TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS AND LICENCES/
DEMANDES ET LICENCES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson
MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
February 4, 2000 le 4 février 2000
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
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Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
Broadcasting Applications and Licences/
Demandes et licences en radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
A. Wylie Chairperson/Présidente
M. Wilson Commissioner/Conseillère
J. Pennefather Commissioner/Conseillère
A. Cardozo Commissioner/Conseiller
R. Williams Commissioner/Conseiller
C. Grauer Commissioner/Conseillère
A. Noël Commissioner/Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
P. Cussons Hearing Manager and Secretary / Gérant de l'audience et
D. Rhéaume Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Triumph Howard Johnson Triumph Howard Johnson
MacDonald-Cartier Salle de bal
2737 Keele Street 2737, rue Keele
Toronto, Ontario Toronto (Ontario)
February 4, 2000 le 4 février 2000
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR
914258 Ontario Limited 950
Questions by the Commission 967
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR
Radio 1540 1003
Questions by the Commission 1018
Toronto, Ontario / Toronto (Ontario)
--- Upon resuming on Friday, February 4, 2000
at 0900 / L'audience reprend le vendredi
4 février à 0900
4627 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. Good
4628 Mr. Secretary.
4629 MR. PETER CUSSONS: Good morning everyone.
4630 We will now hear an application by 914258 Ontario
Limited on behalf of a company to be incorporated for a broadcasting licence to
carry on an ethnic AM radio programming undertaking at Toronto. The new station
would operate on frequencies 740 KHz with a transmitter power of 50,000 watts.
The applicant is proposing an ethnic programming service. By condition of
licence, the applicant will direct programming to a minimum of 22 cultural
groups and a minimum of 23 different languages each week.
4631 The Commission notes that this application is
technically mutually exclusive with other applications scheduled at this hearing
for the use of the 740 KHz frequency.
4632 We have Mr. Ray and his colleagues.
4633 Mr. Ray.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
4634 MR. NEETI RAY: Thank you.
4635 Madam Chair, before I start the formal presentation
and qualifications, I would like to take this opportunity and introduce
Infinity's panel to you.
4636 Well, first of all, my name is Neeti Prakesh Ray and
I am President of Infinity Broadcasting. Sitting on my right is Infinity's
broadcast consultant, Mr. James Robson. And sitting on his right is Hans Jansen,
partner in the consulting group, and Infinity's marketing consultant. On my left
is Vice-president of Infinity, my partner in Infinity, and also my wife, Renu.
Sitting on her left is Radhika Ray. She represents the next generation of
4637 Sitting behind me starting on this side is Mohamed
Farah who is representing the Canadian Somali Society. Next to Mohamed is Ada
Wynston who is a Dutch language broadcaster; and she is also a member of the
board of directors of Infinity broadcasting. Sitting next to Ada is Ashok Kalle.
Ashok is the President of Pathway Communications and also a member of the board
of directors of Infinity. Sitting next to Ashok on that side is Wisdom
Nyamasekpr and he represents the Ghana community.
4638 Sitting on that table, starting from that end, is Dr.
Paul Magocsi who holds the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of
Toronto. He is also the Editor-in-chief of this magnificent book, the
encyclopedia of Canada's peoples -- some people have called it the "Bible
of Canada's Multiculturalism." Sitting next to Dr. Magocsi is Dr. Rashesh
Thakkar who is Director of South Asian Studies at York University. Sitting next
to Dr. Thakkar is Jay Chauhan who is our legal counsel. And sitting next to Jay
is Chandar Sudan who is our chartered accountant.
4639 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, our
appearance before you today seeking approval of establishing a new ethnic radio
station on 740 AM represents the culmination of a broadcasting mission that our
company embarked upon ten years ago.
4640 Our goal has always been to create a radio station
that meaningfully addresses and reflects the reality of Toronto's ethnicity and
the needs of its diverse multicultural community by giving them a
4641 Hence, if licensed, Infinity will optimize the
utilization of the 740 AM frequency in reaching out to serve 22 unserved and
largely underserved multicultural communities in 23 different languages within
the Greater Toronto/Southern Ontario Region.
4642 Infinity's response to the Commission's call is to
provide high-quality local/regionally relevant programming services to nine
unserved multicultural communities, including Armenian, Czech, Danish, Estonian,
Ghanaian, Hebrew, Latvian, Maltese, and Slovak; and to significantly enhance the
level of quality and diversity of local programming services to 13 largely
underserved cultural communities including Arab, Dutch, Filipino, German,
Hungarian, Jamaican, Japanese, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Somali, South Asian,
4643 We also have extended an opportunity to First Nations
peoples to participate fully with Infinity's 22 member broadcast
4644 In utilizing 740 AM to its full service potential,
Infinity will extend its programming diversity to parallel third-language
communities within the Hamilton, St. Catharines/Niagara, Kitchener, London, and
4645 These unserved communities represent -- that is,
in those areas -- an additional audience in excess of 500,000 ethnic
listeners who, for the time, will be kept abreast of news, actives, and events
from their respective sister communities in the Greater Toronto Area by in turn
reflecting their own community driven news, activities, and events back to their
parallel sister communities in Greater Toronto via a stringer correspondents
network that Infinity will establish.
4646 The infusion of Infinity's high quality programming
into these 22 targeted multicultural communities will add significant new
elements of diversity and listening choice to Greater Toronto's ethnic radio
spectrum. This is important to ethnic listening audiences who, unlike their
mainstream English language counterparts, do not have access to multiple
listening choices in their preferred language.
4647 We would also underline the fact that Infinity's
ethnic broadcast plan, if approved, will help to better rationalize and improve
on the balance of ethnic broadcasting services within the Greater Toronto Region
by narrowing the service disparity gap that currently exists between the very
well served, long-established multicultural communities and the those who are
largely underserved or who have no service at all.
4648 The implementation of Infinity's ethnic broadcast
plan also represents an important step forward in addressing the huge imbalance
that exists between mainstream English language radio services and third
language radio services within Greater Toronto. Such an imbalance clearly does
not reflect the dominant reality of Toronto's ethnicity. What it does
graphically illustrate, however, is the need for additional comprehensive
services for the multicultural communities of Greater Toronto.
4649 Infinity's ethnic broadcast plan for 740 AM fully
meets the spirit and intent of the Broadcasting Act and the Commission's Ethnic
Broadcasting Policy. And from our perspective, it represents the most
comprehensive and productive utilization of the 740 AM frequency.
4650 MS RENU RAY: Madam Chair and Commissioners, Toronto's
radio industry both English and third language sectors is vibrant, healthy,
growing, and facing new market demands, several of which were previewed here
this week before the Commission.
4651 Turning specifically to the third language component
of the market, Toronto's ethnic population has grown by more than 200,000 since
1996 and continues to expand at the rate of over 70,000 immigrants per
4652 Added to that, is the fact that local and national
air time revenues of Toronto's existing ethnic broadcasters have increased by
over 22 per cent between 1994 and 1998 going from $9.7 million to
$11.8 million. It is projected that by 2001, the combined local/national
air time sales will reach nearly $14 million, for an overall seven year increase
of some 43.8 per cent.
4653 Against that otherwise positive picture in terms of
ongoing population and revenue growth, however, is the reality that many third
language communities within Greater Toronto remain either unserved or largely
underserved. Some of these communities have larger populations than many cities
and urban centres across Canada.
4654 For example, the South Asian population, which today
is estimated at 500,000, is one-and-a half times as larger than in Windsor,
Ontario or Victoria, British Columbia.
4655 MR. JAMES ROBSON: Madam Chair, in defining the
unfulfilled needs of those unserved and underserved third language communities
within Greater Toronto, it is important to consider some of the underlying
elements of change that have a direct bearing on the existing service voids
within the ethnic market place.
4656 In a study conducted for Toronto's Access and Equity
Centre, Toronto is described as the "most ethnically diverse city in the world."
The study goes on to state that "by the year 2000, visible minorities will make
up 54 per cent population of Metropolitan Toronto....up from 30 per cent in
1991....and only 3 per cent in 1961."
4657 Of the visible minority population in Metropolitan
Toronto, which is now the majority, 25 per cent are Chinese; 25 per cent are
South Asian; 20 per cent are Black; and 30 per cent are described as
4658 Madam Chair and Commissioners, the evolution of
Toronto's remarkable multicultural development in a single generation has
resulted in an almost exclusively White city becoming the most ethnically
diverse city in the world. This evolution has occurred across two distinct
4659 The first wave of largely European immigrants settled
in Toronto over the past several decades and essentially formed the
multicultural base of Greater Toronto's ethnicity.
4660 More recently, immigration patterns have largely
moved away from their traditional sources, resulting in a second immigration era
in which the flow of immigrants is predominantly from South and East Asia,
Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
4661 Toronto's existing ethnic stations have done a very
good job in serving the needs of the now well established mainstream
multicultural communities. This is evidenced by the Italian, Portuguese, and
Spanish, and, in more recent times, Chinese language programming that dominates
their program schedules and their revenue streams.
4662 Aside from the Chinese programming factor, these
newer multicultural communities that have developed within the framework of the
second and ongoing immigration era are, in many cases, unserved or largely
underserved. The most dominant of which is the huge and culturally diverse South
4663 Is essentially within the context of that
evolutionary process across two immigration eras and resultant service void that
have accrued from each that Infinity has formulated its ethnic broadcasting
4664 MR. NEETI RAY: Madam Chair, a key initiative in
fulfilling Infinity's ethnic broadcast plan is to fill the large programming
void that exists within the huge and culturally diverse South Asian community of
4665 In many respects, Greater Toronto's South Asian
component "is a community in waiting" because it had a significant block of
high-quality Hindustani programming which, through no fault of the community,
was lost to them.
4666 By way of a brief background, in 1990, our company
created Radio India, a unique Hindustani-language based brokered program, which
over the next nine years developed a huge listening audience and advertiser
based from within the large and rapidly growing South Asian community of Greater
4667 Initially, we had to broker time on an American
border station WHLD 1270, Niagara Falls, in order to achieve any kind of access
to Toronto's South Asian community because no Canadian radio station could
4668 After six months of border hopping, we were able to
broker time on CKTB AM Radio in St. Catharines, where Radio India's time
allotment grew from 10 hours per week in 1991 to 61.5 hours per week by July
4669 Regrettably, our brokerage arrangement with CKTB
ended on March 31, 1998, and so it was on to CIAO and a sharply reduced time
allotment for Radio India going from 61.5 hours per week back to 10 hours per
4670 By June 1999, the brokerage arrangement with CIAO was
ended and Radio India was from gone Toronto radio air waves. This left at gaping
service void in the South Asian community, which remains to be
4671 It is rather sad that in the year 2000, a South Asian
population of 500,000 is again largely dependent on a U.S. border station WTOR
770 AM, near Buffalo, for their Hindustani programming -- keeping in mind
that Radio India's only access to the Greater Toronto's 190,665 South Asians a
decade earlier was through its brokered time on WHLD 1270.
4672 In essence, the South Asian community of Greater
Toronto has "travelled full circle back to square one" in its quest for
programming services in the universally understood and respected Hindustani
language, the lingua franca of south Asia.
4673 Given that the South Asian population within the
Greater Toronto Region has gone from 190,665 in 1991 to 359,475 in 1996 and,
today, stands at 500,000, it is clearly evident that the vast majority of South
Asians are essentially unserved by Canadian licensees.
4674 Madam Chair, the South Asian community is the
economic engine that will power Infinity's broadcast plan. We are no less
committed to any of the remaining 21 ethnic communities or the First Nations
4675 In addition to fully training and working with each
cultural group on an ongoing basis to help them realize their local community
driven programming objectives, Infinity has structured its broadcasting schedule
to ensure that each group, regardless of size, has a minimum of two hours of
programming per week for those allocated weekend spots and a minimum of five
hours per week for those groups allocated weekday program slots.
4676 Madam Chair, having spent the greater part of my
broadcasting career dependent on station owners to air gain access to virtually
any time slot to air my programs, I know all too well the frustration and
sometimes the heartbreak involved in trying to achieve our cultural and creative
4677 Hence, Infinity has opted to station produce each
community's programming undertakings rather than broker to independent
producers. The objective of delivering local/regionally relevant high-quality
programming produced by the community for the community will best be achieved by
Infinity's role as broadcast trainer/community animator/production facilitator
rather than as a broadcast landlord collecting fees for ethnic broadcasting
4678 MS RENU RAY: Madam Chair, approval of Infinity's
application will greatly benefit ethnic talent within the Greater Toronto
Region. As detailed in our application, Infinity proposes to spend a minimum of
$202,000 in direct expenditures and $1.4 million in indirect on-air talent
promotion initiatives over the initial seven-year licence term.
4679 The need for all types of assistance within Canada's
ethnic talent sector is great, given that multicultural performers and artists
on the whole do not enjoy the same level of access -- and hence
exposure -- that mainstream talent has at their disposal through the
multiple radio and television outlets in most markets across Canada.
4680 In addressing the diverse needs of ethnic talent in
Greater Toronto and determining how to most meaningfully apply its resources to
those needs, Infinity's talent development strategy has been designed to achieve
a number of important fundamental objectives, including: the ongoing and
education of a new generation of ethnic broadcasters; the provision of direct
financial assistance to artists, performers, and attendant groups and
organizations who promote and support talent; the commitment of a significant
indirect expenditures of budget for the on-air promotion of local ethnic
Canadian talent; the creation and regular weekly scheduling of programs within
each language group served that will include and highlight local ethnic Canadian
talent through on-air exposure of their work; the financial support and
promotion of the Canadian Association of Ethnic Broadcasters' initiative (CAEB)
of establishing a catalogue of Canadian ethnic recordings; to aggressively
pursue every opportunity to work in concert with ethnic broadcasters across
Canada in the exchange, co-promotion, and direct on-air exposure of
local/regional ethnic talent to the nation has a whole.
4681 MR. HANS JANSEN: Madam Chair, Commissioners, the
addition of Infinity to the Greater Toronto Region's spectrum will have a highly
beneficial impact on AM radio in general and the Toronto market as
4682 Infinity's programming services to 22 distinct
multicultural communities in 23 different languages will attract new listeners
and increased hours of tuning to AM from targeted, unserved, and largely
underserved communities. This increased listenership and hours tuned to AM will
not come at the expense of other Toronto ethnic or mainstream broadcasters,
given the fact that the third language communities targeted by Infinity are
unserved or largely underserved.
4683 Approval of Infinity's application will result in
"new radio dollars" being attracted to Toronto's AM sector with very minimal
impact on existing broadcasters because our revenues will accrue from
advertisers interested in reaching those third language communities that are
unserved or underserved.
4684 Infinity's projected dollar share of the Toronto all
radio market will remain below one per cent during every year of the first
licence term. And, of course, the share percentage of the ethnic broadcasting
segment is higher. In Year 1, the projected dollar share is 0.7 per cent
and in Year 7 it is 0.9 per cent.
4685 We would also like to point out that Infinity's
sources of revenue will be drawn almost exclusively from: one, new dollars
attracted to radio, about 42 per cent; increase of advertising budgets, 21 per
cent; repatriation from other media, 28 per cent; and from all other stations, 9
4686 The unrealized potential inherent within the South
Asian community and several of the other ethnic communities that Infinity
proposes to serve is very significant. One only has to look at the size of the
Yellow Pages business directories of each of these communities to get a sense of
the untapped potential.
4687 We would note that through our previous Radio India
program undertaking, Infinity has a ready-made South East Asian audience and an
advertising client list of nearly 600 businesses, which it can
4688 As the Commission is aware, from the business
communities letters of intervention, over $450,000 in pre-bookings were realized
before any sales or marketing initiatives on the part of Infinity were acted
4689 This is highly indicative of the ability of the South
Asian business community to provide Infinity with economic muscle. This muscle
would service and program initiatives in those smaller communities that will
require time and economic patience to develop.
4691 MR. JAMES ROBSON: Madam Chair and Commissioners, a
further key element of diversity that Infinity represents is that of
4692 The Commission's approval of this application will
add important new diversity to the ownership ranks of ethnic broadcasting
undertakings in the most culturally diverse city and radio market in the world;
a market whose population is predominantly visible minorities; a market whose
largest underserved community is South Asian.
4693 Infinity's owners are highly experienced South Asian
broadcasters who bring a fresh perspective, new ideas and approaches, new
energies and commitment, and an acute sensitivity to Toronto's existing and
continually involving multicultural reality. It is important to provide the 740
AM opportunity to a new generation of hands-on ethnic broadcasters.
4694 In light of the vast differences in size of critical
mass and developmental opportunities between Canada's mainstream English and
third language broadcasting sectors, as a broadcaster and prospective new
licensee, it is critical to Infinity that diversity of ownership and the
fostering of competitive balance within the smaller ethnic broadcasting universe
not fall victim to consolidation and concentration.
4695 MR. NEETI RAY: And finally, Madam Chairman and
Commissioners, we come before you as highly experienced, hands-on ethnic
broadcasters who are passionate about what we do and totally committed to
assuming and fulfilling the leadership responsibility implicit with the granting
of the 740 AM frequency. We will use it wisely and for the full benefit of those
we serve and the Canadian broadcasting system.
4696 Madam Chair, Infinity is ethnic radio with a
difference and committed to making a difference. We respectfully ask the
Commission to allow us that opportunity.
4697 My colleagues and the panel will be now happy to
answer any questions.
4698 Thank you.
4700 Shukria. For the record Madam Chair, that in
Hindustani means we wish you well.
--- Applause / Applaudissements
4701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Shukria, Mr. Ray and your
4702 I would ask that you speak a little further from your
mics. There is a fair amount of echo if you speak into them too closely, Mrs.
Ray, in particular. Just push it away from you otherwise there is quite a noise.
I would also ask that the audience refrain from applauding until the end because
it is very disturbing and distracting for both the appearing panel and for
4703 I would now ask Commissioner Noël, please, to ask a
4704 COMMISSIONER NOËL: I will ask you a number of
questions -- not on everything you have mentioned -- I will only go into those
areas where we feel we don't have a sufficient record for the
4705 My line of questioning will be local
4706 You can't hear me? (Off microphone...) so
--- Laughter / Rires
4707 So as I said, my line of questioning will be about
local programming, the ethnic population served, finance, and technical
--- Pause / Pause
4708 I have too many books here, I guess.
4709 In the area of local content, the new Ethnic
Broadcasting Policy states: that the Commission will expect licensees to report
on the progress of their local content initiative at the subsequent licence
renewals. It would be helpful for licensees to indicate in their plans how they
will subsequently evaluate their progress.
4710 In your response to deficiencies, you stated that you
will respond on a regular basis rather than periodically at licence renewals;
that the success of your local content initiatives will be measured by the
reaction in the community and that the community will, in a sense, monitor
itself and quickly correct what needs to be corrected.
4711 What measures will you have in place in order to
receive and react to the community's findings?
4712 MR. NEETI RAY: Commissioner Noël, one of the very
important objectives of Infinity Broadcasting would be the reflect the local
community. And when I say the local community, it would also mean the community
outside the GTA, but within the coverage area of the 740 AM radio.
4713 COMMISSIONER NOËL: But what I want to know is how
will you evaluate the feedback from the community?
4714 MR. NEETI RAY: Yeah, I was not finished
4715 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Sorry.
4716 MR. NEETI RAY: We shall conduct the programming in
consultation with each community. Now, we have 21 communities and we have a
mechanism in place whereby each community is represented through an
organization, a leading organization of that community. And instead of making
rules for them, beyond the basic elements that we will have in place for local
programming, they will have the autonomy to decide how they want to bring in
their own communities' elements into the radio programming.
4717 For example, we have a stringer network set that will
report the local events from the different communities within the coverage area.
For example, in Kitchener, we have all these 22 communities and from each
community there will be a correspondent who will be reporting, on an ongoing
basis, the happenings within that community.
4718 Secondly, the musical side. We have numerous talents
within each community that we wish to serve. Each program producer will be
encouraged to utilize their talents to be showcased on the programs and, of
course, later on during the question and answer period we will be touching upon
the local talent development, Canadian talent development, and further elaborate
4719 MS RENU RAY: Madam Chairman, if I may add, the
Chinese development initiative proposed by Infinity within the context of its
own indirect expenditure budget involves the staging of a unique on-air ethnic
talent contest, where the overall winner from each participating language group
is determined by the respective listen audience and reworded
4720 Infinity will encourage the program producers within
each language group served by the station to feature a weekly local talent
segment as part of a regular broadcast schedule. The listening audience will in
turn be asked to actively participate by choosing the favourite local artist by
calling, faxing, or writing the station with their choice.
4721 All 23 language groups will be ultimately involved in
this. The 23 pronounced winners whose collective talents will be featured in a
professionally produced compilation disk which will be distributed to all other
ethnic radio stations throughout Canada and the United States.
4722 The involvement of the audience will be an indicator
measuring the Canadian talent development at the station.
4723 MR. NEETI RAY: And also Commissioner, we will be
working on a daily basis with the communities and will be in touch with each
program producer. The programs produced will be by the community for the
community. And we shall be having direct feedback from the community on an
4724 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Could I ask you just to move back
from the mic, because I have a lot of reverberation here.
4725 Thank you.
4726 In the area of local programming, your strategy is
based on offering all of 22 ethnic groups time-quality slots regardless of their
size and economic potential. Why is this programming strategy important to you
and has it been your experience that some ethnic groups receive time slots that
are based on their size and economic potential?
4727 MR. NEETI RAY: Yes.
4728 Commissioner Noël, in my experience, it is very
important for the programming to be of high quality. An element of monitoring or
supervision is essential. When the programs are brokered out, the producers are
basically independent and they can decide what kind of programming they want to
produce and air.
4729 In my experience, first of all, in Edmonton from
1980-89, where all programs were station-produced, it is interesting to note
that more than 80 per cent of those programs are still on air. If a program was
not of high quality, it will not have the response from the audience, it will
not have a positive impact on advertising.
4730 MS RENU RAY: Madam Chairman, if I may add to that, on
of the reasons why we are so particular to involve so many ethnic language
communities is because we are sensitive to the needs of those
4731 One of the most effective means for an ethnic
community to voice its distinct culture and history and its role in Canada's
evolution and ongoing development as a nation is through our dedicated radio
programming. I would like to point to a study done by Dr. William Rakkar, a
psychiatrist at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, who said:
"A transition to a new culture is made more easily by people who come with a
strong sense of their ethnic identity. And this identity is strongest in those
cultures that have a well enunciated myth and custom that has been written and
recorded as part of a national literate heritage." (As
4732 He goes on to say:
"There is an extraordinary sense of ethnic identity and this sense of
cultural identity is not a frivolous skin that one can shift in a very short
while. It is bound into the family, it is bound into the most profound sense
that people have of who they are. This identity is grounded in public and social
mix. So the immigrant who enjoys an inner security about who he is will not only
find it easier to adapt, but will have a choice about the way in which he
4733 He further says:
"Whoever immigrates has to learn how to talk again, to walk again, and to
work again. Some people may manage this transition with relative ease whereas
others don't. And they feel betrayed by their incapacity fully to handle the new
language, that their accent, their grammar, and their hesitancy in the speech of
the country is a constant betrayal. One's identity depends on the clues from the
outside world and, of course, the internal love that one brings with himself."
4734 Madam Chairman, if an immigrant could hear a program
on the radio in his language, it would provide a reconfirmation of who he is.
And, thus, it would make his adjustment in this Canadian mosaic a little
4735 MR. NEETI RAY: I also would like to add that, keeping
this in mind, each group has been really provided a time not base on
affordability but based on need. And each ethnic group, no matter how small it
is, will be given at least two hours per week, one hour on Saturday and one hour
on Sunday; and the larger ethnic groups will be given a minimum of five hours
per week, one hour every day at the same time Monday to Friday and even the
Saturday slots and Sunday slots will be at the same time.
4736 For example, the Ghana program, if it is at 5:00
o'clock in the evening on Saturday and starting the same time on Sunday, as
well, so that accessibility is easier for the Ghanaians.
4737 COMMISSIONER NOËL: And you are convinced that having
the same time every week will facilitate the funding of advertisers for that
4738 MR. NEETI RAY: Yes. What I was going say was
programming continuity is important to be able to reach a larger audience within
each community and the listeners would be used to the time and make
accessibility much easier.
4739 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Are you aware that or is it your
experience that some ethnic groups do not actually receive time slots that are
based on their size and economic potential?
4740 MR. NEETI RAY: I don't quite follow you, but
4741 MS RENU RAY: Yes, Madam Chairman, we are aware that
there are lot of ethnic communities that do not receive programming appropriate
to their size. That is a void that we want to fill. Because a lot of programming
for ethnic language groups are a mere 30 minutes, which is like a
4742 What we want to provide here is quality programming
which we are going to provide at a minimum of two hours to the smallest
community that we propose to --
4743 MR. NEETI RAY: Just by way of example, the Japanese
community, which is more than 20,000 in number, has only 30 minutes of
programming in Toronto. And, of course, there are many communities that don't
have any programming at all.
4744 MR. JAMES ROBSON: Commissioner Noël, if I can just
add a brief comment here.
4745 Infinity, when they set out their ethnic broadcast
plan, they were most anxious that it be an equitable plan. Equitable in the
context that in order for any ethnic group to build an audience, to build a
revenue base over time, there has to be a continuity element there. When you
look at the Toronto multicultural market, quite often there is very correlation
between the size of the community and the amount of programming that is
allocated to a given community. You can have a group -- for example, that
might be in the range of 150,00 to 200,000 people, and they have an
hour-and-a-half of programming.
4746 Under Infinity's model, the worse case scenario for
any ethnic group, irrespective of size, would be two hours a week of
programming. Within the framework of that two hours they can accomplish a number
of things; they can address a number of the needs of the community; they can
have a musical element; they can have the news and spoken word element, and
4747 Now, Infinity is not going to dictate to communities
what the balance within that programming framework should be -- whether
it's two hours a week or five or ten hours a week -- but they will work in
concert with the groups to train them, to help them to achieve that high-quality
4748 I hope that puts it into some clearer perspective for
4749 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Yes, thank you very
4750 Now, in your application you state that you will
offer programming to nine groups that are currently not served. How will you
ensure that these inexperienced program producers, if they are currently not
served and they don't have any broadcasting experience, have the necessary
resources and experience to produce and provide quality programming?
4751 MR. NEETI RAY: Commissioner Noël and members of the
panel, I would like to first mention, as we have also mentioned in the
application, that will have a training program in place.
4752 My experience was, again, starting with nine years in
Edmonton where I was one of the broadcast trainers at CKER Radio. I have held
numerous workshops not only to train prospective on-air broadcasters, but also
script writing, technical production, and the techniques of writing commercials
and voicing commercials.
4753 And when we are licensed, if we are licensed, we will
have this program in place and the group that we shall spend most time with will
be the untrained groups, the inexperienced groups, and those are the nine groups
that are currently unserved.
4754 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
4755 Now we will discuss language. Your application
indicates that 33 per cent of the programming schedule on your proposed station
during the broadcast week will be in Hindustani. How many hours of programming
in that language are already available in Toronto?
4756 MR. NEETI RAY: A check of all --
4757 COMMISSIONER NOËL: First off, maybe you can make for
me a distinction between Hindi and Hindustani.
4758 MR. NEETI RAY: Did you say Hindi and
4759 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Mm-hmm.
4760 MR. NEETI RAY: Yes, I'm glad you asked that question.
We have on our panel, Dr. Rashesh Thakkar who is Director of South Asian Studies
at York University and he is one of the experts who will shed more light on
4761 Dr. Thakkar.
4762 DR. RASHESH THAKKAR: Thank you very much,
4763 In order to understand what passes under the name of
today's Hindi and Hindustani, I would like to take you back a little in
4764 When the Persiansized-Turkish and later
Persianized-Mughals dominated the political scene of India from the 11th
century, they brought with them the Persian script, Persian vocabulary, literary
models, and they were drafted an existing language called Caliveri(ph). Out of
this blend of the Persian script and Persian vocabularies, with Turkish and
Arabic words also included, and the existing Indian language, there arose this
language which in those days was called Hinderi or Hindustani. Later on it also
came to be known as Hindi/Urdu. At that point, the identity of Hindustani was
predominant. As I am repeating now, it was the blend of the Persian, Arabic,
Turkish script, vocabularies, and literary models on the one hand, and the
existing Indian language belonging to the Hindu family of languages with its
roots in Sanskrit. That is now how it developed.
4765 With the spread of the empire, the Islamic empire
under the Turkish and later Mughal rulers, it spread to many, many parts of
India. It penetrated even in parts of south India where the existing languages
really belong to a different family of language.
4766 So Hindustani became popular, it began to be used in
marketplace, in army, in court matters and it spread in large parts of what was
India at that point.
4767 It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries when a
certain emotional divide occurred between the two communities, Hindus and
Muslims. They tried to reflect their communal identities even in the language.
It was at that point that Hindi and Urdu drifted away from the root that was
Hindustani. And Hindi became more Sanskrittized and the script that was used for
Hindi was the Devanagari script associated strongly with the ancient Hindi
language Sanskrit. Urdu became ever more to Persianized models.
4768 And, that would be fine, but all the Hindustani still
remained a popular language in India that was understood in many parts because
of this emotional and political reasons, Hindi sort of drifted away from it and
what passes under the name of Hindi today is this Devana-Hindi or the language
written in Devanagari script and made ever more Sanskrittized.
4769 It was for this reason that the leaders of the Indian
independence struggle -- particularly Mahatma Ghandi and many other
leaders -- because they wanted to bring the Hindu-Muslim communities
together, they advocated that in future India, free India, that involve
aspirations and hopes in the united India, it would be Hindustani, as distinct
from what passes under the name of today's Hindi. Hindustani is distinct from
any other regional language of South Asia would become the national language.
Therefore, this started -- as early as 1930, even in South India, they tried to
promote it and therefore Hindustani seemed to bring the communities
4770 If Hindustani was adopted today, the Pakistani
community, where the national language is Urdu, and India, where the national
language is Hindi, they are transformed into the same fold. So Hindustani has
that unifying effect which Hindi in its Sanskrittized will not.
4771 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Okay, so if I understand well,
Hindi is now the language of India and Urdu, the language of Pakistan, but both
communities can understand Hindustani and speak Hindustani. Is
4772 DR. RASHESH THAKKAR: Very much so.
4773 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you very much.
4774 So if I go back to my question, how many hours of
Hindustani programs are available actually in Toronto?
4775 MR. NEETI RAY: First of all, yes, Hindustani is
the universally spoken and understood language in South Asia. I would like
to mention that Hindustani is to South Asians, what English is to the rest of
the world. We will have 41 hours of Hindustani language programming.
4776 COMMISSIONER NOËL: That's not the question I asked. I
asked how many hours are available now in that language?
4777 MR. NEETI RAY: I'm sorry.
4778 COMMISSIONER NOËL: That is okay.
4779 MR. NEETI RAY: The check of all the program schedules
of all the radio stations here in Toronto will indicate a total of 14 hours of
Hindustani language programming -- actually, they have been defined as
Hindi language programming in the Greater Toronto Area.
4780 But, also, if you mean how many hours of programming
are heard in the South Asian community, you have to add a further 14 hours of
programming from WTOR 770 AM being beamed from U.S.A. It may be very interesting
to also find out that the on-air studio of WTOR is right here in Toronto a few
blocks away from this hotel.
--- Laughter / Rires
4781 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Can you provide me with an
estimate of the amount of Hindustani language radio advertising revenue that
would be available to the Toronto market?
4782 MR. NEETI RAY: In our experience of the nine years
that Radio India was on and our income statements as -- Chandar, chartered
accountant, who is sitting also on the panel -- the revenues that were generated
by Radio India was well in excess of $400,000 annually during the last two years
of Radio India being on air.
4783 As far as -- we put some charity as to how much
revenue will be available, I would also like to mention, Commissioner Noël and
members of the panel, that -- if I give you one example, the Tamil
community of Toronto, Greater Toronto, numbering over 100,000 and having only
three-and-a-half hours of programming during the regulated hours, has this
business directory which is exactly 800 pages and has over 1,800 business
listings in this directory.
4784 It is also notable that there were more Tamil
language programming a few years ago and this was half the size and then those
programs went off the air -- I think about three years ago there was one major
program that went off the air -- this has doubled in size. That gives you
one indication. This business directory is of the Indo-Pakistani community
called East-West Connection and has a listing of 2,421 businesses listed in that
4785 As also indicated in the one of the letters of
intervention by one of the chartered banks o Canada in support of our
application they have mentioned that in their estimation there are over 3,000
Indian businesses in the Greater Toronto Area. In our estimation, that number is
conservative, the number would be more than 4,000.
4786 Something else I would like to mention is that, you
may be aware if you have read the letters of intervention from numerous
businesses that we have already served in the South Asian community when Radio
India was on, they have come forward and they have committed $450,000 worth of
advertising if Infinity goes on air and we have not even lifted a finger in
putting in place any sales strategies yet.
4787 And that, Madam Commissioner, should give you a
pretty good idea of what should be available from the South Asian community. The
amount that we would expect from the South Asian community would be in excess of
the amount that has been already committed to us.
4788 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
4789 If I understand well, the amount of advertising that
you will get from the South Asian community would help finance the rest of the
programming until such time as you can raise some advertising revenues in the
other communities you want to --
4790 MR. NEETI RAY: Precisely right.
4791 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
4792 Now that I have had the distinction between Hindi and
Hindustani, I will skip over one question I had because the census of '96
reports 7,620 Hindi residents in the Toronto area and we couldn't figure out how
you would survive with that small number.
4793 But do you have any concerns relating to frequency
programs associated with 740 AM in the downtown core? What I would like to know,
actually, is have you done any research regarding where your target audience is
located within the coverage of 740 AM?
4794 MR. NEETI RAY: Yes.
4795 Madam Commissioner, the majority of the audience that
we will be targeting lives outside the core of Toronto. They are in Scarborough,
North York, East York, Etobicoke, the York Region, Mississauga, Brampton,
Oshawa, and, of course, the good coverage that we have of this frequency of the
target groups also are out there in Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph,
Cambridge, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls.
4796 COMMISSIONER NOËL: So what you are telling me is the
bulk of the people you want to serve is not located in the downtown core of
4797 MR. NEETI RAY: Precisely right.
--- Pause / Pause
4798 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
4799 Now we are going go to program expenses and finance
questions. You predicted program expenses -- your projected programming
expenses are about 6 to 15 per cent lower than those reported by ethnic AM
broadcasters in Ontario in 1998. Is it because you will rely mostly on volunteer
and community participation and, if so, to what extent will you rely on that
participation from volunteers and community?
4800 MR. NEETI RAY: Madam Commissioner, you partly already
answered my question by saying that part of the reason why -- the
programming costs traditionally in all ethnic stations is far less than
mainstream stations are precisely because of the reason that you have already
4801 In my own experience, first on CKER Radio, is that we
were all volunteers. The only thing we -- the most that we were very happy
with was a part of the revenue that was passed on to us.
4802 In the case of Infinity Broadcasting, as we have
mentioned a number times within the application, we will be doing this in
concert with the different communities and they will be appointing these --
if you want to call them "volunteers" who will come forward, we will train them
to become professional broadcasters and they will be doing the programs. Yes.
Precisely. It is because of that reason why our programming costs are less than
the mainstream stations.
4803 MR. HANS JANSEN: Commissioners, I might add one
point: The latest year for which data is available is 1998 and the Commission
may be referring to those numbers. During that year, the programming costs as a
percentage of total revenue were 30.2 per cent. But we would also like to draw
your attention to the fact that in the year before they were only 22.7 per cent.
The latest year for which you have data available may be a bit of an anomaly.
For instance, the average over the two years would be 26.4 per cent.
4804 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could you repeat the average for
4805 MR. HANS JANSEN: 22.7 per cent of total revenue is
accounted for by programming costs. This percentage increased to 30.2 per cent
4806 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Now we will go to a more technical
aspect of the application.
4807 As you know, Mr. Ray, your application is competitive
and technically mutually exclusive with seven other applications for use of the
740 KHz frequency. Under the scenario, the Commission seeks the competitors view
to assist that in deciding which applicant has proposed the best use of the
4808 What, in your view, are the compelling reasons to
grant you to the requested frequency and in what way does your proposal
constitute the best use of the proposed frequency?
--- Pause / Pause
4809 MR. NEETI RAY: Sorry about that. I think I will do
better without notes.
4810 To answer that question, Madam Commissioner, and as I
have also mentioned earlier, the focus of Infinity's objectives would be to
maximize the utilization of the 740 frequency. In order to do that, first of
all, we have gauged the pockets -- where the different of ethnic communities
that we propose to serve -- live. We have found that there is a substantial
number of ethnic communities, numbers of population of ethnic
communities, living in Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, St. Catharines, and
4811 And, as we have also mentioned earlier, we will be
setting up a stringer correspondent network that will keep the entire coverage
area connected between the different communities.
4812 For example: the Kitchener community. When the German
community in Kitchener is celebrating Octoberfest -- and as one of the letters
of intervention by a German gentlemen mentioned, "The aroma of the festivities
will spread to Hamilton, and to Toronto, and to Oshawa, and to the Niagara
Region." And this is true of all the communities.
4813 That is one of the components, one of the very
important components, of our programming objectives that will be providing these
locally relevant programs in all these areas.
4814 The extension and enhancement of third language
programming services to nine unserved and 13 largely underserved multicultural
communities will be throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the other areas that
are outside the Greater Toronto Area, which I have already mentioned to
4815 Maybe you want to add something to that
4816 MR. HANS JANSEN: Yes.
4817 Commissioner, if I could add two points.
4818 One, is the perspective of a broadcast consultant
based in Toronto market. There is a real need for greater service in
languages -- what we call languages -- and Infinity will add diversity
in programming, it will reach new audiences, and most importantly, it will serve
completely underserved communities. Neeti, did you have another point that you
would like to make?
4819 MR. NEETI RAY: Yes. The optimum utilization of the
740 AM frequency in serving Greater Toronto and unserved parallel third language
communities and the other areas, namely the Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara,
Kitchener, and London areas, as well as the establishment, which I have already
mentioned, of a stringer correspondent network.
4820 Now, significantly improving the balance of ethnic
broadcasting services within Greater Toronto by narrowing the service disparity
gap that currently exists between the well-served ethnic communities and the
largely underserved and those communities who have no service at all.
4821 By way of example: the Italian community or the
Chinese or the Portugese and Spanish communities are very well served, and the
list of underserved and unserved communities that we already
4822 The introduction of enhancement of the level of
programming diversity and listener choice within Greater Toronto's multicultural
communities that are unserved or badly unserved.
4823 Another point is the ushering in of a new generation
of broadcaster/owner/operator thus adding diversity to the ownership ranks of
the Greater Toronto's ethnic broadcasting community.
4824 Also, it will mean the addition of new Canadian
talent development initiatives for the benefit of Greater Toronto's ethnic
talent totalling a minimum of $1.6 million in direct and indirect
4825 Also, there will be a beneficial impact on AM radio
through the attraction of new listeners and increased hours of tuning without
impacting the existing broadcasters.
4826 It will also mean the addition of new radio dollars
to Toronto's AM sector with very minimal impact on existing ethnic
4827 Licensing Infinity will also -- there will be a
provision of an important new cost-effective advertising vehicle to serve the
third language business communities of the 22 targeted unserved and largely
4828 And also it will mean the repatriation of Canadian
listeners and advertising dollars from U.S. border station, WTOR 770 AM, who is
currently attracting listeners and advertisers from Greater Toronto's South
4829 MS RENU RAY: And if I may had to that Madam Chairman,
coming from a social background will bring with us a sensitivity to the needs of
the multicultural community that is existing in Toronto. We bring a dedication
and a commitment and a sincerity to provide good, quality programming to all the
ethnic communities that we propose to serve.
4830 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you. Thank you.
4831 I have two more questions. And those are very
4832 Are you aware of the availability of other AM
frequencies that could be used to establish the proposed radio service in
4833 MR. NEETI RAY: The answer would be: Precisely,
4834 COMMISSIONER NOËL: And could you comment on the
feasibility of using a frequency located in the extended portion of the AM band,
such as 1605 KHz or 1705 KHz?
4835 MR. NEETI RAY: The answer to that would be -- the 740
frequency, the extended reach of the 740 frequency, is the most adequate one to
be able to serve the 22 ethnic communities within the coverage area which
includes Kitchener, Hamilton, and St. Catharines which we will not be able to
reach if it is any other frequency -- especially a frequency on the higher
height of the dial.
4836 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Higher on the spectrum.
4837 Now, as I mentioned earlier, you are aware that the
CBC vacated the 740 KHz frequency in favour of FM 91.1 because it claimed that
its former signal, CBL AM, was not satisfactorily received in certain areas of
urban Toronto. Do you have any concerns about coverage of your proposed station
in the downtown core of Toronto and, if so, what means would you undertake to
resolve signal reception problems that could occur?
4838 MR. NEETI RAY: As mentioned earlier, the majority of
the ethnic population that we propose to serve, they are living outside the core
of downtown Toronto. That will not be a concern.
4839 Also, in our personal experience during the nine
years that we were on 610 CKTV Radio, which used to beam from St.
Catharines -- that was not a local radio -- we didn't have any
significant amount, any meaningful amount, of complaints about the
4841 MR. HANS JANSEN: Commissioner, if I may add one
point. I have reviewed the technical documentation within the CBC files. They
have done tests to measure strength of signal and the results of that analysis
indicate to us that we don't have to be overly concerned about that this. We can
live with those limitations. But you are right, there definitely is a problem in
the highly built-up downtown areas.
4842 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Thank you.
4843 I would ask the legal counsel if he has any questions
before I give you the opportunity to wrap up on your application and tell us why
we should give you this frequency rather than to give it to any other
4844 MR. DON RHEAUME: I have no questions at this time.
4845 COMMISSIONER NOËL: You have five minutes.
4846 MR. NEETI RAY: Would you like me to wrap
4847 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Mm-hmm.
4848 MR. NEETI RAY: With your permission, before I wrap
up, I would like to make one more point and that is Infinity Broadcasting has
futuristic plans. One of them is based on the fact that the
communication -- the media, the technical advances that are taking place,
including digital radio that in a few years time will be quite prevalent, is
also another dimension that lies on the horizon that we don't know where it is
going to take the radio. That is the kind of a collaboration that we
foresee -- a co-existence between radio and the Internet.
4849 We were very fortunate to have Mr. Ashok Kalle who is
a very successful entrepreneur and who established a very successful Pathway
Communication, which is the Internet server backbone. He was responsible for
putting Radio India on the Internet. It was for the first time that we
experienced something which was magnificent and that is that we got calls and
hits from all over Canada -- in fact, from other parts of North America, and the
rest of the world. And in what way it will enhance broadcasting in the future is
still to be seen.
4850 I would invite Ashok Kalle, the President of Pathway
Communications to make some comments on that.
4851 MR. ASHOK KALLE: Thank you.
4852 Madam Chairperson, and members of the Commission, I
just want to make a plea that our proposal be considered very strongly and that
we be given an opportunity to represent the ethnic communities that we believe
are currently underserviced.
4853 It has been my personal endeavours in the past few
years to create an Internet service provider, an Internet company, that stands
out amongst all others in Canada and possibly all over the world.
4854 I believe that there is a unique opportunity for us
here to be able to address the under-represented ethnic communities. I have a
personal stake in this organization. I am extremely confident that with Neeti
Prakesh Ray and his experience at the helm and the members of the community who
are going to participate in this whole process that this will be probably a
landmark radio station. I am extremely confident. I believe we have all put our
money where our mouth is and that there represents an opportunity for us as we
move on to be able to create some unique synergies between the Internet and this
particular radio station that will have no parallel anywhere else, not only in
Canada but anywhere else in the world.
4855 Thank you.
4856 MS RENU RAY: Just by way of example, we put the
supplementary brief on the Web site and we had so many interventions -- I
think over 200 just on the e-mail, actually, much more than that -- and
even as late as two days ago, we received an intervention from Japan intervening
on our behalf. So this is the future and we hope to have Mr. Kalle with us on
4857 MR. NEETI RAY: In fact, the putting of the entire
supplementary brief on the Internet, I was told was unprecedented. The number of
quality letters that we received was attributed to the fact that people were
able to go to the Internet and at the ease of their homes and go through the
entire supplementary brief. In fact, some of them also indicated that they feel
that they are much better educated about CRTC and the proceedings as a result of
the supplementary brief.
4858 Now to wrap up. As I said earlier, Infinity
Broadcasting has objectives that are futuristic. We know that Toronto's
population is going to increase at a higher pace in future. If you have read the
news recently, Ottawa is debating on increasing the immigration level from
200,000 to 300,000 as soon as possible.
4859 And also a study by Strategic Projections Inc. has
projected that in the next three decades, more than 2 million new Torontonians
will be seen, most of them immigrants. That clearly indicates the kind of
preparations that Toronto has to do -- these new transit lines being set out,
these new services like social services and housing and health care and so
4860 One sector that needs also to be looked after is the
broadcast sector to be able to serve the growing needs of Toronto's growing
ethnicity which, just to recap, that three per cent of total population of
Metropolitan Toronto in 1961 was visible minority -- only three per cent;
97 per cent were White population. In 1991, the visible minority population came
up to 30 per cent and 70 White population. In a short few years, in the Year
2000, this year, the total population of Toronto will consist 54 per cent
visible minorities and 46 per cent White population.
4861 Madam Chair and Commissioners, the granting of 740 AM
to Infinity Broadcasting will yield many key public benefits, including the
extension and enhancement of third language programming services to nine
unserved and thirteen largely underserved multicultural communities throughout
the Greater Toronto Region.
4862 The optimum utilization of the 740 frequency in
serving greater Toronto and the unserved parallel third language communities
within its extended service contours, including the Hamilton, St. Catharines,
Niagara, Kitchener, London and Oshawa.
4863 As well, as the establishment of a stringer
correspondent network significantly improving the balance of ethnic broadcasting
services within Greater Toronto by narrowing the service disparity gap that
currently exists between the well-served ethnic communities and the largely
underserved, and those communities who are not served at all.
4864 Number four. The introduction and enhancement of the
level of programming diversity and listener choice within Greater Toronto's
multicultural communities that are unserved or badly underserved.
4865 Number five. The ushering in of a new generation of
broadcaster/owner/operator thus adding diversity, true diversity, to the
ownership ranks of Greater Toronto's ethnic broadcasting community.
4866 The addition of important new Canadian talent
development initiatives for the benefit of Greater Toronto's ethnic talent
totalling a minimum of $1.6 million in direct and indirect
4867 Number seven. A beneficial impact that licensing of
Infinity will have on AM radio through the attraction of new listeners and
increased hours of tuning without impacting on existing broadcasters.
4868 Number eight. The addition of new radio dollars to
Toronto's AM sector with minimal impact on existing ethnic
4869 Number nine. The provision of an important new
cost-effective advertising vehicle to serve the third language business
communities of the 22 targeted unserved and largely underserved ethnic
4870 And last, but not the least, the repatriation of
Canadian listeners and advertising dollars from the U.S. border station, WTOR
AM, who is currently attracting listeners and advertisers from Greater Toronto's
South Asian community.
4871 Madam Chair and members of the panel, we come before
you as highly experienced broadcasters, hands-on ethnic broadcasters, who are
passionate about what we do. We are totally committed to assuming and fully
looking after the fulfilment and the leadership responsibility implicit with the
granting of the 740 AM frequency. We will use it wisely and for the full benefit
of those we serve and for the Canadian broadcasting system.
4872 Madam Chair, Infinity is ethnic radio with a
difference and committed to making a difference. Therefore, we respectfully ask
the Commission to allow us that opportunity.
4873 Thank you.
4874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ray and your
colleagues. We will see you next week no doubt.
4875 We will now take a fifteen-minute break and be back
at 10:40 to hear the last of the competing applications. That will complete our
day. For those who may not have heard yesterday, we will resume on Monday
morning at nine with interventions by applicants into each others
4876 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
--- Recess at 1025 / Suspension à 1025
--- Upon resuming at 1049 / Reprise à 149
4877 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
4878 MR. PETER CUSSONS: Thank you, Madam
4879 Our next application, in fact, it is our final in
this competitive process, is by Radio 1540 Limited for a broadcasting licence to
carry on an ethnic AM radio undertaking in Toronto. The new station would
operate on frequency 740 KHz with a transmitter power of 50,000 watts. The
applicant is proposing an ethnic programming service. By condition of licence,
the applicant will direct programming to a minimum of 20 cultural groups in a
minimum of 25 different languages each week.
4880 The Commission notes that this application is
technically mutually exclusive with other applications scheduled at this hearing
for the use of the 740 KHz frequency. Radio 1540 Limited currently operates
ethnic radio stations CHIN AM and a transmitter; CHIN FM and two transitional
digital radio undertakings in the Toronto market.
4881 I now invite Mr. Lenny Lombardi to introduce his
team. Mr. Lombardi.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
4882 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Thank you.
4883 Good morning Madam Chair, members of the Commission.
My name is Lenny Lombardi and I am the Executive Vice-president of CHIN Radio
4884 Before we begin our presentation today, I would like
to introduce you our panel here today.
4885 Let me begin first with the man immediately to my
left. He really needs no introduction. A pioneer in the field of ethnic
broadcasting -- and my father, as a matter of fact -- Mr. Johnny Lombardi,
President and CEO of CHIN Radio. To his left is Mr. Bob Culliton, our Chief of
Finance at CHIN Radio and also our General Manager. To my right, Mr. Stephen
Zolf of Heenan Blaikie; he is our legal counsel today.
4886 Directly behind Stephen is Arvinder Sahota. Arvinder
is our South Asian producer at CHIN Radio. As well as an experienced
broadcaster, she is the producer of South Asian Festival and South Asian
entertainment at the CHIN International Picnic, at Canada's Wonderland, and many
other cultural events throughout the city sponsored and produced by CHIN Radio.
To her left is Mr. David Oakes of Oakes Research. David is here to answer any
questions with regard to our demand study and other related issues. To his left,
my sister, Theresa Lombardi. She is Vice-president of Administration and is also
the producer of the CHIN International Picnic. To her left, Donina Lombardi.
Donina is President, I am sorry, Vice-president of Public Relations -- that
is a Freudian slip! -- and Promotion, as well as our regular television
host of Festival Italiano -- co-hosting with my father no less -- and also a
weekly guest host on our radio programs on CHIN Radio. To her left is Jai
Ojah-Maharaj, our producer of Caribbean programming on CHIN Radio. Jai has over
20 years experience in Caribbean broadcasting and has produced numerous events
through CHIN and most notably, the West Indian and Caribbean entertainment
featured at the CHIN International Picnic.
4887 On the far table, I would like to introduce Mr. Dario
Amaral. Dario is our Manager of Programming and Operations as well as our
producer of Portugese programming at CHIN Radio.
4888 That is our panel here before you this
4889 We are pleased to present to the Commission this
morning our proposal for a new and innovative concept for ethnic radio in
Toronto. We have created a unique blend of bilingual and third language
programming that we believe will fill a vast gap in the current programming
choices available to Toronto's ethnic communities.
4890 By carefully building a programming schedule for 740,
while also repositioning and recasting the schedule of our existing AM service,
the result is an innovative and unique programming format which will not only
provide more diversity and choice to ethnic audiences, it will also recognize
how their needs have evolved.
4891 In this presentation, we wish to highlight three key
4892 First, our proposed new format for AM 740 and the
impetus for our application; second, CHIN's unique potential to add diversity
and choice to the Toronto ethnic radio market; and third, the benefits that
licensing our application will produce.
4893 Before explaining our vision for the future, we would
like you to know a little bit about our history and our accomplishments in the
ethnic market to date. We have prepared this little video for you.
--- Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
4894 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Madam Chair, members of the
Commission, my name is Johnny Lombardi.
4895 The history of ethnic broadcasting and communications
had its beginning and interest from me at the tail end of the Second World War,
where I served in the Canadian army in the newly liberated Europe.
4896 As Canadian soldiers, we were briefed to do encourage
and sell Canada as a land of opportunity for possible immigration to Canada. I
was delegated among others to address displaced persons, refugees, towns people,
prisoners of war -- who ever would listen. I must say, I learned more about
Canada than I ever knew, even though I was born in Toronto.
4897 My experience travelling all over Ontario as a
barnstorming musician in the 1930s and also playing music for dancing for the
many ethnic groups, even then in Toronto, gave me a working knowledge of other
languages which came into play in my role as a salesman for new
4898 Three months after discharge, I purchased air time
from CHUM Radio and produced Canada's first bilingual program -- music in
Italian and the spoken word in English.
4899 In 1964, I became a small partner in the original
application for 1540 AM with Ted Rogers -- the famous Ted
4900 In 1966, after purchasing control from Mr. Rogers,
who moved on to 680 AM, CHIN went to air June 6, 1966 -- the first ethnic
station in Ontario and certainly one of the first in Canada.
4901 CHIN paid it bills with quality hands-on programming
in Italian. But we also made sure that as many as 36 small community language
groups including Portugese and Chinese were also represented, both on AM and on
our subsequent FM licence.
4902 Our agenda has always been the serious devotion to
ethnic broadcasting for everyone and creating our own market.
4903 Now, over 160 languages and cultures are celebrated
in the area. If we are to move to the next stage of ethnic broadcasting, 740
with its strong coverage, presents a key opportunity to us. Yes, ethnic
audiences have matured. Access to 740 will level the playing field for our
4904 With the 740 frequency added to our already
successful 1540 AM and 100.7 FM services, we can keep happy the original "home"
language listeners who still want to served in their language of comfort, and at
the same time we want to serve their children and grandchildren who practise the
culture daily, but not necessarily the language.
4905 We are now at the dawn of the 21st Century, ready to
meet head-on the next evolution and development of ethnic radio.
4906 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: The Commission's new ethnic
broadcasting policy has introduced significant flexibility for the ethnic radio
sector. One aspect of the policy that gave us food for thought was the
Commission's novel approach to considering the issue of quality of service
provided by ethnic stations. The Commission will now look at the entire market
in assessing whether a licensee has met its broad service requirement rather
than using a station-by-station approach.
4907 Our application, we submit, is the first real-world
example of the Commission's new policy. We feel that we have carefully balanced
the competing and sometimes conflicting priorities of serving a maximum number
of groups while also ensuring new high quality programming. In this way, we have
met the objectives set out for the broadcasting system in subparagraph
3(1)(d)(iii) of the Broadcasting Act.
4908 A significant component of our new format will be
bilingual programming. This format will move seamlessly between English and
mother tongue languages. We have focused on three specific ethnic groups:
Italian, South Asian, and Spanish.
4909 We would also offer additional programming to 25
distinct linguistic and cultural groups of which eight are currently without any
programming whatsoever. Programming in the Czech, Latvian, Maltese, and Hebrew
languages will be available for the first time to listeners.
4910 Finally, we are expanding and repositioning a number
of existing programs serving various ethnic groups on CHIN AM.
4911 Bilingual programming represents the next stage of
evolution of ethnic broadcasting in Toronto. Our proposed format will provide a
bridge to second and third generation listeners and a link to their cultural
4912 The key role of this programming format was
recognized by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in the review preceding
the Commission's new ethnic policy. CAB noted that a mix of unilingual and
bilingual ethnic programs would better meet the needs of new and second and
third generation immigrants.
4913 We are pleased to note that the Commission has indeed
introduced more flexibility for ethnic licensees to meet the needs of its
audiences in the area of bilingual programming.
4915 MS DONINA LOMBARDI: Our application mirrors the
evolution of ethnic radio audiences that has occurred over the last 20
4916 After careful examination, we discovered a large
component of second and third generation ethnic audiences that no longer
conversed in their mother tongue. The predominantly third language offerings of
today's ethnic radio stations reflect a "generation gap" and loss of shared
4917 How large is this underserved audience? The potential
of size of bilingual audiences among Italian, South Asian, and Spanish groups is
staggering: 300,000 Italians; 200,000 South Asians; and almost 60,000 Spanish
listeners, representing a potential bilingual audience for 740 of nearly 600,000
4918 A 740 a bilingual programming format would fill the
vacuum created as more generations turn away from traditional third language
programming; preserve and strengthen cultural traditions, language skills and
understanding; provide inclusive programming to all members within a particular
cultural group, regardless of their proficiency in either language; finally, it
would include a vast audience of potential listeners from other ethnic groups
and from non-ethnic groups attracted to this cross-cultural programming; and
finally, most importantly, a CHIN service on 740 will enable us to implement a
new bilingual programming format without being at the expense of our existing
listeners on CHIN AM and FM.
4919 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I would now ask Arvinder Sahota
and Jai Ojah-Maharaj to explain some of these programming
4920 MS ARVINDER SAHOTA; Programming on 740 would build on
a format that has found great success on our current services. Programming such
as Geetmala Radio, which now broadcasts from CHIN FM each weeknight and on
Sunday evenings reaches listeners of all ages. We are already experimenting with
an English language component, in view of our multigenerational
4921 740 will enable to us at the move to the next level
by focusing on a more bilingual format. It will reflect the reality that an
increasing English-speaking audience is being attracted to our programming. This
new format will attract new generations of South Asian listenership by including
a variety of languages concentrating mainly on India and Pakistan, but also by
recognizing a bilingual listenership.
4922 Our bilingual format will also provide information
programming for new immigrants to help them integrate into Canadian society. The
goal of our programming will be to bring together the entire South Asian
community, celebrate our multiculturalism, and to embrace Canadian
4923 MR. JAI MAHARAJ: Our audiences continues to grow. It
is our hope that the Caribbean programming on 1540 AM can expand if CHIN's
application granted. If licensed, CHIN would offer over 17 more hours to the
4924 I have been the producer and host of the Caribbean
Connection for the past twenty years. Since 1981, the show has evolved to
reflect the many changes taking place within the Caribbean-Canadian community.
As the name of our show implies, we at CHIN wanted to reach out to our listeners
and keep them "connected" with Caribbean culture and heritage.
4925 Our Caribbean listeners span many ethnic groups,
including people of Indian, Portugese, African, and Chinese descent, to name a
4926 Our Monday to Saturday schedule is diverse and
varied. We focus on Canadian-Caribbean talent such as Calypso, Soca, and Reggae
artists, instead of hip-hop and R&B acts.
4927 Our programming ranges from Monday night's Chutney
Cruise, a fusion of English and Hindi languages combining exotic East Indian and
Caribbean rhythms, to Friday night's Soca Mix Down, an upbeat show targeting the
growing groups of youths of Canadian-Caribbean descent.
4928 By expanding these programming formats on CHIN's
services, we will continue to meet the many needs of the Caribbean
4929 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: While the AM 1540 signal
continues to serve a core group of multilingual listeners in downtown Toronto,
many of our listeners have "outgrown" the 1540 AM signal. Our 1540 service must
now be "powered down" for as much as twelve hours every day. Therefore, our
ability to serve all of our audiences is severely limited.
4930 CHIN's ability to reach these audiences would be
greatly enhanced by the coverage provided by 740's contour.
4931 CHIN is uniquely positioned due to potential
synergies through common ownership to increase the total level of diversity and
programming choice in the ethnic market. With two sister stations, AM 740 would
realize economies of scope and scale in the areas of sales, marketing,
facilities, and programming production quality.
4932 Moreover, common ownership will allow us to target
underserved groups even if the programming does not cover its full costs. These
synergies will produce key dividends in our programming schedule.
4933 740 offers a real opportunity for CHIN to provide a
service that is complementary to all of the programming currently offered by
existing ethnic Toronto radio stations. By "repositioning" programming among 740
AM and our AM station on 1540, CHIN will be able to maximize its audience as
well as the level of programming diversity in both bilingual and third language
4934 CHIN also carefully developed its proposed
programming on AM 740 so as not to compete directly with existing ethnic
broadcasters. Most of the programming we propose is aimed at either unserved or
underserved ethnic groups.
4935 A key means of achieving this minimal overlap is by
the repositioning of CHIN-AM and 740 schedules to maximize audiences while also
ensuring little in the way of programming duplication and overlap. A stand-alone
ethnic applicant could not achieve this result.
4936 If anybody will be cannibalized by our ethnic format,
it is our own services. Much of our current 1540 AM schedule will be transferred
from 1540 to accompany our new bilingual and underserved programming on 740. In
fact, the largest component of revenues projected for AM 740, a total of $2.1
million, will be earned from by diverting sales from 1540 to 740.
4937 We conducted a survey, which clearly shows that most
of our advertisers will increase their overall budgets if 740 is licensed to
CHIN. Therefore, the projected impact on revenues of other ethnic stations, we
believe, will be minimal.
4938 For example, many of our Portugese advertisers have
expressed a desire for more buys, particularly in the morning drive slot, where
no Portuguese programming is currently offered.
4939 MS THERESA LOMBARDI: Our Canadian talent development
initiatives reflect a determined commitment on CHIN's part to make a difference
with ethnic performers. To help develop new artists, CHIN has proposed financial
contributions totalling $100,000 each year of the licence.
4940 At least $50,000 of these expenditures will be
directed to eligible third parties including factor, music action, national and
provincial music organizations, performing arts groups, universities and
schools, and scholarship recipients.
4941 CHIN will pledge to release at least four new ethnic
recordings through the Bravo Record label in a minimum of four languages each
year during the 740 licence term. In our view, these expenditures will help to
fill the current void in the inventory of ethnic musical recordings resulting in
benefits not only in exposing listeners to new diverse and high-quality Canadian
ethnic content, but also by adding to the current ethnic play list for all
ethnic broadcasters. In fact, we are pleased to inform you that in four short
months since filing our application, we have now compiled an inventory of ethnic
Canadian recordings totalling over 1,000 songs.
4942 Our Canadian talent initiatives will result it real
benefits associated with discovering, producing, recording, and showcasing new
Canadian ethnic musical talent.
4943 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: We are eager to take the next
step in the evolution of ethnic radio in Toronto. Not only will our new service
provide a link for many second and third generations to their cultural heritage,
but we will also provide real benefits to the Canadian broadcasting system to
new Canadian ethnic talent.
4944 We appreciate the opportunity to present our
application before the Commission in this hearing. We are now ready to answer
any questions that the panel might have.
4945 Thank you.
4946 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Lombardi and
family -- I guess "team" is not good enough.
--- Laughter / Rires
4947 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo.
4948 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Welcome, Mr. Lombardi and family.
4949 Can you hear me okay? The acoustics in this hall have
been a problem all week and we just hope it works each time. But if you can't
hear me at any time just feel free to ask me to repeat it.
4950 What I will do is go through a few different areas of
questioning where we would like some more information or clarification. Feel
free to add whatever information you feel is necessary.
4951 I'll just outline the areas: we will start with
bilingual programming; second, local programming; third, broad service; fourth,
Canadian talent development; fifth, the advisory board; sixth, your employment
equity policy; seventh, marketing -- and I want to focus on the Conquest
survey; eighth, the financial projections; and last, some technical
4952 And just before I get to that first issue of
bilingual programming, let me just make a comment about the record of the
hearing with regard to your application.
4953 I took a look through the letters of support that
came in and they are quite impressive. Certainly, a lot of them focus on you,
Mr. Johnny Lombardi. Some were very specific about the application; some were a
bit more general and talked about the stronger and wider signal and support of
that; and others just said, Mr. Lombardi Sr., that you were a great broadcaster
committed to the community and we should just give you whatever you asked
--- Laughter / Rires
4954 Is that a fair -- that's not a bad thing in
itself, that is quite a character reference --is that a fair overview of the
interventions, that there was that range? Did you interpret them in that
4955 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I think that's fairly accurate.
We have had an opportunity to review many of them. There is a tremendous about
amount of passion for the work that CHIN Radio has done and, in particular, the
contribution my father has had in ethnic broadcasting.
4956 I think when people found out in the marketplace that
we were applying for 740 and the reasons and the visions that we had for that,
that in many cases seemed to be a enough for those people to be motivated to
write a letter. But we also provided many of our supporters with detailed
information with our supplementary brief and got the kind of support that you
4957 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Let me start with a
detailed question with the bilingual format which, in a sense, is the
cornerstone of your application. What I will do now is just talk a bit about
what you plan to do in the programming and a little later we will come back to
the marketing issue about the support for it.
4958 It's also a new idea and new ideas require us to
think about them quite closely and carefully. They are also exciting ideas, so
we want to make sure we really understand what you are talking about. Because,
as I understand, this may be the first application that we have had which is
proposing this type of bilingual format.
4959 Tell me a little bit about how a bilingual program
would sound. Would the host go back and forth between the two languages? Would
the music be in two languages?
4960 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Thank you, Mr. Cardozo. The best
way to describe the bilingual format that we envision is, as we said in our
written submission, a seamless flow of two languages: one, the English; and the
mother tongue of the community we wish to serve.
4961 We envision that the best approach for that would be
either through one completely fluently bilingual host or the use of two
individuals, one more proficient in one language than the other, but with the
working knowledge, and having the opportunity to play off one another and to
4962 The music content we envision to be third language is
going to be culturally directed. So when we say bilingual Italian programming,
we are looking at a bilingual flow of the spoken word, but the music content is
4963 Our programming is focused on the community, it is
focused on the culture. Why we want to introduce a bilingual format at this
point in time is because we recognize the evolution of generations within
certain communities. In particular the Italian community, where it is a long
standing community, it has matured and the community has grown and developed. We
find a trend of third language not being closely kept up and that members of
that community are better served in the English language but, nevertheless,
still want a cultural connection to their community.
4964 Quite frankly, if we don't provide this type of
bilingual programming, members of communities as they mature, in particular the
Italian community, will eventually be disenfranchised. They won't have a
cultural connection to their community through the radio.
4965 It is ironic that they would be denied the same
benefits that their parents had back in 1966 when my dad was first licensed,
that community grew up with the a radio service that had, which I believe, a
tremendous influence and the benefits of this community in Toronto. And yet,
their children's children won't have those same benefits because if ethnic
broadcasting remains in third language to those groups, second and third
generation members really have no outlet, no connection to their community and
eventually turn to other services that have no cultural enrichment
4966 I may have gone a little bit long on the reasons why
we want bilingual, but the sound is really two hosts, not translating each
other's dialogue by no means, but basically having two friends who are very
comfortable in the same language, quickly interchanging it, with the notion that
the person listening on the other side, the radio audience -- it is
understood by our concept that that individual is neither proficient in one
language or the other, but needs to hear both. He may not or she may not even be
from the community in which we are serving. She could be Portuguese, or of Greek
descent, or of Caribbean descent, but wants to know more about the culture. In
that way it is very much a cross-cultural type of program and it is inclusive of
everyone who can receive that. No one is denied access into that programming
4967 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: We will come back to the
reasons a little later when we look at the Conquest study, but I just want to
focus for now, for the next few minutes, on what the programming will be
4968 Do you have any bilingual programs now or are any of
the programs that are in third languages, have they got English content in them
4969 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, we wouldn't actually call
them bilingual programs. We do infuse some of our programs with the English
language, but basically we are dabbling, we are experimenting.
4970 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: But would a host who is doing a
program in any language throw in a few words in English here and
4971 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: In some language groups, in some
programs, yes, you might hear a little bit of English on our Italian program,
you might here a little bit more on South Asian programs. And that's it,
4972 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. Newscasts that you have,
would those be in English or in the other language?
4973 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: For the new bilingual format
proposal, the newscasts would be in English.
4974 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
4975 So the music will be exclusively or almost
exclusively in the third language and the spoken word will be mixed. Is that
more or less how it will go?
4976 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That's correct.
4977 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So it is almost full circle to
the first program you were talking about in your opening statements, Mr.
4978 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Yes, that's right, Commissioner
4979 When we first started out, we were forbidden to speak
a language other than the official because of the War Measures Act and Order in
Council forbidding foreign languages to be spoken in public. When that was
rescinded, of course, subsequently, then we went into languages.
4980 But I must say that we have been experimenting for
years with the inclusion of English in a lot of our programs because we had no
choice. If we interviewed, say, the Prime Minister or the Premier of Ontario or
Mr. Manning or any one of the top people in politics who do not speak the third
language, we had to interview them in the English language. Then the announcer
who was fluent in English and Italian or whatever language, would then to his
audience would translate the message in their language.
4981 So we have been doing this. It has been an ongoing
experiment. We are now convinced that the second and third and fourth
generations are not, not -- and I repeat this -- not clinging to
language, but they are very comfortable in the culture. They practice it
everyday at home and social events in the city.
4982 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you see that the music would
compete with English stations?
4983 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Sorry, Mr. Commissioner, could
you repeat that?
4984 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you see that the music or
the spoken word content would compete with English stations in the
4985 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Oh, absolutely not.
4986 First and foremost, our proposal is an ethnic
service. We will be directing our programming content specifically to a cultural
4987 Our music play list is going to be in third language.
There will be minimal play of any English material whatsoever unless we produce
it ourselves and that we may produce recordings that are reflective of what is
happening in the community. And if they are English recordings and where they
are playing, we may integrate them into the program, but that would result in a
very small percentage.
4988 So we don't envision us competing at all with
4989 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Playing "Livin' La Vida Loca"
by Ricky Martin, are you going to play the Spanish version or the English
4990 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Gee, that's a hard
4991 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You don't have to answer
4992 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That's a hard one. I like them
both. We'll rotate them.
--- Laughter / Rires
4993 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It will do well in both
languages, I think, very well for you.
4994 The new ethnic broadcasting policy talked about local
programming. We wanted to have licensees and applicants describe their plans for
local programming that would reflect the listenership in area you are
broadcasting to. How do you plan to -- can you describe how your local
programming would be and how you would evaluate it?
4995 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I would first like to note that
CHIN Radio has been broadcasting on AM 1540 and 100.7 for the last 34 years. We
are very experienced in the art of local broadcasting. In fact, our strength is
just that. It is a dedicated reflection of the local communities in which we
serve. And our producers, we have you know tremendous relationships with the
many of the associate producers that we have developed over the years. Each
producer and programmer is vitally connected to their communities in which they
serve and do a tremendous job reflecting the local flavour and character of
4996 Other steps that we take with respect to local
programming is encourage continual flow of listener feedback, talk shows are
encouraged, on-air presentations are encouraged from the community. We attend
many local events and cover them live-to-air, such as the CHIN International
Picnic and many of our other ethnic festivals throughout the city.
4997 CHIN Radio is probably one of the greatest public
entities as far as broadcasting is concerned because we broadcast on remote
virtually every day of the week. So our mobile is out on the road, our people
are constantly in contact with our communities in which we serve. So there is a
very high level of local programming. That is really our focus.
4998 We have no syndicated programming on CHIN. We have
minimal foreign content other than news services via satellite or news wire with
regard to news services from various parts of the world, but all the rest of the
programming is produced and editorialized by CHIN.
4999 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I can see that is more --
I mean, you can keep an eye on that kind of local content is easier for your
mainstay languages like Italian, but I am wondering how that plays out across
the various languages. Do you have a rough sense of what kind of percentage
would be local news, local content would be national, Canadian, and would be
international or home country material?
5000 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: On the new service we propose?
Well, how we envision the new service to be is an English newscast with
particular relevance to the community which we are serving.
5001 So our international news service would be integrated
into our news, but if it is Spanish language, then we will be looking at Latin
America as our top stories and look to those as being featured on those news
breaks. But predominantly, we would be focusing on local news, local news that
is relevant to the community. Percentages? I haven't worked out those
percentages, but it would be, I would say 70 per cent local --
5002 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- then apply for the
other languages where they have got, like, half-an-hour, an hour, two hours of
programming. Do they have some local content too?
5003 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, we would provide news
services to all of the language groups, third language groups that are
5004 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Like a wire service.
5005 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Sorry?
5006 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: They would have access to a
wire service in English, perhaps, then translated in to --
5007 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That is right.
5008 I would also like to add one thing with respect to
quality of programming on the technical side. CHIN Radio has a policy of
producing all of our own programs and we actually have full-time producers on
duty acting as audio engineers. They really act as the supervisors of each and
every show. So we basically have an order with respect to how our programs
should air and a quality control, if you will, and our producers are on duty 24
hours a day, so to speak, to make sure that those objectives are met.
5009 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Turning to the broad service
issue and take you through a few questions there. Essentially, I want to address
precisely the issue you have mentioned in your opening comments.
5010 As you know in our policy we said, in our recent
policy released in July of last year, we will continue to set the number of
groups served by a commission of licence and we have also said that we, or the
Commission, will maintain its objective that service should be provided to
smaller as well as larger ethnic groups.
5011 Let my start by asking you to describe the content of
a half-hour program. Some of the groups that you have proposed, such as Arabic,
Estonian, Latvian would have half-an-hour per week. What would be given a half
hour? I know every one is going to do it differently, but what is
the typical --
5012 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Sure. Half-hour programs are not
uncommon in ethnic broadcasting. In fact, it is just -- right now on CHIN
AM and FM, it is really a -- it is a musical mix of a little bit of music,
a little bit of talk, a lot of reflection on the community, social activities,
and local relevant news the community and international news service.
5013 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can they be substantial within
5014 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: You are absolutely correct, Mr.
Commissioner, it is a 30-minute show and within those confines it would require
some pretty tight programming, but our vision is that these current communities
have no service whatsoever at this point. We also have to reflect on our general
view of what we are trying to achieve with this new service. That is something
that we envision in our bilingual programming.
5015 But, at the same time, we did want to provide a
greater diversity to the ethnic market and looking at a 30-minute program,
although is very short, it only effects six of our language groups.
5016 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So on average in a half-hour
program, have you got, what, two or three segments where you will have some
music, some news, some other kind of talk?
5017 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes, that's correct.
5018 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay. And if we had that same
group, say, let's take the Farsee(ph) language group had an hour or two hours,
would they -- besides just having more, would they be able to do a lot of
difference with that program? Would it be that much more deep or
5019 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, I think that would allow
for more music content and, of course, other obvious aspects that lend
themselves well to radio such as talk and spoken word and communication within
5020 But don't forget, though, what we are also bringing
to the table with these smaller groups, although they may be reflected in
30-minute programs, they also have an opportunity to grow with CHIN.
5021 And I should add that as we began this journey in
ethnic broadcasting 30 years ago, many of the groups that we are serving today
who have six or seven hours of service began with a 30-minute show.
5022 What we did is we grew together. One of the greatest
outlets of that expression for communities is the CHIN International Picnic or
events like that where a producer -- and we have many producers who have
limited amount of time -- use that time for an expression at an event like
the Picnic and that allows for growth of that program. And we respond to that.
That is how our relationship with our associate producers is built. We respond
to their needs. If they can demonstrate and we can demonstrate together that a
need is growing within the community, then we adjust our schedules accordingly
to try and provide more time.
5023 But for this format and for this schedule, it was an
attempt at a beginning.
5024 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of the numbers of
groups that you have suggested for this application, is it the same kind of
numbers in CHIN AM and FM -- your current stations?
5025 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: The numbers are quite similar in
the actual numbers. The languages are different.
5026 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are there many that are
duplicated on different stations?
5027 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Duplication in the sense that we
are adding a greater amount of service to some communities? Yes. In some cases
we are, we actually have a schedule --
5028 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So if you have, say, a half
hour of Farsee(ph) on one station and a half hour on another, are they different
producers or is it the same producer who is doing two shows?
5029 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Generally, they are different
5030 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So then is there -- if you
had -- well, you do have two -- if you had two or three stations, is
there room for you to consolidate the language groups or would the producers
prefer to have separate half-hours and would the community prefer to have
5031 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: First of all, our mandate and
desire is to have the highest quality programming available. If that is achieved
with two producers, that is our preference. But if our associate producers are
much superior than whatever else is available in the marketplace
5032 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What I am getting at is this
issue of balancing numbers of programs versus whether consolidating is a
valuable objective for the system overall.
5033 I am wondering if things work well as they are where
you have got the broad-service model, which you proposed for this application,
with a lot of different groups -- some of them getting very short amounts
of time -- is that what the communities want or is there the possibility
that the ethnic broadcasters can sit down together around the table and, sort
of, trade hours so that one would do all of one language and another would do
all of another language?
5034 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I would think that would be an
extremely difficult thing to accomplish. I think the marketplace dictates to
some extent how that all works out. And also the objectives of individual
broadcasters and what it is they are trying to achieve. Our radio stations very
attractive to producers because we have a policy of associate-producer
relationship. We don't broker our air time. It doesn't cost a producer money to
broadcast on CHIN.
5035 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are they volunteers for the
5036 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Volunteers in the sense of do
they work for CHIN to free?
5037 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
5038 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Without an --
5039 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: The various language
5040 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, the way our relationship
with them works is on a cost-share basis. The producers put up their talents and
skills and sometimes record libraries, CHIN Radio brings to the table our
expertise in broadcasting, state-of-the art facilities, administrative support,
in many ways instructions in broadcasting, and we both work to produce those
programs together and we share equally the revenues that come in.
5041 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5042 My last question on broad service -- and I hope
you don't mind what I am doing here talking to you about your application, but I
am also getting your views about the system in general because we always got to
keep an eye on both the individual applicants and the system. I appreciate your
views based on your experience.
5043 How do you deal with the newest of the new
communities and for one reason or another the newest of new communities quite
often are related to trouble spots in different parts of the world? So you think
of some of the newest refugee communities, you think of the Somali community
being here for five, ten, fifteen years, but others like Kosovars, Bosnians,
Timorese, Hutus, Tutsis, et cetera. I notice you have got Somalis in your group.
What happens to the newest of the new where you are dealing with very small
communities -- but probably a really pressing need for some kind of
programming in their language?
5044 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I must admit, Mr. Cardozo, I only
heard parts of your question because the acoustics in here, but I think I caught
the essence of it and if I didn't, please ask me again.
5045 CHIN Radio has enjoyed a position in the ethnic
community of being a lighting rod or a focal point for access and information.
We have tremendous relations and connections within the ethnic
5046 As immigration needs or issues within the communities
arise, such as many as the ones that you have spoken regardless of how small,
those messages or those pleas are directed to us. Where time is available -- and
under some certainly circumstances we make time available for certain issues --
we respond and react is act to those needs.
5047 And in a way, this comes back the to issue of the
30-minute program, you know, where you have got very small communities but with
very, very large and important needs. So it is a way of beginning that process
of giving that access and outlet to those communities and allowing them to have
a voice within the community and some recognition.
5048 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So the list that you proposed
here is the list that you would have at the start of this licence if you were to
be granted it, but it would evolve over time? And the condition of licence would
deal with the number, but within that number you would evolve over time as the
5049 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes, in particular to the third
language programming schedule on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday. Yes, we
would look at those programs and evolve.
5050 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I do have one other question on
broad service and that is timing of shows. We were talking earlier with another
applicant about the reliability of knowing when a show was going to be on. So if
there is just a half-hour, you can't switch that around too much. Especially
with these half-hour shows, are they usually at, say, the same time on Saturdays
or whatever and people know that? Are they always at the same time?
5051 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: The quick answer is to that is,
yes. We find a program schedule and we live with that and work to build
audience. That has really been the method of ethnic broadcasting and in part its
success. We build loyalty and offer programming services at a dedicated time so
that the community knows at 3:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, programming
services are available to them on radio. Now, once we decide on a program
schedule we tend to stick to it.
5052 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me move to Canadian talent
development and talk about your Bravo recording label. Can you tell us a little
bit about how that works and how it relates to your company, to CHIN?
5053 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I take it you are referring to
the $50,000 of our $100,000 commitment to the development of the Bravo record
5054 What we want to do in particular with our Canadian
talent development is ensure that we have revenues available to invest in the
talent that we intend to develop through our work in the communities that we
serve, through the many festivals and competitions and events that we support
and produce. We have had tremendous success and experience in this, and we
recognize a need, a serious need, to develop ethnic Canadian talent in
5055 And what we envision to do with that money is
reinvest in artists that we intend to locate, produce, and record. The
commitment there is to release four musical recordings per year in a minimum of
four different languages. And that is what that money is for.
5056 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can you tell me a little bit
more about Bravo itself? How long has it been in existence?
5057 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I think I can answer that,
5058 Almost 50 years ago, I founded Bravo Records. At the
time, I was buying air time from CHUM and CKFH. I felt that there was so much
talent in the Italian community that it deserved to have a recording company
recording this talent. So 50 years ago, we founded this Bravo
5059 I must say that most all records that we did record
were of the talents in the Italian community because the Italian community was
so up front more than any of the others and it was because I was really involved
with the supermarket and radio programs and concerts and the sporting events.
The record company really was a good fit.
5060 We did also record many of the festivals, we gave out
a prize of $1,000 to the winner at Ontario Place and at Wonderland. They became
quite popular because a lot of talent, unless you give them a chance or give
them a microphone and showcase them, they will never be known and then they are
discouraged. We don't like to discourage anybody.
5061 We open the doors to talent and we seek the talent
and then we help to showcase the talent and then we lead them to
recording -- sometimes to recordings with other companies, but most of them
wanted to record under Bravo because they felt that we then would promote those
records on our radio programs, which was a natural for Bravo Records.
5062 We have now reached a point where we are into a very,
very complex multicultural and multilingual and international aspect. I don't
want to keep Bravo just doing Italian recordings, we want to spread our wings
and want to get in all the other ethnic groups.
5063 I happen to be the President of Canadian Association
of Ethnic Radio Broadcasters and we have seven or eight owners of radio stations
who are members. They are always pressing me to do something about a catalogue.
And you know what? We have done something about a catalogue that takes in all
the ethnic groups. We have it here with us today if you want to see it. We have
got over 1,000 titles in this catalogue.
5064 I promised this the last time I was here and I said
the next time we are in front of you we are going to have a catalogue. And here
it is! One thousand titles. We can increase that 1,000 titles to 5,000 if we
work at it and everybody gets behind it. That is why I plead my case with Bravo.
Bravo is a natural fit for ethnic broadcasters because we have been doing it for
5065 I think we should be developing it even more into all
the languages, not just the Italian. And we are prepared to put the resources
behind us and we promise you that we will do four CDs every year. We will may
sure -- you can be sure that we keep our word. Our record is public and you
can check our public record and you will find that whenever we promised
something, we kept our promise. This is one of the promises we have kept. We
have got 1,000 titles here available to all the stations, not just us at
5066 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And these are Canadian
5067 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: That's right, ethnic Canadian
5068 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just want to clarify then the
manner in which you will be making this or is it $20,000 -- no, this is
5069 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: $50,000.
5070 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Will this be a direct or an
indirect cost for Canadian talent at Bravo? Will CHIN be, in a sense, cutting a
cheque to Bravo for this?
5071 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: That's right, that's right,
5072 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I have one question to quibble
over, you can give me the answer later. In may addition of the breakdown that
you have given, it comes to $96,600, rather than $100,000. So that is $3,400
short. Maybe now or later -- during your presentation here you can just
clarify if my figures are wrong or whether --
5073 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Just add the GST to that.
--- Laughter / Rires
5074 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I don't know, legal counsel
will tell us about whether that is applicable. Otherwise, I would be glad give
you my favourite cause!
--- Laughter / Rires
5075 Okay. Let me ask you about the advisory board. Can
you tell us a little bit about the mandate of the advisory board you are
5076 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: The advisory board will be made
up of approximately seven individuals and the mandate will be to reflect the
goals aspirations of 740.
5077 So far we have three members that have agreed to
serve: Professor Jerry Good, Mr. Sam Ciccolini, and Felix Mora who is a member
of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The balance would have similar diverse
backgrounds either in broadcasting or in professional industry with a sympathy
and understanding for the ethnic communities.
5078 Basically, their role will be to monitor the needs as
expressed by the communities at large and they will be our eyes and ears to the
outside world so that we are given a fresh perspective. They will also work very
closely with our programming director and our news directors to ensure that
those mandates are being met in fair and equitable manner.
5079 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And will this advisory board
just be for 740 or would it be for the other two services to?
5080 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, I think that is another
example of the synergies that we will enjoy. If we are licensed for 740, that
advisory board would oversee all of the ethnic programs and all of those
mandates because there are so many similarities there because of the number of
third language programs that we are providing that they would actually be
involved in all three services.
5081 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5082 Just a question on your employment equity approach.
You have an employment equity policy in place for your existing
5083 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes, we do. I would like Mr.
Culliton to respond to that.
5084 MR. BOB CULLITON: Yes, we do.
5085 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I won't ask individual numbers,
but how many employees does CHIN have in total at the moment?
5086 MR. BOB CULLITON: Approximately 110.
5087 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And between that you feel you
have had success in terms of the various designated groups under employment
5088 MR. BOB CULLITON: Yes, we do.
5089 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me go to marketing and
start by asking you the number of groups that you plan to serve. There is a
couple of different references to -- I think it's 20 cultural groups and 25
linguistic groups. Is that correct?
5090 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That is correct.
5091 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And that is the way you would
want defined in a condition of licence?
5092 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That would be fine.
5093 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5094 Do you know if -- there is just one other
question I want to go over before we get to some details in marketing. Within
the broad service that you would be providing or that you have provided in your
existing stations, can you identify -- and I don't want you to give me any
precise groups -- but do you know whether there is a cross-subsidization
and do you have a sense of which groups are subsidizing and which groups are
subsidized, in terms of the income that come via the different shows?
5095 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Just for clarification, on our
application of 740 in the third language groups we are proposing to
5096 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, I just want to get your
view on cross-subsidization. You can either tell me in terms of the new
application or you existing services. Do you think about the issue of
cross-subsidization as to which groups are subsidizing which groups? My sense is
that the larger groups with the larger communities are able to bring in larger
amounts of income. In the smaller groups, you don't get that much in terms of ad
5097 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That's exactly correct. We don't
specifically analyze a community and say that that is going to be a
5098 What we attempt to produce is a business plan that is
solid and at the same time meet our conditions of licence and promise of
performance in serving a number of ethnic groups promised to do so. So we begin
to do that.
5099 We don't necessarily look at a community at any point
in time and ask, "Can more money be generated from that community? We are
spending too much money on this program, you know, it's time to delete that." We
look at providing the programming first and we have had programs on CHIN
Radio -- I'll mention Austrian and Swiss, for example -- that have been on
the air with us for 25 years and I don't think a commercial has ever been aired
on any of those shows. So we have long-term commitments to programs that we
elect to serve and don't really identify them or penalize them for that. But I
would like Bob to, perhaps, respond to that.
5100 MR. BOB CULLITON: In our business plan for 740 for
the weekend, if we take 18 hours -- 6:00 to mid-night on Saturday and Sunday --
and work that out to 36 hours, we have allotted 12 of those hours to be
subsidized for the third language groups.
5101 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me move to the Conquest
study. Is that Mr. Oakes who is responsible? I am glad you are here. I have a
lot of questions for you. I hope you will bear with me. I want to go some of the
details because as I say, this is really the first kind of application of this
kind and I want to get a good sense of what you are trying to do in terms of the
bilingual programming and get a sense of whether this is a start of a
5102 You have got the report with you and I will just
refer to some of the pages -- this is the summary portion, I guess. On page
9, you have got a chart that shows the numbers of people from ethnic groups and
from four groups, in terms of first, second, and third generation, what is the
source of that information? Is that StatsCan or would that be the people you
5103 MR. DAVID OAKES: I believe -- one sec, let me
just check on that. I think it is the survey itself, not StatsCan.
5104 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Looking at the figures that you
have got, in terms of first generation, Italian origin is 27 per cent and the
other three groups, Portugese is under and Chinese are considerably more. Is it
possible that the medium-term, long-term, that Italian unilingual programming
will be going out of fashion and the system, overall, will need to do more or do
unilingual for the other groups?
5105 MR. DAVID OAKES: Well, yes --
5106 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of the
5107 MR. DAVID OAKES: I am sorry?
5108 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In terms of the demand or the
5109 MR. DAVID OAKES: The survey shows that with bilingual
programming, the largest percentage within these groups first generation and
what I call "the subsequent generation", the largest demand is in the first
generation even though it is in English. And what the survey found out is that
with the Italian group, I believe it is 96 per cent of all generations can spoke
English without any problem to listen to a radio station or watch a TV
5110 So I expect you will see this number -- first of
all, the first generation because of the small amount of immigration coming from
Italy, it is gradually diminishing, and with it goes the language. It is much
more difficult for second, third, subsequent generations to stay in tune and up
on top of -- and be fluent in the Italian. Yes, that will, I believe
that the demand for third language programming within the Italian community
through time is going to continue to diminish.
5111 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I'll take you to page 11, where
you have got a chart on language of interview. I understand that you did the
interviews in either English or the language that the respondent preferred. Were
these unilingual interviews or bilingual interviews?
5112 MR. DAVID OAKES: Right at the top they were asked
what the preferred language would be for interviewing. If it was one of the
languages that Conquest had interviewers for then if they requested third
language, then they were interviewed in third language. But as you can see with
the Italian community, 90 per cent wanted to be interviewed in
5113 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5114 Now let's look at the proficiency of languages on
page 12. You have got quite a bit of information on the subject. I am confused
about some of this. Maybe you can explain this to me.
5115 In the first -- in the top paragraph, you note
that initially the language of members of Toronto's ethnic communities can use
to converse, 97 per cent; then you have got: follow a radio or television
program, 96 per cent; or read a newspaper, 95 per cent.
5117 But lower down when you deal with individual
communities, the number of people who are proficient enough to -- in
English -- no, who are proficient in the language, that the numbers of
people who are proficient in Italian is down to 49 per cent, Portuguese is 63
per cent, and Spanish is 52 per cent.
5118 So does this suggest that people are -- more
from these communities are more proficient at reading newspapers in English than
in their mother tongue?
5119 MR. DAVID OAKES: Not quite. This isn't a preference
question so much as it is a question of proficiency. Looking at Italian, 61 per
cent are proficient in Italian. Because of their stated language proficiency,
they could understand radio and television programming; 61 per cent feel they
could carry on a conversation in Italian.
5120 But the survey didn't ask how proficient, it just
simply asked them if they could and 49 per cent read an Italian newspaper. That
doesn't really say that they prefer it, it just simply says that they are
5121 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is 95 per cent as the overall
average number proficient in reading a newspaper, in this case in English, that
looks to me high inasmuch as the -- like, were you just talking to people
who had significant literacy levels? Because I look at the overall Canadian
literacy level and I think the overall Canadian literacy level, what, you talk
about proficiency to read a newspaper is down around the 60s. I think in many
ethnic communities it is give or take a few points.
5122 MR. DAVID OAKES: Well, I am not -- would that be
a StatsCan study done on literacy?
5123 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: There is StatsCan who have done
studies and there have been national literacy studies, as well. So I am just
wondering if you tended to -- these interviews were done verbally, were
they, as opposed to written?
5124 MR. DAVID OAKES: Right.
5125 And there might be a difference in the way the
questions were asked. In this question, when it was to their own judgement
whether they felt they were proficient -- I read a StatsCan study some
years ago on proficiency and they had some different definitions of
5126 So this wouldn't take into account someone that might
feel that they can't read at all --
5127 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: (Off microphone)
5128 MR. DAVID OAKES: If I could just -- let me just
finish this, it might help explain -- they would probably be in the "don't
know/no answer" category.
5129 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: When you selected your
respondents, did you sort of choose a person and ask say thou shalt answer the
question or did you ask them to find someone in their household, for example,
who would answer the question? Because that might explain some of it.
5130 MR. DAVID OAKES: Let me take a looking at the
questionnaire. At the very start there is the ... no, they used the -- this
is basically how it worked: They said, "Including yourself, how many people in
your household are 18 years of age and older?" And if there was nobody 18 years
of age or older, they were not interviewed. If there were -- the
instructions are: more than one than person has to speak to the person who had
the most recent birthday. That way it randomizes it within the household so you
are not getting the situation of where you are -- somebody who is extremely
5131 One of problems you run into with surveys like this
is somebody, let's say a twelve-year-old's son, is thinking this is a survey on
language, he better get this father who is proficient in Italian so he would
say, "Pop, get over, this guy wants to speak to you in Italian." That won't
happen with this randomization.
5132 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: On the next page 13 -- we are
getting to a bit more of the meat here -- language use for radio and TV. I refer
back the previous page where you talked about the numbers and communities that
can converse in English.
5133 In your findings, do you sense there is a difference
between people who can converse or can consume radio or TV versus people who do
inasmuch as maybe there is a person who can speak English, can watch TV in
English, but will tend to turn on TV in a different language?
5134 I look at some of the other stuff you had been
looking at recently was around French/English for years and you have got a large
number of people who can converse in French, for example, in English speaking
Canada who probably can read, understand, watch, but when they turn on the TV,
will they go to the language they are most comfortable with.
5135 So I am wondering if your figures -- it is not
necessarily the figures per se, but your sense of whether there is a difference
between what people can be proficient in and what they actually prefer to
5136 MR. DAVID OAKES: I might be a good example of French.
When I worked in the government in Ottawa, I was put on French, I thought I was
bilingual. When I left Ottawa and came to Toronto, every so often I would watch
French TV. I am definitely not fluent in French. If somebody asked me, "Do you
have a knowledge of French well enough to follow a television program?" I might
say, yes, but that is my judgment. There is no other standard other than mine.
And I think that is the problem you run into here with such high percentages in
the 90s of people from ethnic groups saying they have proficiency in English to
5137 It is going to be a complete spectrum of people's
abilities and their judging for themselves and telling you whether they are
fluent or not. Some of these people undoubtedly could follow along, but if you
imposed some sort of standard of comprehension from it, they might not be able
to meet that standard.
5138 This survey just simply asked them to judge for
themselves if they could follow along.
5139 I think by-and-large it is not a bad measure. Looking
at all the other measures of reading, of speaking and whatnot, I believe the
numbers are fairly consistent.
5140 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I then move to a couple of
pages, one is page 19, and the other is page 34.
5141 There are two interesting sets of figures you have
got here. I won't go into the detail of numbers necessarily, I won't say
"necessarily" because I just might.
5142 On page 19, you talk about importance of language
diminishes with generation; and on page 34, you talk about the likelihood of
listening, and that also diminishes over generations. Am I right here to read
that the importance of language, which goes for these four communities you
looked at, goes 61-49-23, first-second-third? So importance of language is
61-49-23 and then when you go to likelihood of listening, it is higher, but,
again, diminishing so it is 72-57-41. Is that a fair observation that the number
of people who -- now, you have got a number of questions about the
importance people place on ethnic heritage and stuff like that, and this that
type of question -- so the degree of importance that people have for the
language of origin is, in fact, a bit lower than the likelihood of listening. So
there may be people who aren't strongly into pride of language and importance of
language, but still like to consume radio in that language.
5143 MR. DAVID OAKES: Well, if you look at page 35, the
likelihood of listening is to bilingual programming. It was the concept of
bilingual programming was described to the respondent.
5144 So looking at the likelihood, I think it is very
interesting that the first generation are more likely to listen to bilingual
programming than the subsequent generations. Language isn't playing an issue
there. It is with the first generation in that they will have to have a good
understanding of English to be able to listen to bilingual
5145 Now, if you follow the subsequent generations, their
interest in the culture drops the further out they go -- whether it is
fourth-fifth-sixth, whatever. They have lost the language and now they are
starting to lose touch with the culture. The likelihood of them listening to a
bilingual program is diminishing.
5146 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I don't know if you have it on
this chart -- well, it is not a chart actually, it is in written
form -- but on the issue of likelihood of listening to bilingual --
and the explanation you give is very helpful to understand this.
5147 Do you sense there is a difference between the
likelihood of listening to a bilingual program versus their likelihood of
listening to a program in another language? And, in a sense, this is an
important test for what you are -- what this proposal is about.
5148 MR. DAVID OAKES: Sure.
5149 Without fluency in the third language, someone has no
chance of listening to a third language program. Naturally. And certainly in our
estimates, the demand for third language programming is directly related to
proficiency in that language. By-and-large, most of the proficiency is with the
5150 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So the likelihood of listening
for the second and third generation to a unilingual program in a third language
would drop off considerably?
5151 MR. DAVID OAKES: Unilingual, third language?
5152 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5153 Can I just take you back to a couple of detailed
questions on pages 28-29? You talk about people who are interested in news from
around the world on bilingual radio. Some of the figures are higher: Spanish
speaking communities, 76 per cent; and on the next page, you have got Black
community, 54 per cent; East Indian community, 52 per cent. I am just wondering
if you could explain those two to me, the Black and East Indian, as to why those
would be in the 50s versus Spanish in the 70s?
5154 MR. DAVID OAKES: Well, that is a good question. I'm
trying to think of the answer right now --
5155 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: The other thing that occurred
to me were the Black communities have a large English-speaking component --
the Black community within Canada is primarily an English-speaking community,
except the more recent immigrants from Africa.
5156 MR. DAVID OAKES: I am sorry, I can barely hear
5157 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It occurs to me that this may
be explained by the Black community being a largely English-speaking community
and the East Indian community is fairly highly proficient in English as opposed
to, say, the Spanish-speaking community. Is that --
5158 MR. DAVID OAKES: That is one factor,
5159 I think the other factor is what I call "the maturity
of the ethnic group." If you have -- well, let's take a look here --
Spanish-speaking Latino community: I can see them being more interested in news
and information from around the world, particularly their country.
5160 Spanish immigration is fairly new. There are more
first generation, I believe, in Spanish than there are in some of these others.
I believe because of that they are going to have a higher interest in
international news. If you go over to the East Indian community, which is 52 per
cent, once again, I think with language that they are by-and-large proficient in
English. Also, it is a community that has had its roots in Toronto for while. So
you are getting more subsequent generations being a higher per cent -- they
are starting to lose that thread of culture and it is not really a demand for
them as much as it has been in the past to hear international news.
5161 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I just go to page 29? You
talk about music from your ethnic group -- and this is quite an interesting
issue certainly for the proposal that you have got. You note that 71 per cent of
the respondents are very or somewhat interested in listening to this music. So
that is where you would derive, Mr. Lombardi, your focus on music in third
languages, I would assume?
5162 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I would say that there is a
rebirth of people from other countries to lean on the fact that there are better
recordings out now than ever before. Take, for instance, Andrea Bochelli, who
was completely unknown two or three years ago, and there is a voice that is
cutting across all cultures and is listened to by almost all cultural groups and
the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone.
5163 I would have to say that there is a great appeal now
by either part of ethnic groups who are a little more affluent, have a little
more money. They can buy CDs now, as against years ago, they could barely afford
the 78s. Today, they can buy all the new technical things that are available and
they want nothing but the best. They want high-quality music. They want
5164 And I think that when you are talking about the
ethnic groups now, they are so well informed about what is happening all through
the world. It is because they are also listening to a lot of the
English-language and Francophone programs.
5165 So it is not just ethnics that are informing them.
But you know what? There is a feeling on the part of people who say, "Well,
lookit, we can't force our children to speak the language but, gosh, they have
got to respect our culture, our traditions, our religion, our foods, our
customs." All these things are highly respected and I think there is a great
value put on culture now, more so than language.
5166 That is the way it should be here in Canada. We
should be more Canadian than we are ethnic but, at the same time, I think we
should be proud of our roots and our heritage. This is what we are talking about
in bilingual programming. I think people want to be proud of their heritage, but
not necessarily do they want to talk in the language of their
5167 MR. DAVID OAKES: If I could add something: the
wonderful thing about music is that it doesn't exclude people necessarily if
they don't understand the lyrics. You mentioned Ricky Martin's "La Vida Loca". I
have heard the Spanish one and to me it doesn't sound any different from the
English. I guess I know the English lyrics now and I know what "la vida loca"
5168 But if you look at also the survey results, the
music, it is also dependent on generation, but a little less so than some of the
other things. So looking it the subsequent generations, if they still have a
feeling for the culture, the music is quite easy to listen to.
5169 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I just have a few more general
questions on the study -- no more specific ones, I won't refer to page
numbers, you will be relieved to know. Can you tell me how you defined first,
second, and third generations? Who is first generation?
5170 MR. DAVID OAKES: First generation -- MR. JOHNNY
LOMBARDI: I would like to answer that. My father was first generation. He came
here in 1900. I was second generation because I was born here. Lenny it is third
generation because he was born here. His daughter is fourth generation. So I
guess -- does that explain it?
5171 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Yes, it does although I won't
ask you what kind of numbers your granddaughter would come out with in terms of
proficiency or interest in language --
--- Laughter / Rires
5172 I am sure it is going to be higher than these
5173 So if you have a family with kids who come here when
the kids are teenagers or something like that, who is first and who is second?
Are they all first?
5174 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Well, if they all come from the
old country, they are first, but if they are born here, they become second. I
think that seems to be the rule of thumb. It depends where you are
5175 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That is generally how it was
for the survey?
5176 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Yes, I suppose so, yes.
Although, I think that David can talk to the survey more than I can.
5177 MR. DAVID OAKES: I am sorry, could you repeat the
5178 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: With regard to first
generation, second generation, when you talk about family migration and you have
got parents with younger or teenage kids, they are all in the first generation
category, are they?
5179 MR. DAVID OAKES: If someone migrates from a country
to Canada and the child is six months old and they are with their
parents ... that is a good question! They could be considered first
generation. Certainly from a mother tongue standpoint, which adds a little bit
to the generation aspect, if they were raised on that language and still show a
proficiency in it, they would be mother tongue first generation.
5180 Usually the measure is you are born in Canada, you
are subsequent generation.
5181 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks for that confusing
--- Laughter / Rires
5182 I was hoping you would clarify what my generation
status was and you haven't. I have always wondered whether I am first or second.
But this is not about me, there are other applications, so let's stick to the
5183 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think Commissioner Cardozo has to
--- Laughter / Rires
5184 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do leave me your business card
at the end of this.
5185 MR. DAVID OAKES: I might point out that I am not part
of Conquest, I have been brought in to look as a researcher at this, but I would
be glad to give you my business card at the end!
--- Laughter / Rires
5186 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: We could set up some sessions
to discuss this issue further.
--- Pause / Pause
5187 I have a really good question here, but I can't read
my writing. Sorry.
5188 Let me just ask you in closing if there anything else
you would like to add about this study that you think we haven't covered in this
discussion. As I say, I wanted to spend some time on it, because I think the
discussion of the bilingual interest in this type of -- the interest in
this type of bilingual program is one that I really wanted to explore. Is there
any other specific aspects that you would like to add information to from your
study which we haven't talked about?
5189 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I think I would like to add
something here, Mr. Cardozo.
5190 We are talking about the people that are already
here. We are not making any mention of the people, the thousands that will be
coming into this country in the next few years because I understand immigration
is going to be increased to about 300,000 a year. There are so many illegals
coming into the country too, so you would have to add to that
5191 But really, I think what we are talking about here is
that there are two phases in ethnic broadcasting. The original people who relied
to language and language only for a livelihood, they couldn't see their way
clear staying in Canada unless they understood things and had things interpreted
for them. And that is what CHIN -- the role that CHIN played -- was. We
interpreted Canada. We made it easier for them to work here and everything else
and raise a family.
5192 Now the second and third generation, they have to be
taken care of, but not at the expense of the original immigrant. Then how about
the immigrants who will be coming in shortly? They are going to be in need of
language programming. So that's why we decided to apply for 740. We could
broaden our scope and take in all those that were here at the beginning, their
children, and the immigrants who will be coming in.
5193 And if we can move around our programming and flow
with the immigration and take care of the needs of the first immigrants, and
also their children and then the new immigrant, I think we have got the best of
public service when it comes to making for better Canadians and it speeds up
immigration and makes for better Canadians.
5194 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me ask you Mr. Lombardi,
given your view that there is this need for bilingual programming -- I hope
you don't mind, this is an unfair question -- but if you were not granted
this licence, would you not want to do more bilingual program on the two
services you have? Do you see that evolution taking place?
5195 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Earlier in our discussion we did
say that we had been experimenting for years. As a matter of fact, I started as
a bilingual broadcaster in 1946 at CHUM and then I moved in with the times and
went into language. Now it seems that we may have to also go back to bilingual
because that seems to be the route to go for the second and third and fourth
generations. But at the same time the experimenting that we have been
doing -- we have got programs that are totally done in English.
5196 For instance, Zelda Young doing the Jewish program on
FM, it's done totally in English, but it's 100 culture. It is all about the
Jewish community. And you heard from Arvinder Sahota. She has been experimenting
with her wonderful dad who is in the audience here and the two of them
originally started out speaking in Hindu and Pakistani and all the languages
from East Asia. But now they have gone into somewhat experimenting in bilingual
to get the young people. You would be surprised the telephone calls that
Arvinder gets on her program when she talks English.
5197 So I say we need the 740 to balance out our
programming otherwise we are going to have to penalize the people who are
depending on language to make room for the bilingual. We dare not do that
because I don't think it is fair to the original immigrants who were the loyal
people who came here without a penny in their pockets but worked hard and made a
good life for their kids. I don't think we should now just throw them aside on
behalf of their kids. I think we should take care of both of them.
5198 We feel that we don't have enough on the two
stations. We need 740 to broaden our scope, broaden our influence with all the
ethnic groups everywhere, not just in Toronto, but the Greater Toronto Area. We
talk about the 740 being very weak the downtown area. I agree, otherwise the
Commission would never have bought the argument from CBC that the 740 was not
good enough in downtown Toronto. So that is why they wanted the FM. And you
bought that argument. So I say that the CRTC was right. If it can't be heard
downtown then they had every right to go to FM.
5199 But we have a 1540 that is downtown and can be heard
downtown, but we can't be heard outside of Toronto very well; 740 can't be heard
downtown, but they can be heard outside of Toronto. So you get two disabled
frequencies and you put them together and you got one good frequency.
5200 And that's what we are talking about here because we
deserve after all these years of trying to get full power on a 1540 and we have
never able to that because the protection of the American station on the same
frequency -- it's a lost cause.
5201 So I am pleading our case that we need 740 and
whatever hours we gain on 740 is to the advantage of all the ethnic groups
because we need to serve all the ethnic groups.
5202 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Did you have anything to add,
Mr. Oakes, on the study?
5203 MR. DAVID OAKES: Yes.
5204 This is from a researcher's standpoint. I am
delighted by the study. Every so often I have to take a look at ethnic
statistics and there are precious few in this area. Look at the make-up of this
city in terms of ethnicity. This is a random probability sample of 1,000 ethnic
respondents representative of all groups.
5205 And one of the major problems that I have with ethnic
clients is they are not measured by BBM. So it's very difficult sometimes to try
to figure out what their audience is. This should sure helps. It also goes a
little bit more in depth about some of the areas for ethnic broadcast -- I
am sure, I think, all broadcasters can take a look at this and profit by
5206 It shows you without a strong feel for the culture
that people simply drift away from it, and they develop what I call an "ethnic
generation gap." I have known this has existed for years. It is just now I can
put a quantitative number to it.
5207 I think it is an excellent survey the way it was
conducted. It sure is representative of the population as a whole in ethnic
areas. It sure gives us enough data to take a look at what these people want.
By-and-large, it was designed to determine the likelihood of tuning a bilingual
5208 I had preconceived notions about the you results when
they came out. It changed my view a little bit about bilingual programming. I
think that -- especially if you look at the Italian community -- they
are less likely than a number of other groups to tune bilingual programming. But
I think that represents a symptom of the problem the Italian community has. They
have been here for a quite a while. It is very easy for subsequent generations
to become English-Canadian and four generations later, when they are asked by
StatsCan how would you describe yourself in terms of ethnicity, they will say, I
5209 So they will completely lose that wonderful feel and
all the beautiful aspects of the culture that they grew up with. I think that
looking at that, it's a challenge to meet people. I think the bilingual
programming is, for the Italian community, the only hope. You cannot
program in a third language to subsequent generations of Italians and hope to
get them to tune.
5210 So I think it's a wonderful survey, and for me
provides a beautiful database for a number of years in the future.
5211 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Last general question on the
study. Do you have any sense of people who are mother tongue English of
non-ethnic background especially from these ethnic groups who may be interested
in this channel -- I mean in this station?
5212 MR. DAVID OAKES: Well, you raise a really interesting
question. Will it attract non-ethnic English speaking people? Yes, it
5213 I think simply by chance, in a way, they will be
going through the dial, and come upon it and perhaps stay on it because it is
English and it's something they don't know. If they are not part of an ethnic
group, it's quite often very difficult for them to find out when programming is
on and what it's about. If they listen to -- let's say CHIN was licensed to
740 and they are tuning the dial and hit on 740 and heard a very compelling
speaker talking in English about things Italian, they may stay; if they hear
music in Italian, they may stay.
5214 Marketing to non-ethnics is very difficult because
word of mouth in the ethnic communities is a big issue. It is not in the
non-ethnic communities. So it's harder for them, if they are predisposed, to
hear some of this programming. It is hard for them to go to right to what they
want to hear. And very few people will phone up a radio station and ask, which
is very unfortunate.
5215 MS ARVINDER SAHOTA: If I could just add to that based
on my own personal experience at CHIN FM, I have had many a time when I have
opened up the lines and I have received calls from members of communities who
have nothing do with the South Asian community. They were simply surfing the
radio stations. I was speaking in English. They stopped. They listened. I was
able to engage them into the program and generate enough interest for them to
actually pick up the phone and call me and ask me to give a more detailed
explanation about what is exactly happening on my program because they have
never heard anything like before.
5216 And what that indicates to me is that, yes, there is
definitely a very big interest outside of the relevant community to that
program. I think it is reflected in the fact that here in Canada everyday we
promote multiculturalism. And I think the answer to multiculturalism lies in the
5217 I am sure up in Ottawa celebrating Canada Day, as an
example, you have witnessed many different ethnic groups performing their
various folklore dances. And if you have ever asked yourself this question, I
wish someone would take 30 seconds to explain in English a little bit about
exactly what we are watching, that you would understand that there is a great
interest, but there is also a very big need to build a bridge to make that
understanding complete. That understanding also needs to be addressed in the
culture itself. If I can expand further I would love to explain to you why our
South Asian community, our programming at CHIN has become so
5218 I began at CHIN Radio eight years ago and, as
mentioned earlier by Mr. Lombardi, at that time South Asian programming was
based in third language. I recognized a need, being second generation myself,
for some form of communication to hold me and keep me engaged to my culture
through language. I can understand the language, I can now speak the language,
but at that time it was very difficult for me. And because I couldn't speak the
language, I feared it.
5219 Did I didn't want to speak it for fear of ridicule
both by my own parents in the house and also by other members of the community.
So I shied away from it. But at the same time, unless you can realize where you
come from, where our ancestors have come from and why they have come here to
this country, we can't recognize ourselves. We can't become positive role
models. We can't become better community members. It is very important for us to
keep alive the multiculturalism. It is what Canada is based upon. We founded the
United Nations. We have a lot of things to be very proud of.
5220 The reason why the program works is because I was
allowed, through CHIN Radio and through Mr. Johnny Lombardi, the opportunity to
experiment in South Asian programming. What we did in essence because English is
my first language, we incorporated English into the South Asian programming. At
the same time we never lost sight of the third language base. Earlier one of the
Commissioners had asked the question, what is Hindustani, what is the language?
He received a very detailed explanation. I would like to give you a very
5221 If we were to take the English language and parallel
it to Edwardian language, the language that Shakespeare spoke, you would have
the route of the Hindu language, a very high upper class language. If you were
to ask me what then is Hindustani language, I would say to you it is the
equivalent of a common day English language, what you hear in the houses, how we
speak to each other.
5222 If I spoke to you in a Shakespearean language, I
would be speaking English, but you would have a very difficult time
understanding me. The same is equivalent between the Hindi language and
5223 It is true that by speaking Hindustani, we also reach
many other ethnic groups and we have to recognize that in India itself, we are
dealing with a variety of cultures and languages from one area. Every state has
its own language and every culture has it diversion of it.
5224 English is the bond between everyone. In India
itself, English is becoming more and more a very common spoken language. The
Internet believe it or not has just arrived in India and what it means for South
Asians over there is that they are able now to communicate and to surf on the
World Wide Web, but in order to do it, they now need to have English in their
vocabulary. It doesn't mean that they lose their culture.
5225 On our South Asian programming we are able to freely
converse between English and the languages of our callers. On my show
specifically, I have many listeners who come from Pakistan and they speak Urdu.
At the same time, I have many listeners from India, they speak Hindustani. But
at the same time, I have listeners from Sri Lanka speak a very different
language; from Bangladesh, completely different language; from the Caribbean
islands; from Canada; from all cross the world. And the way I am able to
communicate with everyone is through English.
5226 We do need to retain the third language for the first
generation who are not very comfortable with English, but we need to realize
that second and third generation also need a comfortable format in order to be
able to actively participate in their culture. English is the medium that
provides it to them.
5227 The wonderful thing about the programming when I open
up my phone lines is that I will have not one person calling, being someone in
their forties or their thirties, I will have an entire family engaging in the
show. Very often the children will be on the phone lines trying to answer my
trivia questions, but the parents are right beside them, and you can here them
actually asking their father and mother to give them the answer to the
5228 The reason why it has taken off in the way that it
has is because South Asians now realize that before, if we had kept the format
in third-base the second and third generation would initially lose interest and
eventually, as David mentioned earlier, die out from the culture.
5229 By incorporating English, we have now given an
opportunity to keep our culture very much alive. The music itself is a very
basic format that allows everyone to engage in the show. The beauty of music, as
we mentioned earlier, is that it knows no barriers, it knows no boundaries. All
that music does is generated an interest. Shakespeare said it himself, "If music
be the food of love, play on, and give me excess of it." I am sure you have also
heard the phrase: that music soothes the savage beast.
5230 But if you were my neighbour -- and my festival
of Divali, which is the Festival of Lights, which in essence is our New
Years -- if you were my neighbour and I was celebrating Divali in October,
and I did not speak English, and I was outside lighting fireworks, you would
come running out thinking a mad woman and I am about to burn down your house!
You would not understand what's going on. Because don't understand, you would be
fearful, and fearful leads to hatred and misunderstanding.
5231 The same think applies in my own house. If I am not
able to converse with my children, they too won't understand what is going on
and they will join my neighbours in thinking that I have gone completely crazy,
and they won't want to know anything that I am doing.
5232 But if I recognize that by adding English into my
vocabulary, that I am giving an opportunity for you as my neighbour to now come
over and say, "Why are you lighting these fireworks?" and to explain that it is
my New Years Eve, that I am now opening the door and allowing you also to come
and share in my culture.
5233 And the same is on the reverse side too. Before our
program every week night is the Italian show; after our show, we are followed by
the Greek programming; and at any given time, I will have Italian callers
calling me and they will state, "I'm an Italian listener, I was listening to the
Italian show, I am still listening to CHIN FM because you are speaking English
and I find your music to be very interesting."
5234 The same is also reflected these days in the music
itself when we take a look at what is happening in music. Many songs are now
coming out incorporating the English language. English has definitely become the
basic language of world, I think the Internet only strengthens that.
5235 I think by having an opportunity to realize that in
the '60s, Mr. Johnny Lombardi had a dream and a vision and he recognized that a
service was needed for third-base language and to have the CRTC acknowledge that
showed great trust and great interest in our culture.
5236 And now, at the turn of the century, we come to you
and we say, we don't want to lose the third-base language as there is a need for
it, but at the same time we have to recognize that we are not dealing with first
immigration any more. We are now dealing with second, third, and fourth. In
order to also keep them in the culture, we have to recognize that we must
provide a format and a service that they find comfortable. That is
5237 As for the new immigrants who arrive every day, they
would be not losing out on their culture because we still would be broadcasting
in third-based languages as well, we just need to expand and be able to further
the ethnic services.
5238 At the same time, we also to need to remember that
new immigrants also have a great interest in being able to integrate into our
society. We offer them ESL classes, English as a Second Language, as an example.
By speaking a bit of English on our programming, we are giving them an
opportunity to get more familiar with the language. If they don't feel
proficient enough to speak in English, they can call in their language and the
host will be able to converse back and forth.
5239 So it's a beautiful formula that works on many
different levels. And I guess one way I could really sum it up for you, which is
a true story, is that every day on my show I love to use an English phrase or
word that I know my listeners perhaps will not be familiar with. One such phrase
that I threw at my listeners was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And that
phrase gives me a lot of amusement because I have had little kids tell me that
their grandparents can't speak English but they can say to them
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And the beauty behind it is that a bridge is
now formed in the family; the bridge is formed in the community; and the bridge
is formed in Canada, as well, through all societies celebrated our
5240 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you very much.
5241 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I just wanted to add
here -- I wanted to congratulate Mr. Darshin Sahota. Would you stand up
5242 He came here 30 years ago and he is the father of the
young lady who just spoke. He is proud of his daughter. But you know what? I am
as proud as he is to have Arvinder Sahota as one of our partnership and
associate producers in the East Asian programming. And she's an example of all
the other producers we have. I wish we could have all of them here today and
they could all talk as eloquently as Arvinder, I'm sure. So having said that, I
pass now to Lenny.
5243 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Thank you.
5244 I just want to make one comment with regard to
Arvinder's statement. All this enthusiasm and passion for the kind of
programming that we are talking about is from approximately six hours a week.
That's the amount of programming time that we can afford to dedicate to this
type of format. You can see how important it is to the community. That is the
basis of our request for 740.
5245 This community needs more bilingual programming. In
order to achieve that, we need a new service to provide more programming. We
can't disenfranchise our existing listeners to increase the hours of
English-based or bilingual programming to satisfy the hunger in this community
for second and third generation.
5246 I just quickly add that this is what has happened in
the Italian community over the years. We haven't had that opportunity -- or
that community hasn't had that opportunity in the second and third generations
to enjoy programming with us and, in effect, had been slowly disenfranchised and
distanced themselves from radio services and the community.
5247 It is our hope and intent to repatriate those
listeners and bring them back with bilingual programming. We believe we can be
5248 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me just take you a back to
some much less passionate questions as I apologised for but to pick up on your
last point, you talk about repatriating listeners. Where do you see your new
station drawing listeners from? Where do they go now?
5249 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, it varies. With respect to
Italian, with our second and third generation Italian listeners, they generally
gravitate to top 40 dance formats. In fact, there are some stations now in
Toronto that claim to have a high population of Italo-Canadians listening
to their stations. That very well may be true, but interestingly enough, though,
that speaks nothing the culture that these kids are coming from. They are just
gravitating to a source of music that, in effect, just offers the dance club or
5250 If there were a service that spoke to their needs for
culture would they give this frequency a chance? We think absolutely. We think
that they would. Many of the listeners who aren't tuning to CHIN right now are
just scanning the radio services and getting the information and entertainment
5251 I think a lot of the listeners would want to listen
to CHIN. In fact, I give you an example with regard to our special events and
concerts and showcases at places like the CHIN picnic, Canada's Wonderland, and
theatrical troops. We bring in top entertainers from Italy and they generally
skew to a very young audience and our theatres are full. Our picnic is packed.
Canada's Wonderland is closing the doors.
5252 Are those kids listening to us? No. But the desire
for access to the music, the desire to participate in a cultural event that
helps define who they are is very, very powerful and strong. Perhaps our
greatest vehicle for reaching that generation is through our bilingual
television program on CITY Television. We notice that there is a tremendous
feedback from young Italo-Canadians.
5253 With regard to south Asia and Spanish community, I
think they are a growing community right now. And I think there is a real desire
for more programming in general. We think they are going to be best served with
5254 MR. DAVID OAKES: If I could add something from the
survey that I found fascinating. If you look at ethnic radio listeners, the
average hours tuned per week are somewhere around 15 for 18+ ethnic. If you look
at non-ethnic 18+, it is about 10 hours higher. So I suspect with the bilingual
programming, you are going to see new hours tuned by ethnic radio listeners
brought into the market.
5255 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I just take you to the
number of languages that you are planning to serve? What I note is you are
looking at the number of hours of bilingual programming is 60 and the number of
hours of third language programming is 64, which would be sort of 50 per cent
plus one of 126. So this is within -- our new ethnic policy requires an
ethnic station to be 60 per cent ethnic, 50 per cent at least third language. So
what you are looking at is something like 50 per cent third language and more
like 100 ethnic. Is what you would call...?
5256 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That's correct.
5257 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5258 The study you did focused on four language groups. Do
you have a sense of what other language groups may be interested in bilingual
services down the road or do you think you would want to do other languages in a
bilingual context in the future?
5259 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: That depends on so many
variables. At this point in time, we are committed to the four languages groups
that we are programmed to. The Conquest survey revealed a great desire for
bilingual programming in the Chinese community for example.
5260 Why we chose not to add bilingual programming in a
Chinese community is based on current market conditions, the amount of
programming already available to that community, the impact of additional
services on other ethnic radio stations, and the relative first
generation -- the size of the first generation in Toronto right now. The
majority of that population is first generation. For all of those reasons we
decided not to add significant programming. But that's a community that might be
interested or could be interested in programming. At this stage of our
development we are not contemplating that.
5261 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: We are going to financial
questions and these are getting significantly more dry. I just have to take a
second and thank you Ms Sahota for your passionate testimony. I feel bad about
switching gears but I don't want to let you feel that I didn't hear you very
5262 I have a question with regard to the allocation of
your expenses and revenues at the current stations CHIN AM and FM. As I
understand in the past you have allocated the costs in a 75:25 split between AM
and FM and you now are going to a 50:50 split.
5263 MR. BOB CULLITON: That's correct.
5264 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And the reason for that
5265 MR. BOB CULLITON: Well, in the past we always filed a
combined AM and FM CRTC return. They asked us to break it out and we arbitrarily
took 75:25. Subsequent to that, in the last year, the actual revenues you see on
CHIN AM and FM are exact as they go on the air. And they relate fairly closely
to the expenses if we split them 50:50. So we used the expenses split 50:50, but
the revenues are the actual revenues as projected or earned on the
5266 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: With regard to the new AM that
you are applying for, in your Year 5, you are looking at significant local time
sales as compared to the average time sales for an Ontario ethnic station. Am I
correct to say that it is significantly higher and could you tell me how you
come to that projection?
5267 MR. BOB CULLITON: Are we looking at the
5268 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: That's right.
5269 MR. BOB CULLITON: Well, the first year, we put in our
application at $2.6 million. We just increased it by 5 per cent over the
subsequent years. So that's just a 5 per cent compounded on each of the
languages and the Italian market.
5270 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can you tell me your rational
for switching your Italian programming to a new FM -- to the new station
that you are applying for -- which is currently on CHIN AM? I notice in the
public interventions Paul Dorio(ph) from Villa Columbo talked about Italian
seniors being spread out a lot further. Is that the kind of reasoning you are
looking at as to why you want to switch Italian to this new station?
5271 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Precisely the reason. The growth
of the Italian community, in particular, has spread to the west and to the north
and it's virtually underserved, very poorly served by our 1540
5272 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And CHIN doesn't get to those
5273 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: No. Due to low power protection
to stations in the south, we are virtually unheard in and those
5274 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And what will take up those
hours at CHIN AM?
5275 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I can just tell off the top of my
head, there is one hour of Chinese; a three hour bracket of Portugese
programming -- here we go -- one block of Polish; an hour of Jewish; a
little bit of repositioning with the afternoon block -- the programs that
already exist on 1540 and finally, an additional four hours daily of Caribbean
programming. That's the result of moving that Italian block to 740.
5276 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And do you anticipate any
changes on your FM station as a result if you were to be granted this
5277 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: No, Commissioner Cardozo, we do
5278 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5279 If it's okay with you, I would like to proceed with
some more questions. I don't have too many more, I know we are, sort of, running
well into the lunch hour but if you are okay, I would like to press on for
5280 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Absolutely.
5281 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can we look at some of the
expenditures? The expenditures for the programming for the new station would be
considerably lower than the average for Ontario ethnic stations. Is that
5282 MR. BOB CULLITON: That's correct. I could maybe talk
5283 We have a program where we have our associated
producers work hand-in-hand with us, as Mr. Lombardi explained earlier. We
supply the administration, the buildings, the collections, everything else that
goes with it. The producer supplies the program, the program content, the
announcers, et cetera.
5284 So we share the revenues -- maybe not 50:50 in
all cases, but we do share them -- so we would show -- the revenue we are
sharing would be really taking the programming costs that they have to hire
their people in and et cetera. But we show that under sales and advertising and
promotion as a commission.
5285 So therefore if we looked at the sales and
advertising and promotion budget, it's quite a bit higher because we --
let's use the word 50 per cent, so 50 per cent of the revenues raised by the
producers goes into that account rather than into programming.
5286 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So your sales promotion and
administration for the new station is higher than the average? My sense of that
too is lower or you can tell me what the figures are.
5287 MR. BOB CULLITON: We illustrated these figures
because wanted to show to the Commission that there is a large synergy and
economics of scale and scope saved between AM and FM. Therefore, there are
savings by having the station 740.
5288 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
5289 Now, you talked about the impact on your stations if
we were not to license this application, but were to licence another ethnic
5290 Can you elaborate on what you think would be the
effect on the your current advertising revenues?
5291 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I'll take that question. Just for
clarification, if another ethnic service is licensed?
5292 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Right.
5293 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, we have discussed this at
length at our offices. We do have concerns if another ethnic service is
licensed. That service would necessarily be a stand-alone service as the only
other application here before you is Infinity, and it is in stand-alone. And it
is different from our concept because we don't see ourselves as a
5294 But the issues really are the kinds of programming
and the total vision of a particular broadcaster. We do have concerns with the
amount of programming time that would be directed to the South Asian community
and the net effect that it will have on the existing producers.
5295 And I look to comparisons: the most recent ethnic
licence of Fairchild. We did see some net changes in the broadcasting playing
field with respect to Chinese programming. Services who were in the business of
broadcasting in the Chinese language stopped in that business when Fairchild was
licensed soon after. We expect the same to occur if another ethnic licence
proposing this type of format were to come into effect.
5296 How would it affect CHIN Radio? We'll survive. We
will find a way to continue doing what we do best.
5297 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: You indicate that CHIN FM would
have to respond to another ethnic service by increasing your promotion and
programming initiatives. Could you tell us what a you have in mind?
5298 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, any new ethnic service that
comes on to the playing field in today's market is most certainly going be
targeting some of the key language groups. We would then need to step up our
marketing initiatives and promotion initiatives and work to save and preserve
audience to create more reason to tune to CHIN. I mean, just the competitive
edge will increase that much more.
5299 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, let me take this
competitive edge issue and flip it around because it's something that we pay
some attention to. It is not the sole governing factor in our decision, but the
flip side of it is that if you get a third station and you are a three-station
combo versus other existing ethnic one-station combo -- if you can call it that
-- what is the kind of effect on them of you having three stations and should we
with be concerned about that?
5300 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, that is an interesting
question with a complex answer.
5301 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks for saying that. It's
the second time someone said interesting question. Our job is to ask interesting
--- Laughter / Rires
5302 And you get extra points when you recognize
--- Laughter / Rires
5303 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, getting back to that
5304 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I would like to add something to
5305 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: He who hesitates, Mr. Cardozo, is
5306 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Recall that when we first
started almost 35 years ago, we did over 30 languages and all the big languages
that are revenue producers were small languages at that time. I am talk about
Chinese, Portuguese, et cetera, and they grew.
5307 We feel that if another station doing ethnic were to
come into the market, they would immediately not only eat into revenues, but
they also raid our people. Because you look around and all the ethnic licenses
that have been issued since we got ours 33 years ago, you will find that all the
owners and all the producers and all the operators and DJs that are working at
the ethnic stations, 75 per cent -- which includes also television --
came from CHIN.
5308 We school everybody. We experiment. We do all the
teaching. We do everything. Then, when a new licence comes into the market, they
immediately -- and they go over to some of our people, some of them do
leave because they are promised shares or something or whatever, but the
majority -- just look around -- did come from us. That is another concern
of ours too. We will be raided by a new station coming in who will need
operators. We have got about 15 of them. I am sure that two or three or four of
them will leave and the same thing applies with producers, same thing applies
with engineers -- no matter who you talking to. It leaves the ethnic market
a little chaotic for a while until things settle.
5309 But I still think that the fact that we are doing
something different with 740 means, I believe, that we in the public interest
are doing something that is needed and is not being done, and we can't do it
with the stations that with have got now.
5310 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Could I also add that the
three-station combo is not really at the expense of any of our existing
broadcasting licensees in the market place. If you exam our program schedule, it
provides for minimal overlap. In fact, the economic engine that is driving 740
is our Italian programming. And we have integrated really small blocks of
additional programming throughout our programming schedule for the specific
purpose of having the least amount of programming and financial impact on the
5311 In fact, if you look at the program schedules there
is tremendous amounts of programming out there and if licensed, we wouldn't
increase programming levels to such a point as the complexion of current
broadcasting schedules should change. And the fact is that we have indicated in
our written submission, we would be prepared to enter into appropriate
conditions of licence to back that up.
5312 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Did you consider when you were
putting this proposal together looking at the other AM or FM that other
people are applying for in this hearing or any other frequencies?
5313 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: No, we have heard the question
asked all weekend and no we have not looked at any other.
5314 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What are your thoughts about
the weaknesses of 740 -- and I understand what you were saying earlier, Mr.
Lombardi, about reaching out further -- to what extent would your listeners
in this proposal be closer to the downtown area where I understand there are
problems with 740, which was the basis of the last round of hearings?
5315 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, the fact that that is
addressed with our program schedule, in particular with the Italian programming
where most of our listeners are certainly not in the downtown core and because
of our sister stations CHIN AM 1540, in particular, you know, we do have access
to the downtown core and those communities that we try to serve through that
5316 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I ask about, I guess, your
AM transmitter on the Toronto Island and whether that is facing the same kind of
concern that Charles had discussed yesterday?
5317 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, I'm glad you asked that
5318 I was here at the hearings yesterday and noted
that Mr. Elder was under the impression that the CHIN transmitter site on the
Island was somehow under some different jurisdiction and that we weren't facing
the same circumstances as the Fairchild operation.
5319 In fact, we aren't in another jurisdiction and we
don't expect and will not be treated any differently than Fairchild and
certainly couldn't expect Fairchild to be treated any differently than CHIN. Our
sites are virtually side-by-side and we have been there for almost 20 years and
they have been there for a lot longer.
5320 I would like to point out one thing, though, with
respect to their concerns. We have been in negotiations or discussions with the
city in regard to renewing our lease and have certainly not been given any
indication there is a reluctancy on their part to go further on those
negotiations. Furthermore, we have had a lease with the city for 20 years. I
noted we pulled it out of the file in 1981 or 1982 and we signed it, there was
no condition of renewal on that document. And we signed a lease for an
additional eight years subsequent to that lease.
5321 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: So in what regard -- I
just want to clarify with regard to your AM transmitter -- you are not
concerned that you will have to move that off Toronto Island in the next year or
5322 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: No, we have not been given any
indication formally or otherwise by the city that that lease would not be
regarded or negotiations couldn't be entered into in the future at this point in
time. And we are not concerned about this at this point.
5323 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Okay.
5324 I have the one more question, the compelling reasons
question, for you which we will come back to in a couple of minutes and give you
a chance to summarize. I will just ask Madam Chair or counsel if they have
5325 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Mr. Lombardi, this is not in
anyway a pre-emptive move to ensure that you remain with two frequencies, your
plans medium-term, short-term, are to program on three frequencies?
5326 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes, Madam Chair. That's our
intention here. We are not thinking or looking down the future because we see a
threat in our lease on Toronto Island.
5327 THE CHAIRPERSON: When is your current lease
5328 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: It expires exactly the same day
as Fairchild: December 31, 2001.
5329 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was given to understand that it
5330 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: No, Madam Chair, it expires on
the same date and year.
5331 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I don't think Mr. Elder is
interpreting the conditions properly. He cannot speak for CHIN.
5332 THE CHAIRPERSON: Neither you for him, no
5333 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: And we can't speak for the
5334 We certainly feel confident that the city is looking
for more money. You have got to take into consideration that after 20 years on a
piece of land that is considered prime, certainly they are not, how would you
say, warm to the idea of charging the same rate of rental that existed 20 years
ago and then carry it on for another 20 years. I really believe it is all
political. They are looking for more money. All landlords always try to get more
money and I don't think the city is any different.
5335 But I just don't feel that we are going to be --
1430 and CHIN are going knocked off. We are facing the same conditions, the same
date of renewal. So whatever is going to 1430 will happen to CHIN. Whatever
happens to CHIN, will happen to 1430. I don't think they will divide us. And we
will do everything to help out 1430 and, at the same time, be helping
5336 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Lombardi, this is a very
competitive hearing, of course, on the basis of frequencies as well. I am
curious to know, in your view, is 1540 a weaker frequency than 1430 because of
its limitation at night?
5337 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I didn't hear the
5338 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am curious to know whether --
you have mentioned 1540's weakness because of protection at night. I believe, am
I right, that the Commission has given you permission to correct in some ways or
to some extent this difficulty with an additional transmitter. Is that
5339 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: Yes. I am sorry, you can answer
5340 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Madam Chair, yes, we have been
licensed for a low power FM repeater from Mississauga.
5341 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I gather from reading the
material that you don't feel that this is a complete correction to the night
time decrease in power.
5342 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes, that's right.
5343 THE CHAIRPERSON: So my question to Mr. Lombardi was:
Is it your view that 1430 is a more appealing frequency than 1540? Suppose you
were more popular with the city than Fairchild and they -- we have
frequencies available right now, many demands for them and presumably in the
public interest we try to see our way to allowing as much diversity and service
as possible for the public.
5344 So suppose that Fairchild could not negotiate itself
with the city and you could, would 1430 be a better frequency for you than 1540
and can it be transmitted from -- I suspect if your transmitters are one
beside the other, although I am not an engineer, that 1430 could be used. Do you
know what I mean?
5345 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Yes.
5346 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are just trying to see what are
the possibilities here. Fairchild has applied for 740 and have told us they
can't renew their lease. You say you can renew yours, you don't foresee any
5347 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Well, Madam
5348 THE CHAIRPERSON: Suppose that were to
5349 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: I would like to answer it in this
way. I am sure the city officials of this great city recognize the tremendous
benefits and achievements that the communities at both Fairchild and CHIN radio
broadcast to and wouldn't want to do anything to dismantle, disrupt, or shut
down those services. I mean, virtually millions of people would be lost --
would lose very, very services.
5350 I believe that this is a people issue with regard to
what is happening on the Island right now. And I believe that because it is a
people issue, it can be handled properly through the proper political channels.
Where there is a will there is a way.
5351 Now if the city has some serious difficulties with
providing that transmitter site location for both Fairchild and CHIN --
first of all, I don't believe that they can look at us differently. They would
have to treat us exactly the same. I think the perception among the communities
would be devastating if they did that. If they said to Fairchild, "You must
leave, but CHIN you stay."
5352 More than that, if there is a people problem with
that particular location for those transmitter sites, I am sure that the city
will work with both Fairchild and CHIN to find a suitable solution that is
satisfactory to all of us, including the people that have a concern on the
Toronto Island. I have no doubt in my mind that there is a solution there. It is
a big island. There are other possibilities for relocation there. There are a
number of options to be pursued. The last ultimate thing that we could possibly
conceive is the "what if" scenario if we actually have to shut it down. We are
not talking about a developer who owns a plot of land and has a multi-million
dollar project that he wants to build and is insensitive to broadcasters needs.
We are talking about the City of Toronto. We are talking about millions of
5353 THE CHAIRPERSON: But I'm talk about the fact that
whoever has 740 is not going to be quite as devastated by a negative outcome
than the party who doesn't.
5354 Mr. Lombardi, I sense that if you have some spare
time you could get yourself a good consulting job here.
--- Laughter / Rires
5355 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: With regard to your other
question, which was very interesting and one that we actually did contemplate,
if the wildest scheme of things: Fairchild could not negotiate a position and
CHIN was successful in negotiating where they couldn't and the Commission, in
their wisdom licensed CHIN Radio, AM 740, we would consider flipping the licence
5356 I don't want you to get the impression at all that
this is our thinking or that this has any relevance to the city's position at
this point. I just want you to realize that we are a fair -- and if
something like this were to happen and we saw an unfair circumstance like that
then we would be willing to adjust the situation. We wouldn't want to put the
Commission in this "what if" scenario and that somehow affects your -- we
want you to judge our application on its merits. But if this is a real concern
and you think that we have an advantage over Fairchild, we would seek to find a
balance for that as well.
5357 THE CHAIRPERSON: The problem, of course, is the
Commission is always told that this is the last chance, last frequency and
presumably tries to make its decisions on that basis, understanding as well
that the future will bring a day when all these complications will disappear and
whoever has frequencies will then have an audience or a chance to keep an
audience or to improve it.
5358 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: And I agree with you. I think
digital broadcasting is closer than we think. I also believe that the city then
can see the light at the end of the tunnel and, say, if they have a problem,
they say: Well, look, digital broadcasting is coming. Let's look at this on a
short-term basis, a five-year basis. Let's see how we can work closer and faster
towards...And maybe that would be the impetus for both Fairchild and CHIN Radio
to encourage the use of digital receivers within our own market.
5359 My father will tell the story when he was licensed
for FM back in 1967, there wasn't a single FM receiver in Toronto. So he
purchased truckloads of them from overseas --
5360 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: From Japan.
5361 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: And gave them away in the
supermarket. I mean, we are not going to do something like that. But, if we have
to make an effort to meet a deadline because of conditions on the Island, we
will work very hard to get digital receivers out on the market.
5362 We are broadcasting digitally right now. I don't know
if Fairchild is. But if Fairchild has a need, they will do it too. And that is a
reasonable solution. If the city can recognize that there is light at the end of
the tunnel, I think that's a reasonable one.
5363 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Lombardi, I thought you thought
you had a broadcasting son, I think I think his consulting career is rising by
5364 MR. JOHNNY LOMBARDI: I am very proud of my son and my
5365 I would just like to add something here. With digital
in the future -- and a lot of things are forgotten here -- there is a
comradeship between broadcasters, always has been. And as my son articulated
there, if something should happen, it's going to happen to both of us and we
will help each other. We don't want to see 1430 disappear. We don't want 1540 to
disappear. We do want 740. We are going into a second, third, fourth generation
5366 But remember that the city is a very, very complex
situation and there are a lot of votes there, the politicians vote one way, vote
the other. I have gone through this so many times in my life. Don't forget, I
moved from Mississauga, when I bought the shares from Ted Rogers, we were a
daytime station only in Mississauga. Mississauga then threatened to expropriate
our station if we didn't move the towers. Everybody said, "Uh, oh, 1540 has to
go off the air -- There is no way..." because nobody would give us anything
near Toronto, but we finally persevered and we got this spot on the Island after
haggling, maybe, for three years. But we finally got it.
5367 And, now, there might be a chance -- I don't
know -- that we may have to find another place. But the cost of moving from
Mississauga to the Island was over $3 million for us. We could ill afford at
that time that kind of money, but we found the money to move because wanted to
5368 And I think the same thing applies with any other
broadcaster. If you forced to make a move, you have got to find an alternative
place and you don't just listen to one doctor or one engineer, you get two or
three or four advices. That is the way to do things. That is what I do. If I
have got an ailment of some kind, I don't take the advice of one doctor, I go
and talk to three or four. And I do the same thing with engineers.
5369 THE CHAIRPERSON: It seems to have worked well.
--- Laughter / Rires
5370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Lombardi, I see Mr. Chan is
here. So, in reply, we will find out whether you have a job as a consultant!
--- Laughter / Rires
5371 THE CHAIRPERSON: And before we adjourn, we will give
you the usual five minutes to tell us why among the number of applicants who
want 740, we should give it to you.
5372 MR. LENNY LOMBARDI: Thank you, Madam Commissioner. I
hope we have had an opportunity here to illuminate our vision for a new service
here in Toronto on AM 740. We feel very, very strongly in our commitment to this
bilingual format. We see this as the evolution of ethnic broadcasting today in
the Year 2000.
5373 If ethnic programming is to grow and to flourish and
to become meaningful to second and third generation ethnic members of our
community, a service like this is needed now.
5374 We have seen the evolution and we have seen the
distancing of some community members in our communities that we presently serve.
We feel it is vitally important to continue the service.
5375 And we can't dabble with bilingual programming. It is
not something that we can do -- I mean, we are experimenting with the
inclusion of the English language on some services as Arvinder so eloquently
put, but that is the extent of what we can do. To try and do any more would be
at the expense of the existing programs that we have. And the existing programs
that we have are third language. They are serving a very valuable need to these
communities. To change those to rearrange schedules, to reject those programs or
to convert them into bilingual programs would be an upheaval of listenership, of
advertisers, and of producers. It is not something that we think is healthy for
our radio station nor for the communities that we serve.
5376 We have looked at program schedule as a combined
effort. We have been able to provide complementary services. We haven't injected
a tremendous amount of new programming, but the programming that we have is well
placed with minimal overlap and is complementary of the existing service that
are presently available on the stations.
5377 So we don't foresee a financial impact on any of the
stations to any great degree. Nor do we see any lost listenership to any of the
radio stations that are currently on the air. If you study our program it is
very, very minimal in its overlap and well integrated into the existing
5378 740 speaks directly to our technical problems at
1540, the ones they have plagued us from the very beginning of being blessed
with this licence. We have struggled to correct them and find a solution to
these technical problems.
5379 740 finally addresses one of our major concerns of
having to power down at sunset and sunrise. During the nighttime hours --
and you know how dark it gets here in the winter months in Toronto -- that
we are off the air, virtually off the air, in our key market area at quarter to
five at night and we are not full powered until a quarter to eight. How does a
radio station survive? It is a miracle. I asked my father how we did it when we
don't have a said morning drive and solid afternoon drive because of our
limitations. 740 addresses that.
5380 And finally our common ownership we believe is
wonderful thing. It is healthy for ethnic broadcasters, it is healthy for CHIN,
it affords us a greater opportunity to provide a greater diversity of
broadcasting. We can reposition programs on 1540, providing additional service
to communities that are anxious and willing to hear additional
5381 Our Canadian talent developments, we are extremely
proud of our past history and are extremely excited about the opportunity to
make significant impact at the development of Canadian talent.
5382 You know, we pledged $100,000 of which $50,000 is
direct through contribution. $50,000 is going to be a hands on for CHIN to
create and develop and produce recordings that will be part of our catalogue.
Until such a time as it is a stand-alone entity and then we will distance
ourselves from it and be -- and have it run by a third parties -- but it's
going to take a broadcaster like us to actually take it off the ground, to
actually take the great talent that we see every single day in all of our
activities and get it on record and make these productions.
5383 So in conclusion, we at CHIN Radio are extremely
proud of our track record and what we have been able to accomplish in the 34
years of ethnic broadcasting. Our new bilingual format is futuristic. It is
forward-thinking. We think it's going to be the symbol of new programming to
come. We hope that you see that vision in our application and grant us this
5384 Thank you very much.
5385 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr. Lombardi and family.
We will see you again on this early next week. As the world of difficulties
unfold, unravel or get resolved.
5386 We will adjourn for the day. We will resume at nine
o'clock on Monday morning. In order for parties to have some idea of how we will
proceed next week, we will begin of course with Phase II, which is the
applicants' intervening against each other.
5387 We will then proceed first with the three interveners
who happen to bring in more than one application and hear them once. So that
will be CIRPA, and then Dufferin Communications, and CIRCA Radio. After that,
intervenors in support will be heard in the order in which the application in
which the intervene was heard. Therefore, we will begin on Monday in Phase III
after the three intervenors I mentioned with the intervenors in CHWO's
5388 So, if that is helpful, so you know how we will
proceed on Monday. We hope everyone has a good weekend. Don't go near that
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1331
to resume on Monday, February 7, 2000 at 0900 /
L'audience est ajournée à 1331 pour reprendre
le lundi 7 février 2000 à 0900