ARCHIVED - Transcript
This page has been archived on the Web
Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.
Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
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:
Hermitage Ballroom Hermitage Ballroom
Best Western Mariposa Inn Best Western Mariposa Inn
400 Memorial Avenue 400, avenue Memorial
Orillia, Ontario Orillia (Ontario)
January 30, 2009 Le 30 janvier 2009
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:
Rita Cugini Chairperson / Présidente
Suzanne Lamarre Commissioner / Conseillère
Peter Menzies Commissioner / Conseiller
Candice Molnar Commissioner / Conseillère
Marc Patrone Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Lynda Roy Secretary / Secretaire
Francine Laurier-Guy Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
Eric Bowles Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Hermitage Ballroom Hermitage Ballroom
Best Western Mariposa Inn Best Western Mariposa Inn
400 Memorial Avenue 400, avenue Memorial
Orillia, Ontario Orillia (Ontario)
January 30, 2009 Le 30 janvier 2009
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Pellpropco Inc. 1065 / 6819
No interventions / aucune intervention
No reply / aucune réplique
Orillia, Ontario / Orillia (Ontario)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 1058 /
L'audience reprend le vendredi 30 janvier 2009
6802 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everyone. Glad to see that everybody made it here safely.
6803 Madam Secretary.
6804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everyone.
6805 Let me just start by apologizing for the delay. It unfortunately could not be helped.
6806 So we will now begin this portion of the hearing.
6807 Madam Secretary?
6808 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
6809 Before we start, for the Record, I would like to indicate that Bill Wrightsell, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, in response to an undertaking, filed with the Commission a response with regards to the question regarding the maximum perimeter of CFNY FM Toronto and CKGG FM Belleville, as well as the realistic contour map and the receiving antenna height.
6810 For the record, as well, I would like to indicate that a mistake has occurred in the agenda with regards to the representative of the Pellpropco. The name should have read Domenic Pellegrino.
6811 And now we will proceed with Item 17 on the agenda regarding Pellpropco Inc.
6812 The Commission has received complaints regarding Pellpropco Inc. licensee of the English‑language commercial radio programming undertaking CHSC St. Catharines concerning allegations that CHSC has re‑oriented a significant portion of its programming to serve the Italian community of Toronto.
6813 The Commission will discuss this matter with the licensee. In this regard, the Commission will also discuss the possible imposition of conditions of licence related to the nature of the local programming broadcast on CHSC including the relevance and orientation of local programming to serve the particular needs and interests of the residents of St. Catharines and the surrounding area.
6814 The Commission is also concerned that CHSC may have failed to comply with the Radio Regulations, 1986 with respect to Canadian content, the broadcasting of third‑language programming, the filing of complete annual returns, and the provision of logger tapes, program logs and music lists.
6815 The Commission expects the licensee to show cause at this hearing why a mandatory order should not be issued, under Radio Regulations, 1986, requiring compliance by the licensee with respect to the above‑noted matters.
6816 Appearing for Pellpropco Inc. is Bram Abramson.
6817 But Mr. Abramson, before you introduce your colleagues and make your 20‑minute presentation, I will now ask our legal counsel Eric Bowles to explain for everyone's understanding what we mean exactly by a mandatory order and what the ramifications are.
6818 Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
6819 MR. BOWLES: Thank you.
6820 I would just like to take a few minutes to comment about the possible issuance of a mandatory order, which the panel is considering today.
6821 Under section 12 of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission may hear a matter where it appears that a person has failed to do any act or thing that the person is required to do pursuant to any regulation, licence or decision of the Commission and issue a mandatory order to ensure compliance with any such regulation, licence or decision.
6822 In the case of the present licensee, what is under consideration today is a possibility of issuing a mandatory order requiring compliance with the licensee's requirements as they pertain to the broadcast of Canadian content, the broadcast of third‑language programming, the filing of complete annual returns and the provision of logger tapes, program logs and music lists.
6823 If a mandatory order were issued and the licensee subsequently failed to comply with such an order, the Commission would provide evidence of such failure to Federal Court and thereafter a show cause hearing for a contempt of court would take place before the Federal Court of Canada.
6824 The licensee would be entitled to present a defence and, if found guilty of contempt, they would be subject to a fine as set out by the Court.
6825 As you are aware, the licensee has been called upon to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued.
6826 This means that you have the burden of convincing this panel why the Commission should not issue a mandatory order relating to the previously‑noted matters.
6827 Thank you.
6828 THE SECRETARY: You can now introduce your colleagues.
6829 MR. ABRAMSON: Thank you.
6830 Mr. Pellegrino, do you want to start?
6831 MR. F. PELLEGRINO: Ms Chairperson, Commissioners, good day, and thank you for hearing us today.
6832 My name is Fabrizio Pellegrino. I am a shareholder in Pellpropco Inc., the licensee of CHSC in St. Catharines.
6833 I am the only director of Pellpropco Inc., and I am the president of Pellpropco Inc.
6834 I must apologize for it is very difficult for me to speak in public. I have asked Mr. Abramson to deliver my remarks.
6835 MR. ABRAMSON: Good morning.
6836 My name is Bram Abramson. I am acting today of behalf of Pellpropco Inc., licensee of CHSC.
6837 Fabrizio Pellegrino, to my far right, has introduced himself.
6838 Terrance Gertner is the other shareholder and, as secretary treasurer, the only other officer of Pellpropco Inc.
6839 Mr. Gertner is unable to be here today and has asked that we convey his sincere apologies in this regard.
6840 Seated immediately to my right is Mr. Domenic Pellegrino. Mr. Domenic Pellegrino works with Multimedia Management Limited, which has a management agreement with Pellpropco for the day‑to‑day operation of CHSC.
6841 To start the presentation, Pellpropco would like to emphasize that it is deeply embarrassed in having to be here today and apologizes for it.
6842 Pellpropco takes this process very, very seriously. It is reviewing where it needs to get better. It has been reviewing where it needs to get better. And it is doing its best to get there.
6843 It is Pellpropco's goal to show you today that it is working diligently to meet and to exceed all regulatory requirements, both in letter and in spirit.
6844 In that regard, this presentation focuses on five areas: local orientation, third‑language programming, Canadian content, filing of complete annual returns and provision of logs.
6845 With respect to local orientation, it is important to start with the local context in which Pellpropco's AM station operates.
6846 There are two other AM stations in Niagara.
6847 One is operated by a local multi‑station group, runs tourist information and is the radio broadcast home for the sports teams of Canisius College, in Buffalo, New York.
6848 The other is an all‑talk station owned by Canada's largest radio broadcaster. Pellpropco believes that about half of that station's programming is syndicated ‑‑ most from the U.S., some from other parts of Canada.
6849 In addition to these two, three other AM stations broadcast from Hamilton nearby. One is another talk station, similar to the one run by Canada's largest radio broadcaster.
6850 Then there is another talk station which also has a healthy dose of U.S. syndicated programming, with staples like the Jim Rome Show, Dr. Joy Browne, Raceline Radio, and old U.S. network radio programming from the 1950s.
6851 The third Hamilton‑area AM station is a golden oldies station whose motto is "more oldies ‑‑ less talk".
6852 CHSC has great respect for the other stations in the AM in its area and its local community. However, it is one of the few independent voices on the airwaves in St. Catharines and for the Niagara region.
6853 It's true that CHSC has struggled a bit, trying to make sure it does not fall pray to the same economic problem that has caused this station to change hands on more than one occasion, and thus that it be able to provide a viable local service.
6854 PELLPROPCO believes it is finding its way.
6855 As you know, Pellpropco has found itself operating in very recent times on a remote basis, like a number of other AM stations in this country.
6856 The Commission's 1993 local programming policy acknowledged the financial difficulties faced by AM stations and decided not to tie these stations to any minimum level of local programming.
6857 The 1998 commercial radio policy called for a more flexible approach for AM stations to develop syndicated programming formats to develop, while providing opportunities in each hour for the insertion of local programming.
6858 The 2006 commercial radio policy maintained its one‑third local programming requirement with respect to FM stations in competitive markets and the case‑by‑case approach for AM markets ‑‑ for AM stations, rather.
6859 That said, Pellpropco is aiming much higher for CHSC's local orientation than the basic minimum for an AM station.
6860 So, first off, Pellpropco is pleased to tell you that it has finally signed a lease for studio space at 264 Welland Avenue, upstairs, right in St. Catharines.
6861 As you know, St. Catharines‑Niagara is a unique region. It loves its hockey. But it also loves its wine, and it loves its Italian heritage.
6862 There is no Census metropolitan area in Canada that has a higher concentration of Canadians of Italian ancestry.
6863 In a market with huge out‑of‑market tuning and significant media concentration, Pellpropco has come to feel that it has found an absolutely unique niche that it is well positioned to serve.
6864 Pellpropco has been hard at work reviewing and updating its programming schedule with all this in mind.
6865 In that regard, Pellpropco is also glad to tell you today that CHSC is the radio home of the Niagara Ice Dogs, the local major junior hockey franchise.
6866 Hockey Night in Niagara is a show that CHSC now runs every weeknight, either with the live OHL game, or with general hockey talk by and for the people of CHSC's local community. On occasions, when Ice Dogs games are scheduled on weekends, it runs there as well and interrupts the other programs scheduled on the weekends.
6867 Hockey Night in Niagara therefore joins It's Your Call with Rob Hubbert, Niagara's number one sports talk radio show, or so would CHSC like to think of it, which has long been hosted on CHSC 1220 on Monday nights.
6868 Hockey Night in Niagara and It's Your Call, CHSC's sports programming, form part of the station's spoken word menu. So do CHSC's all‑talk mornings, from 6:00 a.m. to noon.
6869 A bit like the all‑talk stations CHSC competes with, CHSC airs local sports, news, and events. All of it is produced for CHSC in Niagara. It accounts for 36 percent of the broadcasting week. You can see what that looks like on CHSC's programming schedule, which we have attached to your copy of these oral remarks.
6870 Spoken word programming is one of four kinds of programming on CHSC. The other three are: talk and music, just‑music, and third language.
6871 CHSC's talk and music programming is a bit like some of the FM stations out there. All the talk is in English. All of it is CHSC programming.
6872 It's no less locally‑focused than a great deal of fm talk and music programming out there.
6873 But CHSC does do something that's a little bit different. It runs Italian pop music.
6874 It gets it from Italy and it gets it from the unsung Italo‑Canadian music scene. And CHSC airs it right in St. Catharines.
6875 It is a unique combination of English talk and Italian rock. It is intended for everyone, especially in a region where Italian heritage is one of the basic threads of the community's tapestry.
6876 You can't get this music anywhere else in Niagara. You can get it at CHSC. This talk and music combination ‑‑ English talk, Italian rock ‑‑ accounts for about 21 per cent of the broadcast week.
6877 Third, there are the "just music" periods.
6878 Now, this isn't a "more oldies ‑‑ less talk" format. It's mostly classic and contemporary hits during the week. And it's mostly Italian and Italo‑Canadian hits on the weekends.
6879 There isn't much spoken word, apart from station IDs. But it's a comforting kind of music that people can tune into.
6880 It accounts for 31 percent of the broadcast week.
6881 And finally, CHSC does about 16 hours of a week of actual Italian‑language programming. This qualifies as ethnic, third‑language programming aimed at a particular group: Italian speakers.
6882 CHSC does about eight hours on Saturdays, and eight hours on Sundays, for just under 13 per cent of the 126‑hour broadcast week.
6883 Obviously, this 13 percent mainly addresses Italian speakers and those who just enjoy listening to the language.
6884 Now, does that programming speak to Italian speakers only, in St. Catharines and Niagara? Probably not. Not any more than the hours and hours of syndicated American programming does on some of the other AM stations that CHSC competes with.
6885 But it does speak to Italian speakers in St. Catharines and Niagara.
6886 By offering something to Italian speakers in its local serving area, Pellpropco feels it is serving local needs and interests at least as much as another AM station that runs a syndicated American show for gardeners in the local serving area. Or that runs a syndicated American pop psychologist, or Nascar, or old NBC radio dramas for those who are fans of that in the local serving area.
6887 Niagara's gardeners and Niagara's racing fans want programming to talk to them. So do Niagara's Italian speakers.
6888 We've just addressed four kinds of programming.
6889 Local talk, 36 per cent of the broadcast week. Music and talk, 21 per cent. Just‑music, 31 per cent. And on weekends, third‑language programming, 12.7 per cent of the broadcasting week.
6890 All of CHSC's English‑language talk, more than 87 per cent of the week, is Niagara‑oriented and qualifies as local programming under the CRTC's definition of the term.
6891 CHSC's musical selections exploit a unique niche which builds on Niagara's demographics.
6892 CHSC's sports programming has built on its local sports talk show to feature the Niagara Ice Dogs, a much appreciated feature.
6893 CHSC's only syndicated programming, the Italian‑language programming on weekends, is made in Ontario, and no less appropriate to Niagara than a lot of the syndicated programming on other stations. It fills a unique niche in the region.
6894 In addition to local orientation and programming, you have asked Pellpropco to address a number of other areas at CHSC. We would like to do so.
6895 First, on Canadian content. CHSC was found to have programmed just 28.9 per cent of Category 2 music for the broadcast week of January 20, 2008, instead of 35 per cent.
6896 Pellpropco would like to note, first, two things, not by way of excuse, there is no excuse, but in order to better illustrate the context.
6897 First, for the same week, Commission staff also found that CHSC had programmed 47.1 per cent of Category 2 CANCON during the critical broadcast day period during that broadcast week.
6898 That is way over the 35 per cent minimum.
6899 Pellpropco is not trying to excuse the infraction, but does think it is important to note that it did not take place during the day where stations make their profit.
6900 In other words, it was clearly a case of inadvertence, not commercial strategy.
6901 Second, the 28.9 per cent level was in part due to the actions of a weekend music programmer who was subsequently dismissed.
6902 Management controls have been put in place to make sure that does not happen by reviewing playlists before they go on the air.
6903 In other words, Pellpropco took initial and subsequent steps to address the deficiency flagged in the broadcasting notice of public hearing.
6904 However, Pellpropco continues to monitor its CANCON carefully, programming its music in advance and making sure the numbers add up.
6905 To give the Commission greater assurance that CHSC remains on track ahead of its licence renewal hearing next year, however, Pellpropco would be willing to undertake to provide a summary self‑assessment report showing its compliance with the required CANCON levels, and file it with the Commission every month that remains between now and that licence renewal time.
6906 Second, on filing complete annual returns.
6907 This is an area in which Pellpropco acknowledges that it has had to go back and fix things.
6908 Pellpropco understands this requirement, has been explained the rules, and has been hard at work at repairing its deficiencies in meeting them.
6909 CHSC's traffic manager, who has always worked out of St. Catharines, has been working closely with an outside accountant whom Pellpropco has engaged. Together they have been retrieving records, invoices, and payments.
6910 Pellpropco's outside accountant has been reviewing all of these and, step by step, completing the outstanding annual returns, moving forward chronologically, and ‑‑ it should be added ‑‑ ensuring that a system of books is in place so that this does not reoccur.
6911 A letter from that accountant has been attached to your copy of our remarks, attesting that this work is underway and being undertaken diligently.
6912 Finally, on provision of logger tapes, program logs, and music lists.
6913 With respect to the logger tapes, Pellpropco respectfully believes that the situation has been corrected.
6914 The Commission requested CHSC's logger tapes in January 2007. They were badly worn. A letter to the Commission from CHSC's engineer in March 2007 ‑‑ it is on the public file ‑‑ indicated that CHSC had purchased and installed the imedialogger system from OMT technologies. That system is in place and it works.
6915 When the Commission again requested CHSC's logger tapes in January 2008, Pellpropco was ready and successfully supplied them.
6916 Some of the analysis contained in the broadcasting notice of public hearing relies on the Commission's analysis of those logger tapes.
6917 So, on logger tapes, Pellpropco believes that the situation has been rectified and that it has demonstrated that to the Commission.
6918 With respect to program logs and music logs, Pellpropco acknowledges that CHSC has had some deficiencies in this area and apologizes for them. This is not the correct way to proceed.
6919 Pellpropco asks that you please know that it is addressing these deficiencies and making sure that a management system is in place so that these are properly submitted and, when requested, properly filed immediately.
6920 To give the Commission greater assurance Pellpropco would, again, be willing to do so proactively, that is to say to undertake to provide a monthly self‑assessment report for CHSC to show compliance each and every month from now through its licence renewal hearing next year.
6921 To sum up, Pellpropco certainly is not here today to claim it has done nothing wrong. Quite the opposite.
6922 Rather, Pellpropco is here to say that it has recognized problems and is going about addressing them in a responsible, forthright and systematic manner.
6923 Preparing for this public hearing has been a very important event in the life of Pellpropco, and indeed of CHSC.
6924 As you know, CHSC's licence is due for renewal on August 31, 2010. That means that, one way or the other, there is a good chance that the topic of CHSC will again be before you in a fairly short period of time.
6925 Pellpropco thinks that, at that time, the Commission will be impressed with what it has accomplished with CHSC.
6926 Pellpropco operates CHSC as a Niagara station. There have been some hiccups in the search for financial stability, as in the life of any independent AM radio station in a market with high out‑of‑market tuning.
6927 But CHSC is back on track. It is not filling half its air time with syndicated American or pan‑Canadian talk shows.
6928 It is airing Niagara morning shows, Niagara news spots, Niagara weather spots, Niagara sports programming, and even a weekly Christian show with apostle Ansah, a Niagara preacher.
6929 So, yes, when CHSC plays foreign music it is as likely to play Italian music as oldies or greatest hits from the United States.
6930 But Pellpropco submits that that is a good thing for Niagara and for the diversity of voices on the radio airwaves.
6931 There is no reason Italian music cannot break through to the mainstream in Canada. If it is going to do that anywhere, Pellpropco believes it is going to do it in Niagara.
6932 And, yes, Pellpropco has some third‑language programming ‑‑ although, after some hiccups which will not reoccur, it is keeping that programming well within the allowable 15 per cent limit.
6933 The St. Catharines‑Niagara Census metro area has a substantial number of Italian speakers. And beyond them, roots that are part of Niagara.
6934 CHSC is working to deliver a unique service to all of St. Catharines and, indeed, to the whole Niagara region.
6935 Thank you.
6936 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Abramson, Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Pellegrino.
6937 To whom shall I direct my questions?
6938 MR. ABRAMSON: To the panel as a whole, I think. I will be speaking on behalf of Mr. Fabrizio Pellegrino.
6939 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6940 MR. ABRAMSON: Because Mr. Domenic Pellegrino is very involved in the day‑to‑day running of the station, he will take many of the questions.
6941 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you can appreciate, this is a very complicated file. And I will be referring to my documents here, to your oral presentation and to my computer, as I am continuously getting updates.
6942 The first thing I would like to address is the management agreement that you have provided us in your oral presentation.
6943 When was this management agreement entered into? Between Multimedia and Pellpropco?
6944 MR. ABRAMSON: This management agreement is the written formalization of a formerly‑existing oral agreement between the parties.
6945 The written agreement will enter into force on February 1.
6946 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does it reflect, to the best of your knowledge, accurately the terms of the oral agreement between the parties?
6947 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
6948 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you can appreciate, I have not had the time to read through it. So can you please tell me what responsibilities Domenic Pellegrino has in Pellpropco?
6949 MR. ABRAMSON: The list of activities is set out at article 1.4 of the agreement. But essentially he is responsible for all day‑to‑day activities with regard to the managing of CHSC and always responsible to Pellpropco's oversight, instructions and general setting of direction as to what the station should be doing and where it should be going.
6950 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry, you said at 1.4 subsection a? Technical staff, management expertise, production expertise, and so on?
6951 MR. ABRAMSON: Section 1.4, that is correct. A through r, I suppose.
6952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are there any other employees of Multimedia? Is Mr. Pellegrino the only employee of Multimedia Management?
6953 MR. ABRAMSON: No, he is not the only employee.
6954 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes. The other employees, they are in St. Catharines. We have an engineer. We have a traffic lady who is in charge of the traffic and proposals. We have two part‑time salesmen, one full salesman. We have the news guy from there, the announcer from there, from St. Catharines.
6955 And that is it, what I recall.
6956 THE CHAIRPERSON: These are all employees of Multimedia?
6957 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
6958 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many employees does Pellpropco have?
6959 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: At this point, Multimedia is the same persons as Pellpropco.
6960 MR. ABRAMSON: No.
6961 If I may intervene, I think what my clients mean is that Pellpropco Inc. does not have employees beyond its directors and officers. They oversee the management of the work that is undertaken for them by Multimedia Management, and that includes the supplying of all on‑air content, the sale of on‑air time, and so on and so forth.
6962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Essentially I want to know who runs the station, who is accountable, who is responsible.
6963 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding is that Pellpropco Inc. runs the station, is always responsible for all of its activities, and that it has contracted with Mr. Domenic Pellegrino, or with Multimedia Management, for whom obviously a key employee is Mr. Domenic Pellegrino ‑‑ and they are responsible for the day‑to‑day running and they are answerable to Pellpropco Inc.
6964 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who signs the cheques?
6965 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Fabrizio Pellegrino.
6966 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6967 Your lease agreement, that you have also supplied us as an appendix to your oral presentation, takes effect January 7, 2009, or is dated January 7, 2009.
6968 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, this is ‑‑ I apologize. There was some error in labelling. This is a signed offer to lease.
6969 The lease agreement has since been entered into pursuant to the terms of this offer to lease. The offer to lease itself is signed January 7. The lease agreement itself entered into force as of February 1 ‑‑ or will enter, rather ‑‑ which is this weekend.
6970 In other words, Pellpropco will take possession of its studio space in St. Catharines this weekend, and my understanding from my clients is that it will take about a month to set up the studio facilities within that leased space.
6971 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where is the station housed today?
6972 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding is that all on‑air programming originates either from individual residences or temporary premises using remote facilities in St. Catharines which are put through to a studio location in Woodbridge and that other programming emanates directly from a studio in Woodbridge.
6973 I have been told that a number of employees have been driving back and forth between St. Catharines and Woodbridge on a regular basis, and that is one of the reasons it has been so important for my clients to get a space back up and running in St. Catharines. It is a lot of driving.
6974 THE CHAIRPERSON: It doesn't seem like a very efficient way to run a radio station.
6975 MR. ABRAMSON: It has been a temporary measure from what I understand, and that is one of the reasons it has been important to get a studio up and running in St. Catherines.
6976 THE CHAIRPERSON: How long has the driving back and forth between St. Catharines and Woodbridge been taking place?
6977 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It has been about from the time that the building was damaged from the roof and we had to let it go. And it has been sold. And I advised the CRTC that temporarily we had to move these premises in Woodbridge and as soon as we find a facility we will go back.
6978 THE CHAIRPERSON: When was the damage? When was the building damaged?
6979 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It was six months ago, about six months, five months ago.
6980 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6981 You did in your oral presentation provide us with some information regarding the station itself, who you target, who you program to, the kind of programming that you are providing.
6982 But I do need more detail because, as you acknowledged, your failure to meet the requirement to provide logger tapes and program logs is forcing us to ask this kind of detail because we simply don't have it on the record.
6983 I listened to your radio station for a bit.
6984 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
6985 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, you might not want to thank me because I was very confused.
6986 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay.
6987 THE CHAIRPERSON: I heard DJ banter in English, but the times that I tuned in the music was all in Italian. And you have acknowledged that in your presentation.
6988 But are you a mainstream broadcaster or are you an ethnic broadcaster?
6989 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: We are an English broadcaster.
6990 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding from my client is that they are trying to appeal to all the people in the Niagara and St. Catharines region.
6991 When they play Italian music, they are hoping that the people who tune in will be anyone who enjoys listening to Italian music.
6992 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why not apply for an ethnic license?
6993 Why not apply and amend your current licence so that it is an ethnic radio licence?
6994 You are trying very hard to convince us that Italian music is going to create the niche for your radio service.
6995 So why not be an ethnic broadcaster.
6996 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: In St. Catharines, I think, the kind of programming we do, I think the people of St. Catharines appreciate because it is different than everybody else.
6997 I mean, if I have to be in St. Catharines and do like all the other stations do, I don't think I attract. As an AM station in the middle of this FM, I don't think I attract more listeners than everybody else.
6998 So, I am trying to do a different program. I am not trying to do anything more than get the people in Niagara region to listen to us. And that is how we do Italian ‑‑ non‑Italian program.
6999 But I think the English program with a little bit of Italian music and a little bit of Canadian music, Canadian content ‑‑ and we respect the rules of the CRTC by doing that, I think.
7000 So you are asking me why don't we apply for that. Who knows? Maybe it is a good idea that you are giving us.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7001 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may say something, my understanding from my client is that they have a genuine interest during the 80 per cent of the week in which they do not program third‑language programming to appeal to all people in the region.
7002 Were they to apply for an ethnic licence, my understanding is that that would require them to narrow their targeting to only members of particular ethnic groups.
7003 From what I have understood of Pellpropco's intent and of their instructions to Multimedia Management in executing that intent, that is not the way they have been hoping to go with CHSC.
7004 They are hoping that everyone will listen to it.
7005 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
7006 But you can also appreciate ‑‑ Mr. Abramson, you may not know this, but I am fluent in Italian.
7007 And so, great, I can hear the news in English, I can hear the DJ intro a song in Italian, and then I understand the song that is being played in Italian.
7008 But I am not the audience. I am not representative of the audience. You know, that is not generally how radio stations broadcast to their listeners.
7009 So people who don't understand Italian don't understand the music, and Italian speakers who don't understand English don't understand the news.
7010 MR. ABRAMSON: Our instructions to Pellpropco Inc. and our understanding of the programming has certainly been that, except for the third‑language programming periods on Saturdays and Sundays, the programming is in English, the news is in English and certainly the news segments in fact are in English and are from a local newscaster in St. Catharines, Angus Gillespie.
7011 The music is in Italian, but it is music. There is, to my understanding, a reason why the Commission's rules have defined third‑language programming as based on the spoken word content, not based on the music or on the advertising or on other aspects.
7012 Anyone can understand English‑language spoken word programming, and music is music.
7013 This morning, I was listening to CBC Daybreak, coming here. Now I happen to live in the Toronto area, and I heard an Italian‑language singer being portrayed on ‑‑ you know, being aired on the CBC. This morning.
7014 This is a coincidence. And I thought it might augur well for today. But it told me that there is greater interest out there for Italian‑language music than just among those who understand the Italian language.
7015 THE CHAIRPERSON: The question goes directly to the audience that you want to serve. So I am going to simply ask you: Who is your target audience?
7016 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: The main listeners are people that eventually have been here very long.
7017 And we speak English and we do English programming with a little bit of content for Italians.
7018 The problem you are talking about is not third‑language, I hope. You talk about Monday to Friday, 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Right?
7019 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am.
7020 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay. It is not Italian program. That is English program including news, sport, community news, interview in English all over the place and also we play Canadian content in English. We play Canadian music. We play 40‑45 per cent of Canadian music, even in that program.
7021 We should do just 10 per cent, but we do 30‑40 because we like to help. We play people like nobody else does in the community. Like Amadeus. He is a Canadian singer. Nobody knows who he is. Angelica DiCastro. Pino Joia(ph). That is what we play.
7022 Including this in Italian. It is in Italian. They sing in Italian in our program, but they are Canadian people. And also we do Canadian talent.
7023 So the program is directed not just to Italians. It is like an international program that we do for all kinds of persons.
7024 If you speak Spanish, you love our music, you love our program. If you speak Portuguese or Russian or whatever close to our language, you love it.
7025 So we try to target ‑‑ we try to do a program nobody else does.
7026 THE CHAIRPERSON: When we speak of target audience ‑‑ and perhaps I wasn't clear enough. When most radio licensees or radio applicants come to us, they say our target audience is between the ages of 25 and 54 and they live in Orillia and our music format is adult contemporary because our research has shown that that is the most wanted format in this area.
7027 So when I ask you what your target audience is, I want to know, to whom are you programming? Where do they live? Are you programming primarily to male or female? What is their age? What is their ethnic origin? What is their mother tongue?
7028 That is what I mean by target audience.
7029 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: We try to target 20 years old people up to 60 years old. That's music. It is a mix of music that everybody loves.
7030 If you listen to our station, you see. You notice that we play today's songs, we play yesterday's songs, we play a‑hundred‑years‑ago's songs.
7031 So we target everybody.
7032 The population that we try to get is Hamilton, Grimsby, Thorold, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Niagara region in general.
7033 But if somebody else listens to us from a different place that the station goes to, the waves, so, I mean, good to us. We have more listeners.
7034 But the target is in there. It is Niagara region. That is what we want to do.
7035 That is what we like to give to them. Something that nobody has, give it to them.
7036 And you know what? I mean, our radio stations ‑‑ third‑language, let us say, okay. You know that we speak Italian in the Niagara stations. When we do the third language, it is Italian Italian. It is not Italian Pseudo‑Sicilian or Pseudo‑Calabrian, like most of the stations do in Toronto.
7037 So I think we do good things for the community of Niagara region by doing this program.
7038 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you conduct listeners' surveys to ensure that you are in fact reaching your target audience and satisfying their needs?
7039 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: You know that BBM does not apply to Italian‑English mixed programs and so on. So no BBM is there for ‑‑
7040 THE CHAIRPERSON: No. I am talking more of a quality survey. Not quantity.
7041 I am talking about whether or not you do listeners' surveys to find out if they like what you are doing on the radio, if they are listening, where they live, and so on.
7042 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes, we do that. In fact, the response is very warm because you know that this radio station was in bankruptcy and we took over. After we took over, we like to keep them up there. And we have a beautiful sponsor. They understand good things of good programs.
7043 We ask the people. Yes. Every time there is ‑‑ you know, I am a producer of concert. I do an Italian concert, as you know maybe. And you know, we survey everything when we do this.
7044 When I do Andrea Bocelli at the Air Canada Centre, the last show that I did, or Claudio Baglioni at Roy Thompson Hall, we do surveys, yes. And you know what? They love it. They just love it.
7045 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are these formal surveys? Or are these surveys that you just ask people as they walk into the concert?
7046 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: We have a form on the table. Actually we sold some CDs from this artist at the entrance of the premises.
7047 So it is a form with some kinds of questions. What do you like best? Who do you like the best?
7048 We do a contest once in a while.
‑‑‑ Italian spoken
7049 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you submit the results of the survey to the Commission?
7050 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Eventually, yes.
7051 THE CHAIRPERSON: Eventually, when?
7052 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes. Well, just maybe in a month time when we get it all together.
7053 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7054 One of the things that I have heard on your radio station last weekend was that you were doing a live remote from a car dealership in Woodbridge.
7055 Another point that confused me: if you are telling me that you are a Niagara station, why are you doing live remotes from Woodbridge?
7056 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Well, I can say to you that it is a radio station from Toronto and I can ask you the same question. Why do they do live broadcasting in St. Catharines?
7057 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Pellegrino, I am asking you: you are licensed to serve St. Catharines and Niagara, and you are doing a live remote from a car dealership in Woodbridge, give me the logic for that.
7058 Surely people from St. Catharines aren't driving to Woodbridge to buy a car.
7059 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Well, if the speeches are good, sure they do.
7060 Eventually, anyway, we are a radio station, we have to survive. So, I mean, if a radio station reach ‑‑ if I get a sponsor in Woodbridge that means that the sponsor is really happy that my radio station reaches Woodbridge.
7061 I am not saying that I am doing it on purpose to reach Woodbridge. But the radio station goes eventually to Woodbridge. So why not? He is a sponsor like everybody else.
7062 THE CHAIRPERSON: What percentage of your advertisers are from the GTA area and what percentage are from the St. Catharines‑Niagara area?
7063 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: I will go 50 per cent.
7064 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure about that or are you guessing?
7065 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No, I am not guessing.
7066 MR. ABRAMSON: Excuse me a second. Mr. Pellegrino will undertake to provide that percentage forthwith.
7067 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7068 I want to get a bit more specifics on your spoken word programming. I do note that in your oral presentation this morning did provide us with a programming grid.
7069 It says your total spoken word per week is 45 hours. Is that correct?
7070 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is Appendix 4 of your oral presentation.
7071 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: If that what it says there, that is what it is. So we will give you eventually a future confirmation of that.
7072 THE CHAIRPERSON: That also then leads me to ask who prepared this. If you are saying to me that that is what it says.
7073 Did you prepare this, Mr. Pellegrino? Who prepared this programming schedule?
7074 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, this program schedule was prepared based on a very detailed hour‑by‑hour summary (that was prepared by Multimedia Management) of their programming.
7075 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So the total of spoken word programming is 45 hours based on this schedule. You also have your talk and music for a total of 26 hours.
7076 Is the talk portion included in the calculation of 45 hours or is it in addition to?
7077 MR. ABRAMSON: I believe it is in addition to. In other words, the totals that are shown at the bottom of the programming schedule simply add up different segments.
7078 No segment is included in more than one number. Each block of programming is defined in one and in only one way.
7079 THE CHAIRPERSON: Therefore, the talk and music ‑‑ I assume that the talk is DJ banter for the most part?
7080 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding is that it is correct, yes.
7081 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is it possible for you to break out those 26 hours and tell us exactly ‑‑ you can undertake to do this ‑‑ to tell us exactly how much of it is talk and how much of it is music.
7082 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7083 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7084 This morning, you told us that you have an all talk 6:00 a.m. to noon program. I am assuming that is the morning show with Chuck LaFleur.
7085 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes. That was done ‑‑ we have right now the program by Chuck LaFleur himself. He starts February 1 with us again.
7086 THE CHAIRPERSON: He will start on February 1.
7087 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: But we already have a program from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. right now.
7088 THE CHAIRPERSON: In what language is that program?
7089 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: English.
7090 THE CHAIRPERSON: How long has that show been on the air?
7091 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It has been on forever, except for a couple of months that we tried to... Except for a couple of months, we have been doing it forever.
7092 THE CHAIRPERSON: That couple of months, is that the time that you experimented with South Asian programming?
7093 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Exactly.
7094 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there is no more South Asian programming on your schedule?
7095 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: There has been no more after a month and a half. I just cancelled the contract to them.
7096 THE CHAIRPERSON: As you know, as a result of these proceedings, we can impose additional conditions of license on you to ensure that you remain true to your form, as well as the option of a mandatory order.
7097 So I am going to ask you firstly: Will you accept a condition of license that Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to noon you will be all talk in English?
7098 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Talk and music together, right?
7099 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, okay.
7100 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7101 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Let us be clear.
7102 Today you said there is a 6:00 a.m. to noon show, an all talk 6:00 a.m. to noon show.
7103 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7104 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there is no music from 6:00 a.m. to noon?
7105 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No, it is music. Yes, talk show with music.
7106 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is not my definition of a talk show.
7107 Please define. Tell me what this show is all about then.
7108 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: From 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. is the show. Angus as the newsman does news. Bill Wilson is doing Today in Niagara, which is community news, and disk jockey. And there are songs. Plus they go to the Internet. They look for articles they will say on the air. So it is a mix of talk with English music. Including 35 per cent of Canadian talent in it.
7109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Between 6:00 a.m. and noon, how much is talk and how much is music?
7110 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It is a mix of both. If a guy wants to put a song and wants to talk 10 minutes about that song, about who wrote the song, there is nothing ‑‑ I can't control that.
7111 But it is music and talk in general.
7112 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Part of my problem here is I am hearing very evasive language. You can't control it. In parts of you oral presentation, you said: "It's about this much. It might be about this other much."
7113 Who controls what you put on the air?
7114 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: I act under Pellpropco's instructions.
7115 THE CHAIRPERSON: I would suggest that Pellpropco give you some more instructions.
7116 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
7117 THE CHAIRPERSON: Instructions that are a bit more detailed.
7118 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
7119 THE CHAIRPERSON: One of the things you talked about in your oral presentation was programming that was produced by somebody else ‑‑produced for the station.
7120 But I didn't hear who it is produced by or what kind of agreement there is between ‑‑ I am just going to say the station, because I don't know if it is Pellpropco or Multimedia any more. Between the station and this person that produces the program for you.
7121 Who is this person that produces the program?
7122 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Multimedia.
7123 THE CHAIRPERSON: Multimedia produces all of the programming for the station?
7124 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7125 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there a revenue sharing agreement between Multimedia and Pellpropco for these radio programs?
7126 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, my understanding is that the oral agreement, the terms of the oral agreement are similar to those, more or less, in the written management agreement, which provides for a proportion of net revenues ‑‑ the proportion of the station's net revenues to be paid to Multimedia Management in respect of its work.
7127 Obviously the level of that percentage is commercially‑sensitive and we would prefer that it be filed confidentially, and we would be pleased to do so.
7128 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7129 Again, in your oral presentation, "we do about 16 hour a week of actual Italian‑language programming".
7130 Is it about 16 hours, exactly 16 hours, over 16 hours, under 16 hours?
7131 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: The program, third‑language, you are talking about is eight hours on Saturday, including three newscasts in English from St. Catharines area, three community news incorporated in the eight hours and news from Italy and all over the world by way of Internet. That is eight hours, all of this included.
7132 Actually, it is less than eight hours if we say that we do six times seven minutes of news in English.
7133 By the way, it is eight. And eight is on Sunday.
7134 So the program is 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. That is what we are doing for the past couple of months, two or three months, now.
7135 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it is exactly 16 hours.
7136 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7137 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding, from what Mr. Pellegrino says, is it is exactly 16 hours, minus the community news bulletins in English that are occasionally run during that time.
7138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you for that clarification.
7139 Of your spoken‑word programming, total, how much is ‑‑ sorry. I am going to re‑phrase the question.
7140 These 16 hours that we have just talked about, is it the only non‑English spoken word programming?
7141 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7142 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7143 Now, in total, counting both your English and third‑language spoken word programming, how much of that is news, just news?
7144 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: On Monday to Friday, it is one news per hour.
7145 THE CHAIRPERSON: How long is that newscast?
7146 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Seven minutes.
7147 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry?
7148 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Seven minutes, approximately.
7149 And also there is Discover Niagara, which is what ever happened to the community. If ‑‑
7150 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just news. I am only interested in the news.
7151 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Seven minutes every hour, on top of the hour.
7152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Any news on the weekend?
7153 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes. It is three news on Saturday and three news on Sunday.
7154 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I am going to ask from another undertaking from you, and that is: I need to know exactly how many hours and minutes of news, throughout the broadcast week, in both Italian and English, you broadcast.
7155 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay.
7156 THE CHAIRPERSON: I also need to know: Of that total, how much is news from St. Catharines and Niagara and how much is news from the GTA?
7157 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay. But it is all from Niagara, the news.
7158 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't cover any news stories from Woodbridge?
7159 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: On Saturday and Sunday, in Italian third‑language program, we have a journalist. She will go all over the world. Whenever something happens, she puts them on the air.
7160 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you cover any community events from outside St. Catharines and Niagara, specifically from the GTA?
7161 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7162 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what is your total hour and minutes (or perhaps it is only minutes), per broadcast week, of community events?
7163 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: We talk about the third‑language on Saturday and Sunday now?
7164 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am talking about the whole broadcast week. I want to know how much of your spoken word is dedicated to community events.
7165 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay. From Monday to Friday, from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
7166 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: From 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., we ‑‑ like I said, the program is mixed. It is music, it is talk about everything else happening, interview, calling in, people calling in and discussing situations (beauty, cancer, society or things ‑‑ everything is there for the community to be talking).
7167 So it is a mix of music, a mix of community news, a mix of news. It is all this Monday to Friday.
7168 Saturday and Sunday, you know that Sunday we have an hour of sport with Zerbini. Then we have a two hour ‑‑
7169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Pellegrino, this is what I need.
7170 I need to know, of your spoken word, how much is news ‑‑ and you can undertake to provide this to us if you don't have the information right now ‑‑ how much is news, throughout the broadcast week, how much of it is in Italian, how much of it is in English, if you broadcast in any other language how much of it is in those languages, how much of it is from St. Catharines, how much of it is from the GTA.
7171 Then I need to know how many minutes, hours (whatever the calculation ends up being), of sports you do. Again, I am talking only spoken word. Not music.
7172 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay.
7173 THE CHAIRPERSON: Only spoken word, throughout the broadcast week, those same qualifiers. In which languages, and so on. How much from St. Catharines. How much from the GTA.
7174 Community events, the same thing.
7175 Weather, the same thing.
7176 Do you do traffic reports?
7177 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7178 THE CHAIRPERSON: Then I need to know the numbers for your surveillance programming as well. Okay?
7179 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Hm‑hmm.
7180 THE CHAIRPERSON: And our legal counsel, when we are finished will get from you a timeframe and a commitment within that timeframe to submit those numbers to us.
7181 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay. We have no problem with that.
7182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7183 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, just for clarification with regard to the news, obviously there is a proportion of the news programming which focuses neither on St. Catharines nor on the GTA but on Canadian and international.
7184 Should that be subtracted from the total?
7185 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. What you could do then in that case is let us know what percentage of the newscast is national and what percentage of the newscast are international stories.
7186 MR. ABRAMSON: Perfect.
7187 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would be great. Thank you very much for that.
7188 I want to go back to the programming that you have just told us about, the 6:00 a.m. to noon.
7189 Like I said, I will be referring to a bunch of documents here. So please be patient with me.
7190 Would you accept a condition of license in which you would refrain from broadcasting any ethnic and/or third‑language programming between 6:00 a.m. and noon during the broadcast week?
7191 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7192 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will accept that condition of license.
7193 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7195 Now ‑‑
7196 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Excuse me.
7197 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7198 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Are we talking about Monday to Friday?
7199 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7200 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Okay. Thank you.
7201 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again, whenever applicants or licensees are before us, they very proudly, and deservedly so, talk to us about their community involvement.
7202 They talk to us about charities they sponsor. They talk to us about community events that are covered. They talk to us about how their employees are volunteers in various community organizations.
7203 What about your station? Do you have that kind of community involvement and connection with the community you serve?
7204 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Just four days ago. At Amici(PH). It is an event happening with the Italian community. You may be aware of this event happening.
7205 So we bought some tickets to help the organization.
7206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where is the organization located?
7207 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It comes from Toronto.
7208 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7209 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: But in St. Catharine you know that when I used to have the office there in the buildings I used to go there everyday.
7210 So everyday I reached my office and we were going to meet all the community in St. Catharines. Lunch or meetings or fund dinners.
7211 By the way, Fabrizio mentioned to me I was doing barbecues for charity myself. In St. Catharines.
7212 MR. F. PELLEGRINO: Outside the station.
7213 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes, and I was doing barbecue even outside of the station for the people who like the barbecue to come over. We advertised this event.
7214 We were going to the Italian Chamber in St. Catharines. We have a meeting once a month.
7215 There is a couple of associations. They have a big banquet hall. We go there, sit together, have a coffee and chat.
7216 Plus we invite all the mayors of St. Catherines, Niagara Falls, Thorold to come to the station. I have a half‑hour program, no charge, dedicated just for the community.
7217 So everyday we would transmit one half‑hour at no charge, no cost, to the community.
7218 And also all the mayors were there talking about what happened to the St. Catharines area. I mean, to the Niagara region.
7219 So we do all these things. I don't recall exactly what I did in the past, but I was with them until three or four months ago.
7220 Now I am going a couple of times a week, two or three times a week, in St. Catharines, back and forth. But at that time, I was going everyday.
7221 I was involved, and I am involved, with the community in Niagara region, all over the place.
7222 Grimsby, we have sponsors from there. You know, they come from Hamilton. We have sponsors all over the place.
7223 So whatever happened, we were there. If I was not there, my general manager at the time ‑‑ I don't want to say names ‑‑ was himself doing all the charity events and everything.
7224 So we have a general manager in St. Catharines that was doing that too.
7225 We would buy tickets. Eventually we invited organizations to come to the radio station. Red Cross, Blue Cross. I mean, you know ‑‑
7226 MR. ABRAMSON: I would suggest that Pellpropco Inc. would be able to submit a list of the charitable organizations and events with which it has been involved in the last year forthwith.
7227 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7228 In your oral presentation today, you said: "I am pleased to tell you that CHSC is now the radio home of the Niagara Ice Dogs, the local major junior hockey franchise."
7229 Since when has CHSC been the home of the Ice Dogs?
7230 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: We already did about seven games, of which one was last night, one is tonight and one is tomorrow.
7231 By the way, I will eliminate the mix problem of the time, you know, with Canadian, to do the game tomorrow.
7232 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you provide the play‑play ‑‑
7233 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7234 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ of the game.
7235 How many hours a week does that represent?
7236 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: When the game is on, they have three hours. When the game is not on, I dedicate two hours Monday to Friday to the French SC, with his own speakers, to talk about sports in general when it is not game time.
7237 THE CHAIRPERSON: You just hand over your studio to him. Is that what you mean?
7238 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7239 We have a system. We have a system that we go live anywhere we want to and we just transmit from there.
7240 I mean, when we do the game, it is just a box that we have. Then we go. We do that.
7241 So that is what we are doing.
7242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Again with this franchisee, is it a revenue sharing agreement? If you give him two hours of studio time, he keeps the revenue from these two hours on the radio station?
7243 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It is a package that we prepare between ourselves ‑‑ and yes, it would be take off the expense and then whatever is left over is between us and them.
7244 THE CHAIRPERSON: What is Radio Uno, and what is the relationship between Multimedia and Pellpropco and Radio Uno?
7245 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Radio Uno is no more than a name that you say. CBC one. CBC... Radio Uno. It is not a company. It is just a name that we mention on our logo.
7246 So we are talking third‑language programming to tell or to make people programming understand that that is the number one station, number one program, number one.
7247 It is nothing. It is not a company.
7248 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is your tagline?
7249 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Exactly.
7250 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7251 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am now going to move to the issue of your not meeting the requirements of your license.
7252 I am going to start with the annual returns.
7253 I do see your letter here, from the accountant, that they are diligently working on retrieving all the records and are in the process of preparing the annual returns for the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
7254 What I don't have in this letter is any indication as to the time it will take to retrieve these records and prepare these financial statements.
7255 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thirty days, please.
7256 THE CHAIRPERSON: So 30 days from today, Mr. Torelli will be prepared to file these with the CRTC?
7257 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Any day now, but 30 days for sure.
7258 THE CHAIRPERSON: In light of the fact that this is the second time that we have found you to not meet this requirement, would you accept a condition of license that would have you file audited financial statements with the Commission from now on?
7259 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Not a problem.
7260 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7261 As you know, for us to ensure that you are in compliance with all of your requirements, we need logger tapes, and we need you to keep accurate logs.
7262 I need to know what measures you have taken to ensure that you never have to sit at that table again and tell us why you didn't have accurate logger tapes and logs.
7263 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: First of all, in my hands I have, let's say, a week of carefully programming ‑‑ a minute‑by‑minute week of programming on Pellpropco Inc., first of all.
7264 Second, we implemented a system at the towers that will be there, the logs, to be 24‑hours typed. And also, we have another one in our studio in Woodbridge to prevent that, something happened to the other one, we have this one.
7265 But most important, I and the management and the people of Pellpropco, we had a meeting and we agreed to stay on top of this, make sure week by week, every Friday, okay, to see if everything is perfect, in condition, in any way, logger tape, computerwise.
7266 So we already made sure this is not happening again, that I am going to be here next time for this purpose.
7267 Unfortunately ‑‑
7268 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did that require you to make a capital expenditure to update your system?
7269 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: You mean moneywise?
7270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7271 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No. It just required maybe about 3,000‑4,000 dollars, 3,500 dollars, for computers.
7272 All you need is a couple of computers in the towers, and there you go.
7273 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you didn't have computer before ‑‑
7274 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7275 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ to generate the logs?
7276 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes. We bought parts for computers. We bought backup systems and everything else. But this happened at a time when we had this problem with the tape the first time.
7277 See, this radio station has been there so long and the two‑three years of bankruptcy in the previous management of the radio stations themselves ‑‑ when Pellpropco bought the stations, okay, they had to spend 50,000 dollars just to direct to the patio, the patio of the stations themselves, because the buildings come up and the distortion of the wave and so on. Pellpropco had to spend 50,000 just for that purpose.
7278 The regional tape that was taping our region here, the programming, was so badly damaged that I never knew nothing about that.
7279 So I was surprised at that time that this happened for a 1,000‑dollars computer or a 300‑dollars computer.
7280 If they would have said to me, you know, "This is not good, we need this system at that time", fine.
7281 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, my understanding is that there is information on the public file with respect to the logging system, and particularly with the worn logger tapes in January with engineers letter from CHSC to the Commission in March of 2008 ‑‑ I believe it is March of 2008, maybe March of 2007, I have to go back and double‑check ‑‑ as to the installation of OMT (Online Media Logger) system.
7282 And my understanding is that subsequent logger requests were successfully honoured.
7283 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have to say, Mr. Abramson, I am glad you have been able to keep track with the volume of paperwork on this file.
7284 Thank you for that.
7285 As you know, one of the other findings was that you failed to meet the requirement, during the monitoring week, to provide 35 per cent Canadian content.
7286 Once again, I need reassurance of what measures you have put in place to ensure that you will be able to meet that requirement on a consistent basis week after week.
7287 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Like I just said to you before, in my hands I have a week of programming. Any kind of programs. Third‑language programs. English programs. Computer programs. And that is what we will do.
7288 And every month, if the Commission agrees, we will provide the month of what goes on the air by way of paper and tape or CD or DVD. And that is how you will be sure that everything is going to be in place.
7289 And to do this, I have a lady working at the station and another gentleman whose name is Bill Wilson (he is musical director) ‑‑ now he will do that and, Fiorella, she will do that. And Trina Thompson, she will do that. So I have the people in to do that.
7290 What happened at the time, I guess, again, not to bring errors on the back of the program person that was in charge of that, but because of that, I mean, this person is not with us anymore. But like I said, I make sure personally, as part of the management, that this does not happen again.
7291 And I will undertake, with your agreement, to send to the Commission every month (or every week), but every month ‑‑ it is too much papers every week ‑ every month, a file of full, complete what we did for that month. Up to the day of renewal, I will do this.
7292 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, my understanding is that this undertaking will include self‑assessment reports, which of course summarize the otherwise quite voluminous records of each and every song.
7293 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
7294 We had a radio operator here yesterday who told us of a software program that they have installed that essentially programs the station, and it knows what is Canadian, what meets the MAPL requirements and what doesn't.
7295 Do you have such a software system in place?
7296 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: In this case, Mr. Bill Wilson will ‑‑ he has everything in his computer. So he is in charge of that.
7297 THE CHAIRPERSON: And he is responsible?
7298 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7299 THE CHAIRPERSON: And is he required to give you a report?
7300 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7301 THE CHAIRPERSON: And with what type of frequency? How often does he give you this report?
7302 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Every week a report is being filed, 24‑hours programming, in the cabinet.
7303 THE CHAIRPERSON: Does he file these reports with you only after the broadcast day, or do you know, for example, this weekend what is going to be on your radio station?
7304 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: He is producing a list of the music. And once he does that, okay, he makes sure that his content is 35 per cent of Canadian talent, he makes sure that everything is in place. And at the end of the week, he gives me the file.
7305 And if there is anything different the operator will change it there, automatically, at the moment. If there is any change from the logs, they are supposed to write down what has been changed. If a song has been omitted because it is not played, it has to be signed in the logs. And that is how we do it right now.
7306 But he has the system, the music system, that we pay every month that shows what you send.
7307 THE CHAIRPERSON: When Mr. Wilson goes on vacation, who is responsible?
7308 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Well, he leaves a week. Well, he never did yet. But he leaves a week of programs, two weeks of programs, before he goes.
7309 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may intervene for one moment, just for the record, I believe Mr. Pellegrino meant 35 per cent of Category 2 music and at least 10 per cent of Category 3 music is Canadian.
7310 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Thank you.
7311 One of the things you did not address in your oral presentation is the apparent failure to file both CTD and CCD expense reports as required beginning with fiscal year 2004‑2005 right through to fiscal year 2007‑2008.
7312 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding is that this is being addressed as part of the overall filing of any reports, which includes generating of revenue numbers for each year and the resulting CCD requirements.
7313 I believe that Pellpropco Inc. could be prepared to undertake to ensure that this is fully dealt with within the same 30‑day period.
7314 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. We will wait for the 30 days then.
7315 Thank you.
7316 Hang on just a second.
7317 THE CHAIRPERSON: I do have to go back to something that we have talked about earlier, and that is the issue of third‑language programming.
7318 Again, please refresh my memory. Is it only Italian programming that is third‑language? And I am talking about the spoken word, not the music, the eight hours ‑‑ the 16 hours that you talked about in your oral presentation.
7319 You don't program in any language other than Italian and English?
7320 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No.
7321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7322 And there is no other party that supplies programming to the radio station? It is Multimedia Management Inc., that is all?
7323 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes, yes.
7324 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7325 Is all of the programming from Multimedia?
7326 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7328 Is it a studio that you have in Woodbridge or is it just an office?
7329 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It is a studio.
7330 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it is leased to whom? To Pellpropco or to Multimedia?
7331 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: To Pellpropco.
7332 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when you move into your St. Catharines facilities, will you be shutting down the Woodbridge studio?
7333 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No.
7334 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what will be produced out of the Woodbridge studio?
7335 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Well, I guess, will be produced what is the third‑language, I guess, from Woodbridge. And the rest is ‑‑
7336 THE CHAIRPERSON: I really wish you wouldn't say "I guess". I want you to be sure, Mr. Pellegrino. You have to be ‑‑ you have to make us absolutely clear of what it is that you are going to be doing.
7337 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: What I will do is I will leave the office in Woodbridge open and the studio open for any occasion, anything happens, an emergency that a personality has to go on the air, it goes on the air in Woodbridge.
7338 And also I have an office and a studio in Niagara, which is the same thing. If Bocelli passes by and I want to do an interview in St. Catharines, that is what it is. If Bocelli passes by in Woodbridge, that is fine.
7339 So I will use both studios.
7340 MR. ABRAMSON: In light of the fact that the studio is being opened and outfitted, my understanding is that exactly which programs will be broadcast from there, while there is some clarity, there is still some discussion.
7341 I believe one on‑air employee during the non‑weekend third‑language program ‑a that is to say a during‑the‑week employee ‑‑ lives closer to Toronto than St. Catharines, and there is, as I understand it from the client, some discussion as to which studio he will broadcast out of.
7342 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, of your total staff count, just based on your understanding, Mr. Abramson, how many staff members will work out of the St. Catharines studio and how many will work out of the Woodbridge studio?
7343 MR. ABRAMSON: I must admit that I haven't been given full instructions on that from my client, but I would certainly be happy to undertake to provide it.
7344 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Pellegrino, do you know that now?
7345 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes, I can tell you now. It is about six people in Niagara and, as you know, Serepini, Fiorella, me, Fabrizio, it is four ‑‑
7346 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. My colleagues don't know who Fiorella is.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7347 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Six and six, I will say. Or ‑‑
7348 THE CHAIRPERSON: Six people in St. Catharines, six people in Woodbridge?
7349 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Exactly.
7350 THE CHAIRPERSON: And they will all be full‑time employees?
7351 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Some of them. Some of them, not.
7352 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many are full time? How many are part time?
7353 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: In St. Catharines they are all full time.
7354 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in Woodbridge?
7355 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: In Woodbridge, nobody but me.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7356 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: I am joking.
7357 In Woodbridge, it is about four full time, and three part time persons.
7358 So it is about six and seven, six and six.
7359 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where are your salespeople located? Woodbridge or St. Catharines?
7360 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Woodbridge, just me. Eventually, if somebody calls for advertising, I will go see them. Or if I have a way to go see them, I will do that.
7361 So it is all myself.
7362 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many sales people in St. Catharines?
7363 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It is about two part time and two regular.
7364 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before I ask you the million‑dollar question, which is show cause why we should not issue a mandatory order, I am going to ask my colleagues if they have any further questions of clarification for you.
7365 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
7366 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Molnar?
7367 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
7368 I have been looking briefly at the management agreement that you provided us with, and I understand from what you said this agreement effectively documents an arrangement that has been in place for some time.
7369 Is that correct?
7370 MR. ABRAMSON: That is the understanding I have been given.
7371 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So these are the roles and responsibilities that existed before, and they are going to continue into the future? Nothing has changed in the arrangement?
7372 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No.
7373 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
7374 I would like to understand ‑‑ because ultimately it is a licensee who is accountable for compliance, and not the holder of a management agreement ‑‑ what is the information that is provided to the licensee to ensure that all of the matters of regulatory compliance have been dealt with on a regular and efficient basis.
7375 Are there reports? What are the requirements of the management company to deliver to the licensee information to ensure that this station continues to be compliant?
7376 MR. ABRAMSON: There is a variety of mechanisms provided for it in that agreement.
7377 Some of them are informal, such as any instruction provided by Pellpropco from time to time. Some of them are formal. These include the setting of an annual budget together. These include monthly reports, as well as annual statements ‑‑ I am sorry, monthly and annual statements. This includes the maintenance of records on a constant basis which may be inspected at any time by Pellpropco.
7378 So these are some of the things which are provided for.
7379 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
7380 Then perhaps you can help me in what is in these monthly reports or these annual reports.
7381 MR. ABRAMSON: If you turn to section 2.2 of the agreement, perhaps we can review it together.
7382 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
7383 MR. ABRAMSON: So, with regard to these particular monthly statements, they relate to any expenditures, whichever budgetary items or matters to which such expenditures relate, the cost for them, and so on.
7384 These obviously have to do with any expenditure that Multimedia wishes to make in connection with the station.
7385 So that is for the monthly statements.
7386 I will say that the maintenance of records, which you will find in the following section 2.3 of the same agreement, supplements the monthly statements on a sort of timely basis insofar as they relate to all business and other activities carried on by the manager.
7387 Pellpropco must have access to such records at all times during business hours.
7388 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you.
7389 I remain a little bit confused about how, on a go‑forward basis, the licensee will have reported to it information to ensure that it is in compliance with all of the requirements.
7390 MR. ABRAMSON: There are a number of other provisions in the agreement which relate to these requirements.
7391 I should probably undertake to provide a full description offline. But just looking briefly, I would note that at paragraph 1.4 (g) there is a requirement to comply with all rules, really, and then there is an itemized list of some of the things that that must include, including the maintenance and retaining of program logs, and you know, as you follow through what is laid out there, general requirements which correspond to that which must be done.
7392 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Fair enough.
7393 In fact, I have highlighted section (g) within here. I am looking, and it states that there is a responsibility on behalf of the management company to comply with all requirements and regulations.
7394 My question is, as the licensee who has contracted with this management company, how is it the licensee knows that these requirements have been met?
7395 MR. ABRAMSON: As is clear, this is a written agreement. The agreement provides for each party to ‑‑ it provides powers, abilities and responsibilities to each party.
7396 Among the responsibilities, as you point out, assigned to the managers to comply with all requirements, among the abilities and powers provided to Pellpropco is the right to inspect all records, including logs and programming logs, music logs, logger tapes and so on at any time it chooses.
7397 So, ultimately, Pellpropco is fully enabled by this agreement to monitor in a very, very close manner on a day‑to‑day basis what takes place at the station.
7398 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So I would suggest, based on the record of this proceeding, that that hasn't occurred. You know, the ongoing maintenance that would identify that there has been an issue of non‑compliance. It hasn't occurred.
7399 If that was the only way that we are going to ensure, if it is an adhoc I‑can‑go‑in‑and‑look kind of an arrangement, I would be interested in knowing ‑‑ you know, as I understand it, this basically documents an arrangement that has been in place for some time.
7400 I guess my question is, are there any new controls in place between the directors of this company and the management of this company to ensure that the directors have assurance that all of the requirements have been met?
7401 MR. ABRAMSON: Being a licensee is certainly a responsibility. And among the responsibilities of the licensee is to act as empowered by this agreement to make sure that everything is going well. You are right.
7402 Now, Mr. Domenic Pellegrino earlier talked of a Friday management meeting which has been instituted. My understanding is that the purpose of that is quite similar to what we are talking about now.
7403 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I would expect that the licensee needs to talk on this issue.
7404 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7405 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You know, you on his behalf, versus Mr. Domenic Pellegrino, who I will have questions for later.
7406 But right now, I am trying to understand ‑‑
7407 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7408 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ the accountability of the licensee and the licensee's ability to be assured, to have in place the proper controls, systems and procedures to remain compliant.
7409 So when I look through here, which has once again documented an existing arrangement, I am wondering how is it the licensee is going to be assured, moving forward, that these regulatory requirements are met.
7410 Is there a report that lays out the requirements and they are reported to the licensee that, yes, in fact we have made these?
7411 You know, we have filed our returns. There is a requirement we file our returns. Yes, it has been filed. We have CCD requirements. Yes, they have been filed. They must be recorded in this period.
7412 What is it? What is it that Mr. Fabrozio Pellegrino has ‑‑
7413 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Fabrizio.
7414 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7415 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Fabrizio.
7416 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Fabrizio. I have been having trouble all week beginning with Midland.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7417 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So I am sorry I mispronounced your name.
7418 You know, what is it? What is it that gives us the assurance the licensee is capable of overseeing this?
7419 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may just beg your indulgence, it sounds like what you are asking is what reporting mechanisms are required such that, should licensee choose to take a hands‑off role, it will nonetheless be apprised of all activity.
7420 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: That it can be assured that those activities related to the conditions of its licence are being met and therefore that we can be assured that the licensee has effective control of this organization.
7421 MR. ABRAMSON: I would suggest that generally the requirements that lie on Pellpropco Inc. are the same as those that lie on any other regulated company.
7422 In other words, this agreement and the prior oral agreement that it memorializes does not assume a hands‑off approach by the licensee.
7423 That said, Pellpropco Inc. would certainly undertake a tighter management regime which required the redaction or the preparation of simple, easy‑to‑read, high‑level regulatory compliance reports that enable the management of Pellpropco, even in the absence of hands‑on involvement, to be easily and constantly apprised as to regulatory compliance.
7424 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for that.
7425 I also wonder, based on this agreement, who is it who has responsibility for the strategy within the organization or within the station?
7426 MR. ABRAMSON: My understanding is that Pellpropco Inc. is, as in all things, fully in charge of its strategy, and one of the things it has been comfortable doing is meeting regularly with its management company.
7427 They have clearly a very close relationship. And in discussing that strategy and in ensuring that strategy is agreed between them, that it is a sound strategy and that it is a strategy that can be executed reasonably.
7428 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So, just as an example, the decision to experiment with South Asian was a decision that was approved by the licensee?
7429 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7430 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
7431 MR. ABRAMSON: I will add that, of course, the decision to pull that programming, particularly when it was discovered that it was not meeting its requirement of being always in the English language, was also on the part of the licensee.
7432 This was obviously, as you can imagine, at some financial penalty to Pellpropco.
7433 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Hm‑hmm. How did the licensee know? What is the information?
7434 When I read the management report it truly appears all‑encompassing in the operations. You know, the operations of the station are all‑encompassing within the management of Multimedia Management.
7435 And listening to the exchange with Chairperson Cugini, it also appears that management, operations and decisions, including programming decisions, reside with Multimedia Management Company,.
7436 MR. ABRAMSON: it is certainly true that the agreement between the parties gives the management company broad latitude to act within the scope of the instructions given to it subject always to Pellpropco's constant monitoring and to Pellpropco's agreement with that which is taking place.
7437 Pellpropco is always answerable for the activities of the license.
7438 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Excuse me if I am repeating myself.
7439 How is this constant monitoring performed? Through regular reporting? Through...
7440 MR. ABRAMSON: As you have no doubt seen or are in no doubt aware, the relationship between Pellpropco Inc. and Multimedia Management is a very, very close one.
7441 As a result, this monitoring takes place through a combination of constant listening to the radio station and very, very regular meetings between the parties.
7442 There are very, very few aspects of the radio station that are not brought up on a regular basis in discussion between the parties.
7443 Recognition of this close relationship between the parties is one of the things that enables the parties to act under a management agreement which assumes that they will continue to act in that manner.
7444 Obviously, the management agreement also provides powers for Pellpropco to alter the nature of that relationship should it so choose and, in particular, should it find that its close relationship with the management company has changed.
7445 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Hm‑hmm.
7446 A question, likely for Mr. Domenic Pellegrino, related to operations.
7447 You made a commitment to file audited financial returns and following that the ongoing CCD reports that will flow with those.
7448 What I am wondering is the management system that is in place or, you know, the processes and procedures that would ensure that this reporting is done on a regular basis.
7449 When I look back ‑‑ you know, there is a process underway now to recreate financial statements for a number of years. Clearly there have not been ongoing financial reports created.
7450 What is changing? Have you secured an accountant? Have you done something within the management operations of the company that gives the assurance that in fact these financial reports will be created on a regular basis from now on?
7451 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: The lady working in St. Catharines regarding keeping the sponsors, the books, together, she uses Quickbooks. And Quickbooks goes back five years in the history of whatever goes in the system.
7452 So what I did now, I just hired a good accountant. So he has all the five years of operations, whatever went in and out on behalf of the station.
7453 So he has got all the details to come up with the statements, and that is what we do now.
7454 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Fair enough.
7455 My question was not really about recreating the past, but ensuring that the reports will be ready the next year.
7456 So that is my question. What has changed within your processes, your procedures, your management controls, that ensures a financial statement will be created next year on time?
7457 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Every week, once of a week, Mr. Torelli, Lanno Associates, which is the account firm that I use now, they are in the office of Pellpropco and take care of all the documents, the accounts, the receivables, the payables, the billing, everything.
7458 They will be there every week to do just that. It will be no St. Catharines lady. It will be no Toronto lady. It will be nobody else than a very serious accounting firm in Toronto that I choose because of other businesses and I know that they can help the situation a lot.
7459 And that is what they do now. They just go back and recreate every document that passes through the company.
7460 So in the past that is what I have done within five years. In the future, every week there will be an accountant for the full day in the office of Pellpropco Inc.
7461 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.
7462 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: You are welcome.
7463 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I just want to understand what you said.
7464 So the difference between the past and the future, or the present and the future, is in fact you have secured an outside accountant.
7465 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: A good accountant, not a bad accountant this time.
7466 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
7467 I want to go back as well to a discussion you had with Chairperson Cugini just to make sure I understand what you mentioned regarding the programming of Canadian content and the pre‑programming.
7468 Did you say that you would be pre‑programming your station so that you will know before it is aired the amount of Canadian content that is going to be provided?
7469 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: No. This is, by me, monitoring at the end of the week. But during the week, I have a person that pay who is well‑known by the industry whose name is Bill Wilson.
7470 If you remember, there was a satellite radio station that everybody used at the time. So this young man was working with that radio station, with that satellite company, which is not there anymore. But anyway, he was working there. Everybody knows him.
7471 He will make sure that the Canadian content will be there, more than necessary. We ask him to do more than what is required.
7472 Either because of what happened or/and because we want to promote the Canadian talent people. Like the one I mentioned to you before. There is lots of Canadian people, lots of Canadian singers, that have to be promoted.
7473 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So ‑‑
7474 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: One of my announcers ‑‑ sorry.
7475 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Sorry.
7476 One of my announcers is a singer, Amy Brigante. Maybe somebody knows her. It is Amy Brigante. She is a singer. She is doing the video show talk show, but also we put two‑three songs of her every week, the same we do with everybody else.
7477 So this person will do the program on a daily basis. I cannot be there everyday to check the program. I don't think anybody in the radio station business be there as a manager all the day, everyday, on top of the person in charge to do that.
7478 If that is what I have to do, then I do it myself. I don't need Bill Wilson.
7479 So he is supposed to do everyday what he is supposed to do. At the end of the week, me and the wife of mine, by community ‑‑ and she knows music very well, Italian and English. She will make sure that everything is in place the way it should be.
7480 MR. ABRAMSON: May I just add, the institution of the weekly management meetings to which Mr. Domenic Pellegrino is referring has imposed a certain added measure of discipline on all members, on all persons with responsibilities for on‑air programming, insofar as they must now answer forward immediately, rather than at the end of the month or a several‑month period, as may have been the case in the past.
7481 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
7482 I have just two concerns with that. I think instituting a weekly meeting, you are right, will be more timely than a less frequent process. It is still nonetheless a reactive measure.
7483 You are going to have a meeting and review whether or not you were compliant. You are not going to have a meeting that will allow you to achieve compliance.
7484 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Bill Wilson is a professional person, a professional in the business of music.
7485 And you know what? I know nothing about music. So I am going to have faith on Bill Wilson to do what he has got to do the right way.
7486 We trust him 100 per cent. He has been doing a good job. Even if ‑‑
7487 MR. ABRAMSON: May I just add, however, on behalf of Pellpropco that clearly knowledge of music is not a necessary prerequisite for checking management reports, and Pellpropco Inc. is more than willing to adopt a pre‑programming style of air play, particularly given some of the things that we are here for today.
7488 That wouldn't change the managerial approach insofar as there will still be weekly meetings, but they will be looking at what comes up during the following week, rather than at what took place during the past week.
7489 That is something that Pellpropco Inc. is very willing to take a hard look at.
7490 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
7491 Just one more question. You mentioned that you have asked your music director, music expert to ‑‑ you suggested they will play a little more Canadian music to be on the safe side.
7492 Has he been provided direction as to how much more?
7493 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7494 Like I mentioned before, he has a system in the computer that daily, even after one year or ten years or five years, you will go back there and he will tell you exactly what he was playing, at what time and what kind of titles of songs.
7495 The program that he does from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., he has been told to stay at 38‑40 per cent.
7496 And the one we do on the computer, I think we say the same thing. The only thing that changes is what he doesn't do, which is what some other person does, which is 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mixed Italian. This and that.
7497 So he is not aware of that because somebody else would do that.
7498 But he specifically ‑‑ and I have proof here of what he does, okay ‑‑ he has been told to do 38‑40 per cent because, yes, we wanted to be on the safe side. I mean, we have been burned once. So we would like to be sure of what we are doing.
7499 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Those are my questions.
7500 Thank you.
7501 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
7502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Lamarre?
7503 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Merci, Madame la Présidente.
7504 I have a few questions about the agreements that you provided to us this morning. But before I get into that, in reply to a question from Chair Cugini about logger tapes and how you will prevent the fact that logger tapes will not be available, you mentioned that in order to do that you have now set in place the equipment and that you were going to be meeting once a week to make sure that everything was fine.
7505 Well, quite frankly, hearing that gives me absolutely no comfort because what that tells me is that you are willing to take the risk of loosing one week's logging if you only make sure one a week that the logging equipment is up and running.
7506 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: It is the same question that Mrs. Candace posed to me about music. It is the same thing.
7507 Now, I have my engineer. His name is Kevin MacMillan. He has been in that station for 28 years. With the same station.
7508 So he is in charge of the logging tape in St. Catharines, in Thorold, at the towers. So he is in charge of that. So he is supposed to provide that.
7509 Now, what I was saying to you is this. That I don't let it go here before I check him out and see what he does. Or if the computer stops or the ink is not there or whatever reason it is.
7510 So we will be staying on top of that.
7511 But it is up to him to make sure 100 per cent that everything is in place the way it should be. Otherwise, he would not be there for me.
7512 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So what you are telling me is that, not only do you have a meeting one a week, but you have somebody, Mr. MacMillan, who is in charge to make sure that everything is functioning everyday.
7513 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: He is there 24 hours, in St. Catharines, at the towers.
7514 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: He only sleeps at the tower?
7515 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: He is 24 hours in St. Catharines. He lives in St. Catharines, I am saying. And the towers are two minutes away from him. In contact with a telephone number that is installed in the tower. So whatever happens there, he is there to do exactly that.
7516 So every morning, he goes. He opens the door and he checks that the transmitter is okay, it is good condition, it runs okay, the tape recorder for logs is okay, the computer is running.
7517 Because, you know what, sometimes, the lights goes away. So we have a machine that replaces that at that time. So a big charge.
7519 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Generator.
7520 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: A generator that, even if the lights go away, the energy, things pick up.
7521 So he has to make sure. Everyday he is there. I pay him fulltime.
7522 Like I said, he has been with this station for 28 years.
7523 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: He is an engineer?
7524 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: He is an engineer.
7525 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So you are confirming that there is somebody who everyday makes sure that logging equipment is up and running.
7526 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Oh, yes. Exactly, exactly.
7527 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You mentioned that Mr. MacMillan was an engineer. I must admit and tell you right upfront that I am quite sensitive about how the engineer title is being carried around in the broadcast industry.
7528 That title is reserved for people, professionals, who are members of the professional provincial organization. In Ontario, that would be Professional Engineers of Ontario.
7529 Now, I have been looking up Mr. MacMillan's name of the website of the PEO, and I cannot find it.
7530 So I would ask that you please make sure that if your technical staff is ‑‑ it maybe quite knowledgeable and capable of doing what you are asking them to do (I am not disputing that) ‑‑ but if your technical staff are not professional engineers as per the provincial laws, that you make sure that they do not use that title in exchanges with the Commission.
7531 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: The reason why I am saying he is an engineer is because he has been working as an engineer for this company for 28 years.
7532 Now, apart from that ‑‑
7533 MR. ABRAMSON: Excuse me, if I may ‑‑
7534 MR. PELLEGRINO: No, no. I have to say something.
7535 Apart from that, I have Mr. Warren, who is an engineer with us, in St. Catharines, that works with me, and I also have someone that ‑‑ just now he changed the lights at the towers.
7536 So Mr. MacMillan is an engineer that goes there everyday and makes sure that everything is in place.
7537 But if something drastic happens, like something happens that burns something, I have Mr. Warren, which is an engineer.
7538 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Mr. Pellegrino, if I may interrupt, I am not disputing the fact that you have hired people who are capable to do what you are asking them to do.
7539 What I am telling you is that, in order to be called an engineer, you need to provide some requirements in accordance with provincial laws.
7540 And I want to make sure that when you use that title for your employees they do respect those provincial statutes.
7541 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, on behalf of Pellpropco Inc., certainly Pellpropco will not in the future refer to any technician who does work on its behalf, whether directly or indirectly, as an engineer where that person is not a member of the professional order of engineers.
7542 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
7543 Now, with regards to the agreements that you have filed with us, the first one being the management agreement between Pellpropco and Multimedia Management, could you please tell me who signed on behalf of Pellpropco and who signed on behalf of Multimedia Management?
7544 MR. ABRAMSON: Fabrizio Pellegrino is not only director of Pellpropco Inc., he is also a director of Multimedia Management Limited, which is one of the controls put in place to ensure that the licensee is in control at all times.
7545 Fabrizio Pellegrino therefore signed on behalf of both entities.
7546 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Both entities. Thank you.
7547 Who signed on behalf of Pellpropco the offer to lease that was attached to this presentation?
7548 Was it again Mr. Fabrizio Pellegrino?
7549 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes. My understanding ‑‑ pardon me for once.
7550 MR. ABRAMSON: It was signed by Fabrizio Pellegrino on behalf of Pellpropco Inc.
7551 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, in regards to the agreement between I would assume Pellpropco ‑‑ and I am going to tell you why I am assuming ‑‑ and the Niagara Ice Dogs.
7552 In reply to questioning by Chair Cugini, you have mentioned that Radio Uno is not a corporation. It is sort of a trade name to identify the station.
7553 Now, the agreement that we have here ‑‑ I read through the agreement, and if I miss something, please direct me to what I have missed.
7554 But what I see is that it is an agreement between the Niagara Ice Dogs and Radio Uno. Nowhere in there is there any reference to Pellpropco.
7555 So does Pellpropco have an agreement or not with the Ice Dogs?
7556 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, my understanding of two things.
7557 First of all, I would note that this is a term sheet. It is provided as evidence and as comfort of the relationship between the two.
7558 For the same reason that a press release from the Niagara Ice Dogs, an extract of their website, is provided. For the same reason.
7559 This is not the signed agreement between the parties for the supply of programming, obviously.
7560 However it is my understanding, and I will have to check with my clients, that the programming, the Niagara Ice Dogs programming, is arranged substantially through Multimedia Management.
7561 I will verify that.
7562 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You will verify that and provide us information in that regard.
7563 MR. ABRAMSON: We will certainly do so. That said, obviously, Multimedia Management is responsible for providing a great of the programming. Indeed, as far as I know, nearly all or all of the programming.
7564 That obviously depends on the nature of the Ice Dogs agreement. And it would not be unusual were the agreement to be with Multimedia Management.
7565 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: In looking at the signature here, again, am I correct to assume that it is Mr. Fabrizio Pellegrino that signed it?
7566 MR. ABRAMSON: This is signed, I am told, by Mr. Domenic Pellegrino.
7567 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Those were all my questions. Thank you, Madam Chair.
7568 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7569 Commissioner Patrone?
7570 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7571 I too have some questions concerning the radio management agreement. Specifically, I want to pick up on questions that were originally asked by Commissioner Molnar with regards to this.
7572 Specifically, I am going to limit my questions to the degree to which this represents or does not represent an effective transfer, an unauthorized transfer, of effective control because I will tell you where my concern lies. It is in a couple of areas.
7573 When I look in page 2, 1.2, in the middle of the page, it runs down an extremely vast list of responsibilities that are going to be transferred to Multimedia, referred to in the agreement, which I guess takes effect in two‑days time. Is that correct?
7574 MR. ABRAMSON: The agreement itself takes effect in two‑days time. However, I am not sure that it is accurate to say that these powers will be transferred to multimedia management.
7575 My understanding is that the agreement allows Multimedia Media Management to act always under the authority and answerable to Pellpropco Inc.
7576 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, and I want to acknowledge that too. On page 3, 1.4(f), it says:
"the disposal of Pellpropco CJSC Assets which are no longer required"
7577 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, I am sorry, page 5, 1.6, where it says:
"The Manager, in performing its duties hereunder, is neither a partner nor a joint venturer of or with Pellpropco."
7578 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Meaning that it is not that it is not taking an equity position within the company.
7579 Is that correct?
7580 MR. ABRAMSON: That is correct. I am sorry, it is correct that Multimedia Management has not taken an equity position within Pellpropco, yes.
7581 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to direct you next to page 7. To 2.6.
7582 If you can provide some comfort relative to this statement here where it talks about additional compensation.
"In addition to the compensation of the Manager provided for ... the Manager shall be entitled to additional compensation by way of salary, bonus, participation in any share option plan, share purchase plan, share appreciation plan ..."
7583 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I will tell you what, this concerns me because, in the event that Pellpropco is in default relative any of its financial agreements with Multimedia, does this provide for an unauthorized transfer of effective control to Multimedia?
7584 Because it does refer here to "share purchase plan, share appreciation plan".
7585 Do I read this incorrectly?
7586 MR. ABRAMSON: I obviously don't want to postulate as to your reading of it, but I would only note that that clause requires that: (a) the plan be similar to one offered by Pellpropco to its senior executives; and (b) that the extension of the same plan to the manager, to the designated senior manager of the manager, be authorized by unanimous decision of the shareholders.
7587 Today, that is to say the two shareholders of Pellpropco. They must unanimously authorize it.
7588 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Do you understand the stipulations under which transfers of the control can take place? That they require regulatory approval?
7589 MR. ABRAMSON: I do. I do. And it is my understanding that this agreement is not dissimilar to other agreements which have been granted explicit regulatory approval by the Commission.
7590 We would be pleased to submit it for regulatory approval. And indeed one of the purposes in attaching it here today was to submit it or at least initiate a process by which it is submitted to Commission scrutiny for greater certainty.
7591 Had this been, for instance, a paper process which allows for more back and forth, that is certainly the route we would have gone.
7592 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I need some clarity with regards to that proviso or section of this agreement. I find it too vague.
7593 MR. ABRAMSON: With respect to 2.6?
7594 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
7595 MR. ABRAMSON: Okay. We will certainly ‑‑
7596 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I would like to know under what circumstances that could take place. Whether that is tied to any kind of possible default, going forward, relative to Mr. Pellegrino's agreement with Multimedia.
7597 And I can appreciate what you are saying, that there needs to be ‑‑ that that can only happen with the agreement of Mr. Pellegrin0.
7598 MR. ABRAMSON: May I ask? What I believe I understand is: you are envisaging a scenario in which the shareholders of Pellpropco would offer a share option plan, if I may, to its senior management, and would unanimously decide to offer the same plan to the senior management of Multimedia Management and then an event would occur which would result in the transfer of control to the senior management of Multimedia Management.
7599 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: The concern of the CRTC is with the fact that effective control ‑‑
7600 MR. ABRAMSON: Right.
7601 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: ‑‑ of the company and of this undertaking remain with the licensee.
7602 MR. ABRAMSON: Absolutely.
7603 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So, if there is a provision here under which effective control either can be transferred without the authority of the CRTC, that is a source of concern to me.
7604 MR. ABRAMSON: Well, let me say two things.
7605 First of all, I am not confident that this agreement could result in a scenario in which the control should be transferred, particularly in light of contrary explicit provisions in this agreement, such as 1.2. Exercise of authority.
"...shall at all times exercise ultimate authority and control..."
7606 MR. ABRAMSON: And so forth.
7607 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: What do you mean, you are not confident?
7608 MR. ABRAMSON: In other words, I am not sure, I am not entirely certain, that all would agree on the interpretation of that clause as one which could result in a transfer of control.
7609 That being said, we would certainly ‑‑ Pellpropco Inc. would certainly undertake to modify this agreement to provide greater certainty that no transfer of control could occur under that section and would certainly be willing ‑‑ and I can't speak for Multimedia Management, but I strongly suspect that they would agree to such a modification of the agreement in order to ensure it.
7610 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, obviously, that is pending. That will have to be rewritten then with the agreement of Multimedia.
7611 MR. ABRAMSON: That is correct.
7612 Pellpropco Inc. believes that it can undertake ‑‑ if it is the case that this agreement is deemed to be one which is vulnerable to allowing a transfer of control, then Pellpropco Inc. will undertake to take steps to ensure to provide certainty that that cannot occur, within 30 days.
7613 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
7614 Madam Chair, those are my questions.
7615 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7616 I am now going to ask you ‑‑ Mr. Abramson, you may be the one who will be responding on behalf of the licensee ‑‑ to show cause why a mandatory order should not be issued requiring the licensee to comply with all of the regulations and with the conditions of license imposed.
7617 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, Pellpropco Inc. has made a number of undertakings today.
7618 Some of those undertakings relate to the provision of ongoing reporting to the Commission.
7619 Some of those undertakings relate to specific reports to the Commission with respect to many aspects of its operation, including the nature of its programming, including the nature of its agreement with Multimedia Management, including the nature of the managerial reporting which flows from Multimedia Management to Pellpropco.
7620 It is Pellpropco's belief that many of these respond to the issues at hand. It is also Pellpropco's belief that these will put the Commission in an excellent position to re‑evaluate Pellpropco's compliance with all of these conditions and the existence of managerial controls to ensure the ongoing compliance of all these conditions in a relatively short period of time.
7621 Because the current hearing is not tied to a license, or to an application for a licence renewal, because this license will either lapse or an application for renewal will be submitted within the time in which it would expire, Pellpropco Inc. would submit that it would be more than appropriate to allow Pellpropco to work through these issues by providing and by completing all of the undertakings discussed today and to evaluate the situation in what is a relatively short period of time.
7622 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7623 Legal counsel?
7624 MR. BOWLES: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7625 I have one question for you before going into the undertakings to be provided.
7626 I would like to return to section 2.6 of the submitted management agreement.
7627 Are you in a position to clarify whether the shares that are contemplated in this section are voting or non‑voting shares?
7628 MR. ABRAMSON: At the current time, this provision does not pertain to any plan insofar as no plan contemplated by section 2.6 has in fact been put into place.
7629 MR. BOWLES: Are you able to confirm whether the corporation is authorized to reissue non‑voting shares?
7630 This information is surely on our records. But just for purposes of clarification so I can get an idea at the moment.
7631 MR. ABRAMSON: May I undertake to provide that information shortly, offline?
7632 MR. BOWLES: As I stated, that should be okay, given that we have that information on record.
7633 So at this point, I would just like to move into the undertakings that were provided. And given the substantial amounts of undertakings provided today, I would just ask that you bear with me as I try working my way through them.
7634 MR. ABRAMSON: Certainly.
7635 MR. BOWLES: An undertaking was given to provide audited financial statements and complete annual returns.
7636 With respect to the annual returns and the financial statements that have yet to be filed or that are incomplete, can I get from you a firm date by which you are willing to provide these?
7637 MR. ABRAMSON: In 30 days.
7638 MR. BOWLES: In 30 days from the present. So that would take you to March 1, I believe.
7639 MR. ABRAMSON: March 1, yes.
7640 MR. BOWLES: Okay. I jump ahead here, for a moment.
7641 With respect to the Canadian Talent Development and Canadian Content Development payments for which Pellpropco Inc. is presently in arrears, would it be possible to get an undertaking from you to provide documentary evidence that these arrears have been corrected within 10 days of the filing of the annual returns and audited financial statements, and also that this be done at a date no later than March 11?
7642 THE CHAIRPERSON: We just checked the calendar. March 1 is a Sunday.
7643 MR. BOWLES: Oh, sorry. Sorry about that.
7644 We will go back a little here.
7645 With respect to providing the audited financial statements and the complete annual returns, would that be March 2 then? Would you undertake to provide these by March 2?
7646 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7647 MR. BOWLES: Once again, going back to the issue of the Canadian Talent Development and Canadian Content Development amounts that are in arrears, would you be willing to provide documentary proof that you have covered those amounts in arrears by 10 days following the submission of the aforementioned audited financial statements and annual returns, and under no circumstances at a date later than March 12?
7648 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7649 MR. BOWLES: An undertaking was also given to provide data as to the audience numbers in St. Catharines and the audience numbers outside of the St. Catharines area.
7650 Can we get from you a firm date by which you would commit to this undertaking?
7651 MR. ABRAMSON: This one involves some analysis, clearly, as it needs to be vetted against an actual week of programming and not just a programming plan.
7652 I am told that this can be provided within 60 days.
7653 MR. BOWLES: I believe mention was made earlier, during the presentation, to roughly 30 days.
7654 Are we capable of maintaining you to that commitment?
7655 MR. ABRAMSON: Can we beg indulgence for 60 days in light of the fair volume of work that is involved and in light of the size of Pellpropco Inc.?
7656 MR. BOWLES: I will defer to the panel on that one.
7657 Sixty days would appear to be okay. Sixty days would bring us to...
7658 MR. BOWLES: I believe that would be March 31. And we are just checking to make sure that that does not fall on a weekend. It is a Tuesday. Okay.
7659 Thank you very much.
7660 So you commit to provide this by March 31. Is that correct?
7661 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7662 MR. BOWLES: Now, a number of undertakings were provided with respect to the spoken word content. I will go through these one by one.
7663 An undertaking was provided to provide, not a detailed breakdown, but the amount of hours and minutes of spoken word that are dedicated to pure news per broadcast week.
7664 What we would need from you is an undertaking to provide ‑‑ let me re‑state this. What we would need from you is an undertaking to provide the total hours and minutes of spoken word dedicated to pure news per broadcast week.
7665 And also how hours and minutes per broadcast week are in a third language, how many hours and minutes are specifically in Italian, as well as how many hours and minutes are in English.
7666 Just for clarification purposes, pure news exclude surveillance materials, that is sports, weather, traffic, promotional community events and other information of general public interest.
7667 Is it also possible to get you to undertake to break down these broadcasts as to detail the amount of hours and minutes of pure news coverage that relates directly to St. Catherines, how much relates directly to the Niagara area and how much relates to the Greater Toronto Area?
7668 MR. ABRAMSON: Would it be possible to combine the St. Catharines and Niagara numbers in light of the sometimes difficult separation of those two, in light of St. Catharines' very important role as a key element of the St. Catharines‑Niagara Census metropolitan area?
7669 MR. BOWLES: That would appear to be acceptable.
7670 MR. ABRAMSON: Thank you.
7671 MR. BOWLES: So, just to be clear, are you willing to undertake this? Are you willing to commit, sorry, to this undertaking, and if yes, by when?
7672 MR. ABRAMSON: My instructions are yes. And?
7673 MR. ABRAMSON: I am told that the March‑31, 60‑day period will suffice, if that is agreeable.
7674 THE CHAIRPERSON: It would be agreeable if that March‑31 date is the date by which you will provide all other undertakings related to the programming that our legal counsel will take you through.
7675 MR. ABRAMSON: Thank you.
7676 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
7677 MR. BOWLES: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7678 A related undertaking was to provide us with the total hours of spoken word that are dedicated to sports per broadcast week.
7679 And once again, to also break these down so as to provide how many hours and minutes of sports broadcast are in a third language, how many hours and minutes are specifically in Italian and how many hours and minutes are in English.
7680 Are you willing to commit to this undertaking and to provide this by March 31?
7681 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7682 MR. BOWLES: With respect to the spoken word dedicated to community events, once again, would you be willing to undertake to provide us with the total hours and minutes of spoken word that are dedicated to community events per broadcast week?
7683 And also to break it down so as to show specifically how many hours and minutes are in a third language, how many hours and minutes are in Italian, how many hours and minutes are in English?
7684 And also related to this, can we get you to undertake to break down these community events so as to detail the amount of hours and minutes of community events coverage that relate directly to the St. Catharines and Niagara area and how many hours and minutes relate to the Greater Toronto Area?
7685 All by March 31?
7686 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7687 MR. BOWLES: With respect to the spoken word dedicated to weather per broadcast week, is it possible to get you to undertake to provide us with the total amount of hours and minutes of such spoken word that are dedicated per broadcast week?
7688 And also, once again, to break down this information so as to provide how many hours and minutes of weather are broadcast in a third language, how many hours and minutes are broadcast specifically in Italian and how many hours and minutes are broadcast in English?
7689 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes.
7690 MR. BOWLES: Once again, all of this by March 31?
7691 MR. ABRAMSON: Of course.
7692 MR. BOWLES: The last undertaking on this general area relates to the surveillance reports.
7693 Is it possible to get you to undertake to provide by March 31 the total hours of spoken words dedicated to surveillance reports per broadcast week?
7694 As well as breaking it down so as to provide how many hours and minutes of such surveillance reports are broadcast in a third language, how many hours and minutes are broadcast in Italian and how many hours and minutes are broadcast in English?
7695 MR. ABRAMSON: I am sorry. Could you clarify "surveillance reports"?
7696 MR. BOWLES: In essence, surveillance reports ‑‑ my understanding is it deals with such things as traffic reports.
7697 MR. ABRAMSON: I am sorry. Traffic reports?
7698 MR. BOWLES: Yes.
7699 THE CHAIRPERSON: You guys will correct me if I am wrong, and it may have been me who misspoke, everything other than news.
7700 So it includes weather, sports, traffic.
7702 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is just traffic. Just through traffic reports.
7703 Thank you.
7704 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes. With regards to traffic reports.
7705 MR. BOWLES: That must be, again, all by March 31.
7706 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes. Third‑language, Italian and English.
7707 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may take just one moment to confer with my client...
7708 MR. BOWLES: Yes, sure.
7709 MR. ABRAMSON: Thank you.
7710 MR. BOWLES: The last undertaking, for which we do not have a firm date by which you are willing to commit to that undertaking, relates to providing information detailing which entity will be entering into an agreement with the Niagara Ice Dogs hockey club with respect to the broadcast of Niagara Ice Dog games as well as the 30‑minute pre‑ and post‑game show.
7711 Once again, the question is, by what date would you be willing to provide this information?
7712 MR. ABRAMSON: If I may, Pellpropco will undertake, if it pleases you, to provide clarification as to the status of any agreement with the Ice Dogs, including the name of the parties to the agreement, within one week.
7713 MR. BOWLES: Within one week?
7714 MR. ABRAMSON: To provide clarification as to the status of any agreement and of the parties thereto, within one week.
7715 MR. BOWLES: Which would take us to Friday March 6. Sorry, February. February 6. I am skipping a month.
7716 MR. ABRAMSON: Yes, the clarification I just outlined will be provided by February 6.
7717 MR. BOWLES: Thank you.
7718 I also want to provide clarification on a matter that was brought up a little bit earlier, and a certain amount of confusion might have been created.
7719 Surveillance materials, according to our definition, captures more than simply traffic reports.
7720 Surveillance materials, according to our definition, covers all the news that is exclusive of pure news. So, in other words, it captures sports, weather, traffic, promotion of community events and any other information of public interest.
7721 MR. ABRAMSON: Shall I understand that the undertaking with regard to surveillance reports should match then that requirement?
7722 MR. BOWLES: That is correct.
7723 MR. ABRAMSON: Just for the record, can you state the source of that definition should one wish to refer to it?
7724 MR. BOWLES: We don't have it at the moment, but we will look for it and provide it to you.
7725 MR. ABRAMSON: Thank you.
7726 MR. BOWLES: Thank you.
7727 That is all, Madam Chair. Thank you.
7728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, legal counsel.
7729 Mr. Abramson, the staff has just called to my attention something else that you may want to look into in terms of definition, and it is part of the Radio Regulations.
7730 It defines a local management agreement as an agreement, contract, understanding or agreement between two or more licensees, or their associates, that relates directly or indirectly to any aspect of the management, administration or operation of two or more stations that broadcast in the same market.
7731 MR. ABRAMSON: In my understanding, CHSC constitutes one licensee and there is no other licensee or station involved in any management agreement to which CHSC or the licensee for CHSC is a party.
7732 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that is the reason why prior Commission approval of that management agreement is not required?
7733 MR. ABRAMSON: It is my understanding that the agreement between Pellpropco Inc. and Multimedia Management falls neither into the letter nor the spirit nor the policy reasoning behind the Commission's regulation of local management agreements between two or more station.
7734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much.
7735 Like I said, the file is very complicated. It is very voluminous. And we just want to make sure that we have absolutely all the basis covered, especially because you did introduce new evidence this morning.
7736 It is my understanding that completes Phase I. We don't have any more questions of the licensee.
7737 Madam Secretary?
7738 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed to Phase II, in which the interveners listed in the agenda appear to present their interventions on Item 17.
7739 For the record, please be advised that no interveners requested to appear, which takes us to Phase III.
7740 Madam Chair?
7741 THE CHAIRPERSON: This phase is the reply to interveners. Since there was no interveners present, I will give you an opportunity to make any final comments or cover any area that you feel wasn't sufficiently covered.
7742 MR. ABRAMSON: I believe Mr. Domenic Pellegrino would like to say a few words.
7743 MR. D. PELLEGRINO: Yes.
7744 Madam Chair, Commissioners, we apologize, and we are embarrassed to be here today.
7745 We have recognized the issues that face us and are working diligently towards addressing all of them.
7746 We have made certain undertakings today, and we will live up to them.
7747 We hope to appear before you again for licence hearings, in a year. We think you will see a station that has completed quite a process.
7748 We are serious about St. Catharines and CHSC.
7749 Thank you.
7750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7751 That concludes this portion of the hearing.
7752 Thank you for being here this morning. Thank you for waiting for us. Again, I do apologize for being late.
7753 And Mr. Fabrizio Pellegrino, thank you, in particular. I know how difficult this must have been for you to be here.
7754 MR. F. PELLEGRINO: Thank you.
7755 THE SECRETARY: Madam Chair, if I may add, I would like to indicate that, for the record, the interveners who did not appear and were listed on the agenda as appearing interveners will remain on the public file as non‑appearing interventions.
7756 There are also 20 non‑appearing applications on the agenda of this public hearing, and interventions were received on these applications.
7757 The panel will consider these interventions along with the applications, and decision will be rendered at a later date.
7758 Merci, Madame la Présidente.
7759 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7760 You are hereby dismissed. You have a very busy 60 days ahead of you. I hope you will use the time wisely.
7761 Thank you very much.
7762 This hearing is adjourned.
7763 Safe travels home, everyone.
‑‑‑ Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1321 /
L'audience est ajournée à 1321
REPORTERS / STÉNOGRAPHES
- Date modified: