's population.
7077 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Of course.
7078 MR. SANDSTROM: We recognize that there are very limited ethnic youth broadcasting by ethnic youth, and majority of those ethnic youth have retained their culture identity but have lost their language.
7079 We'd like to give them an opportunity to broadcast as well in their ethnic cultural context, which we hold very highly in the context, majority of our minority community and the Chinese community.
7080 So, that is the main purpose of that.
7081 The Francophone African community is also very important community. We have heard the French sharing from Chantal, and she represent other groups as well that are only speaking French as their first language. They are also very important to have broadcasting opportunities in an ethnic context in Edmonton because they exist and they're a fast growing community.
7082 The Rwandan community today is 2,000 individuals and they have very limited access, in fact, no access to broadcasting right now.
7083 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And, so, will the 19 per cent of English programming, will that be proportional in terms of, you know, it's 60 per cent for the Chinese community, so 60 per cent of that 19 per cent will be in English ‑‑
7084 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah.
7085 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: ‑‑ for the Chinese youth more or less?
7086 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah. You could say so, yeah.
7087 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. I didn't notice any Swedish programming on the list.
7088 MR. SANDSTROM: I tried to squeeze that in, but they voted me out.
7089 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yeah. I tried to squeeze in Italian but, you know.
7090 Okay. You've been here all morning, I think.
7091 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah.
7092 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You've heard the other two applications. I know you're a community non‑commercial, but other than that distinction, what do you see as being the major difference between what you are proposing and what the other two applicants are proposing?
7093 MR. SANDSTROM: We heard about volunteers and community. One of them made a distinction. I think we have heard this morning that most of our broadcasting today in the larger cities is commercial broadcasting, and it has its place, we see CKER being successful, I believe they are.
7094 We are, therefore, complementing them, not ‑‑ and enhancing their broadcasting, not replacing it. We do not want to compete with them commercially.
7095 The commercial agenda force many into staff and what they call professionalists, but the heart of broadcasting, all of us know, is the heart of your community. It's to reach out ethnically to those that have a need, and that is well represented, as we believe, through volunteers.
7096 Volunteers are nothing negative, in fact the whole Canadian society was built on volunteer participation. We came alongside as communities, worked alongside one another, not because we financially gain or benefit. That is what we stand for in all our broadcasting locations even today.
7097 So, that is the main difference I will say. We emphasize involvement through community, otherwise have no chance to hear.
7098 Let's say give the commercial scenario. If you look at our ethnic group today here, they do not have chance to broadcasting on existing broadcasting. Why? Because it's commercial broadcasting. They cannot afford it. There is no air time left.
7099 Commercials take the most of advertising; community information is a little, little part of the ethnic broadcasting today, and that is what we heard earlier from the other broadcaster as well.
7100 They are driven by projects, by funds, by money and it's a commercial agenda that eventually benefit the owner of the business.
7101 We are not driven by that. We are driven by the need of the ethnic community. They are coming to us. We work with them, we build relationships.
7102 We believe that Edmonton ethnic community will be transformed through that as a testimonial of the larger community in Edmonton as well.
7103 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And I agree with you that volunteerism is, in fact, quite commendable wherever people decide to volunteer.
7104 So, I am curious to know, what is the criteria that you will be using, however, to select volunteers for this radio station, because it is ‑‑ it's a business and, you know, it requires certain standards that have to be met, certainly the Broadcasting Act. The objectives of the Broadcasting Act, broadcasting standards have to be met.
7105 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7106 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: What's the criteria you're going to use for selecting these volunteers?
7107 MR. SANDSTROM: We could just go back to the nine locations that we broadcast today across Alberta and B.C., it has worked for five years and the Commission I know have been very satisfied with that. We've been encouraged by you and you have seen that it works.
7108 In professional broadcasting, community radio is no longer in professional. It's not one hour, two hour a day sharing a few things and then off...
7109 Community radio today is something I know CRTC stands for and encouraging and that's what we stand for as well.
7110 The selection of volunteers is actually through relationship. You partner with community, you're involved with the advisory board and council, you're involved in community and through that you create a relationship.
7111 The heart of someone that we will equip to broadcast. They are not going on air before they are equipped, before they are professional to go on air. That is in line with the Broadcast Act and the criterias that CRTC has as well.
7112 So, we take an enjoyment in that, train and work together with the communities, that's part of involvement and that's why we have so many volunteers, 150 of them involved today and it's just a delight to have fellowship and community with one another.
7113 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Who will be responsible for the volunteers and ensuring that they do comply with the Broadcasting Act?
7114 MR. SANDSTROM: That is, of course, the executive board of CIAM, our leadership group and, as the structure provide in our application, we have a clear outline for their serving commitments. We also have outlines for how they operate in the context of our board.
7115 The station manager is ultimately in charge of our broadcast and the volunteers, but on broadcasting area we have a broadcast manager that leads the team that go on air and on the programming side, because much broadcasting is today pre‑programmed, they will be supervised by that person.
7116 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. I do want to go back just for a second, because you took me off course there with the volunteers.
7117 You know the Community Radio Policy requires that at least five per cent of the musical selections playing in each broadcast week are to come from Category 3.
7118 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7119 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And in your application I think you're saying as much as 65 per cent of your musical selections will be from Category 3.
7120 So, just the first question. Can you give us your rationale for so far above and beyond.
7121 MR. SANDSTROM: I'm not sure if it's 65. I think it's divided Category 2 and 3, a totalling of 65 per cent. So...
7122 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Let me just ‑‑
7123 MR. SANDSTROM: You go back to the written application.
7124 COMMISSIONER CUGINI:
"The Applicant states it will devote 65 per cent of its music programming to Category 3." (As read)
7125 MR. SANDSTROM: Which page is that?
7126 COMMISSIONER CUGINI:
"Concert 10 per cent, folk and folk oriented 10 per cent, world beat and international 25." (As read)
7127 MR. SANDSTROM: Well, that is in the main ‑‑
7128 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: In the actual application form.
7129 MR. SANDSTROM: Okay. Let's see ‑‑
7130 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And then:
"Non‑classic, religious 20 per cent." (As read)
7131 MR. SANDSTROM: Let me take that.
7132 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Take your time.
7133 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah. That should read ‑‑ if you go back to our program schedule on page ‑‑ on page ‑‑ under appendix ‑‑ see where I have that ‑‑ 6(a) under our block program schedule, that should read 20.3 per cent ‑‑ no, sorry, 35 per cent is Category 2, popular music, and 30.1 per cent should be Category 3, special music interest. Yeah, that's a correction there.
7134 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay.
7135 MR. SANDSTROM: You caught me off guard there.
7136 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It happens.
7137 Well, it's still higher than the minimum required, so my follow‑up question is not irrelevant.
7138 Will you accept that level as a condition of licence?
7139 MR. SANDSTROM: Yes.
7140 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
7141 Now, we'll move on to your business plan. You are, of course, a non‑commercial radio station and that the majority of the revenues will come from fund raising, government, non‑government funding and donations, and I heard you in your oral presentation say that most of your start‑up costs have already been pledged, which is a great thing.
7142 But have you received any commitments from donors and other sources of your funding for more long‑term funding beyond your start‑up costs?
7143 MR. SANDSTROM: Again, that goes back to relationship building with donors to add support once and twice. It's a long‑term relationship and we have a large group of supporters, I think in all 300 or so that's standing behind us broadcast, and they are some of them coming from overseas, others are within the ethnic communities that are minorities as well.
7144 It's not so much the amount as the commitment, as you say long term, and we have been greatly encouraged by that.
7145 We have not required for them to write a five‑year commitment plan to us. We are supported primarily by listener support and through venues that you just mentioned, so...
7146 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And who is responsible for soliciting these funds?
7147 MR. SANDSTROM: It's the executive board of CIAM Media that takes ultimate responsibility for that.
7148 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And if you are licensed for this community, you would now be having, you know, community programming in 10 locations.
7149 So, take this project through for me, would the executive board solicit the funds for then all 10 locations, or would you ‑‑ or do you concentrate on one at a time?
7150 MR. SANDSTROM: Edmonton is separated from that, absolutely, because community broadcasting cannot be reflected more than in technical knowledge and program capability. We do not mix the two together. In programming they will be separated from one another.
7151 Of course, we are reaching the ethnic community of Edmonton, we like to involve the ethnic community by participating and support as such from Edmonton primarily, but we also have supporters outside that come from our group today, that come from the CIAM Media group.
7152 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So, for example, but the government funding that you would go after, you wouldn't ask that government funding be directed to CIAM Media and then you would dispense of it amongst those communities?
7153 MR. SANDSTROM: It would be ‑‑ no, allocated specifically for Edmonton.
7154 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay.
7155 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah.
7156 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you said that there was no program sharing. So, there will be no synergies that you will be able to take advantage of with your other locations?
7157 MR. SANDSTROM: More than the knowledge, expertise, training, implementation technically, broadcast professionalists, all of that is very important, that's what we have already, that will be shared.
7158 But when it comes to ethnic broadcasting in remote community, in Fort St. John for instance, it is a very different ethnic community there than it is in Edmonton, so...
7159 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. And just because we all have something to learn, what is ethnomusicology?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7160 MR. SANDSTROM: You'll have to ask some of our ethnic leaders here.
7161 I think it's a term from University of Alberta, is that right?
7162 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It was in ‑‑ yes, as part of your CCD.
7163 MR. SANDSTROM: Yes.
7164 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: That's the one that you said you had difficulty pronouncing.
7165 MR. SANDSTROM: I can't even spell it, I can't even pronounce it, so...
7166 I think it has to do with ethnic music and that's what it is, and I think it's actually study of it, of ethnicity and culture and talent and all of that. So, that was explained for us as we dialogued that in the past, yeah.
7167 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, like I say, you learn something new every day and that's a great thing.
7168 My last line of questioning has to do with the technical issues, which I know you have been made aware of through correspondence with our staff.
7169 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7170 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And there is a question of under utilization of your frequency.
7171 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7172 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, I've read your response to deficiencies and where you said that, you know, gradually over time as the Edmonton community expands that you would upgrade towards a Class B.
7173 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7174 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Today you said you see that happening within two years.
7175 MR. SANDSTROM: Two years, yeah.
7176 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: What we'd like to know is, what is the difference between the launch in operational costs between a Class A‑1 and a Class B undertaking?
7177 In other words, why didn't you go for one right from the beginning?
7178 MR. SANDSTROM: It's a major difference. Now, again, look at what you have heard about our ethnic communities here in Edmonton.
7179 The reason why they cannot start or cannot broadcast is because of lack of financial resources. We'd like to involve those communities in this and gradually grow together.
7180 You can provide a package that is ready and go from the beginning. We don't like to do that, we like to grow with them.
7181 Now, with the 250 watt broadcasting initially, we will reach our target audience, believe it or not we are reaching and that is technically proven by our technical application and briefs that have been sent to Industry Canada.
7182 So, l we are reaching our target audience with that, but we believe that the ethnic community is expanding in this area, especially south, and that's why we also have committed ourselves to upgrade to a B in two year times.
7183 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: But are you able to tell us, even on a percentage basis, how much more expensive it would have been to go to a Class B to begin?
7184 MR. SANDSTROM: Actually, it's not too much more expensive. It would be about $65,000 to do that. We could have afford to do that, but we like to work together, not provide it from a resourceful Chinese ethnic that could take that. We like to work with our ethnic communities and build, and a sense of ownership in it, which is very important for us.
7185 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And I believe, again, in response to correspondence with the staff, you did identify 93.1 as an acceptable alternative frequency?
7186 MR. SANDSTROM: No.
7187 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It's not acceptable?
7188 MR. SANDSTROM: No.
7189 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So, there are no other frequencies available that would meet your needs today, other than the one for which you have applied?
7190 MR. SANDSTROM: Absolutely. Only 107.3. We clearly stated that in correspondence with Industry Canada.
7191 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. It's good to be sure.
7192 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah.
7193 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, thank you very much all of you ‑‑
7194 MR. SANDSTROM: No problem.
7195 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: ‑‑ for your responses this afternoon.
7196 MR. SANDSTROM: Thank you.
7197 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7198 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar.
7199 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
7200 I just have one question and it relates to your revenue projections.
7201 You have indicated that community involvement and community funding is essential for your radio station, obviously as a community radio station.
7202 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7203 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And I just wondered as you listened to some of the other ethnic radio ‑‑ commercial ethnic radio broadcasters here today, if you were to be licensed, and obviously would be attractive to some of your listening audience as well, would that put in jeopardy your ability to generate the funds for your community radio station in any manner?
7204 MR. SANDSTROM: No, absolutely not.
7205 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No.
7206 MR. SANDSTROM: No.
7207 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So, you feel you could co‑exist with any of those radio stations?
7208 MR. SANDSTROM: It would work very fine for us, yeah.
7209 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
7210 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have just one question.
7211 I'm just wondering, Mr. Sandstrom, are you one of the executive of CIAM, are you the same executive at each of the nine locations you share?
7212 MR. SANDSTROM: I'm part of the same group, yeah, as the leadership group, yes, I am.
7213 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, so, I'm just not familiar where all the nine locations are.
7214 MR. SANDSTROM: They are actually in Fort Vermilion ‑‑
7215 THE CHAIRPERSON: All in Alberta; are they?
7216 MR. SANDSTROM: All in Alberta.
7217 THE CHAIRPERSON: All in Alberta.
7218 MR. SANDSTROM: And B.C.
7219 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh yes, and B.C. Oh yes, we did hear that.
7220 MR. SANDSTROM: But we're all in community context, so we kind of specialize on that, so...
7221 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, do you live in Edmonton or...
7222 MR. SANDSTROM: We live in Edmonton, that's right, yeah.
7223 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine. Thank you very much. I don't know if legal has any questions?
7224 Oh, you do.
7225 MS LEMOUX: Yes, one follow‑up question. Thank you.
7226 MS LEMOUX: Okay.
7227 MR. SANDSTROM: You can do it in French.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7228 MS LEMOUX: Can I. I'll do it in English for the public record.
7229 I'd just like to confirm for the public record your commitment in terms of hours to Category 3 music.
7230 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7231 MS LEMOUX: Could you specify how many hours per broadcast week will be devoted to Category 3 music which, according to your application, will include music from sub‑category 31, concert, sub‑category 32, folk and folk‑oriented, and sub‑category 33, world beat and international.
7232 MR. SANDSTROM: Mm‑hmm.
7233 MS LEMOUX: So, we need the hours.
7234 MR. SANDSTROM: Exact hours. I have to ‑‑ I'm not good at math, believe it or not, Swedes are not, we're just Vikings, you know.
7235 MS LEMOUX: You can come back ‑‑
7236 MR. SANDSTROM: Give me a bone or something. If we multiply 30 per cent times the total number of minutes, or 126 hours times 30.1 then get that, and I need a calculator for that. Maybe we could do it on this thing.
7237 MS LEMOUX: Could you please provide us the number by Wednesday?
7238 MR. SANDSTROM: Could we get an extension until Thursday. No, it will be fine, yeah, for sure.
7239 MS LEMOUX: That's fine. Thank you very much.
7240 MR. SANDSTROM: Yeah.
7241 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Mak and Mr. Sandstrom and your party. Thank you.
7242 So, oh no, I have to give you your two minutes.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7243 THE CHAIRPERSON: Slow learner here. Yes, go right ahead.
7244 MR. MAK: CIAM Media is pleased to present our application to CRTC. As I said earlier, we have been working very hard for the last three years and with all the community groups we did consultation, we did workshops, we did prepare for this presentation.
7245 I think working through that community effort it's been a great pleasure with CIAM also with the community group as we learn and grow together and we are very honoured and privileged to serve the community.
7246 You can see from the people we have here, we do have a heart and passion for the community and we love to serve the community, not for money, whether the people can afford to pay or not, we will serve you, we will serve the people.
7247 And we want to establish a close working relationship, understand what the needs of the culture, what the needs of the community group and design programming that meets the needs.
7248 So, we recognize that there's urgency in this community to have the people as a new immigrant come to Canada, we would like to make sure they can adjust to society very well.
7249 I myself came here 25 years ago as a student, but throughout the years, we understand the need for community service and need for helping people adapt and contribute to a cultural society and then help to return to educate more people coming over and also educating our second generation with the abundance of the culture from all over the world, that we can all share and live in Canada in peace and prosperity.
7250 CIAM is ready to go and we'll upgrade our facility as committed.
7251 And we want to thank the generous donation from so many communities and the cooperation we received just encourage us to move on and we want to work even harder to get this licence.
7252 And CIAM Media is a non‑profit service‑oriented organization with a proven track record in community broadcasting in an ethnic context.
7253 We look forward to hearing the good news from CRTC soon so that our under served ethnic communities could begin to hear programming over CJAO 107.3FM and bring good news to Edmonton's ethnic people.
7254 Thank you.
7255 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mak, Mr. Sandstrom and your party. Thank you.
7256 MR. SANDSTROM: We'd like to thank you as well. And I think if we say our greeting ‑‑ farewell greeting and see you again in our respective languages from our language leaders.
7257 Why don't we do that here.
7258 MR. SPARKLINGEYES: (Native language)
7259 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We'll take 10 minutes just to allow to change the panel.
7260 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1442 / Suspension à 1442
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1459 / Reprise à 1459
7261 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with Item 16 which is an application by Frank Torres on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for a licence to operate an English language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Edmonton.
7262 The new station would operate on frequency 107.3 megahertz, channel 297C‑1 with an average effective radiated power of 66,834 watts, maximum effective radiated power of 100,000 watts, antennae height of 244 metres.
7263 Appearing for the applicant is Ed Torres.
7264 Please introduce your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
7265 Mr. Torres.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
7266 MR. E. TORRES: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission and Commission staff.
7267 My name is Ed Torres and I'm the President and co‑founder of Skywords Radio.
7268 I'd like to begin by thanking the Commission for entertaining our application for a new blues format FM radio licence.
7269 I'd like to take a moment to introduce our panel.
7270 Seated to my right is my brother Frank Torres. Frank is the Chief Operations Officer at Skywords. Together we co‑founded Skywords in 1991. Today it's a national radio company with offices in several Canadian major markets, including Ottawa, Halifax, Markham, and our newest base of operations, here in Edmonton. Our company has operated in Edmonton since September of 2007.
7271 To my left is Yves Trottier. Yves is the former Operations Director at Couleur FM in Gatineau and he's held various PD positions prior to joining Skywords as the general manager of Quebec operations.
7272 Beside Yves is Robyn Metcalfe. Robyn's the Vice‑President of Programming at Skywords and part owner of this application.
7273 Beside Frank to his right is Karen MacKenzie, Chair of the Edmonton Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee.
7274 Jeff McFayden is on the far right of the back row. He's a resident of Edmonton and serves as General Manager of Western Canada Operations for Skywords based here.
7275 Beside Jeff, Lochlin Cross. Lochlin is the former Program Director of KRock here in Edmonton as well. He's held various program director positions and he's been involved in various station launches. He will serve as DAWG FM's program director if licensed.
7276 Beside Lochlin, Aubrey Clarke, Director of Business Development at Skywords and former sales manager.
7277 And in the second row to your far right, Jeremy Loome. Jeremy is a reporter for the Sun Media Group. He is a former City editor of the Edmonton Sun and front man for the Hard Line Blues Band. He has written about and covered the blues scene in Edmonton extensively.
7278 MR. F. TORRES: And the blues is what this application is about. Our presentation today will illustrate that Edmonton can sustain two additional entrants to the market. We'll increase plurality and provide the only other independent news voice on mainstream English language radio.
7279 Our existing broadcasting operations in Edmonton will provide resources and synergies that will assist in the launch and operation of our new station.
7280 We'll provide a missing, highly desired extensively researched radio operation to Edmonton listeners. Our format will help break and launch new Canadian blues artists through commercial air play of their music.
7281 We've received over 1,400 letters of support for our blues radio station application, over 350 individual letters of support for this application alone, including letters from Dan Ackroyd, Jack DeKeyser, Tom Lavin, Edmonton Blues Society, Stephen Mandel, Mayor of the City of Edmonton, who in his letter stated:
"The proposal being put forward by Frank Torres will endorse local talent, an important part of Edmonton's cultural identity as Edmonton has a rich grass roots community." (As read)
7282 MR. F. TORRES: We've commissioned extensive formal research by Census Research, an independent third party research firm into the viability of our proposed format in 10 markets across Canada, including Edmonton.
7283 To supplement our formal research, we created an online survey at bluesincanada.com, a website that we own, and it's generated hundreds of responses.
7284 Overwhelmingly we found in our research that 30 to 60 per cent of people would likely listen to our format.
7285 We know that Edmonton has a vibrant blues scene headquartered at Blues On White, championed by Stoney Plains Records and exhibited at the Labatt's Blues Festival which is arguably one of the largest blues festivals in Canada.
7286 The blues are so prevalent that the Edmonton Sun features regular blues articles by our reporter Jeremy Loome and we're fortunate to have him here with us today.
7287 MR. LOOME: Hi, my name is Jeremy Loome and I write for the Edmonton Sun as stated, I also play in the Hard Line Blues Band here in Edmonton and have for several years.
7288 I've been writing about blues for about a decade including the last five years covering people like B.B. King and Buddy Guy for the Edmonton Sun, also interviewing largely unrecognized markets in the local market and along with blues founders, guys like Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards and Bob Koester, the guy who started Delmark Records in the United States.
7289 Despite the fact that blues has always been seen as the elder statesman of pop music, it's a format that's largely been impacted by the society around it, including Jim Crow, the impacts of racism in the early part of the industry and poor choices that were made in the early part of the blues industry itself by some of the people involved in the business.
7290 I'm not going to get into the lengthy history of segregation, it marginalized blues for close to 30 years until well after the national distribution system and play listing were the norm.
7291 But suffice it to say, it was a shameful period because it handicapped blues music. It was shameful for many other reasons, but for blues it meant that black music couldn't be played on white radio and until the 1970s that continued to be the case.
7292 It raised debates on sensitive issues and on sensitive subjects in North America and for a lot of the time people thought that that took it too far into the area that people didn't want to hear about.
7293 The fact is, it's been through the recent emergence of choice on the Internet and satellite radio that has become obvious to people that there is a mainstream desire to see the blues.
7294 Even without radio it's flourished creatively despite having limited, almost underground status. Sometimes it's even hit the mainstream but it's usually through white players like Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and by being labelled guitar rock somewhat subversively.
7295 But the information age is changing perceptions about blues music. It's not the whiny sound, the same music that people thought it was 50 years ago. Blues fans all over the world are banding together. They attend festivals by the hundreds of thousands, including at my last count, 19 in Canada each year alone.
7296 Buoyed by their common purpose, these fans have started a network of appreciation societies that now have memberships in the tens of thousands in at least 30 different locations around Canada.
7297 Ancillary industries such as advertising, vacation sales in the form of blues cruises and DVD distribution have taken note. It's also the primary reason behind the Torres brothers' application here and in several other markets in Canada.
7298 For all the heart‑felt and culturally appropriate reasons that I'd like to see blues music on the air, the reality is they see it as good business.
7299 Unfortunately that concept surprises some people. Blues music is so misunderstood that those who hear it frequently don't even recognize it. It might be blended into the mainstream as blues rock or pop rock but, in whole, it's been excluded from the mainstream as blues.
7300 It's seen as old and sorrowful, when sometimes it's joyful and sympathetic and it's usually endlessly creative.
7301 It's music played by real musicians using real instruments not created in a studio and it's done for a sense of emotional expression more important to all of us than money.
7302 It is loud when it wants to be or it can be as subtle as an AC reed sax solo. It can be found on cuts by Aerosmith or Aleisha Keyes or Nora Jones, but the chances are if they marketed it as blues, no one would give them a venue to sell it.
7303 As noted, that wouldn't stop blues artists from making music and it wouldn't stop them if this application failed either. They've rarely made a living off the music and so their expectations are low.
7304 I know top studio musicians who spend every Monday to Thursday laying drywall to put bread on the table, and to this day the great Buddy Guy keeps his job at the Ford Motor plant in Chicago just in case he ever has to fall back on it. They've told him for years, if this blues thing doesn't work, we've still got a place for you.
7305 But denying this attempt to give the blues a home would rob the larger Canadian audience a chance to experience and perhaps learn to love and enjoy the blues with the same fervour as the underground adherents, the unappreciated legends and the weekend players you meet in cities across the country.
7306 It can encompass the fringes of every popular style because it was there first and it contributed to all of them. Across Edmonton and around Alberta there are dozens of superlative blues musicians playing everything from acid blues, a mix of psychedelic rock and blues, to acoustic Delta blues, to sacred steel gospel, to the kind of Chicago Memphis hybrid that my band plays and that you hear in bands like Heart Dog Brown and the Bloodhounds over there.
7307 It's the same in every Canadian city, in many small towns and, in particular, in Canada's first nations where blues has particularly flourished.
7308 Somewhere in there you'll even find some material that is so original and it's so distinctly Canadian that it can only be called Canadian blues.
7309 The combination of Doug Cox from Vancouver Island playing his acoustic blues mixed with Sahlil Bhatt's 19 string sitar blues, for example; or Sliding Clyde Roulette from Winnipeg playing a mixture of music that comes directly from his Aboriginal culture and mixing it with slide guitar from the Delta.
7310 But you rarely hear about such artists because they get little to no radio air play.
7311 Around here in Alberta Ellen McIlwaine, Amos Garrett, Graham Guest, Chris Brzezicki and Jimmy Guiboche are all noted musicians who have managed to make a living by spreading talents across several bands and into studio work and even across several genres.
7312 But with no air play you won't typically see them on the shelves of your chain record store because FM air play drives distribution.
7313 And with all due respect to the John Lee Hooker classic, "One Bourbon One Scotch and One Beer", without radio air play, bars will continue to be a bluesman's primary and frequently their sole source of musical income.
7314 Given its stated popularity in polling, it's flourishing nature as an evolving art and the fact that so many people just love it, support for this submission would be greatly appreciated, not only by the thousands of hard core fans that have written support letters to DAWG FM, but by the thousands of others around Edmonton who attend our blues festivals, support small bands like mine in the faded remnants of what used to be a live music scene, and would just like to be able to turn on that favourite station occasionally and listen to their favourite music.
7315 Thank you.
7316 MS METCALFE: DAWG FM will be a positive and enjoyable workplace. As a programmer, I look for people with passion for radio, a team mentality that will work together to come up with great products and amazing radio.
7317 The station's people are key to building a community connection and we will partner with the community to create a radio station that is locally focused.
7318 But how will we be different from a rock station? Well, DAWG FM's bark is worse than its bite. No AC/CD, no Pink Floyd, no Van Halen.
7319 In its place you might find Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles or Muddy Waters.
7320 We like to say that we are the big dog on the block but we have attitude. Our station will have a brand and it will have a feel, the feel is the blues.
7321 I'd like to play you a sample of our feel.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
7322 MS METCALFE: I forgot to highlight the fact that our station will be a good corporate citizen, engaged and connected with our community and environmentally responsible.
7323 Yes, the blues are green. We take pride in proposing that DAWG FM will be the first carbon neutral broadcaster in Canada.
7324 DAWG FM promotions will be different, instead of a week in Mexico on the beach, listeners will be on a blues tour of Chicago, Memphis or New Orleans.
7325 Ratings promotions will see listeners whisked away on a cruise, but not just any cruise, you're going on a blues cruise. Bands on every level of the ship playing in to the late hours.
7326 MR. TROTTIER: You've probably seen the "Blues Brothers" movie, but have you ever checked the songs on the song track? You will find no traditional blues songs whatsoever on that song track, instead you will hear Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and other soul and rhythm and soul artists. Indeed it's blues and we are almost certain that you did not have a clue that you are a true fan of blues.
7327 Over the course of the last year we have been working on developing the blues brand for DAWG FM, and we intend to continue doing so through the next decade.
7328 A blues radio station must reflect all the trends you find in this category of music. In consequence, we have planned focus groups prior to the launch of all of our radio stations. During such sessions we will play hundreds of songs to our target demo to ensure that we are on the right track.
7329 During those sessions we will also play different station blues IDs and promos to confirm and refine our station blues brand and identity.
7330 Throughout our research we have noticed that blues fans do not listen to a specific radio format. That's the reason why we feel that the arrival of DAWG FM will not have a negative impact on one individual radio station but, rather, reflect slightly on the overall.
7331 Our format will be different from existing formats. We will propose the best of both worlds with well‑known artists who play blues songs like Nora Jones, Eric Clapton and Jeff Healey and, at the same time, we will be the promoter of blues artists here in Edmonton area, in fact a blues station with a popular and commercial sound.
7332 MR. CROSS: Edmonton is a competitive radio market. There are 10 mainstream music outlets, nine on the FM dial and one on the AM dial. There are three AOR stations, one classic rock, one mainstream rock, and one modern rock, two country stations, two AC stations, two adult hit stations and one top 40.
7333 Playlists are tight, and on the 10 mainstream music intensive stations, 26 per cent of every song played, calculated based on a week of spins of the entire Edmonton market, is played on two or more stations.
7334 From the proposed DAWG FM playlist, there will be less than three per cent cross‑over on these 10 stations.
7335 DAWG FM will be giving Edmonton something new. DAWG FM fills the proverbial hole in the market, and for that matter most markets in the country. DAWG FM will not only attract a blues fan, it will also have mainstream appeal without infringing upon other formats.
7336 DAWG FM has the potential to ignite the local blues scene with the outlined CCD contributions, the proposed Category 3 exposure and 40 per cent Canadian content.
7337 With our promise to broadcast live 24 hours a day, DAWG FM will also create opportunities for younger broadcasters.
7338 Blues music has had a massive influence on a number of music genres and Edmonton will be presently surprised at how much music they'll recognize on 107.3 on the FM dial.
7339 MR. McFAYDEN: Skywords provides Western Canadian radio stations with content such as traffic, business, Alberta Energy and entertainment reports. It started 13 years ago with traffic operations in Vancouver and has since expanded to almost 40 stations across the western provinces, with over 25 of them located in Alberta.
7340 The local Edmonton base of operations launched on August 13th, 2007, providing air‑borne surveillance of traffic from our Cesna airplane which is based at the Edmonton City Centre Airport for AM 790 CFCW, KRock 97.3 and the new Capital 96.3 FM.
7341 The Edmonton base has become our hub of our Western Canadian operations with myself overseeing the day‑to‑day operations as general manager.
7342 Our main office is located at the old Edmonton Radio Group studios on 99th Street and is staffed with a number of locally born and bred announcers that provide premium quality broadcast to our partners on a daily basis.
7343 As we've said many times, we are a radio station without our own frequency.
7344 Our Edmonton launch has been an astounding success. In only our fourth month of operations, December, 2007, we exceeded our projected revenue budgets which were derived from local, regional and national advertisers.
7345 Our Edmonton sales continue to expand introducing new companies to radio advertising and providing alternate options for existing advertisers.
7346 MR. F. TORRES: Market research into the Edmonton market was compiled by Census Research and focused on providing an objection and unbiased assessment of this prospective format. We believe that outsourcing this research objective to Census provides a third party, unbiased objectivity in method and findings.
7347 The research has found a number of indicators that suggest that DAWG FM format will be warmly received in the Edmonton market.
7348 First and foremost, half of the sample was unable to recall any local stations that played a fairly recognizable list of blues artists, and of those that could, the majority could identify just one, yet many can name two or more stations that play country, rock, or top 40.
7349 This research has also shown that more than five in 10 of Edmonton area residents would consider listening to a new blues‑oriented station. Fifty‑one per cent of people surveyed answered that they would be likely to listen. Among this number, 17 per cent stated they would be very likely to listen to such a station.
7350 Of the people who would likely tune into a blues‑oriented station, 61 per cent answered that in doing so they would likely increase the total amount of time they spend listening to radio. Thirteen per cent would be very likely.
7351 This suggests that overall listenership would be augmented rather than cannibalized from existing stations.
7352 MR. CLARKE: Our Canadian content development has been carefully designed to provide funding and promotion to Canadian talent and nurture the future of musical development in the Edmonton area.
7353 FACTOR will receive $100,000 annually that will go to fund blues genre artists. This is a substantial investment in musicians that will promote and help launch careers and the music of emerging Canadian artists.
7354 Art Start Edmonton provides accessible and professional quality lessons in drama, dance, visual art and music to elementary age children from low income families.
7355 Art Start also offers field trips, special events and performance opportunities for all participants. $10,000 a year annually will go to Art Start to continue their work to ensure all children have the opportunity to be exposed to arts and culture. They will also look at some specific blues‑related activities within their music department.
7356 The Edmonton Arts Council allocates grants to local arts and festivals. The contribution of $105,000 over seven years would be used to foster and promote the appreciation and preservation of the blues in Edmonton.
7357 The Inner City Youth Development Association provides inner city with programs that promote and facilitate positive behaviour, creative expression and cooperative working skills.
7358 The program runs its own radio station, Radio ICHS and DAWG‑FM funds would be used to train announcers and provide equipment for the station. The total contribution is 70,000.
7359 MS MacKENZIE: As chair of the Edmonton Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee and Co‑Chair of Wicihitowin, the Circle of Shared Responsibility, I would like to express our support for this application.
7360 An integral part of any consultation with the Edmonton community is to have the Aboriginal community involved. In fact, the City Of Edmonton has signed an accord agreement with the Aboriginal community as a result of the Edmonton urban dialogue process that ensures our voice is heard collectively through the Wicihitowin Circle of Shared Responsibility and the Edmonton Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee, or EAUAC.
7361 EAUAC is also a member of Wicihitowin and as a civic committee provides advice and guidance to mayor and council.
7362 EAUAC is responsible for and presents the annual Nellie Carlson Youth Awards. These awards recognize the achievement and successes of Aboriginal youth in grades 8 to 10 who have demonstrated success or achievement in many different years such as leadership, academics, volunteerism, theatre, music and computer technology.
7363 DAWG FM's annual $10,000 CCD contribution will sponsor the Nellie Carlson Youth Awards to recognize outstanding achievement in music among Aboriginal youth.
7364 MR. ED TORRES: The approval of this application will accrue substantial benefits to the public and, as such, it's in the best interests of the public. We are the public's best friend.
7365 DAWG FM will provide a format that's not currently available on conventional over‑the‑air radio. It will repatriate listeners that tune to out‑of‑market radio stations or satellite or internet for their desired programming. It will benefit the Canadian blues industry artists and promoters and the like, will add diversity to the ownership of the Canadian broadcast system and encourage participation of minorities and women.
7366 Our strong local management and our 17 years of radio sales and broadcasting experience coupled with our existing radio operations at the former Edmonton Radio Group studios, help to ensure the success of DAWG FM.
7367 Blues have reached the tipping point. We have included a list of 29 recent commercial campaigns that featured blues music as an appendix to this presentation. They feature commercials for Nissan, Coca‑Cola, Tropicana and a host of Fortune 500 companies. That speaks to the commercial desirability of the blues. The CRTC can allow us to be first in market and gain the lead on this format, or we can wait for it to be fine tuned in the United States and then exported to Canada like so many of the formats now on Canadian radio.
7368 In this era of technology and convergence one only has to look at the Blackberry, a Canadian original, to recognize the importance of being first to market. We'll leave you then with our tagline. After all we are on a mission from DAWG.
7369 Thank you, and we will take your questions.
7370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Torres.
7371 I'm going to start the questions and then I'm sure Commissioner Cugini and Commissioner Molnar will have some questions as well.
7372 First of all, just addressing the news and spoken programming, you have opted for a high level of news in spoken word programming, 15 and a half hours a week, and we are just wondering why you feel that this level of spoken word is necessary given your music‑driven format.
7373 MR. ED TORRES: One thing that the research has been very clear ‑‑ and as I stated in the presentation we have done extensive research in a number of markets ‑‑ invariably the research comes back that this listener is very, very interested, highly interested in news and information programming. So while other commercial music‑intensive applications might stray away from that because, again, it is expensive to create spoken word, we bring certain synergies to the table because that's what our company does. Skywords creates spoken word nationally across the country so it's easy for us to do it. It's our core business. So hand in hand the research is what drives the fact that this listener wants spoken word.
7374 And as we are starting to see around the country now with the ‑‑ Evanov as an example of a music‑intensive format and The Jewel where they have upped their traffic reports and their news and spoken word significantly and it's having a positive effect on their share. That research certainly ‑‑ the research that we have bears that out, confirms that.
7375 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yes, our research also indicates that the number one source for this format right now is satellite radio and what we find satellite listeners tell us is that they love the music, they love hearing it in that format but they can't stand being out of touch with the community, with local ‑‑ local context, local information, local feel.
7376 So we think that our spoken word ‑‑ and they have actually told us that spoken word would be something that repatriates them back into radio and keeps them there. So although the music is important we think spoken word information is also important and so do our listeners.
7377 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7378 Your eight hours and 33 minutes of pure news per week, as I understand it, and with two newscasters and two field reporters and one weekend newscaster/field reporter I'm just wondering how many of those positions would be fulltime and also if would sort of describe the role and responsibilities of each of the positions.
7379 MR. ED TORRES: Sure. Maybe I will throw it over to Yves and Robin because they have the breakouts on the news and programming and they can probably better answer that.
7380 MS METCALFE: Like you said, we have four fulltime news announcers and then two part‑time news announcers. The morning news announcer will be the anchor and the news director, the two mid‑day news announcers will be the reporters and that will be getting out into the streets and feeding in their reports and news stories, and then the afternoon news person is an anchor as well, and the weekend is part time.
7381 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry. So there is four fulltime in total, four fulltime in total and two part time?
7382 MS METCALFE: Yes, and two of those are reporters and two of them are anchors.
7383 MR. TROTTIER: Just to be sure, it's four fulltime, just one part time for the weekend.
7384 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. Thank you.
7385 And obviously you feel that this level of staffing is sufficient to generate the quality and volume of spoken word that you are proposing?
7386 MR. TROTTIER: Yes. The journalists would just do news; will just do local news because the national news will come with synergy with Skywords.
7387 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7388 MR. TROTTIER: So the four journalists will not do sports, they will not do the business report. They are just doing news. So I think in that case they will be okay to do that.
7389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
7390 So how many ‑‑ what is your total overall staff proposed?
7391 MS METCALFE: Our total staff is 25 fulltime and five part time.
7392 THE CHAIRPERSON: From day one?
7393 MS METCALFE: Yes.
7394 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's a large staff. That's not including the people then that would be employed at Skywords?
7395 MS METCALFE: No.
7396 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7397 I want to talk about Skywords in a second but first of all I'm interested, because I understand your news content is going to be divided; a third local, a third regional and the remainder national and international. And I'm just wondering if you could just tell us what localities you would refer to when you are speaking of local news and what localities would be covered in terms of national ‑‑ of regional news, sorry.
7398 MR. ED TORRES: And Frank, maybe you could ‑‑ I think our plan was 60 percent local, 20 percent regional and 20 percent international; the regional covering both international and national.
7399 And maybe, Lochlin, with respect to the regions that we would cover on a local basis maybe, Lochlin, you could have a better ‑‑ fill in the Commission better.
7400 MR. CROSS: Yes, well, I think your first objective from a news stance would be to cover local stories and try to have a local feel with every one of your casts.
7401 As far as the difference between local and regional, I think if there was something happening in Alberta that would be considered a regional story and then something happening in Edmonton would be considered a local story.
7402 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's 60 percent local, 20 regional and 20 for the balance then?
7403 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, that's correct.
7404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7405 Now, I noticed ‑‑ and you touched on Skywords earlier. You mention in your brief at page 11 that Skywords produces traffic reports, music and business ‑‑ or business and market reports, weather reports, music programming, newscasts, snowmobile trail reports, entertainment reports and other services as required by its affiliate stations from Halifax to Edmonton.
7406 And so I'm wondering which of those services you provide to radio stations in Edmonton. I noticed in your remarks you mentioned three stations that you provide traffic surveillance but I would be interested to know if it's broader than that and what the nature of the service is.
7407 MR. ED TORRES: Sure.
7408 Jeff, maybe you could?
7409 MR. McFAYDEN: Within Edmonton it is only the traffic reports on the three stations. As for business reports, Alberta energy reports and entertainment reports it's a lot of secondary and tertiary markets around Alberta, such as we do traffic in Red Deer as well as business reports and entertainment reports for Red Deer, Lloydminster, Lacombe. There is about 25 of them.
7410 So a lot of the secondary and tertiary markets have those other types of reports and then for Edmonton it's just traffic.
7411 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what type of programs specifically will Skywords be providing for your DAWG‑FM station in Edmonton?
7412 MR. ED TORRES: Well, we don't have a specific plan right now. It's ultimately going to be up to the general manager and the program director to make the programming decisions. DAWG will operate totally at arms length.
7413 But, certainly, there are certain synergies that we could use. We could use national reports, feeding reports from our other bases. We have news reporters that cover Toronto and cover Ottawa. We have meteorologists on staff that create weather forecasts. So they are based in Ottawa but they create weather forecasts for the Maritimes and they create weather forecasts for Ontario and certain affiliates around the rest of the country.
7414 So we would put that all in front of the general manager and the program director and we would say, "Use the synergies where you see fit".
7415 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I know, because obviously we first met in another setting ‑‑ but it's not clear to me sort of what business Skywords does, if you just remind me in a few minutes so I understand.
7416 MR. ED TORRES: Okay. And we think that that's ‑‑ certainly we have to do a better job of educating. But essentially what we do is we create not just spoken word programming for radio stations but music programs as well.
7417 So for example the business report is a live updated market minute. We employ the business reporters. We voice the report and then we provide it to the radio stations for them to sell a local sponsorship. So the radio station is freed of the actual physical work of having to do the business report, putting it together.
7418 So what happens is our business reporter puts it together, the radio station news staff can concentrate on local news, which is what they do best. We send them the report via our website. It's updated a number of times per day. The station can take it as many times as they want. But then what we do is we sell the advertising at the end of the report.
7419 So we are essentially selling radio airtime on a local, a regional and a national level on a group of different radio stations, 160 radio stations across the country. That's how we derive our revenue.
7420 So that's why we say we are a radio station without a frequency. We do all of the things. We create newscasts. We create local newscasts for some radio stations. We create business reports. We create traffic reports.
7421 For a radio station individually to fund an aircraft to fly and do traffic reporting it's a huge investment. So what we have done is we have said, "Let us take the burden of the investment. We will provide you with turnkey operations so all you need to do is throw open your microphone and we are there. We pickup all the labour and all we want to do is we want to sell the 10 seconds at the end of that traffic report.
7422 So we actually make our living selling 10 seconds worth of airtime.
7423 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay. I just want to just ‑‑ just bear with me a second. I just want to make sure I understand.
7424 MR. ED TORRES: It's a long answer, I apologize.
7425 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it's very helpful. Thank you. I just was wanting to go back to your comments earlier about selling advertising.
7426 So that's who you are selling ‑‑ nobody else is sharing in that advertising. That's your revenue?
7427 MR. ED TORRES: Correct, that's our revenue.
7428 So I mean we are members of the CAB. We are members of the Ontario Independent Radio Group. We are members of BBM and obviously BBM is an incredibly useful tool because we are selling radio advertising. And we are a member of a number of other organizations; Canadian Women in Communications.
7429 So we are really as close to being in the industry without actually holding a licence, in our opinion.
7430 MR. FRANK TORRES: Our sales efforts run the gamut. We do everything from knock on the ma and pa store down the road here to show them that there is an affordable alternate means of mass media radio; we do regional sales; we put regional sales together. So we will go to the Maaco autobodies and say, "Look, you have 15 outlets. We can" ‑‑ they just happen to be in all of those markets in Alberta that we are in. So instead of having each guy, you know, put together $400 for a flyer campaign once a quarter, let's put all that coop money together and create an annual radio campaign.
7431 And then we are a national ad post as well so our own staff members, guys like Aubrey, go into the national ad agencies and pitch our product, our syndicated product; again, locally, nationally and regionally as well.
7432 THE CHAIRPERSON: So is this a unique service or are there ‑‑ do you have competitors? Are there other people who do the same service that I just don't know on the spot?
7433 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, there are. We have competitors. We have competitors in the traffic business and we have competitors on a smaller scale in some of the other products.
7434 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7435 And would I be right if I ‑‑ so there might be two revenue streams, not only the 15 seconds or whatever at the end but ‑‑ because there are also revenues where some stations might opt to just buy the service from you?
7436 MR. ED TORRES: Our business model is based strictly on a trade. So we don't charge the radio stations. What we do in a lot of cases is we provide content to the radio stations again on an exchange basis.
7437 THE CHAIRPERSON: So is there a possibility, and I know you are just new in the Edmonton market because you said you just came whatever that was, September or November of 2007, but is there a possibility that if I was a listener in Edmonton at some point I would hear the very same content on DAWG‑FM as I would on some other FM station?
7438 MR. ED TORRES: The beauty of what we do is it's customized to each individual radio station. So the content will never be exactly the same. And on top of that we many times have to deal with a partner exclusively. So that's how our business model works.
7439 Some of our competitors, yes, you will hear the same content on two different radio stations. But for us we found that that model is a little too hard to manage and it's much easier for us if we have competing radio stations in the market to put different labour in place so that the sound is different.
7440 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, so you would have a different voice.
7441 MR. ED TORRES: Different voice, yes, sometimes. Yes.
7442 MS METCALFE: If I could just add to that?
7443 A lot of the stations when we put a broadcaster into the station they are part of the station. The stations don't want their general listeners to know that there is a separate entity coming in. So we tailor all of our ‑‑ like our out cues, what they say at the end of their reports, and the content of their reports and reporters as well. They have a choice of reporter exclusivity for their station as well.
7444 THE CHAIRPERSON: So they use their own reporters?
7445 MS METCALFE: No, they would use our reporters.
7446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see, but exclusive to them you mean.
7447 MS METCALFE: Exactly, exactly.
7448 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
7449 MR. ED TORRES: There is an economy of scale with that, just to pick up on what Robyn said, because you know we can ‑‑ again, we can have one reporter handle the Edmonton market exclusively but then handle the Red Deer market.
7450 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
7451 So the synergies that you speak about or possible synergies with Skywords, they are all reflected in your projections are they?
7452 MR. ED TORRES: Yes. Well, the stations ‑‑ the projections are based on a standalone radio application. And again, because we don't want to tie the general manager's hands, you know, if he chooses to accept those synergies those would have a positive effect on the business plan.
7453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So what we are seeing they are not reflected in there at this point?
7454 MR. ED TORRES: Correct.
7455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I will go back to that in a minute but with regards to musical format would you agree to a condition of licence requiring a minimum percentage of Category 3, subcategory 34 for jazz and blues music?
7456 MR. TROTTIER: Yes.
7457 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have indicated 20 to 30 percent but could we have a specific percentage, 25 or 30?
7458 MR. TROTTIER: The specific percentage will be 25 percent.
7459 THE CHAIRPERSON: 25, okay, thank you.
7460 And would you be willing to accept a condition of licence requiring equitable distribution of Category 3 music throughout the various day parts to ensure Category 3 music isn't limited to specialty programming?
7461 MR. TROTTIER: Yes.
7462 THE CHAIRPERSON: And could we propose your own originally suggested wording:
"Category 3 music shall be scheduled throughout various day parts and shall not be limited to specialty music programs." (As read)
7463 THE CHAIRPERSON: You see, we were listening to you.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7464 THE CHAIRPERSON: The 2006 policy increase the weekly Canadian content requirement for subcategory 34, jazz and blues music, from 10 to 20 percent and although the amended regulations have not yet come into force, would you be able to meet that 20 percent Canadian content requirement?
7465 MR. TROTTIER: Yes, easily.
7466 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so if the Commission were to decide to impose the new minimum weekly 20 percent Canadian content requirement as a condition of licence would you accept that condition of licence?
7467 MR. TROTTIER: Yes, we will.
7468 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7469 In your brief at page 36 you explain podcasts will be available directly from your website "to allow listeners unrestricted access to programming at a glance", you refer to it as. Do you expect you will have to pay additional fees for the rights to use this music in your podcasts and have you incorporated those costs in your financial forecasts?
7470 MR. ED TORRES: We haven't. We basically looked at the current state of fees related to the internet and that is not reflected in our business plan. There are no fees reflected in our business plan.
7471 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, assuming obviously, if and when you will be paying them.
7472 MR. ED TORRES: Well, we would be paying them, yes.
7473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7474 MR. FRANK TORRES: The nature of those types of fees is that they are encountered upon the purchasing of the product. So the fee would essentially be paid for if the product is purchased.
7475 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if you buy it to air on the FM station you would also be buying the rights to put it in a podcast, right?
7476 MR. FRANK TORRES: Correct. That's a possibility.
7477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7478 I notice that you expect to commercialize your website to provide another stream of funding for your station and I'm just wondering if those revenues are included in your financial projections.
7479 MR. ED TORRES: No, we haven't ‑‑ we haven't included any other revenue other than the national and local sales in our revenue forecast, and that's ‑‑ again, we have tried to craft a conservative business plan although we expect that we will commercialize a website. In fact, our Blues in Canada website is also generating some revenue for us.
7480 But we have crafted these again on the conservative side and again we ‑‑ so we are not showing any revenue in that respect.
7481 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thanks.
7482 Similarly, you comment about making recordings of live concerts available by download and the syndication of programming for sale across Canada internationally. So can I assume those costs and revenues are also not included?
7483 MR. ED TORRES: You assume correctly, yes. Yes.
7484 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7485 I'm just wondering ‑‑ and I think you may have answered it in your presentation. I see, so there will be less than 3 percent crossover with the three ‑‑ the 10 stations in the markets.
7486 So the question was, what percentage of your proposed playlist is not currently being played in the market? Does that mean 97 percent of it?
7487 MR. ED TORRES: Well, that's an excellent question and, certainly, the duplication analysis that we ran were very revealing. And so maybe I will ask Lochlin to speak to the exact numbers.
7488 MR. CROSS: Yes, the last 3 percent is actually 2.7 percent. We sort of rounded it off.
7489 But, yes, that would indicate that out of the entire playlist that we have put together right now for the Edmonton market, 597 titles, which is a comparable playlist to the rest of the radio stations in the market, only 136 of the songs from the playlist actually showed up on the 10 radio stations monitored over a week of spins.
7490 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, it's not 100 and whatever of 500, though?
7491 MR. CROSS: Well, no.
7492 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, okay.
7493 MR. CROSS: It's 136.
7494 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will take your percent, that's fine.
7495 MR. CROSS: 10 radio stations and their entire playlists and only 136 times.
7496 THE CHAIRPERSON: Over all?
7497 MR. CROSS: Yes.
7498 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. Thanks.
7499 Now, given what we may regard as the narrow appeal of blues ‑‑ you may not by the sound of things ‑‑ but at any rate, given the narrow appeal of blues format and the highly competitive nature of this market, can you elaborate on why you feel your audience share projections are achievable, ranging from 5.5 to 7.1 by Year 7?
7500 MR. ED TORRES: Sure, and that's another good question.
7501 Basically, we started out with the research when we put together those shared numbers. So again, we have been learning as these applications go along and we have tailored the research to fine tune what kind of share numbers we can expect when the station launches. So that's how we arrived at a 5.1 share which is not that far off what the rest of the applicants are at.
7502 But one thing that ‑‑ our format, again, is unique in that while you may think it has a narrow appeal there is a couple of factors that we looked at also. First of all, there is our research. Secondly, there is the fact that the format doesn't currently exist anywhere. We know that it exists on Sirius and on XM and, certainly, the Blues in Canada survey that we conducted shows that there is a great number of listeners out there.
7503 I guess the other telling thing that we looked at was how the blues shows perform in this market, because there are two blues shows. There is Saturday Night Blues and there is a CKUA blues show which is three hours on a Friday. Both those shows, with very little marketing on the part of CKUA, average about an 8 share. So you know, for us to project a 5 share backed up with the research that we have done by ‑‑ that we have had conducted by census and also the research in Blues in Canada, we are pretty comfortable with a 5 share.
7504 Now, having said that, when you go forward in our share projection you see that we end up slightly lower if not significantly lower than the other players in the market. We know that the blues is not going to crack the top three in this market but we think that the appeal will be mainstream enough that we will find a place in the middle of the pack.
7505 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, that's helpful.
7506 Given again the strength of the competitive environment in this market, what will be the effect on your business plans if the results aren't as you projected and you incur larger losses and for a longer period of time?
7507 MR. ED TORRES: We have said this before, but you know we are committed to the format. We have done a lot of research and, again, we have a 17‑year history of selling radio, non‑traditional radio to non‑traditional radio advertisers. We have a strong presence in the market. We have good local sales staff here so we expect that those conservative projections we will be able to make.
7508 Having said that, if we don't make the breakeven when we have it forecasted, again, it's a matter of, you know, injecting more shareholder equity. It's a matter of, you know, doing more research on the music side. It's a matter of looking at your programming and how you fine tune it.
7509 So there is a number of things that you would do in the course of that seven‑year term.
7510 THE CHAIRPERSON: You wouldn't, or would you expect to reduce operating expenses, in particular programming expenses?
7511 MR. ED TORRES: Our programming expenses, again, in our budgets we have kept them fairly minimal. You know, again, we may try and find other synergies through Skywords and certainly with a company that is your big brother right in your own market there is certain assistance that we could provide, be that HR assistance, be that sales training assistance. So Skywords is there to prop up DAWG.
7512 MR. FRANK TORRES: For the record, I find that little brother companies often outperform their big brother companies.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7513 MR. FRANK TORRES: So it may not be so obvious.
7514 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7515 MR. FRANK TORRES: It didn't take us long to figure out how to do business in Edmonton. And this is one thing that we realize as a national broadcasting entity is that every market is different and every province and every town is different. We quickly realized that to succeed in business in Edmonton is about partnerships with the community and that's why we are so focused on local content and spoken word, and Karen is a perfect example of how we form those partnerships.
7516 MS MacKENZIE: And we are really pleased, the Aboriginal community when we signed the accord agreement, to say when business works in partnership that we need to be consulted at the beginning, not brought in at the end as a bit of a beads and feathers tokenism.
7517 And with that accord agreement we were absolutely delighted that DAWG‑FM expressed that spirit or manifested that spirit of the accord. So that's why we are sitting here in support of this station.
7518 MR. CLARKE: I mean one thing that we really do in our sales efforts is that we involved ownership of the company very much in sales which is unheard of in many radio stations from my experience, right, working in the industry. Usually, you have the GM may get involved or general sales manager may get involved but ownership rarely will come out to an advertising agency.
7519 What we do at Skywords, we bring ownership in with us. We bring them into the retail clients, let them come in, meet the owners of the station and we build that bond from the top all the way to the bottom, which really helps.
7520 THE CHAIRPERSON: That actually segues nicely into my question because I noticed in your brief again you project that 50 percent of your revenue will come from advertisers that currently do not advertise on traditional radio and from non‑traditional revenue. And I was just wondering what you meant by that, in particular the non‑traditional revenue.
7521 MR. ED TORRES: Sure, and I guess I will probably ask Jeff and Aubrey to help in with this one but our current advertisers in Edmonton are 75 percent non‑traditional. They didn't exist on radio in the market before we arrived.
7522 So we leverage our existing relationships from our national business and our regional business in Toronto. We leverage those. Frank has talked about creating co‑ops.
7523 Retail doesn't spend a lot. Retail ‑‑ big box retail doesn't spend a lot of money in radio and they don't because the stations are flung too far afield. They have got so many outlets that you can't possibly cover all of the markets without making an extensive number of phone calls. So if you are Maaco or if you are Best Buy one radio station cannot ‑‑ you have to make hundreds and hundreds of phone calls.
7524 Even from an agency it's very hard to execute a national or a regional buy but we come in and we can cover off 75 percent of the markets and now that media buyer or the marketing manager only has to look at buying the individual markets that we can't provide. So we are very good at finding non‑traditional radio.
7525 Gentlemen, I don't know if you ‑‑
7526 MR. CLARKE: Yes, another thing that we really do is we take clients and we develop cross promotion opportunities between our clients, and that's something that's been working really well for us. Like for instance we ‑‑ like Tim Horton's has that flip, roll up the cup to win. We partnered with another company and we did a flip to win promotion and we got all the other partners involved, you know, pooled our revenue together and you know everybody was happy. We do that with a lot of different clients. If you go out to a client, "No, I don't want to do radio", you say to them, "Okay, well I can develop this promotion for you" and I will bring this client and another client and pool them all together and a lot of times you get the revenue that way.
7527 MR. McFAYDEN: And to the point of bringing new companies to radio, because of our business arrangement with the radio stations that we provide content for, we are selling the same markets as them so we don't want to take away business from them or compete against them so we have to go against companies or we have to go after companies that don't currently advertise on their station and many times on any other station.
7528 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your use of the non‑traditional revenue is just another way of saying companies that aren't currently advertising on?
7529 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, and I think another thing is the format will bring its own unique advertisers. In our Ottawa hearing we sat down with Fred Litman who is the owner of Northern Blues Records. He can't wait for the first DAWG licence so he can go and spend and spend and spend and promote his artists. You know, we have got Stony Plains here. They are a perfect choice.
7530 So there is a myriad of blues industry ‑‑ the festivals, you know. So we think there is a lot of money out there that would come to us as a result of our format.
7531 MR. CLARKE: And non‑traditional revenue is what I just explained too with that promotion where we bring the cross‑promotions together. Like there is a lot of companies that wouldn't do radio at all but when you say, okay, I can put your logo on seven million coffee cups, right, they said, "Okay, I'm willing to contribute to the radio now".
7532 THE CHAIRPERSON: So have you done any specific surveys or studies to substantiate that 50 percent? Do you have any current agreements or commitments in place of people that are willing to do that?
7533 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, and again we have had this question at a number of our hearings and we've already spoken and received commitments from a number of our advertisers and unfortunately three times we have had to go back to them and stall.
7534 So the advertisers in large part they will come and support our application, you know, depending on which market it lands in, but certainly in the major markets.
7535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7536 The 35 percent of your Year 2 revenues you are projecting come from existing services, would you have a breakdown of that 35 percent by service?
7537 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we do. And again, this was ‑‑ we tailored our research to come up with a scientific way to, you know, to pin down exactly where the revenue comes from.
7538 So Aubrey, maybe you can ‑‑
7539 MR. CLARKE: Take ‑‑
7540 MR. ED TORRES: ‑‑ take the Commission through that?
7541 MR. CLARKE: Yes, from the 35 percent revenues, year through revenue which is about $786,000, we have broken it down amongst the top five stations in the market.
7542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7543 MR. CLARKE: And I can give that to you.
7544 THE CHAIRPERSON: Actually, if you like, you could just submit it. As long as you do it by the end of the day Wednesday that would be great.
7545 MR. CLARKE: Yes, for sure.
7546 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's great, thank you.
7547 MR. CLARKE: You are welcome.
7548 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, looking at the CCD I'm wondering steps you will take on an ongoing basis to ensure that beneficiaries of your CCD contributions continue to disburse them in accordance with the Radio Policy.
7549 MR. ED TORRES: And I think that Karen touched on that. Certainly, we don't ‑‑ our CCD we really feel that it's the most heartfelt part of our application. It's the strength of all of our applications that, you know, just giving money away in a windfall manner to a festival or somebody that doesn't really deserve it, we think that's not correct. So we have chosen our partners carefully. So we will have a continuing dialogue with those partners.
7550 And again, because our CCD is crafted towards the blues we have a vested interest in making sure that, you know, the CCD is going to support blues‑related activities as long as it meets the scope of our partners.
7551 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7552 And I noticed in your remarks you indicated, I believe, that you thought the market could support two new licensees. Am I correct in that?
7553 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we think that two mainstream licences and depending on what permutations ‑‑ I mean it could possibly support more.
7554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could possibly. Do your ‑‑ are your projections based on two being licensed?
7555 MR. ED TORRES: No, our projections are based on our station alone entering into the market.
7556 So again, if you licence two or three will they have an impact? Depending on the combination, but one thing that because our format is so different from every other application you are going to hear, we think that it's going to have a negligible effect because we are playing music that, as Lochlin mentioned, 97 percent of it is not available. We are going to create a brand. We think that's going to give us a difference.
7557 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, of the competing applicants, though, have you looked at their lists as well, their playlists as well and the same applies?
7558 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we have looked ‑‑ I mean we haven't looked at them track by track but certainly we have looked at the formats. We have had cursory glances at the playlists and, yes, there is nothing really that impacts there.
7559 MR. CLARKE: And just I would like to add is back in 2000 I was there when Flow 93.5 launched in Toronto and they were a format everybody thought was a specialty format, oh, urban would never go anywhere, you know, wouldn't do well. And just like urban music is a lifestyle, blues is a lifestyle too and when you sell that format based on the lifestyle, you know, you can achieve your projections very easily.
7560 THE CHAIRPERSON: So would you care to comment on which of the competing applications would be the most competitive with yours and which would be the least?
7561 MR. ED TORRES: Having looked at them, I mean the least, any of the multicultural or Aboriginal ‑‑
7562 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just of the commercial.
7563 MR. ED TORRES: Yes. No, I was trying to dance around that question.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7564 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you don't even have to answer it if you would rather not. You don't have to feel like you have to if you don't want to.
7565 MR. ED TORRES: No comment.
7566 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's perfectly acceptable.
7567 Okay, Commissioner Cugini.
7568 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7569 Good to see you guys again.
7570 MR. ED TORRES: Likewise.
7571 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I heard what you just said, in the sense that 97 percent of this music is not being played on the market. However, there are certainly a number of artists on your playlist that I could expect to hear on some of the radio stations currently in the market, certainly on the classic rock station, might even hear them on the rock station, possibly on the soft rock/jazz station.
7572 So knowing that the Edmonton market is quite competitive how are you going to distinguish your sound from what is currently available in the market?
7573 MR. ED TORRES: Good question.
7574 And again, it's not just the music because there will be some crossover but the voice that you heard on that recording that's an imaging voice that nobody in this country uses except for TV. So we would design promos, we would design imaging. We have to create again the blues brand. Our promotions are going to be different. Robyn talked about, you know, we are not sending you to Mexico. You are going to Memphis, right? You are going to New Orleans.
7575 So it's ‑‑ again, all the things that radio does so well to brand itself and to position itself we are going to do, but we are going to build it around the blues brand. We are going to bring all this music and it is all the blues.
7576 And we think that we can build something that is cool, that has an appeal to that 40 to 50‑year old listener that can't find the music that they want on the radio. But also, our research shows that the 25‑34 female is very attracted to this format. So we are also going to pickup some listeners at the bottom end of the demographic and we think that that's going to fuel the format into the future.
7577 MR. LOOME: Can I just interject a point on the blues market itself and what people are listening for ‑‑ listen for?
7578 Yes, you can turn on K‑ROCK right now and you can hear a Stevie Ray Vaughan cut. I think they have got some examples from, you know, some bands I wouldn't have even traditionally thought of on the playlist who do the odd blues cut but aren't really blues artists. But I can't turn on a radio station in Edmonton right now at any given time during the day and expect to hear a blues artist.
7579 I mean the reality is even if K‑ROCK does play Stevie Ray Vaughan, it will play the same three or four songs in rotation over and over and over again. Literally, it will take the small number of crossover hits that blues and rock artists have had in the rock mainstream.
7580 A number of artists or songs that have made the Top 100 in rock that's what you are listening to. You are not listening to it because it's a blues song for somebody who wants to hear blues. If I want to hear 90 percent of what Stevie Ray Vaughan did I will never hear it on a radio station in Edmonton.
7581 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right. Because the genesis of my question is exactly that point, because in your presentation you say to us you will probably like the blues and you don't even know you like the blues.
7582 MR. LOOME: Yes, because ‑‑
7583 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Because I'm hearing the blues on various radio stations.
7584 MR. LOOME: Yes, yes.
7585 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: They just haven't been identified as the blues.
7586 MR. LOOME: That's it, exactly. It's a familiar tone but it's not a consistent theme. So you hear a song you think is great. You might even hear another one that is similar to it by a different artist you think is great but there is never that consistent theme of being able to turn to a station and hear that general type of music all the time.
7587 MR. ED TORRES: I think Lochlin too has ‑‑
7588 MR. CROSS: Yes, I just wanted to expand on the brand and building the brand and having a unique position at DAWG‑FM playing the blues, and a number of things that they have highlighted in their supplementary brief as far as support of emerging talents and the commitment to spend CCD money and how they are going about doing it. DAWG‑FM would definitely be something I think that would generate a very different audience.
7589 So there might be a bit of crossover with respect to the music they are playing but, again, that brand and getting into the community and getting in touch with the blues community in Edmonton is sort of essential to the makeup of the application.
7590 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
7591 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think, just very quickly, to add one quick comment.
7592 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Sure.
7593 MR. FRANK TORRES: You are absolutely correct. You are going to see those artists and say, "I do know these artists and I do know that they play on other radio stations" but it's the tracks that ‑‑ are what determine whether it's a blues song or not. You will hear it and you will say, "I didn't realize that guy played that and I didn't realize that was blues and now I realize I like it".
7594 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
7595 I am going to follow up on your CCD commitments, and I'm referring to page 18 of your oral presentation. This may just be highlights of your CCD but ‑‑ and if that's what it is, that's great. But I just do need to confirm that ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ DAWG music camp and your Canadian music week commitment are still CCD commitments to which you will comply based on your application, because they weren't in your oral presentation today.
7596 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, we ‑‑ that was just for the sake of brevity. We will honour those commitments.
7597 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
7598 See, you leave stuff out and it just calls attention to it.
7599 Art Start Edmonton in your oral presentation today you said that it will:
"...provide accessible and professional quality lessons in drama, dance, visual art and music to elementary‑aged children." (As read)
7600 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: We need to have a reassurance that in accordance with the Commercial Radio Policy of 2006 that these funds will be directed to students in the music program.
7601 MR. ED TORRES: Yes. I'm trying to think back, Jeff, to the letter. I think we did of course mandate to all of our partners, you know, that it had to be in conjunction with music.
7602 MR. McFAYDEN: And specifically with Art Start they do have that musical department and they want to do it or they want to use the funds for blues specific within the musical department. The coordinator for that program is one of our supporting intervenors and will be here to talk about that kind of commitment in a couple of days.
7603 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay, terrific. Thank you. Thank you very much.
7604 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7605 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have one question for Ms MacKenzie.
7606 I was just wondering exactly what your involvement was to this point? Was it just in developing the CCD initiatives or is it in the sort of the music programming proposed music line up or what exactly have you been doing with it?
7607 MS MacKENZIE: Well, I'm going to say "yes" to all. Jeff met with me really early on in the process and it was easy to introduce him to some of the blues happenings in the city of Edmonton and, of course, you know, I get to say now that our people have been singing the blues for a long time.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7608 MS MacKENZIE: And also, as an individual I'm the mother of three musicians who make their living from live music. So again, I'm very emotionally attached to this project.
7609 Again, I'm going to say things that are not mainstream needs a lot of support because that's where a lot our youth come in. And for the Nellie Carson Awards, certainly looking at different alternatives where we can talk about donating musical or buying musical instruments. You know, kids go to camp and so on and having them play with live musicians so they will be mentored as well as encouraged in their own creativity.
7610 MR. LOOME: And if I could just add a historical context to that as well, the Aboriginal community in terms of blues music it's not highly recognized but it's a very important part of the blues history.
7611 Some of the earliest blues artists, Charlie Patton, who was one of the great bluesmen was a half‑Cherokee. The earliest blues rhythms that people attribute largely to African slave music mixed with British folk music were in fact heavily influenced in terms of drum patterns and drumbeats by Aboriginal communities that surrounded the various plantations where blues music was developed.