ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 27 January 2014
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Volume 1, 27 January 2014
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
27 January 2014
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 Contents.
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.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
To consider the broadcasting applications listed in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-568, 2013-568-1, 2013-568-2 and 2013-568-3
Carolyn PinskyLegal Counsel
Joe AguiarHearing Manager
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
15269 104th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
27 January 2014
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
1. South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. 6 / 38
2. Idea Broadcasting Corporation 73 / 433
3. Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp. 139 / 838
4. Mosaic Media Inc. 191 / 1189
5. Surdel Broadcasting Inc. 263 / 1632
6. New Vision Broadcasting Inc. 323 / 1949
- v -
PAGE / PARA
Undertaking30 / 147
Undertaking136 / 808
Undertaking278 / 1690
Undertaking304 / 1825
Undertaking305 / 1828
Undertaking305 / 1834
Undertaking340 / 2052
Undertaking360 / 2184
Surrey, British Columbia
--- Upon commencing on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 0901
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. It's a full house. That's good.
2 Ladies and gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the public hearing, applications to operate radio stations in Vancouver -- well, Surrey.
3 At this hearing we'll begin by considering 11 applications to operate a new radio station in the Vancouver market.
4 At the same time, the Panel will review applications from two Vancouver radio licensees to add transmitters to their existing services.
5 Some of these applicants have also proposed alternative frequencies which are also under consideration. The majority of these applicants are proposing stations that would serve Surrey.
6 The Panel will then consider two applications to operate a new English-language commercial FM radio station in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
7 Finally, the Panel will hear from the licensee of CFSI-FM of Salt Spring Island, B.C., to discuss matters related to its non-compliance with a number of sections of the Radio Regulations, 1986.
8 Since May 2013, the Commission has attempted on several occasions to obtain logger tapes, musical lists and program logs for CFSI in order to analyze them in preparation for the station's licence renewal. The licensee has failed to submit this requested information. The licence for this station expires on August 31st, 2014.
9 The Panel expects the licensee to show cause as to why a mandatory order requiring it to comply with regulations should not be issued.
10 In addition, the licensee will be given an opportunity to demonstrate why the Commission should not suspend or revoke CFSI's FM licence.
11 As with all public proceedings, the opinions of Canadians are very important in helping us fulfil our legislative responsibilities. We therefore wish to thank all of you who have agreed to participate in this hearing either by submitting comments or appearing before us.
12 The Panel for his hearing consists of:
13 - Stephen Simpson, Regional Commissioner for British Columbia and the Yukon, to my right;
14 - Raj Shoan, Regional Commissioner for Ontario, to my left; and
15 - myself, Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman of Broadcasting, and I will preside over this hearing.
16 The Commission team assisting us includes:
17 - Joe Aguiar, Hearing Manager and Manager of English Radio Operations, front row centre;
18 - Carolyn Pinsky, Senior Legal Counsel, on Joe's right; and
19 - Cindy Ventura, Hearing Secretary and Manager of Public Hearings.
20 I would now invite the Hearing Secretary, Madam Ventura, to explain the procedures we will be following.
21 Madame la Secrétaire.
22 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good morning.
23 I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of the hearing.
24 When you are in the hearing room we would ask that you please turn off your smartphones as they are an unwelcome distraction and they cause interference on the internal communication systems used by our translators. We would appreciate your cooperation in this regard throughout the hearing.
25 We expect the entire hearing to take five days. Participants are reminded that they must be ready on the day scheduled or, if necessary, the day before or after depending on the progress of the hearing. Please note that we do intend to start every morning at 9:00 a.m. for the remainder of the week, but we will let you know of any schedule changes as they occur.
26 You can examine all the documents on the public record of this proceeding in the examination room, which is located in Room Green Timbers 3. As indicated in the agenda, the telephone number of the examination room is 604-588-9320.
27 Interpretation services will be available throughout the duration of the hearing. English interpretation is available on Channel 1 and French interpretation on Channel 2.
28 We would like to remind participants that during their oral presentation they should provide for a reasonable delay for the interpretation, while respecting their allocated presentation time.
29 There is a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the Court Reporter sitting at the table to my right. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of this transcript, please approach the Court Reporter during a break. Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's Web site daily.
30 Just a reminder that pursuant to section 41 of the Rules of Practice and Procedures, you must not submit evidence at the hearing unless it supports statements already on the public record. If you wish to introduce new evidence as an exception to this rule, you must ask permission of the Panel of the hearing before you do so.
31 Please note that the Commission will also be tweeting the documents during the hearing at @CRTCHEARINGS using the hashtag #CRTC.
32 Veuillez noter que les documents seront disponibles sur Twitter sur le compte du Conseil à @CRTCAUDIENCES en utilisant le mot-clic #CRTC.
33 Please note that if parties undertake to file information with the Commission in response to questioning by the Panel, these undertakings can be confirmed on the record through the transcript of the hearing. If necessary, parties may speak with the Commission Legal Counsel at a break following their presentation to confirm the undertakings.
34 Finally, in response to a request, South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. submitted a letter to the Commission on January 24th. This response letter is being added to the record of this proceeding and copies are available in the public examination room.
35 And now, Mr. Chairman, we will proceed with the Vancouver/Surrey market portion of this hearing.
36 We will begin Phase I and item 1 on the Agenda, which is an Application by South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Surrey. The applicant has also submitted an alternate FM proposal.
37 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
38 MR. BADH: Thank you, Ms Ventura.
39 Good morning, Mr. Chair, Members of the CRTC, Commission staff, fellow applicants, members of the public. Welcome to Surrey.
40 My name is Suki Badh and I am the sole shareholder of South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. This is not my first time in front of the Commission. I have applied previously for both mainstream and ethnic radio undertakings in a number of communities.
41 Before starting our presentation in chief, I would like to introduce our team.
42 To my right is Jim JJ Johnston. JJ has over 40 years in radio in a range of roles from on-air performer through to VP of Programming. He served as General Manager for Corus Vancouver, Toronto and Eastern Ontario clusters, and JJ will be the General Manager of 107.7 MySurreyFM.
43 To JJ's right is our Music Director Cory Price. Cory has been involved in the Vancouver radio and music business since 2001 at XFM in Vancouver and then in 2004 at CFOX. He has been an on-air host and was CFOX Music Director for seven years and Assistant PD for the last three. Cory is active in the local scene and recently has worked for Paul Mercs Concerts.
44 Beside Cory is Anita Sharma. Anita has a background in culture, in a Surrey dance group, in English TV as a reporter and in ethnic radio on-air and community affairs, in sales and programming. She will serve as our Community Affairs Director reporting directly to the General Manager.
45 To my immediate left is Mannie Buzunis. He is well known in the Lower Mainland, having served as News Director, Morning News Anchor, talk show host for Bell Media for 20 years. Mannie formerly held similar positions with Moffat Communications in Winnipeg and was instrumental in launching CISN Edmonton in 1982.
46 To Mannie's left is Chelsea Hobbis. Chelsea has significant experience as a Co-Host and Producer of one of Vancouver's most successful morning drive programs on SONiC FM and as a Promotions Director at CKNW and was a key member of the start-up of Canada's only all-traffic station AM-730. She will serve as our Promotions Manager and will appear on air.
47 In the second row we have, from your right, Debra McLaughlin, who conducted all the research provided in our application. Debra is a Principal in Strategic Inc., providing research services to Canadian broadcasters for many years.
48 Beside Debra is Joseph Sadoun of Yves R. Hamel & Associates, or YRH. YRH is one of Canada's most respected broadcast and telecommunications engineering firm. His company provided the many contour maps and analysis that we presented in our application.
49 And beside Joseph is Vince Dimanno, who is running our audiovisual materials.
50 We are ready to present our application for 107.7 MySurreyFM news, views and variety.
51 Mr. Chair, I'm a Professor of Economics at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. I'm also a blueberry farmer involved in public service in a wide number of ways, but my real passion is radio.
52 I caught the bug when my father asked me to manage a South-Asian station based south of the border, which, frankly, was a mess. I was successful at that and applied to bring the station home in 2004-2005. Since 2007 I have not been involved in the management of Sher-E Punjab.
53 This is my home. When I became aware in 2010 that there was a frequency that might be able to provide a good signal south of the Fraser River, I started investigating. Clearly, the signal would provide good service in Surrey but not reach into Vancouver.
54 Let us tell you a bit about Surrey first.
55 While we considered developing our own video, we believe that the City of Surrey is better representing itself. Here is their short video.
--- Video presentation
56 MR. BADH: Clearly Surrey is a thriving and growing city and 107.7 FM covers it well, as you can see from the contour maps on the screen, but there remained a few questions for us.
57 Is Surrey a viable radio market given the proximity of Vancouver and its many radio stations? Given the large number of ethnic groups in Surrey, should we apply for an English-language station or an ethnic station? If English, what station format would serve Surrey?
58 To answer these questions we turn to Debra McLaughlin of Strategic Inc. She conducted a quantitative survey of Surrey residents in 2010, which she updated in 2013 and supplemented with focus groups. She also undertook research of the advertiser community in 2010 and, finally, she looked at the demographic and economic facts of Surrey to help us focus in and to develop our business plan, a lot of data and I'm sure Debra is going to summarize it.
59 MS McLAUGHLIN: Thanks, Suki. Good morning, Mr. Chair, and Commissioners. The full studies conducted in both 2010 and 2013 have been included in the filing made by South Fraser, so I will not use this time to focus on methodologies.
60 Instead, I would like to focus on some key findings from the consumer research. About 80 percent of respondents in both 2010 and 2013 considered Surrey to be separate and distinct from Vancouver. These findings are in accord with the only other applicant who looked at this question and are important because they speak to a measurable need for reflection.
61 There was significant dissatisfaction with the radio choices available, particularly among those who saw Surrey as distinct. Satisfaction with current radio choices was notably higher among ethnic groups, which suggests they have better reflection than English residents.
62 Statistics Canada and multiple local sources, including Metro Vancouver, show that Surrey residents are amongst the least likely in the Greater Vancouver Region to work in downtown Vancouver, making Surrey residents even less connected to current English radio services.
63 We have included a copy of the article from the Vancouver Sun in your package. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed shop in Surrey.
64 Turning to the business-to-business research. Merchants were unlikely to use radio to reach local consumers. Over 90 percent saw their market as being Surrey rather than Vancouver, but most did not include radio in their advertising mix. Radio was seen as ineffective in reaching Surrey because of engagement and price. In fact, it was rated just below television in terms of cost. This is very different from what we usually find in markets.
65 Surrey is a very multicultural city with immigrants making up 38.3 percent of the city and members of visible minorities making up 46.1 percent of the city; 44.3 percent report having a mother tongue other than English or French. These statistics have led many of the applicants to conclude that the appropriate route is an ethnic station.
66 A deeper analysis, however, of the statistics leads to a much different conclusion; 51.7 percent of the city reports English as their mother tongue, 89 percent report knowledge of English and a further 4.6 percent report knowledge of English and French, so only 6.4 percent of Surrey residents report no knowledge of English.
67 When questioned about the language used at home in the 2011 Census, 62.6 percent reported English and a further 7.4 percent report using English and a third language. Put differently, only 29.5 percent reported using a third language at home.
68 As mentioned previously, the degree of satisfaction with local radio services was much higher amongst the ethnic communities than the mainstream communities.
69 Combining both the results of the quantitative research and the focus groups, the programming elements of a new station emerges. Key interests for those most likely to listen were a greater variety of music with less repetition of songs, an interest in world, Canadian and local news, information on traffic and weather. Over three quarters of respondents likely to listen expressed interest in this content.
70 Among those who see Surrey as a distinct community, interest in local events, Surrey news and other very local elements were much stronger than those who didn't see Surrey as unique, as might be expected.
71 Measurements that are consistent over time are considered the most reliable and across the two surveys separated by years and methodologies, 80 percent were very likely or somewhat likely to listen to such a station. The response was slightly stronger among women and the strongest demographic groups were ages 18-34 and 35-54, but in fact there was significant interest in all demographic groups surveyed.
72 The other characteristic that researchers look for is that research can be replicated and what is clear in this hearing is that many applicants found that satisfaction with radio is highest among the ethnic groups and English is the most understood and used language. Suki...?
73 MR. BADH: We would like to introduce 107.7 MySurreyFM news, views, variety. I am now going to ask Mannie to talk about the news and views aspect.
74 MR. BUZUNIS: Thank you, Suki.
75 We have put together a strong emphasis on local and community news and other information in this proposal. We have budgeted for a news director, two full-time reporter announcers, two part-timers and news interns. We will deliver five hours/25 minutes of newscasts per week with news on the hour and half hour in morning drive and on the hour through the rest of the day and at 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. We will have major newscasts at 8:00 a.m., noon and 6:00 p.m., providing business reports and a culture and entertainment report. Weekends will see five newscasts on both days with noon and 6:00 p.m. having longer newscasts.
76 But the news department, working with community affairs, will also provide additional content to involve the community. Every day at noon coming out of the newscast we will schedule a talk show, the first hour of which will focus on a guest or guests arising from issues in the news, with the second and third hours allowing participation from our listeners.
77 On the weekends, we will reduce to one hour, with Saturday focusing on sports and the week in review on Sunday. And coming out of our Monday to Friday 6:00 p.m. newscast, Surrey Live will include many other features as well as discussion of the news of the day.
78 During the Surrey Eagles hockey season, this will include a pregame show featuring interviews with players, team management and fans. Our morning drive will be filled with interviews, surveillance information and promotion of upcoming community events.
79 In all, we propose a minimum of 34 hours per week of spoken word in prime listening periods. In essence, 107.7 MySurreyFM news, views and variety will be inclusive of all stakeholders within the community and the number of on-air hours committed under this proposal reflects that inclusion.
80 This is what our comprehensive research tells us Surrey residents want. And at a time when major market radio stations are deferring news to other platforms and minimizing staff to cut costs, we are committed to properly staffing a news department to keep Surrey informed.
81 As Debra mentioned, our research showed how important weather and traffic are to Surrey residents. We have made weather and traffic and other surveillance information a priority, with reports in every newscast and throughout the broadcast week. That was news and views, and now to speak about variety, here is JJ Johnson.
82 MR. JOHNSTON: Thank you, Mannie. Good morning, Mr. Chair and Commissioners.
83 First is how we translated the research into a music format. On the screen you can see a bubble chart -- that's coming up there -- that shows the popularity of various formats in Canada and where they fit into age demographics.
84 Clearly adult contemporary, AC, continues to be the most popular format across almost all adult demographics, while Hot AC skews a little younger and Soft AC skews toward the upper end of the adult demographic; a Gold-based AC is right in the sweet spot of 25-54, and even stronger amongst females of that age.
85 Our research shows a strong demand for research -- for variety and diversity. A mainstream AC station with a bit of a difference will meet that demand.
86 While our spoken word will distinguish our service and ensure that we are not directly competitive with Vancouver services, we recognize our listeners will still have a choice in music. So, what we have done is prepare a graph that will help you understand where we fit.
87 The slide now on the screen shows how the current radio market in Vancouver is positioned and clearly there is a hole in the middle. This next slide shows how 107.7 MySurreyFM will fit in. 107.7 MySurreyFM will be wider than the typical Hot AC with a bit more Gold, more local music and a slight AAA overtone, a much wider weekly library.
88 Typically mainstream AC's limit themselves to 450 selections or less per week. We will have a minimum of 650 distinct selections, less repetition. Typically Hot AC stations' rotations are 25 to 35 per week, we will be much less than that.
89 Features from other genres. We will schedule various musical features throughout the week, the Worldbeat selection promoted as, listen to the music your neighbours love; the new Surrey or lower mainland release where we can break format a bit, and many more.
90 And now to talk about how we make this MySurreyFM is our Community Affairs Director, Anita Sharma and our Promotions Manager, Chelsea Hobbis. Anita...?
91 MS SHARMA: Thank you, JJ.
92 I will be the Ambassador of 107.7 MySurreyFM to the community and Surrey's advocate to the station. Firstly, my role will be to compile an exhaustive list of contacts. I will reach out and meet all community associations from the organizers of the Canadian International Fast Pitch Tournament to one of the many dance schools around the city. The organizers of the Philippines Independence Day Festival, or the Firefighters Association.
93 My task will be to work as their promotional advisor and be Surrey's connection to the station. I will facilitate their use of the station, guiding them to programming, news, promotions or advertising according to their needs. Their input might end up as an interview on the morning show or part of the community bulletin board and we will also use our website and social media to help them get their message out and understood. If community affairs is the voice of the community to 107.7 MySurreyFM, the promotions department is our voice to Surrey. Chelsea...?
94 MS HOBBIS: Thanks, Anita. Promoting the station's presence in the city is going to be key to our success. We are going to do this in a number of ways. A storefront presence in a well-travelled area of the city, multiple station vehicles that are seen everywhere, creative on-air promotions and contests, presence of our personalities at local events, both large and smaller, constant use of our website and social media to reinforce our message.
95 We are also going to make use of technology to make sure that our music choices are in touch with our audience and that our spoken word programs are picking up on what is important to them.
96 And now to speak about listener engagement, here is Cory.
97 MR. PRICE: Thank you. Listener-driven radio or LDR provides a number of tools that allow our listeners to have strong input to our music scheduling and LDR's pulse allows us to track local, regional and national newsfeeds as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media to stay focused on our listeners' current interests.
98 Our engagement with Surrey carries on to our commitment to CCD, the largest of any applicant at this hearing and commensurate with the revenue that we project. We propose to spend $100,000 annually or $700,000 over the term of the licence on CCD initiatives above and beyond the base amount required by the CCD Policy.
99 We have directed them to a number of initiatives. FACTOR will receive $20,000 per year, or $140,000 over the first seven years of operations. The Surrey School Board runs a great music program, their Envision Jazz Program has an annual exposure of young student musicians' work and includes both adjudication and coaching from prominent Canadian jazz musicians. We have committed $15,000 annually to them.
100 We believe that there is a need for new, young broadcast journalists and so we have committed $5,000 annually to each of Kwantlen College and BCIT for their journalism students, for a total of $10,000 annually.
101 If someone is licensed for 107.7 FM, Evolution 107.9 FM, BCIT's student station will be bumped off the air. We have committed to help them find a new technical solution that maintains their existing reach. In addition, we have committed $5,000 annually to training and programming development at the station to help them flourish.
102 A centrepiece of our CCD proposal is our contribution of $50,000 per year to be used at a new and emerging artist stage at each of two key City of Surrey festivals, the Fusion Festival and the Canada Day Festival. Most of the money will go to artist fees since much of the infrastructure cost is already in place from the city and their sponsors. We will merely present a cheque for them.
103 MR. BADH: Mr. Chair and Commissioners, three years of work has resulted in an application which focuses on serving the largest number of people in Surrey who currently do not have a local station.
104 Our application features (1) new programming originating from and for Surrey; (2) a well-financed plan that ensures long-term viability; (3) local ownership with deep ties to the community and a history of public service; (4) a realistic business plan based on extensive research and real in-market experience; (5) a salary and staffing plan that ensures that we can deliver our promises; (6) a minimal impact on existing radio services; (7) the right music choice for a diverse music format with little repetition and a wide variety of music; (8) strong listener engagement through our programming, our music and our news and spoken word commitments; (9) $700,000 in CCD, the highest proposal of any applicant for 107.7; (10) a minimum of 40 percent Canadian content.
105 We want to provide the forum that generates tomorrow's conversation in Surrey that lets Surrey folks know what is going on in their community; whether at City Hall or at the Surrey Eagles games, 107.7 MySurreyFM is the place they know they can turn to in an emergency or to celebrate a communal victory.
106 In the video presentation you heard Mayor Watts, she has worked hard with her colleagues to rejuvenate and reinvent the city based on a shared vision of sustainable economic growth and cultural development. The city's motto is, "Surrey, the future is here".
107 We hope that you will recognize the contribution that 107.7 MySurreyFM can make because we stand alone in identifying what this market needs and what will succeed.
108 Thank you.
109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Badh, thank you for your presentation.
110 We are going to try and be concise and direct in our questioning and if you can be concise and direct in your answers, that would be highly appreciated. We have a very busy schedule. I can sort of announce this to everyone, if you have seen our schedule it is very ambitious for the week, so if we want to get through it and not go late into the evening or early evening, we are going to have to keep it as tight as possible.
111 Again, thank you for your presentation.
112 This sort of dissatisfaction that was mentioned in the research with the existing radio stations, because we can get into your format and I don't want to sort of spend too much time there, but there are other services offering AAA, various variations of AAA, but there seemed to be in the research and in your presentation a dissatisfaction and a disconnect with available services coming out of Vancouver.
113 I don't know if Mr. Badh would like to speak to that or if the research department would like to speak to that, but I would like to give you a chance to elaborate on that.
114 MR. BADH: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
115 Ms McLaughlin did most of the research and she is going to talk about the research and JJ did the research on the music and JJ will fill in after Ms McLaughlin.
116 MS McLAUGHLIN: I think that in today's environment and with the number of licensed stations it is reasonable to conclude that while music is a part of it it's not a big part. In fact, when we did the focus groups we collected the dissatisfaction measures in both surveys that we did, but when we got into the focus groups it became quite clear that the issue was in representation of the community.
117 So, if you were driving across Surrey you are not going to get timely traffic, if at all, any traffic about what is happening in Surrey. So, the presumption I think, and reasonably so for Vancouver stations are that a lot of people are commuting into the city, so the major routes into the city of Vancouver are covered and you don't get that.
118 You also don't get a lot of stories about news items from the market, you don't get community news, word-of-mouth is the way events spread.
119 And the last issue is one of context and that is that a lot of people in Surrey and these focus groups complain that the only time they hear of Surrey is in a negative fashion and that, in itself, caused anxiety amongst them because there is a lot of great things happening in Surrey, but they show up sometimes on police blotters and so it gets transcribed into the news and what they really wanted was to have a balance. So that was the primary source of dissatisfaction.
120 THE CHAIRPERSON: You mention in your research that the dissatisfaction was more pronounced amongst the people that saw Surrey as distinct and I would --
121 MS McLAUGHLIN: Yes.
122 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- imagine that everyone that lives in Surrey -- and I just put that question out -- see themselves as distinct, or is there a greater -- how much of the sample that you used saw Surrey as distinct?
123 MS McLAUGHLIN: Eighty percent.
124 THE CHAIRPERSON: Eighty percent.
125 MS McLAUGHLIN: In both surveys. So it was a large -- and, of course, everybody sees themselves as distinct, but one of the things that really makes you feel distinct is when you are not included in the overall media picture.
126 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
127 MS McLAUGHLIN: It's not to say they don't show up, but if you can't tune into the radio and hear a discussion of an event or a festival in a kind of focused way that is happening in your community and when you see things happening and people coming and businesses coming and then there is no discussion of it, you do feel alienated from that media.
128 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. In that sense your musical format offering won't be that different, because in your presentation and in your original application you talked about your format being different from what is already existing in the Vancouver market. So, am I to understand that it is not a question of the music as much as it is a question of the local news and views, if I can use that expression?
129 MR. BADH: Commissioner, if I may, you are absolutely right, Surrey residents right now don't see Surrey reflected on Vancouver radio. You are absolutely right in terms of spoken word, but even within music we saw on the slide that Surrey is very much a diverse community.
130 JJ and Cory can jump in in terms of how the music selection will incorporate that. JJ...?
131 MR. JOHNSTON: Thank you, Suki. The primary driver, as Debra said, is the fact that the city is not represented and is an afterthought with Vancouver signals. The only story seemingly that is heard on Vancouver radio stations about Surrey is about crime and, in fact, there is so much more that is going on in the city and that is not represented.
132 Having said that -- and by the way, you know, 34 or 35 hours of spoken word, including a noon to 3:00 talk and interactive session with the audience every day -- having said that, we would probably -- would really consider more doing a full news talk, but it is really not -- it is so expensive that it just -- it won't make sense.
133 So we looked at the whole musical side of things. And as you know, we highlighted a few things there in terms of repeats and variety and all of that. And we looked at an area that was pretty much a catch-all and one of the biggest areas in terms of attracting most of the audience out there and that is AC.
134 So it is a little different than some of the signals that are coming out of Vancouver. It is -- has a -- more of a goal component than what you're hearing in Vancouver. And as we said, 650 distinct selections, I think, make us different. We can't do news talk all the time, it's just not economically viable, so we picked a music format that we felt would be the least amount of impact on existing signals and would encompass most of Surrey and our target being more a 25 - 54, with a female skew, that pretty much is -- is directed towards that audience.
135 MR. BADH: Just to add ... Just to add the diversity reflection. In the music selection, for example, if there's a Filipino festival going on, Cory will select music from the Filipino community that fits our format. If there's a Vaisakhi festival, which is the largest in North America, 200,000, Cory will introduce South Asian bhangra music that fits in the harvest and new year's that will be sort of what your neighbours are listening to, which is on a regular rotation as well.
136 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you talk about local music as well, is there any sort of local element to music created in Surrey that might find its way on your airwaves?
137 MR. BADH: Very much so, Commissioner. For us to be a success, we have to be local, local. As a matter of fact, one of the focus groups says local first, local second, local always; all right? And Cory can -- Cory is quite connected with the local scene. Perhaps Cory can jump into it.
138 MR. PRICE: Sure. Thank you, Suki.
139 Yes, I've played in bands since I was 15. My bands have played in Surrey, as a matter of fact, a number of times.
140 I think my relationship with local independent record labels over the years, through my experience at CFOX where I was at for nine years, will be a huge help in providing me some information on local Surrey bands.
141 And as Suki mentioned, I mean, we'll definitely have features throughout the day reflecting not only the local side of it but also the local and multicultural side of artists performing in the City of Surrey throughout -- features throughout the day, as he mentioned.
142 One feature we really want to get involved in is what your neighbours are listening to. Recognizing how multicultural the City of Surrey is, your neighbours could be Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Hindi or other, and recognizing that, if you want to know what your neighbours are listening to in Surrey, that will be one feature that we will introduce.
143 THE CHAIRPERSON: So I'll give you some homework to try and sort of find a way of creating a condition of a licence that will reflect your promise to promote and offer a window to local Surrey musicians.
144 MR. BADH: Yeah. Sorry, JJ, go ahead.
145 THE CHAIRPERSON: You can get to it later on. You don't have to --
146 MR. JOHNSTON: Yeah.
147 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- write it up immediately, but ...
148 MR. JOHNSTON: Yeah. I mean, the -- the CCD commitment we have --
149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
150 MR. JOHNSTON: -- which is pretty vast, it's really aimed at, you know, emerging artists. There's a great deal of money that's spent in some of the huge festivals that happen here, which -- you know, and it's --
151 THE CHAIRPERSON: Local emerging artists.
152 MR. JOHNSTON: Local emerging artists. And as Cory was saying, you know, we would make sure that that's being shadowed on -- on the air as well.
153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Back on the research. I was sort of struck by one of the statements in your presentation that, "The degree of satisfaction," and I'm quoting, "with local radio services was much higher amongst the ethnic communities than the mainstream communities." Can you put a little meat around that bone?
154 MR. BADH: Before I turn it over to Ms McLaughlin, Commissioner, Surrey is very well served with ethnic radio. There is the RJ1200, there's 93.1, very well listened to and heard in Surrey. There's at least three south of the border stations coming in, which our -- Debra can talk about the perception where they're originating from. Then there's one or two other -- a couple hours here and there. So local listeners seem to be -- especially on the ethnic side seem to be well-served. Ms McLaughlin.
155 MS McLAUGHLIN: Well, I think Suki said it best, there is a lot of services in Surrey serving the ethnic communities there, and so by virtue of having choice, by virtue of having coverage of local issues, news, events, and even having access to things like local advertisers. Because a lot of times we think of advertisement outside the content -- or context of programming, but for a listener it is. And if you're hearing about restaurants or sales that are in downtown Vancouver, you're not going there. But those stations that serve this market and third languages do a really good job of doing it. And so the -- as would be expected, the satisfaction levels are much higher amongst those groups.
156 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm glad Suki brought the 6,000 pound elephant in the room and not I, but now that it's out there, not that it would not have been out there, but those stations serve the Surrey market quite well objectively speaking, Ms McLaughlin?
157 MS McLAUGHLIN: Objectively speaking, yes. Not --
158 THE CHAIRPERSON: And offer a similar format as that proposed by 107.7 South Fraser?
159 MS McLAUGHLIN: No. No, they --
160 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
161 MS McLAUGHLIN: -- do not offer a similar -- they offer programming in third languages. So they are -- they're -- we're offering something entirely different.
162 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And how would your financial projections line up with the fact that these south of the border broadcasters are taking a certain chunk of advertising dollars out of the market as is, and if they were to continue to run, how would that impact your numbers --
163 MR. BADH: Commissioner, when I --
164 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- which are, without getting into details --
165 MR. BADH: Yeah.
166 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- quite optimistic.
167 MR. BADH: When I -- I have to trace back to history because --
168 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
169 MR. BADH: -- I initially filed this application January 27th I think it's 2011. At that time the assumptions were a little bit different than when I was given the opportunity to re-file. At that time the assumption was that 107.7 FM English language service would be the only licence service. And then subsequently there was a call. And so then the Commission availed the opportunity to me to revamp the research, redo the application, et cetera.
170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
171 MR. BADH: I did. And when we were doing the research again this past year, we knew that because of a call that there would be a number of other applicants; all right? So, now, 93.1 and RJ1200 are here, they're well heard. They're -- they have got a very good share of the market. South of the border stations, they're there as well. And if 107.7, My Surrey FM, is licensed, we have taken that into consideration. We would -- there would be no impact of -- of these services on our revenues.
172 Let me re-answer it another way. The -- what they offer is quite different than what we offer.
173 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
174 MR. BADH: They are more ethnic. They do multicultural. There is 51.5 percent of Surrey that does not speak anything other than English. There is 70 percent of the households their home language is English. 94.5 percent of Surrey either speaks, understands English; all right? There is a fair chunk of Surrey that does not get serviced. 90 percent of the business community feels that they can't reach out but they want to reach out and their market is Surrey. That is our target is the community of Surrey that has not been served yet.
175 THE CHAIRPERSON: So south of the border broadcasters will have no impact whatsoever on your revenues if they were to continue to broadcast?
176 MR. BADH: You know what, my revenue projections have taken into consideration that they're going to continue to do what they're doing; all right? There is very little what I can do. So that's already included in my assumptions. If -- if our business proposal, which is designed to meet the objectives of what Surrey wants, all right, we will be solid. Our financial projections are a little bit cautious, they're attainable; all right? We've taken into consideration the -- the two incumbents that are trying to serve Surrey, RJ1200 and 93.1.
177 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
178 MR. BADH: We have taken into consideration the south of the border. Commissioner, our bigger battle is not going to be south of the border, our bigger battle is going to be the -- the big stations coming in from Vancouver; all right? And we have taken and that's why we've got -- I mean, every aspect of -- of My Surrey FM is all about Surrey, anywhere from Chelsea to Anita reaching out to the community, bringing the community back in. Manny's spoken word, Cory's music, JJ's management to me. We have to be the face of Surrey. There's a large chunk of Surrey that is not served right now and we have to serve that.
179 THE CHAIRPERSON: But if I read your statement correctly, there's really no threat from the Vancouver stations because Surrey residents are not interested, are not satisfied with that product.
180 MR. BADH: Well ...
181 MR. JOHNSTON: If I could add to that, in the research, you know, 90 percent -- 90 percent of the -- the business community has not advertised on radio with any kind of regularity. The reason they haven't -- they don't broad-- advertise on Vancouver radio is because lack of target and also price. So -- and the research shows that a great deal of them will advertise with us.
182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where are they advertising currently? I saw that in your presentation. Where are they advertising, local Surrey businesses?
183 MR. JOHNSTON: Where are they?
184 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
185 MR. JOHNSTON: They're -- they're throughout the ...
186 THE CHAIRPERSON: In terms of other media.
187 MR. BADH: Commissioner, here, I can -- I have -- I have gone into the market extensively and Ms McLaughlin has done the business research. Most of them are shying away. They view -- right now they view radio, these are the Surrey businesses similar to television, too expensive, infective; all right? Vancouver radio, it's not happening. So there's a lot of print. There's a lot of billboards. There's a lot of flyers --
188 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
189 MR. BADH: -- all right, that will be patriating to radio.
190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you speak to me on the nature of commitments that you have from local businesses to advertise on this station?
191 MR. BADH: Well, it's a twofold commitment. One is Ms McLaughlin's research, which says that 90 percent of Surrey businesses target Surrey; all right?
192 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
193 MR. BADH: So -- and they have interest -- they have indicated a strong, up to two-thirds of the business community has told us that they will advertise.
194 THE CHAIRPERSON: Speak to me on the other front.
195 MR. BADH: The other front is that we have got letters on file on my interventions saying that either they will grow their budget -- because there is a significant portion of the business community that has realized that they are not reaching out to a significant proportion of Surrey. Most of these stations that are catering to Surrey are catering to the ethnic community. That accounts for 20 to 25 percent of the community if they have a hundred percent reach, which they don't; all right? Which leaves approximately two-thirds of the community that doesn't really have an effective way of reaching out their business message.
196 THE CHAIRPERSON: Often at these hearings we talk about the difficulty of being a standalone operator. Do you want to speak to me on that, Mr. Badh, and how you overcome that difficulty --
197 MR. BADH: Commissioner --
198 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- that seems to be ...
199 MR. BADH: Commissioner --
200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
201 MR. BADH: -- I will here sidestep from radio for a sec, if you will.
202 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
203 MR. BADH: 1994 I started a 10-acre blueberry farm. The first four or five years zero income; all right? Today I've got 150 acres. Next time I'm appearing in front of you I'm going to have 200 acres; all right? When I make my business projections, they are based on long term, they are based on solid -- solid financial projections. I'm a little bit cautious; all right? Yes, I do recognize that it's a standalone station. Back in 2004/2005, all right, those years, you know what, there was no service, when we were out there trying to educate and train advertisers in this community that radio can work and will work. I have sold in the Surrey market before, Commissioner, and I will sell in the Surrey market again, and I have commitments from the business community. My -- my financial projections are solid. They're based on solid assumptions. You have seen my financial statements. You have seen my bank letter; all right? If need be, there is more available.
204 THE CHAIRPERSON: So let's use an easy one. If you don't meet your projections, you have the means and the desire, and given that radio is your passion, to support this project until it becomes profitable?
205 MR. BADH: Commiss-- oh, very much so, Commissioner. You know what, if you look at my revenues and my expenses, first of all, I have shown you that I can meet the commitments financially; all right? Secondly, I have a bank that will lend me more money if I need. Third, I am drawing a salary from this, Commissioner. Fourth, if you recognize the interest expenses coming to me, because I'm lending to the company, those are all projections that I can very well control. I don't need to draw a salary, Commissioner. And you know what, there's other alternatives. I -- the interest income is coming to my pocket as well.
206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We mentioned the ethnic stations south of the border. As you know, the applications here are not mutually exclusive. The Commission could potentially licence more than one English broadcaster. How will that impact revenues for South Fraser?
207 MR. BADH: Commissioner, if I -- if My Surrey FM South Fraser Broadcasting is licenced 107.7 and somebody else on -- is licensed for another English language station, it will have an impact, but 107.7 reaches Surrey well. 91.5 doesn't do as a good job; all right? It will have an impact, but 107.7, as long as South Fraser gets 107.7, we can make it a go of it. Yes, it will have an impact if you -- if you licence more than one English language station for this market.
208 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You spoke to me about salaries. We talked about on-air salaries and there seems to be a serious commitment from South Fraser on that front. Can you speak to me on how much will go to on-air payroll and how much of that will be front office?
209 MR. BADH: I can, Your Honour [sic]. If you look at the overall budget of expenses, my total expenses are almost $1.4 million; all right?
210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
211 MR. BADH: Out of which I have allocated $640,000 to programming, Commissioner. I believe that to be effective in this market I have to have strong programming. It has to reflect local, which includes seven FTEs on air, which includes four in the newsroom, production, copyrighter. Then you've got your subscription expenses and miscellaneous expenses.
212 THE CHAIRPERSON: But between front office and on air?
213 MR. BADH: Front office and general admin, I've got $325,000.
214 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's a 2:1 ratio --
215 MR. BADH: Approximately.
216 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- on air and front --
217 MR. BADH: Approximately.
218 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
219 MR. BADH: But in the general admin, Commissioner, I have also got the street team, I've got the event coordinators, and I've got the admin assistant, and part of the community outreach salary is going to come out of that as well.
220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Getting to another point and it's -- it's become public knowledge, you filed it, you are the owner of the property on 5538 Imhoff Road in Washington State?
221 MR. BADH: That is correct, Commissioner.
222 THE CHAIRPERSON: And KRPI Ferndale has a transmitter located on that property?
223 MR. BADH: That is correct, Commissioner.
224 THE CHAIRPERSON: And they are paying you rent currently?
225 MR. BADH: Yes, Commissioner.
226 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you own the structure as well?
227 MR. BADH: I do not own the structure. I own the land that it sits on.
228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you are also renting that property to BBC Broadcasting?
229 MR. BADH: It is being rent-- BBC Broadcasting holds the KRPI licensing. I think that's where the confusion comes from, one is a holding company, the other one is a -- is a broadcasting company. The BBC Broadcasting company, which is owned by Mr. Kehla 80 percent and by --
230 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
231 MR. BADH: -- Gurdial Badh, my brother, 20 percent, I own the real estate that it sits on. K-- BBC Broadcasting back in 2004 purchased the licence from Pearl Broadcasting.
232 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
233 MR. BADH: Pearl at that time was leasing land off of a Delaware company called Geranium(ph), all right, and they had a lease agreement. At that time BBC and Geranium couldn't really come up to a lease agreement and there was an opportunity for investment into real estate. And I made that investment into real estate and I signed -- subsequently signed the lease with BBC Broadcasting and I am the majority shareholder of BBC Holdings, which is a U.S.-based company.
234 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are currently not involved in KRPI?
235 MR. BADH: I am not, Commissioner, except that I am leasing the land to the BBC Broadcasting.
236 THE CHAIRPERSON: And were you at some point involved in broadcasting with KRPI?
237 MR. BADH: Yes, I was. In 2004, Commissioner, I held 20 percent of BBC Broadcasting.
238 THE CHAIRPERSON: Twenty percent?
239 MR. BADH: Twenty percent.
240 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that's no longer the case since '07, I think?
241 MR. BADH: That is -- that is no longer the case, you are right.
242 THE CHAIRPERSON: Since 2007?
243 MR. BADH: I think. I'll have to check the papers, but it's about 2007, yes.
244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Sher-E Punjab on their application, I am sure you are aware of this, have stated that they would be shutting down operations in Washington if they were to acquire a licence in Canada. Would you have any thoughts on what you might do with that property if they no longer needed it to broadcast?
245 MR. BADH: You know what Commissioner, Mr. Chair, thank you for that question because the property that I purchased back in 2004, about 40 acres, it was zoned agriculture. And if BBC Broadcasting company is successful in relocating or shutting down, et cetera, that property has now been zoned residential. I have done very well, thank you, on that 40 acres and I -- it'll be -- it's right behind City Hall in Ferndale. It's within the community now. So it will be, as I say, buy it by the acre and sell it by the foot.
246 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. If the Commission were to licence South Fraser, would you accept a shorter licence term?
247 MR. BADH: Sure.
248 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
249 I think at this point I'm going to ask my colleagues to see if they have any questions and then we'll -- we'll move on from there. Commissioner Simpson.
250 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
251 I just want to go back to the ownership of land in Ferndale. When the station was purchased or the structure of BBC Broadcasting and BBC Holdings was put together for the purpose of acquiring land and buildings and facility, was the station on the land at that time?
252 MR. BADH: Commissioner, the purchase was made in 2002. I think I may have said 2004, but it was purchased in 2002. The land and the building were two separate -- I should -- I should have said the infrastructure, the broadcast infrastructure, the transmitter, antennas and studios are separate infrastructures. Those -- the broadcast commitment belonged to Pearl Broadcasting, which was purchased by BBC Broadcasting Inc. The land was held by a separate company and that was purchased by BBC Holdings company.
253 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And that was the case from the origination of the purchase, it wasn't done post-purchase, where --
254 MR. BADH: They were --
255 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- the assets and the land were split up?
256 MR. BADH: Would you repeat your question, sir?
257 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: My question was were the -- were the assets and the land bought as a single purchase in 2002 and then separated into land and assets post that event?
258 MR. BADH: Commissioner, the assets and the land were always two different identities held by two separate companies.
259 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Good. That's what I wanted to know.
260 In your very impressive panel there is a salesperson missing. Who wants to speak on behalf of some sales questions?
261 MR. BADH: Mr. Johnston and I will.
262 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. There may be some confusion over what's confidential and what's not. You have an -- you've told the Commissioner what you're projecting is an average spot rate, commercial rate. Is that public information?
263 MR. BADH: I believe it is because it's part of the assumptions, but I don't mind discussing --
264 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, good. I just didn't want to -- my problem was the pink sheets, which are confidential, were printed out in black and white for me, so I just wanted to make sure.
265 You had said that, you know, your average spot rate is going to be about 32.50 per spot and you're anticipating a rate of about 10 spots per hour going in. And my question is this: When you talk to advertisers of all types, whether it was national or regional or local, did this spot rate reflect -- was it -- was it geared to your operational costs or more to what the market will bear because Surrey is a smaller market than the Lower Mainland?
266 MR. BADH: Commissioner, I think you may have said 10 spots per hour, but I think it's we scheduled 10 minutes or --
267 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Ten minutes. Excuse me, yeah, 10 minutes.
268 MR. BADH: -- 10 minutes, my -- my apologies.
269 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. No, no, mine.
270 MR. BADH: What we did is -- and I'm going to get Jim to -- JJ to jump in here because JJ has sold and I have sold in this market as well.
271 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, thanks.
272 MR. BADH: And Ms McLaughlin did the business research -- research, which indicated affordability and so forth. And we looked at -- before I get JJ to jump in, you asked a question about, well, who should I talk about sales. Commissioner, for us to be effective, sales are going to be driven from Chelsea to Anita to Manny to JJ. I mean, we're all going to be the ambassadors of the --
273 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
274 MR. BADH: -- station out there. We're all going to be trying to hustle out there. And JJ can talk about the approach to sales a little bit more.
275 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
276 MR. JOHNSTON: Thank you. Well, I'm probably best known for programming. I have been in the general manager role for many, many, many years, which, of course, included a lot of -- a lot of selling.
277 We have come up with a rate of 32.50 through -- through the research aspect that Suki had mentioned, but also when you take a look at the unit rate in Vancouver, unit rate in Vancouver, average rate is anywhere between 80 to $95 right now. That's the average, but the big dogs, as it were, anywhere between $150 and $200 per commercial and those at the end of the scale are somewhere around $10, $15 and $20.
278 So when we take a look at, you know, the size of Vancouver and we take a look at the $120 million, I believe, some $120-$125 million in the market and we take a look at ourselves as being considerably smaller and we take a look at one station and we take a look at the rates all the way around, we feel that $32.50 commensurate to Vancouver is on a normal scale -- a reachable scale.
279 In terms of the dollars that you are going to put together and gather out there, 20 percent of that is going to come from existing radio customers out there. And again, there is not a tonne in Surrey that are using radio at this point but there are some. Quite frankly, we will go right after those folks and be able to offer them local solutions and at a more affordable price than what they're paying in Vancouver right now.
280 We look at 20 percent at this point in terms of new business. I mean, first and foremost, a lot of our business is going to be new business.
281 New business we are looking for salespeople that are entrenched in the community or part of the community groups who are hunters. We don't want gatherers. We want hunters. We want people out there that are going to be tracking down new business. As we know, there are a lot out there that aren't using radio at this point.
282 40 percent of our dollars will come from additional dollars from those that are using the media at this point and trying to get to upsell them in terms of giving us more dollars and, again, affording them local solutions that they haven't had up until now and a more affordable way.
283 And then we're going to go after other media. There is considerable print money out there. There is considerable money in freestanding inserts and the like and newspapers and yellow pages still. You know, they will be big targets for us.
284 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So on a comparative CPM on a cost per thousand basis or cost per rating point, however you are just going to sell yourself, would this point rate be comparable to or less than what's being offered by the others? How do you stack up?
285 MR. JOHNSTON: By the others in Vancouver?
286 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
287 MR. JOHNSTON: It would be -- it would be less.
288 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
289 MR. JOHNSTON: You know? And at this -- and we weren't rated so it's going to be difficult to --
290 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
291 MR. JOHNSTON: -- determine.
292 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: What I'm trying to do is understand the value proposition because you already have a lower rate based on a smaller market and coverage with your contour. But I was just trying to understand how your spot rate fits into the CPM.
293 With respect of percentage of national to local, your percentage of national to local is quite low by what I've seen from other stations across the country. And the question I have is this:
294 In a smaller -- a small to mid-size market -- stations enjoy a pretty good national spend because there isn't that much competition in a marketplace like Prince George or Kelowna or something like that. But in the Lower Mainland a national advertiser can get Surrey by buying a Vancouver station. So is that why your percentage is lower?
295 MR. JOHNSTON: That's correct. I mean it's the spill factor. You know, most national -- the national as, you know, is driven by ratings.
296 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
297 MR. JOHNSTON: You know, it's transactional and we won't be in that game.
298 Now, we do believe that the numbers that we have in there are realistic and a good deal of that will probably come from government business. But if I'm Best Buy or if I'm Leon's or I'm, you know, the national companies, I'm going to buy Vancouver knowing that I'm going to be able to get this area as well. That's what they do now. That's not going to change.
299 It's not unlike in other markets where you've got a huge spill factor where markets like Hamilton, for instance, has a much lesser rate of national advertising than other markets because of the spill from the Toronto area.
300 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Let's go to the local, then, and help me understand what that looks like.
301 Regional advertising has been, I think, a bug bear for both the Commission and the broadcasting industry because it's hard to define. But when I think of regional I think of the Canadian Tires and the Best Buys who might be looked at as a national but, really, they have regional spend. Either there is co-op money or the like.
302 And I'm trying to determine what percentage of that regional spend, as I just described, is constituted in your local pro forma. Is there a percentage and if there is are you going to share what you think that would be with the Commission?
303 And if it's not, would you define what you determine as local? Is it purely local or a percentage of regional?
304 MR. JOHNSTON: Mr. Commissioner, in the case of the Canadian Tires and all of those organizations most of their spend is national or agency spend. That of course, again, is driven by transactional business which is driven by ratings.
305 We will be able to get some local dollars out of those organizations, and I can't give you a percentage because it's different with each organization, but a lot of them do have, you know, small dollars comparatively speaking with the national footprint of advertising. That's what we will be going after.
306 Now, sometimes what happens is in those situations where you have the opening of a Keg or something like that, you know, by doing a really good job with them they can help influence some national dollars that we wouldn't normally get.
307 But to answer your question about local dollars, most of them have a little bit but not a lot.
308 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Where this area of questioning is coming from is -- and again this is a radio hearing, not television but, you know, there is an anomaly in Victoria television where the television market of Victoria is always seemingly at a disadvantage because, like the scenario I painted with Surrey, Victoria can be covered nationally and also with regional advertising out of Vancouver. You can buy a Vancouver station and get Victoria as a bonus.
309 I was impressed with the fact that you addressed that from the low level of national expectation. But it made me a little more concerned about how much you can rely on the retail and local spend because in instances -- in parallel instances like Victoria it's been a pretty rough road to hoe, in relying totally on or principally on retail spend.
310 MR. JOHNSTON: Well, we've talked about a few of those entities. However, there are a lot of businesses in Surrey that do not have multi outlets that at this point are not served. That would be a great deal of the business that we would be attracting in time.
311 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
312 I just have a couple more questions. We're still pretty much on time.
313 Surrey has a big footprint geographically and you know it's been notoriously a very mobile and commuter-oriented market. Do you have -- I'm thinking here with respect to your signal delivery into Vancouver. Do you -- have you or do you have any information regarding how much of that commuter market from Surrey commutes out of Surrey north into Vancouver?
314 I know you have a good proposed penetration into the northeast, Burnaby and Coquitlam. But what happens if I'm commuting from Vancouver -- and this is a question I'm going to be asking everyone, by the way -- if I'm commuting out of Surrey and all of a sudden you drop out of sight?
315 MR. JOHNSTON: Well, I think that the statistic is that 13 percent of Surrey -- I would ask Debra to chime in on this --
316 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
317 MR. JOHNSTON: -- but I think about 13 percent of Surrey residents commute back and forth to Vancouver each day and the rest is in the surrounding areas.
319 MR. BADH: Go ahead, Debra.
320 MS McLAUGHLIN: One of the wonderful things about technology these days -- and I have first-hand experience of this because as the Commissioner will know, the licence is stationed in Markham, which is directly analogous to the Surrey within Vancouver situation -- is that applications do wander. There is streaming. They have applications which allows people who need to have that kind of traffic and information to collect.
321 But the really important part is that it's only 13 percent that are going there. I think it's around 45 percent that actually stay in Surrey to work and of those that leave the differential between 45 and plus 13 which is about 42 percent, you know, they're going outwards in other parts of the signal. So the drop off is not significant for them. They are within the contour.
322 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
323 Just one final question. On your -- this goes to format and goes to language. On your CCD spend, the area that I'm curious about is with respect to festivals and also your evolution of 107 allocation.
324 These CCD spends are going to be directed toward mass market or are they going to be ethnically skewed?
325 MR. BADH: J.J., could you -- Commissioner, on this before I hand it over to J.J., the idea behind the festivals and working with the City of Surrey is that both of these, the Canada Day Festival and the Fusion Festival, they're attended by over 100,000 people and they bring in artists that reflect Surrey. And the object here was to have -- make sure that most if not all of the money go to these artists.
326 We have been informed -- we have had a discussion with the City of Surrey that most if not all of the infrastructure costs are already taken care of. So they have almost assured us that the bulk of the money will go to these artists and these artists will reflect the local.
327 With respect to BCIT -- oh, the other thing is we have looked at the -- perhaps J.J. can jump in and talk about the Public Notice 2006 as well.
328 MR. JOHNSTON: Okay, in terms of what qualifies for, yeah, Public Notice 2006, I think it's paragraph 108 -- on page 108 which, you know, determines what does and doesn't count as Canadian Talent Development or CCD.
329 There is money that has been put aside for journalism in one college and also BCIT. That's really important, I think, for us and the industry to be able to help develop these people and bring these people along.
330 We talked about the festivals. John L. Donnelly & Associates we have talked to about handling these festivals for us and they, by the way, are award winners for both festivals. They have won worldwide awards for being such wonderful festivals and, really, the reason they have won the awards is because of the multicultural nature.
331 My family having grown up here have attended these events. I've got to tell you it's wonderful to see the full ethnic makeup of what is Surrey today which is very broad and well attended.
332 As Suki said, that money is earmarked towards those artists but particularly to emerging artists' stages. You know, this is all about bringing the emerging artists out and supporting them and getting them up and front and in lights of 100,0000-plus people in both the Fusion Festival and also the Canada Day Festival.
333 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Those are my questions.
334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
335 Commissioner Shoan.
336 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning. I have a couple of quick questions specifically with respect to your audience share projections.
337 But before I get into that, Mr. Badh, you mentioned your Ferndale property is going to be redeveloped. Is that a done deal or are you still in negotiations with the City of Ferndale or a respective developer?
338 MR. BADH: Commissioner, it wasn't something that I asked the City of Ferndale to do. It's just the city has grown all around the property now and I'm the last partial that's left.
339 So it's already been rezoned residential. So it wasn't something that I did.
340 Yes, definitely that's an option. The way I look at it, the American economy is recovering. The real estate sector is on the up and up now and the building in Ferndale corridor, Ferndale is really a bedroom community to Bellingham and the population base is increasing. So it'll definitely be rezoned residential.
341 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I understand, and I certainly don't want to ask you about any confidential negotiations which may be going on with respect to that property, but your intention is to sell that to -- that property to a developer?
342 MR. BADH: The intention is to develop it myself, Commissioner.
343 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Develop it yourself?
344 MR. BADH: Yes.
345 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And in that context what would happen to the broadcasting transmission equipment?
346 MR. BADH: The broadcasting transmitting equipment, as far as I know the BBC broadcasting has informed me that they have been approved by the FCC and Industry Canada has given them the clearance to relocate their antennas.
347 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
348 Now, I noticed with respect to your audience share projections most applicants had a ramp up from the first year to Year 4 or 5 with respect to audience share tuning. Your projection seem to indicate a 12.8 market share in Year 1 and maintaining that through Year 7.
349 Can you tell me on what basis you came to that projection?
350 MR. BADH: Thank you, Commissioner.
351 Ms McLaughlin did most of the research. As the discussions have carried on this community south of the border does not have a service right now. There is a major chunk of English-speaking Surrey residents that do not have access.
352 In terms of the shares and tuned I'm going to be asking Debra to jump in.
353 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
354 MS McLAUGHLIN: Mr. Shoan, we calculate audience share for this station as we do with every other station we do. We use the research, the demand research to establish the percent of the population that will definitely listen and probably listen.
355 Each one of those get discounted by differing degrees because if you definitely are going to listen you have more of a commitment to it. So the likelihood of that intention translating into behaviour is higher than in the probably.
356 We take that. We apply the discount so we get a reach figure. Our research actually states the 12.8 will be the reach in Year 2. So we did expect some ramp up on that.
357 But that share -- and the reach is 28 percent, I believe, in Year 2 and the share is 12.8. That is based on a calculation of total hours.
358 And in order to take that reach that we can get from the demand survey and translate it into ours too, we have to figure out what the average tuning is in the market which we're able to do through special runs at BBM because you can separate out that area. We project that forward and divide it by the total hours for the market. So we use the standard procedure to get that.
359 Now, in terms of how realistic that is, if you look at small markets around the edge of large markets such as some of the smaller markets around Toronto, you see attainable shares in the face of huge competition coming in from -- I think it's 22 or 26 originating stations -- in the 12 to 50 end range. So it's not just an estimate within the context of this hearing. There is actual evidence within BBM that shows these as the kind of achievable shares.
360 When you add that up with the kind of frustration that you hear in the focus groups that were done in several of the areas here, you understand that there really is a pent-up demand for just basic information, surveillance information, what we would call survival information. People do want to know the headlines and if they are originating in the market it's very likely this is the station they are going to go to.
361 Does that mean they are going to stop tuning entirely to Vancouver? Absolutely not because this isn't going to be a rock format and this isn't going to have any of the niche music. But we'll capture a lot of tuning just on the basis that we can provide the spoken word programming that's relevant to their day-to-day life.
362 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's fair, Ms McLaughlin.
363 But it is a dynamic marketplace. If you should establish a format that has some appeal to the residents of Surrey, surely you can expect that there are stations in the marketplace to move towards a format that's in some ways similar to your own and does take some of your share. Have you worked that into your projections?
364 MS McLAUGHLIN: Well, if Vancouver stations which are extremely competitive amongst each other -- and I've done work in this market so I know the kind of competition that exists here -- saw Surrey as their road to improve their shares, I think they would have done it by now. They are not -- the format that -- the music format that has been described to you was right in the middle where anybody could have moved into.
365 The news and information that will attract Surrey will push Vancouver residents off their dial. It will push West Vancouver and Maple Ridge and all of those other northern areas -- they will lose audience if they started focusing on Surrey. So the value of this is that it has a limited appeal. You have to live and work or play in Surrey to have interest in the station.
366 Vancouver has -- the Vancouver stations have largely made their choice. So the fear of them suddenly becoming a focus and losing the rest of the market doesn't seem to be realistic because in a competitive market that option has always been available to them and they have never taken it.
367 I mean, everybody is always researching this market. So if they pick up anybody from Surrey they would have heard these complaints before.
368 MR. JOHNSTON: I would also add that while we say 12.8 percent, let's not forget how rapidly the population is growing. So 12.8 percent of today's population, you know, in three years from now or four years from now, 12.8 percent of an increased population is actually an increase.
369 You know, 100,000 people per decade has grown over the last two or three decades in this area. This area will soon be bigger than the City of Vancouver. This area is bigger than Halifax. It's bigger than Kitchener, yet is not served by any stations.
370 And I corroborate what Debra was saying and the importance of, you know, local, local, local, you know, with this. We have addressed that with our spoken word programming and all of that. That is a huge differentiator from the Vancouver audience and radio stations. You know, it's our major difference.
371 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Great.
372 I have a final question about your social media strategy. I'm not sure who on your panel is dealing with your social media.
373 MR. BADH: I hate to put it this way but J.J. is the guru of social media so I'm going to turn it to him.
374 MR. JOHNSTON: Okay.
375 MR. BADH: Sorry, J.J.
376 MR. BADH: No pressure.
377 MR. JOHNSTON: The guru, okay.
378 Our social networking strategy or social marketing, it's so important just to be able to reverberate what the community is all about. Local is what people -- the issues and affairs of what's happening locally.
379 Interesting, when you are in a studio and you see four walls and there is two or three people in there, you throw stuff out on the air and you hope it sticks. The beautiful thing about social networking is you have that bounce back. You have that mirror. You are able to throw things out there and get that instantaneous response. And what we're all about is reverberating what the community is thinking about.
380 So in terms of social networking that's our primary focus, is to be able to make sure that we are connecting with the community and being current with what the community is doing, thinking, talking about.
381 We will also use our social networking in terms of being able to connect with them in many other ways, i.e. creating databases which allows us to talk back and forth with them; use the social networking in terms of being able to get feedback on a regular basis on how we're doing.
382 Chelsea is quite adept on the social networking side of things. I thought I would throw it over to her.
383 MS HOBBIS: Yes, social media, I think we've seen it's the be-all, end-all. Everybody is on Facebook. Everyone's mom is on Facebook, Twitter and Instantagram.
384 If I were to come up with a hashtag, I'd like to use for this station #mysurrey. What's that going to do is that's going to quadruple our reporters. What we're going to see is people tweeting about situations happening in Surrey and we'll be able to send reporters to those situations. It just enables us to be that much more involved.
385 I know that that will be a very crucial part of our involvement in the community is social media on all platforms, Instantagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, whatever. Whatever it may be we will be involved.
386 MR. JOHNSTON: I would add one more thing. That is, as we made the point earlier, that there is a lot of activity and a lot of things that are going on in this community and people don't know where to find the information.
387 We would definitely be using our websites and our whole social networking strategy to make sure that people are aware of the activities that are happening in town, the emerging artists that are playing in various areas and anything else that really appeals to the community out there.
388 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great. Thank you.
389 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
390 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
391 Just briefly, my calculation about 12 percent of your projected revenues will be national. How are you planning on tapping into those revenues without getting a BBM rating?
392 MR. BADH: Commissioner, I think J.J. did address that and that was we're going to get the government. You don't need ratings. We're going to get -- J.J., you had a stat about the local franchisees as well?
393 MR. JOHNSTON: Yes, the local franchisees is around 35 percent, I believe --
394 MR. BADH: Yeah.
395 MR. JOHNSTON: -- is the makeup of the business community. In terms of national government business that's where we --
396 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you got 12 percent. That's all government money.
397 MR. JOHNSTON: No, it's not.
398 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's not?
399 MR. JOHNSTON: No, but probably 50 percent of it would be.
400 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, and the other 50?
401 MR. JOHNSTON: The other 50 would be kickback from the Canadian Tires and those types that could help influence national dollars coming back our way.
402 MR. BADH: Commissioner, if I may add, there's also, for example, the Rogers, the TELUSes, the cell phone companies. They also have sort of the local budget that they will get from national co-ops and so forth.
403 We'll be seeking those because for this station to be successful it's got to be local. We're going to reach out to the people that haven't been reached out and there will be co-op dollars as well.
404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Some of that national will be sort of, you know, local --
405 MR. BADH: Yes, earmarked.
406 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- master franchisees of national brands basically.
407 MR. BADH: Agreed, agreed.
408 HE CHAIRPERSON: That are selling in the Surrey market.
409 Is that the idea?
410 MR. BADH: Agreed, yes.
411 THE CHAIRPERSON: But it would never -- you would never think of paying BBM for a rating? That would not be financially wise?
412 MR. BADH: Well, we'd -- you know what? We'd definitely look at it, but we don't expect to be rated on the Vancouver market because we're not reaching there.
413 THE CHAIRPERSON: You're not there anyways, yeah.
414 Ms McLaughlin, did you want to add something?
415 MS McLAUGHLIN: There is only 400 metres in the whole of the Vancouver area and by the time you drill down to Surrey they are not about to increase those metres. It's an enormous cost. So you'd have to find other alternative ways.
416 And you know, again referring to other stations I work for, we do online panels and we do surveys --
417 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
418 MS McLAUGHLIN: -- and the agencies recognize the limitation of BBM increasingly each day. So it's not as big a challenge as it was, say, 10 years ago.
419 THE CHAIRPERSON: I didn't say that. You did, the age of BBM.
420 Great. So until BBM starts measuring Surrey you're not going to be -- you're not going to be there.
421 Thank you so much. I think that is all. We thank you so much for your time and your presentation.
422 Mr. Badh, you want to add something?
423 MR. BADH: Just thank you, Mr. Chair. It's good to have you in my town.
424 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, it's nice to be here because we have a lot of fun.
425 I woke up this morning and the sun was rising over the Rockies. It was amazing and it was clear for like three and a half minutes and then it all went cloudy again.
426 Thank you so much. We will be back. It is 1:26. Let's do -- 10:26, sorry.
427 THE CHAIRPERSON: There is no clock in the building. There is nothing on the wall and all I have is this laptop so I have 10:26. Let's be back and start up at 10:40 sharp.
428 Great. Thanks so much.
--- Upon recessing at 1026
--- Upon resuming at 1042
429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. So we're ready to go? Thank you.
430 MR. A. KANG: Yes, we are.
431 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed with Item 2 on the agenda, which is an application by Idea Broadcasting Corporation for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial specialty FM radio in Vancouver.
432 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
433 MS FRYDMAN: Good morning, Mr. Chair and members of the CRTC.
434 Today, Idea Broadcasting Corporation Team is excited to present our case to the CRTC for IDEA 107.7 FM, and we thank you for this privilege.
435 Before we begin our presentation, I would like to take this opportunity and briefly introduce the members of Team IDEA.
436 My name is Roxana Frydman. I am an international trade consultant with 20 years of experience doing business in Latin America, currently leading a non-profit organization that helps with trade relations between Canada and Latin America, government representatives in public and private sector.
437 I would like to introduce also Mr. Alan Chattaway, who has not been able to join us today due to health issues. He's a professional engineer with experience in broadcasting.
438 Mrs. Anuraj Kaur has experience as a host at an ethnic radio station.
439 Mr. Arvinder Kang is the CEO of IDEA broadcasting. Mr. Harvinder Kang is our General Manager. Mr. Pukhraj Gohalwar is our Director.
440 Mr. Ankur Merwaha is a Chartered Accountant and has experience working with international accounting firms.
441 Mr. Ravinder Pannu is the head of Advisory Committee and has more than 26 years of experience in Canadian radio and TV broadcasting.
442 In the back seat you have Dr. Eleazar Occena, who has more than 10 years of experience in both radio and TV broadcasting and public relations.
443 Mrs. Yukari Komatsu is a Japanese teacher and voice-over artist.
444 Mr. Sergio Rondaro has been hosting a community radio station and has experience creating Spanish-speaking content in Canada and Mexico.
445 Mr. Richard Cavanagh is our broadcasting consultant.
446 Mr. Upkar Gohalwar has more than 40 years of combined experience in finance as well as teaching, and is fluent in five languages, including French.
447 And Mrs. Arsheen Vishash is a student at Simon Fraser University and currently volunteering at Surrey Museum.
448 Now I would like to invite Mrs. Anuraj Kaur, my colleague at Team IDEA, to elaborate on the details of our presentation. Thank you so much.
449 MS KAUR: Thank you, Roxana.
450 Good morning, bonjour, Honourable Mr. Chair, members of the Commission and staff of CRTC.
451 Having been brought up in Canada, a place we all call home, I understand and appreciate the values of multiculturalism. We love this country. It is such a beautiful bouquet of diverse cultures and interesting backgrounds.
452 It is the idea that we can all be proudly ethnic and proudly Canadian at the same time, a vision that is very rarely seen across the world.
453 We here at Team IDEA feel that, in order to better facilitate such a vision, it is necessary for radio stations to play a crucial role. In other words, we feel that having a grassroots philosophy is the right way to approach radio broadcasting. That means recognizing the needs of our community and having radio broadcasting reflect those needs.
454 Keeping in line with this vision, we recruited Goforth Solutions to conduct a survey to find out what exactly is it that the residents of the lower mainland want from the new radio station, the ethnic radio station.
455 In the next three minutes, we will share with you what the people on the streets have to say, which reflects trends similar to what we found in our surveys.
--- Video presentation
456 MS KAUR: Clearly, the interviews show that people in our community are not only very passionate about wanting a radio station that meets their needs, but that they also feel disengaged and disenfranchised by not having the access to the kind of media they prefer.
457 Now, IDEA FM is an edgy, ethnic and interactive radio station that focuses on youth programming by bringing grassroot issues and local cultural content to the forefront.
458 Now, as an advocate of youth development, I feel that the strength of the country's future generation is dependent on how the young people's talents are nurtured, potentials are harnessed, and their voices empowered.
459 Therefore, we plan to change the face of the current media by adopting two core values, (1) providing edgy programming that appeals to youth, and (2) maintaining a grassroots philosophy with the community. And we feel this can be accomplished by the revolutionary use of technology and through the introduction of what we call interactive radio.
460 To further elaborate, I would like to call upon Mr. Arvinder Singh Kang, who is the CEO of Idea Broadcasting.
461 MR. A. KANG: Thank you, Anuraj.
462 Mr. Chair, our programming strategy is based on a two-pronged approach. First, our bold and edgy programming content, and second, the use of interactive technology. But let's first talk about what makes programming content stand out.
463 Keeping in line with our philosophy of being edgy, grassroots, youth oriented and responsibly empowering our listeners, our programming brings a significant local flavour to serve the needs of a broad range of ethnic groups in Vancouver and creatively use technology, promote Canadian identity and ethno-cultural diversity, engages audiences on the issues that matter to them, encourages public debate, puts Canadians at the centre of our vision, and is not afraid to try new things.
464 For example, to promote emerging artists into the mainstream of the entertainment industry, our weekly program, "Local Talent Show", actively plays the music of newly-discovered artists and local DJs. Promoting local talent figures prominently in our CCD commitment, which includes an annual contribution of $17,000 to the Emerging Artists Talent Competition. Our total commitment to CCD is $310,800 over and above any basic requirement over the course of our first licence term.
465 IDEA FM believes a major component of our radio programming is about educating our listeners, including learning about our Canadian heritage. Therefore, we are introducing a short daily segment, on what happened "Today in Canadian History".
466 For example, today, January 27th, marks the 155th anniversary of when George-Etienne Cartier proclaimed Ottawa as the capital of the Canadas.
467 Another program on our schedule, "Children Storytelling", was a bold idea that turned out to be a very successful one. When our General Manager implemented it during his stint at Punjabi Radio USA, which is now the largest coverage Punjabi radio station in North America, he discovered that there was, (1) a dramatic increase in listenership, especially from the younger generation.
468 It gave children a space to tell stories. It provided a safe community venue for the exchange of ideas between generations.
469 We feel the same model can be replicated here since a significant number of callers on the show were from lower mainland.
470 And finally, on the idea of -- finally, on the programming, IDEA FM is committed to the intellectual quality of our talk shows. This means, for example, in our program "Community Hour", we discuss issues that are relevant to our community such as bullying, human rights issues, healthy lifestyles, et cetera.
471 We believe that in order to bring top quality talk shows, we will tap into the expertise of our contacts at some of the top universities in the world, including the London School of Economics, Stanford, McGill, among others.
472 We believe that the best talk show is one that incites social responsibility. That means leading by example.
473 For example, as we are all aware, bullying has become a major issue in our community. Therefore, IDEA FM has pledged $15,000 for anti-bullying campaigns.
474 These are just four among the many other creative programming ideas that we have on our schedule. With this programming model, we can assure the CRTC that IDEA FM is bringing forward the best FM radio programming has to offer for 16 plus languages representing 18 plus cultures in the Lower Mainland, attracting not only the younger generation of listeners, but also appealing strongly to first and second generation of listeners.
475 Mr. Chair, since you now have a feel of the content of our creative programming, let us delve into the mechanism of executing it.
476 As a PhD candidate in computer science and as an IT manager, I understand the depth of the technical know-hows and potential of interactive social technologies.
477 Interactive radio is a model of developing a symbiotic relationship between the traditional and social media. Now let me explain how it works.
478 The idea of the interactive radio is about carrying on the conversation seamlessly from one medium to another, from the internet or the social networks to the radio and back.
479 Let us assume it's 8:17 on a sunny summer morning and our Punjabi talk show "Nazariya", which is Punjabi for "Perspectives", is being aired on IDEA 107.7 FM from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Simultaneously, the same can be accessed through the internet.
480 The topic of this show has been promoted prior to the actual airing schedule through on-air announcements and via the program schedule on the internet. And this is how it looks like.
481 For example, Mr. Chair, if you were to be one of the guests on our talk show, for which I hope I would be able to extend an invitation at some point, the information about your talk will be available prior to the show on our web site.
482 What we have on the screen is the schedule page of the day for IDEA FM on our web site, ideafm.ca. As the user hovers on the program, the information window opens up. With one click, the user can jump right into the conversation at any time, even before or after the program has been aired. This gives a synergy between the new and the traditional media.
483 Not only this, almost every program that has been aired becomes available for download as a podcast. Forty-eight (48) percent of the respondents to our survey indicated that they tune in to online stations. Having that ability is another strategy to capture that market and increase listenership, much of which is arguably comprised of younger demographics.
484 The ease and accessibility provided in this way is one of the many distinct components we have in place for increasing total listening hours.
485 IDEA 107.7 FM will be interactive in four distinct ways in terms of technology, community involvement, programming, marketing.
486 With respect to interactive technology, IDEA FM provides a venue for listening and participation across all mediums. As you see on the screen, people will have the opportunity to comment via the use of Twitter using Smartphone apps, using the web or the telephones, all of the comments being aggregated and open for discussion on one simple interface.
487 When used in tandem with FM radio, interactive radio becomes a compass for people to find information they need. For example, on the topic of bullying, the program page has a list of resources that include web sites, research papers, laws and news stories relevant to the discussion that is about to take place. Empowered with this information, the listeners would tend to have a more comprehensive discussion on the topic.
488 Secondly, in this model, community involvement becomes interactive as well as a two-way conversation stream instead of a one-way broadcast.
489 For example, as you see on the screen, in our program on local artists, listeners can post audio and videos of aspiring artists they want to listen to on the radio. Others joining the conversation can vote up or vote down on any submission.
490 The -- this democratic way empowers the listeners to make choices about the kind of audio programming or the music they are interested in and provide links to purchase the music and support the artist.
491 Thirdly, this interactive model of radio works equally well for programming. Constant feedback loops and involvement of the listeners helps improve the choice of programming the station makes. Users can not only comment or vote on existing programs, but can also recommend new ones using the same interactive model.
492 A listener can also choose to be notified about the kind of program that he or she is interested in by choosing the tags. Our radio not only provides customized recommendations based on those choices, but also notifies the listener when a program matching their choice goes on air or is available for download.
493 That brings us to our interactive approach for advertising and marketing. Based on the choices that a listener makes, the interactive radio provides an additional venue for targeted marketing, as you see on the screen, and the use of vertical ad networks, a model tested and proven to be highly effective in social networks.
494 Going a step further, our Smartphone apps will provide additional opportunities for revenue generation by the use of hyper-local advertisements.
495 And last but not least, with the upcoming new wave of "Connected Cars," cars that are closely tied to phone for information needs, new avenues of advertisements are on the horizon.
496 Overall, we feel, in order for a radio station to be successful, we must identify and prepare for the new trends emerging in media broadcasting. IDEA FM recognizes this. Our radio station will not only present quality programming, which we are doing, but will also integrate the power of social media and technology. We believe interactive radio is the way of the future.
497 One of the core objectives of IDEA FM is to establish a radio that literally reflects the sentiments of the community in general and that of the youth in particular. In addition to gauging the needs of our community via interactive radio, we have also established an advisory committee, currently headed by Mr. Ravinder Pannu, who has more than 26 years of experience in TV and radio broadcasting in Canada.
498 In conclusion, Mr. Chair, Radio broadcasting has reached a new frontier. Radio broadcasting, as we are all aware, isn't what it was 10 years ago. Since it is transforming at an ever-changing pace, it is critical that a radio station be well equipped to face the challenges that technology and media broadcasting will bring.
499 IDEA FM with its energetic team, coupled with their vast amount of experience in technology, radio broadcasting and business management, gives us the unique skills and tools necessary not only to meet those challenges and opportunities that radio broadcasting faces today but also the ones that will emerge in coming years. It is a vision that is supported by the community, based on more than 2,300 letters of support we have received from them.
500 Team IDEA with its substantial experience, well thought-out plan, commitment to media ethics, secure financial resources and above all a passion to serve our community, all of which make for an ideal recipe to transform our vision into reality.
501 Once again, we are thankful for being given the opportunity to address the Commission today. Of course, all the information presented today will be made available on our Web site soon.
502 We are ready to take any questions that you may have. Thank you.
503 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your presentation. It certainly is changing at a very quick pace.
504 So just to follow up on some of the issues that were raised, Commissioner Simpson will continue with the questioning. Thank you.
505 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Good morning. Thank you very much for your presentation.
506 I'd like to first get a clarification on the word "grassroots." You reference it a number of times in your presentation this morning and you reference it in terms of a philosophy, but I'm curious as to whether you're meaning local or is there some other application of "grassroots"? Could you define it for me a bit?
507 MR. A. KANG: Commissioner, we mean local but to elaborate a bit more, I would like to invite Harvinder. He may have a comment on it.
508 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thanks.
509 MR. H. KANG: Hi, Commissioner.
510 So "grassroots" means what is it that the community wants, what is the need of the community. That is local, but as you have seen the social media in the presentation, it's not local anymore. But we are talking about audience related to that subject, what they need, what the requirement is. So we consider that as grassroots.
511 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: To give you a context as to why I asked the question the way I did, in context to the Commission's thinking, when we think of local, we think of a community local, a collective local, and what I find both compelling and interesting is that you, by application of social media technology and other ambitions you have for your programming, are going beyond collective local into individual local. So it's with that perspective I'm going to start my questioning on format.
512 MR. A. KANG: Commissioner, sorry.
513 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
514 MR. A. KANG: If I may, can I comment on that?
515 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
516 MR. A. KANG: The reason I forwarded this question to Harvinder is we have seen that in our experience people have become more mobile and the idea of, you know, a local ethnic FM radio station is to serve the local community, but then the community travels, which is much more often compared to what it was probably 30 or 40 years ago. They would still want to be connected and what we provide using our plan is a seamless way of integration for connectivity to our radio station. Even when a particular person from our community is travelling, you know, anywhere in the world, he can be connected through the Internet.
517 In our supplementary brief, we also mentioned a lot of other mediums. Like one of the mediums we did mention was using the phones -- and the reason I sent this question to Harvinder, he has more experience in that -- that we also plan to open up a service in which a person can call in and if they are in a place where there is no Internet connectivity, they should still be able to listen to the radio if they have enough minutes on their phone. If they want to be able to listen, we have that medium.
518 So the idea is moving beyond mediums but still catering to the local community. Thank you.
519 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. In your description of audience, starting off with demographics, you're referencing a desire to skew some of your programming or flavour your programming to a younger demographic even though overall you're referencing 18 plus, but I'm curious as to how tight that skew is of 18 to -- is it 18-25, 18-34? Could you give me an insight as to how tight that skew is as you go after a younger audience?
520 MR. H. KANG: Okay. So, as we mentioned in our supplementary brief, our prime target is youth, young people. So that typically says it's 18 to demographics of 35. But we do have programming that caters to the needs of first and second generation, which is typically 35 to 55 and above that.
521 But our main and primary focus is towards the young people, 18 to 35 in general and 18 to 25 in particular.
522 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you for clarifying that. I took that from your initial submission the way you just described it, but what makes me curious, though, is that in your spoken word portion -- well, first of all, in anything I've seen and learned from programming, the younger the audience, the more they have an aversion to talk and more to music.
523 MR. H. KANG: Right.
524 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So I'm curious in that your ambition to reach youth, to reengage youth, both culturally and generationally, you're relying more on the spoken word portion of your programming and I'm wondering how you --
525 MR. H. KANG: Actually --
526 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- can get there from here.
527 MR. H. KANG: No. Actually our programming is 60 percent of music and --
528 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
529 MR. H. KANG: -- so it's more music.
530 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And 40 percent spoken?
531 MR. H. KANG: Right. It's more music.
532 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand. Yes.
533 MR. H. KANG: So even in spoken word, we do have a --
534 Okay, so that's a very good question because I have been through that situation. I'm 28 years old. So music is a way to engage youth to a dialogue. So that is the medium that we'll be using to educate, because education is important as well. The music is a way to engage youth in a dialogue, in a conversation to transfer information. So that is the way we are doing it.
535 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand the appeal of music to the younger generation, but in looking at your content ambitions in spoken word, it seemed to me, and I'm asking you to clarify this, that your ambitions in the spoken word are also youth-directed?
536 MR. H. KANG: Yes, it is.
537 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So how does that work given the demonstrable disengagement of youth with spoken word? And if your content of spoken word is youth-directed, where does that leave the first generation?
538 MR. H. KANG: So, if I understand it correctly, we have done this experimentation on the radio station that we have south of the border, which is the largest radio station in North America. We have experimented and it went really well. So it's coming from that experimentation. So we can engage the youth in this way.
539 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You're talking about Punjabi Radio?
540 MR. H. KANG: Yes.
541 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. Which is very global in its nature, as I understand it?
542 MR. H. KANG: Yes, it is, but it is mostly -- so we have 12 transmitting stations throughout the West Coast of the United States, but as we told you earlier, since we have our new horizon, we have social media, it's all over and we do have a significant listenership from Canada as well. Yes, that is -- but we do have programs that appeal to local people. So that is the key of the success of the radio.
543 For example, just to clarify a little bit more about the local thing, since we have a trial transmitting station, what we have technically done is we have talk shows that run in parallel, we have news that run in parallel.
544 Just to give you an example, technically, let's say news starts at 12:00 and we do have a trial transmitting station all the way from Seattle to Bakersfield. So the Bakersfield people won't care what's going on in Seattle. So what we have implemented there is at the time it's 12:00 the news is going to run and it's going to run in parallel in all the stations at the same time but that will be local to that particular station.
545 And regarding the global thing, we do have a separate stream on which it will be international news. So that is the way to deal with it.
546 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: You are in a host role but also a management role?
547 MR. H. KANG: Yeah. I am a General Manager but I'm working voluntarily for the station. So I've been there -- I'm one of the founding members of this station and I've seen exponential growth in the last three years.
548 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So what relationship will -- and again, I value that experience.
549 MR. H. KANG: Sure.
550 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But what relationship will Punjabi Radio, as you've just described it, have with any contribution to programming of this application? Will it have any or...?
551 MR. H. KANG: Well, since, as I mentioned to you, what I will be bringing from that station will be the experience that we have -- the results that I've seen from the programming, the response that I've seen from the programming.
552 Definitely, the programming content of that station would be definitely different because that is only dedicated to a Punjabi audience, but this radio station will be dedicated to people of 16 plus languages and 18 plus cultures. So definitely, the programming content will be different, but we will be using the experiences.
553 MR. A. KANG: If I may, Commissioner, I would just like to add one thing.
554 We, as IDEA FM, would not be sharing any programming with the Punjabi Radio U.S.A. Harvinder's position there has been a voluntary position throughout and his position here has been, you know, a more professional position that he will be joining.
555 He definitely brings an experience of starting a radio station which is not working with all, within three years taking it to such a big listenership and such a big followership.
556 And the demographic of that listenership is pretty impressive because much of it is less than the age of 35. We were able to discover that using one of the simplest -- that was the Facebook followership, which is more than 100,000, if I'm --
557 MR. H. KANG: Yes, it's 110,000.
558 MR. A. KANG: So the depth of the knowledge that he will be bringing, that will be the only thing that we'll be sharing with Punjabi Radio U.S.A.
559 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
560 I'd like to ask a couple of questions with respect to your format choice and programming choice. I'm thinking again of marketability and financial success.
561 The previous applicant -- and I'm theory-testing here -- had indicated by their research that -- and this may not correlate with yours, which is why I'm asking -- had said that in terms of fluency of English language that 90-some-odd percent plus of the population of Surrey were fluent in some form to the English language.
562 And if that is a basic truth, I'm curious as to why your choice is to go to a format that seems to already, by just a numbers count, be well served by three to five or six radio stations.
563 MR. A. KANG: So, if I'm -- Commissioner, if I'm understanding the question correctly, why didn't we go with the non-ethnic format?
564 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
565 MR. A. KANG: So I think one of our reasons is that understanding the language doesn't necessarily mean that we tune into that same language. For example, I think I understand, you know, about four languages and I regularly tend to tune into my mother tongue or the language that I usually typically speak at home when I'm listening to radio, when I'm listening to music. So I think just understanding a particular language isn't what we think is the major appeal.
566 We also are -- we're also focusing on the diversity of the languages, and that is the fabric of Canada, having those languages thrive, having the diverse cultures thrive, and I think cultures and languages are kind of co-dependent on each other.
567 So I think that was one of the -- those were two reasons.
568 Harvinder, you may want to add something else.
569 MR. H. KANG: That's pretty much it, I'll say to this.
570 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: There has been much discussion and I think a lot of understanding of generational disconnect and it seems that a large part of your philosophic goal is to reconnect communities, as I said earlier, not only ethnically but generationally.
571 And again, I'm curious as to how you bring back in the youth who are drifting more away from their first language and how you get them reengaged.
572 I understand what you've said but I just don't know if I'm getting the full value of your wisdom in this choice.
573 MR. A. KANG: Thank you for posing this question, Commissioner.
574 So I think the main -- and we found it in a survey and, you know, the more we talk to people. One of things we found was that the reason, you know, the younger generation is moving from traditional media is, one, the appeal of the programming. Does the programming appeal to them?
575 For example, even within Punjabi music there's a whole range of music. There is music that is from the early seventies, eighties, and then there's a completely new range of music that is produced here locally or, you know, Canadian Punjabi music. The younger generation tends to lean towards listening to Canadian Punjabi music more than they would tend to listen to -- and also, the programming that appeals to them.
576 One of the things that we will be focusing on is the things that are happening around there, the things that are happening here and now, rather than things that are happening, you know, somewhere else. So I think what we feel is that -- and that is one part.
577 The other part is making that accessible to them. I think why is social media so engaging to the youth? I think it is built in such a way that it is easily accessible, they can interact with it, their say counts. So similarly, in our system we have gamification of -- you know, if a person is commenting and that commentator receives a thumbs-up, you know, they're developing a reputation within the system and that system is basically an extension of the community. So we are just mapping what already exists in the community and taking it online.
578 So I think a feel for the programming that -- or developing the programming that appeals to that particular demographic and we have, you know, experimented in that, we have experience in-house with successful models on that, and second is providing them in a way which is easily accessible to them.
579 I think, you know, radio does have that appeal or radio can develop that appeal to the younger demographics.
580 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
581 The question I have now goes back to music. The Commission is curious about your general claim that the South-Asian community -- if I may use that as an encompassing wrapper or label to describe the audience group you're after because it's so broad, but if I may.
582 You say that the present ethnic services are insufficient in the way they're servicing the market you're going after. Could you unpack that for me a bit? Is it a statement that, first of all, is exclusive or inclusive of the services coming in from south of the border, and, secondly, is it exclusive or inclusive of music versus talk? What is making the present competitive environment insufficient in your mind?
583 MR. H. KANG: One of the items that we discussed in our supplementary brief was the number of FM stations that we have for other communities as we have to our community in Lower Mainland. So if you just look at that number -- I'll start from there -- just look at that number, we'll see, if we have a community of 90,000, we have five FM stations.
584 So what I can conclude from that one -- I mean which is pretty clear from that one that there's a limited number of programs, there's a limited number of information a particular or a single or let's say a couple of radio stations can provide. That is not enough to fulfil the versatility of the talk of the community in that area.
585 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, are you saying there's not enough music stations or not enough music on the FM? I just want to understand.
586 MR. H. KANG: Well, I'll say not music on FM but the talk shows and the programming content in general.
587 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So, what will make your talk different? Because there is an ample provision of talk from the competitive services now.
588 MR. A. KANG: Commissioner, if I may take this question.
589 So when we're talking in terms of music, we're talking ethnic. So that is the --
590 So I think what we are doing different is we are developing a program that is appealing to particular demographics, and it is not just youth. I mean we are -- youth is our focus but, on the other hand, you know, we are targeting programming and, you know, the music as well on the particular demographic.
591 And, you know, focusing on that demographic, we're able to provide a broad range of programming hat we believe and we have seen and it has been reflected by the surveys we have carried out. That is not currently solved, you know, in the way the community wants or needs --
592 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
593 MR. A. KANG: -- if I answered your question.
594 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Let's go back to the spoken word portion of the content.
595 Again, I am intrigued with the ambition of not only -- well, again, 40 percent spoken word but it's the ambition of what is contained in that spoken word. It's not just talk show content, which is expensive but still something you don't have to create but simply moderate. Here, you're talking about a lot of moderated content, a lot of academically inspired content, a lot of community content.
596 But what I find a bit of a disconnect is when I look at your pro forma and I look at your staffing structure, the origin of that type of content seems to be relatively sparse in terms of the total makeup of your staff complement. You have just two news people and five hosts.
597 Where does that stuff come from and how is it that it's not really reflected in your overheads? Is this being donated or are you relying on volunteers? How does it work?
598 MR. A. KANG: So, I would like to ask Pukhraj to answer this question.
599 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thanks.
600 MR. P. GOHALWAR: Thank you, Arvinder.
601 We do have four full-time hosts who will be working and we have two -- we have one host as a part-time. The fifth host is the part-time and then we have two news hosts which will be working part-time.
602 Obviously, with the programming which we are insisting that we will be bringing this much -- the diverse programming which we will be bringing in, all the hosts will be working on the different programming approaches.
603 For example, if we have a Filipino language program, then the Filipino host will be working on that in collaboration with the Advisory Committee.
604 We do have an Advisory Committee in place. It consists of the members of the community who will be discussing what kind of programming we need, what kind of programming the youth needs, what kind of programming the first or second generations need. So the hosts will be discussing all the programming needs with the Advisory Committee for the programming.
605 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand what the objective is and you've just explained to me how the needs will be identified, but I'm still at a bit of a loss as to where the content is going to come from because your ambitions are so far beyond that of a normal programming offering in spoken word. You know, it's almost like setting a curriculum for an education program. So, you know, where is this stuff coming from?
606 MR. A. KANG: So thank you, Commissioner.
607 Commissioner, part of the way it's laid academically comes from our academic backgrounds I suppose, but I think one of the things we have observed, you know, it comes back to the engagement of the youth as well, that if we tap into and, you know, we will be giving opportunities to students, to volunteers, to people who are in the local universities to actually interact with the radio.
608 And, on top of that, we ourselves, all three of us and, you know, others on the team have a lot of experience in the radio, past experience, so we ourselves will be hosting quite a number of shows. We will be bringing expertise from, you know, other universities and we will be tapping into those resources, as we did mention in our presentation as well.
609 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. In terms of the ambition of audiences served, we are using a number of 16-plus different languages now, divided by five hosts, are each magnificently multilingual or are you going to be relying with some other languages such as Tagalog and what other ambitions you have for second and third audiences? Are you going to be asking hosts to come in and -- we use the term broker the time, so their one or two hours a week of programming will be self-funded by that host? Is that how it's going to work?
610 I'm sorry, that was a very long run-on question, but...
611 MR. H. KANG: No, that's fine. So we do not intend to have a brokered programming, but we will have some people on board that will be working as a contract -- in a contracting position for us. For example, Pukhraj, can you give the number of the contract person that we will be having?
612 MR. P. GOHALWAR: We will be having five part-time contract persons who will be working in the station.
613 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: As hosts?
614 MR. P. GOHALWAR: Yes.
615 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But assuming that each of those four hosts is principally -- again, this is an assumption I want you to challenge if I'm wrong, but if each of those hosts is principally engaged in delivering a program in Punjabi or one of the other languages -- South Asian languages, who is delivering the other 13 or 14 languages that are in your pro forma for programming?
616 MR. PANNU: Thank you, Commissioner. I have been working for 26 years in the radio and TV industry and you know that when we have a small one-hour, two-hour or half-hour program mostly you get the community involvement from various community, because you know that many people they are interested to come on the station and they produce a program. Like a team we have, Tagalog --
617 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
618 MR. PANNU: -- producer. He is really engaged with the community, as well as other languages. We will, as I advised them, to get people from the community that are interested in the broadcast so they can learn and also they can get involved in the community for their future planning. They can be -- put their time into that.
619 As I am the example here. I used to have a half-hour program with assistance with one called video store, Dhillon Video in Toronto, so I was helping them and I was gaining some experience out of that. Now I am running SCMO radio as well as TV and BDU license holder. So I got that experience from my half-hour and now I am a full broadcaster and also a distributor. So that is the reason behind it, producing programming from the community.
620 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I understand. Thank you. That's exactly what I was asking. We understand how that works, it's just that I hadn't seen it demonstrably explained within the programming proposal and so I was trying to ascertain whether it was volunteerism or whether it was contractual, like brokered programming and so on. So, thank you for that.
621 If I can switch over to spoken word again and back to the news individuals. In your pro forma for operating expenses to say that you are being very conservative in your salary costs is almost concerning.
622 I did some quick math for example on the allocation, without talking about too many numbers in public here, your allocation for your news individuals and, by my math, you were below this province's minimum wage in their hourly earnings.
623 Now, are you relying -- so, in other words, my question is this: is that pro forma based on an expectation of a certain amount of volunteerism?
624 MR. P. GOHALWAR: Basically for the news part, if I can briefly explain, we do have the two news hosts which will be working part time, but we have a plan in place that the hosts which are working full time will be also delivering time to gather the news and giving to the news host, and also we will be having a newsroom where the community can call in for the news, plus we will be having connections with the news agencies where we will be getting the local news or the international news.
625 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure. You will have newsfeeds, and so on.
626 MR. P. GOHALWAR: Right.
627 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Over to the music again. Sorry, I'm bouncing back and forth, but as you can see, my world is spread out here.
628 Back to competitive offerings. Could you one more time, for my slow absorption of information, explain to me what will be different in your music programming than what is currently offered by example with Rimjhim, which is principally a music offering? Would you tell me what's different so that we can understand how you will be adding value to the market?
629 MR. A. KANG: See, I think we will be -- the focus of our music programming and the overall programming is definitely going to be local and so will be the offering in the music programming as well.
630 We will be focusing quite a bit on the local talent, we will be focusing on the music that is appealing to the younger generation, to the community that, you know, that listens to it. We will be very closely monitoring it.
631 We will be having -- you know, with the interactive system we will have a very closed loop of what exactly they want. The idea is to engage them, to bring them closer to the radio rather than, you know, just feeling alienated for the reason, you know, many of the current listeners don't even listen to.
632 So, those are the couple of things that we have in mind to basically provide more customized, more local and more focused approach, both in music as well as in spoken word programming. Did I answer your question?
633 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes, it does. Thank you.
634 MR. A. KANG: Thank you.
635 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The wrap-up question on this particular line of questioning has to do with obligations.
636 From the very ambitious offering that you have put forward, it essentially indicates that you were representing that you would be 100 percent ethnic in programming and 90 percent third-language programming in your broadcast week. Would you, if we were to feel it necessary, be willing to accept those metrics as a condition of your licence for the first seven years?
637 MR. A. KANG: Yes, Commissioner, we will.
638 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
639 Mr. Kang, Arvinder, I have some questions with respect to -- I think you have seen a few deficiency letters from us with respect to residency and I still have to go through this one more time. Are you okay with that?
640 MR. A. KANG: Sure.
641 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Are you a resident of British Columbia?
642 MR. A. KANG: Yes, Commissioner, I am.
643 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And you are applying for, or are you in the process of applying for permanent resident status?
644 MR. A. KANG: I am already a permanent resident, Commissioner.
645 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Oh, you are?
646 MR. A. KANG: Yes.
647 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Has that been demonstrated to us in an undertaking?
648 MR. A. KANG: We did, but we also got an e-mail a few days ago and I have -- as an undertaking I am going to submit the documents today.
649 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. So for the record, may I then request that you, before we wrap up, submit an undertaking in writing to the staff with respect to resolving that issue?
650 MR. A. KANG: Yes, Commissioner.
651 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Legal, do you have a date that you want for submission of the undertaking?
652 MS PINSKY: Would you be in a position to provide that by the end of tomorrow?
653 MR. A. KANG: Yes, I can.
654 MS PINSKY: Thank you.
655 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, I am almost done here. If we were to green light your application, when are you proposing that you would be in a position to go on the air?
656 MR. H. KANG: So that will be six months from the date -- approximately six months from the date we got the green signal.
657 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. Do you feel that that is a realistic -- it's very ambitious, it's by a factor of 100 to 150 percent over other applications we have seen.
658 MR. A. KANG: So, Commissioner, we plan to do it within six months, but we are -- I think our plan will be between six months and one year, but I think, you know, our approach will be -- our try will be to do it within the six months.
659 I know it's ambitious, but I think we have a lot of apparatus in place, we have the expertise in place, we have worked very aggressively on the programming that is in place, we have already worked with, you know, where the antennas are going to be and all those other things. So, I think as soon as we get a green light, and hopefully we do, we will be very aggressively be working towards it and we hope to do it within six months to one year.
660 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
661 MR. A. KANG: Thank you, Commissioner.
662 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: We are pretty easy to get along with on first requests for extensions, but I get cranky after the first one.
663 I have a few financial questions and then I will turn it over to my colleagues. Without telling numbers out of confidence, in the choice of programming, which is 100 percent ethnic, and looking at that from a marketability standpoint, what I found interesting was that your financial projections by year seven parallel other projections we have seen of more commercial mainstream undertakings. And it brings about the question: how do you go after the marketplace of a third to a quarter of the population size, given the way your programming makes you exclusive to a certain offering, and still be able to achieve those numbers?
664 MR. A. KANG: Commissioner, if I understand your question correctly, it's how we compete with the current non-ethnic market?
665 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: No, no. It's an unfair question, but it begs asking.
666 MR. A. KANG: Sure.
667 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: We ask every applicant to make a pro forma --
668 MR. A. KANG: Sure.
669 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- revenue statement which we look at to gauge the ambition and the strategies for how the station can be commercially viable, and your choice of programming is somewhat self-limiting to a smaller percentage -- a substantially smaller percentage of the population, yet you still feel you can achieve numbers that would be reflective of a competitive mainstream offering also targeted to the Surrey area, and I'm very curious how you modelled those numbers, given that also you are relying significantly, like 92 or 93 percent, to local advertising revenues who would also be self-limiting it would seem?
670 MR. A. KANG: So, before passing on to Ankur, I will just add two comments. So, I think one is we are planning to -- with all the efforts we are doing in terms of going beyond the mediums, we are increasing the total listening hours, you know, by expanding beyond the airtime and also expanding the reach of the radio station. So that is basically, you know, new advertisements, that is more opportunities for advertising.
671 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Expanding the reach through social media or how are you doing that?
672 MR. A. KANG: Yes, using the use of interactive radio, you know, increasing the number of hours, using -- you know, it's the availability of the programming, it would be all different means that we explained in the demo.
673 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sorry, are your revenue projections inclusive of revenue that comes from outside of selling advertising time on the station; is that what you're saying?
674 MR. A. KANG: No, I don't think so. Ankur will be a better person to explain that.
675 MR. MERWAHA: Hello, Mr. Commissioner.
676 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Hi. Hello.
677 MR. MERWAHA: So, first of all, I would like to point that the revenue projections are conservatively projected for the first year and then you will notice that every year it grows from eight to 10 percent and that growth is based upon the increase in the ethnic population that will occur in the Surrey area as well as the businesses.
678 If you will, as a prime example, the businesses that were on Main Street in Vancouver have -- 90 percent of them have actually relocated to the Surrey area and that is because of the growth of the population here, as well as the target market they have and that is what is based -- which is integrated in our projections.
679 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's very helpful. Thank you very much. So just to clarify, you are not combining external pro forma revenues into what we have seen, it's strictly advertising sales on radio?
680 MR. MERWAHA: That's correct, Commissioner.
681 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. And if they are that conservative, how is it that you feel that you are going to be in the black or in a profitability situation as quickly as you seem to think you will be?
682 Other applicants say -- again, that's their problem, but are saying two years, two and half years before profitability; you are saying something quite different. How is that conservative?
683 MR. MERWAHA: Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. First of all, our revenue is based on -- I actually have some numbers here, but it is based on about 40 advertisements per day for the first year and about three or three to five advertisements for the national for the first year.
684 So these are conservative, you know, compared to the ongoing radio stations where the advertising time is approximately sometimes 15 minutes in a one-hour programming. So that's where the conservative revenue projections are.
685 And the reason we are a little bit conservative in our approach is because our target market is narrow, it is diverted towards the youth and I think that's where the limitations are and we have actually made accommodations of those restrictions in our budgeting.
686 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, but from a competitive offering standpoint every competitor has that same option of how many minutes they can choose to sell comparable to yours, so I don't know that that is a complete solution to where your ability to turn the corner on losses can occur, because every applicant has that same choice available to them.
687 MR. PANNU: If I can intervene for a second.
688 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Sure.
689 MR. PANNU: It is projected six minutes and six minutes means 12 commercials in an hour.
690 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Per hour.
691 MR. PANNU: Yes, per hour. And you see the growth of Surrey is quite huge, is way up than any other community comparatively, if the Brampton in Ontario is in ninth place and Surrey is in second place. And recently a report has come across the border came out, 500,000 business open in a year and out of that almost 100,000 business been sustained for a long time of period.
692 So comparatively, if we see the Surrey growth is quite high based on new immigration, people coming in, so having six minutes in one hour it is not the problem for the Surrey business because the growth of the business is quite high. So, based on that, the projection is almost $800,000-some, which being I think very, very positive turn.
693 If a radio station doesn't start making money next year as the ethnic I will say you shouldn't do it, the business.
694 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Hmm... Well --
695 MR. PANNU: This is my experience in my past business.
696 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes. I think, too, though, that -- without getting into a debate rather than questioning you -- that some other applicants are aiming for 10 minutes per hour with a substantially larger audience, so I think that the answer that perhaps I was looking for was that you are going to control your costs differently, because that is the other factor.
697 MR. MERWAHA: And you must have seen in our budget --
698 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
699 MR. MERWAHA: -- our costs are, you know, controlled. A lot of us here have a financial background as well --
700 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yes.
701 MR. MERWAHA: -- and that expertise will be put in place in the business.
702 MR. A. KANG: If I may add, I think, Commissioner, the other thing is our appeal to the number of communities and the number is far more compared to any other applicant I suppose, it is 16-plus languages, 18-plus cultures, so the number of communities that we are going to tap into, that is significantly large as well.
703 And, on top of that, I think the amount of cost reduction that is going to happen is also going to happen because of the automation that we put in place. I have a background in automation and a lot of the things that we are going to do in terms of, are going to be like more efficient systems and I think that is where the conservative figures come from.
704 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Automation of the music and the commercials, but not necessarily the automation of the talk.
705 MR. A. KANG: Pardon?
706 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Automation can only apply to music and commercials, but not necessarily to the --
707 MR. A. KANG: That's correct, Commissioner.
708 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: One clean-up question, and I know this was asked of staff, if you are going to be entertaining the idea of having call-in format, there are other requirements of a broadcaster that are technological and cost-related with respect to delay of broadcast and so on, and you understand that there would be an imposition of that in your condition of licence and you would be prepared to accept that?
709 MR. A. KANG: Yes, Commissioner, we do.
710 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I'm done. Thank you very much.
711 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Just a brief follow up on the economic issues. Fine, six minutes an hour. How much were you planning on charging for each one of those minutes?
712 MR. MERWAHA: Our rates are, again --
713 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
714 MR. MERWAHA: -- they are very conservative. Our rates are about -- it's actually $16.
715 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sixteen dollars.
716 MR. MERWAHA: Or $15-some odd per spot.
717 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
718 MR. MERWAHA: Which is very low compared to what is actually in the market.
719 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you will be doing $32 a minute?
720 MR. A. KANG: That's right.
721 MR. MERWAHA: Yes.
722 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
723 MR. PANNU: Thank you. The logic --
724 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan may have a question for you.
725 MR. PANNU: The logic behind $16 and some pennies, because when we see the market of Surrey it's not very corporate sector, so it is a small business. When we have to tap the small business people we have to have a very affordable price for them if they want to bring their commercial to the radio station. Comparatively, we can't have $30, $40 or $50 per spot as well as the mainstream, they get it.
726 So the ethnic media has to be very conservative, very affordable to those small businesses.
727 MR. MERWAHA: I actually want to add something here as well. From the previous presentation you must have noticed they mention, you know, the type of competition they have from Vancouver and the amount of competition that is going to come from south of the border and to basically put our place in that competition, that is why this is what our projections are going to be.
728 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's fine, thank you. Mr. Shoan...?
729 MR. MERWAHA: Thank you.
730 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good morning. I had a few questions following your presentation.
731 With respect to your proposed schedule you mentioned a program called "Children Storytelling" and you put a picture up on your presentation. I just wanted to clarify, what exactly is that? You are giving children a book to read over the air?
732 MR. H. KANG: So "Children Storytelling", we had that program with my previous experience, so that's an open line program in which the host first tells a short story then encourage the small children to tell their own, so they come on the air and tell -- share their stories over the air.
733 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. I understand. You also noted that you would be pledging $15,000 for anti-bullying campaigns. Pledging to who? Pledging to what?
734 MR. A. KANG: Yes. So we will be actually working along with the local organizations and we will be looking at our -- along with the -- we will be tapping into their advisory committee for the recommendations for the resources that -- where those resources need to go, which can be education, which can be into local organizations who are working for anti-bullying campaigns.
735 There will be also some time dedicated on-air for anti-bullying campaigns if there needs to be.
736 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. I commend you for raising -- targeting advertising in your presentation, I think that is the challenge for over-the-air radio as it transitions to a digital online world in terms of providing ad agencies or local retailers the ability to target specific audiences in a way that allows them to compete with other online entities. So, I'm glad you're turning your mind to that particular issue.
737 And you even brought up connected cars. This is great, I think that's the wild card for the future of the radio industry.
738 MR. A. KANG: Thanks, Commissioner.
739 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: In terms of -- so I'm curious about how you are going to leverage your interactive radio platform -- which was really innovative, I thought that was great -- in order to meet this need for targeted advertising.
740 When listeners are using their interactive platform, what sort of information are you gleaning from that use such that you can give that to local retailers or ad agencies and give them that ability to target more specifically the ads that they want to?
741 MR. A. KANG: Thank you, Commissioner, that's a great question. If you see on the screen, so it's an example user, so we are giving the user a choice to choose, you know, what all kind of programming, content of programming that the user is interested in, to be notified then that, you know, comment goes on-air, when that content is available for download.
742 And based on those, you know, choices it's very easy to provide, you know, ads that are customized for the consumption of the particular user. Now, this is just one demo. This is just one of the many ways in which we have thought.
743 This is obviously going -- the system is going to evolve, you know, more and more. So the idea is the choices the particular user is making with the system, you know, we are able to actually provide more customized advertisement for the users. Did I answer the question?
744 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. In part. So the idea is, they create a profile on whatever platform that is created, then they have the ability to state their likes, their dislikes, their interests, the system tailors ads to meet those particular interests?
745 MR. A. KANG: That's correct.
746 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
747 MR. A. KANG: So yes, I do have, you know, some experience with the ad networks as well, so that is just one part. So one part is like, you know, making choices like this, then -- but the other part of making the profiles is the kind of conversation they are having, the kind of comments they are liking. So that can be -- it can be very -- it can be customized to a very minute detail on that type of ads that a particular user would want.
748 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. Thank you. Last question. We heard South Fraser this morning say ethnic communities in Surrey are well served. In your reply to interventions you obviously made the counter argument, in fact you said that ethnic communities in Surrey were quite dissatisfied.
749 Now you have answered this question in bits and pieces throughout your presentation, but I thought I would give you one final opportunity to perhaps give a bit more information as to why ethnic communities in Surrey are highly dissatisfied and what specifically you can bring that differs from other services which are serving the ethnic community in Surrey?
750 MR. A. KANG: So, Commissioner, as I think we filed it in our supplementary brief, so there are communities with far less numbers, for example, we mentioned a few communities across the nation which have a population of let's say 85,000 or, you know, 110,000 and have -- you know, it's about seven FM stations are serving that particular community.
751 But even if you look very conservatively to only the Punjabi speaking, for example -- I'm just taking Punjabi for an instance -- only the Punjabi-speaking population in Metro Vancouver, it's 139,000 think and it has only basically one ethnic FM radio station.
752 So we strongly -- and I think that is -- you know, from the surveys that we have done there are audiences that are -- actually 48 percent of the audience said they tune into online radios. So we strongly believe that there is the need within the community. It's just once, you know, a radio station is actually serving the communities' needs and I think the more diversified the voices are, the community at this point of time does need the radio station that serves to their need and also builds a very community market for that ethnic community.
753 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you. That's great. Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman.
754 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner. Just a couple of clean-up issues that were raised by Commissioner Simpson.
755 How does a commercial undertaking fundraise for its survival? Can you just explain that to me briefly?
756 MR. MERWAHA: Thank you for that question. First of all, I just want to clarify that the term "fundraising" that was put in in the response is actually the IDEA FM's effort that will go into helping fundraising the dollars for the non-profit organizations, and that revenue is going to be in-kind. IDEA FM is not going to charge anything for that revenue.
757 However, for accounting purposes, it is going to be in-kind and it is going to -- the revenue has to match the expenses and that's where it comes to.
758 THE CHAIRPERSON: So there won't be any revenues that added, per se, from the fundraising efforts towards the bottom line of IDEA?
759 MR. MERWAHA: That's right. However, the revenue has to match the expenses and that's where the accounting jargon comes in.
760 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are going to charge an administrative fee, an expense fee, if you will, for the fundraising?
761 MR. MERWAHA: That's right, just a recovery.
762 THE CHAIRPERSON: The other issue is that other applicants -- and if you have seen radio hearings generally, people are hoping that by year four, as an example, or five, they will get out of the red.
763 Assuming that this proposal of yours follows what most other radio broadcasters have followed, and it usually takes quite a few years to get out of the red, how are you going to be able to keep the station in operation if you're what some might think are rather optimistic projections, you call them conservative, but if we follow the trend they seem to be rather optimistic, if they don't come to pass and there needs to be the injection of capital?
764 MR. MERWAHA: First of all, I want to mention that we are a team of young individuals and it is a very strong team. We are not one of the big players in the market, however, we are putting our soul, our money, our efforts in this project and that is where --
765 THE CHAIRPERSON: And if the money is not enough?
766 MR. MERWAHA: That's right. And that's where we will go out to the bank, get a loan. It's a matter of cashflow. You know, as long as the cashflow is taken care of, I think we have enough strong content and, you know, our application has the means that will be able to break even within three years.
767 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what can you bring to the table to assure the Commission that that is the case?
768 MR. MERWAHA: Well, first of all, we are putting all -- well, individuals are putting their individual savings in the project.
769 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
770 MR. MERWAHA: And --
771 THE CHAIRPERSON: The entirety of their individual savings?
772 MR. MERWAHA: Most of it.
773 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
774 MR. MERWAHA: Yes. And, you know, that will bring the --
775 THE CHAIRPERSON: And if IDEA needs to go beyond the figures that we have here --
776 MR. MERWAHA: Yes.
777 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- what happens then?
778 MR. MERWAHA: Sure. I will pass on the question.
779 MR. PANNU: Yes. I promised them to keep the radio alive, I'm here, I make a promise in writing to the Commission, any funds needed to keep the radio alive, I committed to fulfil that and I have those assets, I can ensure, Commissioner, we will keep the channel on.
780 The amount, we can go up until seven years up to $3 million. We can jack up the money.
781 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that money, would that go to sort of the line of credit availability or...?
782 MR. PANNU: Line of credit and also saving.
783 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. We will look at that with legal and we will sort of take another look at that. I think legal has an issue that they would like to raise with you before we close.
784 Madam Pinsky...?
785 MS PINSKY: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just a few questions just to follow up on the questioning. You indicated to Commissioner Simpson that you would be willing to accept a condition of licence with respect to the commitment 100 percent toward ethnic broadcasting and 90 percent toward third language and I just wanted to specify.
786 With respect to the predominant language for the ethnic broadcasting, would you be willing to accept a condition of licence that a minimum of 67 percent, as you have indicated in your application, of all ethnic programming broadcast each week would be directed to the Punjabi language?
787 MR. A. KANG: Yes, we will.
788 MS PINSKY: Okay. Thank you. Also, I wonder if you can elaborate on your proposal for an advisory committee. You have indicated in your application that you would establish an advisory committee and if you can elaborate on the role and the mandate of that committee and how that would be selected?
789 MR. PANNU: Advisory committee, I have been chosen to run the advisory committee and there will be 10 areas where we have to look into it. We will get those expertise in that area.
790 Let's say we have Mr. Eleazar from the Portuguese community and he has 10 years' experience back home, so he will bring up his expertise from Philippine community as well as Spanish community. And we have a large number of group helping seniors-to-seniors and as the member of IPAC is very famous here in Vancouver, the founder of one -- representative of the IPAC founder have participated in the comments, so we will get advice from them.
791 So we will have also women in the committee, also students from the University of British Columbia, so also the Surrey, we will go to the colleges and get all the students so who have already been participating in the community. So we will get those people on board.
792 So we will have youth, student and also women and also seniors among all communities.
793 MS PINSKY: Thank you. So do you have an idea of how many members would be on this committee?
794 MR. PANNU: We will be having 10, at least minimum 10, but we can go up to the number 15 or 20. It depends on what we needed. If we needed some particular area to target, we will find the right person so they can have their expertise, their ideas to the committee and then we can elaborate and represent to the director and then they pursue that, the ideas on the platform.
795 MS PINSKY: Yes. And who is responsible for appointing the members?
796 MR. PANNU: It will be the committee members will decide and that will go to the director and the director will take care of those functions which have been determined, which have been collectively agreed in the committee and the director will take care of that decision.
797 MS PINSKY: Thank you. And just as a final question, as you know that there are a number of applications being considered in this hearing, not all of which are mutually exclusive, so could you just comment, in the event that more than one licence were awarded in this proceeding, how would that affect your plan?
798 MR. PANNU: I don't see if even more than one licence, but it has to be one ethnic because it's already what -- based on the economy of Surrey and I hope one, another radio can sustain it.
799 And if we talk about the English, English is the different market. Let's say if the background of the people are East Indian or ethnic, anyway they will break the law of CRTC. You know that announcement, if anyone does the announcement, no announcement cannot be counted as a content. Also the commercial can be run in any other languages. Music has no definition.
800 So any other English radio station has been granted, it may run at the end of Punjabi radio, because music cannot be counted in the CRTC definition. Announcement, you cannot count as English. They can make any announcement in any language. Also, they can run any commercial in any language.
801 So at the end what will happen, the radio will be known as English, but it will be different language. So the Commission has to think what they are going to decide, are they going to give to the ethnic who fully came with the ethnic policy or if someone came with the English policy and running as another language program, the Commission has to consider that.
802 MS PINSKY: Well, just to clarify, so can you just indicate how would that impact on your proposal to the Commission? Would you feel that you would continue to be viable and you would continue with the operation, or how would an additional licence impact?
803 MR. PANNU: It will not be affected if it's fully -- the other station is fully English and one station is fully ethnic, it won't affect each other.
804 MS PINSKY: Okay, thank you very much. Those are all my questions.
805 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Pannu, just briefly, and I'm going to turn it over to Commissioner Shoan in just a moment. Would you be willing to undertake to provide the Commission with verifiable evidence as to the availability of a $3 million fund --
806 MR. PANNU: Yes.
807 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- to support this application?
808 MR. PANNU: Yes, sir.
809 THE CHAIRPERSON: In terms of the delays, how much time would you need to provide the Commission with that evidence?
810 MR. PANNU: A week. If it's required before that, then I can put up as soon as possible.
811 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maître Pinsky...?
812 MS PINSKY: Would it be possible by the --
813 THE CHAIRPERSON: By Wednesday? Yes. Before the end of -- by Wednesday morning I think, before the interventions? If I just look at the agenda one last time.
814 MS PINSKY: I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman. If you were able to do it by the end of this week, by the conclusion of the hearing, that would be acceptable.
815 MR. PANNU: That won't be a problem.
816 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
817 MR. PANNU: Yes.
818 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan...?
819 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Just a question of clarification on what you have just said. Were you saying that irrespective of whether an ethnic station or English station is licensed, they are going to target the ethnic community of Surrey --
820 MR. PANNU: Yes.
821 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- and as such there will be advertisements in third languages irrespective of the content of the programming?
822 MR. PANNU: No. Announcement, not the content will be -- I'm pretty sure they will be speaking in English, but they will be running any other third-language music because, as Commissioner know that, music can be any language.
823 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
824 MR. PANNU: So it will not be controlled by CRTC. The announcement cannot be controlled by the CRTC, it can be in any other language. Commercial can be in any language, as the definition of CRTC.
825 So, where we end up? I am not going to mention any names, as the applicant already have proposed, (unintelligible) day will be, or any Portuguese day will be celebrate in their language.
826 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
827 MR. PANNU: So where I am coming from, the Commission has the knowledge of that.
828 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you for that.
829 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal's fine? Thank you. Thank you all so much.
830 MR. PANNU: Thank you.
831 MR. A. KANG: Thank you, Commissioner.
832 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be back at 1:00 p.m. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1205
--- Upon resuming at 1303
833 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, everyone. Yeah, it is a good afternoon. We just got in last night, so we're still a little bit confused, or I am at least, especially when my laptop doesn't show the right time. It still has me out in Eastern time.
834 So, Madame la secrétaire.
835 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
836 We will now proceed with item 3 on the agenda, which is an application by Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp. for a broadcasting license to operate an English language commercial FM radio station in Surrey.
837 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and then you will have 20 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
838 MS RAI: Good afternoon, vice-chair, commissioners, and commission staff. My name is Kal Rai and I am the chief executive officer and main shareholder of Sky Radio Broadcasting Corp. I'd like to first introduce our team and then tell you how we will spend the time allotted for our presentation.
839 I am very proud to be surrounded by an extremely passionate, hardworking and dedicated Sky team and will ask them to introduce themselves.
840 MR. CLEAN: Good afternoon, commissioners. I am Maximus Clean, general manager for Sky 107 FM.
841 MS del VAL: Good afternoon, commissioners. My name is Helen del Val and I am counsel for Sky 107.
842 MR. ROTA: Good afternoon, commissioners. My name is Aaron Rota, and I am Business Development for Sky 107.
843 MR. RAI: Good afternoon, commissioners. I am Dalbir Rai. I'm a chartered accountant, a tax partner in the firm Ernst & Young, and I'm lucky enough to be here to Kal.
844 MR. HARMER: I'm Jason Harmer. I'm the Promotions Director.
845 MR. BITNER: I'm Leanne Bitner, Music Director, Electronic Dance Music.
846 MR. MORRIS: I'm James "Mosa" Morris and I am also a music director of urban music.
847 MR. SUNNER: Good afternoon, commissioners, my name is Michael Sunner. I am Kal Rai's brother, and I am sales and program director for Sky 107 FM.
848 MR. DAWSON: My name is Rob Dawson. I am partner of Concerto Marketing Group, a Vancouver-based marketing consultancy that provides market research and strategy services to its clients. I have over 23 years of experience in the marketing and research industry, and was engaged by Sky Radio Broadcasting to provide an objective and unbiased assessment of the prospective radio station format. Concerto conducted a quantitative market research study of respondents within the broadcast signal area, and we are experienced in this type of work, having it conducted it in a number of radio station markets across Canada.
849 MS RAI: In our presentation we will tell you briefly who we are, what Sky 107 FM is, what is our sound, the strength of our business case, and how we plan to give back to the community. We will show a five minute video which will let you hear the music that makes up our format. Following that we will explain the highlights of how we chose the format, our target audience, what we will bring to the local radio market, and our minimum impact on the incumbents.
850 So who is Sky 107 FM? Yes, we are newcomers to radio, but we all have to start somewhere. I have never owned any media business. So we are a new voice and would add diversity of news voices and ownership to our broadcasting system. My brother, Michael, and I were raised in a family business environment in the U.K. My father emigrated from India to the U.K. and set up his own businesses that are still successfully operating today. My family immigrated to Canada and Surrey is where we settled them.
851 In 1986 I co-founded a retail and import business in Surrey that still operates successfully today by the other cofounders. I believe in giving back to the community. The last 15 years I have been focusing on energy on bettering my community by being involved in the Rotary Hospital Foundation, Union Gospel, meal programs for the less fortunate, and a couple of educational groups, since our son is still in school in grade 10.
852 Local radio with the impact they can have on communities they serve has always struck me as a meaningful and exciting venture, a perfect combination of business and community contribution. My brother Michael has devoted his life to passion for music. He introduced the urban beat sound on the midnight show of Fairchild Radio and turned it into a revenue generator for the station. He launched and is now running our online radio station very successfully known as Sky107FM.com. Our entire family is behind this endeavour, and Dalbir is our voice of financial reason.
853 Now that you know a bit about who we are, I'd like to play a five minute video to show you what we do at Sky 107 FM and what is the contemporary urban dance sound.
--- Video presentation
855 MR. CLEAN: Good afternoon. This is a new format of music currently unheard on Vancouver radio and we will be adding to the diversity of music played on the airwaves and a new venue for emerging radio artists.
856 Sky 107 FM's variety of music reflects the new age of popular music and how it's changed considerably over the last decade. Hip hop, R&B, pop, and many more types of music, like jazz, reggae, Reggaeton and bhangra, have all evolved to include elements of electronic dance music to create a new fusion of urban dance and a new crop of budding Canadian artists.
857 Of our 40 percent Canadian content, half will be the music of emerging artists. This format of contemporary urban dance music does not have a home on Vancouver radio today, yet has a significant number of followers. They are the fans who listen to this music on non-radio sources, such as streaming services, like Pandora online radio, and digital devices like iPods. We chose this format because we believe in the adage, "Do what you love and the rest will follow." We chose it because we love this music. We know it and listen to it from non-radio sources.
858 When we commissioned the experts to do the research, they confirmed that in the 18 to 44 age group we are not the only ones who love this chosen format. Our market research shows that the genres that make up our format are amongst the five highest for non-radio listenership. Listeners of this format feel that there is little they like on regular radio and that they would listen to radio more if their type of programming was available.
859 Amongst the group of potential listeners tested, nearly 66 percent expect that Sky 107 FM would become one of their top three most listened to stations. Sky 107 FM will bring to radio new listeners who are currently accessing audio content through other technologies. This is a growing group of consumers, particularly amongst English-speaking listeners. We'd like to bring those listeners back to FM radio. Thank you.
860 Speaking next is our financial advisor, Dalbir Rai.
861 MR. RAI: Kal called me the voice of financial reason and that's kind because I know doing my job sometimes means reigning in enthusiasm. I'm a chartered accountant, so I'm conservative by nature. Sky 107's business case is very conservative. For example, it is built on the smallest population base that the smallest contours would allow, which is approximately 530,000 people. It is based on commitment to advertise. The commitment letters that total almost 2 million are in Schedule 4 to our application, yet our first year revenues are based on less than half that amount.
862 As a CA I assess numerous business cases and one of the primary reasons a business falters is because it is not adequately financed. In Sky 107 FM's case, access to $4.7 million has been secured, an injection of cash flow 1.7 million has been built into the business case. In other words, the owners are secured, adequately financed, and committed.
863 Aaron will now talk about our business impact.
864 MR. ROTA: Thank you, Dalbir.
865 Of all the applicants before you, our station will have the smallest impact on the incumbents. We project a market share of 6.9 percent. The audience we are after are the listeners who are not currently listening to traditional radio. We appreciate the delicate balance that the Commission must strike in keeping the broadcasting system healthy and in not over-licensing so that all those who have already been licensed stay healthy enough to serve the markets that they have been licensed to serve. We also believe that a reasonable amount of fair competition is healthy. Human nature being what it is, fair competition makes all of us better, it will make us up our game.
866 Overall we believe that there will be more benefits to the radio market and to the broadcasting system as a whole by adding Sky 107. Our format has the greatest potential of growing the radio market. In our view, that represents the best use of the spectrum.
867 Jason will now discuss our CCD plan.
868 MR. HARMER: Good morning -- or afternoon, pardon me. I'm having trouble figuring out the time of day, so ...
869 For our over and above contribution, our first choice was Access To Music. They're a charitable organization dedicated to improving communities through music education for youth by supporting schools and community centres. Their Adopt an Instrument program provides music instruments and song, songwriters of a new generation brings mentors to educate youth about music, create safe places for them to express themselves, and help get them involved in building their community.
870 We're additionally proud to announce that both Leanne and James on our team have been invited to participate as mentors.
871 Finally, we have developed a new program independently managed and accessible by any radio station to generate touring resources to support emerging artists across Canada.
872 Back to you, Kal.
873 MS RAI: Sorry.
874 Commissioners, we at Sky 107 FM agree that the most successful radio stations are those that provide effective local programming and service to their communities, and that is exactly what we will do. We would like to end our presentation with a short video about Sky's commitment to Surrey.
--- Video presentation
876 MS RAI: Thank you, commissioners, for listening to our presentation. And I'd just like to say very special thank you to the gentleman that made these beautiful videos, who is sick today and not here, is Jesse Noseworthy, for his time, hard work and dedication in producing the movie.
877 Commissioners, we are now welcoming your questions
878 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's funny, I was going to ask that question before I passed it on to my colleague, but -- whether or not it was done in house or not, but, yeah, very nicely done.
879 MS RAI: Thank you.
880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
881 MS RAI: Thank you.
882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan.
883 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Good afternoon.
884 MS RAI: Good afternoon.
885 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Before I begin, "Maximus Clean" is a fantastic name.
886 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So fantastic.
887 MR. CLEAN: Thank you, commissioner.
888 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes. It's also quite nice to see Ms del Val here as well. She's a former CRTC commissioner. It's always good to see a friendly face.
889 I have a few questions for you. Before I get into them, I wanted to ask a few questions of clarification from your presentation this morning.
890 On page 8 of your presentation you noted that you project a market share of 6.9 percent. Correct me if I'm wrong, this differs quite substantially from the market share projections in your application, which I believe popped out at 1.5 percent in year seven. Am I misreading your application or have your numbers changed since your application?
891 MS RAI: I'll let Dalbir answer the numbers.
892 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
893 MR. RAI: The 6.9 percent is a function of listenership, not a function of our revenues. And I think that's where our confusion might be. We -- our marketing report, our survey shows that of the listeners we have 6.93 percent, but that translates into radio listenership, who are less than a point -- less than 1 percent.
894 MR. DAWSON: So I can clarify the 6.9 percent calculation if you would like.
895 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes, please.
896 MR. DAWSON: Okay. So the 6.9 percent calculation is of the core target audience of 18 to 44 year olds. It's based on the market research survey that we conducted.
897 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
898 MR. DAWSON: So we took those individuals that said that they were very likely or somewhat likely to listen to the radio station based on the format that was presented to them through a music clip. We discounted those answers back. So those that said that they were very likely were discounted to 75 percent and those that were somewhat likely to 25 percent. And then we did a calculation based on their total hours listened to determine the market share within, again, that core market segment of 18 to 44.
899 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, I understand. So the 6.9 percent refers to the core, your target audience of 18 to 44, but the 1.5 percent or the numbers within your application refer to the -- your primary marketing area as a whole and the audience within that contour; is that correct?
900 MR. DAWSON: That's correct. That's correct.
901 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Great.
902 Secondly, in your opening presentation you mentioned that you developed a new program independently managed and accessible by any station to generate touring resources to support emerging artists across Canada.
903 Can you elaborate on this program?
904 MR. HARMER: I would love to.
905 So we -- I've worked in the events industry for about 12 years and, actually, I was the operations lead for Surrey Canada in 2005-2006. And I have a lot of experience with working with artists from an artist management background and as well with the festivals in general.
906 And one of the biggest complications is touring resources, and this is one of the things that the record labels are all pulling back on and the -- it's basically new emerging artists are left with two primary drivers of building fans. And one is online and the other is touring.
907 And so what I was given leave to do was to develop a program which would make use of the available resources we had as a station to try and find new ways to get these artists out on the road.
908 And so what I came up with is called CAPI, and it's the Canadian Artists Partnership Initiative. And the principle is that we will create a pool of advertising minutes which will be managed by Music BC, so it's not managed in-house, which will be available to any radio station to contribute minutes to, and those advertising minutes will be used in a barter system with suppliers of rental vehicles, of hotels, of fuel, of cell phone minutes in exchange.
909 So you would go to a Best Western and say, "We will exchange you $1,000 worth of advertising minutes for $1,000 worth of hotel rooms", for example. And you would do this with all these different suppliers, which would allow you to build packages which would give bands the ability to go on the road.
910 So you could -- instead of trying to award financial resources to an emerging artist, you could simply give them a month's worth of hotel rooms, a vehicle rental for a month and enough fuel to get them across Canada and then you simply just send them out on the road.
911 And then that was the -- that is what -- the program we're referring to.
912 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, that's interesting. And I suppose it would allow you to build closer working relationships or business relationships with local retailers and --
913 MR. HARMER: Absolutely.
914 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yeah.
915 MR. HARMER: There is -- and we're hoping that the -- that by making it available to other stations that they will see a similar benefit as well. And this was sort of one of the advantages to having Music BC come in as our partner for this and that they will be handling it and so that it won't be -- as it won't be an in-house project, there won't be any threat that would represent by managing it.
916 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And in that program, whatever advertising minutes you're contributing to Music BC which is administering the program, would you be -- would the expectation be you'd be able to use those -- use that contribution as the Canadian content?
917 MR. HARMER: No. We did not include -- we are actually --
918 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: It's completely independent?
919 MR. HARMER: It is completely separate. We -- what we have in our CCD plan is we are donating -- we are donating funds directly to Music BC, which we count our CCD, to manage the program.
920 We are -- in addition to that, we are contributing 30 minutes for every weekday into the pool of minutes. And the minutes that we are including are not included as part of our CCD, so we -- that is -- the financial contribution is the thing that we count. The minutes is in kind, and that doesn't count.
921 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, great. Thank you.
922 Ms Rai, I was hoping you could explain to me just in general terms -- give me a bit more information with respect to your business experience and your knowledge of Surrey, and how those factors will influence the success of your proposed station.
923 MS RAI: Okay. Well, I was born in a grocery store environment. My dad immigrated from India in the early fifties.
924 My brother and I -- there's just two of us -- we were both born and raised in England.
925 As part of going to school, coming home, running a grocery store with my parents and just learning every aspect of it, going to do the banking with my dad and cashier, everything that there was to do in a grocery store. And then they stayed in England and I immigrated to Canada, where -- and I lived in Surrey, so that was in 1981.
926 And with my -- with my married family, we decided to get into a business. We opened up a fabric clothing store in Surrey on Scott Road.
927 And it was exporting from India -- importing from India fabrics and silks, and so I did that for about eight years. And then I left the family and moved to Richmond.
928 And that business is still operating today.
929 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And so how does your experience in the grocery business and in fabrics and textiles translate to the media industry?
930 MS RAI: Well, I really don't know much about the media industry, but I have a brother who has a lot of knowledge, and this is our project together. And having a husband that's fantastic with financials, I think we'll be pretty successful.
931 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Well, perhaps your brother would like to give his perspective on how this station will be operated in a successful way.
932 MS RAI: Sure. He's been dying to do that.
933 MR. SUNNER: Well, as you can see, Commissioners, the team here is very, very passionate and very, very committed.
934 And I've lived here now for over 25 years and have been involved in entertainment since the late eighties. And matter of fact, in 1997, I actually brought the first urban sound to the airwaves at 96.1 FM when we blended Bollywood and Bangra music with Hollywood. And it was very successful.
935 That was a long time ago Music has evolved so much, the community here has evolved so much.
936 Having also been the first Indo-Canadian ever to be signed up by a major record level, which was in 1994, I took the fusion of Bangra and reggae music and wrote the lyrics in English and created a brand new sort of genre at that time that I persisted through over all them years, has gone on to TV, worked at some of the ethnic radio stations.
937 I know this Surrey city very, very well. I know where the strengths are. I know where the weaknesses are.
938 As far as bringing my sister to get involved in this, it didn't actually take too much convincing, and she's headed this alongside her husband, Dalbir. So our team all around and each member that's sitting here I've known for most likely more than 10 years.
939 We are very confident. We know to -- how the community should really get together. And one way that we really know how it's going to come together is through music and bringing the community together with the English language is --very naturally comes to us here at Sky.
940 MR. RAI: And Commissioner, if I could jump in. Erin Rota has been our -- he's our business manager, has lots of experience in radio, and Maximus Clean will be our general manager.
941 So what we may lack in direct industry knowledge, we made up by professionals who are qualified in that area.
942 And myself, I've been a Chartered Accountant for 28 years in the City of Vancouver. I work for one of the largest firms. I understand how business is. And you know, the strength of my knowledge will also be devoted there.
943 I'm a full-time professional and, hence, I'm not involved in the day-to-day operations of this. But rest assured that the team that will operate it is qualified in the business.
944 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
945 Certainly I can see you're passionate, but I'm sure you can appreciate it's a difficult climb, it's a difficult challenge for a lone operator to gain traction in the marketplace.
946 So I acknowledge your passion, but do you have a specific plan in terms of how you intend to make an impact in Surrey?
947 MR. ROTA: I can add a little bit to that experience portion and to some of the strategy behind the plan.
948 I've opened, three years ago, an online radio station that is the dance format in Vancouver, one of a kind, and it is an uphill battle.
949 It's one that we've learned a lot in the process, but I've also had experience in traditional radio as well, being involved in an application in front of the CRTC. We did the 94.5 application years ago, which was a great success.
950 But being a lone operator, it presents a lot of challenges that we've been through and seen, and there's a vast amount of experience we've gained, at least myself I've gained, and a network of professionals that are willing to help, have shown support and will be there through those trials and tribulations as we grow.
951 But I've been through it. I know what it's going to take. And we're committed to getting it done.
952 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
953 Well, thank you for clarifying the difference between the 6.9 percent figure in your presentation and the numbers you've provided in your application. And I can appreciate that an attempt was made to provide conservative estimates with respect to the impact you would have on the marketplace.
954 But you have to -- I'm sure you can appreciate an FM frequency is a very valuable public resource, and we, the Commission, have to make a decision in terms of giving that resource in the public interest.
955 And in your application, you have predicted a 0.8 market share after three years in operation. 0.8 percent of the marketplace isn't a substantial number in compared to some -- in comparison to other audience projections, so can you explain to me how it's in the best interests of the public and the best use of this frequency to grant the licence to an operator who can only get to 0.8 percent by year 3?
956 MS RAI: I'll ask Dalbir to answer that.
957 MR. RAI: In our final projections, the market share on the 530,000 people is some $28 million, is what the revenues are.
958 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
959 MR. RAI: We realize it's going to take us four years to -- or two and a half years to get there, to be profitable. That's why we're fully financed to do that.
960 It is a resource, and it should be guarded well. And we believe we will be the good guardians of that because on a $28 million base, our $1 million in first year doesn't represent a very large percentage of it.
961 And I will turn it over to Rob, who did a market survey that talks about the additional listeners we will bring to radio and how the pie will be grown.
962 MR. DAWSON: Thanks, Dalbir.
963 I think one of the key interesting findings that came out of the market research that we did is that we're talking with the station application about net new listeners to radio, so we're actually talking about the ability to bring people back to listening to radio or listening to radio for the first time.
964 Forty-seven (47) percent of the people that say that they're likely to listen to Sky Radio would be ones that are either going to increase their total music listenership or switch from other non-radio sources, so they're listening to this music. It is a very popular genre of music. But they're listening to it on their iPods or they're streaming it online or listening to it on satellite radio.
965 So I think that's one of the strengths that we saw in the research with this application, is the ability to actually grow the market and to increase listenership overall of radio.
966 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: I thought that was an interesting argument that you made in your presentation in terms of the argument that you're going to be repatriating listeners who are using non-radio sources to get this programming. It's not typically an argument that I hear.
967 Can you give me a bit more information in terms of the research that you did to come to that conclusion? Were you targeting a specific demographic of listener to this type of music programming?
968 What sort of listener were you hoping to repatriate from --
969 MR. DAWSON: So this was a random sample of 18 to 44 years olds within the listening area, so it's not targeting a particular age beyond that age, but any particular other parameters in terms of their demographics.
970 And then we looked at those that were prepared to listen to the station. They said that they were likely to -- were very likely to listen to the station. Nineteen (19) percent of them said they would spend more time listening to music overall.
971 So because there's a lot of dissatisfaction, we found, also, in our survey with the radio choices that are available today. About 74 percent of the overall sample said that they would listen to more music radio if the choices that -- their style was available to them.
972 So again, 19 percent would spend more time listening to radio, and then 28 percent would listen from other -- would switch their listening from other sources to this radio station format.
973 So that's how he 47 percent was attained.
974 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
975 MR. ROTA: And if I can add -- sorry to interrupt, but if I could add just a little bit about the format and dance music.
976 There's examples throughout all different types of media that shows dance music is becoming one of the larger formats in Canada. It's been proven in the UK and Australia.
977 No better example than last night, album of the year was a dance artist in Def Punk at the Grammys. So it is growing.
978 We put in conservative estimates just to not over-shoot. We'd rather be in error to the side of caution when it comes to ratings and numbers because we know our financials are based on those numbers, so that's where the under -- or lower-based ratings points were brought in just so that we don't over-shoot those targets.
979 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
980 In the event that your revenue projections fall short, particularly in the first few years while you establish your operations, are you willing to finance the losses or operations personally?
981 MR. RAI: Yes, we are. And we've demonstrated that by financing letters from banks.
982 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you.
983 As you know, the CRTC has the ability to license more than one new station that serves -- to serve Surrey in this proceeding. What would be the impact on your application if the CRTC were to decide to license more than one station to serve the market?
984 MR. RAI: We believe we can co-exist with others. Our format is different, and will draw different audiences.
985 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thanks.
986 So in your submission, you identified six stations that could suffer I believe what you termed "moderate impact" by the introduction of your proposed service to the Surrey market.
987 Given the fact that you've identified these six stations, my question is, is your station truly unique to the marketplace in terms of distinguishing yourself from your competitors?
988 MR. ROTA: I can answer a bit about the format compared to -- you're going to get a little bit of cross-over artists, obviously. There's -- pop music is pop music.
989 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
990 MR. ROTA: We obviously understand that Top 40 will be played on AC, it will be played on stations that will have artists. And there's more and more every day coming up that have cross-over songs and into the genre.
991 But dance as a whole and EDM, as it's referred to, is becoming more and more on its own. And that's what we're trying to create, is a station that is primarily dance. Contemporary urban dance will have a few cross-over artists, but very minimal. As far as who's going to get the dance music right now in the City of Surrey, they're not going to the existing stations.
992 There might be that, and that's an option they'll choose when they're commuting. When they're listening and it's available, they will.
993 But on a whole -- and this -- I know this from working with an online station, is that they want that format exclusively. So if we can add more and more of that, we will be able to keep ourselves exclusive from Top 40 that has maybe a little bit, and not a lot.
994 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Well, where will you be deriving the emerging Canadian artists who are in this urban dance format?
995 MR. ROTA: Where will we be getting them from?
996 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yes.
997 MR. MORRIS: Well, in this new genre that we are talking about here, it's this new fusion of electronic music mixed with pop, R&B, hip-hop, urban, even world music, which is not your typical traditional-sounding world music. Genres like reggae, reggae tone, Afro-pop, bangrae or urban, as we call it, Bollywood, jazz, Asian fusion. All these different types of music.
998 There's artists all across Canada that are doing these types of music. There's lists and lists that we have emerging artists locally, Vancouver, Canada. They're everywhere.
999 And there's no -- there's no place for them currently to be played and be supported.
1000 You might hear the odd -- well, the other radio stations basically pick maybe a few of these artists. Maybe they get a little bit of support.
1001 You know, there are certain artists like Classified, what they'll do is they'll pick five of these certain artists and then just play them and play them and play them. But what about all the other guys that don't get played and don't have that same opportunity. And we're here to help these artists and watch emerging artists grow and succeed in Canada and locally, of course.
1002 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
1003 MR. MORRIS: Thank you.
1004 MR. HARMER: (off mic) I'd like to add to that.
1005 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
1006 MR. HARMER: Additionally, with the fact that we are a modern and younger station, we're going to be interacting with our listeners a lot more on social media than other formats will. And so this is where we get to have the advantage of them being our eyes and ears and where we interact with them and they recommend artists to us and they tell us what they're interested in. And so this is going to give us a great advantage in finding these new emerging artists who are hidden away across Canada.
1007 So we're looking forward to that as social being part of it.
1008 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: In terms of suggesting bands that you can play --
1009 MR. HARMER: Yes, absolutely.
1010 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: -- to give you a playlist.
1011 MR. HARMER: Yeah.
1012 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Fair enough.
1013 Can you tell me what percentage of your target audience will come from existing multi-lingual stations?
1014 MR. DAWSON: I can speak to that in terms of the market research that we did.
1015 As I said, 47 percent of the audience are likely to be new to radio, either increasing their listenership or switching from non-radio sources. So by converse, the 53 percent would be -- had indicated that they would switch from over radio stations.
1016 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
1017 So it would appear from your application that you -- there may be some lack of clarity with respect to the CRTC's Canadian content development policies and how they're administered.
1018 So I'd like to summarize how we administer CCD at the Commission and then perhaps get some clarity from you with respect to your CCD plan. And I recognize that there -- it could require quite a lengthy explanation, so if you'd like to submit it in writing at a later date, which I'll let legal decide, that's fine.
1019 But just so we understand exactly how CCD is administered at the CRTC, and I guess this is for the benefit of everyone in the room, there are three types of CCD.
1020 There is basic annual CCD, which is paid on an annual basis, obviously, which is why it's called annual CCD. There's over and above CCD, which is typically given in the context of a new licence application such as this proceeding, which is over and above basic annual CCD.
1021 And then there's CCD arising from tangible benefits, and that typically happens in an ownership transaction. So obviously, you're not looking at an ownership transaction here, so we can put that one aside.
1022 What we're really looking at in the context of these applications is basic annual CCD and over and above CCD.
1023 So basic annual CCD has really evolved over the years from a contribution based on a market size to one -- to one being a calculation based on station revenues.
1024 Recently, the CRTC amended its CCD policy to apply only to stations whose annual revenues exceeded 1.25 million, so the calculation is based on a base amount of $1,000 and .5 percent of revenues which exceed this amount, and there's a subsequent breakdown of 45 percent to FACTOR or MUSICACTION and 15 percent to Canadian -- the Community Radio Fund of Canada and then a portion for the radio station.
1025 So that comprises the basic annual amount.
1026 Over and above commitments are over and above the basic annual amount. As I said, typically they're given in proceedings such as this. And that typically comprises -- of the over and above amount, 20 percent typically goes to FACTOR or MUSICACTION and then the applicant has free rein to suggest other activities.
1027 We don't use terms such as "standard" or "direct cash", which is terminology I saw in your application.
1028 So given that explanation, are you able to break down your CCD package in a way that separates basic annual CCD and over and above in a bit more of a clear way because I think it was a bit confusing for both myself and staff to discern.
1029 And if you need some more time, that's fine.
1030 MR. HARMER: Fair enough. Well, I'll do my best to try and sum up quickly.
1031 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure.
1032 MR. HARMER: And then if there's things I can submit for future clarification, I will happily do it.
1033 If you have our application in front of you, the last page in 8A, you will find a breakdown of our CCD plan. And that separates the standard and the over and above.
1034 And you will see that -- good. Sorry.
1035 So what we originally -- when we sat down to develop our contribution in total, we committed to giving 1.5 percent of our gross into our CCD plan regardless of what our revenue was. And so you will see the separation between the standard component and the over and above components.
1036 They are included inside that 1.5 percent. So even when we're projecting the -- with our first annual revenues, which are a million, you will see that we've accounted for 1.5 percent regardless of the fact that that is underneath the one and a quarter.
1037 And so the standard component shows our $1,000 contribution, and we've allocated $600 of that to factor, 400 -- which is 60 percent, and then $400 goes to the Music BC Charitable Fund, which is our total standard contribution for the first year. This makes sense?
1038 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: M'hmm.
1039 MR. HARMER: Okay, right. And then the remainder of that 1.5 percent beyond that $1,000 is what we use for our over and above contribution.
1040 And so 20 percent of that must go to FACTOR, so we have our contribution to FACTOR of $2,859, and then we have our contribution to CAPI, which is $12,000, $2,000 a month, and so that gives us our total over and above contribution of 14,859.
1041 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, so I'm going to continue with my questioning, but I'm going to have Staff double-check if that makes sense, and if Staff needs additional clarity let me know.
1042 MR. HARMER: I will happily submit whatever is necessary --
1043 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure. It's less time.
1044 MR. HARMER: -- or take whatever time. It's the core was we want 1.5% of our gross all the way through.
1045 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: That's --
1046 MR. HARMER: So every year --
1047 MR. RAI: Well --
1048 MR. HARMER: And I will do this in writing and submit it.
1049 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That sounds great.
1050 MR. HARMER: Great. Thank you.
1051 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Typically, the Commission likes a bit more clarity with respect to the minimum annual amount from CCD. You know, I certainly don't want to incorrectly state that we -- we try to avoid the percentage annual breakdowns because it doesn't allow necessarily for clear planning purposes for a potential recipient of CCD monies. So, I -- which, I'm certainly not saying 1.5% isn't a good idea. Something needs to be strived t avoid -- we'd like a bit more certainty with respect to a hard number, a minimum amount, which helps for planning purposes and, frankly, for annual checking in terms of our ensuring that the minimum amount has actually been spent, so we can double-check it and on an annual basis for annual reporting.
1052 But, I'll leave that to that, and if Staff requires more information at the end of my questioning, perhaps we can have an undertaking for you to put something in writing at a later time.
1053 MR. HARMER: (Off microphone)
1054 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great. Thanks.
1055 So, I wanted to reconcile a few more numbers that you submitted respecting spoken word programming in your application.
1056 So, we wanted to understand the interplay between the spoken word programming and the music based programming.
1057 Can you clarify your weekly spoken word programming totals in terms of news, weather, traffic, talk shows, comedy shows? How much of each will be broadcast weekly?
1058 MR. SUNNER: Yes. We have got to a total of nearly 36 hours of spoken language -- word.
1059 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: And in the context of your proposed format how will your spoken word fit in?
1060 MR. SUNNER: Obviously, it would come through the news, weather and traffic.
1061 We do have a daily talk show and we also have -- that talk show actually runs all through the week, and also a comedy show.
1062 And, we will be adding a one-hour new emerging profile, also.
1063 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And in terms of having a station focused on the Urban Dance format, the focus on Canadian emerging artists, the content of the talk show and the comedy show, is there a connection between the two, or is the spoken word component very much separate from the music component?
1064 MR. SUNNER: No, we decided that we needed to have a talk show to be really involved in the community. And the comedy, we brought that in because everyone likes a little bit of a laugh, and we just bring that in on the weekends. And it sort of fits with our format. There's a lot of sort of urban comedy that people that -- well, we sort of really did do a lot of research into that comedy thing, and we found that certain kinds of comedy would really suit our radio format.
1065 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So, were you thinking of certain comedians in particular, or --
1066 MR. SUNNER: Well, it was a -- what it was, was that we spoke to about four comedians in Vancouver, in the Surrey area, and we sort of haven't really finalized it yet, but it would be -- it would have a variety.
1067 There wouldn't be, oh, just one kind of comedian hosting a show. We would have like four segments, I believe that's what it was -- four segments. So there would be four different comedians invited to the station every weekend to set off their own style of comedy.
1068 MR. CLEAN: And if I may, perhaps you are familiar with the work of comedian Russell Peters, for example, a very famous Canadian comic. His type of comedy is very inclusive and very focused towards our demographic as well, you know, young, hip, urban. So that type of comedy.
1069 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Great. Thank you.
1070 I had a question about your Category 3 music commitment. You accepted a weekly limit of 29% of Category 3 music. In your supplementary brief, however, you indicated that this limit would comprise Sub-category 24, which, of course, isn't part of the Category 3 definition of music. So, can you clarify which Sub-categories of Category 3 music will comprise the 29% limit?
1071 MR. MORRIS: Yes. So, of course, the 71% of category 2 music is Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Electronic, Easy Listening.
1072 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right.
1073 MR. MORRIS: And the Category 3 will be music -- World Beat Jazz. So, anything from Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Caribbean, Reggaeton, Bachatta, Merengue, Urban Bhangra, Bollywood, Afro-Beat, Asian Fusion, Urban Jazz, Neo-Jazz, Electro-Jazz, that kind of stuff.
1074 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. So World Beat Jazz at 2.
1075 MR. MORRIS: Pretty much, right.
1076 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, perfect, thank you.
1077 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much.
1078 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
1079 Just briefly, back on the format, and I guess I've got to go to the second row to get away from all these sort of bean counters in the front, and legal stuff, except for Maximus, he's got the name and -- and the cred sort of to back it up. That being said, a lot of what I heard on the promotional video is basically Pop music, and Pop is sort of also Dance a lot of the times, and you get a lot of that sort of Dance Pop played just Friday and Saturday nights across the country.
1080 My point is, that with everything you've heard there you can get in commercial radio today on the Pop stations with the exception of maybe Jay-Z and Kanye's piece -- inappropriate word -- in Paris. But besides that --
1081 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it was very short, you had to listen for it, or be a sort of degenerate fan of that kind of music. But, that being said, everything else is available on commercial radio today.
1082 My question is, how -- I gather part of the plan is, and if I followed you correctly, to use that popular music a lot of it -- some of it domestic, most of it US and International, as a hook to bring people into discovering Canadian emerging artists. Am I correct thus far?
1083 And, if that's the case, what's the plan on making that a reality, firstly.
1084 And, secondly, I want you to speak to me on the local musical creative scene in Surrey. We heard some word on it this morning from one of the other applicants. But speak to me on how you have thought about promoting the base -- the local base that's creating Pop music.
1085 MR. ROTA: I can speak to a little bit about the format as far as the inclusion of Pop music as part of the draw.
1086 When we do play Pop music it's not normally your exact same radio edit that you're going to hear on a Top 40 station. It can be re-mixed by a local emerging artist and that's the flavor that you notice in some of the Pop songs you heard; they did have an edge. It allows us to be different.
1087 There are local emerging artists in this genre that do produce their own music. So the Pop music allows you to bring the people that are fans of this genre in, and then introduce them to the more specific formatted music that wouldn't necessarily fall under Pop. They would hear something and say, >Oh, well, that's Indy Dance.' or, >I like that,' or, >That's New Disco,' where they wouldn't normally have even been aware of the genre itself. So, Pop music is a little bit of a conduit to bring us in. But, we find, and I found --
1088 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you would mix that up in sort of montage kind of format?
1089 MR. ROTA: Yeah.
1090 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's --
1091 MR. ROTA: It is part of your daily struggle, I would say, because you're always tweaking formats. You're always trying to make sure that it runs properly and runs smooth and your sound is always being worked. But, the Pop music itself would not necessarily be your major drive. You would want to have the flavors of it in there so people get it. But when you do, you want to make sure that it has a Dance feel to it. You want to make sure that you're using the genre to expose people to the music they might not even know they like.
1092 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you're getting the Dance on commercial radio anyway, usually in the evening, like the Fridays and Saturdays. It's a great answer for a guy wearing a tie, but I think the back row is just aching at the bit, there.
1093 MR. MORRIS: Well, let me break down our concept, first.
1094 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1095 MR. MORRIS: It's pretty simple. We play the hits, the Dance music. Popular music, which can be anything nowadays; we're talking Electronic, Hip-Hop, R&B, or your Katy Perry Pop, which really sounds like Dance anyways.
1096 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have Pitbull to blame for that, but go on.
1097 MR. MORRIS: Correct. And --
1098 THE CHAIRPERSON: How many corporations can he be involved in?
1099 MR. MORRIS: A lot, by the looks of it.
1100 So, not only do we play these hits, you might hear, of course, these hits on other stations. We'll be playing a broader selection of music by popular artists, so we're not going to keep playing the same song every hour, twice an hour, like some of these stations do.
1101 Of course we will have heavy rotation, this kind of stuff. But, I mean, we play a broader -- a broader selection. We also play the re-mix, so if a listener -- say you have -- you listen to your favorite artist and the favorite songs by your favorite artist. Well, you tune into Sky 107, you're going to hear your favorite song by your favorite artist in a whole different version, the re-mix version. And there's tons out there, they're all available.
1102 We like to stay ahead of the curve also by breaking new singles. So, all these different aspects are going to make us different from any of these other stations out here.
1103 On top of that, we play and introduce World Beat and Jazz songs, popular World Beat songs and Jazz songs in Category 3.
1104 These World Beat songs are not your traditional world music that people may be aware of, or that you understand according to your classification of Category 3, and of which many of these are sung in English nowadays and could and in our opinion should be classified as Category 2 music. You know, we're talking about World Beat artists collaborating with Popular Mainstream Dance artists, and so on. And a lot of these are Canadian artists and these re-mixes help these Canadian artists especially because they would do a -- like, say Dead Mouse would do a re-mix of a Katy Perry song or -- and not just demos, a lot of local or emerging artists, as well, are doing the exact same thing.
1105 So, not only are they producing songs, they're also performing songs. They're all over the place. And we have access to them through the Internet, I-tunes. They're out there, they're everywhere, and they need a place, you know, to be heard.
1106 And this whole format that we believe in is going to cover all these aspects and it will not sound like any station you know of today.
1107 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess you're also going to be looking at the collaborative efforts with the Southeast Asian community?
1108 MR. MORRIS: Correct.
1109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mixing and sort of the K-Pop Sound and maybe even some sort of Middle Eastern --
1110 MR. MORRIS: Right. Well, you might get a Damian Marley doing a song with Skrillex. It doesn't sound like your typical Reggae.
1111 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1112 MR. MORRIS: It sounds like Reggae but it fits in with Dance. You might hear a Pryanka, which is a Bollywood artist. She's you know, with Pitbull. And that also has a re-mix. And either one doesn't sound like your typical Bollywood.
1113 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's right.
1114 MR. MORRIS: It fits right in with our formatting.
1115 THE CHAIRPERSON: The main-streaming of sort of ethnic sounds.
1116 MR. MORRIS: Exactly. And I can go on and go on with Afro Beat, I can go on with Asian. All these genres.
1117 MR. SUNNER: If I --
1118 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. And on the local scene.
1119 MR. MORRIS: Yeah.
1120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, go ahead.
1121 MR. SUNNER: If I could just add to that, that the World Beat sound has evolved massively, that it -- World Beat does not really mean to say that it's ethnic anymore. If you look at the latest -- one of the latest releases out of Bollywood with RDB out of the United Kingdom, on a collaboration on a big Bollywood movie with the Hip-Hop artist T-Pain. These things are regularly happening.
1122 Last year, Singh Is Kinng.
1123 The same thing with Snoop Dogg who is now known as Snoop Lion.
1124 The collaboration between Hip-Hop, Bollywood -- the same thing is going on with the Afro Beat, the Latino, the Asian Fusion. It's very exciting.
1125 And in Surrey especially, I would say with communities all there, the sound on radio does not reflect what's being played here. Sky 107-FM can bring that to the streets of Surrey. And I know, judging from Sky-107-FM.com that we've already proved that with the community as a whole, in a short, short time.
1126 THE CHAIRPERSON: You raised another issue that sort of struck me on the kind of music and it's young, it's urban, it's most probably very text savvy. And they do get their music from things like this.
1127 MR. SUNNER: Yes.
1128 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, why -- speak to me about why you need an old-fashioned FM frequency to touch that demographic? What's the added value, or is that it?
1129 MR. ROTA: FM radio is alive and well. It is -- it's doing fine. With the technology advancing every day, we understand we need to be on the edge, we need to make sure that we're relevant to the market. But I don't know -- I don't see any way that we can ignore the FM dial and say that it's already gone, or we don't need to address it. So, I think by putting this into cars while FM radios are still in cars, we have the ability to be at the push of a button. It's still there. And I think a lot of people do use their radios, they like radio. We're all here because we all love radio.
1130 THE CHAIRPERSON: When we get to connect to cars, the AM or the FM dial is going to be another button.
1131 MR. ROTA: Exactly.
1132 THE CHAIRPERSON: Next to other buttons that you sort of -- 107 already has access to.
1133 So, going forward, I mean, people have made the argument and then we heard sort of some of the Blues presentations back in the day, or some of the kind of proposals that Zoomer has put forward, he has an older demographic.
1134 MR. ROTA: M'hmm.
1135 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's more understandable that they would be attracted or committed to that kind of technoloy.
1136 Your demographic is very young, very hip, very urban, probably highly educated, would have an almost natural tendency to go towards over the top services on the radio dial. So, and it's with it's connectivity that's coming, it's going to be even easier.
1137 So, I get back to -- I mean, I sort of -- I know the answer sort of because I'm in the business. But I just want to see where you see the value added in having an FM frequency.
1138 MR. ROTA: Well, it also has a --
1139 THE CHAIRPERSON: With the obligations that come with the FM frequency.
1140 MR. ROTA: Yes, exactly. And I think that's where I -- the point I would touch is giving back to the community the regulation that is instilled that allows us to give back and to use the FM audience to do that. Well, you still have to run a successful business. We still need the audience on the FM dial to allow us to run a successful business.
1141 The emergency technology is because the audience is not there.
1142 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are not there yet.
1143 MR. ROTA: Well, the emerging technologies are there but they're not, I don't think, as big as for us to start a business right off the bat, right now, today. And to use the FM in conjunction with the technology I think is a perfect storm. It's a good way to get started.
1144 MR. CLEAN: And Commissioner --
1145 THE CHAIRPERSON: Despite your demo -- I'm sorry, Mr. Clean -- Despite your demo, why couldn't I be born with a claim like that?
1146 But, despite your demo, you still need the FM frequency?
1147 MR. ROTA: Correct.
1148 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1149 MR. ROTA: I think they do listen to FM. They get it from multiple avenues, their music. It's not just on line. It's not just on I-Pod. I think the emerging artists coming out they all look for different avenues to promote their music, and FM being one of those.
1150 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1151 Mr. Clean, go ahead.
1152 MR. CLEAN: I was just going to add, really, to wrap it up, you know, FM radio is a media, it's local, it's relevant, and most importantly it's representative. We are representing Surrey. Our audience is listening because they have a connection to Surrey, this is where they work, this is where they play, this is where they live. This is a little bit different from having just an on-line presence because you could be anywhere. You could be broadcasting from Egypt or something.
1153 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
1154 MR. CLEAN: So, to say that it's not necessary to have both, I think that this is the relevance of it. It's the immediacy of it.
1155 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you could sort of bring them back into the system because they don't have go to sort of tune in and catch a station anywhere else in the world because this particular brand or style of music isn't available here.
1156 MR. CLEAN: Exactly.
1157 THE CHAIRPERSON: With a local flavor as well. Okay.
1158 Questions from my colleagues?
1159 MR. MORRIS: Sorry to interrupt here.
1160 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1161 MR. MORRIS: Just going back to the emerging artists question that you had, I'm not sure if we answered that.
1162 THE CHAIRPERSON: And local, yeah. And local.
1163 MR. MORRIS: So, basically there are local artists.
1164 THE CHAIRPERSON: There's a scene here, right? I mean, there's young people creating music here.
1165 MR. SUNNER: A massive, massive scene.
1166 MR. MORRIS: There's a huge scene, it's not just Vancouver. Surrey has got it right. Even all this village, all the little you know cities all around Surrey. There's Hip-Hop artists, there's R&B, there's Reggae, there's Latin. And, especially Electronic. They're out there. They're here. Where are they going to get played, you know? They might have Sound Cloud or all these other places but I mean if they want to succeed just like these other big name artists, whether from Toronto or North America, period, where are they going to get played? We can break them. We can help them out. We can give them an avenue to be heard, right. That's --
1167 MS BITNER: It's also the more --
1168 THE CHAIRPERSON: The breakout avenue.
1169 MS BITNER: It's also the more -- the more -- that way, you know, the more people the reach. So, the more social media hears about them, that kind of thing. It really is a place to break these artists. They don't have any other platform. So, we really think that's missing.
1170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, there are other platforms. That was a discussion we had earlier in social media.
1171 MS BITNER: Yeah.
1172 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't need an FM frequency to do social media and do it well. That being said, there is a value added on having a frequency, right.
1173 MR. MORRIS: Yeah.
1174 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you so much. Would you like to add something Madam del Val? Or, you're good?
1175 MS DEL VAL: No, just thank you very much for your time.
1176 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you,
1177 Thank you for your time and thank you for your presentation.
1178 MS RAI: Thank you.
1179 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is 2:07 from what I see here. Why don't we come back at 2:20, please.
1180 Thank you so much.
--- Upon recessing at 1407
--- Upon resuming at 1418
1181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hi, everybody. Hello.
1182 Madame le Secrétaire, voila.
1183 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1184 We will now proceed with item 4 on the Agenda which is an application by Mosaic Media Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio station in Surrey.
1185 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
1186 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame le Secretaire, can we just close that door over there?
1187 Yeah, thanks for much. Thanks. People can still come in from the back. Voila. Thank you so much.
1188 Go ahead.
1189 MR. GALLAGHER: Good afternoon, Chairman Pentefountas, Commissioners Simpson and Shoan and Commission Staff.
1190 Please let me introduce our panel. Some of whom you may be familiar having the pleasure of appearing before you before at previous hearings and others who are participating for the first time.
1191 I will try to ensure you have a quick overview of our team. Let me begin with on my right, Baljit Kaur Deol is also known as Lady B. Bali is one of the owners and Secretary of Mosaic Media. She is also one of Canada's most influential female ethnic broadcasters pioneering the first and the longest running South Asian FM radio show in British Columbia.
1192 She assists local emerging artists, supports various social and community programs, particularly women's issues.
1193 To Bali's right is Tom Plasteras. Tom is the programming consultant for Mosaic Media. For 20 years, he was the Program Director of the iconic CKNW News Talk 980, managing some of the highest profile personalities in Canadian radio and guided the station through a period of dynamic technological and competitive change.
1194 To Tom's right is Jas Aujla. Jas is the Vice President and CFO of Mosaic Media. Jas is a highly respected Surrey businessperson known for his passionate support of arts, music and culture. Many artists credit Jas's financial and personal support for their success.
1195 Behind Jas, at the far left of the second row, is Gurpreet Sahota, President and CEO of Mosaic Media. Gurpreet has vast business experience and a wide network of global contacts. He is the Editor-In-Chief of the Punjabi language weekly, Akal Guardian, and a correspondent for the Indian newspaper Ajit.
1196 To Gurpreet's immediate left is Harvinder Sandhu-Hoth, a Director of Mosaic Media. She is an advocate for women as well as a well-known writer and Surrey newspaper columnist. Harvinder was the editor of Apna G News and the South Asian Women magazine. She was also a Surrey Arts Council Director and instructor with the Surrey Continuing Education Creative Department.
1197 To Harvinder's left is Jaswinder Parmar. Jaswinder is the Chairman of Mosaic Media and he is President and CEO of the insurance conglomerate, AMC Insurance. Jaswinder supports initiatives throughout Surrey, including the Food Bank, cultural events, sports teams and local hospital foundations. Jaswinder has also established a vibrant post-secondary educational scholarship program.
1198 Immediately to my left is Andrew Forsyth, Mosaic Media's Broadcast Consultant. He has headed key research projects for the CBC, SOCAN, CAB and the CRTC. Andrew brings his extensive broadcast background to this application.
1199 We had originally listed Kim Angel from our Advisory Board as a member of this panel. Kim has been called away on an emergency and will not be attending today.
1200 My name is Neil Gallagher and I am the designated General Manager and a Director of BUZZ 107.7. I was the Vice President and General Manager of the then CHUM, now Bell, four-station cluster of Vancouver Radio Stations. I have programmed over a half dozen radio stations across Canada and I was a former senior radio sales executive in Vancouver.
1201 That's our panel and now here is Bali to begin our presentation.
1202 MS DEOL: Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Commissioners and CRTC staff.
1203 I'd like to begin simply today by saying welcome to our city. Welcome to Surrey.
1204 As I'm sure you've had the opportunity to see, it's a great city blessed with many things, not the least of which is a sense of community. Its civic motto, "The Future Lives Here" is not just a slogan but also a prophecy.
1205 We were heartened to hear earlier presenters give you ample statistics about our city but we feel we must go beyond those captured within census reports and line graphs because to understand this community, you must be a part of it, as we all are. What you can't see from the statistics is the magic of the can do attitude and community spirit that lives here. Surrey truly is a city of joy, purpose and pride.
1206 Surrey represents perhaps Canada's greatest example of the myriad cultures, ethnicities and communities that come together living side by side and embracing the dreams and ideals that make up the mosaic of Canada. That's why we chose the name "Mosaic Media". For us it's not just the name of a business but our paradigm.
1207 Surrey began in 1880 as a farming and logging community. By 1971, Surrey's population was 96,000. Today it is the 12th largest and one of the fastest growing cities in Canada with over half a million residents and growing by 1,200 people per month. Vancouver is no longer the sole epicenter of B.C. and five years from now the new metropolitan core of the province will be Surrey.
1208 The sheer physical mass of the city is staggering when one considers Surrey's boundaries are large enough to hold the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster within them. There are almost 8,000 acres of parkland and natural areas including almost 900 acres of urban forests.
1209 Surrey is home to vast agricultural lands, huge commercial zones, several distinct residential communities, numerous business hubs, a commercial port, Canada's second largest border crossing and Canada's largest RCMP detachment. There is no doubt as a city, Surrey has the momentum of the country.
1210 Surrey is consistently regarded as one of the best places in Canada to live, to invest and to raise a family. Surrey has been named "Best Place to Invest in B.C." -- four years in a row by the Real Estate Investment Network and the fourth best place to invest in Canada.
1211 Last year we saw 2,100 new businesses open and $1.3 billion in building permits issued. Since 2005, despite the global economic downturn, 15,000 new businesses have chosen to call Surrey their home and we have seen over $11 billion in building permits issued.
1212 In 2008, Surrey was named "Cultural Capital of Canada". That title is appropriate as 179 languages are spoken in our city every single day.
1213 Surrey is a city of families. We are British Columbia's largest school district with over 70,000 students enrolled today. With an amazing one-third of our population under the age of 19, the future truly does live here. The future is going to grow up here.
1214 How we influence this community is going to define our collective future. In a city of young people those who are not so young have a serious responsibility. The example we set will determine whether our children grow up in a community where opportunity is real.
1215 So how do these facts before you connect to the Mosaic Media application for The BUZZ 107-7? Very simply.
1216 There is no major city in the country where the gulf between vital local information and its citizens is as great as in Surrey. We believe this is a first service opportunity being considered by the CRTC because being the afterthought of Vancouver based media is no longer good enough for Surrey. This city needs and deserves local coverage of its issues and its music, its winners, and in some cases its losers, its heroes and villains as well as the new, the different and the innovative, all the stories that make up the fabric of this city, our city.
1217 Mosaic Media's proposal combines the values enshrined in the Broadcasting Act with this bullish new vision and can do attitude that reflects the ideals of Surrey.
1218 MR. GALLAGHER: We are hyper-local in terms of our ownership, target audience and technical parameters. Mosaic Media is the only application before you that combines the proven business acumen needed to operate a successful radio station in Surrey with a local perspective.
1219 Every single owner of Mosaic Media is a Surrey resident. As a result, not only do they see the need for a Surrey radio station, they feel it on a visceral level. Their businesses are here, as are their families, their churches, temples, sports organizations and the charities they support. They represent a combined 100-plus years of business life experience in this city.
1220 This is more than just about winning a broadcast license. This is an opportunity to make Surrey a better place by giving back for all the opportunities afforded.
1221 Mosaic Media exemplifies the Broadcasting Act's vision for diversity of ownership and editorial point of view. This is a new ownership group for the Canadian broadcast system. Our diversity is obvious in terms of both our cultural heritage and the new ideas we will bring to the broadcasting system.
1222 While other Lower Mainland radio facilities present their news and information through the lens of Vancouver, Mosaic Media will present our material through the eyes of Surrey. To accomplish this on our management team we benefit from the experience of Tom Plasteras whose expertise will guarantee the station's presentation is balanced as prescribed in the Broadcasting Act. We will be focused, concise, thorough and distinctly professional in our approach.
1223 Not only do Mosaic Media owners and managers have the talent and undying commitment to this task, we have the financial wherewithal to cover this operation for the very long haul. In short, we are the ideal group to own and operate a radio station that understands and serves the needs of the communities that make up Surrey.
1224 MR. PASTERAS: Of the 18 English stations available to residents of Surrey, 15 broadcast from the downtown core of Vancouver, the other three are from Richmond. While Vancouver-based broadcasters do their best with ever-declining resources to be all things to all people, a city of Surrey's size cannot and obviously is not being adequately served by this model.
1225 Surrey traffic conditions are presented in the context of bridge or tunnel reports for commuters to Vancouver. Surrey news reports are typically and predictably focused on headline-grabbing crime stories and rarely accompanied by stories that accurately reflect everyday life in this community. Surrey residents are frustrated that in an era of immediacy, they must wait for the weekly papers for detailed coverage of events in their community.
1226 Our research, as well as virtually every other report filed by other applicants in this proceeding ranked Surrey news and information as residents' number one demand.
1227 68 percent of respondents to our survey feel Surrey is a separate community from Vancouver and over 60 percent feel they are not being served by any particular radio station. Not surprisingly, due to the success of ethnic stations broadcasting on both sides of the border, it is Surrey's English-speaking respondents who feel most disenfranchised by Vancouver radio. With our 54 hours per week of spoken word, including seven hours of local news coverage, representing 42 percent of our broadcast week, we intend to fill this gap.
1228 In addition to these time resources, we will also benefit from a content partnership with local news resources, ensuring we will have lots of contacts right from the get-go.
1229 A typical BUZZ 107-7 newscast will lead with stories from Surrey and about Surrey. Mosaic Media will have a hyper-local newsroom, committed to gathering, interpreting and communicating information solely for the Surrey audience. This information will be balanced with regional, national and international stories of importance to Surrey residents just as radio is delivered in any other Canadian city.
1230 It is also vital for a city the size of Surrey to have its own broadcast outlet in times of emergency. Emergencies occur in a variety of categories and severities. From extreme weather to issues at the port, to an earthquake, this is when the most localized information is of paramount importance.
1231 Mosaic Media will work with city council, Surrey RCMP and Fire Service and organizations like the Fraser docks and the school board to develop a coordinated response to local emergencies.
1232 We will also work with groups such as the Fusion Festival, the Vaisakhi Parade, Filipino Days, the Cloverdale Rodeo and the Surrey Children's Festival to provide coverage of these special events.
1233 As Surrey is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, this rapid expansion puts great pressure on a city's infrastructure and its citizens. A radio station that provides insights into what is happening in the community will be of immeasurable benefit. Amidst all of this growth, it is our intention to become the connective tissue that imbues the residents of Surrey with a greater sense of community and belonging.
1234 The Mosaic Media plan is inclusive. All residents need access to news and information and the radio service we propose ensures the largest number of people will receive it. Our holistic blend of English and third languages will offer the widest scope of service and ensure that the frequency is used to serve the largest possible cross-section of the population. However, unlike other third-language services in Canada, these programs will not be brokered and orphaned from the rest of the station. They will form a key pillar of the BUZZ 107-7 lineup and will be programmed, promoted and sold as part of the complete station package.
1235 We will embrace the many cultures that make up this unique community and the common issues they have like generation gaps, gender issues, health, family and senior issues. For newcomers we will provide much needed information to help them adjust to their new home.
1236 This is our vision of the Commission's ethnic policy in its future form: an English-language license with ability to deliver ethnic programming. We will speak to Surrey primarily in English, which 94 percent of residents understand and we have asked for a condition of license that would give us the flexibility to speak to newer Surrey residents in the languages that connect to them. The Buzz 107-7 will be a Surrey radio station that reflects the languages of its constituents, not a multi-language station that happens to be in Surrey.
1237 MR. FORSYTH: If spoken-word content relates to the hearts and minds of Surrey, then music is its soul. We've chosen a format that blends familiar up-tempo, hit music with new music from today's and tomorrow's tastemakers. Upbeat, feel-good music from the seventies, eighties and nineties combined with breaking new music will provide the ideal musical accompaniment for Surrey-focused information. Framing the familiar with new gives the music context and creates a level of comfort when introducing new music and new artists to Surrey.
1238 Music is inclusive, providing another common connection between the neighborhoods that make up the city. Familiar artists like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado cross over all ethnicities and make any station that plays them sound great. Playing well-known artists like these alongside local artists singing in a variety of languages including English also reflects this city's makeup.
1239 It's often said that music, along with love, is a universal language. One of our interveners, Cal Koat, a long-time music and multicultural radio producer echoes our musical direction. He says:
"Music is an open window on other cultures. It's an important tool in building bridges of acceptance and ultimately appreciation for emerging immigrant communities, especially in places like Surrey."
1240 We believe our familiar music will draw and sustain our audience while the world beat music from the variety of Surrey's ethnic cultures will be an inclusive celebration of Surrey today.
1241 But what we're really excited about is the opportunity to expose and nurture new talent, particularly from Surrey. Artists like Juno award-winning Michelle Garuik, Dan Joseph, Henry Brown, Jazzy B and international music industry executives such as Rob Patte have stepped up to endorse The BUZZ 107-7 and our plans for emerging artists.
1242 As Gordon Durity, internationally renowned musician, composer and arranger who is with us as a supporting intervener states:
"Local radio exposure has become a critical part of discovering and launching the careers of emerging talent. Surrey is an incubator of up-and-coming musical talent that crosses cultures and ethnic backgrounds. There is definitely a multicultural blend of sounds in young musical acts that reflect the true nature of Surrey's ethnic diversity."
1243 We have the expertise to identify and nurture new talent. Bali Deol's reputation as a curator of new talent has been built on finding and playing new artists on local radio. We have a minimum commitment of 10 percent of all our music coming from emerging artists for good reason. We have the experience and the know-how to give them the support, development and exposure that will kick-start their careers.
1244 Jas Aujla is well known in Surrey as a passionate promoter of Canadian talent both here and internationally. Several local artists credit Jas's financial and personal support within the community as fundamental to their success.
1245 Helping emerging artists is not just about ticking boxes or meeting quotas. It is challenging work that demands full involvement. We will assist these potential stars of the future in a way that is much more meaningful than just cutting a cheque.
1246 Embracing new talent with airplay and the CCD initiatives we've outlined in our application is key to their success. Each project requires direct engagement with the performers, whether it's in the early stages of discovery with The BUZZ Event, through our mentoring seminars as they seek further advice and direction or once they have accomplished works that they want to expose to the audience.
1247 This licence will give us the opportunity to contribute to the growing success of Surrey and benefit its artistic talent at an even higher level.
1248 MR. GALLAGHER: In the call for applications, the Commission outlined the criteria used in evaluating the submissions at this hearing. The quality of the application would be a primary consideration.
1249 Our application best reflects the local community of Surrey, its diversity and its distinct nature. We see this through the prism of local ownership and our unique programming plans that are inclusive for the entire community. Our proposal is as hyperlocal as can be.
1250 Our musical plans include Canadian music making up 40 percent of all category 2 over the entire broadcast week. Our CCD initiatives are labours of love, taking an equal balance of time, energy and money.
1251 We can do a lot with over $350,000 allocated for the first term of licence. FACTOR will of course benefit and we will ask that they apply those funds locally. We want to see a return on investment not in dollars and cents but by seeing local performers reach the national and international stage.
1252 Market impact is another area of concern to the Commission when considering new licences. In markets like Kingston or Red Deer, for instance, the ratio of listeners to market stations is roughly 6,000 to 10,000 persons per station. Generating revenue there with such a small available population base is very difficult.
1253 However, in Surrey there is not one station licensed to serve our market. The revenue that Mosaic Media will be able to garner will substantially come from a large, untapped local market that cannot afford full coverage Vancouver rates.
1254 Consumers will benefit from increased information on goods and services available to them in the local market. Advertisers will have an affordable opportunity through this new hyperlocal FM service to connect their business with the local community. Our research shows a third of Surrey advertisers are willing to augment their current plans and over half would increase their media budgets.
1255 Similarly, listeners will gain social value in terms of exposure to, and information about, community services like "Options." One of our primary goals is to feature opinions and conversations that will ultimately add value to the experience of living in Surrey.
1256 Our holistic concept of English and third-language programming opens the door to communication for most Surrey residents. This is an opportunity to exchange ideas, cultures and traditions as well as material items like food, fashion and other lifestyle products, all of which bring value by increasing awareness and understanding.
1257 Many levels of creators like musicians, personalities and staff will see value from the licensing of this proposal. Internally there will be an opportunity for our team to create programming specifically for the Surrey audience.
1258 With respect to value for Canadians, this station will be a shining example of the blending of many diverse cultures into the rich fabric of our country. Research confirms what Mosaic Media has collectively known for a long time: working, living and playing with members of Surrey's diverse communities has taught us that living in silos does not permit growth. To strengthen the spirit, the mind and ultimately the community, we need to exchange thoughts, customs, insights and experiences. To do this, we need The BUZZ 107.7 to be the medium.
1259 MS DEOL: In summary, Mr. Chair and Commissioners, we offer new, independent, truly diverse ownership in terms of holding no other licences and coming to you as entrepreneurs born in another land but very proud to be Canadians and looking to give back to our adopted home.
1260 We have enlisted well-regarded broadcast professionals who know this market and share our vision. We have a unique proposal for a unique and challenging market. We are up to the challenge and ready to grow.
1261 We know The BUZZ 107.7 will provide a sustainable, insightful and inclusive radio station for Surrey as our application will:
1262 1 - increase ownership diversity in the Canadian broadcast industry;
1263 2 - directly create editorial diversity in Surrey;
1264 3 - significantly increase musical diversity;
1265 4 - provide substantial new support for Canadian Content Development and in particular for new and emerging local Canadian talent;
1266 5 - provide a unique, inclusive product for the Surrey market with broad appeal to generate an audience large enough to ensure commercial success;
1267 6 - provide a completely new, hyperlocal communication link for and about the residents of B.C.'s second largest city;
1268 7 - will not have any materially significant economic impact on existing radio stations; and
1269 8 - ultimately be the best use of the frequency.
1270 We ask that you approve our application for The BUZZ 107.7 to serve Surrey and we thank you for your attention and your consideration. We now welcome your questions.
1271 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1272 Okay, The BUZZ for Surrey. What happens given the quite sunny, rosy picture you've portrayed of Surrey and the economic capacity of this community if the Commission were to license more than one broadcaster, more than one frequency?
1273 MR. GALLAGHER: It depends. It depends and I think we've worked it out in general, in rough, on what would happen if we had a different frequency and I think, Andrew, you've got some of those figures, don't you?
1274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, speak to me on the different frequency and speak to me on the -- if BUZZ becomes the licensee for 107.7 but other broadcasters are also licensed for Surrey.
1275 MR. GALLAGHER: It would depend again on which ones you licensed.
1276 THE CHAIRPERSON: Speak to me on that.
1277 MS DEOL: I think it would depend possibly on if it was, first of all, an ethnic station --
1278 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1279 MS DEOL: -- or if it was an English-language. Some of the presentations we've heard even today are not necessarily community-focused or Surrey-based with local news and information, perhaps just different genres of music, et cetera. So it really depends. It's based on many different things.
1280 THE CHAIRPERSON: At this phase of the proceedings I don't want to get into the other applicants and your colleague on the far right will understand. I want you to speak to me on if an ethnic station were to be licensed, another ethnic station, what would be the impact on The BUZZ?
1281 MR. FORSYTH: I think it is fair to say that if it was another -- if it was an ethnic licence, which we're not applying for -- as you know, we're applying for an English licence with a condition of licence. If it was an ethnic licence, I don't think there would be any particular impact on our business plan whatsoever.
1282 If it was another English licence --
1283 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
1284 MR. FORSYTH: -- I think the answer is very simple and that is that we would accept that. It would not create a problem for us. It's a competitive process. This is a competitive process and doing radio and doing business is a competitive process.
1285 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that and it stands to reason if we were to license another ethnic service, it wouldn't have much impact on your bottom line. But if we were to license a second English-language service, what would the impact be on your projections as stated?
1286 MR. FORSYTH: The impact on our projections would be minimal on the basis that most of our revenue projections are based on a combination of English advertising and some advertising from the ethnic community. We feel that that balance would still be in place for us and we feel that the proposition we put forward anyway is inclusive enough and differentiates between being totally English and ethnic.
1287 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the other licensee would have the same -- would be going after the same market, part of it English, part of it third-language, if you want to use that expression --
1288 MR. FORSYTH: Certainly.
1289 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- or fourth-language. So you're going after the same -- you're picking at the same tree. What would the impact be, if any?
1290 MR. FORSYTH: As I indicated, it certainly would not allow us to do what we've already presented on the basis that it would be a sole application and I understand where your question is.
1291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1292 MR. FORSYTH: I can't at this point --
1293 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you haven't thought about it or you --
1294 MR. FORSYTH: No. No. I --
1295 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- can't put a figure next to it, it could be 10 percent impact, 20 percent impact on your revenues.
1296 MR. FORSYTH: Right.
1297 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you don't have that answer, it's fine.
1298 MR. FORSYTH: Okay. And I would say to you that, you know, my best guess on this would be probably in the range of 10 to 20 percent.
1299 MR. GALLAGHER: And that's a guess.
1300 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a guesstimate, I get it.
1301 The 36.5 would be a condition of licence as a max?
1302 MR. FORSYTH: That is correct.
1303 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the breakdown of third language that would be available, that you've listed here, some of them are quite minimal, like .8 percent, less than 1 percent, quite a lot of them. What would be the broadcast hours for those third-language presentations?
1304 MR. FORSYTH: Third-language programming, certainly for the -- in the third language that is the largest portion of the population --
1305 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1306 MR. FORSYTH: -- and that's obviously what we've tried to do, is attribute it to that, those languages such as Punjabi, Filipino --
1307 THE CHAIRPERSON: So, just to be clear, Punjabi, you have here at 16.7 percent.
1308 MR. FORSYTH: Yeah. Yeah -- Filipino and Hindi, those would be presented Monday through Friday in the evenings.
1309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1310 MR. FORSYTH: And the balance of the other communities would be presented on the weekend.
1311 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would there be any Punjabi-language programming available from sort of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. --
1312 MR. FORSYTH: No. The language --
1313 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- Monday to Friday?
1314 MR. FORSYTH: Monday to Friday, that programming would be in English.
1315 THE CHAIRPERSON: English?
1316 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1318 MR. FORSYTH: But that does not mean necessarily that it would not be targeted to any of those communities. It would be very inclusive.
1319 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Would you agree with me if I was to say that the musical offering -- and through no fault of your own, it's very hard to offer something different when you have -- I can't remember the last count but 11 or quite a few musical services available through the Vancouver, the GVA into Surrey -- would not be that different. I mean a lot of those sounds, and some of them that have sort of a Southeast Asian bass or riff, if you will permit me that expression, are available already in the market, are they not?
1320 MR. GALLAGHER: Yeah. What we did is we commissioned Nielsen to do a survey and we discovered a gap in rhythmic music and that would be music from the past few decades that isn't being played. At the time of the survey 40 percent --
1321 THE CHAIRPERSON: A gap in what kind of music? I'm sorry. A gap in what kind of music?
1322 MR. FORSYTH: Rhythmic pop music.
1323 THE CHAIRPERSON: Rhythmic pop. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
1324 MR. GALLAGHER: I'm sorry.
1325 THE CHAIRPERSON: I didn't get it.
1326 MR. GALLAGHER: I slurred there, did I?
1327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, no. It's okay.
1328 MR. GALLAGHER: I apologize. Okay.
1329 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's the hearing.
1330 MR. GALLAGHER: Yeah.
1331 THE CHAIRPERSON: You know, it's the first thing to go.
1332 MR. GALLAGHER: I understand.
1333 And it wasn't being played in the area for the last few months.
1334 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1335 MR. GALLAGHER: And then if you add 10 percent of our category 2 music from local and emerging artists it's going to be an entirely different sound. Like you say, it's impossible to be 100 percent distinct anymore with popular music --
1336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1337 MR. GALLAGHER: -- but popular music tends to be the binding music for all the communities and we were trying to find a way that would be popular, attractive and still allow us to bring in the emerging and new artists that we intend to do because that's what a lot of people do.
1338 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1339 MS DEOL: And just to add to that, Surrey has a hotbed of talent. I don't know what it is about this city but it makes people want to sing. And there's a lot of people where --
1340 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's the weather.
1341 MS DEOL: -- I mean I have personally friends who are from different ethnicities, and as for any artist it's challenging sometimes to get radio play for any artist at all -- where sometimes they're successful in getting some airplay with their ethnic tracks.
1342 Some of them sing in multiple languages. Like two or three of the ones I know sing in three or four languages and where they're able to get play for their ethnic tracks, the tracks in English per se never get heard anywhere and there's definitely a large pool of talent for that here in Surry.
1343 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. Again, it's the weather because everything east of here is minus 30.
1344 MS DEOL: I think so.
1345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Speak to me -- your demo. I found your demo was pretty inclusive, maybe not in the best of ways. When you talk about --you know, people usually have a more defined demo and your demo at 18-64, there has to be -- you have to have an audience or a desire to attract an audience that is more clearly defined, be it female, be it male, be it older, be it younger. I mean here you're 2 to 200 basically at 18-64. Do you want to explain that one?
1346 MR. GALLAGHER: Yeah. Andrew will. It's -- basically it's a full-service radio station.
1347 MR. FORSYTH: Yeah. Certainly, it's full service and 18-64 is the immensely broad target, and over the week we would hope to have programming that would capture that audience obviously.
1348 But, you know, if we could drill down to what is the narrower target, it's the adults 25-54, which I know in many cases is really a family reunion, but that is basically what advertising is sold on now.
1349 But specifically there are programs within our programming schedule that are perhaps skewed a little younger and then again a little older.
1350 But if I was to really give you a final number, I'd say that basically this is really a 25-to-45-year-old radio station. We're really looking at families more than anything, young families in particular.
1351 THE CHAIRPERSON: If the station were to be successful, it would obviously have some impact on the market. I understand that Surrey residents that are interested in English radio listening are not happy with what's being provided according to your study and other studies of applicants. Some sort of GVA stations might say it's self-serving.
1352 Notwithstanding that, supposing that that was the case, you would be drawing listeners away from Vancouver radio stations, there would be an impact. What would the impact be?
1353 MR. GALLAGHER: Well, going back to the vision of the radio station to be all-inclusive --
1354 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
1355 MR. GALLAGHER: -- the information that we are going to present is Surry information. You just don't get that in the Vancouver stations. So we're not saying we're going to take away from the Vancouver stations. Possibly there will be some hours tuned. I mean it's inevitable a small --
1356 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, Surrey residents must listen to some Vancouver radio.
1357 MR. GALLAGHER: Sure, but they don't --
1358 THE CHAIRPERSON: As unhappy as they may be with it, they do listen.
1359 MR. GALLAGHER: They don't get the information of Surrey.
1360 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
1361 MR. GALLAGHER: They just don't.
1362 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know.
1363 MR. GALLAGHER: And we will provide that.
1364 THE CHAIRPERSON: But if you're successful --
1365 MR. GALLAGHER: Yes.
1366 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and if we were to lend some credence to what you've put forward, the demand is there and 550,000 or 600,000 Surrey residents, or Greater Surrey because Surrey is getting big enough it's going to be sort of the GSA soon, you will attract some audience share from Vancouver stations.
1367 MS DEOL: If I can just jump in here a sec.
1368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
1369 MS DEOL: I think -- I mean for anybody, I think even in this room, we listen to a number of different stations every single day.
1370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1371 MS DEOL: I probably listen to three or four stations on a daily basis. I think in terms of actual impact, and we're talking financially, I think when we put our plan together we were really looking at a quite large chunk of our advertising dollars coming from a new market, a market of people that are not already advertising, and the reason they're not already advertising isn't because they don't want to reach their client base, it's because the only way right now they could reach an audience through radio would be through Vancouver radio stations, which is very full coverage, if I can use that term.
1372 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that.
1373 MS DEOL: And that's why I feel like -- I mean, yes, of course there would be some impact. I just don't think it would be anything significant.
1374 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand the "annonceur," the person -- the advertiser. Thank you.
1375 MS DEOL: Right.
1376 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand the advertiser is not interested in buying GVA radio spots, but the Surrey listener is interested in listening to another kind of radio.
1377 MS DEOL: Yes.
1378 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that Surrey listener is listening to GVA radio and that's contributing to GVA numbers.
1379 MR. GALLAGHER: M'hmm.
1380 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you take that away from GVA stations, you're going to have an impact on the Vancouver market.
1381 MR. FORSYTH: Yeah, of course there will be some, but I don't want to use the word --
1382 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm asking you to put a number on that because we usually ask applicants to tell us what the impact will be.
1383 MR. FORSYTH: Well, there's no guess on that. You know, we filed with the Commission, as part of the application tried to answer the question and it's brought up to us now in just straight terms, you know, what are going to be our sources of revenue. And I know you're speaking audience, not revenue for a moment, but it does link.
1384 And we said that, you know, 10 percent of our second year revenue, which is $112,000, was going to come from radio.
1385 So if I flip that around and say to you, well, what is that dollar value relative to -- where is that coming from, our research shows that basically, if you like, half of that money is going to come from existing ethnic radio and the other half is going to come from some of the existing popular services here in Surrey that are Vancouver-based. So we'll say five stations, just again giving you a hypothetical number.
1386 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1387 MR. FORSYTH: So $100,000 is going to come out of 10 radio stations. If you link that back to the audience, the impact would be not significant.
1388 THE CHAIRPERSON: No.
1389 MR. FORSYTH: And in fact, when we did our revenue calculations and looked at just audience usage of the radio station, our research told us that -- it was our research that told us that the audience was listening on average for 16 hours a week. When we did the tuning to this radio station we automatically assumed that they were going to spend at least half the time with other radio stations.
1390 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1391 MR. FORSYTH: So I hope that's --
1392 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, that is the answer to the question and you're leading me into my next question.
1393 What will be the impact of licensing BUZZ FM on the cross-border stations, their listenership and/or revenue?
1394 MR. GALLAGHER: Are you speaking of cross-border, those originating from the United States?
1395 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those, yes, emitting from the U.S. -- transmitting from the U.S.
1396 MR. GALLAGHER: Well, again, they can't be local by their nature.
1397 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I understand they're not English-language but --
1398 MR. GALLAGHER: Yeah. They can't be local in nature. So I can't imagine there would be a huge impact.
1399 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1400 You wanted something, Miss --
1401 MS DEOL: No. I was going to say the same. It's not really targeting the same community and even the ones where it may be the same ethnicity and you could look at them the same way, but the way we're hoping to serve them, with the news and content we're hoping to serve them with is completely different.
1402 THE CHAIRPERSON: And on the sort of -- I don't even like to use ethnic mix, but what percentage of the listenership will not be of South-East Asian origin? Because half the population or maybe more of Surrey is not --
1403 MS DEOL: Absolutely.
1404 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- has English as its mother tongue, as an example.
1405 MS DEOL: Yes. You know, honestly, speaking to this, I would say that if we look at the demographics of Surrey, I believe 50 percent approximately are from the Caucasian community, they speak English.
1406 And we want everybody to listen. We're hoping to create content whether you're interested in news about Surrey issues that affect them on a daily basis, learning about their neighbours as well. So it really is very inclusive. We're not -- we really don't want to be serving one community over another but proportionately.
1407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Speak to me on why, you know, the 36.5 percent ask on third language, what was the reasoning behind that particular request and why not just go with 100 percent English language, Surrey, for service, as the words that you used earlier?
1408 MR. FORSYTH: I think the concept was looking at the marketplace and recognizing that there was a lot of radio available to it but not a lot of it was local and recognizing that the population breakout, which you're quite correct, you know, English speakers make up 51 percent -- English as a mother tongue make up 50 percent of the population, but there is the other 50 percent.
1409 Stats Can did a study for us just to show us what generational breakout was and what we discovered was that obviously the older ethnic community or third-language community was still here and, you know, feel very comfortable speaking their own languages.
1410 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
1411 MR. FORSYTH: Second generation are still here and, again, some of my colleagues at the table can speak to this.
1412 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1413 MR. FORSYTH: But the point was, we felt what we could do for Surrey was provide Surrey information in English and then be able to take that same information and provide it in a language that would perhaps be much more comfortable for them.
1414 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. Would you agree with the following statement, that third-language services are sufficient for Surrey? Surrey doesn't need local third language?
1415 MR. GALLAGHER: No.
1416 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1417 MR. GALLAGHER: Oh, do you want me to expand?
1418 THE CHAIRPERSON: Explain. Yes, you know, that's usually how it works.
1419 MR. GALLAGHER: Well, the third-language broadcasts now emanate mostly from and generate from a Vancouver perspective --
1420 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1421 MR. GALLAGHER: -- and you're not getting Surrey information. I think we come back and underscore that over and over, but that's really one of the key pillars to this whole idea of an inclusive radio station.
1422 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your contention is that there is no third-language Surrey service either?
1423 MR. GALLAGHER: Well, they give a token assent, I'm not arguing that, but boy, what --
1424 MS DEOL: You know what --
1425 MR. GALLAGHER: Go ahead.
1426 MS DEOL: -- actually I think as a resident of Surrey and somebody who is from an ethnic community and my experience of living here and dealing with different ethnic communities, seeing people's daily issues and, you know, some of the thoughts and issues around all of that, I think the reason we really did this was because the statistics say that 94 percent of people in Surrey speak English, understanding which have some knowledge of English, which is fine, it is true, but just by saying that we are actually kind of -- if you go into the community, which we have, we have spoken with many different ethnic groups, and just because someone does have an understanding of English, it doesn't mean that they are comfortable speaking that.
1427 Many of the people -- even if today you were to travel down the corridor of this very hotel you hear multiple different languages, as I have and I'm sure you have since this morning, and we use the term "inclusive" over and over again. It was the one thing that really drove our whole application when we sat and said, you know, right now there are -- there is no Surrey station, absolutely there isn't.
1428 There is ethnic radio and it does have some Surrey news on it, it also has news about Canada and the region and Punjab in India, et cetera, as well.
1429 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1430 MS DEOL: But there is no radio station in Surrey that brings people together and that was really what our main dynamic was, was that there needs to be somewhere where people come together and discuss the issues that Surrey has on the same forum, because living in silos we really feel it doesn't permit growth and you see that -- like I have people that work in the school district, friends, and some of the issues they talk about where people are living in segregated communities, really not mixing very much with their neighbours, there is this mistrust and this almost divide that just continues to build.
1431 And when you live here and you see the effects of it, it's not healthy and that really -- you know, when you start anything you have an idea and you have a philosophy that you run with and that really was our philosophy.
1432 So, in order to really be inclusive we had to recognize that people are more comfortable speaking in their mother tongue and listening to their music from their home country and to not be only paying lip service to that we would have to include it to some level.
1433 MR. GALLAGHER: I think one --
1434 THE CHAIRPERSON: You could play third-language music. My point is that if 94 percent, 95 percent, which means 100 percent, anybody that's interested speaks the English language and often times, you know, language is the great unifier, if unification is the goal, and from what I understand that is the goal.
1435 Aren't you in effect creating silos, divides by having these other languages?
1436 MS DEOL: No.
1437 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you are going to be uniting the community --
1438 MS DEOL: Yes. No.
1439 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and the English language is obviously the great uniter of this community.
1440 MS DEOL: It is, to some degree. I think where we are talking about unifying the community is, as I mentioned, just because someone has a knowledge of English, perhaps a working knowledge, it doesn't mean that they can have a conversation, actually impart their thoughts and their views in that language, or even understand a newscast that was completely in English.
1441 And so the way we wanted to bring people together was talk about Surrey's issues and, as Andrew mentioned, that we would be talking about the same news issues, the same stories, even stories of celebration throughout the programming whether it was in English, whether it was in Tagalog, whether it was in Punjabi, so that everybody was getting almost like a window into the life of their neighbour, so to speak.
1442 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what does your study show about the number of people that would listen to third-language services from The BUZZ?
1443 MS DEOL: Andrew...?
1444 MR. FORSYTH: The survey showed us that 57 percent of respondents would listen to a radio station that was, if you like, the hybrid that we have applied for.
1445 And certainly when we did this we tried to break this out so that we weren't being preclusive, we wanted to find out really what the community has and actually the group can tell you that we had a very long, hard discussion over actually several months as we were putting this application together to try and figure out where that middle line was and should this really be an English station, as you have indicated, or should, you know, this be something else, an ethnic.
1446 We came to the middle point because of this: We looked at the research when it came in and it told us that, not surprisingly, if we went with an English only radio station, 76 percent of the respondents said they would not only likely, but very likely listen to the radio station. And, obviously on the English side of that equation, the English respondents, it was 85 percent.
1447 It made sense, because as research has shown, not only our application, other applications, it is actually the English core here that feel they have been totally ignored by Vancouver radio. They may listen to Vancouver radio and they may like what's there, but they are not really being serviced by it.
1448 THE CHAIRPERSON: So your study shows that the third-language community does feel served by Surrey radio -- by Surrey radio, yes.
1449 MR. FORSYTH: Serviced by Surrey?
1450 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1451 MR. FORSYTH: No. But part of the -- this is the first step of the equation.
1452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1453 MR. FORSYTH: When you look at that, that was the top line --
1454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1455 MR. FORSYTH: -- and that would have said to us, you know, we should just do an English-language station.
1456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1457 MR. FORSYTH: And the ethnic component of that, which was about 60 percent, said: Yeah, you know, we would be okay with that, and that's not surprising because we know 94 percent of the population does speak English.
1458 But when we gave them the idea of the hybrid -- and again, we were only speaking in terms of a radio station that either spoke English or had an English component or a radio station that had an ethnic component, we weren't talking about the schedule that we have come up with.
1459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1460 MR. FORSYTH: But when we talked about a hybrid, the English amount went down immediately to about 50 percent, but the ethnic portion of it went up to 72 percent. Overall it was 56 percent.
1461 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1462 MR. FORSYTH: So, what we looked at when we designed the programming, we said: Okay, if we can design the programming so it addresses the mainstream English component but at the same time acknowledges the ethnic component and gives them the same information, which I think Tom can talk to you about, how that would be filtered in and make it very different from just an ethnic radio station.
1464 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. But at the end of the day if I took down note of your numbers correctly, 76 percent of the community as a whole would be enchanted by an English service and only 57 percent of the community as a whole would be interested in a hybrid service?
1465 MR. FORSYTH: Yes, on the basis of strictly giving them a very subjective question.
1466 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
1467 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1468 THE CHAIRPERSON: I got you.
1469 MR. PASTERAS: I was just going to add that it's I think important to point out, too, that most of the primetime hours are English-only and that, you know, coming formerly from a Vancouver-based broadcaster, when you come to Surrey and you feel the sense of pride that people here have in their city, that I think it's important to repeat that the foundation of this is news and information about this city and some of the other ethnic stations, that is not the brand that they go by. They speak in the other languages, but they are not focused on whether it be City Hall or whatever, what have you.
1470 THE CHAIRPERSON: And most of the third-language programming would be broadcast after 8:00 or after 6:00?
1471 MS DEOL: After 6:00.
1472 THE CHAIRPERSON: Or all of that?
1473 MR. PASTERAS: Seven o'clock. After 7 o'clock.
1474 THE CHAIRPERSON: After 7 o'clock.
1475 MR. PASTERAS: Yes.
1476 THE CHAIRPERSON: And on the weekends? Right. Okay. Thanks so much. Thank you for your patience. Commissioner Simpson...?
1477 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. I have a few questions on programming and revenue streams.
1478 First off, I understand totally the decision by some applicants to consider a hybrid model because this is quite an anomalous market and I can't say that I disagree with anything that I have heard from any applicant today because I think everyone is striving to be creative in a market that demands creativity and also a market that's under tremendous stress as it's shifting its cultural and commercial feet from one side to the other. It's a city on the move, there's no doubt.
1479 But here's the source of my first concern. In going the hybrid model one of the things we look at, as you experienced broadcasters know, we look at the impact on incumbent broadcasters, and in looking at the way you divide your day part you wind up competing with stations outside of the market with a certain type of programming, you know, your English programming, because you are invariably taking Surrey residents and hopefully having them shift over to a station that is more local, but you will have an impact on other conventional commercial broadcasters, which we will look at, but then in your evening and weekend day parts you are competing with ethnic incumbents without any of the constraints of an ethnic broadcaster.
1480 So I guess the first question on the programming side is: If, as Tom has indicated earlier, if we were to consider licensing more than one broadcaster, be it an ethnic broadcaster or mainstream, it's going to have an impact on you.
1481 Have you considered what happens to you, particularly from the ethnic side, if there is an ethnic station licensed what that does to your evening and weekends?
1482 MR. GALLAGHER: First let me say this: Our programming in English is about Surrey and no one else is doing that. That's really the core to where we started from.
1483 The information in the evenings is kind of like the guy in the back who is translating into French, okay, some people are not comfortable in the English language, even though they understand it, so each one of these communities -- and these communities are big in this area and they all want to be part of our radio station, so much that they are even supplying the people to do it and they are getting that information from Surrey, not the information they are getting from the ethnic radio stations.
1484 The ethnic radio stations, by their very nature, come from Vancouver and they do in broad terms. I mean, you could probably tell me more about exactly what they are saying, because I don't understand half the time what they are saying, but the idea is that they will be reporting from their homeland or what's going on here. Look, we are just going to talk about what's happening in City Hall in Surrey, what's going on with all the festivals, what there is in entertainment, where you can go, you know, to see a band play, the kind of life that Surrey lives.
1485 Imagine -- you know, imagine if you consider for a moment Vancouver as a suburb of Surrey, you know, like, you live in the area, you know, we are deluged by Vancouver information. I know who is playing in every one of the venues and what bands are playing where, but, gee, do you think you can get that information in your own community? You can't. This is the cornerstone of what we are trying to do.
1486 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And on both day parts --
1487 MR. GALLAGHER: Pardon?
1488 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And on both the English and the --
1489 MR. GALLAGHER: Well, yeah, exactly. Remember, the information that we gather -- and we are going to have quite an information-gathering system -- is going to have to be put over to all the other ethnic groups as well. They want to know this information. It will be a point of listening we call it.
1490 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: So your intention is that, admittedly, mainstream Vancouver broadcasters don't preoccupy themselves in English with Surrey issues and events, but you are saying that Surrey ethnic broadcasters don't either?
1491 MS SANDU-HOTHI: I just wanted to say something here just to add to this. I have been living in Surrey for about 22 years, I lived in Vancouver before that. I have been here for almost 22 years and I do listen to the radio when I go to work in the morning and all the other times.
1492 One of the things that I also have been working with a non-profit organization for a long time, for 21 years now, and we were part of an initiative called "Doors Open" with the City of Surrey and this is an event that, you know, businesses in Surrey and non-profit agencies and other services were part of. The promotion of this was being done on a Vancouver-based radio station and listening to the radio when I was listening to that when he was announcing it, the announcer was very rude. His take was: Yeah, there's a "Doors Open", yeah, in Surrey. Like, eh, yeah, and then there was laughter, and he continued. He didn't finish anything. He did not promote it, he did not say what agencies were part of it, he did not say what somebody who came out on that day would have been able to participate in.
1493 And that is kind of what we get on a daily basis. They talked about traffic earlier. Driving from one end to the other I have to call in and say, I'm stuck in traffic, what's going on here? I have been listening to you guys, no mention. Oh yeah, there's construction. This is what we are seeing out here.
1494 And just one last little point about multicultural when you are talking about other languages that we're serving -- that we want to serve here, I work with newcomers into this country, into Surrey in particular, new immigrants are coming in, there are many coming in on a daily basis, I work with them, and we actually sat with them, myself and Neil sat with them and approached them and asked them what were they looking for and this is what they are looking for, they are looking for information about Surrey, what's going on in Surrey, because this is their new home, this is where their children are growing up and their children are trying to find a place to fit in and the parents want to do the best for their kids.
1495 And one of the things, we have had a commitment from the Korean community, the Spanish community, the Arabic community to provide programming, to be part of it, they are excited.
1496 Thank you.
1497 MR. FORSYTH: Commissioner Simpson, I just wanted to go back on this question a little bit, sort of back to your path, because I think where you were trying to go to was what effect -- if BUZZ FM was licensed, what effect would it have on the so-called incumbent ethnic broadcasters.
1498 Frankly, the ones over the border we don't much worry about, but those that are on this side of the border we do worry -- you know, are concerned about and have respect for them.
1499 I think the answer is this, you know, the ethnic programming, third-language programming we have for nine language groups within Surrey is really access for them. We are not using the broker model. As many people will tell you, the broker model is actually kind of broken and it's not particularly effective and, in some respects, it's very hard to maintain control of the licence which would concern you.
1500 So, what we have done in our plan, and Harvinder and Baljit and all of the team here have gone out to these various communities and had some very interesting discussions with them. The proposition is: We are not going to sell you our time, we are not going to sell you a block of time, we will give you the time. We might hold back some airtime for our revenue purposes, but the other part of that time is yours and that's how you function, that's how you make that work. That has been to them an amazing opportunity. They feel that that really opens the door to the community as opposed to necessarily strictly the entrepreneurs who --
1501 MR. PASTERAS: If I can just add to that? In terms of access of information about Surrey to the various groups, our intention here will be to have an overall station mission and brand promise that all these groups will cooperate on. So it's going to be the same information made accessible to those different groups.
1502 MS DEOL: I have to add something to that because it's something I'm very excited about.
1503 Taking away the Punjabi component for a second and just looking at other ethnic groups that perhaps have much smaller slots on radio on a number of different stations, having been a radio host and having many friends who have brokered shows in various communities over the last 15 years, what I have seen is pretty much in order to fulfil CRTC requirements groups are brought in, they are usually charged a fee and what I have seen, in my experience, is that these groups, you know, they come in, they are passionate, they are excited, they want to create content, they really want to serve their community, but what happens is that the pressure of bringing that cheque in every month overrides everything else and pretty soon they are not sleeping at nights and the show has fallen off the air and then number two comes in.
1504 So it's not holistic. And that was the thing that we talked about, was that we want to bring these programs in, we don't want to orphan them from the station, we want them to be an integral component that we partner with them and we share information and we provide them with everything they need so they can create solid content and, in the long run, we actually feel that would be more profitable for us as well.
1505 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Forsyth, you are right, I was asking that question and I think I convoluted it somewhat by saying one thing but also thinking another, which is that as a hybrid applicant if we had chosen to go the route of also licensing a second station, no matter whether it was ethnic or mainstream, it would have an impact on you and I was perhaps getting in my own way there.
1506 The other two questions I have, and then I will give up the floor, have you -- and I apologize for not having this on the top of my head, but have you figured out an average spot rate that is -- or do you have two based on the two types of audiences you are going after?
1507 MR. FORSYTH: Yes, we -- obviously when we did the financial projections we did the usual, you know, looked at what retail sales were, radios component and did all that, looked at what the research told us relative to how many people would be willing to advertise and how many people would be willing to listen and went into the market and had a look at their rate cards in the market and tried to come up with something that would give us some sort of match with them so we are not completely upsetting the apple cart.
1508 But we basically did our projections on a $20 30-second spot rate, growing -- growing to I think it was -- and I would have to go look at my paperwork now, but I think growing to about $35 by year seven.
1509 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thank you. The last question I have is, in looking at your pro forma you have very courageously devalued or discounted the potential of national advertising and indicate that you are very reliant on retail or local advertising.
1510 So, it's a two-part question. Part one is that because your forecasts seem to be quite optimistic over the seven years, is that directly because you are a hybrid that you are after two audiences with two revenue streams?
1511 MR. GALLAGHER: First let me say, because I do a lot of this, I have done a lot of -- my radio stations have done a lot of this thing about brokering programming.
1512 This is going to be almost exclusively a local radio station and no transactional business. How do I say this, perhaps an analogy, I hope it is. You know what it's like when you are a kid and you know everything about your neighbourhood, you know every back alley, every porch. I can tell you from working with this group of professionals here, that's what they are like with the business in Surrey. It's amazing to see how successful these guys are -- you obviously know that because you have seen their financial statements that are confidential -- so they know where this is.
1513 We have contacts that are amazing already set up for information, for business, but yet we still decided to take a very conservative approach.
1514 MR. FORSYTH: Actually, you brought up a very interesting point earlier on, Commissioner, with one of the other panels and I'm trying to have almost the same answer, but to give you our perspective, and that was regional purchasing.
1515 Yes, that's a cloudy issue, where does that fit. Maybe the next time the forms are redone that might be a line on it. But the point would be, we sort of looked and said, no, number one, we are not going to be in BBM, so that automatically shuts us out of a lot of different things, we really are going to be on the street.
1516 But when you start to look at -- we looked at Gurpreet's Newspaper, which is an exceptionally successful newspaper and, in fact, it sort of gives us the idea that if you look at that newspaper, it is a Punjabi newspaper that talks about local -- things on from a local perspective, but you start flipping through it and you will see BMO, Royal Bank, TELUS, Rogers, all of these national entities that are advertising either directly or, more likely, through a local affiliate or service element.
1517 MS DEOL: I'm going to --
1518 MR. FORSYTH: We may have a component of that, if we do that would be in local advertising, not national.
1519 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: That's a great answer, Mr. Forsyth, because that is what has been my experience as well, is there is a set-aside budget for targeted cultural groups or targeted geographies that hadn't been addressed. And that was the substance of my question, Mr. Gallagher.
1520 MR. FORSYTH: And, in fact, what we think our advantage on that, going back to the hybrid model, is we would be able to be more of a one-stop shop because we would be able to provide those advertisers with their English and their Punjabi and their Hindi and their Spanish, et cetera, et cetera.
1521 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Great.
1522 MS DEOL: Can I use this opportunity just to shamelessly plug ourselves as a group, because even though I think overall we've kind of been conservative in those estimates, but I think as business people overall we understate and we overachieve and, actually if you go through our letters of intervention, we have actually submitted a number of letters from national advertisers who said that they would be happy and excited to advertise with us and we have relationships with existing relationships, myself and Gurpreet Sahota as well.
1523 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much. Your plug was received.
1524 MS DEOL: Thank you.
1525 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Our heart rate is substantially higher than yours. We will have to figure it out and send you a bill.
1526 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: But anyway, that was very much appreciated and that was very informative, I appreciate that answer, Mr. Forsyth.
1527 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for that. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
1528 The ethnic broadcasters that will participate in The BUZZ experience, will they be tasked with raising revenue as well?
1529 MR. GALLAGHER: No.
1530 THE CHAIRPERSON: That's clear? There won't be any brokering, that's also clear.
1531 MR. FORSYTH: No, they will be not tasked with -- Neil is right, they won't be tasked with generating revenue.
1532 MR. GALLAGHER: That was the question.
1533 MR. FORSYTH: However, they will have an opportunity to raise revenue for themselves and those numbers are not included in our projections.
1534 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right, that was -- so the time that will be set aside for third-language broadcasting --
1535 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1536 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- will be set aside free of charge, so to speak, but you will reserve some minutes on that hour?
1537 MR. GALLAGHER: Sure.
1538 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you have an idea, is that going to be a minute, two minutes, six minutes an hour that's going to belong to the --
1539 MR. GALLAGHER: We are guessing at two minutes to start off with.
1540 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- the mother ship, if you will. Two minutes.
1541 MR. GALLAGHER: It's just like you say.
1542 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the broadcasters themselves will be able to advertise for four minutes, the remaining four minutes an hour, it could even go longer?
1543 MR. FORSYTH: It could potentially. I would suggest -- we have been looking at eight-minute hours, so they would have six minutes in that box.
1544 THE CHAIRPERSON: And that revenue would belong to them?
1545 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1546 MR. GALLAGHER: That would belong to them.
1547 THE CHAIRPERSON: In exchange for the content that they provide to BUZZ?
1548 MR. FORSYTH: No, we provide the content.
1549 THE CHAIRPERSON: You provide the content?
1550 MR. FORSYTH: We are going to give them a resource.
1551 MS DEOL: We will give them a resource.
1552 THE CHAIRPERSON: So what are they getting their six minutes for?
1553 MR. GALLAGHER: They get the six because they are providing the conduit to those communities. Not only -- it's going to be a two-way street, I mean they are going to tell us about stuff you're not going to be able -- no one else is going to be able to get. They are inside their communities. These are community leaders. We have talked to them, they are so excited I can't tell you.
1554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
1555 MR. GALLAGHER: And the reason, think if you are an advertiser how great this is. Say you want to sell --
1556 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I get all that. Back to the link between third-language broadcasters and brokering --
1557 MR. GALLAGHER: Yes.
1558 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- you are going to hold onto two minutes, they are going to have access to six minutes --
1559 MR. GALLAGHER: Yes.
1560 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- and you are comfortable with that model?
1561 MR. GALLAGHER: Yes.
1562 MS DEOL: Can I just add --
1563 MR. PASTERAS: They are providing the human resource to get that programming done.
1564 MS DEOL: Yes.
1565 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. You have three microphones on, maybe --
1566 MR. PASTERAS: Sorry.
1567 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- just turn the -- because otherwise we are going to get -- neither of them are going to work soon. Sorry about that.
1568 So, Mr. Pasteras, you were saying?
1569 MR. PASTERAS: I was just going to say that the six minutes that they are receiving is in return for the human resource that this group will get in order to accomplish that programming.
1570 THE CHAIRPERSON: They are not part of the payroll costs obviously. Okay, I understand the distinction.
1571 And in terms of hires, how many people would be employed by BUZZ?
1572 MR. FORSYTH: We did our initial staff projection at 22 people.
1573 THE CHAIRPERSON: Twenty-two.
1574 MR. FORSYTH: Full-time, yes.
1575 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when we look at the numbers that you provide in terms of operational expenses, there is sales, advertising and promotion, there is a number given there and you have programming. Would those 22 fall under the programming category?
1576 MR. GALLAGHER: The people involved in programming, yes.
1577 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you go to the economic -- your Appendix 3?
1578 MR. FORSYTH: Yes, there were 15 people included -- I'm sorry, there were 13 people included in that list.
1579 MR. GALLAGHER: The programming.
1580 MR. FORSYTH: The programming list.
1581 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And the other nine would be under sales, advertising and promotion?
1582 MR. FORSYTH: That's correct, and administration.
1583 THE CHAIRPERSON: And administration.
1584 MR. FORSYTH: Yes.
1585 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, great. Thanks. Mr. Shoan...?
1586 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you. I can understand the incredible appeal that this sort of hybrid model for all of you as business people has an incredible amount of potential, but what jumps out to me is the statement you made in your opening statement about, on page 8, in which you say:
"This is our vision of the Commission's Ethnic Policy in its future form: an English-language licence with ability to deliver ethnic programming."
1587 What jumps out at me is "in its future form", and the regulatory implications of that. What you are essentially asking for is the next generation -- potentially the next generation of an ethnic licence, but something that in its present form does not accord with our Ethnic Broadcasting Policy.
1588 So, isn't this type of licence really best left for a future discussion in our review of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy in 2015?
1589 MR. FORSYTH: It perhaps foreshadows the ethnic -- understand fully that the policy will be discussed in 2015, but felt that the model, as we presented it, is something that if it was to go into action as soon as possible, in whatever timeframe that might be, that this would be the appropriate thing to do at that point.
1590 In other words, we think that perhaps this is avant-garde in that sense; that is certainly why we came to the Commission not looking for an English licence, didn't look for an ethnic licence, figured that we could tailor -- use the regulations, tailor it to our advantage.
1591 And perhaps the optimism, Commissioner, is that as the Commission looks at these types of applications that they may say: Well, you know, maybe this is a road we should go down and it doesn't necessarily become a COL and they don't have to do that.
1592 We are not trying to influence you in that manner, other than we would just like the licence and we'd certainly have that discussion.
1593 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Sure, with respect to this particular market I can see the appeal, but let's play it to its logical conclusion. We grant you a licence on these terms and if you are an ethnic broadcaster in the market, isn't the first thing you do is make an application to us, to the CRTC and say: "Hold on a second, you just gave these guys this beautiful hybrid licence that relieves them of all these obligations, and we want that exact same licence", and all of a sudden you have two or three other competitors immediately with the exact same format.
1594 It throws your revenue projections out, it throws your audience projections out and all of a sudden you have an entirely different dynamic in the marketplace.
1595 MR. FORSYTH: Yes, that might quite possibly be the scenario, but one would think that there would be a transition period which might make this easier for either of those who have already been licensed with such a model and a transition for people who are using the old form of or the current form of ethnic programming.
1596 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you. So at present, under our Commercial Radio Policy, a commercial radio station operating in English or French language on a weekly basis can broadcast up to 15 percent of its weekly schedule in a third language.
1597 So right now as an English-language commercial station you could do 15 percent of your week in a third language and it would be perfectly in tune, in line with our policies. You are asking for 36.4 percent.
1598 So my question to you is (a) could you do this model with 15 percent weekly; and, (b) if not 15 percent, is there somewhere between 15 and 36.4 that also makes this model workable?
1599 MR. FORSYTH: We did look at -- looking at this as an all English with the opportunity to do some ethnic programming in the 15 percent, as you mentioned, we would not be able to do the type of programming and be as inclusive and use the model that we have presented to you using a regular 15 percent of ethnic programming; and anything less than what we have, frankly, would also be undercutting the value that we put into the community and the value that we think we can have the community give back.
1600 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So you are saying the minimum amount of third-language programming that you should be allowed to do in order to make this model work is 36.4 percent?
1601 MR. FORSYTH: We are saying that, yes.
1602 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
1603 MR. FORSYTH: But, to your point, that's for us and certainly I don't know that that would necessarily apply to other markets, just to be clear on that point.
1604 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Ms Deol...?
1605 MS DEOL: I was just going to add to that that if as a group we were only concerned with making money, I would say yes to that very quickly, because obviously it makes a lot of sense, but we are not concerned with only making money.
1606 Of course that is important, of course a profit is important and we do, if you would like to license us, look at doing that as soon as possible. But when we first started out, again, we had a philosophy, we wanted to do something for the community. We really wanted to provide links into each other's homes, you could say, where we were bringing different communities into other areas and showcasing people and celebrating everyone together.
1607 And, so, if we were to say yes to that we wouldn't be able to do that appropriately. And actually, even when we were looking at which ethnic groups we would serve, I do remember sitting in the room and deciding and looking at the numbers that made up Surrey, speaking to different groups and, you know, your first overwhelming sense is to serve as many people as possible, but then, you know, it's quantity over quality, how can you serve somebody properly.
1608 And I think it just goes back to that again. Like I mean, yes, if we were only concerned with money then we would say yes in a heartbeat, but we really want this to be a community station and to really serve Surrey properly.
1609 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you very much.
1610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1611 MS DEOL: Thank you.
1612 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maître Pinsky has a concern.
1613 MS PINSKY: Thank you. I would just like to clarify one point. You did confirm that what you are seeking is the 36.5 percent condition of licence with respect to third language.
1614 I would also like your response with respect to a condition of licence that would impose a maximum of 36.5 percent on ethnic programming.
1615 MR. FORSYTH: We would confirm that that is correct.
1616 MS PINSKY: And also just to confirm, on a weekly basis?
1617 MR. FORSYTH: On a weekly basis, yes.
1618 MS PINSKY: Yes, thank you.
1619 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Madam Pinsky.
1620 Madame la Secrétaire, we will be starting up at 1545, 10 minutes from now.
1621 Thank you all very much. I would also like New Vision to be ready to go today, if need be. Thank you.
1622 MS DEOL: Thank you.
1623 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all. Thank you so much. Very well done.
1624 MR. GALLAGHER: Thank you.
1625 MS SANDU-HOTHI: Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1535
--- Upon resuming at 1547
1626 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Good afternoon.
1627 I would like people to take their seats, please, in the back of the room. Please be seated. Thank you.
1628 Madame la Secrétaire...?
1629 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed with item 5 on the agenda, which is an application by Surdel Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial specialty FM radio station in Surrey.
1630 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
1631 Thank you.
1632 MR. GUPTA: Thank you.
1633 Commissioners, I am Rajesh Kumar Gupta and I represent Surdel Broadcasting Inc. In 1989 I began working in the South Asian print media in the Greater Vancouver Area. During this time South Asian Print Media was only delivering news from India and lacking local and Canadian content. I recognized this void and in response to it I developed a progressive newspaper targeting Greater Vancouver South Asians but in English which covered local and national news in addition to international events. This paper has since become the number one newspaper in the South Asian community and continues to be published successfully.
1634 Since then cross-cultural media has evolved significantly, prompting even the largest newspapers in the area, the Vancouver Sun and The Province, to develop a very specifically targeted content to the major ethnic groups, both in print and online. It's trying to bring that concept to radio. With over 20 years of experience, successes and challenges and expert knowledge of our team, we are in a unique position to understand what is the new mainstream. The concept of fusion media, the blurring, blending and mixing of cultural lines is an established way of life in Canada and around the world. We are not stepping out of the norm, rather we are stepping into the norm.
1635 Here to assist me today are Mr. Ravinder Combow, GM and [indiscernible] manager; Mr. Mandeep Sandhu, program and music director; Mrs. Nina Brar, financial and training specialist; Mr. Cal Koat, intercultural strategist; absent today is Mr. John French, information director; Mr. Adam DiPaula, Sentis Research; Mr. Goram Minhas(ph), a representative from our legal team, and, finally, Ms Neesha Hothi, marketing director, who will also take the lead for our presentation. Thank you.
1636 MS HOTHI: Thank you, Mr. Gupta.
1637 To clarify, Mr. DiPaula and our legal representative are in our second row. Absent today is Mr. John French, news director.
1638 Before we begin I'd like to define a few terms we'll be using throughout our presentation. The first is "Surrey". When we reference Surrey, we'll be speaking to both the Surrey and North Delta communities. And the second are the 2.0 and 3.0 generations. We speak to them as the children and grandchildren of first generation immigrants.
1639 Now I'd like to direct your attention to the screen to illustrate -- to use a short video to illustrate the new mainstream of our community.
--- Video presentation
1640 MS HOTHI: Commissioners, today we ask you to stand with us in support for a forward-thinking new format and to recognize the new mainstream. At Surdel Broadcasting we are proposing an English language mainstream commercial specialty station focused on the fusion market. To do this we'll play a mix of a minimum of 50 percent world beat and international selections from subcategory 33, with the remainder of our selections coming from category 2.
1641 Broadcasting out of the Surrey area, we are a station reflecting our hyper-local market and the surrounding Greater Vancouver Area through not only our music but our news and information. Specifically targeting the English speakers of the 2.0 and 3.0 generations, we will reflect the cultural makeup of our community.
1642 To do so it's important to recognize a few points describing our geographic area. Firstly, 64 percent choose English as their mother tongue or language of choice. 48 percent of this community are visible minorities, of which 58 percent are South Asian, 12 percent are Chinese, and 10 percent are Filipino. And lastly, 60 percent of this population are of the 2.0 and 3.0 generations. Given these statistics, we can confidently say we will represent these segments of the community through our format.
1643 I will now hand it to our music and program director, Mr. Mandeep Sandhu.
1644 Mr. SANDHU: Thank you, Ms Hothi.
1645 Commissioners, I have worked in the entertainment and music industry for the past 20 years and have been in a unique position to observe the cross-cultural integration with our community. I would like to start off by sharing my experiences around cultural weddings, which are an elaborate -- which are elaborate social gatherings rich with colourful clothing, flavourful food, tradition, and lots of dancing. These gatherings are an essential element of their way of life. Today most, if not all cultural events are conducted primarily in English to accommodate the broad mix of cross-cultural attendees and relationships that fill the ballroom.
1646 At the age of 14 when I started DJing South Asian weddings, I only played Punjabi music. Today at least -- today the last half of a South Asian reception could best be described as a makeshift nightclub with a mashup of bhangra and hip hop to Bollywood and house, something unseen 20 years ago. At Chinese receptions my selections are almost all English and yet even there I'll be requested to play a bhangra track or two. And this holds true at corporate and club events.
1647 Having had the pleasure and opportunity to entertain at these various multicultural and interracial events, I have essentially grown up with today's generation and experienced how their style and musical talents have evolved. The musical selections, attendee make-up, and community involvement at these social events, such as weddings, act as a metaphor and represent the portrayal of fusion we aim to showcase.
1648 This energetic, upbeat mix of contemporary and global music is a style not currently being programed anywhere on the Canadian radio landscape. We live in a make-up of many cultural backgrounds, with everyone interacting frequently and tolerantly in public, at work, in schools, playing fields, and at events. In the same way that we all interrelate as a cross-cultural community on a daily basis, our proposed approach to fusion radio is intended to avoid categorically blocking cultural or world selections into segmented slots. With infectious world selections toping Western music charts, such as "Stereo Love" by [indiscernible] Edward Maya and "We Speak No Americano" by an Italian duo, just exemplifies how music and cultural influences transcend geographic borders. Earlier last year Swedish DJ producer Avicii embarked on what was dubbed as the world's largest music collaboration, inviting fans and musicians to submit their work for a collaborative project. Within one month he received roughly 13,000 submissions from over 140 countries. In 2012 Korean singer-songwriter Psy teamed with MC Hammer to perform a mashup at the American Music Awards after being the first to top 1 billion YouTube views. And over the past year Latin Grammy winner Pitbull has successfully collaborated on numerous international tracks.
1649 And given the make-up of the local community, it's relevant to point out that the inclusion of South Asian influences have also been a common practice within the mainstream and global tracks. In the '60s The Beatles became one of the first Western pop groups to play the sitar in one of their songs. The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, and Nelly Furtado are just some names that followed. And most recently, Selena Gomez begins her song with a tabla and a man singing in Punjabi.
1650 Whatever the origin, international music has been well-received by Canadian audiences. Even our arts and cultural events are becoming global in content as organizers accept the need to fulfil the appetite of their audiences. For example, Mr. Koat, who sits here on my right, his work in programming the World Beat Stage at the annual Dragon Boat Festival.
1651 As a team at CJRV we not only recognize the trend of global sounds but have grown and evolved with and are consumers of it. Our mission is to seek the best music from around the world and share it with an audience eager to embrace the global experience.
1652 CJRV will connect across the multicultural make-up of Surrey with our fusion format and also keep Surrey connected with the world with our global playlist. Our playlist will also provide a platform for emerging artists to be placed within the context of broad-- of a broad catalogue of songs. When it comes to emerging artists and Canadian content, being an artist myself, I'm personally committed to supporting the growth of the artists that make Canada such a vibrant place. Thus, we will ensure that our playlists meet the Canadian content requirements.
1653 I was recently honoured and humbled when one of my fusion remix albums produced in the '90s was recognized by the Museum of Vancouver as starting a wave of remixes in Western Canada. And now I am excited to be able to offer a platform to help today's Canadian talent grow and reach new mainstream audiences, an audience that has been missed both by conventional commercial radio and traditional ethnic radio.
1654 Commissioners, our mission is to make the best use of 107.7 by creating a new radio experience that truly reflects -- that is truly reflective of today's new mainstream reality and to have a vision that will grow and stay connected with tomorrow's generations.
1655 And now Mr. Combow will address sales.
1656 MR. COMBOW: Thank you, Mr. Sandhu.
1657 Commissioners, my experience in selling print and radio advertising spans over 28 years, the past 20 spent working right here in Surrey. I have built strong relationships with my clients. I understand the need to put together the right advertising packages, customized to client needs and budgets. The revenue projections are based on using a rate of 25 to $50 per 30 second spot. This is a competitive and accessible price point for all advertisers. In our first term of licence, we're projecting sales of just over $9 million. Our revenue projections are conservative and realistic.
1658 We will start with an existing experienced sales team, which sells local and national print advertising in the Surrey marketplace. Our team is well connected and has a large roster of current advertisers, with a potential client list of over 15,000 businesses. By leveraging off of our existing business activities, this synergy will be a win-win for our clients. We will offer the best creative and production services, and the best promotions for the highest level of audience engagement. In a letter of support provided by Stanley Furtado of Represent Communications indicates that advertisers are looking for ways to reach the new second and third generation, the new mainstream. He states, "We see the proposed fusion format as a great opportunity for local businesses to promote their services to a new audience not currently served by the incumbent radio stations."
1659 And now I'll pass it over to Mrs. Brar. Thank you.
1660 MS SOHI-BRAR: Thank you, Mr. Combow.
1661 Thank you, Mr. Combow.
1662 Commissioners, our seven year plan projects revenues of just over 9 million. And given future market growth and demand by advertisers to reach this 2.0 and 3.0 generation, I am very confident in our plan.
1663 As a 17 year veteran of the finance industry, I can attest to the conservative business acumen in this proposal. Having been sensitivity tested, we have planned adequate contingencies and are taking a sensible and realistic approach. Surdel Broadcasting is fiscally conservative. The debt will be reasonable and manageable. Our operations will be lean, due to our administrative and sales synergies, allowing us to over-invest in CCD and our employees.
1664 Regarding CCD. We will meet conditions of licence. We have also planned for over and above contributions of $208,000 in our first term, 20 percent towards factor, with the remaining 80 percent in three categories: $62,400 towards the development of local talent; 52,000 to local festivals that showcase emerging Canadian artists, and $54,080 for scholarships and bursaries.
1665 We will create 10 new full-time equivalents with a payroll of about $475,000 per year. We will employ graduates and students of broadcasting. Our success is in our human capital. Thus, we will provide excellent training in sales, journalism and broadcasting.
1666 I am a certified adult trainer and I will ensure that we deliver quality training which is conducive to adult learning principles. I can assure you that we are in a position to make the best use of the 107.7 frequency to serve the new mainstream successfully.
1667 And now to Mr. Koat, our intercultural strategist.
1668 MR. KOAT: Thank you, Ms Brar.
1669 Commissioners, good afternoon. This is my 30th year in Canadian intercultural broadcasting. I personally wrote for the format for Vancouver's CHKG 96.1 FM. And as its program director, pioneered North America's first world beat morning drive show on commercial radio.
1670 I also filed with the Commission a request to have world beat included as its own genre in category 3 music, which I am pleased to see has borne fruit.
1671 Fusion contemporary global music is a relevant and powerful alternative to jukebox radio. It has inherent power to build bridges of awareness, understanding, and ultimately appreciation of the diversity of cultures in Canadian communities. This fusion can be refined to each community's specific needs, capitalizing on radio's strong asset in this new media world, and that asset is localization.
1672 Fusion programming through the international language of music is the future of the format for intercultural and community broadcasting in Canada, radio without borders or boundaries. The cross-cultural format detailed in our application recognizes a service that will best fit into the current radio landscape of Surrey and one that can grow with Surrey as technology, information, and entertainment continue to evolve.
1673 And now back to Ms Hothi.
1674 MS HOTHI: Thank you. Commissioners, our station is not about being an ethnic option but about being a quality radio station that melds their demographic's various interests. Our audience has a unique personality, having found their identity not as the children of immigrant parents but as Canadians, with various geographic, cultural and historical influences that make them a key part of the landscape of Canada and, moreover, Vancouver. They are the new mainstream.
1675 The 2.0s and 3.0s are a fusion and want a media outlet that caters to the many facets of them in a language of their choice, English. They're savvy consumers who want to find new and unique styles and options, breaking free of labels and boxes. They do not view their diversity as the singular definition of who they are, nor do they identify as ethnic or different but inherently as Canadians who have ties to their heritage.
1676 We argue that instead of continually classifying this group as ethnic, we recognize they are not negotiating east and west, but they are a group with a new identity. We must not approach them with overt ethnic campaigns but a mainstream mentality that utilizes the appropriate vehicles to reach them, such as our fusion format. At Surdel we are proposing a new format with respect to the new mainstream, in a thoughtful, enthusiastic and forward-looking manner.
1677 Yourselves couldn't help tapping your feet while watching our earlier video and popular media is highlighting the prevalent interest in culturally mixed and diverse content. Shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Britain's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars and others commonly feature integrated musical approaches without categorization. Earlier Mr. Sandhu spoke to his experiences on the evolution of tastes and styles within the -- and the intercultural attendee make-up at events. Mr. Koat has further confirmed that notion. And our mix will serve this growing audience by reflecting the evolution of a community, where the fusion lifestyle is a well-established fact. In the same spirit that the Commission was forward-thinking in licensing the Franglais station CHOM-FM, and even Toronto's Flow 93.5, we ask that the Commission stand with us today in support for our fusion format, a format that has been proven by other stations, such as the Spanglish Latino 96.3 in L.A. and Radio 4 in Dubai.
1678 Commissioners, ethnic radio has been done and contemporary Western radio is well-represented, but no commercial station in this region can be identified as fusion. Fusion radio has been the missing link and we will provide a distinct new voice for the new mainstream. The time for fusion radio is now and the team to deliver it is Surdel Broadcasting, well-qualified, prepared, and a true representation of the new mainstream.
1679 Commissioners, we thank you for your time and I welcome your examination of our application.
1680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
1681 Commissioner Simpson.
1682 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you very much.
1683 You had said that you dislike labels and boxes. We're government. We like boxes. We like labels. And we're struggling -- well, you know how long it took to have world beat acknowledged. You know, we're struggling to find a place to put fusion --
1684 MS HOTHI: Yes.
1685 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- in our little world.
1686 Also, your -- you have exhibited incredible financial prowess, so you'll understand what I mean when I say that I'd like to put your assumptions on programming to a little bit of a stress test --
1687 MS HOTHI: Of course.
1688 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- just so we can see where we go.
1689 But first a little housekeeping. You had, in your orals just now, said that -- you had thrown the figure out of $208,000 with respect to your CCD contributions. And one of my housekeeping items was to ask you to clarify probably by an undertaking what I think was just a, you know, paperwork error, but way back in -- in October of 2013 we had asked for some clarification regarding your CCD. And what we got back was a letter that stated one number and an application that stated another. There was a differential of something in the vicinity of $8,000. And so may I ask you, before the end of the week, if you would please submit an undertaking that clarifies your CCD so that it can become -- if we so choose your application, become a condition of your licence.
1690 MS SOHI-BRAR: Yes, sir, we will.
1691 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay, thanks.
1692 So, anyway, back to boxes and labels. The -- admittedly this is a market that is -- as I said earlier, a market that's in an incredible flux, positive flux. It's changing weekly, yearly. The -- the projection on audience for broadcasters is -- you know, it looks like it's going to be quite a green field in the next 20 years because --
1693 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
1694 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- of migration into the marketplace and so we think about those things. But I'd like to ask you, though, with respect to the format you've chosen, it seems abundantly clear why you've chosen it, but I need to understand why we would consider this an application that is not an ethnic radio application given your definition of the target audience you're after, which is second generation, third generation South Asian audience. Now, the first part of this test will be this: In your world beat formula of music, you're portioning about 50 percent of that world beat to your overall music programming --
1695 MS HOTHI: Yes.
1696 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- is that correct?
1697 MS HOTHI: Yes.
1698 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Would you unpack for me what's inside world beat so that I can understand and the staff can understand how much of it is South Asian --
1699 MS HOTHI: Of course.
1700 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- in content?
1701 MS HOTHI: I will pass that on to Mr. Sandhu to answer for you. However, before we go to him, I would like to clarify one point. When we reference the 2.0 and 3.0 generations, we are not specify -- we are not specifically saying only the South Asian community of 2.0 and 3.0s. We're talking about the 2.0 and 3.0s of all cultural backgrounds.
1702 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm.
1703 MS HOTHI: I mean, the make-up of Surrey is, yes, predominantly South Asian and we take a nod to that, absolutely, we must if we intend to reflect our local community. However, we are speaking to all 2.0 and 3.0 generations, but I will ask Mr. Sandhu to speak to the second part of your question.
1704 MR. SANDHU: Sure. As we did propose, minimum 50 percent category 33 world beat selections. As your question asked, what is the make-up of that, as Ms Hothi had explained, the large make-up of our target area is South Asians. We want to build a radio station for success. We want to grow with an audience that's growing. So, you know, we propose to focus about 40 to 60 percent of our selections on South Asian or of South Asian origin.
1705 We cannot overlook the fact that World Music isn't just South Asian, it's from around the world.
1706 We will focus 40 to 50% on selections from other global and other charts and other global influences, as well.
1707 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Just to clarify, the percentages you're using, that's 40 to 60% of the 50%?
1708 MR. SANDHU: Of the 50%, yes.
1709 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Thanks.
1710 MR. SANDHU: And we will also focus on Southeast Asian origin or influence as well, you know, given they make up about 20%.
1711 And I'm going to just pass it on to Cal here, just to further explain the notion of World Beat and global influences.
1712 MR. KOAT: Well, it`s -- music is -- the radio station has to be -- a community radio station has to reflect the community it serves. And, so it only follows that you look at the way the breakdown of the cultures are in the Surrey community and there is a large percentage of the South Asian population there, so they are going to want to hear some of their own sounds as part of a larger appreciation of global music.
1713 So -- and by the thing is about World Music is it can be any genre you choose. World Music is not so much a genre into of itself, but it is a -- an amalgam of all different genres in music.
1714 It is -- simply seeing it through the lens of a global-minded person, so it can come from North America, it can come from around the globe. But it is -- like I say, it's seen through a global lens and it is something that is indicative of global awareness. And that's what this station wants to put forward.
1715 MR. SANDHU: And just to add, earlier when Ms Hothi was talking about the Surrey Delta statistics, 40% of the community is a visible minority. 58% of that is South Asian. 12% is Chinese. 10% is Philippino.
1716 We've got to have a basis to base the music on. So, using those numbers is what we've sort of proposed the breakup of Wold Beat. But having said that, music -- there's non-Indians that listen to South Asian.
1717 When you start looking into the dynamics of it, you can't say that, for example, you won't listen to it. As Commissioner Tom Peterson was just nodding his head listening to the music that was played on the presentation, music relates to everybody. And we want to play it in such a fusion and a mix that everyone can relate to it.
1718 You know, through my twenty years I've seen pretty much, you know, non -- like grandma's dancing to English music. They don't even understand a word of what I'm playing. It's the style that's played. It's the way we intermix it, the way everyone interacts. And that's how everyone in society in Surrey is pretty much interacting now, and that's the direction that it seems to be going.
1719 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I hear you -- but you know what's hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles is an ethnic policy that says that if -- you know, the principal direction of -- and not necessarily from spoken word in a third language, but he principal direction of a station is to a specific you know, non-Caucasian -- you know all the words -- you sort of fall into that box or category. And when -- you know, as a programmer, when you say you're going to do 50% of World Beat and then 50% other, and we haven't even talked about the other yet, we are looking at that ethnic radio policy and trying to understand whether the audience type in combination with the music type in some kind of a dominant ratio, you know, -- you know, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. And, is this an ethnic radio station by our definition versus your definition? And I'm trying to understand what your definition is.
1720 MS HOTHI: So I -- you may have read our deficiency letter and there may have been a very emphatic three-page essay on some similar topic of this sort, and I will speak to that.
1721 The definition of ethnic for the CRCT is that we are specifying a specific visible minority and we are going into a minority. We are not choosing the minority here. The community is choosing it for us. We are putting up a station. We have a transmitter in Surrey -- in Surrey North Delta.
1722 So the choice I have as a community radio station is to reflect the makeup of my community. I'm not making that choice.
1723 I'm not walking in here saying I wanted to create a South Asian radio station today. I'm saying I want to create a radio station that reflects the makeup of Surrey North Delta. And that is -- that's what allows us to keep the 50-50 ratio, is to say, you know what, tomorrow if we have an influx of the Chinese community, then we're going to reflect that. That's the importance here.
1724 So no broadcasting is not about having the notion of trying to hide. We're not trying to hide and say we're going to do the South Asian thing and keep that at 50%, and that's what happening.
1725 We're truly, very honestly -- because this is our generation, this is the music that I listen to, this is the music that we listen to, we want to be reflective of that.
1726 And I could go further but I'm sure you've read it, you know.
1727 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah. I have but it is interesting. In other words, you're saying that you're simply reflecting a marketplace and you can't help it if it doesn't adhere to policy. And --
1728 MS HOTHI: Well, I would challenge adhering to policy.
1729 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
1730 MS HOTHI: And I will. And I say this too, with respect to the Commissioners and with respect to the Commission, if we are to say that the only Canadian makeup is of Aboriginal, British Isles or indeed of French descent, if we're saying that that is it, then really there's not a whole lot of Canadians left on this landscape. There is not.
1731 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Did you beat up professors a lot at school, too?
1732 MS HOTHI: I tend to challenge. It just happens to be the nature of the game.
1733 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
1734 MS HOTHI: But I'm also -- you know, I have to speak to my background. I'm an ethnic strategist. I actually -- this is what I do for a living. I help Ad Agencies, PR Agencies, Corporations, I create -- I vet manage self -- like public festivals. I telemanage. This is the realm that I live in on a day-in and day-out, so I tend to have these conversations often and I have powerful views on them, which is a strong part of why I'm standing here today, because I truly represent what we are saying.
1735 And it's easy to be a malfeasant. It's easy to stand here and say I'm going to read the script. It's another thing to live it and breathe it and to truly be emphatic about it and know that I'm not going to change my mind in six months or a year, or two years, because this is the format we want to put out.
1736 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you for that. I am going to go to easier pastures. Not necessarily greener, but easier. I -- and I say that in deference and respect.
1737 Help me unpack the other 50% of your music policy? You're saying that you have 50% World Beat, you're going to have 50% other. Could you describe and satisfy my interests as to what the other represents and whether it also represents some percentage of South Asian music?
1738 MR. SANDHU: Sure. I`m just going to get Cal to mention or touch base on -- on the remainder of various global influences and World Beat selections.
1739 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Well, no, the other half, other than World Beat.
1740 MR. SANDHU: Oh, the other -- sorry. Okay, yeah, that's -- Category 2 is what we're proposing for that.
1741 Once again, we want to keep a balance. We want to keep a radio station that is going to relate to the 2.0's and the 3.0's. They do listen to popular selections. But, we want to blend those in with World Beat selections, creating that mix, so that the remainder of the 50% is Category 2.
1742 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Again, I'm having difficulty -- what we always try and do is hear a broadcaster at face value when they're making an application, and then understand thoroughly what they're proposing to do to make their station viable and relevant. But we also like to be able to sort of clamp down some of the promises so that we can have assurances that you don't get the -- the -- in software they call it the feature creep, but here a programming creep, that we can't (a) understand and monitor, and, (b) enforce. And that is the substance of the difficulty I'm having because a lot of the answers that I'm getting are fulsome and full of conviction but they're tough to quantify and I'm -- and that's what I'm trying to do. In the light of day it's like Canadian content. We can go back and buy some type of label or box we can say you either are or not fulfilling Canadian content requirements.
1743 Here, you're putting forward I guess another somewhat hybrid type proposal, and asking us to accept at face value that the programming will not have a skew that would lend itself to being categorized in a post-decision sense as an ethnic radio station. That's what I'm trying to determine.
1744 MS HOTHI: Well, what we could do -- well, there's two pieces on that. And so my first was I was actually going to pose it back, but I think you've clarified and I'll state it for the record for clarity, is that your concern is that we will be skewing towards an ethnic radio station versus a commercial radio station?
1745 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Without the obligations of an ethnic radio station.
1746 MS HOTHI: Fair enough. So as, you know, we have stated within our application that we would take as a condition of license, a minimum of World Beat as laid out. We propose 50%, obviously. But within out presentation there was a play list that we can speak to if that pleases the Commission, that would help perhaps break out some of what the musical format may look like.
1747 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: It would, because --
1748 MS HOTHI: Sure.
1749 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Again, not to bring out the cynic in me, but just to be -- to be real about it --
1750 MS HOTHI: Of course.
1751 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- in defining World Beat and what it contains within that 50%, it still left the other 50% of Category 2 as -- as largely an unknown. I mean, we do know what Category 2 is, but we're trying to get some kind of a benchmark that both of us can be comfortable with, that you can live with and we can understand.
1752 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
1753 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And, so a submission in that regard would be very helpful.
1754 MS HOTHI: Absolutely. The printout you have may be very small, but it is on the screen.
1755 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
1756 MS HOTHI: And we can speak to it and after the fact we could file -- we can file the full page should that be required. But this is -- this is a breakout. There is 50% of Category 2 on here. There is 50% Sub-category 33. We have five South Asian selections of the 20. And we have two, three, four. We have four -- no five other, obviously so, 50-50, now I'm doing my math wrong. But about five other cultural backgrounds represented. And there are some in here that are re-mixes. There are some that are emerging talent. There are -- you've got Surrey talent in here. We've got Leverin Dalu(ph) who is an emerging Canadian content Surrey artist.
1757 You have Delhi 2 Dublin which is you know, an obvious, and I think at this point most of the commission knows and recognizes them. Their image stands on the Canadian Heritage website's image, their banner image, Canadian Content And Emerging.
1758 We've got Alex Cuba who is an amazing, amazing artist who is not being played on the airwaves here, but we would love to give some recognition to. So, we are trying to create that large scale interest. But, I mean, you go further up and you have some traditional nods to South Asian music. They have Diljit Dosanjh, but you also have Bandage Project who was just nominated for kind of the equivalent Indian Grammys for his -- for their song "Trap", which is more of a House Electonica sound, but is from South -- it is from India. And you know, out here you probably wouldn't have heard it.
1759 So, it's to give that full range, that full breadth, and to be honest it's an iPod right? If you turn to your iPod when you -- I always hit Shuffle. Like, I do not hit a Play List, right. I hit Shuffle. And what do I hear? I hear one song that I love after another song that I love, that may not sit in the same genre or the same field at all or the same language, but it keeps me entertained.
1760 MS BRAR: And Commissioners, if I can further to that. When we all sat down and we discussed our application at the very beginning, we wanted -- we discussed what the spirit of the station should be. And the spirit of the station -- I mean, I remember myself when I used to stream at the very beginning back in the 1990s I used to stream from the UK a program called -- or, a radio station called Club Asia. And Club Asia at that point in time was a hybrid radio station playing English, Hip-Hop, Urban Music, with Bhangra, Bollywood, and other selections from South Asia, as well as speaking to me in a language that I related to, which is English.
1761 So, when we thought about the spirit of our station we wanted to have fun. We wanted to have an upbeat. But we also wanted to be forward thinking in our approach. We wanted to give artists like Alex Cuba a platform where he can actually be played on a station in the lower mainland. I mean, he's from Smithers, Ontario, and he's a wonderful artist -- or, sorry, Smithers, BC, and he's a wonderful artist. But, basically, you know, we wanted to put a party on the radio. And that's essentially what we thought of when we came together with this format.
1762 We did not want to categorically block off cultural music so that if I wanted to listen to let's say Italian music I had to tune into the radio at nine o'clock on Saturday morning, because I can go to my I-Pad and find an app for that and have it whenever I want it. So, this, to me, is like Songza. I'm in the mood to party. I'm in the mood to have fun. I'm in the mood to get inspired, or potentially go for a yoga practice. This is what's going to get me up and get going, and so that's the reason why we created our particular format.
1763 Now, I just want to clarify, the format that we are proposing is a minimum -- a minimum of 50% World Beat music, with the remainder coming from Category 2 music.
1764 Of our entire selection 35% will comply with our Canadian content regulations, and we will -- also, we've also proposed 18% of our total play list towards emerging artists. Sorry, two per hour-- two songs per hour for our emerging artists.
1765 So, in a nutshell, that's the best way that I can describe our station. And that's the spirit in which we come to you today.
1766 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I'm going to move off the music for a second, but I'm still going to stay on the theme of license type for a second.
1767 If we were to consider a mainstream or a commercial FM undertaking such as the one you are proposing, or something that's even more mainstream such as perhaps what we heard this morning from South Fraser. Other issues start to emerge that go to first service. And I would like you to address concerns I have that if you were allowed to do what you're proposing, that I need you to tell me how it would be as a commercial undertaking without ethnic license imposition, how this programming proposal of yours would be of first service value to all of -- to all of the residents of Surrey, because that is a consideration we have to take under our belt in a commercial application.
1768 MS HOTHI: Absolutely. The reality of it is that first -- sorry, second and third generation Canadians are not just hanging out with one another, you know. They're not. Their friends are of every ethnicity and every descent. This is not something that we see as only being bound by the cultural groups and the cultural backgrounds. It is something that will go across their various -- you know their friends, their colleagues, their peers.
1769 But the reality is that it is also a hyper local station, it's for the community. Our news and information will reflect that. We have dedicated 140 of our 220 news minutes to local information: 48 national, 48 international. But the reality is there are national an international news and information that's relevant.
1770 We don't see that it's only a cultural group that's going to find interest in this world music. This is a global phenomena. As Mr. Sandhu spoke to, there are so many collaborations. There are so many World Beat artists who are now hitting charts, you know, who release a song and two years later it gets found in Ibiza and then it comes to Europe and then it goes to the States. You know these things are happening and they're happening more and more often, and we need to have space for that. We need to have room for that on the mainstream dial.
1771 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
1772 MS BRAR: If I could add to that. If we look at our community and granted, yes, we are looking at a demographic of eighteen to forty-nine year olds, and there are people that lie outside of that scope, and how do we serve them as well with our format. That's what I am presuming you are asking me, okay, or asking of us.
1773 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I`m asking it in the context of community news, information that the community can use for all constituents within the city, because you could have that -- that burden, if you like, as a commercial project.
1774 MS BRAR: Absolutely. And we've heard this. Basically, Ms Hothi has already alluded to local news content, local information content, promotion of local events, as well, for the community and the overall good for the community.
1775 We, as well, as part of our plan will be providing in kind media spots to local organizations, time for them to come on the air as well and talk about their issues and their causes.
1776 At the same time, I think if we look at the family dynamic, we're also providing a unique opportunity for the first generations that are here, an opportunity for them to connect with their children and connect with their grandchildren and assimilate into their tastes and variances as well. So, from an overall family perspective, and I think in the video that was our very last shot, that's what we wanted to leave you with, is, that there is overall benefit for everyone, not just the eighteen to forty-nine's. Not just for South Asians, not just for the 2.0, 3.0. We see this as a station for Surrey by residents of Surrey.
1777 MS HOTHI: Sorry. And I don't think I fully understood at first pass. To further -- I've given you the number for news information, but traffic we're hitting at 242 minutes, weather at 124, and the promotion of local events at 242 minutes. So we are very -- we do intend to very much represent the local community with the happenings of the community.
1778 You will notice in the video we also had a nod to there being a promotion of a fund-raiser, a Fusion Rocks fund-raiser -- nicely said, with #fusionrocks. And that's the intent.
1779 The intent is to use not only our on-line sources but our social media components to keep a very low goal community based information source. And yes, we will not obviously, to the greater Vancouver area. But, you know, as others have spoken to you today there is information that is wanted from the Surrey community and that does represent all.
1780 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. And I'm going to move over to sales and revenue projections. So these questions I gather will be to the gentlemen to your left, Mr. Gupta and Mr. Combow.
1781 The first question I have is, Mr. Gupta, you operate several publishing undertakings, a newspaper, a directory service, and so on. These undertakings, are they all in a third language or do some of them publish in English?
1782 MR. GUPTA: There are some in English and some in Punjabi language.
1783 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. So, it is reasonable then to assume that -- this is a leading question, I shouldn't ask it this way -- do you sell advertising to non-third language advertisers? You know, is your advertising revenue beyond the South Asian community?
1784 MR. COMBOW: Yes, we have clients from all over. We have the South Asian community as well as the RBC's, the Telus's, the General Motors, Corporate Canada, as I call it, they are all advertising with us.
1785 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. In your revenue forecasts you -- and where I'm going with this is to try and understand whether your definition may be different than other applicants.
1786 You have a very high percentage by year seven, a very high percentage of ratio of national advertising to local. And would you help me understand whether that is in fact national advertising or regional advertising as was discussed earlier with other applicants?
1787 MR. COMBOW: When it comes to national advertising, it's a little bit of both. There are operations such as Canadian Tire. Canadian Tire may be owned by a local businessman located right in Surrey, and he will have X number of dollars to do this own retail advertising. And yet when they want to do a major promotion or push, they'll call their ad agency, or they'll call their regional manager and say, >Look, you know what, I need your support. I need this to come out of Toronto.' And then we get a phone call from Toronto from an ad agency that want to do business for us for that type of client.
1788 There are a lot of businesses right now that are -- of Corporate Canada that are not advertising anywhere. The sectors that are advertising are your financials, your automotive's and your telecommunications. But the Starbucks, the Tim Horton's they're not advertising. And they are going to come to our Fusion radio station. We're going to bring them, because they don't have that vehicle at the moment.
1789 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
1790 MS HOTHI: Sorry, I'm just going to add to that.
1791 Mr. Combow and I had the opportunity -- we both have worked very heavily with national ad agencies in different formats and different reasoning, but we've both had the opportunity just this past fall to speak with them in regards to this fusion format, the 2.0 and 3.0 generations. Many of them speak to the fact that there aren't a lot of opportunities outside of online medias to reach this community that isn't a trickle factor.
1792 And we speak -- we have spoken to this. You know, there are generations -- there are those of our generation who are listening to mainstream stations but a very targeted approach.
1793 When I only have x amount of dollars, if I know I can truly reach my target demographic they would prefer, obviously, to spend those dollars in that format and there aren't a lot of those out there.
1794 So this fusion hybrid as you've heard today, continues to come up because it is something that's required not only of the consumer but of the advertiser.
1795 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And I would assume that there is opportunity for combined ideals between print and radio. It would make sense.
1796 MR. COMBOW: It definitely would. It would be very much a value added.
1797 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Mr. Combow, can you describe to me what the salesforce looks like? How many feet in the street would you have coming out of the gate?
1798 MR. COMBOW: We're looking at probably about four to begin and as sales go up or revenues go up, I would probably like to bring in maybe two more.
1799 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Now, they would be dedicated just to the station or are they selling about the --
1800 MR. COMBOW: Right now -- right now the salesforce would dedicate their time percentage-wise to both.
1801 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. It's all right. You don't have to -- we have no concerns as to what you've been selling.
1802 I'm just trying to understand whether you have a significant advantage in having a sales force, a pre-existing sales force and a pre-existing customer list.
1803 MR. COMBOW: I think we do have an advantage over the majority of the other applicants here today by having that team out there. They know the people. They know what they want. They know exactly where they are and the relationships having built with them and it will be an easy sell for us.
1804 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: I think Mr. Gupta has already figured that out for himself.
1805 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: The next question I have, and this goes back to -- first of all, it's a programming question tied to sales.
1806 As I understand it, you are proposing an English-language service with world music and everything else that we have tried to understand.
1807 Why then are you indicating your belief that 35 percent of your initial revenues can be coming from repatriation from ethnic broadcasting in the United States which is principally in third-language and talk oriented?
1808 Why -- help me out here. I just didn't figure that out.
1809 MS HOTHI: Sorry, we're laughing (spoken off mic).
1810 MR. COMBOW: Sorry, we knew this question was going to come up.
1811 That 35 percent is actually a little bit of a typo that we were not able to correct. We have in one of our deficiencies stated the 20 percent of revenues where they were going to come from and in that we had only mentioned 8 percent coming from the cross border and those are from the national advertisers that are currently using those stations because there is no other avenues for them.
1812 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. Do I get points for actually demonstrating that they read my files?
1813 MR. COMBOW: Yes.
1814 MS HOTHI: Actually, I love that. That was great. I was like waiting for it.
1815 MR. COMBOW: Out of the number of pages, and you picked out that one that's awesome.
1816 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you.
1817 Help me understand your belief. I believe that you said that if licenced you would have the station on the air by fall of 2014.
1818 You know we're terrible at taking our time to make decisions. But even if we made a decision tomorrow that still seems very ambitious. Why do you think you could do this?
1819 MS HOTHI: Commissioners, Mr. Gupta is at an advantage here whereby he already owns the real estate or the studio facilities where this actual radio station will be located.
1820 So if we look at our pre -- we're looking at a four month pre-startup -- basically, phases -- our first phase obviously is buying our transmitter and monitoring equipment, et cetera.
1821 So from a startup perspective we need basically four months to get the studio ramped up to a point in time where we can actually open and go on the air and also during that four months we would be then sourcing out our on-air talent as well as any other support that we might need to make the station run.
1822 We feel, you know looking at our team, our team actually has so many different facets. We're all very much Type A personalities. Without sounding too brash, we like to get the job done and we like to get the job done in the best way possible and the fastest way possible.
1823 And it's not a question about we want to start making money. It's not -- Mr. Gupta has never been that way. He's not that type of a visionary. The reason why we want to get this done quickly is because the community wants it and deserves it.
1824 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay. I'm almost done, Mr. Chair.
1825 Going back to where we began with the programming format, I would like you to confirm orally and if necessary we might ask you for an undertaking that all of your spoken word programming will be in English and make the determination in a way that we can understand as to who will be the principal target audience of the spoken word.
1826 MS HOTHI: Yes, we can take that up as an undertaking as required.
1827 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Okay.
1828 And the second thing is that you would please undertake to file the Category 2 music and anything else you think --
1829 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
1830 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: -- would be useful with respect to understanding world beat?
1831 MS HOTHI: You'll note on the DVD that was supplied today there is a playlist of the songs on --
1832 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Yeah.
1833 MS HOTHI: -- this list.
1834 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: And this is your choice, and I will get my hair poked by Legal if I'm overstepping my bounds, but what would be very helpful would be in that submission an understanding of what percentage of South Asian music if there is such an ability to categorize, what percentage of music that you would commit to as a condition of licence.
1835 MS HOTHI: Yes, we can. And if there is a counterproposal we would hope that the Commission would come forth to it.
1836 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Great. I'm done.
1837 Thank you very much.
1838 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Shoan...?
1839 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hi, there. Don't worry, I'm not going to put you in a box.
1840 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So I had a few financial aid questions but my colleague, Commissioner Simpson, actually touched upon some of them. So I'll just add a couple more to be clear that I understand your proposal.
1841 In terms of your total operating expenses over the seven year licence term it's fairly stable between $645,000 and $745,000. I understand now that given that there are premises already secured that answers part of my question about what comprises that operating expense.
1842 Can you decouple that a little bit and break it down for me in terms of what comprises those expenses?
1843 MS BRAR: If we look at our total operating expenses obviously our payroll and our benefits, our human resources is definitely a factor there.
1844 That we are showing over seven years as being increasing year to year, not only because we would like to retain our talent, especially if they are top talent but in accordance with cost of living adjustments, et cetera. Holiday pay. There is also EI, CPP. All those benefits are also included in that line item.
1845 From an administrative perspective we would need to have people to run our front of house and to -- you know, a part of our radio station are hosting artists to come in for interviews and making sure that all of that is in line, having proper hospitality needs for them as well.
1846 Technically, obviously that's the equipment that we need to secure the leases, et cetera on that equipment itself. We have to run our sales staff and also have marketing materials for those sales staff to go out and do their jobs.
1847 And then finally there is the programming expense. So the cost of having our catalogue and music available to us as well as researchers to be able to find the music that we want to play, having friends like Cal that we would like to compensate possibly for his contribution to our team, and just basically making sure we have the equipment there.
1848 One part of our operating expense obviously is our CCD on a month to month basis. We want to -- we don't want to be in a position where we are here in front of you three years from now saying we are unable to make our CCD commitments. That's not where we want to be.
1849 All of us -- I should say the four of us primarily on this side of the table, we all have longstanding relationships with many of the artists in the Surrey/Vancouver area. And Ms Hothi and myself actually have relationships with artists in Toronto as well because that's where I originally come from and we have clients that are based in Toronto too.
1850 So we've projected part of our -- we projected something that we think is reasonable from a CCD perspective. We don't want to buy the licence from you by saying we're going to, you know, put out $50,000 to $60,000 a year in over and above contributions.
1851 But certainly, when we look at our ramp up and we look at generating that revenue in order to drive this business and we're not inputting millions of dollars into this where it becomes hard for Mrs. Gupta to sleep at night -- we wanted to have a realistic approach. I know that we've looked at -- we've sensitivity tested it so a 15-plus/15-minus on either side and had a look again at what it would be.
1852 From an operating expense because of our synergies, I think we are able to keep our costs pretty stable over the seven-year period. As Mr. Combow has related, like, you know, the sales staff is kind of doing a mix of both, we can shuffle where we need to be if that's the case.
1853 And as well, when we are driving our revenues of course there are those combinations. So that cross-sell that we can do to our clients to bring revenue into the station as well as to the other media outlets.
1854 Does that answer your question?
1855 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Absolutely.
1856 MS BRAR: Thank you.
1857 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So to go to your potential source of protected revenues -- thank you for clarifying that the 35 percent was actually a typo and that it was actually 8 percent. I caught that too, which is good.
1858 MS BRAR: Thank you.
1859 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So given that it is 8 percent, can you give me what the percentage breakdown is for those four sources; existing Canadian radio services, existing U.S. radio services which is 8 percent, new radio advertisers and other media? Do you have that handy?
1860 MS BRAR: Absolutely. So we're actually stating -- we stated in our response to our deficiencies that about 20 percent of our revenues or projected revenues would come from existing sources.
1861 So if we look at Vancouver stations we are considering that to be 10 percent and that includes CKYE. If we're looking at repatriation from the United States we'd be looking at approximately 8 percent of our total revenues from that base.
1862 And then if we were looking at ethnic stations the only other ethnic station here in the Vancouver area or the Vancouver area would be the rj1200 band and we would be looking at 2 percent from them.
1863 Mr. Combow can maybe speak to the other aspects, so the other revenue sources outside of competition.
1864 MR. COMBOW: As you folks know that print is on the decline and we are projecting also in this that we will be taking more money from print including possibly our own products and the other products that are out there in the marketplace. That would make up the balance.
1865 We are looking at a lot more at a lot of new dollars that advertisers would want to spend with us.
1866 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's what I suspected.
1867 So given your years of experience in print and given that print is obviously in decline are you simply trying to transfer your resources and your contacts from one medium to a new medium, from print to radio?
1868 MR. COMBOW: Well, we've got about approximately 20 people working with us right now and we want to keep them employed. We don't want them going on the welfare line, unemployment line.
1869 Hopefully by getting this licence some of them will come over. Some of them will stay as long as the paper is still there. But we want to keep them employed. We want to keep generating taxable money for the City of Surrey.
1870 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great. Just a couple more questions.
1871 What is Josh Radio? Does it relate to this application at all?
1872 MS HOTHI: I can speak to that. We have a -- so you'll note that we kept to our call letters of CJRB. Josh or Josh was originally a name that was tossed around in the beginning and it was a name that we market tested a little bit and then kind of let it be.
1873 We have other names and thoughts on file that we basically made the choice to stop market testing because we were basically giving away what we wanted to do at one point. But that was a very, very early on concept and has thus been kind of -- has kind of fallen off the radar.
1874 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Fair enough.
1875 So my last question is -- and my colleague, Commissioner Simpson, touched upon it earlier -- I just wanted to give you another shot at it because I'm not sure if I was entirely satisfied with the reply.
1876 But it goes to the best use of the frequency.
1877 You're proposing -- and don't get me wrong. You're obviously a very passionate group. You're obviously very knowledgeable and you have a lot of great resources in the community.
1878 But ultimately this is an FM frequency in a very large market serving a community that arguably is underserved. And you're proposing a music service and the reality is in today's digital world you can get music virtually anywhere.
1879 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
1880 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Anywhere.
1881 MS HOTHI: Absolutely.
1882 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Anywhere.
1883 So when you have a scare resource like an FM frequency and you're looking to serve a community and you're offering predominantly music service with some local reflection, but predominantly music service, is that ultimately in your view the best use of this frequency to serve?
1884 MS HOTHI: Absolutely, and for various reasons.
1885 So firstly, you're right to say that there are definitely other options available. However, the reality is there is what many other applicants have noted, the lack of information that is localized. Yes, we are a music-first service. But those two, three, four minutes that happen every hour, the DJ ad libs, the news information, the local nods those are important concepts of the information that we take in.
1886 I scroll a Twitter feed every day, not necessarily because I want to know what's happening you know, wherever. I follow certain things, follow certain you know people because I want to know what's happening close to me. And I want to know very quickly.
1887 So if I know that my information is going to come to me while I'm enjoying my radio service or my song service as I would anywhere else, why wouldn't I?
1888 The other is that the reality is the consumer has been saying that Vancouver is falling off. We are lagging. We are starting to slow down. I mean, Vancouver always is the joking younger sister that gets the hand me downs. We get music last. We get the -- you know, everything comes from Europe to the States to Toronto. You know we get everything last.
1889 So given the makeup of our community, if anywhere in Canada was going to launch a fusion format this is the time to show that Vancouver can be forward-thinking and be the first to do this, the first to market because our community asks for it and it would make the most sense here. I truly feel that this would be an opportunity to be pioneers of something.
1890 And then, lastly, I have now forgotten. So when I remember I'll let you know.
1891 MR. KOAT: If I may add to that, you don't want to undervalue the music as well because the thing about world beat, contemporary global music is that it does provide a window on other cultures. In a cultural diverse community such as Surrey, it's incredibly important to have this foot in to an understanding of your neighbor and the people around you.
1892 This is a way that communities can first get to know each other and that is through music. That is something that ethnic radio cannot provide by providing third-language service in block programs but contemporary global music can do so and encourage longer a stance of listenership and also provide this awareness and understanding of other cultures.
1893 That's so vital to the Canadian mosaic as it stands and that is probably, I think, the new format, the new direction of multicultural radio as well as community radio. A low-power FM frequency such as what we are requesting from the Commission may just very well be the kind of a standalone that can survive and take root in a rich environment such as Surrey.
1894 MS HOTHI: Absolutely. And I did remember because Mr. Koat dawned upon me.
1895 It is also a sense of broadest pickup. One can say that we are doing so much that you get no one. I argue the other way.
1896 The reality is that today's interests in music and entertainment and culture are of very, very cultural interests. You see this everywhere. You see this on TV. You see this on film. You see this on the Gap campaigns. You see that the reality is we take a bit of everything.
1897 Again, I say, we speak to songs. We speak to our iPods. We speak to our intake of culture. It is a bit of everything. I think that is the broadest pickup and the best use of the frequency.
1898 MS BRAR: And if I could just go back to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams there is a line, "If you build it, they will come".
1899 MS HOTHI: There you go.
1900 MS BRAR: If we put it out there we will get the listeners. They will come to us.
1901 And if I know Mr. Mandeep, if anybody has actually listened to Mr. Sandhu's mixes, et cetera, I still go back to the days in Toronto when I used to tune into CFNY on a Friday night just to listen to Chris Sheppard like from 11 o'clock to one o'clock in the morning. I'd stay at home for that. What Mr. Sandhu is proposing as a part of his music mix is creating that same experience on the radio here in Surrey.
1902 So you know what? You can have the party at home. You can tune into the radio at home with your friends and your family and enjoy each other's company and tell stories and create those memories. So again that goes back to the spirit of the station.
1903 Yeah, you could probably do it on the internet too, right? But there's something that's so inherently special about being able to turn a dial that creates or that contributes to that overall experience. We shouldn't actually turn a blind eye on that.
1904 The other thing too is that, you know, radio is important for our artists. It's a platform for them. It's a way for them to actually go out there and get some exposure and get feedback from the community in real time too.
1905 So that's the other thing too we don't want -- you know this is also for them as well as for the community as well.
1906 MR. KOAT: And if I can once again just tag on, Commissioner Simpson had mentioned that you can get music just about anywhere. That is true but when it comes to global music you might not know where to look.
1907 You need -- so this goes back to the whole idea of what started radio in the first place which is the selector and you need somebody who can bring all these elements together and present them in a cohesive fashion that ties all the threads together. That's what you can do with radio.
1908 MR. SANDHU: And just if I can add to that further? In my experience, as I was mentioning about interracial weddings, the same thing goes. The question I get asked when the night is over, "Can I get a CD? Can you make me a CD? Where can I get that music?"
1909 A lot of people don't know where to get their music. They listen to the beats or, you know, to ethnic radio but the fusion of music that gets played out there they have no clue where to find it.
1910 And a lot of times at interracial weddings if it's -- let's say it's a Chinese marrying a Caucasian or an Indian marrying a Caucasian, it's always the Indian in the relationship that wants to make sure, "No, no, make sure you play Indian. Make sure you play" -- I mean, sorry "Make sure you play English music, English music".
1911 I have to remind them that non-Indian guests are coming to the party to enjoy Indian music or Chinese music. They want that cultural mix. They want to experience that because they don't get that. They don't know where to experience that.
1912 And through radio which, I mean, I was saying we don't want to turn a blind eye to that. That's a perfect way for us to get that, to reach out to the audiences.
1913 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Great, thank you very much. Those are my questions.
1914 MS HOTHI: Thank you, Commissioner Shoan.
1915 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know you want to speak to that again.
1916 MS HOTHI: No, no, I was just saying thank you.
1917 THE CHAIRPERSON: I know there is not much you don't want to speak to.
1918 MS HOTHI: No, I was just laughing. If you are going to get a Costner reference it's going to come out of a fusion station, right? Like that was when you were going to have that.
1919 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it's very interesting the idea of FM or someone on the dial being the aggregator for new music. It's an interesting approach.
1920 That being said, I think in terms of launching fusion, I think you mean to say Surrey was going to be launching music and not Vancouver.
1921 MS HOTHI: Yes.
1922 THE CHAIRPERSON: And finally, what happens if there is a second or third licencee in the Surrey market? What happens to projections then?
1923 MS BRAR: This question has been asked by you to all the applicants today.
1924 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
1925 MS BRAR: And our answer is no different. But here is the whole thing. Yes, there will be an impact. We're not going to tiptoe around it. We're not going to stumble over it. There will be an impact.
1926 If the actual -- it depends once again on you, Commission, if you decide if you're going to grant an additional ethnic licence or if you're going to grant an additional mainstream licence.
1927 Where we see the ethnic, as the other applicants have alluded to, we don't see an impact -- we don't see a competition between an ethnic licence and ourselves as a hybrid radio station.
1928 There will be some impact if there is another mainstream station, a Category 2 station that you intend on launching because they are trying to capture the same listener share that we would be capturing as well. And as a result, when you're splitting your listener share you're splitting the revenue dollars, et cetera.
1929 That said, in our opening we actually didn't mention that we have also done a sensitivity analysis for plus 15 -- 15 over and 15 under. Mr. Gupta has the resources to be able to carry this business through in the worst of times as well as the best of times. So economically we will still be able to make this radio station run.
1930 Once again we don't have a mortgage that we need to worry about. We don't need to have rent that we need to so call worry about it. The station will live through if there is another competitor. The one beautiful thing about another competitor in the marketplace it makes us work harder.
1931 MS HOTHI: Yeah.
1932 MS BRAR: Okay? And when we work harder we'll deliver a better quality product to our listeners and better quality to our advertisers and our revenue generators as well.
1933 THE CHAIRPERSON: And no one is going to have your music aggregated.
1934 MS BRAR: No.
1935 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
1936 MS HOTHI: No, Never. We're not letting them go.
1937 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you so much.
1938 MS HOTHI: Thank you, Mr. Pentefountas, Mr. Simpson.
1939 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Pinsky...?
1940 For once she -- hold on just a minute here.
1941 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much. We will be back at 5:10 with New Vision.
1942 MS HOSHI: Thank you.
1943 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all so much.
1944 MS HOSHI: Thank you, sir.
--- Upon recessing at 1659
--- Upon resuming at 1712
1945 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. Good later afternoon. Or for us Easterners, good evening.
1946 Madame la secrétaire?
1947 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will now proceed with Item 6 on the agenda, which is an application by New Vision Broadcasting Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate an ethnic commercial specialty FM radio station in Surrey.
1948 Please introduce yourself and your colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes to make your presentation. Thank you.
1949 MS KHAN: Thank you very much.
1950 Mr. Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff, good afternoon. My name is Ashiana Khan. I'm the General Manager and shareholder of New Vision Broadcasting.
1951 Here joining me are the panel members of our application. Mr. Amrik Purewal, majority shareholder and involved member of the South Asian community.
1952 Next to me, the Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C., former Judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, former Attorney General of British Columbia, former Minister of Multiculturalism, and our counsel.
1953 On my left here is Mr. Amrik Paul Brar, experienced broadcaster and radio host.
1954 Mr. Gurinder Parihar, CGA, of Parihar & Associates, New Vision's accountant.
1955 There's one addition to our oral submission. Sundeep Toor from Parihar & Associates.
1956 Next to Mr. Gurinder Parihar is Mr. Stephen Armstrong, our consultant to our application. And next to him is Mr. Jon Festinger, Q.C., our co-counsel.
1957 New Vision represents new opportunities for our communities and a new kind of broadcasting. New Vision represents a fusion of traditional South Asian and Canadian values.
1958 We are new perspective on community leadership and engagement.
1959 Mr. Chair, Commissioners, New Vision Broadcasting is asking to be licensed so that we can fill the need for a news information station originating in -- originating from British Columbia offering programming in a minimum of eight languages among Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, Sinhalese, Arabic, Polish, Fijian, Gujarati and Bengali.
1960 We will complement the music entertainment formats of the existing Canadian licensees in our South Asian market.
1961 To us, the underlying meaning of community is a diversity of voices and includes all ethnic, social and economic groups. We believe that we truly live in a multi-cultural setting where we can hold on to two distinct cultural backgrounds yet still embrace our Canadian identity.
1962 This is a gap that we bridge every day. Our radio station is an out-growth of that very simple idea, a platform where people can discuss Canadian issues that impact different ethnic and cultural groups.
1963 The thread that holds all of the different communities together is that we are all Canadians, even though we come from different backgrounds.
1964 There are key issues facing our community that need to be discussed in ways which are more engaged, relevant and balanced. These include youth violence, treatment of women, Indian culture in a Canadian context, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, homelessness and elderly.
1965 Our station will be talking about these topics as part of our core mandate. These and other challenging subjects need to be addressed factually, clearly and to the highest journalistic standards.
1966 Why do we feel this kind of broadcasting is needed in our communities?
1967 First, because we know that these subjects are frequently discussed on English-language stations, but rarely by ethnic broadcasters.
1968 Second, because as part of this application, we have focused considerable effort, asking ourselves what high journalistic standards should mean in an ethnic broadcasting context.
1969 Third, we feel it is the duty of our -- of the media, which is so influential, to raise these issues for transparent discussions in the public interest. Our goal is to recognize the South Asian diaspora and build the strengths of our community in Canada.
1970 We are proud that New Vision is making some unique and meaningful commitments in the support of our application. We will provide more relevant spoken word programming.
1971 As you will have noted from our application, New Vision will broadcast more spoken word programming than any of the other applicants for an ethnic radio station, 76 percent of spoken word programming and 96 hours per week.
1972 We go further. Our spoken word programming will provide 100 percent Canadian contextual content. Of course you have frequently heard claims of 100 percent Canadian content. Hundred (100) percent Canadian contextual content means something else.
1973 This means when any issue we choose to talk about originates internationally, the New Vision team commits to bringing it to home, to Canada. That is, we will explain why this story is relevant to us as Canadians or we won't run it.
1974 That does not mean that we are going to ignore musical programming. We represent an independent voice when it comes to South Asian music. We are committed to promoting local and emerging artists. Not only we are devoting 80 percent of our musical programming to emerging artists, but a significant portion of our Canadian content development is music related as well.
1975 This is because there are powerful cultural and emotional bonds between our sense of community and the evolution of our musical traditions.
1976 We have proposed three significant Canadian content development to support graduate students, scholarships for the production of innovative multi-cultural content, 10,000 annually to support and showcase performs by Vancouver ethnic artists at the Canadian Music Week conference and $19,000 annually for the production and promotion of a music talent contest for local ethnic artists.
1977 New Vision will focus on challenging social issues with a single exception. The issues of youth violence, treatment of women, Indian culture in a Canadian context, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, homelessness and elderly have hardly been mentioned in other applications.
1978 These are very real issues in the South Asian community. They need to be dealt with openly and in the context of Canada's legal and social framework.
1979 They must be approached free of bias, hatred, superstition and misinformation.
1980 We are motivated by the seeming reluctance of current stations to consistently and fully discuss these important and complex issues. There needs to be much more open and consistent discussions of difficult issues.
1981 I would ask the Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C., to speak to you now.
1982 HON. WALLY OPPAL: Honourable Commissioners, I want to add to this discussion relating to these important social issues that exist in the South Asian community.
1983 The need for an open discussion on these issues can never be over-emphasized. Having been in the justice system for over 40 years in various capacities, I can state from personal knowledge that there is a very real need to have a community dialogue on violence against women, the disparity in the treatment of women, youth violence and family break-up.
1984 These issues have had a profound effect on the South Asian community.
1985 Over the past 15 years, there have been a number of horrific acts of violence wherein women have been murdered by their husbands. There have been well over 150 young men in the South Asian community who have been murdered in the drug wars. There appears to be a disconnect between these young men and their parents.
1986 I can tell you that, from having been in the Courts, that family break-up with acrimonious lawsuits among South Asian is increasing. It is not in dispute that these vital issues are not really being discussed in the ethnic radio stations.
1987 This is not intended to be a criticism of the existing stations. I'm sure they are fulfilling their mandates. But I can tell you that, having appeared -- I appear on a fairly regular basis in discussing these issues in what I call mainstream media outlets such as CBC, CKMW, Global TV and CTV, but rarely on ethnic stations.
1988 In fact, this evening I'm appearing on Global TV to talk about the issues regarding the seizure of assets.
1989 Those are issues that need to be discussed in our community, seizure of assets in criminal enterprises. People in the South Asian communities need to know about our independent Court system, about policing, about transition houses, about the role of government in a democracy.
1990 Where do women go after they're assaulted? What about victims of crime and Crown counsel offices?
1991 They have to know that we're -- when they are assaulted, the Crown is there to assist them, that the police is there to assist them.
1992 These are very vital issues that need to be discussed. You know, the South Asian community have done a tremendous amount of good in our community. The accomplishments are many. But there is an underbelly in our community that needs to be discussed, and there is no better vehicle by which these issues can be discussed so as to assist these people than by radio.
1993 Thank you for listening to me.
1994 MS KHAN: Thank you, Honourable Wally Oppal.
1995 Commissioners, we will also deal with other programming themes that may not seem obviously important at first. As an example, transportation industry workers really need additional education on Canadian laws and regulations they must comply with.
1996 Given the significant number of South Asian transportation workers, this lack of information effectively becomes a social issue for our communities.
1997 There are countless cultural issues where bridges between traditional perspectives and emerging viewpoints can be built. For example, issues such as inter-racial marriage, independence from family, double standards between genders, domestic disturbances and religious conversions have very different potential resolutions, depending on whether they happen in one country of origin or in Canada.
1998 Context and sensitivity are extremely important and, as broadcasters, we can do a lot in respect of both.
1999 We will bridge communities of interest. New Vision has been fairly treated in interventions to our application. We are grateful for this.
2000 We asked ourselves why this might be, given our stated willingness to take on difficult and challenging subjects. We believe the answer lies in the maturity and experience of our broadcast team.
2001 We have 35 years of combined on-air experience among four people, including Ms Kieran Delo (phon), who is four years into her broadcasting career.
2002 Perhaps there are also several other reasons.
2003 First, New Vision is committed to providing a predominantly secular form of broadcasting rather than being polarizing. This form of broadcasting, by avoiding factionalism and traditional power bases, creates a common reference point. It is clear to all, and not biased to any side or agenda.
2004 We would note that, by and large, current South Asian broadcasters, whether originating from Canada or the United States, leave no doubt as to their religious alliances and beliefs. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It just underscores the differences in our approach.
2005 Our commitment to secular broadcasting means that all beliefs, including non-belief, will be equally, fairly and respectfully treated in our programming efforts.
2006 Perhaps it is our unique approach that explains some of the acceptance we have been so fortunate to achieve.
2007 Our platform will be equally comfortable for everyone. The fluency of our broadcasters' team in multiple languages will allow them to easily adapt to most callers' language of comfort.
2008 In relation to the comfort of callers and having listened consistently to broadcasting in South Asian languages over the last 17 years, it is clear that women hardly ever call in to talk shows. Part of that is, no doubt, due to the combative and aggressive tone and sometimes controversial exchanges over the air.
2009 We believe this is a question of professionalism standards. Great broadcasters know to make everyone feel welcomed on air.
2010 We have the means to accomplish our goals. To do what we have promised, we need dedicated and experienced staff, hosts and journalists.
2011 Our broadcasters have significant Canadian broadcasting experience. In fact, many of our broadcasters are frequently the trainers and teachers of other broadcasters, even many of them represented here.
2012 Our commitment is to the highest possible journalist standards. Most importantly, we have a genuine passion of broadcasting as a vehicle for the good of our community as a whole.
2013 Our proposed new radio station will respond to the increasing demand in this market for ethnic radio programming. The ethnic population in the Vancouver area increased by 15 percent from 2006 to 2011 compared to 10 percent growth of the population as a whole.
2014 The South Asian population has increased by over 19 percent, to a total of almost 250,000 people. Our programming will significantly increase choice and diversity for ethnic listeners, offering a news, information entertainment-based format and will be directly competitive with the Punjabi program offered by cross-border radio stations and complementary to the music-based ethnic format of REDFM and to the programming in other South Asian languages provided by CJRJ and other ethnic stations.
2015 The cross-border stations are largely engaged in talking program. Our talking format will invariably impact the popularity of those stations.
2016 Evidence placed on the public record for these proceedings suggests that the cross-border stations are currently taking upwards of $3.7 million in advertising revenues out of the Vancouver market. Our new radio station will repatriate some of these revenues and listeners back to the regulated Canadian broadcasting system.
2017 We expect that at least 50 percent of the revenues for our new station will come from this repatriation with no economic impact whatsoever on the incumbent Canadian ethnic radio stations.
2018 Data that we requested from Statistics Canada showed that, over the past six years, revenues for these five licensed ethnic radio stations in Vancouver increased from $11.3 million to $15.2 million based on a compound annual growth rate of 6.0 percent. Profits increased from $2.3 million to $3.0 million equally to 15 percent of revenues in 2012.
2019 This strong financial performance reflects the growing demand in the Vancouver area for ethnic radio programming and advertising opportunities.
2020 These trends, combined with projections for solid economic growth in Vancouver over the next few years, suggests that the other 50 percent of our revenues could be sourced from natural market growth alone with no materially significant on the incumbent stations.
2021 In summary, New Vision's goals are to create a socially inclusive, culturally diverse, flexible and democratic platform for members of the general public, to help bridge the gaps between communities and within communities, to build awareness about issues that are prevalent in our community and to help the community at a grass roots level and create a platform for new South Asian -- South Asian Canadian talent.
2022 We are Canadians. We want to be here. We know that the future is here. We love our culture and our origins. We feel that our values can make a significant contribution to all of Canada.
2023 We represent an open-minded and multi-dimension approach to community engagement and interaction. Our desire is to continue the advancement and acceptance of our communities.
2024 We would now like to conclude by showing you a short video of the thriving and growing communities we know and wish to serve.
--- Video presentation
2025 MS KHAN: Thank you, Mr. Chair and Commissioners. Now, we are ready for questions.
2026 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2027 Commissioner Shoan.
2028 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Hello and thank you very much for doing your presentation today. I appreciate the last-minute notice probably was a little bit hectic, so thank you.
2029 MS KHAN: You're welcome.
2030 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Before I get into some of the more substantive questions with respect to your application, I wanted to ask for your confirmation with respect to some of the commitments you've made in your application.
2031 You're indicated that 100 percent of your schedule will consist of ethnic programming and 85 percent of this amount will be in a third language. Are you prepared to accept this as a condition of licence?
2032 MS KHAN: Yes.
2033 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you.
2034 Are you further prepared to accept as a condition of licence a requirement to broadcast a minimum of 80 hours weekly in the Punjabi language?
2035 MS KHAN: Yes.
2036 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much.
2037 So let's talk a bit about how your proposed service will distinguish itself from others in the marketplace.
2038 As a predominantly spoken word undertaking, you've argued that you will be well positioned to repatriate listeners to U.S. stations but I want to talk a bit about the impact on incumbent Canadian stations.
2039 You've mentioned that your service would be complementary to RED FM and CJRJ, but do you expect/anticipate there would be revenues gleaned from those listeners, the listeners to those stations?
2040 MS KHAN: Well, we are a talk radio station. Their format is mostly musical-based and we are not having direct competition with them. I would like our consultant Mr. Steve Armstrong to fill in the details for me.
2041 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
2042 MR. ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Ashiana.
2043 In the application form at 7.4 we set out the projected impact, the second-year revenues, and as Ashiana has said, she believes quite fervently that this station will have its most significant competitive impact on the cross-border stations which have a similar format. So that's why we said 50 percent of our projected revenues would come from those stations.
2044 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Right. Go ahead.
2045 MR. ARMSTRONG: I was just going to say that the application also includes 10 percent from existing stations, but as we set out in our response to your deficiency questions, we expect that those revenues actually will come from English-language spoken word stations.
2046 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
2047 Now, your service will consist -- will be predominantly majority spoken word programming, 76 percent I believe it was?
2048 MS KHAN: Correct.
2049 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: The remaining 24 percent, how much of that will consist of music?
2050 MS KHAN: Steve, I would like you to answer the question for me.
2051 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: If you don't have the answer handy, you can give it to us later.
2052 MR. ARMSTRONG: Thank you. We would appreciate that.
2053 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: No problem.
2054 So you wrote about creating a dialogue respecting the Indian perspective in the Canadian perspective. What do you mean by that and how does that differ from what other stations are doing in the marketplace?
2055 MS KHAN: Let me explain about one issue. Gender-selective abortion issues is a very sensitive issue in our community. It is important for a community to have open discussion and clear discussion on these issues. We need our women to get more educated on the Canadian laws and regulations as to how they can deal with these issues.
2056 We will have guest speakers. We'll have open-line discussions and open-line discussions with these kinds of issues will have a female host who will be able to deal more openly with our female listeners. We have open-line discussions for women to call in and discuss freely, and our host and guest speakers will help them.
2057 I feel that, with 17 years of broadcasting career, women in our community are very shy and uncomfortable talking to male hosts about these issues. We will surely know how to make them comfortable and welcome on air.
2058 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. That's a great answer because it leads into my next question, which goes to the heart of offering an open way to discuss difficult social issues of particular relevance to the Surrey South-Asian community.
2059 And my question is: How can you be sure that the community will welcome these types of discussions about culturally sensitive topics and, by extension, embrace your station?
2060 MS KHAN: These issues are very sensitive, as I mentioned before, and very challenging but they're very important issues as well. We have to look at that as well, that we have to discuss this within our community. This can be done factually, clearly and with the highest broadcasting standards.
2061 With our experienced broadcasting team, I'm very confident that we can engage our listeners with discussions on these issues, and being in the broadcasting field for the last 17 years, I'm very confident about doing that.
2062 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
2063 A previous applicant -- I believe it was the Fusion FM -- spoke about targeting 2.0 and 3.0 Canadians, basically second- and third-generation Canadians. Do you have a specific generational target in terms of your target audience?
2064 MS KHAN: I will pass that question over to Steve Armstrong, our consultant.
2065 MR. ARMSTRONG: Ashiana can speak to you about the language that much of the programming will be in, and while language will be predominantly in a third language, there will also be English included so that the language of the program will reflect the multigenerational conversations that happen in households that often are a mixture of English and a third language.
2066 We know, for example, from Statistics Canada data that people whose mother tongue is Punjabi, those households have a very, very high language retention. It's about 80 percent. So the Punjabi language is spoken in those households. It's the full retention. So programming that is in the Punjabi language will be cross-generational, certainly within the Punjabi community.
2067 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Thank you.
2068 While a predominantly spoken word format is a great way to reflect local communities and by extension is arguably a great use of the frequency but it can also be expensive to program. So how do you intend to balance the cost of providing such a service against reflecting the views of Surrey residents?
2069 MS KHAN: Commissioners, I have mentioned before that I have been in the broadcasting field for the last 17 years and I know my advertisers, I know the people, I know the audience out there, and I'm very comfortable that we can get these advertisements and we will do good about that.
2070 And on top of that, I'd like my colleague Paul Brar to comment on this.
2071 MR. BRAR: Good afternoon, Commissioners and Chair.
2072 As Ashiana has vast experience in this market -- your question was how are we going to get all that. From her experience and my experience and the other team members, we are confident we will be able to do that.
2073 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Do you foresee being able to do that by increasing your costs over the seven-year term -- pardon me, increasing your revenues over the seven-year term or controlling your costs?
2074 MR. BRAR: That question would be Ashiana's, I guess, or the accountants can answer that.
2075 MS KHAN: Yes. I'll pass that question over to Steve Armstrong, our consultant.
2076 MR. ARMSTRONG: Thank you, Ashiana.
2077 In the revised financial projections that we filed with our deficiency statements, you can see that projected revenues increase over the term of the licence from about $836,000 total to $1.5 million and that's driven by an increasing sellout rate basically.
2078 We took competitive -- we took market rates. We had Tailor Made Media provide us with spot rates for all of the languages that Ashiana is proposing to serve and also during various day parts and we used those to drive our revenue estimates.
2079 But we started with a lower sellout rate and increased the sellout rate over the term. As the station achieves maturity, it achieves more success in its programming and achieves stronger relationships with advertisers.
2080 But also, as you will note, over the term of the licence, some programming costs increase as well over the term of the licence.
2081 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Yeah. It was the operating expenses specifically that I noticed. As I said, spoken word format stations obviously can have escalating costs. So perhaps you can break down the operating expenses for me.
2082 What do you project to be those costs rising -- I see from year one it's $948,000 to almost $1.33 million by year seven. So that's a substantial rise in operating expenses. What do you envision those -- what do you attribute that increase to?
2083 MR. ARMSTRONG: Well, fortunately, what we had to start with was we were able to obtain from Statistics Canada benchmarks so that we have the financial data, aggregate data for the ethnic radio broadcasters in this industry.
2084 So we knew that as the station moved towards maturity, it would make sense that the percentage of revenues that we devote to the various categories would be -- would approach the industry standard. So that's where we finish up.
2085 The increase over the term is obviously driven by -- as your revenues go up, your sales and promotion costs increase significantly.
2086 Also, as you -- one of the things -- program costs as a percentage of revenues are very high in the first year because Ashiana wanted to ensure that she was able to provide a very high-quality programming service. But over the term she will be able to increase her investment as her revenues increase.
2087 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
2088 So that segues nicely into the larger questions with respect to the competitive impact of introducing a new station. So let's talk first about the challenge for this particular service.
2089 How do you intend to overcome the challenge of being a standalone station in a highly competitive radio market?
2090 MS KHAN: I'd like Stephen Armstrong to comment on this.
2091 MR. ARMSTRONG: Ashiana's programming vision is a very competitive vision and she's hopeful that she'll achieve great success with the audience. So based on that, she anticipates success in attracting audiences and attracting advertisers.
2092 So the question of whether she's a standalone station or not, the revenue projections are based on an efficient and effective operation.
2093 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And I noticed that with respect to your revenue projections, they seem predominantly locally based, not a whole lot of national ad support.
2094 Can you talk a bit about your past business experience or perhaps the team you have hired, your sales team and its ability to solicit the kind of revenue that you anticipate you will from the local market?
2095 MS KHAN: Since 2001 to 2010 I have been a business manager with the local ethnic radio station and based on that I have got good experience with advertising team and all of our broadcasters are actually our advertising team. We all will be getting ads and revenues to the station.
2096 And my colleague, Paul Brar, is sitting next to me, he has done a lot of advertisements and he has brought a lot of revenues to the station and I would like Paul to comment on that as well.
2097 MR. BRAR: How it works, Commission, is in ethnic market in the radios, majorly the radio hosts actually go out and get their own sponsors, which again is more like a sales job. So every talk show host basically is a salesperson who does the groundwork and goes from store to store, shop to shop and gets their own advertisements.
2098 At the same time, we also have a sales team who do go where we can't reach. For example, you mentioned national advertisement. That was -- Ashiana do have a plan and there would be a sales manager who would be looking after those things going for the national advertising.
2099 MS KHAN: Also I would like to comment that we have a very different programming format and I believe our advertisers will be very comfortable placing advertisements with our programming format.
2100 MR. BRAR: If I may add, I don't know if Ashiana is hesitant to say that or not, but our majority of the revenue would be coming in from cross-border.
2101 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
2102 MR. BRAR: Right, and I personally do have experience dealing with them and that's the market we will be targeting.
2103 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. And I just wanted to be clear on that, because according to your application in terms of your potential sources of revenue, in your second year of operation you referred to new radio advertisers as representing 50 percent of your potential revenue.
2104 I wasn't clear whether new radio advertisers referred to repatriating cross-border listening or whether you intend to define new retail advertisers in the local Surrey market.
2105 MR. BRAR: The answer to that would be both. The majority of them would be re-creating our market and, at the same time, repatriating from them as well.
2106 Yes, there is potential, there's a lot of them, there's car dealerships, there's telephone companies, telecommunications who want to advertise and they have been in touch with me. So, the answer to that is both, yes.
2107 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay.
2108 MR. BRAR: We will be exploring new avenues at the same time as we will be getting some from the cross-border.
2109 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. So we have had several applicants here today, some of which have argued that there is no room in the Surrey market for a new South Asian station, others have argued that there is a need for a new sensation station.
2110 I thought I would give you an opportunity to answer that question in terms of the capacity of the Surrey market to absorb another South Asian focussed station.
2111 MS KHAN: Yes, there is. There is an opportunity because of the growing demand programming -- growth of the community and then the demands of programs which our community needs that's not actually on current radio stations.
2112 And I would like Stephen Armstrong to comment on the percentage and the homework he has done about the stats.
2113 MR. ARMSTRONG: Okay. Thank you, Ashiana.
2114 We filed, at page 9 of the supplementary brief, the aggregate financial data for the five licensed Canadian ethnic radio stations in this market and, in contrast to the private commercial radio market in Vancouver as a whole, there has been very significant growth, revenue has increased at a compound annual rate of growth about six percent over the past. There is also, as we noted in the oral presentation, a fairly high level of profitability of 14.9 percent.
2115 So if we just focus on this market alone and the potential for growth in this market, if Ashiana's team is successful in repatriating a substantial amount of revenues cross-border, let's say 50 percent of those revenues which we anticipated, even if all of the remainder of those revenues were to come out of the existing marketplace, the existing ethnic radio stations, the next 50 percent, it would still be a smaller amount than the amount of growth in the market which could be anticipated, if it continues to grow somewhere at the rate at which it is currently growing, which I think is a reasonable projection given the rate at which the ethnic population in Surrey is growing.
2116 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Well, certainly I would say that's been a fairly consistent theme in most applications that the Surrey market is in fact growing. I'm not sure any applicant has actually argued that it won't be growing, so I think it is a fair assumption.
2117 Can you clarify what sources of financing you intend to use to finance this project, particularly in the early years when it won't be profitable?
2118 MS KHAN: Yes. I would like my partner, Amrik Purewal, to give that answer.
2119 MR. PUREWAL: Hello, Mr. Commissioners. I am living here over 40 years and started from almost nothing and have become a businessman, developer, builder and also part of the owners of one of the taxi companies and I have very good business experience and built my good reputation, and also I have a good asset as I provided in my application.
2120 I had -- I can survive with all my businesses to look after whatever the need into the radio stations.
2121 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So, sir, you are saying that if the revenue projections fall short, you will personally finance the losses of operations?
2122 MR. PUREWAL: Yes, I will do that.
2123 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. So, as you know, the CRTC does have the ability in this process to license several stations to serve Surrey. What would be the impact on your application if the CRTC would decide to license several stations to serve this market?
2124 MS KHAN: I would like Stephen Armstrong to answer this question, please.
2125 MR. ARMSTRONG: I think, as you have heard today from other people, if the Commission were to choose to license two stations, one of which was an ethnic station, New Vision, and the other was an English-language station, I think that the impact on the revenue projections would not be significant.
2126 So, in terms of the business plan, the business plan would go forward.
2127 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you.
2128 MS KHAN: I would also like Honourable Wally Oppal to say something about the growth of the market as well.
2129 HON. WALLY OPPAL: Mr. Commissioners, there has been a tremendous change in the demographic makeup of the Lower Mainland, 44 percent of the City of Vancouver is now considered to be visible minority. The Asian population, South Asian population has had a tremendous amount the growth.
2130 I can tell you that having been in government, the provincial government has targeted both China and more recently India for immigrants. I am a Chancellor of the University in Kamloops and we have made a concerted effort to get more South Asian students here. So there is this tremendous movement in our demographic picture and I -- you know, the City of Richmond, for instance, is 65 percent Asian, the City of Abbotsford is now said to be 25 percent South Asian, so you are getting those large figures, the large growth figures as to where the demographic makeup of this community is going.
2131 So, you know, if it means anything at all, the State of California is now over 50 percent non-white and it is said often that British Columbia generally follows that trend that takes place in California.
2132 So, I don't think there is any realistic fear that the marketplace here will decrease or will remain the same. If you look around the City of Surrey here, while you're here, you will see a tremendous amount of growth and a lot of that is fuelled by immigrants from India.
2133 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you very much. My last set of questions pertains to the advisory board.
2134 So, as you know, a primary responsibility of ethnic broadcasters is to serve and reflect their communities. I know you have addressed this in your application, but for the record here today, can you review for us the role and mandate of your advisory board, the role it will play in terms of your station?
2135 MS KHAN: Advisory board -- our advisory board is from diverse ethnic communities and we will be having representatives from Indian background, Punjabi background, Pakistani, Bengali, Fijians, Gujaratis and Afghanis and we are still in the process of finding other language members who could join our advisory board.
2136 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. And correct me if I'm wrong, in your application you provided an initial list of seven members for this advisory board?
2137 MS KHAN: Yes.
2138 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. How did you select those seven members is the first part of the question? The second part of the question is how will you select new members going forward?
2139 MS KHAN: Actually, myself and my partner, we had conversations, interviews, and as we have been in the community for long and we know that these members have been around in the community and they are playing a very good role in the community and they know our community very well, and we selected those members and it will be the same for the other communities.
2140 Once we find somebody good from the other communities we know, we have already been in the process, we have already spread the words out and the community has been actually talking to us about it and we are confident that we will get those community members in our advisory board.
2141 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: So you are saying going forward yourself and your partner will select any new advisory board members?
2142 MS KHAN: Yes, with the help of our existing advisory board members.
2143 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Have you considered a mechanism by which you could have community input with respect to the composition of your advisory board?
2144 MS KHAN: Not at the moment.
2145 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. How will the efforts of the advisory board be assessed? I know there will be an annual report, but is that the sole mechanism? How will you access its success or failure?
2146 MS KHAN: Well, it is very important that we have the right connection members from different communities and these community leaders have to bring feedback from the community what's happening around in the community, what actual tensions are in the community and how we can resolve those tensions.
2147 And with the help of our advisory board members, we will try to resolve these issues for our community and we will try to discuss these issues on air and we will try to resolve those issues.
2148 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay, thank you. I just have one last question with respect to social media.
2149 You mentioned earlier about your desire to tackle sensitive topics and issues through the station. Have you considered or is there any plan to use social media as a mechanism by which to learn of new topics, new subjects to be discussed and provide -- perhaps provide a mechanism, an anonymous mechanism by which people could comment or provide their input on sensitive topics?
2150 MS KHAN: Yes, actually we have registered our domain name for the radio station and we are talking to the web designer to get our website going on. And we are on Facebook, we are getting a lot of comments back on Facebook and we will be using social media.
2151 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Okay. Those are my questions, Mr. Chairman, thank you.
2152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
2153 Just briefly, have you deposited any proof in support of your claim that you would be in a position to repatriate 50 percent of your revenue from the cross-border stations?
2154 MS KHAN: Actually, we haven't put any proof on, but I have been with this community for so long and we know the format of our programming is going to repatriate those revenue from cross-border stations. We are confident among our team members.
2155 THE CHAIRPERSON: You don't have any study to support that claim?
2156 MR. BRAR: There are letters from the sponsors who are willing to sponsor the programs, if that's what you're looking for. If any other proof is required, evidence that can be provided later on, yes, we are confident about that.
2157 But there are letters on file from our sponsors who are willing to sponsor us, or advertise with us.
2158 THE CHAIRPERSON: Advertisers.
2159 MR. BRAR: Advertisers. Sorry, I use the term "sponsor", that's a common use.
2160 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you have a financial commitment from some of these potential advertisers?
2161 MR. BRAR: Yes, we do.
2162 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what form has that commitment taken?
2163 MR. BRAR: The commitment is in the form of letters for now.
2164 THE CHAIRPERSON: The letter, okay.
2165 MR. BRAR: In letter form and it has been submitted with the Commission.
2166 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Do we have the data, Mr. Armstrong, on the retention of Punjabi, as an example, amongst second and third generation? Has that been deposited?
2167 MR. BRAR: It has not, but I have it and could --
2168 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it states -- do you have it there in front of you? It states that there is an 80 percent retention rate amongst second and third generation of the Punjabi language? That's what I heard you saying earlier.
2169 MR. ARMSTRONG: Yes, if I can find it. It's a brief put out by Statistics Canada, Census and Brief, it's called --
2170 THE CHAIRPERSON: Dated...?
2171 MR. ARMSTRONG: Dated after the 2011 Census. It's recent.
2172 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's 2011 Census data?
2173 MR. ARMSTRONG: It's based on 2011 Census data.
2174 THE CHAIRPERSON: Great.
2175 MR. ARMSTRONG: I'm sorry there is no date on it. Would you like me to --
2176 THE CHAIRPERSON: If you could just briefly summarise once again?
2177 MR. ARMSTRONG: What it does, it looks --
2178 THE CHAIRPERSON: And we would like to ask you to deposit that, if possible.
2179 MR. ARMSTRONG: Certainly. It looks at a lot of different issues with respect to immigrant languages and one of the issues that particularly interested me was the whole question of language retention. And full retention means that the mother tongue language or the Homeland language is primarily the language that's spoken at home and then partial retention means it's spoken with a mixture of other languages.
2180 And there is a chart, unfortunately there is not actual numbers on this chart, but it lists a wide variety of Mother tongue languages, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin. And Punjabi in terms of full retention is beyond 80 percent.
2181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Beyond 80 percent, okay.
2182 MR. ARMSTRONG: Beyond 80 percent.
2183 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you will deposit that today?
2184 MR. ARMSTRONG: I will, yes.
2185 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir. Madam Khan, had you ever thought when you were conceptualizing this application and you mentioned your desire to sort of bridge the generational gap and perhaps also sort of bridge a sort of sexual gap between men and women and the issues that have arisen in the community, especially amongst younger second and third-generation members of the community, Canadians -- well, basically all of us are Canadians -- but the Canadians that were born here and that may feel more at ease in English; was it ever thought of launching this service in English?
2186 MS KHAN: Good question, Mr. Chair. As I have said that our broadcasters are very trained with callers' language of comfort and that includes English as well and I would like Paul to give more details.
2187 MR. BRAR: Thank you, Ashiana, I'm glad to.
2188 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before we get on the details, does that mean that if you were doing an open line show for two hours and, you know, three quarters of the callers are addressing the broadcaster in English that three quarters of that show could happen in English?
2189 HON. WALLY OPPAL: I think, if I may interject here --
2190 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
2191 HON. WALLY OPPAL: I think it's inevitable that some of the talk shows, the Punjabi talk shows will lapse into English, if I can use that term, because many of us who were born and raised here use both languages.
2192 I can tell you that when I go on one of these talk shows I inevitably, perhaps my lack of fluency in the Punjabi that I lapse into English. So in the homes both languages are spoken, but anecdotally I can tell you that most homes that have children going to school will have Punjabi as a primary language at home, but the children inevitably will converse with their parents in Punjabi.
2193 So, there is this lapse and there is the bridging of the two languages.
2194 MR. BRAR: Thank you, Wally. If Wally can --
2195 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, the people, the younger Punjabi speakers will continue to converse with their parents in Punjabi?
2196 HON. WALLY OPPAL: Yes.
2197 THE CHAIRPERSON: And not lapse into English, to use your term?
2198 HON. WALLY OPPAL: I use the term lapse, but, maybe a level of language. I still speak to my mother in Punjabi.
2199 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2200 HON. WALLY OPPAL: You know, I was born and raised here. My mother has been here for 80 years.
2201 MR. BRAR: Exactly. If I could explain that in a broadcaster's tone. I have a friend out in Toronto, you might have come across him, he is than ER doctor, Khalib Saddoumi(ph) and we went to the University of Manitoba together.
2202 Staying overnight for the exams, one morning he woke up and he went to the student centre and wanted to buy a sunnyside-up omelette and he forgot the name of it in English because at home he communicates with his mom. Luckily his mom and my mom originated from the same village back there and I go, "Hey man, what's up?" He goes, "Man, I just need that thing", and he just forgot the Punjabi name for it and the English name. So, I go, "Are you looking for the paratha(ph)"? He goes, "Yeah". That's omelette sunnyside-up, so he got it.
2203 And I've got three kids, teenagers, and I do deal with them and we do try to speak as much Punjabi at home, but, at the same time, they do not understand all the complex words, I mean, I'm talking about the complexity of the language that has been used on the airwaves nowadays.
2204 And one of my dedications is, and our team's dedication is to get them engaged. Believe me, when Honourable Wally Oppal goes on the radio station we get Punjabi out of him. We make him speak Punjabi, and somehow he does. Like you said, unknowingly, he forgets that he can speak Punjabi and he's out there communicating with us in Punjabi and we can do that.
2205 I can speak for myself, I can make that happen, get the younger generation, because I have three teenage children and I do try to communicate with them and, yes, we have to throw in some English words and get them engaged.
2206 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that, but you still have to be designated as sort of a third-language service or an English service and there may be some difficulties that may arise as a consequence of that. I just leave that with you.
2207 Madam Khan, did you want to add something?
2208 MS KHAN: Mr. Chair, I would just like to add a few words to that. Our children will listen to our ethnic programming as long as they are current, informative and it has something to do with them. So, for example, if we are listening to the radio and there is a Canucks hockey game going on and if we don't have regular scores coming up on the radio updating us, the kids don't want to listen to that radio, they want to listen to the radio which has up-to-date information. Actually, when Canucks game is going on, I myself have to turn on to television or turn into other radio stations, mainstream radio stations to get the scores. I don't want to wait till the next day to get that score.
2209 THE CHAIRPERSON: But wouldn't it be easier to attract a younger audience if you broadcast in English and if you were an English broadcaster? Are you sort of condemning yourself to the older generation?
2210 MS KHAN: Not really. Actually, if we are broadcasting in ethnic -- in Punjabi language the hockey game, it will give a chance for our children to learn that language as well and they will be engaged with the current sports/news updates.
2211 THE CHAIRPERSON: And they would rather listen to it in Punjabi than in English with all the other sort of Vancouver fans, Canuck fans?
2212 MR. BRAR: Definitely, yes.
2213 MS KHAN: Definitely, yes.
2214 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2215 MR. BRAR: The CBC hockey in Punjabi night, three of my kids listen to that, and they laugh at it, but they learn some new words.
2216 On top of that, we weren't aware that we will be going into the hearing tonight, we were planning it for tomorrow. An important member of our team, Ms Kiran Dhillon, she works with CBC Winnipeg, has worked for Regina, Saskatoon and has been reporting for Winnipeg Free Press. She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg with communications and then she went to the technical college, Red River College, and got a diploma in broadcasting and, yes, she would go in there.
2217 There are ways of -- for example, accent is a big thing. When I speak English I have an accent, when my kids speak Punjabi they have an accent, so they want to listen to somebody in their accent. And yes, we do have teens here who are born and raised here, they can still speak in Punjabi, but it's coming out in the English accent.
2218 THE CHAIRPERSON: We all have accents. I'm not going down that road.
2219 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Simpson...?
2220 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Thank you. I have this question for Ms Khan, but anyone who feels it's appropriate by the nature of the question and the experience that they have, I would appreciate hearing from them.
2221 First of all, I think it is commendable, we had a lot of applications today for feel-good stuff, music, community traffic and the like, all of which are relevant to the needs of the community or communities that make up Surrey, but I'm impressed with the fact that you have chosen, for reasons that you stated earlier, that because of the importance of dealing with issues in the South Asian community that you are putting yourself -- you are weighing into the deeper waters of the kind of conversations that have to be had.
2222 I'm sort of picking my way through this a little bit, so bear with me. But what I would like to understand from your experience is that in the stations that have been emanating from the United States you have some experience firsthand in working with Radio India and Sher-E-Punjab, but my concern is not with the actual stations themselves, but your desire to have relevant talk on your station that is not -- that on the surface appears somewhat similar to what's going on from the southern -- or the stations emanating from the States or -- and actually from Canada via the States. But how do you feel you're going to be able to moderate the conversation without taking all the steam out of good healthy debate? This is something that doesn't -- is not a burden on these other stations that are coming out of the States because their obligations is questionable as to where enforcement lies. And in broadcasting in Canada, particularly commercial broadcasting, we've got some measures of containment by self-discipline and, you know, through the CBSC, which is the broadcast standards group, which is a voluntary participation, that wouldn't exist in your instance. But when we've been asked to look into a very volatile, sometimes inflammatory, sometimes slanderous or maligning statements that have been made on these stations, we understand that that's just perhaps all part of the nature of the programming, but, first of all, we have no mechanism by which to monitor that kind of conversation and there didn't seem to be a desire to necessarily discipline the callers to moderate these conversations. So as you go forward on -- sorry for the long run on conversation here, but as you go forward with this type of programming how are you going to remain -- how are you going to have these conversations in a relevant, meaningful way that really gets under the surface of the problem, and tell me how you're going to moderate these conversations so that they're effective but not, as I said, have all the steam taken out of them at the same time. Give me a sense of how you're going to do that.
2223 HON. WALLY OPPAL: If I may speak, I think doesn't it come down to the professional obligation of the broadcaster? I mean, this issue arises in mainstream broadcasting where there is an obligation on the part of a talk show host to ensure that the caller doesn't become offensive, and surely those same rules would apply to ethnic broadcasting.
2224 I mean, I -- I admire Ms Khan for what she wants to do here and that is to talk about these issues that the present stations are not talking about. You know, there aren't many families who want to criticize their own sons for becoming involved in the drug business. Those issues need to be discussed. I can tell you by working in the justice system they're not being discussed now and that's what I called earlier the underbelly of our community. So it's the obligation of the media talk show stations to talk about these issues so that we can become better Canadians.
2225 MR. BRAR: If I may add, very well said and I do agree. If licensed, New Vision will be members of the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Association. I do respect that. And not that there's no governing body over the cross-border things, some hosts have a tendency just to escalate the issue, just to make it more steamy, the word you used, but the consensus is people don't like the steamy stuff. Right now there's a lack of engagement and all they get is steamy. I'm not criticizing anybody. Everybody has their own style, everybody has their own way of broadcasting. But what they want is the factuals, the reality. If you can come up with the facts, do some homework and bring your programs ahead, there is no way that there would be no engagement. Yes, you would get so many calls. I personally have been commended that, yes, you did your homework. My audiences, my listeners (indiscernible) and tell me if I haven't done the homework.
2226 And I just got -- some of them, like, I won't mention names, again not a criticism, but this is a point to be brought forward, the majority of the talk shows in our community right now are telephone call based. There is no context to it. There is the -- it's basically a bone thrown at a dog, here you go; this is the topic, let's hear your views. And there's a, you know, rash of phone calls, people calling in. And we will take the second level up, I give you my full commitment, that there would be, all the rules and regulations will be followed and they should be followed it doesn't matter which country you are in. And it shouldn't be -- basically you shouldn't be looking at, you know, what people are saying out there or waiting for the phone calls. The hosts themselves should come in with some groundwork or homework, with some context and put forward. And if the calls come in, they do come in. If not, then move on, some other thing could be brought in. And this has to be done factually. Facts forward and it's possible. Right now --
2227 MS KHAN: I --
2228 MR. BRAR: Yes, go ahead, Ashiana.
2229 MS KHAN: Go ahead. Go ahead.
2230 MR. BRAR: Right now the facts are missing and, yes, everybody likes to see -- listen to the steamy stuff. Maybe they do, can answer for that. But if that's what your impression is about ethnic media, then obviously it's happening somewhere.
2231 MS KHAN: And I'd like to add something else to that. When we decided that we are going to be filling the application for ethnic radio station, we got really serious about it and we thought about it and we came to our broadcasting guide. And we did our broadcasting guide with journalistic standards. And I would hire hosts who are experienced and trained and who will follow those rules and regulations. As Paul said, journalistic standards is not being followed in current ethnic media.
2232 MR. FESTINGER: If I could just add one clarification. The broadcasting guide that Ashiana is alluding to is in draft form and is -- has been continuously evolving over the last little while. So it's not something we've ever filed with you.
2233 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: M'hmm. I -- most certainly. I was picking my way through what I felt was a little bit of a minefield. I was not trying to be accusatory or inflammatory in making -- or prejudging any of the existing offerings that are out there, whether they're from the United States or otherwise, but it had definitely been an impression that had been created with individuals who are in the industry and live here that there had been a lack of restraint and I fully believe, choose to believe that the standards that Mr. Oppal referred to, professional integrity and self-discipline, there is no doubt in my mind that you would practice that, it's just that I was curious as to how you would choose these subjects and not find yourself in a fire fight that you couldn't control without just essentially shutting it off. And I was trying to understand, and you've, I think, partially explained that, that there is an appetite for less confrontation, more understanding, and that's what you're trying to tap into and create a forum for.
2234 MR. BRAR: Exactly. And where the information will be coming in from resources. You don't really have to bring in -- controversial in the sense, what Ashiana brought in is what's hot out there, what needs to be discussed, which are the problems in the society, we have to bring them up definitely, but there is a different approach to it. We just don't have to be one-sided. Not just -- let's leave the cross-border stations aside. If you go onto the CBSA, Canadian Broadcasting Standards Association, there's plenty of cases on Canadian radio stations where they have been steamy to some extent, I guess. But once again like you said, yes, there is no need for that steamy thing. All we need is, yes, my person who trained me is out here, shook his hand after six years and he taught me one word; he goes if you want to succeed in this business all you need is engagement. You need to engage those people in the right way, and I've learned that from my eight years of experience, how to engage them.
2235 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Oh, you had your mike on. I thought perhaps you were going to do a follow on.
2236 So just to close this off, and I think Commissioner Shoan alluded to this, if not dealt with it directly, but in this process then it is your intention to make all the financial and technical requirements necessary to be able to manage a talk program that's with respect to the producers and the technology for delayed broadcast and the like and that's part of your business plan, as I understand it?
2237 MS KHAN: Yes, Mr. Commissioner. We are very, very confident and solid we have a very solid business plan. And there were three steps in our business plan. First, our consultant Stephen Armstrong did the research and then the numbers were brought to me, and then I had help with my accountant, and we are very certain and very solid business plan we have.
2238 COMMISSIONER SIMPSON: Very good. Thank you very much. That was the extent of my questions.
2239 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Commissioner.
2240 I'm sort of -- I'm sort of -- I'm very happy that Commissioner Simpson raised an issue that I sort of took note of while you were reading your presentation and it is to your honour that you wanted to discuss issues that are unpopular perhaps within your community and other communities generally. And you mentioned all kinds of things that you want to discuss. I mean, the issue of gender selection, abuses, horrible criminal acts and abuse of women, youth violence, questions of sexual orientation. Not necessarily taboo subjects but subjects that certain communities may not want to discuss, according to your own document.
2241 And we also heard a lot of other applicants that presented a more feel good, and that was a term that my colleague used again, kind of broadcasting. Given that people often want to -- don't want to air their dirty laundry in public and sort of sweeping things under the rug, do you think you'll be able to attract people to the radio that will address these issues that are sort of hot button issues? And Justice Oppal, you have experience in addressing these issues yourself and seeing how the community functions, but go ahead.
2242 HON. WALLY OPPAL: When I was the Attorney General, we had -- we had a number of -- we had a number of horrible killings -- all killings are horrible, of course, but a number of women were killed in a fairly short period of time.
2243 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
2244 HON. WALLY OPPAL: And so the government decided to have a dialogue, a panel, a forum, and I appeared at the forum, along with a number of other speakers. There were 1,500 people appeared at that forum, many women, many women who were abused who wanted to speak out about these issues. And I was struck by the amount of passion there was in that crowd. So -- so I don't think there's a reluctance on the part of the community to speak out in these hot button issues. I think there's been a -- perhaps a reluctance on the part of the media to deal with these things for fear of getting into waters that may be too controversial. So --
2245 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah. That goes sort of to my point that people may not be interested in that kind of radio and further to that point my colleague was wise enough to mention that advertisers may not be interested in participating in radio that addresses aggressively these issues.
2246 MS KHAN: But, Mr. Chair, we have to accept that we have to know that these are the facts which we have to discuss. This is what's going on in the community. We have to educate our people. We have to tell them. Currently REDFM is doing a good -- great job on entertainment side but nothing is being done for these issues with our community and we are taking that guarantee that we are going to be doing this and we are going to be doing it the right way, with --- actual with our journalist -- journalistic standards. And I know that our community will be engaged with us.
2247 Myself, right now I do not listen to the current ethnic radio stations because I don't get this information from there, but I do call in mainstream radio station talk shows to discuss these issues there. So basically if we -- if we want to do it, we can do it, but do we know how to do it? Is somebody going to take the challenge of doing these kind of topics? No. They're reluctant to this.
2248 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, there's a challenge and there's a risk and that, ergo, stems the reluctancy to address these issues. And if there was a market for it, someone would already be doing it. I understand your impression of the cross-border broadcasters are sensationalists and we -- you know, we say cynically that sensationalism sells, but perhaps reality, as well-intentioned as it may be, and certainly these are issues that need to come to the fore and needs to sort of stop being hidden amongst this community and all communities, but there's a risk there and there may be a -- not a backlash but a reticence amongst the community to listen if you're going to be that hard hitting on these very deep-seated sort of issues that haven't been dealt with.
2249 MR. BRAR: Well, like our name says, "New Vision", we want to bring a new vision. We speak for the silent majority. These are the people who call in every day into the talk shows, but they do speak to our advisory committee, they do speak to me. And Ashiana here, she is a representative of I don't know how many organizations where she goes. Now, that silent majority come up to us and go, man, we are tired. I mean, they go our kids don't even know the name of the Prime Minister of Canada, yet they know who is the premier of Punjab and who is in opposition, and who is holding those broomsticks in the New Delhi streets. They know all those things, but they do not know what's going on on the Canadian streets. And this silent majority would not ever come out.
2250 Right now, no offence to anybody, the reality is the talk show industry in ethnic market is dominated by I would say 50 callers. My heart goes out to the Mander family, so that's a loss, so let's make it 49. Mr. Joginder Mander, he was a regular caller. He used to call in each and every talk show, right from the morning to evening. And all discussions were nothing. Even to this date every ethnic radio station do have a segment on Indian news, which is good, but it should not be redundant. That drum should not be beaten almost every hour. And that's what we have is something different. Majority of our team has Canadian experience and we do want to go for a hundred percent Canadian contextual context.
2251 How would that be contextual? The question came up. Anything that's related to Canadian. Bomb blasts in Afghanistan, three Canadians died. It's got a Canadian relation. We have to bring that up, discuss about those things. Not what Karzai is doing. Yes, there's a time for that, it should be done, but at the same time what is more relevant to us Canadians. And how are we going to get that? There is a silent majority and we're willing to take the risk for that.
2252 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that.
2253 MR. BRAR: And I believe -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
2254 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I appreciate that, that's the silent majority, from your point of view.
2255 MR. BRAR: And in order to come with the business, the person who invented this bulb, he was the only one who did and look at it now, whether it's LED light or somebody's got to take that risk. Someone has to take that risk and we're willing to take it.
2256 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much.
2257 Thank you very much and thank you for appearing this evening. It's all -- Madame la secrétaire is -- she's a slave driver. She's the one working us this hard. (laughs)
2258 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
2259 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, I'm fully responsible for that, but ...
2260 THE SECRETARY: You're the boss.
2261 MS KHAN: Thank you. Thank you and we appreciate that.
2262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2263 MS KHAN: We were prepared with our homework and --
2264 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
2265 MS KHAN: -- we had no issues.
2266 MR. BRAR: We'll sleep well tonight. Thank you.
2267 THE CHAIRPERSON: You did a great job, as should all interveners be prepared to go a day early, a day late. I mean, there's -- it's like the -- it's not a hard schedule. It's a very loose schedule.
2268 Madame la secrétaire.
2269 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We will adjourn and we will resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with South Asian Link Directory. Thank you.
2270 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thanks.
2271 MR. BRAR: Good night. Thank you.
2272 COMMISSIONER SHOAN: Thank you, everyone.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1829, to resume on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 0900
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