ARCHIVÉ - Transcription
Cette page Web a été archivée dans le Web
L’information dont il est indiqué qu’elle est archivée est fournie à des fins de référence, de recherche ou de tenue de documents. Elle n’est pas assujettie aux normes Web du gouvernement du Canada et elle n’a pas été modifiée ou mise à jour depuis son archivage. Pour obtenir cette information dans un autre format, veuillez communiquer avec nous.
Offrir un contenu dans les deux langues officielles
Prière de noter que la Loi sur les langues officielles exige que toutes publications gouvernementales soient disponibles dans les deux langues officielles.
Afin de rencontrer certaines des exigences de cette loi, les procès-verbaux du Conseil seront dorénavant bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience et la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
Review of the Commercial Radio Policy /
Examen de la Politique sur la radio commerciale
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
140 Promenade du Portage 140, Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec Gatineau (Québec)
May 17, 2006 Le 17 mai 2006
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Review of the Commercial Radio Policy /
Examen de la Politique sur la radio commerciale
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Charles Dalfen Chairperson / Président
Michel Arpin Commissioner / Conseiller
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Andrée Noël Commissioner / Conseillère
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Chantal Boulet Secretary / Secrétaire
Peter Foster Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
Bernard Montigny General Counsel,
Broadcasting / Avocat
Anne-Marie Murphy Legal Counsel /
Robert Ramsey Senior Director, Radio
Policy and Applications /
Politiques et demandes
relatives à la radio
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Conference Centre Centre de conférences
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
140 Promenade du Portage 140, Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec Gatineau (Québec)
May 17, 2006 Le 17 mai 2006
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
CBC/Radio Canada 957 / 5409
Corus 975 / 5519
CHUM Limited 1011 / 5731
Standard Radio Inc. 1055 / 5979
Rawlco Radio Ltd. 1086 / 6208
Blackburn Radio Inc. 1108 / 6338
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group 1123 / 6400
Rogers Media 1143 / 6514
Newcap Radio 1192 / 6784
Ontario Independent Radio Group 1211 / 6875
Milestone Radio Inc. 1237 / 7046
Radio CJVR Ltd. 1265 / 7227
1182743 Alberta Ltd. 1278 / 7291
Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd. 1303 / 7428
Canadian Association of Ethnic (Radio) 1320 / 7541
British Columbia Institute of Technology 1337 / 7650
on behalf of the Broadcast Educators
Association of Canada
CKUA Radio 1357 / 7798
National Campus and Community Radio Association 1377 / 7909
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. 1400 / 8012
Gatineau, Quebec / Gatineau (Québec)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
at 0905 / L'audience débute le mercredi
17 mai 2006 à 0905
5403 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît. Good morning, everyone.
5404 Madame la Secrétaire.
5405 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Merci, monsieur le Président.
5406 Good morning. We will start this morning with the presentation of CBC/Radio‑Canada who are appearing at the request of the Hearing Panel.
5407 Mr. Ray Carnovale will be appearing for CBC/Radio‑Canada and will introduce his colleagues.
5408 You will then have 10 minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5409 MR. CARNOVALE: Thank you.
5410 Mr. Chair, Members of the Commission, I am Ray Carnovale, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at CBC/Radio Canada. It is a pleasure to appear before you today at this important proceeding to review the regulatory framework for commercial radio.
5411 With me are François Conway, Senior Director Strategy and Planning Technology, and Bev Kirshenblatt, Senior Director Regulatory Affairs.
5412 Consistent with our submission in this proceeding, our remarks today focus on the Commission's transitional digital radio policy.
5413 We have already set out in detail in our written submission in this proceeding, the comprehensive range of English and French‑language radio services we provide to Canadians and the numerous platforms over which we provide them.
5414 We are extremely proud of our programming and our services. However, a number of dramatic changes are increasingly affecting the Canadian broadcasting environment and, as a result, we face a host of opportunities and challenges if we wish to continue to fulfil our role.
5415 You have heard from many participants in this proceeding how podcasting, streaming audio services and satellite radio have altered the broadcasting landscape and that the pace of change is accelerating. We all agree that these developments present challenges.
5416 There is significant and ongoing fragmentation of the radio audience for conventional linear programming.
5417 The wide range of technological developments in content delivery, however, also presents extraordinary opportunities for broadcasters. We think that new distribution technologies provide both new shelf space for Canadian programming, as well as new opportunities for innovative program development.
5418 These new platforms provide an opportunity for us to reach out to Canadians in totally new ways, capturing new audiences and revitalizing the relationship with existing audiences.
5419 We believe that this is an opportunity that cannot be missed.
5420 For CBC/Radio Canada, these changes reinforce the need to maintain a distinctive voice and a unique and ubiquitous presence across all platforms, old and new, so that Canadians will be able to easily find their national public broadcaster on whatever medium they choose to use.
5421 All broadcasters must respond to technological changes as they arise, and CBC/Radio Canada prides itself on being highly accessible and ahead of the curve with respect to emerging and new technology.
5422 In the case of radio, however, the transmission path to digital transmission for AM and Fm ratio stations remains unclear. Based on the Commission's current transitional digital radio policy, the digital is a replacement technology.
5423 Broadcasters have made significant investment to build, maintain and operate digital radio broadcast infrastructure. CBC/Radio Canada has invested in transmitters and the necessary connections in five major cities, as well as in production and programming facilities in Montréal and Vancouver. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, the rollout of digital radio broadcasting has stalled in Canada.
5424 Since the CRTC's transitional digital radio policy was first issued, other digital transmission technologies have emerged. For example, in the United States a number of radio broadcasters are promoting HD radio as a response to satellite radio, despite the fact that HD radio is still in the experimental stages.
5425 However, we believe that there are a number of important issues, particularly technical issues, as well as consumer acceptance issues, that must be fully evaluated before this system can be adopted in Canada. In fact, we will be conducting over‑the‑air transmission tests of HD radio in Toronto this summer.
5426 In preparation for these tests we visited national public radio laboratories in Washington, D.C. to hear of their experiences with HD radio. They have kindly agreed to let us share their documents with you.
5427 Given the high degree of uncertainty with respect to these technologies, the only thing that is certain is that no one can accurately predict how digital radio will unfold in the future. We think that it is too early to draw any definitive conclusions on any of these technologies.
5428 However, as stated in our written comments, CBC/Radio Canada remains committed to DRB. We also believe that DRB should be treated as a complementary technology that will co‑exist with existing analog and other digital services. DRB should no simply be seen as a replacement technology.
5429 So what will get Canadians interested in a new distribution technology like digital radio?
5430 We think that the first step is to permit broadcasters to innovate and experiment in the provision of digital radio services to Canadians. For example, the delivery of multimedia content to mobile phones and other portable devices can now be offered using L‑band DRB technology.
5431 Permitting such innovation, experimentation and creativity must just help spark the success of DRB in Canada. It makes sense to explore the potential that DRB offers us in improving our availability and service to Canadians. We are currently exploring a number of uses for DRB in ways that could increase its attractiveness to Canadians.
5432 We want to be able to assess the needs and interests of Canadians. The results of such experimentation could then provide the basis for a review of the current policy on digital radio.
5433 Thank you. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
5434 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5435 Mr. Arpin...?
5436 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5437 I will focus on the three real topics: the transitional period, the one that the Commission created from 1995, say, up to today, particularly ‑‑ I will not discuss the non‑availability of receivers, but the various tests that you have done, particularly out of your Montréal and Vancouver studio facility.
5438 I know, and I think for the record it may be good to know, that you use those 14 hours that the Commission has allocated through its policy to do some different programming, to try to understand what were your conclusions about the use of the technology during that transitional period.
5439 I know that you, Mr. Carnovale, was here yesterday when Mr. Shuldiner from iBiquity appeared, so I will want to hear your comments on what we learned from iBiquity. Did we learn something that is new?
5440 Following the discussions that we had, what they are proposing for Canada, is it more palatable than it was before the hearing?
5441 I heard that you are going to be testing HD in Toronto over the summer. Mr. Shuldiner also mentioned that they were contemplating some tests here in Canada. Are they the same ones or are they other tests that he was referring to? I don't know where you are.
5442 You addressed somehow the future in your oral presentation, the future use of the L‑band. Obviously it is going to be an Industry Canada decision, not a CRTC decision, but since we have an opportunity to discuss the matter and put on the record some reflection from the various broadcasters it may help down the road to have a better use of the L‑band.
5443 I also heard you that NPR has allowed you to share studies with the Commission?
5444 MR. CARNOVALE: Yes.
5445 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Could you please make them available at some point in time? I know that we have set a schedule that we need to have these documents by May 29th.
5446 MR. CARNOVALE: Yes, we would be happy to.
5447 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: You would be happy to do so?
5448 Then my first question will deal with the transitional digital period and the various experiments that were done, both in Montréal and in Vancouver, and what have you learned from these experiences?
5449 MR. CARNOVALE: Well, first I will mention that the genesis of Radio 3, which was based in Vancouver, started out as an internet service, but we took advantage of the 14‑hour provision to transmit some of that programming over the Vancouver DRB transmitter.
5450 I will turn it over to François Conway to describe the ongoing experiments that we have in Montréal right now.
5451 M. CONWAY: Merci, Ray.
5452 When we selected DRB as a technology several years ago, the reason was that we saw in this technology the potential to deal with the future environment of radio with fragmentation and multiple platforms arriving.
5453 So during these past years in the transitional stage, I can say that we practically tried every possibility the technology and the regulatory and policy framework allowed us to do, and I will list them.
5454 The first one is, we experimented with transmitting our radio service at various bit rates to see how far we could go and what was the minimum bit rate required to reach CD quality, or near CD quality and people's acceptance or a reaction to it.
5455 The second one is, we experimented with program‑associated data in order to be able to send alphanumeric text messages to the displays of digital radio receivers.
5456 The fourth one is, we also experiment with the ability to dynamically reconfigure the multiplex to apportion the bits or the services.
5457 As you know, we can in fact configure this multiplex to provide 64 services. Right now the regulation is that it is intended to provide four radio licences with some ancillary data capacity.
5458 We have also used the capacity to create sub‑channels. Currently in Montreal we are broadcasting a sub‑channel which is a sub‑service transmitting news and traffic information during the morning show and the drive‑home show, so that people who want to immediately have some traffic information can tune on the sub‑channel of la Première Chaîne. This is currently ongoing.
5459 It has been going on for two or three years and we did ask the CRTC for permission to do this.
5460 We have also used the ancillary data capacity to transmit multimedia content and other types of internet‑type content. These were basically just technical trials because there was no public receiver to receive it. So it was in order to be able to see if we can take some internet‑type content, IP‑encapsulated.
5461 In Montréal we have been able to encapsulate RDI clips that are currently available in the Metro and transmit it to fixed DRB receivers and display it on plasma displays.
5462 We also made use of the provision of the 14 hours of distinct programming we could do on the DRB channel. We did it, as Ray mentioned, in Vancouver with Radio 3.
5463 We also did it in Montréal. For one year we created a special show, a one‑hour show, daily show, that was broadcast only on one of our DRB services to see how we could exploit this different technology and its flexibility.
5464 MR. CARNOVALE: I would add, we are currently in discussionS to try experiments with Korean‑manufactured cellphones which have CDMA and L‑band DRB receivers built in. That for us is one of these breakthroughs, because we are now on the cusp of the availability of mass‑produced low‑cost products.
5465 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: And available.
5466 Not only mass‑produced, but also available in the market.
5467 MR. CARNOVALE: Yes.
5468 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Except the few initiés who had receivers, did you ever get any reaction from listeners about the various tests you did in Montreal?
5469 M. CONWAY : Oui. Je pourrais dire que, bon, en ce qui concerne la programmation distincte et la diffusion simultanée de la même programmation analogue, les réactions qu'on a eues... on a fait des public forums, puis des focus groups, des choses comme ça.
5470 Une des premières choses qui est ressortie, c'est qu'il y aurait beaucoup plus d'intérêt pour la radio numérique si la programmation était différente, donc, s'il y avait quelque chose qui est disponible sur la bande numérique qui n'est pas disponible sur la bande analogue.
5471 Premier commentaire. C'est ce qui supporte notre position que ça devrait être un nouveau service complémentaire au lieu d'un service de remplacement.
5472 Le deuxième commentaire, c'est justement les services spécialisés comme les sous‑canals qui diffusent seulement de l'information en bout continu, comme le trafic, sont très utiles. Quand les gens, par exemple, sont prêts à prendre le Pont Mercier, puis ils se demandent s'ils vont prendre la 30 ou la 138, c'est très utile pour eux, puis la technologie permet de trouver le canal très rapidement sur la bande.
5473 Finalement, la disponibilité des récepteurs, évidemment, c'est quelque chose qui nous a empêché d'évoluer ou d'aller plus loin dans notre expérimentation.
5474 Donc, les commentaires qu'on a eu, c'est peut‑être de regarder le concept de... de s'éloigner du concept d'un récepteur dédié qui peut seulement recevoir de la radio numérique à des devices qui sont multipurpose devices. Donc, c'est pour ça qu'on travaille maintenant à regarder ce que les Coréens ont fait avec les téléphones CDMA intégrés avec la réception des RBDMB.
5475 COMMISSAIRE ARPIN : Dans le Scientific American du mois de mars, on parle d'un cognitive receiver. Je ne sais pas si vous avez vu l'article ou si vous avez entendu parler de... ça faisait partie du mémoire déposé par CHUM. C'était vraiment sous forme d'une référence, mais je suis allé chercher l'article.
5476 Le cognitive receiver, c'est un récepteur intelligent qui s'habitue à nos usages et qui va chercher les fréquences où ils se trouvent, quel que soit le mode de transmission.
5477 C'est des choses de cette nature‑là que vous voyez dans l'avenir?
5478 M. CONWAY : Oui. Finalement, ça fait partie du changement de paradigme qu'on voit dans... L'ancien paradigme analogue, c'était un service, un signal analogique, une fréquence et un récepteur dédié.
5479 Dans le nouvel environnement numérique, on parle de pas seulement un type de média, on parle de multimédia, on parle de contenu disponible sur différentes plates‑formes, et on parle de récepteur programmable ou de devices qui ont plusieurs fonctions pour recevoir le contenu.
5480 Le cognitive radio où on peut appeler le récepteur programmable est vraiment clé, et c'est ce qu'on voit de plus en plus. Il y a des devices qui ont des lecteurs MP3, qui ont des tuners FM, qui sont des téléphones, qui ont des caméras intégrés.
5481 Donc, c'est l'avenir, et c'est pour ça qu'on regarde la radio numérique sous un nouvel oeil avec ces types de récepteurs.
5482 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Mr. Carnovale, you heard Mr. Shuldiner yesterday about HD radio.
5483 Do you have any comments to make following that presentation?
5484 MR. CARNOVALE: Actually, we do have several observations. Some of these are based on our visit to National Public Radio, some of it on our own research.
5485 With regard to ‑‑ and first I will talk about FM and then we will move into the AM issues.
5486 One thing that we learned from NPR is that the analog FM coverage contours are not entirely replicated. It comes close at the higher power levels. The 100 kilowatt stations almost reach out to their analog protected coverage contour, which in the United States, by the way, is higher by 6 dB or a power factor of 4.
5487 So there is a difference between the definition of Canadian protected contours and the desired signal ratios that are allowed to interfere with these protected contours.
5488 They determined that for lower power stations ‑‑ and they had many of them because of being public radio ‑‑ that there is a non‑linear relationship in the coverage and that the lower power stations, what we know as Class A's at 3 kilowatts, have a significantly reduced digital service area.
5489 Indoor reception turned out to be really problematic and this was a real disappointment.
5490 First of all, with the primary HD channel, if the digital signal drops below a certain threshold you can fail over to the analog signal in the so‑called blend mode. And that will happen fairly frequently in an indoor environment.
5491 What was interesting with the secondary tertiary channels, which is where they see a lot of potential, is in fact indoor reception was very spotty. It would cut in and out. Antenna placement was very critical.
5492 And the most annoying thing, of course, is when the signal cuts out it takes eight seconds for the buffer to fill up again. So you end up with not just a momentary glitch in the signal but a loss for several seconds.
5493 We also experienced in drive tests in Washington that there was interference from first adjacent out‑of‑market transmitters.
5494 The analog blending can be annoying. If you are in a car and you lose the digital signal, it blends to analog and then it reverts back. If you are in a problematic service area, it is kind of annoying that it is going back and forth, back and forth from one mode to the other.
5495 With respect to the audio compression that is utilized, one of the things NPR did was a very extensive classic double‑blind test of perceived audio quality versus the bit rates. The bottom line is there is no free ride.
5496 Compression can be impressive but in fact there are artifacts, especially with voices as opposed to music, which is not what you would normally expect.
5497 So the sense we had is that for us I think the real interest in the short term is a single primary channel with the full 96 kilobyte bit rate that has the ability to fail back to analog.
5498 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: So there is a need for further enhancement of the system.
5499 With regard to AM now.
5500 MR. CARNOVALE: With regard to AM, I just want to clarify the statements made by iBiquity yesterday were focusing on skywave interference to skywave coverage of what we know as the traditional clear channel stations.
5501 That isn't what we identify as the issue. We are concerned about skywave interference to the groundwave coverage of AM stations which have traditionally had quite a low night time interference free contour.
5502 I am talking about of course the clear channel stations that CBC still operates, that other broadcasters in Canada are now utilizing, stations like CFRB in Toronto which has a very low night time interference free contour.
5503 There was no provision in the original North American Broadcast Agreement of the 1930s, nor in the Rio Accord of 1998, for skywave protection to adjacent channel stations.
5504 That flaw means that because the HD data is actually on the adjacent channel, you are transmitting on top of the adjacent channel.
5505 We are aware of iBiquity's tests with WLW and WOR in the States, Cincinnati vis‑à‑vis New York first adjacent channels. Those were done over four days in August and four days in December of 2002.
5506 We don't think that that is a definitive study and we think that the same methodology that we use to determine skywave protection for co‑channel at night ought to be applied in analyses of interference to adjacent channels.
5507 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Carnovale.
5508 For the matter of time, if you have further comments to make, we surely will be pleased to receive them in writing.
5509 I thank you for being here this morning.
5510 Those will be my questions for today.
5511 MR. CARNOVALE: Thank you very much.
5512 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for appearing.
5513 Those are our questions.
5514 Madam Secretary.
5515 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5516 I would now invite the next participant, Corus Entertainment Inc., to come forward for their presentation.
5517 THE SECRETARY: Mr. John Cassaday is appearing on behalf of Corus. He will introduce his colleagues.
5518 You will have ten minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5519 MR. CASSADAY: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, legal counsel and CRTC staff.
5520 My name is John Cassaday, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Corus Entertainment.
5521 Before we begin our short remarks, allow me to introduce our panel.
5522 Some of our colleagues are less well‑known to you, so we will provide some brief background.
5523 Starting on my extreme left is J.J. Johnston, who recently returned to Vancouver as our new General Manager of the Corus Radio Vancouver cluster, which is comprised of CKMW, MOJO Sports Radio, Rock 101 and CFOX.
5524 J.J. has served on various industry boards throughout his radio career, including the BBM board, CARAS and several years at FACTOR, where he served as chairman of the board from 1997 to 1999.
5525 Kathleen McNair is Vice‑President and General Manager, Radio and Television, Peterborough‑Durham. In this role, she manages two TV stations and two small market radio stations. Kathleen also sits on the board of FACTOR.
5526 Ross Winter is our National Program Director and regularly visits our 51 radio stations. He is located in Vancouver. In his current role, Ross oversees the research that we do on music formats and consumer tastes, some of which was summarized in our submission.
5527 Gary Mavaara is Vice‑President and General Counsel of Corus Entertainment.
5528 On my right is John Hayes, who is President of Corus Radio.
5529 Pierre Arcand is President of Corus Québec and Pierre also oversees the work of the largest group of radio journalists in Quebec. Pierre is also the President of the Quebec Radio Marketing Bureau and is also a member of Musique Action.
5530 Alan Cross is the Program Director of 102.1 The Edge in Toronto, Canada's most influential New Rock station. Alan was named Canadian Program Director of the Year at the Canadian Music Industry Awards for the past two years.
5531 Alan is also a music historian who has hosted 500‑plus episodes of the nationally syndicated radio documentary programming "The Ongoing History of New Music", and Alan is the author of four books on music history.
5532 Doug Rutherford is the Corus National Vice‑President of News‑Talk Radio. He is also General Manager of Corus Radio in Edmonton. In this role he sets the standards for the massive amount of news coverage and public affairs programming that we do at some of Canada's best‑known heritage news stations, such as CKNW in Vancouver, CJOB in Winnipeg and CHED in Edmonton. He served as a director of the Radio‑Television News Directors Association.
5533 Jack Hepner is our National Director of Engineering. Jack has been involved with installations, maintenance and engineering supervision of radio stations over the past 40 years. This has included assignments across Canada, Africa and Central America.
5534 As you can sense, this team has a deep understanding of radio, music and the tastes and interests of the Canadian listening community. We brought this large group here today to answer any of the questions that you have about radio and how we do our job each day.
5535 Corus is Canada's largest radio operator in terms of ad revenue and audience reach. We believe that radio's greatest strength is its ability to react instantly to the needs and interests of the local community. To do this, we must be very much in tune with our listeners.
5536 Corus reaches one in three Canadians. We have 51 stations operating primarily in urban centres, from Vancouver to Quebec City, in both English and French, with a range of formats. We are also the largest operator of news‑talk formats in Canada, with 19 stations.
5537 MR. HAYES: Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission, Corus will concentrate only on a few themes in our remarks today, but each of these themes will speak to the 400‑pound gorilla who sits in the middle of this regulatory proceeding: the Canadian listener community.
5538 As the old joke goes: What does the gorilla do? And the punch line is: Anything it wants.
5539 If we can't find a way to keep the listener happy, none of us, broadcasters, regulator or musician, will succeed.
5540 Our themes today: Consumers are becoming agnostic about the delivery system and radio stations face dramatically increased competition, both from old sources such as other traditional radio stations on both sides of the border, and new sources such as MP3 players, the internet and satellite radio.
5541 Bits and bytes don't respect borders or national regulation, and we all need to get used to that fact.
5542 Paradoxically, in this digital world we also need to find a way to successfully introduce digital broadcasting to Canadians so that they will embrace it.
5543 We believe that in a changing world flexibility in regulation is everything. We are not asking you to reduce Canadian content levels, just to make the rules more flexible so that we can serve listeners better.
5544 We need your help in saving the heritage new stock AM stations which are the predominant source of local programming, including emergency information for our listeners. And we believe that our proposals, the goals of the Commission and the public interest are aligned.
5545 In our written brief, at paragraph 28, we used a graph to illustrate the evolution of the competition for radio from new digital platforms. We also described how the traditional radio market has expanded due to the increase in new licences awarded by the CRTC over the past few years.
5546 So the media environment is changing rapidly.
5547 We can't predict how our markets will evolve, but we do believe that the CRTC should carefully consider the following real world facts.
5548 One, as the CRTC 2005 Monitoring Report states, tuning to radio continues to fall each year.
5549 Two, new media platforms seem to be introduced each week and Canadians are embracing them. All of the statistics indicate that young Canadians, our future core audience, are using traditional media far less than the people in this hearing room.
5550 Three, the music industry has lost a significant revenue stream, almost half in six years, due to the use by Canadian consumers of new digital devices.
5551 Four, these new devices not only entice listeners away from traditional radio but they also make it more difficult for people to listen to us.
5552 We suggest that each member of the panel conduct a personal test. Go to the nearest electronics store and have a look at the latest gadgets, such as iPods, satellite radios and cell phones that have MP3 players in them. One of the key lessons you will learn is that these devices do not contain traditional radio receivers in them. Some offer FM add‑ons but these are really difficult to find. And you won't find AM devices on any of them. So the reality is that the new devices don't only compete with radio, they also replace radio.
5553 Five, another aspect of the digital media explosion is simply that a bit stream of data can move globally. Anyone can easily copy, change or redistribute content and each copy is as good as the first.
5554 The Commission is well aware of this, so we won't dwell on it.
5555 Meanwhile, digital broadcasting presents to Canadian radio system with a wonderful opportunity to participate in this change. We can mount a successful digital transmission system only if we are very sensitive however to consumer needs and wants.
5556 DAB has languished due to a variety of factors, but frankly the main cause in our view is the lack about real and perceived consumer benefit. It seems clear that a better sound quality is just not enough to generate interest and sales of receiver devices.
5557 We believe that the answer lies in distinctive content. We don't know yet what that is, but we need to find it. To do so, the industry needs maximum flexibility, which is why we recommended that digital broadcasting services have no content regulation until all analog transmissions cease.
5558 This distinctive content might be all Canadian, it might be all music or talk or drama or infomercials, we just don't know yet, but we do need to find out and the only way to do so is to start with a broad canvas fitted only by our creativity, financial resources and consumer demand.
5559 We are asking you to allow us to experiment, to foster consumer interest that will support the launch of digital broadcasting.
5560 M. ARCAND: Aujourd'hui, nous avons une industrie et un système d'encouragement au talent canadien extrêmement valable. Dans sa proposition écrite Corus n'a pas demandé une réduction des éléments importants des règlements de programmation. Nous ne désirons pas réduire la quantité de musique canadienne que nous diffusons.
5561 Par contre, nous croyons que nous pourrions améliorer nos services si nous avions la flexibilité de diffuser un meilleur mélange de musique à travers nos groupes de stations par marché et sur les ondes AM et FM.
5562 Ceci dit, quelques‑unes de nos suggestions demandent le renforcement des règlements de programmation pour assurer par exemple, que la promesse du nouveau titulaire d'une licence d'ajouter de la diversité musicale aux ondes soit satisfaite pendant la première année de la licence. Donc, nous ne demandons pas au Conseil d'écarter ces règlements, mais simplement de les adapter au contexte actuel.
5563 La situation de la fréquence AM devient dramatique, mais nous avons des solutions. La radio AM en particulier, les radios dites Patrimoine ou Héritage ont des traditions d'influence dans les marchés qu'elles desservent.
5564 Des stations comme CKAC à Montréal, CJRC à Ottawa‑Gatineau et CHQR à Calgary sont reconnues. Nous investissons énormément de ressources pour créer les éléments qui rendent cette programmation si persuasive auprès des auditeurs. Ce sont ces stations que les auditeurs écoutent en période d'urgence et en période d'élection.
5565 Le Conseil est conscient du fait que le nombre d'auditeurs de la bande AM diminue plus rapidement que ceux de la fréquence FM. Le paradoxe auquel la fréquence est confrontée et que les populations au centre‑ville qui comptent sur ces stations ont de la difficulté à recevoir le signal AM.
5566 Corus recommande donc que le Conseil permette à ces stations dites Patrimoine d'avoir accès aux fréquences FM afin de préserver et de mieux servir ses auditoires.
5567 Dans certains marchés, nous recommandons que le radiodiffuseur d'une station Am soit capable de changer la station en une fréquence FM disponible. Dans ces circonstances, les limites propriétaires de ces marchés devraient être écartées pour permettre aux mêmes propriétaires d'avoir autant de fréquences FM qu'ils entretenaient avant le changement.
5568 Dans d'autres marchés comme ceux des prairies où le signal AM est plus fort, le radiodiffuseur devrait être autorisé à continuer avec la station AM, mais devrait aussi être autorisé à diffuser la programmation en duplex sur les ondes FM pour mieux servir les auditeurs des centre‑villes.
5569 La question est de savoir où trouver ces fréquences et nous recommandons que le Conseil et Industrie Canada considèrent les fréquences avoisinantes comme sources potentielles pour les demandes de changement du AM au FM.
5570 La nouvelle infrastructure numérique peut supporter un assouplissement des règles de séparation, surtout quand le propriétaire de la fréquence avoisinante demande d'utiliser son signal avoisinant.
5571 Corus croit que si nous n'agissons pas pour préserver la programmation des stations Patrimoines sur les ondes AM, nous risquons de les perdre complètement.
5572 MR. CASSADAY: The proposals which Corus made in its written brief, some of which were repeated here today, are very much in the public interest.
5573 First of all, our proposals are designed to maintain and increase audiences for our services which by definition carry a preponderence of Canadian content.
5574 Secondly, we are not seeking to reduce the levels of Canadian music played on our stations or the amounts that we would contribute to the development of new Canadian talent.
5575 Thirdly, we believe that we can compete in the digital interactive world. To do so successfully we need to continue to be financially viable to invest in the research, content, systems and people needed to hold our audiences in a very competitive world.
5576 For broadcasters, our environment over the next two years as new technologies take route is extraordinarily uncertain. To increase the chance of surviving in the public's interest, the industry has to have the latitude to experiment not just with formats, but also with the best ways to deliver can. con. across and within formats.
5577 To sum up, Corus does not know with certainty where digital interactive technology will take the industry, but we do know that the impacts are being felt in a variety of ways. No one would debate that.
5578 Corus is not backing away from its commitments and we are not asking the Commission to reduce our obligations. We are simply recommending that you provide radio with flexibility or existing analog operations and room to experiment in digital to meet the interests of consumer.
5579 Thank you and we look forward to your questions.
5580 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Cugini.
5581 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome gentlemen and Ms McNeer. Good morning.
5582 I'm going to ask you a few questions and I would like to ask you to answer the questions only as they relate to Canadian content.
5583 In your written submission, you endorsed the CAB's proposal with regard to its bonus incentive plan and you introduced the market cloister approach to Canadian content.
5584 First question is: are these two approaches mutually exclusive?
5585 MR. MAAVARA: The answer is: no. We could see how we could work with both elements to create a terrific service.
5586 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Because in your market cluster approach, I believe you say that a floor could be 15 per cent of Canadian content if we were to accept that approach.
5587 How would you then apply or then if you were to apply the incentive bonus plan as proposed by the CAB, what would happen to the Canadian content level on that 15 per cent station?
5588 MR. MAAVARA: I think the important thing about our proposal is that it's really a combination of elements, the first element being that we would preserve the amount of Canadian content across the cluster and when you look at the proposals we made, such as the floors or the amount that you can carry on one particular station, you have to think about it in that context.
5589 But the way that we would see it is that if the broadcaster was intending to apply the CAB proposal, then that would overlay upon the cluster arrangement.
5590 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, your marker cluster approach obviously works for the six largest radio operators.
5591 Are you suggesting that we build a framework for the six largest and a separate framework for the independents to accommodate your marker cloister approach?
5592 MR. MAAVARA: No, I don't think it's necessarily exclusive of the six. What it simply does, the fundamental premise is that in that market, there would be the same amount of Canadian content music available to the listener and it really starts with the listener and trying to ensure that we get as much listening as we can to the Canadian content through this type of flexibility.
5593 So in the circumstances where you only for example would have one station, obviously there is not going to be an application of that, but at the end of the day, you are still going to be providing your Canadian content level.
5594 So, to the extent that other smaller operators acquire new stations or, for example, as we were suggesting with respect to the AM migration and, for example, if second agencies start to become more available, then you could see how the application of the cluster rule could expand.
5595 But at the end of the day, it's about getting the same amount of Canadian content out to hopefully a lot more listeners.
5596 MR. CASSADAY: The only thing I would add, I don't think that we should be given too much credit for this as being a wholly original idea because I think the genesis of the idea was the ruling that came out of the satellite here and where there are, in fact, two distinct forms of regulations.
5597 So, I think it is possible that there could be a separate set of regulations for the big six and others if that was, in fact, felt to be the kind of flexibility that was going to allow us to achieve our objectives.
5598 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Have you discussed this approach with your peers at Standard or Rogers?
5599 MR. MAAVARA: Not extensively.
5600 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Perhaps in the interest of time, what I could ask you to do, I think it was you, Mr. Hayes who said "with real world facts", I like real world examples.
5601 Perhaps you could by May 29th, I believe, provide us with an analysis of what this approach will do in markets where Corus owns a cluster of services, of radio stations, what this would do for your stations and what would this do to the other radio stations in that market?
5602 MR. MAAVARA: We would be delighted.
5603 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And now, just a couple of practical questions with regards to the CAB proposal and in particular, the use of the BDS list, and I don't know if either Mr. Winters or Mr. Cross would like to answer this question, but have you had an opportunity to analyze the approach, that is the top 40 up until 12 months from the time they reach the top 40?
5604 And if we were to apply that rule, how much of your current play list would be attributable to emerging artists according to the definition provided by the CAB?
5605 MR. CROSS: Well, we have actually done a simulation already and we have determined that in our ‑‑ currently, we're playing forward what would be considered emerging artists right now and if the bonus system were to be adopted, we see that making room for another four, so we would be playing eight emerging artists that we would play throughout the day and of maximum quality exposure too.
5606 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And that compares to how many that you are playing now?
5607 MR. CROSS: We are playing four right now.
5608 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Four right now?
5609 MR. CROSS: Four right now and we are giving those four songs, if you look at a full broadcast week, we are playing 40, we are giving those songs 40 spins throughout a broadcast week. Under the new rules, we would play ‑‑ we would give those songs 82 spins.
5610 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And is that just on CFNY or is that ‑‑
5611 MR. CROSS: That is just on ours. This is a real world example from the current age play list taken from some statistics that we gathered last week.
5612 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And what about your more mainstream formats?
5613 MR. WINTERS: Well, I can speak to the country formats and I spoke to our program directors.
5614 What the proposed ruling is overlaid onto three days of programming at scheduled music programming at CKRI, Calgary for example, they would have played five unique emerging artists for a total of 21 spins in those three days, which would have been five less Canadian selections or over a full week, it would have been 40 to 50 spins of emerging artists and 10 to 11 less Canadian selections played.
5615 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Just one final question. Mr. Cross, I know that you broadcast your show, the ongoing History of New Music. Have you been able to relate any increase in listenership as a result of your broadcast to your radio station?
5616 MR. CROSS: Not as of yet. We can track how many people can download the show, but we have no idea how many people are actually listening to it. We are getting anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 downloads a week, which is not large in the grand scheme of things, but it is a step in the right direction.
5617 One of the things that we are finding is that because of the Copyright Regulations regarding the distribution of music, we cannot include any music in any of the broadcast, so it's strictly spoken word.
5618 It is a good bit of viral advertising and marketing for us because it does get us on Ipods in between songs that we are ‑‑ a place where we would otherwise not be.
5619 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you and thank you, Mr. Chairman. Those are my questions.
5620 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Noël.
5621 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Alors, monsieur Arcand, en rafale, pour le côté français.
5622 Je pense que dans votre texte de ce matin, vous avez une petite erreur. Vous faites référence à la première année de licence au troisième paragraphe de votre intervention et dans le texte écrit du Mémoire de Corus, on parle du premier terme de licence pour garder le format après avoir obtenu une nouvelle licence. Alors, je veux juste le souligner pour que vous nous disiez quelle est la bonne option : la première année ou le premier terme?
5623 Deuxièmement, sur la rentabilité de la radio française et la question de savoir si les frais généraux et d'administration pour ce qui est de la radio francophone, pourquoi sont‑ils plus haut ou que... en règle générale dans la radio anglophone? En trois mots.
5624 M. ARCAND: Bien, il y a un peu ce qui s'est produit hier. Je sais qu'Astral a répondu à cette question‑là hier.
5625 Dans notre cas, c'est sûr qu'il y a moins de revenus et nous, entre autres, dans notre cas, on a plusieurs stations AM. Quand on a plusieurs stations AM, on se retrouve, évidemment, avec des stations qui sont quand même assez... qui ont besoin de gestionnaires, qui ont quand même besoin... avoir une salle de nouvelles, ça prend des gestionnaires, et caetera.
5626 Donc, il faudrait faire une analyse détaillée, mais c'est sûr que c'est probablement en fonction des revenus et c'est sûr qu'à partir du moment où les stations anglophones, de façon générale, ont beaucoup plus de revenus, leurs frais généraux vont probablement diminuer en relation, évidemment, avec leurs revenus et c'est la même chose du côté francophone où, là, on a un peu moins de revenus et probablement que les frais généraux sont plus élevés, mais ça ne coût pas plus cher d'administrer une station francophone comme telle qu'une station anglophone.
5627 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Ça coûte proportionnellement plus cher parce que les revenus n'y sont pas.
5628 M. ARCAND: Parce que les revenus sont moindres; exact.
5629 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: D'accord. Musique vocale de langue française, je vous ai entendu ce matin, les gens de Corus ont dit qu'on ne demandait pas de modification, sinon la prime de l'ACR.
5630 Qu'est‑ce que vous pensez de la demande de l'ADISQ, elle, d'imposer un quota pour les nouveautés?
5631 M. ARCAND: Nous y sommes totalement opposés et farouchement..
5632 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Merci. Montage; madame Murphy a demandé aux gens d'Astral et de Cogeco de revenir par écrit le 29 mai. Eset‑ce que vous pouvez faire la même chose?
5633 M. ARCAND: Oui.
5634 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Ça vient de régler un troisième point.
5635 Deux autres questions... trois autres questions; excusez‑moi. Le Guide des droits et responsabilités de la presse mis de l'avant par le Conseil de presse, est‑ce que vous avez des problèmes à ce que le Conseil... le CRTC vous impose ce guide?
5636 M. ARCAND: Écoutez; lorsqu'on a eu l'audience à Québec, on avait présenté, nous, notre Code de déontologie. J'imagine que les mêmes termes doivent se ressembler. Il faudrait quand même qu'on voit exactement dans le détail ce que ça implique.
5637 Mais, nous notre Code de déontologie nous paraissait, en tout cas, assez valable à ce moment‑là.
5638 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Vous nous revenez au mois de juin avec vos répliques finales?
5639 M. ARCAND: Oui.
5640 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Merci. Question de niveau de programmation locale pour les stations qui opèrent en réseau, est‑ce que vous croyez que le Conseil devrait augmenter le niveau de programmation locale pour les stations opérant en réseau?
5641 M. ARCAND: Écoutez; nous dans la décision que nous avons eue lorsque nous avons acheté les stations de Astral, on avait quand même des conditions de licence déjà pour avoir un minimum de contenu local que nous avons accepté d'ailleurs.
5642 Nous croyons donc pour l'instant que ça devrait...
5643 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: C'est assez?
5644 M. ARCAND: ... ça devrait être le statu quoi à ce moment‑ci.
5645 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Merci. Et pour la définition de la programmation locale, avez‑vous quelque chose à ajouter à ce que les gens de Cogeco et de Astral ont dit hier?
5646 M. ARCAND: Qu'est‑ce que vous voulez dire exactement?
5647 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Ils ont dit qu'ils étaient parfaitement satisfaits de la définition actuelle de la programmation locale.
5648 M. ARCAND: Oui, moi aussi.
5649 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Vous autres aussi?
5650 M. ARCAND: Oui.
5651 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Et une dernière question, monsieur Arcand, et c'est pour votre idée de transférer les stations AM au FM. J'ai compté 22 stations AM dans votre écurie, sur 51 stations au total.
5652 Est‑ce que ce que vous nous demandez, cette flexibilité pour transformer les AM en FM, c'est pour les 22 stations AM ou c'est seulement pour les stations dites Patrimoine que vous avez nommées, soit CKAC, attendez un peu là, je les ai en quelque part.
5653 M. ARCAND: Oui;, les stations de Calgary.
5654 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Oui, c'est CKAC, CJRC et CHQR?
5655 M. ARCAND: Non. C'est pour un plus grand nombre de stations. Je pense que, nous, dans l'esprit qui nous guide actuellement et pour avoir vécu l'expérience, entre autres, de la transaction d'Astral où on s'est retrouvé... moi, je n'ai pas vécu l'expérience ailleurs, mais on s'est retrouvé avec des stations qui avaient des difficultés sur le plan financier, mais qui avaient vraiment un impact déterminant dans leur communauté.
5656 Alors, on a beaucoup parlé du système français lors de ces audiences jusqu'ici et toutes les stations dites d'influence ou d'Héritage comme Europe 1, comme RTL en France et France Inter qui étaient sur des fréquences dites *ondes longues+ pendant des années en France se sont toutes retrouvées à un moment donné à la fois sur les ondes longues et à la fois sur la bande FM parce qu'ils avaient un rôle d'information et d'affaires publiques particulièrement important.
5657 Alors, nous, on pense que les stations, et ce sera au Conseil de juger, mais il y a des stations qui sont particulièrement importantes dans des marchés... dans la plupart des marchés et qui jouent un rôle, je pense encore plus grand qu'une station qui est purement musicale.
5658 Et on pense donc, nous, pour les mêmes raisons qu'il y a environ dix ans on avait dit, bien, il faut que Radio Canada même au niveau de ses émissions d'affaires publiques ait droit à des fréquences FM, on pense que, nous, les stations qui ont vraiment un service important, qui ont des salles de nouvelles, qui ont des coûts quand même probablement plus élevés qu'une station musicale devraient quand même avoir accès à des stations à des fréquences FM.
5659 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: C'est‑à‑dire, maintenir la programmation sur les deux bandes à ce moment‑là, en même temps?
5660 M. ARCAND: C'est‑à‑dire qu'il y a des cas où c'est carrément des transferts sur la bande FM, mais peut‑être que dans l'ouest, entre autres, là où il y a de grandes étendues, la radio AM pourrait être à ce moment‑là importante de faire les deux pendant une période de temps.
5661 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Vous étiez ici hier soir... en fait, on était presque rendu dans la nuit, je dirais, et les gens de Cogeco, monsieur Mayrand a fait une intervention à l'effet de ne pas modifier la situation de propriétés dans les marchés en permettant, par exemple, la conversion... la règle de propriété sur le nombre de AM et de FM qu'on peut détenir dans un même marché, dans une même langue.
5662 Avez‑vous des commentaires à faire là‑dessus?
5663 M. ARCAND: C'est‑à‑dire que je pense que je demanderais peut‑être à monsieur Cassaday de faire le commentaire sur cette question‑là, sur la question des règles de propriété.
5664 MR. CASSADAY: The question of profitability is one that has come up a couple of times and I would just like to make a couple of quick comments.
5665 First of all, I think that we should be proud that the Canadian Radio Industry is strong at a time when we're facing intense new competition and I think the reasons for the strength of radio are really two fold:
5666 1) good public policy. I think the decision that was made to allow multiple ownership was pivotal to the success that radio is now enjoying.
5667 And the second reason is good management. With less owners in markets, we are becoming much more externally focused,
5668 In the past, radio turned the guns inside and competed against each other for share and now what we are doing is we are trying to expand our market by going after other ‑‑ for other medias within our industry, the question of the Competition Bureau definition of radio being a unique market we totally disagree with.
5669 We have been very successful in getting money from newspaper and outdoor and other mediums that we compete with on a local basis.
5670 There are two other factors, a couple of other factors that I would like to mention when we think about profitability for radio. We have gone on record as saying that we believe that the appropriate level of profitability for Canadian radio is in the 30 to 35 per cent margin level. That is higher than we are today, but it's based on a comparison of the U.S. market where we compete for capital.
5671 In U.S. radio stations are operating with margins in the 40 to 45 per cent level. We don't believe that we can achieve that level of profitability in Canada because of the scale issues that Pierre talked about earlier, but also because of our higher obligations in terms of performing rights payments and regulatory expenses.
5672 But we do believe that radio in Canada is strong and we think we should celebrate that because in the absence of that, I think we would have a very difficult time competing.
5673 COMMISSIONER NOËL: If I could just interject. I think maybe you've got the translation wrong from ‑‑ but I was asking Pierre about the ‑‑ Pierre Arcand about the ownership, propriété, the fact that you could ‑‑ the fact that yesterday we heard Cogeco oppose the proposal of Astral that you could convert an AM into more than ‑‑
5674 MR. CASSADAY: Oh! I'm sorry.
5675 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Yes. Well, propriété and profitability can resemble themselves from one language to the next.
5676 MR. CASSADAY: You're right. I apologize for that. Mostly that was an interesting side by our comment.
5677 COMMISSIONER NOËL: It's okay.
5678 MR. MAAVARA: But Commissioner, if I could respond to your question directly and also speak to your earlier question with respect to whether our perspective is only related to the Heritage news talk stations and I think the Commission, as part of this process, is going to have to take a hard look at the AM frequency generally and the first reason for that is because of the listener.
5679 The listener does not really differentiate between AM and FM in kind of a fundamental sense. For them it's a button or a dial on the receive device and they are just looking for terrific content. And our challenge on AM is to ensure that we can continue to deliver the audiences to news talk.
5680 But in looking at the broader question and going directly to the points made by Cogeco, in that context of the public service that we are giving to listeners and the listener's interest in receiving the service, it's our view that the Commission is going to have to in fact look at the ownership limits in some markets.
5681 And in markets where, for example, an existing AM owner is already at the FM limit, then there will have to be a review as to the public interest aspects of expanding that and obviously there will be markets where the issue doesn't arise.
5682 But our view is that the existing ownership levels as between AM and FM should probably be reviewed with the idea of allowing the AM operators to assume either a nesting position or a flip in order to continue providing the service to the listener.
5683 COMMISSIONER NOËL: It would be important in terms of talk radio mainly?
5684 MR. MAAVARA: Well, that's our first concern.
5685 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Would you accept a specialty format in those categories?
5686 MR. MAAVARA: We would, but the other recommendation that we have made with respect to the FM rules is that FM operators have more flexibility to move across that threshold of specialty without having to go through a formal application process.
5687 And what that would do is give us the opportunity again in the context of the listener to meet the listener's need and if we have to cross over that line, then we would do it on ‑‑ we will report to the Commission basis, as opposed to applying to the Commission for permission to do that.
5688 COMMISSIONER NOËL: You mean going from general to specialty?
5689 MR. MAAVARA: Yes.
5690 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Which locks you in for a full licence term, as you know?
5691 MR. MAAVARA: Well, not to the extent if the rule was relaxed, that would allow for movement across, that is the kind of flexibility that we are looking for and I'll balance that with the notion that if a new applicant comes along and manages to determine to the Commission's satisfaction that a new licence is called for in the market, that over that first term and you astutely picked up the mistake. We had all read this document, you can imagine, 50 times and I never noticed that it said *any+ as opposed *to term+, but we meant to term, and over that first term, that new applicant would be required to adhere to that format.
5692 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Uh‑huh! But, no, the sense of my question is once you ‑‑ if we take Montreal for example, you have how many AM stations, Mr. Arcand, in Montreal? You have a few.
5693 MR. ARCAND: Three AMs.
5694 COMMISSIONER NOËL: Three AMs; trois AMs, oui.
5695 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Un en anglais puis deux en français?
5696 M. ARCAND: Exact.
5697 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Et vous avez deux stations FM en français, deux stations AM en français, ce qui est le maximum pour le marché.
5698 M. ARCAND: C'est ça : une station AM en anglais et deux stations AM et on a deux FM en français et un FM en anglais qui sont des marchés séparés, comme vous le savez.
5699 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Qui sont des marchés séparés, c'est d'accord. Si vous étiez pour... si vous trouviez des fréquences pour faire un flip de vos trois fréquences AM, vous dépasseriez la limite de propriété à Montréal.
5700 M. ARCAND: Oui.
5701 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Dans le marché francophone et dans le marché anglophone.
5702 M. ARCAND: C'est pour ça.
5703 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Est‑ce que... moi, ce que je veux savoir, c'est si vous faites ça, parce que vos formats AM, ce sont des formats talk, hein! Ce sont des formats... une formule parlée.
5704 Est‑ce que vous vous engageriez en faisant ça à conserver le format de spécialité plutôt que de vous ouvrir une porte grande comme une porte de grande pour devenir une autre formule musicale quelconque?
5705 M. ARCAND: Vous savez, madame Noël, oui, parce qu'on pense, nous, que la formule news and talk ou, enfin, la formule parlée est une formule qui est très valable.
5706 D'ailleurs, je peux vous dire parce que tout à l'heure je vous écoutais et j'ai écouté tout au long de l'audience et une des choses qui m'a frappé, c'est qu'on a eu des discussions même entre radiodiffuseurs, non seulement de la radio mais aussi de la télévision et vous savez, le commentaire qui a été fait par la Ministre des communications du Québec à l'effet qu'il fallait former des journalistes et créer des fonds et... c'est quelque chose qui vient vraiment de nous.
5707 On s'est rendu compte que dans certains marchés du Québec par exemple, que ce soit en télévision ou en radio, il n'y a presque pas de journalistes les fins de semaine. Dans un cas, en tout cas, on était les seuls à avoir des journalistes qui couvraient les événements.
5708 S'il y avait eu un événement grave, par exemple, dans certaines régions, il y avait juste Corus qui était là. Il n'y avait même pas de gens de la télévision qui étaient disponibles à ce moment‑là pour des raisons, évidemment, de rentabilité.
5709 Alors, nous, on a dit : on parle sans arrêt de l'importance d'aider les artistes, la musique, l'industrie de la musique puis on est tous d'accord avec ça, mais je pense qu'au niveau journalistique, il y a un effort important à faire et on devrait se pencher sur cet aspect‑là au cours des prochaines années et donc, d'avoir des stations d'information et d'affaires publiques qui sont fortes m'apparaît important et c'est aussi partagé par, semble‑t‑il, le Gouvernement du Québec.
5710 CONSEILLÈRE NOËL: Oui, avec... en règlement du déséquilibre fiscal, si je comprends bien, ça serait des frais de la partie 2 qui s'en iraient pour financer ça.
5711 Merci, monsieur, messieurs.
5712 LE PRÉSIDENT: Madame Pennefather.
5713 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, madame McNeer and gentlemen.
5714 I just wanted to ‑‑ I had a request and I had a question, but Mr. Arcand probably just answered the question.
5715 The request is regarding your intervention at paragraph 156, CTD and significant benefits. Here, you maintain a position of keeping the six per cent, but you propose a scale, a sliding scale and my request is: could you table with the Commission the impact of your sliding scale as you see it and we could perhaps do that in terms of the CAB proposal wherein we are looking at two years if the new frame would amount to approximately 5.48 million and I think you know the model I am referring to and the ADISQ model.
5716 So, if you took your sliding scale and you applied it, what would happen to the numbers in terms of even within the two‑year time frame or transition period proposed by the CAB?
5717 And that was of interest because, of course, the 5.48 is considered in the CAB plan appropriate because of the relation to the demand on a historic basis. So, if you could provide that to us, it would be very helpful.
5718 MR. MAAVARA: We would be delighted.
5719 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And my other point was the ‑‑ you did place an emphasis on CTD funding eligibility rules expanded to include capital and operating grants to provincially established post‑secondary education.
5720 I am assuming that some of the rationale behind that was the comment Mr. Arcand has just made. But also, just in terms of regulatory procedure, under the eligibility rules of 195‑196 such grants would be eligible.
5721 So, are we to assume here that you are proposing that this eligibility rule apply across all forms of CTD and that we make that clear? Is that why this is here?
5722 MR. MAAVARA: Yes.
5723 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5724 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much gentlemen. Those are our questions. Thank you very much for appearing and bearing with us as we kind of move through the hearing and build up our record.
5725 If there are comments that you feel that you wanted to add, of course, in response to other interveners of course, you can do that in the June 12 submission.
5726 Thank you. We will take a short break now.
5727 Nous reprendrons à 10 h 20 with the next item.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1012 / Suspension à 1012
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1023 / Reprise à 1023
5728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madame la Secrétaire.
5729 THE SECRETARY: Merci, Monsieur le Président.
5730 I would now invite the next participant to make their presentation, CHUM Limited. Mr. Paul Ski is appearing for the participant who will introduce his colleagues and you will have 10 minutes for your presentation. Mr. Ski.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5731 MR. SKI: Thank you very much.
5732 Good morning, Mr. Chair, Mr. Vice‑Chair and members of the Commission. I am Paul Ski, Executive Vice‑President of CHUM Radio overseeing our 33 radio stations from Halifax to Victoria.
5733 To my right, your left, is Kerry French, Director of Research for CHUM Radio. To Kerry's right is Duff Roman, Vice‑President, Industry Affairs, CHUM Radio. To my left, your right, is Rob Farina, Program Director for CHUM FM and a member of both the FACTOR and Radio Starmaker Fund boards. To Rob's left is Sarah Crawford, Vice‑President of Public Affairs for CHUM Limited. And to Sarah's left is David Goldstein, Vice‑President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for CHUM. We are also joined by several CHUM Radio managers who are in the room today. We will now begin our formal presentation.
5734 Radio is an intensely personal medium. Radio entertains, informs, supports. Radio stations connect to their listeners and connect listeners to each other. Radio continues to be a powerful force. One only has to look back to the 2003 blackout to illustrate this fact. When the lights went out radio was the medium that told us what was happening both at a local and national level and where we could go to get water, food or gas.
5735 As the thread that helps to knit local communities together, it is vital that through the era of rapid technological change Canadian radio remains relevant, vibrant and financially healthy enough to provide all of the services Canadians expect. At CHUM we believe this will only be possible with a regulatory regime that is flexible, consistent and forward‑looking.
5736 MR. ROMAN: For 50 years radio has been a part of CHUM's daily passion and it is a critical part of our plans for the future. However, what was once a highly controlled marketplace has become fragmented with an unprecedented array of regulated and unregulated media options for listeners. More importantly, radio's role as an intermediary is being undermined. Until recently, radio was the primary link between artists and the Canadian public, it no longer is.
5737 The music industry has already faced a dramatic breakdown of the value chain and the ramifications are now beginning to impact radio programming. Since 2001, radio has experienced a steady decline in tuning, a decline that has been more acute among younger Canadians. With the myriad listening choices now available, MP3 players, satellite, internet and the like, it is evident that the environment in which radio operates has changed radically.
5738 On Monday and Tuesday there were those who had found this change difficult to quantify. In fact, recently BBM data from January to March 2006 found that in Kamloops, for example, SIRIUS Satellite Radio which just launched in December has already achieved a 5 share with all listeners 12 plus and a 9 share with men. Clearly, the old business model is dead. The radio industry must evolve or risk being left behind.
5739 In this process the Commission will hear from several parties with varied self‑interests. Radio broadcasters are the ones at this hearing that are licensed and regulated by the Commission and responsible for fulfilling the objectives of the Broadcasting Act. The broadcasting policy for Canada set out in section 3.1 of the Act recognizes that, above all else, broadcasters provide a public service essential to the maintenance and enhancement of national identity and cultural sovereignty. Radio does this everyday by providing our listeners with music they want to hear from at home and abroad, as well as news and entertainment features presented by top Canadian talent.
5740 MS FRENCH: From the time CHUM purchased CKPT Peterborough in 1960 we have been committed to serving smaller markets. Though sometimes challenging and less profitable than stations in larger centres, smaller markets benefit from having stations owned by larger broadcasters like CHUM. In many situations these markets may require a different, more flexible regulatory approach, especially those markets that are located close to the U.S. border. Some have advocated different rules for smaller companies operating in these markets. However, CHUM believes that any flexibility that the Commission grants should be applied equally to all licensees.
5741 The next area we would like to comment on is the Commission's common ownership policy. CHUM firmly believes that the Commission achieved the right balance in its multiple license ownership policy in 1998, specifically in large markets. The introduction of the MLO policy was the right decision at the right time and helped an industry that was struggling financially.
5742 While some may now be advocating loosening the MLO restrictions by allowing ownership of more stations, CHUM believes that would lead to much less diversity of formats and news voices. Furthermore, any policy change that would effectively allow one operator to own more than two FM stations in a market would create a competitive imbalance in many markets. Altering an MLO policy that has worked so well since 1998 and has strengthened the basis of the Canadian Broadcasting System does not serve the public interest.
5743 MR. FARNIA: We would like to now turn to what we believe is the central issue at this proceeding, what radio's contribution should be to the Canadian music industry. Two very divergent views have emerged. The first view being advocated by certain representatives of the music industry, including CIRPA and SOCAN is that the Commission should significantly increase the amount of Canadian music radio must broadcast. The second view being presented by CHUM and other radio broadcasters is an enhanced 35 per cent solution. An incentive system designed to help develop the careers of emerging Canadian artists as opposed to one that focuses simply on quantity. We believe this makes more sense for radio, the music industry and, most importantly, the public.
5744 Proponents of the first approach believe that mandating radio to broadcast dramatically more Canadian music will increase the variety of Canadian music on air and further develop the Canadian music industry. This is simply wrong. As Program Director of CHUM FM, I work on the frontlines programming the music that airs on one of Canada's top radio stations. My love of music was why I got into broadcasting and I have worked throughout my career to help Canadian artists find an audience. These proposals will not benefit Canadian artists. Moreover, they will impair radio's ability to provide the highest quality programming to Canadians, therefore driving more listeners to unregulated media that plays little or no Canadian music.
5745 Here is the reality about programming music for radio. People will not listen to radio stations that do not give them the music they want, regardless of cultural objectives. And while radio once had a relatively captive audience, the array of listening options now available to Canadians means that if radio does not give them what they want they have many many other places to go and get it.
5746 Due to fragmentation, programming radio stations is now not just an art, but a science as well. Every successful radio station undergoes regular music testing with its respective audience. A statistically valid number of participants rate the music based on their personal tastes. In the CHUM FM Toronto music test results from April 20 of this year over 70 per cent of the Canadian music tested was below the 50 per cent positive score threshold. Furthermore, out of all the Canadian music that tested above the 50 per cent positive threshold only one of those songs came from a domestically‑signed Canadian artist, in this case Bedouin Soundclash.
5747 Over the years we have developed music testing criteria to help us program our stations. In general, we would not air a song that has lower than a 60 per cent positive score. However, with Canadian music, songs that have as low as a 10 per cent positive score remain in regular rotation on our play lists. Now, why do we continue to play songs that nine out of 10 audience members tell us they don't like, songs that risk that audience moving to other entertainment platforms? We play it because we have to.
5748 As in any field of creative expression, only a small amount of music reaches mass acceptance and radio is a mass medium. And let me be clear, these statements are not a criticism of Canada music, which stands among the best the world has to offer, the problem is there just isn't enough of it. In 1998 the Commission increased Canadian content from 30 per cent to 35 per cent in an effort to expand the exposure given to Canadian artists on radio.
5749 While radio stations now play more Canadian music, they do not play a wider range of Canadian music. As we just explained, this is because a sufficient supply of Canadian music that is suitable for radio did not exist then, does not exist now and will not miraculously exist at 40 per cent. Radio stations must now play Canadian songs for a longer period of time and many stations have moved towards gold‑based formats so they can draw on Canadian music from a number of decades. This has resulted in music from top Canadian artists becoming burned out.
5750 Increasing Canadian content requirements above their current levels will only compound this problem. In fact, mandated increases in Canadian content with a one‑size‑fits‑all approach to radio formats will not create more Canadian music that people want to hear. Similarly, any system that forces all broadcasters in all formats to commit to a percentage of inde artists as part of their CanCon compliment will serious limit our ability to create radio that our audiences want to listen to.
5751 MR. SKI: Almost 25 years ago CHUM lead the creation of FACTOR and Duff Roman was its first President. That was the right response at that time to a need to develop more Canadian music for radio. What is required today is a comprehensive strategy to increase the amount of quality Canadian music available to Canadian radio stations.
5752 In CHUM's view, a key part of this strategy is the incentive‑based enhanced 35 per cent solution which would encourage radio stations to take risks on unknown artists without causing tune‑out. And to be clear, we define an emerging artist as any Canadian artist that is not charted on the top 40 on either the Nielson BDS or media‑based national airplay charts.
5753 Because of the time it takes to establish and artist to the consumer, we believe the qualifying window should be 12 months. CHUM firmly believes that public policy must remain relevant in light of the changing media environment in which Canadians' radio broadcasters operate. That is why we have developed our recommendations to help position radio for future success and ensure that the sector continues to make a substantial contribution to the fulfillment of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.
5754 We are not afraid of competition. We have a 50‑year history of responding to changes in technology, changes in the media landscape, listener tastes and economic conditions. Radio can continue to be a strong medium that serves communities, advertisers and the need of Canadians to fine Canadian expression. Despite the plethora of new and largely unregulated entrants radio can compete, given a relevant forward‑looking radio policy that gives radio broadcasters the flexibility to adapt to urgent challenges facing the industry.
5755 We thank you for your time and we welcome your questions.
5756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Ski.
5757 I guess the first question I have is triggered by the statement, we play it because we have to. And I guess what we are all involved in in the Canadian Broadcasting System is, and have been I suppose for 75 ‑ 80 years, is combating market forces that alone would in all likelihood lower the level of Canadian content on our airwaves, radio, television and elsewhere dramatically. Canada itself is a battle against market forces that would otherwise be north/south and we live with that on an ongoing basis. And part of what we are all involved in is part of the regulatory bargain and the social contract of being in this system is trying to combat those forces as best we can and promote the Canadian music on radio or stories on television with a view to continuing to reaffirm our identity as a country on an ongoing basis.
5758 So I take it that when you say you play it because you have to you are trying to make a regulatory point, because I know that the CHUM group, in effect, embraces Canadian artists and tries to promote them. So as a sound bite it is a bit of a sour tone and I want to give you an opportunity to explain that that is what it is and that that doesn't sound as badly as when you hear it in the cold light of day.
5759 MR. SKI: Well, and we didn't certainly mean it to be that way. I think ‑‑ and I will let Rob give you a bit more information on that ‑‑ I think our point was that to try to give you some perspective, in that if we are to compete I guess in the future and hopefully we will have a chance as you had asked for yesterday, go through some of the technological challenges that CHUM sees certainly that we are going to be faced with, that if we are not able to provide our listeners with the music that they want to hear ‑‑ and that is really what it is, it even gets away from hits or non‑hits, it is really what the listeners want to hear.
5760 And for over 20 years now CHUM has been going to the market to research our listeners on various elements of our programming and I think it is one of the reasons that we have managed to be successful in many of our markets is because we are not only a reflection of the community and from our spoken word standpoint, but from the delivery of the music that we provide to the people too. And sometimes I think that is forgotten, it is forgotten that all of certainly our radio stations and many others are operated autonomously in their market. So the music that is chosen for Vancouver is very different than what Rob decides to choose for Toronto, because they are different markets and while there may be some similarities, there are many differences.
5761 So I guess what we are trying to say is that when we are moving to add that additional layer of Canadian, between what we would normally play and what we are required to play, that is where it becomes just a little bit challenging for us, because we know that many of our listeners may not necessarily want to hear those songs or, if they do, they are pockets of listeners. So that you might have somebody ‑‑ I mean, not all songs are bad songs, obviously, as some people have said and if you have eclectic music taste you can hear a lot of different songs, but we are delivering an audience, a mass audience, that is the kind of media that we are in. And so, as a result, we have to play songs that obviously appeal to the most number of people within our particular format.
5762 Rob may want to..
5763 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, I take those points and I am not in any way suggesting that you don't try and play what your listeners want. I guess one of the questions we put forward for comment in this proceeding is at paragraph 119 where we said:
"A number of conventional radio broadcasters have established a presence on the internet as a means of extending their brand and providing value‑added services to their listeners." (As read)
5764 And we asked the question:
"How can conventional radio licensees utilize new technologies and incorporate new platforms into their strategies in a manner that furthers the objectives of the Act." (As read)
5765 From our perspective, that is the Act we administer and that is the question we asked.
5766 But I would expect that your own goals, obviously, of giving listeners what they want are also paramount.
5767 So I wonder whether you can address here, or perhaps in your subsequent filings, an answer to that, how you can use these new technologies to further your goals as well as to further the objectives of the Act. Because that is the Act under which you are licensed, that is the Act under which we operate, and as long as that holds it is going to be a feature of your environment.
5768 MR. SKI: We wish we had the answer to that today and we may not have the answer by the 29th. I think it's something that we are all searching for an answer to.
5769 But there is a sea change ‑‑ and you have heard this already ‑‑ that we are going through which is a little different. Once we start to swim in that ocean ‑‑ and it is an ocean that is very different from the pond that we're in today I think is maybe a good analogy ‑‑ we are moving from broadcast media to connected media. This is a little different. Also, we are moving from radios ‑‑ and that has been the primary device, certainly for the broadcast media, for our broadcast media ‑‑ we are now moving to computers and other devices that people listen to music.
5770 So our intermediary role between ourselves and our listeners is changing dramatically.
5771 I wish we had the answer to how we would use that technology?
5772 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, no. I don't expect that you do, but this is a collective challenge we have to meet, and probably a greater challenge qualitatively and quantitatively than we have had to meet over the past 75 or 80 years. I don't think there is any question about that.
5773 So it means the bookends are we just simply throw up our hands on the one hand, and I don't think we want to do that; and the other one is, we try to figure out answers that may not be perfect but that achieve the bulk of the objectives that we can manage to do.
5774 Again, I'm not expecting that you have answers or that any of us have answers today, but part of what we are doing at this proceeding is trying to figure out ways collectively where we can address that issue.
5775 Most of the proposals, I think it is fair to say, that we are hearing from the industry, is relax of the rules, lower the thresholds, border, Canadian content, incentives for new artists, Smart regulation, all of which have the effect of providing ‑‑ I guess the operative word is "flexibility" that we are hearing from most broadcasters, and we hear you about that.
5776 But that is a one‑way direction. That is sort of lowering the existing requirements. Again, we hear you and we will consider what you are saying.
5777 But I guess the problem will still remain, because at whatever level you have, unless you assume that the objectives are going to disappear, you are probably going to still be combatting market forces to some extent. So the challenge will remain at whatever level you are, where you are now, higher or lower, and again we have to try to work towards those objectives.
5778 I appreciate that you don't want to take the time before us to do other than get your message across, which is for the moment you think you need the flexibility.
5779 MR. SKI: Well, we would certainly be pleased to add more if we had the answers for you today. Unfortunately, this hearing is coming at a time when we don't have the answers, when I think we are all searching for the answers.
5780 I think, as I said, the people certainly on this panel have been in the radio business for many, many years ‑‑ it's our passion. It's why we get up every morning ‑‑ and we are very optimistic about the radio business, but we are very cautiously optimistic too, because we just don't know what's around the corner.
5781 We see all these things coming before us that we just have never seen before. We have known what we have been up against.
5782 But when you can go to something like ‑‑ you may have seen pandora.com, the Music Genome Project, where you now can go to the internet, you can log on, and through this particular process, by logging on, you can create 100 radio stations that the Music Genome Project creates for you, something that you can do. So suddenly you have 100 radio stations that are streaming stations.
5783 So how do we compete with that? Those are the things that I can tell you there are some sleepless nights and many long days and meetings while we try to figure this out.
5784 And it's not easy, because every day there is something like pandora that is coming along.
5785 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure.
5786 MR. SKI: It's not as if it's one thing comes along that we have to deal with, like we had to deal with television many years ago obviously and recreate our business plan, our business model.
5787 Now what we have to do is, one day it's this, one day it's the internet, the next day it's satellite radio, the next day it's a change for instance in the methodology for measuring our media, the personal people meter, which is going to change the way our business model again is managed.
5788 So it's all of these things that are coming at us.
5789 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there is going to be a lot of trial and error. The good news is that you are coming off some very healthy years which are continuing financially and that now is the time to make the investments, both in the expertise for the ideas and in the technological know‑how, so that you can not just treat them as competitive to you but that you can actually harness them for your own promotion.
5790 Because you still do maintain powerful brands in this country and powerful listener identification which works in your favour in addition to your balance sheets and I'm sure that you are doing that as well.
5791 MR. SKI: Well, the brands are important certainly. It's a little different.
5792 I heard your comment the other day about Desperate Housewives, and that is a little different than radio in that not everybody can play Desperate Housewives; everybody can play Britney Spears if they want to.
5793 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5794 MR. SKI: So we don't operate in that vacuum either, even within our own industry.
5795 I would just like to comment, too, on the fact that we have had some good years, there is no question, and we are quite proud of that. But it was only a few short years ago that CHUM embarked on another experiment to try to recreate AM radio and do some things differently which dramatically affected the profits of the company.
5796 We see going through that kind of a phase again. You obviously have our numbers. You know that when you try to do different things they don't always work. We have had some successes and some failures and we think that is going to continue to happen.
5797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. I think the whole industry is, and the industry as it is ever more broadly being defined.
5798 Let me ask you just a few specifics on other parts of your brief, which we have read.
5799 One is on LMAs and LSAs.
5800 We set out in the Public Notice at paragraph 37 the concerns that the Commission has had with LMAs and LSAs, and yet CHUM is, particularly in its brief, making a pitch for their utilization.
5801 If I could I will ask you just a few points of information about LSAs at this point, because I think the issues pro and con are fairly clear.
5802 One question I have is the financial impact that you think it would make on your stations operating in a market in quantitative terms.
5803 How would you estimate the financial benefit to you of using an LSA as distinct from not using an LSA in a given market? I appreciate it will vary from market to market, but what is it worth to you in dollar terms?
5804 MR. SKI: I think that it might be difficult to give you an exact number or a percentage. Kerry may be able to comment on that.
5805 What it allows us to do, especially given the fact ‑‑ and I know it has been chatted about here ‑‑ that radio swims in its own pond again, and it really doesn't. When our salespeople go out every day, they are competing against all media, not just the other radio stations in the market. In fact, we would rather not compete against the other stations in the market. We think there needs to be a more holistic approach.
5806 But the key with an LSA is in part to try to increase the share of market, increase radio's share. I think we all know that while radio commands 30 percent, roughly, of media usage, our share of market remains less than 10 percent. It is something that we have had real challenges in growing.
5807 We think LSAs will help that, because what it does, it ‑‑
5808 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Mr. Ski.
5809 MR. SKI: Yes?
5810 THE CHAIRPERSON: You say your share of market remains less than 10 percent.
5811 What are you referring to there?
5812 MR. SKI: Referring just to our share of media revenue, advertising revenue.
5813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, the numbers we have are closer to 14, 15 percent. I'm looking at the Carat expert table that we have here that I'm sure we could show you which basically show that the share of radio, of total media, including billboards, weeklies, and so forth, has remained pretty constant at about 14.5 percent from 1996 through '05.
5814 Is it you are rounding that to 10 percent?
5815 MR. SKI: Rounding down to 10, no.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
5816 MR. SKI: No. No.
5817 I will ask Kerry to comment on that
5818 MS FRENCH: I think there are several media ‑‑ radio share of total Ad Spend figures out there and they range between 9 and 15. It really depends on which media are included in the total number of advertising dollars.
5819 Quite often ‑‑ I don't know about the specific figures that you are referring to ‑‑ they might not include internet advertising or many of the new ‑‑
5820 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, Well, these purport to do ‑‑ I think the best thing is, we will make that chart available to you.
5821 I don't believe it's confidential, is it, the Carat expert table that we have here?
5822 No. So we will make that available to you, but you will see a number that runs across pretty well at 14.5 percent, almost constant, whereas newspapers are declining quite clearly, and internet is increasing. Radio remains pretty constant, a total $9 billion total media ad budget in '05 up from 5.5 in '96. The 14.5 percent seems to be like an iron law running through it as radio's share.
5823 But go ahead, Mr. Ski.
5824 MR. SKI: We would be happy to see those numbers.
5825 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
5826 MR. SKI: I think our point too, as you have mentioned, is the share has been fairly stable. Despite the fact that we command 30 percent of media usage we are obviously trying to get that shared market up.
5827 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
5828 So I guess if you can think about showing us some financial impact, one way or the other. Because I guess what it comes down to when you read the Competition Bureau's brief ‑‑ I mean quite apart from the fact that we debated is this a substitute or not, and I know your answer to that ‑‑ but what they come down to at the end is, they say even if you assume that it isn't, for those advertisers who wish to use radio in a given market, to the extent that they have no choice, that lessens competition.
5829 Whether or not that is sufficient to outweigh the other considerations, they don't say it is, but that's basically what they ‑‑ there will always be a core of people who, whatever their mix, will still want to use radio and to the extent that there is an LSA or LMA on the market their choice is either totally or partially curtailed and hence that, in their view, lessens competition, which they propose we provide reasons for offsetting if we choose to offset that consideration.
5830 I don't know whether you want to address that comment or not?
5831 MR. SKI: Yes, we would.
5832 We obviously disagree with that, because of some of the comments we have made ‑‑ I will ask David to comment on this.
5833 But I think, too, what we are asking for really is that stations are allowed to enter into an LSA up to the number of stations they would normally be allowed under the MLO policy, which obviously the Commission reviewed and felt was appropriate at the time.
5834 So we are not asking to go above that number, we are saying based on he multiple licence ownership policy we be allowed to have that same number of radio stations under an LSA.
5836 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thanks, Paul.
5837 Only to reiterate that again our position is that it would be consistent with the MLO policy which we think has already stood the test of the competitive analysis that was done in 1998. It's only one tool in the toolbox that the Commission has to in fact allow continued diversity of ownership in certain markets given certain parameters.
5838 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
5839 Do you concur with the CAB proposal in regard to the criteria that you would adhere to under LSAs? Paragraph 199 of their brief.
5840 Use it for local advertising only, maintain distinct and separate programming services, distinct and separate news voices, and otherwise maintain distinct stations operations of the criteria?
5841 Is that what you ‑‑
5842 MR. SKI: I didn't remember every part of that, but the answer is yes.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
5843 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
5844 MR. SKI: Thank you.
5845 It was a late night.
5846 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. I think I have your position on that.
5847 The elements on your own profit and loss statements that would be affected with an LSA, then, are what? Promotional expenses, administrative expenses?
5848 Where would you find savings in your own operations?
5849 MR. SKI: LSAs, unlike LMAs, the primary reason for them is not necessarily to find savings, although there are some.
5850 You have obviously a saving if you have a sales manager who is responsible for a series of radio stations as except for just one station.
5851 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
5852 MR. SKI: The other part of it is that what it enables you to do is to have salespeople who are better trained. CHUM obviously has been a big proponent of our CHUM client solutions where we think that the differentiating point between our sales people, our ales process and others in all media is going to be the salesperson.
5853 We have research that shows that the top three reasons that advertisers buy has nothing to do with rate ‑‑ which might challenge the Competition Bureau's comment ‑‑ and everything to do with the quality of the salesperson.
5854 So it is not necessarily a saving so much as it using our resources in a better way.
5855 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. What is the formula for allocating revenues from those sales?
5856 MR. SKI: The revenues in an LSA, as we see it, are allocated based on two things.
5857 One, first of all, in an LSA not all stations are bought at the same time. At a previous hearing we mentioned I think 80 percent of those who bought the radio station under an LSA bought one station. Those who do buy a multiple number of stations, the revenue is allocated based on share of market relative to the buy. So if you have a 10‑share or a 5‑share it is allocated proportionately.
5858 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. You don't have a ballpark figure for the impact that an LSA has on your own financials?
5859 MR. SKI: We don't at this time, but we would be happy to possibly do a work‑up for you on that and come back with a number.
5860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5861 Commissioner Cugini...?
5862 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
5863 Good morning. You heard me tell Corus that I like real‑world examples, so Mr. Farina, perhaps you could clarify for me, or elaborate for me rather,on the emerging artist test and the bonuses that you would claim by applying the test. And thank you for simplifying the definition for me.
5864 How much do you think the CanCon percentage will fluctuate from week to week, on CHUM‑FM for example, when claiming the emerging artist bonus?
5865 MR. FARINA: Right, okay.
5866 First of all, we should clarify that on radio stations ‑‑ and I know the CAB report alluded to this ‑‑ that when attracting a mass audience familiarity is really important in a radio station. An audience wants to know what they are getting from the radio station and they want to count on the fact that they are going to get their favourite song or favourite songs when they tune that radio station in.
5867 So the idea of broadcasters using this quota to completely overhaul all their established Canadian artists for an entirely unknown, unfamiliar emerging artist to try to bring their CanCon down is a little misguided because it is bad business sense for us.
5868 We actually did a study, a three‑day study on a 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. based on CHUM‑FM alone in Toronto where we currently run at about the 35.5, 36, 36.5 range. Our percentage changed to an average of about 38.5, 39 with emerging artists.
5869 I should say that as a Hot AC station we are probably one of the most aggressive stations in Canada in terms of airing emerging artists. We are obviously not up at the level that a station like a Modern rock would be who, you know, their music base is based a lot more on new artists. So it doesn't really offer a real bottom level of Canadian content happening on our radio station.
5870 What it does do is, I think it incents broadcasters to be able to take a chance on new and emerging artists. I think when we went from 30 to 35 percent, because being able to do a specified format to a mass market playing contemporary music, it's really hard. I know you are going to be hearing from some other broadcasters that are at higher thresholds, 40 percent.
5871 So what we saw with the move to 35 percent ‑‑ and we saw many broadcasters, CHUM included, moving to Gold‑based formats.
5872 One of the reasons for that is, it allowed them to fulfil their commitment by playing familiar titles from a number of different decades, and what happened to the music industry was it lost many avenues on terrestrial radio for its new and emerging artists to be heard.
5873 Top 40 is a problem in Canada right now. There are not a lot of Top 40 stations. The Urban market has really bottomed out in this country. We have seen the rise of the Jacks, the Bobs, the Daves, and as well as the continuing growth of Classic Rock throughout Canada, none of which offer platforms for emerging artists.
5874 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: But your bottom line is that it is a gold based format. Nonetheless, it is enough of an incentive for you to take the risk to play more emerging artists.
5875 MR. FARINA: Well, we are not a gold based format. We are a current based format.
5876 I will give you an example. One of our recurrent records, which is a record that is not in a current rotation any more but one of the records that is in heavy rotation, is Arcade Fire.
5877 Arcade Fire is hardly who we would classify as a gold based act. So we are a current based format.
5878 And it is hard to say whether stations in current gold based formats are going to be doing huge overhauls. But with an incentive in place, I think we will see more opportunities for new emerging artists on the radio and we may see a shift in the amount of format diversity available on the airwaves now because it may be easier to fulfil the CanCon commitments while providing a real focused format to our audiences.
5879 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
5880 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5881 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5882 Commissioner Pennefather?
5883 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5884 Good morning.
5885 I just wanted to question you a little bit more about your CTD comments, your recommendations.
5886 You have four bullets on page 24 and it is very clearly presented.
5887 The last bullet:
"Applicants for new licences should be allowed to propose initiatives that benefit the broadcasting system and further the objectives of the broadcast policy of Canada."
5888 And your example is the AVR.
5889 That being said, my assumption is that goes beyond the list presented in the CAB proposal, which refers to cultural organizations, education, mentorship, scholarship, outreach. It would go beyond that.
5890 Is that correct?
5891 MR. SKI: I will ask David Goldstein to respond to that question.
5892 MR. GOLDSTEIN: Thank you. The short answer to that is yes, because we think that the Act provides for several forms of diversity. And frankly, it is something that CHUM has been doing, as we believe we have pushed the envelope in these areas over time.
5893 Sarah could talk to some of those initiatives.
5894 Obviously I think there is room for some experimentation and some pushing of the limits in order to benefit what the Act, we believe, provided for.
5895 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: No. I think I take that point.
5896 Obviously, as you know, during this hearing and in the submissions we have there are various proposals for various funds which of course base their rationale on exactly those points: policy and public interest.
5897 Let me ask you, though: Considering the discussion with the Chairman earlier and a little bit of the chicken and egg problem of "I'll follow it if I hear it; if I don't hear it, I won't know it" in terms of Canadian music, this brings to mind CTD.
5898 As Mr. Roman knows, that is part of the picture.
5899 What would be your comment on this sector of CTD: namely, the discretionary voluntary sector in new applications of the Commission looking at a percentage or a component of that which would be for emerging artists?
5900 Would you care to comment on that?
5901 MR. ROMAN: We are talking about discretionary CD.
5902 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's right.
5903 MR. ROMAN: Are we talking about that in connection with significant benefits, that 1 percent or are we talking ‑‑
5904 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: No. I am talking about, just to be clear, your four points.
5905 MR. ROMAN: Yes.
5906 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: You have covered the significant benefits, the CAB plan and all other spending.
5907 But you have this section on applicants for new licences allowed to propose initiatives.
5908 So it is really in the new licensing context, where there is a fair amount of discretion. In your view, would it be interesting to have a component or going forward a percentage for emerging artists: in other words, smart CTD?
5909 MR. ROMAN: That is an interesting proposition, smart CTD.
5910 Essentially, we would tend to resist firm quotas, I think, on this. I think there are certain CTDs that lend themselves to a particular market or a particular licence application and that kind of flexibility would show as responding creatively to preparing a new CTD initiative.
5911 On that area, I haven't fully arrived at any kind of quota or percentage.
5912 MR. SKI: But it is an interesting concept and one I think we would look at. I think as Duff said, we have to look at obviously when we look at the market.
5913 But it is something we would think about.
5914 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If you could get back to us ‑‑ as you expand on your four points, the first three are crystal clear and they connect to the CAB proposal, but the fourth point leaves a little more room for discussion.
5915 So if you could get back to us on that, that would be appreciated.
5916 MR. SKI: Certainly.
5917 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5918 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
5919 Monsieur Arpin?
5920 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
5921 I cannot miss the opportunity to ask you a few questions on DAB. I will refrain myself for the time being for the transitional digital period that have gone through from 1995 until to date.
5922 I know Mr. Roman personally, you have been quite involved through that period. But I want to learn more about what CHUM did during that as an alternative programming with ancillary data.
5923 If you could in a few strokes let us understand how you use the DAB technology to try to develop something for the marketplace.
5924 We won't raise the issue of receivers. I think we are all well aware there has been only a limited number of receivers available.
5925 The question also could be ‑‑ and let's see if you can address it: Did you get any feedback from listeners, other than the ones who had one or more receiver?
5926 MR. ROMAN: Thank you, Mr. Vice‑Chair.
5927 It has been an interesting ride. And as you so politely noted, I have been involved at the forefront, involved through digital radio research and then digital radio roll‑out since 1995.
5928 I will give you a quick capsule.
5929 At its height we had 62 digital services operating in Canada. We achieved a population penetration of about 35 percent, or about 11 million people, that would be at reach of those digital signals.
5930 We still are operating 25 DAB signals in Toronto. I think our 15 signals are still up ‑‑ 13 signals are up in Montreal. We continue to operate CHUM signals in both Montreal and Toronto.
5931 The CBC was in co‑operation with us in Windsor and they have removed some equipment that has taken the signal down in Windsor.
5932 We operated a trial of more than five services in a pod in Halifax and had very successful results with that.
5933 And I believe the CBC continues to operate DAB in Ottawa.
5934 So essentially that's the background.
5935 Over the course of those years, I would say that CHUM through my representation on DRI made a huge commitment, both time and effort and essentially visibility.
5936 The key there was to achieve the mandates of DRI: the promotion of publicity of DRI; the testing of the technology; the liaison with the automotive industry.
5937 And to a large degree we did all of those things.
5938 I am going to get to the point of the ancillary data and the 14 hours, but I just want to make a couple of things clear.
5939 When I received my marching orders to liaise with the automotive industry, I am really sure in hindsight that our stakeholders at DRI and the industry did not really dream of achieving any success with the largest auto player in North America at that time, and that's General Motors.
5940 As you are well aware, Mr. Vice‑Chair, Canadian‑born Maureen Kempston Darkes appeared at the CAB and made the commitment on behalf of General Motors to put DAB in 26 models across the line.
5941 What they had asked for, because of the nature of their business, is a firm commitment from the broadcasters as to when we would be bringing DAB to those cities that reside between Windsor in the east and Vancouver in the west.
5942 We simply couldn't give them the answers for Winnipeg, for Calgary, for Edmonton, for Saskatoon, for Regina.
5943 Initially, as our discussions went on, and as we more and more were aware that the U.S. was not going to follow our lead, that they were taking a totally different DAB track, eventually General Motors, who have a limited window in which new electronics can be fitted into their telematics and schematics for the way they build the electronic harnesses for radio, had to move on.
5944 I just want to make the point that General Motors was there for us and that the cost of disengaging from our initiative was $13 million in cash from General Motors due to their commitment with Siemens in Germany for the radios.
5945 So to that end, we missed a great opportunity there.
5946 But to get to the point. We used sub‑channels at two Canadian auto shows, demonstrating that the DAB pods, which in Canada approximately five services are run, we did sub‑divide those into specialized music channels that we displayed in fact at the General Motors booth at the auto shows.
5947 We didn't spend a lot of time on the 14 hours. I and my company, with their backing, were spending a lot more time on the macro picture, on the work that DRI was doing, on keeping our membership enthused and positive and involved in DRI, as you well know, essentially trying to carry out that mandate.
5948 We had a very, very successful test, though, of broadband transmission technology. And that is that we successfully produced 12 services in a pod that normally has five services.
5949 And we operated a 72‑service test facility from 1331 Yonge Street for a number of months, using equipment from stakeholders who are basically the manufacturers of that technology.
5950 It went to question that had been raised at other discussions that we have had with the Chair and with other Members of this Commission regarding spectrum.
5951 There is 40 megahertz of spectrum out there. Compression technologies will make it even more efficient to be used.
5952 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you.
5953 Regarding the future there are various assumptions that are made. I think you talk about more compression. Others are talking about other technology than DAB per se.
5954 Do you think, based on your experience, that eventually there will be receivers for the Canadian market?
5955 I know that in your own submission you are talking about software‑defined radio receivers. You referred us to an article that is called "Cognitive Radio Receivers".
5956 Do you foresee that that is the avenue that should be pursued?
5957 MR. ROMAN: Well, absolutely. I see that but I also see a very fundamental point that goes to the heart of the transition policy that we have now, and that was our move to DAB was based on it being a replacement technology.
5958 I think what we have learned is it has to be a policy that encompasses flexibility, unique and distinctive programming.
5959 In other words, the entire marketing proposition of having an FM or an AM station sounding better was a little like AM stereo. It didn't offer enough.
5960 We think that the business proposition can be found in those sub‑channels, in those multiplexing channels, in those areas where we can bring a different listening experience to our listeners and consumers. And for that, we are really going to require flexibility.
5961 There should be fewer restrictions. There should be an effort, I think, to encourage in every way possible our viability as digital operators in the new reality. We must go digital eventually.
5962 But I don't think we should constrict ourselves now to be picking a standard. I think it's early in the game with IBOC. I think there is enough encouragement with the use of L‑Band in the U.K. and in Asia that there will be receivers on the market. There are 31 different models of receivers in the U.K. today.
5963 I was very heartened to hear Ray Carnovale for the CBC, that again using a Eureka based technology, DMB, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, that already in Korea Samsung, and not far behind are LG, Sony, Erickson and Nokia with DMB receivers, which are essentially cell phones with a DAB over‑the‑air component.
5964 We are very excited about that.
5965 Receivers will arrive once you have the infrastructure built and once you have made a permanent commitment to be there in the long haul. That is what the manufacturers want.
5966 We had receivers distributed nationally by Radio Shack, produced in Korea by Perstel, but when they realized that they couldn't hear anything between Windsor and Vancouver, they got less than excited about the proposal.
5967 And even within our cities, unless we are fully rolled out with all the gap fillers, all of the ground repeaters, similar to what even the satellite operators need in order to get their signals into the urban area, you can't really say that DAB was ever launched in Canada. We are still at the implementation and experimentation stage.
5968 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you very much.
5969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Those are our questions.
5970 MR. SKI: Thank you.
5971 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
5972 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Merci, monsieur le Président.
5973 I would now invite the next participant, Standard Radio Inc., to come forward for their presentation.
5974 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Rob Braide is appearing for the participant.
5975 I would ask that you introduce your colleague. You will have ten minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
5976 THE CHAIRPERSON: Less Mr. Kim's time.
5977 MR. BRAIDE: I'm sorry?
5978 THE CHAIRPERSON: Less Mr. Kim's time.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
5979 MR. BRAIDE: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
5980 Good morning, Mr. Chair, Vice‑Chair, Members of the Commission. It's a pleasure to be in front of you again, in a slightly smaller number this morning.
5981 I would like to start off by introducing, on my left, Grant Buchanan, who is our counsel from McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto; and on my right, Jean‑Marie Heimrath, who is the President of Standard Interactive, a division of Standard Radio, which, Mr. Dolfen, you made reference to in the CAB's presentation the other day.
5982 Let me start off by conveying an apology on behalf of our fearless leader Gary Slaight. I know that he has communicated directly with the Chair regarding this matter. He has had a significant family crisis and has not been able to leave Toronto.
5983 He sends his regrets.
5984 Another small change in our presentation is that Andy Kim, thank you to our friends at UDA, was able to appear yesterday. So we have a considerably condensed presentation. So I will speak slowly.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
5985 MR. BRAIDE: As the Commission knows, Standard Radio is owned by Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited, which is Canada's largest privately owned multimedia company.
5986 Standard is an active member of the CAB and we are pleased to endorse the submission made by the CAB in this proceeding.
5987 In our short time here today, we will speak primarily about how to best support emerging Canadian artists, both as regards airplay and funding.
5988 Finally, we will close with our thoughts about the hit/non‑hit rule and our recommendation that they be eliminated.
5989 Given the understandable time limitations, we won't cover Standard's new media investments, such as Sirius Canada and Iceberg Media, in our main presentation. But as I mentioned, Mr. Heimrath is here today to respond to your questions in particular in regard to Iceberg Media.
5990 Despite the proliferation of new media, Canadian radio has played and will continue to play a pivotal role in getting new Canadian artists launched. Standard performs a significant role in that process in terms of airplay, the funding of FACTOR, Musique Action, the Radio Starmaker Fund and Fonds RadioStar, and makes significant copyright payments.
5991 In the five‑year period from 2002 to 2006 Standard will have expended over $20 million for Canadian Talent Development support.
5992 Standard also runs free 30‑second promotional spots for newly released albums by Canadian artists on its music stations across Canada.
5993 The value of this plan in terms of free airtime for Canadian artists is about $2 million a year.
5994 Based on our experience, we feel that what is needed is an enhanced 35 percent policy that provides an incentive for stations to play new Canadian music, and in that regard Standard also supports the CAB proposal.
5995 Everyone in this room understands that Canadian private radio is vital to the breaking of new and emerging Canadian artists. Standard understands the motivations of each of the industry groups that champions different approaches. Nevertheless, it supports the CAB's proposed policy framework that incents both the airing of new music and the targeting of CTD contributions.
5996 As the Commission has already heard, sales levels for Canadian music are far lower than the current Canadian quota level of 35 percent, and they are only slightly higher than when the quota was at 30 percent.
5997 If the 35 percent quota were increased, this would simply increase the already large discrepancy between what radio stations are required to play and what the reality of the marketplace wants to purchase.
5998 Like many others in the room yesterday, we were surprised to hear CRIA's about‑face, first explaining why they changed their position, then explaining that they had not really changed it at all.
5999 Two comments are in order.
6000 First, nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.
6001 Second, it is too bad that the Commission didn't have the power to regulate CRIA's multinational members. If they had to produce 35 percent Canadian content, maybe it would be easier for all of us.
6002 They suggest that we only get a bonus in AM and PM drive. Broadcasters know that the universe is changing. We need to do everything we can to maintain audience, and that means playing familiar music in drive periods.
6003 The bottom line is that CanCon test below the mean. We need all the tools available to us while satisfying the imperatives of the Act.
6004 As regards funding, CAB has proposed that there be a movement away from the funding of FACTOR and Musique Action by Canadian radio and instead toward the funding of Starmaker, Fonds RadioStar. Perhaps this idea requires some clarification.
6005 It is not our desire to see FACTOR, Musique Action anything but strong. We will be recommending to the CAB that the current level of $1.8 million flowing from broadcasters be maintained.
6006 However, of primary importance to us is that all monies should be spent in a transparent fashion with full accountability.
6007 This is the prime reason that these dollars must flow through a commercial fund.
6008 Let's also remember that the two satellite companies have committed approximately $22 million to FACTOR/Musique Action over the next seven years of licence, or the first seven years.
6009 In conclusion, Standard believes that there is sufficient real indicators of future concerns for radio that the CAB proposals make a lot of sense.
6010 MR. BRAIDE: While we are missing a section of the written presentation that we have submitted to you, we also wanted to refer to our position on the elimination of the hit/non‑hit policy.
6011 We feel very strongly that over the past few years while the francophone broadcasters have seen a light diminution in pbits, their successes are not dissimilar to the successes seen by English Canadian radio broadcasters and particularly those in Montreal.
6012 We feel that the CRTC has created an ecology in Montreal radio. That ecology ‑‑ and I will say Montreal radio. Sorry, I'm a Montreal operator. But in terms of the Montreal‑Ottawa‑Gatineau marketplaces.
6013 We feel that that ecology is defined by 65 percent ‑‑ 55 percent in certain day parts ‑‑ French vocal music and the requirement for English broadcasters in those two markets to continue to maintain the hit/non‑hit policy, which the Commission has in its wisdom eliminated in all parts of the country except for Montreal‑Ottawa‑Hull.
6014 We believe that if there is a decrease, as requested by the francophone broadcasters, in the 65 percent vocal music system that that changes the ecology of the English marketplace. We feel strongly that if there is a change in that ecology, there should be an elimination of the hit/non‑hit requirement.
6015 I think, summing up that concept, is that the CAB and many other broadcasters, and now Standard Broadcasting as well, have said over and over again that this is a changing environment. We need all the tools available to us in order to compete with things that are not of our control, nor of the Commission's control.
6016 We ask the Commission that we not be forced to compete with one arm tied behind our backs.
6017 In conclusion, we believe that there are sufficient real indicators of future concerns for radio that the CAB proposals do make a lot of sense. There are lots of ways for listeners to receive music, and there seem to be more each day.
6018 Standard understands and accepts the bargain that it has with the regulators in exchange for its use of public spectrum. It pays CTD, plays Canadian content and it pays significant copyright fees.
6019 It does all kinds of things that its unregulated competitors do not do, and we are proud of the contributions that we make and the success enjoyed by the artists that we promote.
6020 We hope and trust that you will give radio the tools to continue to play its key role and that you will approve the plan the CAB has put in front of you.
6021 We would be pleased to respond to your questions. Thank you.
6022 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Braide. I did receive the communication from Mr. Slaight. Please convey our best wishes to him and his mother.
6023 MR. BRAIDE: I will do. Thank you, sir.
6024 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cugini.
6025 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. Good morning.
6026 Just some practical questions with regard to the CAB bonus incentive plan.
6027 As you said, you are an owner of 51 stations across Canada. How many of those stations will be able to take advantage of that bonus incentive plan if we approve it?
6028 MR. BRAIDE: I don't have a specific number, Madam Commissioner, but certainly it would be virtually all of our FM radio stations.
6029 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: All of your FM radio stations.
6030 MR. BRAIDE: Virtually all.
6031 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay.
6032 This is going to create ‑‑ or maybe create is the wrong word. But there is going to be a reliance on that BDS list for radio stations to program their play lists so they can identify who is an emerging artist and who isn't.
6033 How much reliance do your stations currently have on that list to come up with a play list?
6034 MR. BRAIDE: We actually use Media Base, which is a company that we have an interest in.
6035 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It's an either/or. Right? It's either Media Base or BDS.
6036 MR. BRAIDE: Absolutely. Either Media Base or BDS.
6037 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yes.
6038 MR. BRAIDE: We tend ‑‑ our programmers use those databases or Media Base quite a lot. I think you would be hard pressed to find a Standard programmer in the group who didn't have Media Base up on his or her screen, I would say virtually daily.
6039 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And have you done an analysis as to ‑‑ this is similar to the question that I asked Corus this morning.
6040 Based on this new definition of an emerging artist, by how much will that increase the broadcast of emerging artists on your stations?
6041 Pick a couple to use as examples.
6042 MR. BRAIDE: I think that the CAB's evaluation is approximately correct, that an extra six plays per day would lead to, I believe, 30 spins per week.
6043 I think that perhaps I could answer you by going in the opposite direction ‑‑
6044 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Sure.
6045 MR. BRAIDE: ‑‑ in an analysis that we did on the application of the bonus system as regards emerging artists.
6046 It has been said many times, Madam Commissioner, that 35 percent is considered a maximum by Canadian radio. That is just not the case.
6047 I have three days of our CJFM Mix 96 in Montreal from just a couple of weeks ago, and each day we are between 36 and 37 percent.
6048 If we apply the emerging artist bonus using the .25 credit, the first day we landed 31.9 percent. The second day, based upon 36.2 percent, it is 31.4 percent effective Canadian content. And then 32 percent.
6049 The CAB says between 2 and 3 percent decrease in CanCon. We see maybe a point more in this particular example.
6050 I hope that answers your question.
6051 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And in terms of numbers of emerging artists, did you do that kind of analysis?
6052 MR. BRAIDE: I notice that Corus came up with ‑‑ I think they said they were playing on CFNY four per day. That varies from format to format, clearly.
6053 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right.
6054 MR. BRAIDE: I would be surprised if we were playing less than that on, for example, our current based radio stations right now.
6055 And interestingly enough, we tend to be playing a great deal of that music, for example, on CHOM‑FM in Montreal, a Classic Rock radio station, because there tend to be a lot of emerging artists in the sort of Rock genre.
6056 And our trade‑off between Classic Rock and Canadian content is a discussion we can have, if you want, regarding library formats. But that may be for another moment.
6057 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, you did mention your higher levels of Canadian content. And you happen to be part owner, I believe, of the Urban Rhythm radio station in Calgary that was licensed in 2001 at 40 percent Canadian content.
6058 If we apply the bonus incentive program, we know the CAB plan is 35 percent Canadian content with a floor of 30, what will your floor be on this 40 percent Canadian content station?
6059 MR. BRAIDE: I can't answer that question directly, but we would undertake to get back to you with that number.
6060 Specifically regarding the Calgary radio station?
6061 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It is the only one that is at 40 percent.
6062 MR. BRAIDE: Yes.
6063 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: As per condition of licence.
6064 MR. BRAIDE: Yes.
6065 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Then yes, in regard to that.
6066 MR. BRAIDE: We would undertake to respond to you on that.
6067 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
6068 And thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Those are my questions.
6069 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
6070 Vice‑Chair Arpin?
6071 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you.
6072 Mr. Braide, both Astral and Cogeco mention in their submission that the three FM Montreal radio stations have increased significantly their listenership of francophone.
6073 If you agree with that statement, to what factor do you attribute that increase?
6074 Is this factor to be taken into consideration in assessing the ecology of the Montreal and Ottawa‑Gatineau markets?
6075 MR. BRAIDE: Mr. Vice‑Chair, I am deeply confused by their perspective.
6076 I have worked in Montreal radio. I started off as a disc jockey at CHOM in 1977 and I have been fortunate enough to ply my entire career in that lovely city.
6077 One thing that I knew the day I started at CHOM was that 70 percent of its audience was francophone.
6078 Another thing I know today, some 30 years later, is that 70 percent of its audience is francophone.
6079 There has been no demonstrable change in percentages of francophone tuning to any of the three English FM stations that I believe they would be referring to: our CHOM‑FM, our CJFM Mix 96 and Corus' Q92.
6080 And believe me, I watch this stuff like a hawk because we don't get a lot of credit for our bilingual tuning, as I believe you well know, and only sell our anglo tuning.
6081 For example, CHOM only has 30 percent of its cumulative audience available for sale, because again we don't get credit.
6082 So we watch very, very closely what percentage of our audience is francophone.
6083 That number hasn't changed and I don't understand where they got their figures.
6084 Believe me, I've been in that seat for over 30 years in that marketplace and the needle has not moved.
6085 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, obviously they have taken their figures out of BBM.
6086 It has slipped over the years somehow and now it is coming back. I think CHOM is probably a big factor in it because when you purchased it from CHUM you moved it back to its more Classic Rock format, and that surely brought more focus toward the francophone since there was no such format available in the French market.
6087 MR. BRAIDE: I think, Mr. Arpin, what actually happened is that a lot of tire kickers came in, a lot of francophone tire kickers came in, if I can use that expression, and checked out the format. There was great concern in the French market at the time because CHOM's tuning amongst the combined English and French market went significantly up. But the numbers also show that within two books it started coming back down again in the total market but continued to grow in the English market.
6088 And at the same time the percentage of tuning by francophones to that radio station never changed substantially.
6089 In fact, francophone radio stations ‑‑ for example, Énergie, changed their status or their strategy and launched a Classic Rock semi‑format on Montreal CKMF to program almost exclusively anglophone Classic Rock in the afternoon drive period.
6090 And you know what? Their tuning went up in that area. CHOM's tuning went back down to its habitual level in the total Montreal market but continued to grow in the anglophone market, which I think was everybody's objective in that transfer of ownership.
6091 So again, Mr. Arpin, the ecology has not changed in terms of transfer of tuning. Our numbers have remained static.
6092 I would love to see how they have worked out their logic.
6093 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, I am sure that you have various platforms to meet with them, so you will be able to discuss that with them further.
6094 Thank you very much.
6095 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6096 I have a few questions on Iceberg Radio. Thank you for being here, Mr. Heimrath.
6097 First of all, is icebergradio.com roughly the channel that is on the satellite, the subscription radio service?
6098 MR. HEIMRATH: No. Not to be confused, there is a channel on Sirius Satellite called Iceberg 95, which happens to be the channel it is on.
6099 icebergradio.com does not have any programming on Sirius satellite. They are two separate entities.
6100 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see. So are you in charge of programming the satellite channel?
6101 MR. HEIMRATH: No.
6102 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see.
6103 MR. HEIMRATH: I am only responsible for the internet portion.
6104 THE CHAIRPERSON: It says on your website that you currently have over 100 channels streaming commercial‑free music 24/7.
6105 MR. HEIMRATH: That is correct. There is approximately 15 genres.
6106 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where do you source this music?
6107 MR. HEIMRATH: Well, it is sourced from the record labels. Any type of music that is available worldwide, that is where the music comes from.
6108 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what is the rights situation with respect to that music?
6109 We heard earlier that there are rights issues with regard to ‑‑
6110 MR. HEIMRATH: Well, there are several rights issues.
6111 We have licensing agreements with labels where we give them a percentage of revenues.
6112 Outside of that there is pending legislation now on copyright and SOCAN, and so forth, which is still pending.
6113 It is kept on the side.
6114 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you have a sense in your mix on those 100 channels what percentage of Canadian content there is?
6115 MR. HEIMRATH: We don't program that way. Essentially, we have several programmers, some fulltime, some part‑time, whose mandate is to find the best possible music in the world and it is programmed that way.
6116 Within the database there is no field that indicates where it comes from in terms of nationality. We don't program that way.
6117 We simply do that because we are competing in an open market. There are several ‑‑ I can give you several examples as to an internet broadcaster out of Chicago.
6118 ACU Radio, for example; 15 percent of their audience comes from Canada.
6119 LAUNCH, which is part of the Yahoo music offering, has 1.2 million Canadian listeners.
6120 So it is no longer a situation where we program for Canada. Those borders don't exist any more. They are gone, never to return. So you are competing with quite a bit.
6121 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So you don't track ‑‑
6122 MR. HEIMRATH: No.
6123 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ what is Canadian when you do that.
6124 MR. HEIMRATH: No.
6125 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you don't have an estimate. Do you use the Iceberg vehicle in order to promote artists that you carry on your regulated radio stations or on Sirius?
6126 MR. HEIMRATH: We just don't program that way. We will play anything that we believe, and our programmers believe, is solid good music. If it's Canadian, good for the Canadian artist.
6127 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. So it is an entirely independent operation in that sense.
6128 MR. HEIMRATH: Yes.
6129 THE CHAIRPERSON: And Mr. Braide, perhaps a question to you.
6130 So Iceberg Radio then really isn't part of a strategy of extending into the internet your radio services. It is an effort to meet the requirements of that service, pure and simple.
6131 MR. BRAIDE: Mr. Chair, we are very much a content oriented company and we feel that we are pretty good content providers and generators of content.
6132 I think the Slaight family has decided some years ago that it wanted to be present on as many platforms as possible. That's why we entered the internet space.
6133 We see that our programming expertise is lent to a new medium by engaging in the internet space.
6134 The programmers from the radio group don't sit around with the programmers from Mr. Heimrath's group. They act independently of each other.
6135 We just see it as another place to exercise what we think is an expertise in content generation, if that answers your question.
6136 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I guess I'm a little surprised, in view of your mandate under the Broadcasting Act, that you wouldn't attempt to use that vehicle in a way to promote Canadian artists, without being required to do so of course.
6137 MR. BRAIDE: No, listen, let me make something clear: We use the internet space to promote Canadian artists by virtue of the websites attached to the individual radio operations. We have very sophisticated back‑end operations ‑‑ again all of which have been developed by Mr. Heimrath's division ‑‑ which provide pretty remarkable access to information on artists of both Canadian and international stature.
6138 It is important that we differentiate the iceberg.com portal and the websites of individual radio stations.
6139 I believe I would speak for Mr. Slaight in saying we see these as two separate businesses which enjoy some synergies.
6140 I would say that if you were to look at the activities of iceberg ‑‑ and Mr. Heimrath can correct me if he feels I'm wrong ‑‑ that you would see a significant amount of Canadian expression on those sites, simply by virtue of the fact that there is a whole bunch of good Canadian music out there in those genres.
6141 THE CHAIRPERSON: What would you say the synergies were?
6142 MR. BRAIDE: Well, again, this is not part of the operation that I am involved in on a day‑to‑day basis so I will freelance a little bit here.
6143 But I think it wouldn't be dissimilar to the way we would look at the synergies between our three radio stations in Montréal. Perhaps CJAD would not be as healthy financially if it had to pick up all the costs of doing business on its own, billing and invoices and sales management and administration and traffic and those kinds of elements.
6144 Certainly within a corporation as large as Standard there are opportunities to share resources between the various operating units and divisions. I suspect that would be the most significant synergy, certainly on a business level.
6145 MR. HEIMRATH: Just to add to that, some of the synergies that Rob was speaking of, Standard Interactive has developed for the radio stations a content management system that allows the radio stations to operate in that space in a more efficient way. In the past, and in a lot of cases, radio station website are operating on an independent basis with no real comprehensive content management system which we have developed for Iceberg Radio to operate. So that is a piece of software, if you wish, that we have been able to hand off to the radio stations so they can operate a little bit more efficiently.
6146 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. In terms of managing their websites, for example?
6147 MR. HEIMRATH: Yes. The tools that have been given to the radio stations are basically functionality tools.
6148 In terms of operating on a content level, it is still at the discretion of the local radio station to insert and to remove content on an ongoing basis. We don't influence that at all.
6149 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it says on your website that ‑‑ network sites, it includes 28 radio station websites across Canada. Sites cater to specific geo and demo targets.
6150 MR. HEIMRATH: Yes.
6151 THE CHAIRPERSON: Those are not entirely Standard stations. Those are other stations as well?
6152 MR. HEIMRATH: Well, the stations I think ‑‑ I'm not familiar with that particular piece of information, but I think that is making reference specifically to Standard‑owned and operated stations.
6153 THE CHAIRPERSON: So those are Standard?
6154 MR. HEIMRATH: Yes.
6155 THE CHAIRPERSON: It says that you represent advertising on 80‑plus music and entertainment‑related websites, which I think that would presumably go beyond ‑‑
6156 MR. HEIMRATH: Yes, to some degree.
6157 Well, the way that works is, as you may know, Iceberg Radio has been around for 10 years under two different names, one Virtually Canadian, which was the original name, and then while it was still a public company it moved to Iceberg Radio.
6158 The idea was that Iceberg Radio had a relatively small audience comparatively speaking in the grand scheme of things. In order to compete in the marketplace, numbers in the area of, say, 150,000 unique visitors on a monthly basis is extremely small. As a matter of fact, you are not even on the radar screen when it comes to the advertising community.
6159 The idea here is that if one was to compete in the marketplace, at least in that particular space, one has to be within the top 10 performing sites to even be on the buy. So in order to do that, one must look at some strategy in terms of aggregating as much as you can to get those numbers up.
6160 It still takes an enormous amount of time and an enormous investment to build audiences, as everyone knows. So the initial strategy was to take these radio stations collectively, bundle them, and then go back into the marketplace and offer something that is a little bit more palatable.
6161 THE CHAIRPERSON: The study by Mr. Osborne in the CAB brief suggested that a number of people he interviewed suggested that one way to try to reach a younger demographic ‑‑ which the general sense is abandoning radio for some of these other platforms ‑‑ was to use these platforms to re‑attract them back to radio.
6162 Is that part of your marching orders, or is it again so separate that ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6163 MR. HEIMRATH: Well, once again here is some perspective.
6164 Iceberg Radio, in spite of what people might think, the primary audience of Iceberg Radio is 25‑54. It is not a young skewing audience.
6165 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see.
6166 MR. HEIMRATH: As a matter of fact, that audience ‑‑ and we can provide this to you if you would like it ‑‑ is that the Bell curve is the peak listening is at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. It is at work. People are listening more and more at work.
6167 MR. HEIMRATH: Whether they are doing any work, I don't know.
6168 THE CHAIRPERSON: You use the term "work" loosely here.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6169 MR. HEIMRATH: Right. In terms of the younger skewing audience, as you probably know as well, there are tremendous forces currently in the marketplace. You have obviously heard of MySpace, Pitchfork, which garner huge audiences. Even in Canada a community called Nexopia has in the area of 850,000 young teenagers.
6170 So in terms of radio trying to attract a younger skewing audience, it is going to be quite the challenge to try to bring them back. I don't think it's going to happen.
6171 MR. BRAIDE: If I could interject, Mr. Chair. As has been mentioned already during these proceedings, the drop in youth tuning is not dissimilar to the drop that newspapers have seen and television has seen. This seems to be a broad demographic trend as opposed to something just specifically related to radio, however radio is asking the Commission the ability to work a little bit more flexibly in order to respond to some of the technologies which are pulling these younger people away from it.
6172 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right. And the overall solution that's being transmitted to us is a reduction essentially in content levels or flexibility in respect of those levels.
6173 MR. BRAIDE: I don't think you are seeing a request for a great deal of reduction in content levels. I think I speak wearing my CAB Chair hat as much as my Standard hat here.
6174 What we are asking for ‑‑ I think if you examine the documents ‑‑ is pretty much a status quo situation, but what we find onerous is an increased level of quotas or something in contrast to a bonus system which allows us to be more flexible in terms of how we respond to these things.
6175 Again, we are not crying that the sky is falling here, but we are saying that there are storm clouds and that is how we would like the Commission to respond.
6176 I want it to be very clear that we are not asking to throw out all the regulations. We feel comfortable in a regulated environment.
6177 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. Okay, thank you for that.
6178 Commissioner Pennefather...?
6179 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just a quick question, Mr. Braide. Put the Standard hat back on.
6180 MR. BRAIDE: Firmly screwed on.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6181 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Not too tight. I'm going to ask you to take it off again after.
6182 You will be recommending to the CAB that the current level of $1.8 million flowing from broadcasters be maintained.
6183 By that do you mean that that would go directly to FACTOR or do you maintain that it would still go to the commercial fund, then back to FACTOR?
6184 MR. BRAIDE: Thank you for asking that question.
6185 There has been a great deal of confusion surrounding this issue over the past few days and you have given me an opportunity perhaps once again to clarify, certainly Standard's position, and I think that one may be more clear on the part of the CAB by the deadline for filing of materials in Phase III.
6186 What we are saying is that we see ‑‑ again let's use the living marsh, the ecosystem of the MEC and the strongly funded FACTOR and the commercial fund.
6187 I think what the broadcasters are looking for is greater accountability, a greater transparency, the ability to identify a Canadian as a Canadian, that an individual who is either a landed immigrant or carries a Canadian passport can access funding. We want a system which maintains a healthy FACTOR and we feel that by flowing monies through Starmaker and Fond Radiostar we can continue to satisfy FACTOR's requirements ‑‑ again, the $1.8 million is I think the 1998 number ‑‑
6188 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's the minimum? It has actually the ‑‑
6189 MR. BRAIDE: Precisely.
6190 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It has actually been more, as you ‑‑
6191 MR. BRAIDE: Precisely. And I think we have to remind ourselves that there may be another $22 million coming from satellite radio and there may be other benefits falling from transactions and new licensing and licence renewals. We are talking about minimums here. We understand what you are saying.
6192 We want to be able to have a little bit more control and influence over where our monies go inside FACTOR. Perhaps we have to set up a Chinese wall inside the organization to make sure that Heritage's imperatives are satisfied. As we all know, Heritage is not able to advance funds to artists, rather they have to pay upon receipt effectively, and one of the broadcaster's roles inside FACTOR is effectively to advance money.
6193 If that could be done, if we could continue to keep FACTOR healthy by doing that, all the better.
6194 All we want is to be able to see a three‑tiered system whereby MEC looks after Indie royalty, FACTOR goes out and Musicaction and looks after la bourse à l'éleve, and then the commercial fund independently and through FACTOR is able to take artists who are signed and take them to the next level so they become superstars.
6195 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the answer was yes and the reporting would turn up in an annual report of Starmaker Fund.
6196 Thank you.
6197 MR. BRAIDE: Yes, it would.
6198 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Those are our questions.
6199 MR. BRAIDE: Thank you very much.
6200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6201 We will take a quick break as we change to the next item.
6202 Do you want to call the next item, Madam Secretary, and they can set up. We will be back in five minutes.
6203 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
6204 I would now invite the next participants, Rawlco Radio Ltd. to come forward and prepare for their presentation.
6205 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1152 / Suspension à 1152
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1200 / Reprise à 1200
6206 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
6207 Whenever you are ready, Mr. Rawlinson.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
6208 MS LEYLAND: Good afternoon, Mr. Dalfen, Monsieur Arpin, Ms Pennefather, Ms Noël, Ms Cugina and Commission staff.
6209 I would like to take a moment to introduce you to the members of our panel.
6210 To my far left is Doug Rawlinson, the Executive Vice President of Rawlco Radio. On my immediate left is Gordon Rawlinson, I always like to say the most challenging person I have to manage.
6211 And on my right ‑‑
6212 THE CHAIRPERSON: Which Rawlinson was that?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6213 MS LEYLAND: That would be Gordon, Mr. Dalfen.
6214 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see.
6215 MS LEYLAND: Doug can be kind of tough too.
6216 On my right is Doug Pringle, Rawlco's Director of Programming.
6217 My name is Pam Leyland and I run Rawlco Radio.
6218 Rawlco was started by Gordon and Doug's father, the late E.A. Rawlinson, in 1946 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Gord and Doug have been in radio for over 35 years and Doug Pringle and I have been with Rawlco for over 25 years.
6219 I have been President for five years. I am the first woman president of a radio company in Canada.
6220 I am very proud of Rawlco Radio. We run full‑service radio stations that super serve their communities, and we run excellent news talk stations. We have won 10 CAB gold ribbons for community service in the past 13 years.
6221 The music on our FM stations is not as tightly formatted as it would be in a major market, and we air music by local Saskatchewan artists many times a day as a company policy.
6222 Because of the success we have had with project 10k20 in Edmonton we have brought it to Saskatchewan and are currently providing $10,000 to each of 20 artists from all over our province to produce their own CD.
6223 We are leaders in First Nations programming and employment, and our owners, Gordon and Doug, have donated over $4 million to the E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts in Prince Albert, the Rawlco Resource Centre to assist aboriginal students at the College of Commerce, at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and the Rawlco Centre for mother‑baby care at the Regina General Hospital.
6224 At Rawlco we have always been in compliance and kept our promises. We are only in radio and we love radio.
6225 Big picture stuff like the review of radio is Gord's area, so Gord..."?
6226 MR. G. RAWLINSON: Thanks, Pam.
6227 Pam is a great President. You know, Rawlco Radio is a better run company since she took over from me.
6228 Over the years, I think the CRTC has had great policy and great execution. We think the CRTC is very good for Canada. Broadcasters look at it as a business; the CRTC looks at what is best for all Canadians. Canada is the best radioed country in the world.
6229 You know, everyone appearing before you at this review comes from a point of self‑interest, as we do. We certainly have self‑interest, too. But I want to make one point very strongly: I have tried to step back and realize that what we are talking about is the future of radio in Canada and the people it affects most. It's not the broadcasters, it's not the music business, and it's not the CRTC, but it is the listeners, the public and the community. They are ultimately why we do what we do: the listeners.
6230 We all need to worry and care more about the listener and the community.
6231 One of the joys of operating radio stations in smaller markets is the focus on the listener and the community and not on fighting other radio stations. But if we look at the United States, each market there has many more radio stations than cities of equal size in Canada.
6232 Let me give you an example. In Saskatoon all stations in the market are well‑staffed, fully involved in the community, locally programmed, and there is even a news talk station, all in a smaller city of just over 200,000 people. You will never find that in the United States.
6233 Why? In the States there are too many stations for the available revenue. More stations doesn't mean more revenue, it just spreads the revenue thinner to each owner, and pretty soon staff, services and quality suffer and we end up with jukebox radio.
6234 American stations have become glorified jukeboxes and vehicles for syndicated programming, with little or no local relevance. They have far fewer staff, less community involvement and almost non‑existent newsroom.
6235 I hate jukebox radio. I don't want to own jukebox radio stations. One of the incredibly great things about Canada is the quality of our radio stations. Right now in most smaller markets in Canada the CRTC has awarded the proper number of licences to permit high quality service to the public.
6236 So when is a smaller city capable of supporting additional new radio services? There are several points to consider.
6237 First of all, by major market standards smaller city stations are over staffed. Community involvement and community service requires people and these additional costs are not optional.
6238 Not surprisingly, then, smaller market stations are much less profitable than their major market counterparts. The average PBIT for stations in big cities with a population larger than 250,000 is 18 to 20 percent and for the smaller cities it is only 13 percent or less.
6239 The argument in favour of licensing new music‑based radio stations is that they will add musical diversity. However, the ramifications of applying this policy to smaller cities are very serious.
6240 As everyone knows, the world has been rapidly changing. It wasn't long ago there wasn't such a thing as an iPod or radio station on the internet or blogs or satellite radio. For someone living in smaller markets in Canada there is not so much choice it's amazing. You can hear any kind of music and information you want, anywhere you want and in any order you want from multiple sources all in stereo quality.
6241 The impact of licensing additional new radio stations in smaller cities is dramatic. The existing full‑service stations lose audience and lose advertising revenues. At the same time, they have to increase their costs for station promotion and marketing. The end result is that they lay off staff and they too become only music stations, just like their new competitors.
6242 More stations doesn't mean better quality radio; it means far worse radio, lowest common denominator radio, jukebox radio, radio done on the cheap.
6243 Radio station owners will find a way to make a profit, and if the revenue isn't there then the only way to make a profit is to run radio cheap.
6244 If there are the right number of radio stations in a market, stations are able to maximize profit by really serving the audience, local information, community service, a lot more than just a narrow music service.
6245 If there are too many stations licensed, in order to maximize profit you must do substantially less news, less community service and do a narrow music service.
6246 I think the CRTC's job is to make sure the system is set up to best serve the public. Radio owner's job is to maximize profits, which usually, but not always, means to best serve the public. We can make a profit by providing lots of local service or by running a lean and mean music service.
6247 So my question for the Commission today is this: Are the people in these smaller cities better served as a result of the licensing of these additional radio stations? My answer is that in many instances they are not.
6248 MS LEYLAND: I mentioned a few of the things that we do to serve our listeners. We do all of these things because it solidifies our role in these communities. Because we do these things, community leaders, advertisers and listeners support our stations. Clearly the people of Saskatchewan benefit from this radio environment and should it be changed to a multi‑music service environment something valuable would be lost.
6249 MR. G. RAWLINSON: So I guess just to try and sum it up, today with the dramatic increases in diversity that technology allows, and the continued limiting of licences in smaller cities, the listener, the public, gets the best of both worlds, great diversity of choice and full service community‑minded local radio, the best of both worlds.
6250 That is our presentation and we would be pleased to answer any questions.
6251 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
6252 Mr. Rawlinson and Ms Leyland, both your brief and your oral presentation were fairly clear so I don't really have any follow‑up questions for you in that regard, but one or two of my colleagues may.
6253 Commissioner Cugina...?
6254 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Good morning.
6255 In your written submission you say that generally you support the CAB's proposal.
6256 Go ahead.
6257 MR. G. RAWLINSON: Yes. Yes.
6258 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Does that mean you will avail yourself of the bonus incentive plan for emerging artists on your radio stations?
6259 MR. G. RAWLINSON: Yes. But could I ask Doug Pringle to just talk to Canadian music for one second?
6260 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Sure.
6261 MR. PRINGLE: When you say "avail yourself", that means sort of it's a way to play less CanCon. That is a different question to: Will the incentive to play emerging artists be there if we can play less CanCon?
6262 I can only speak for myself. I can't imagine why I would use that incentive to make my radio station sound less good. I mean, to me the reason why you play new music is because that is the format that you have chosen to do and my decisions would always be based on that. An incentive would make no difference to me at all.
6263 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: That is very clear.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
6264 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you currently use either BDS or MediaBase? Do you use those services?
6265 MR. PRINGLE: Absolutely. I'm aware of BDS, yes. There are many different sources that you use.
6266 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right. Based on your previous answer, then, it would be your preference that ‑‑ no. It is an incentive program, you can opt in or out of using it, so whether we put it in the regulations or in the conditions of licence it will be up to the individual radio broadcasters to apply it or not.
6267 MR. PRINGLE: Yes. I think we have a fabulous system in place right now. I mean, one of the huge successes has been the whole Canadian content ruling. I mean, I think in terms of what has happened to Canadian music since CanCon came in to now is absolutely staggering, not just in terms of the quantity of music that is available ‑‑ I mean, there is so much good CanCon that is out there to play ‑‑ but also the quality of the music is extraordinary. I just don't mean in it terms of I like it or you like it, I mean it in terms of not just people in Canada but outside of Canada buying this.
6268 I mean, we are up there with the U.S. and Britain. In fact, I read last year we sold more dollars worldwide than Britain did. I mean, that's outrageous, you know, when you think about it, 30 million people, and we don't have the reputation like England does. So I think it has been a huge success.
6269 I just want to make sure that this success continues. I hate to see a diminishment of what we have built up up to this point in time.
6270 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you for your candour.
6271 I'm sorry...?
6272 MR. G. RAWLINSON: I would like to just add one thing, though, that we have actually ‑‑ when the CanCon rules changed from 30 to 35 percent, quite frankly we didn't mind at all. We thought that was just fine. You have to stay well ahead of what the actual market is or you don't make any impact.
6273 But the world is a new ‑‑ it is becoming a new world and so we are a little unsure of what is going to happen in the future.
6274 We have, as a company, been not broadcasters that are concerned about Canadian content because our competitors had to play the same percentage, and while it was ahead of the percentage of music sales, as I said, you have to do that or else what good is it doing.
6275 Quite frankly, in the radio station business we don't have much regulation. We have to play Canadian music and we have to keep logger tapes. That's it really. So it's a pretty good contract.
6276 But we are apprehensive about the future with all of this unregulated stuff coming in and just don't know where that is going to go.
6277 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you for your candour.
6278 Thank you, Mr. Chair. Those are my questions.
6279 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6280 Vice Chair Arpin...?
6281 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6282 I don't know if you were here yesterday when the Francophone Independent Radio Operators appeared, and later today we will hear also the Ontario Independent Radio Group, they both are making the same argument that is in another direction than the one you have made in your oral presentation this morning and that we can find in your paragraph 28 of your submission.
6283 They are making the point that in small markets in order to provide the listeners with a better music choice the Commission shall contemplate allowing a single operate to operate up to three FM services in a small market at benefit of the synergies.
6284 Do you have any specific views and comments to make on those recommendations that have been made to us by the smaller operator groups?
6285 MR. G. RAWLINSON: Yes. I think they are actually quite creative ideas.
6286 Radio, when there is just one owner in a market, whether the owner has one or two or three stations, is, quite frankly, the best radio there is in Canada. It is the closest to the community and it is the most valuable service. As you get bigger cities and more competition the focus becomes on other radio stations.
6287 So if you are in a small community where it is unlikely there is going to be somebody else going to want to have another station, or where it doesn't make a lot of sense, and I would say that is ‑‑ I don't know whether it's 50,000 or 100,000 people, but where you are best off for the service to the public to have just one owner, then why not give that person an additional licence if they want to do it and they can operate it.
6288 We currently, for example, have a situation where we have just recently filed an application in a place called North Battleford, Saskatchewan where we have an AM licence and two FMs. The AM, through history, is in the wrong location. It is north of the city because that's where it was for many, many years and the signal really is poor at night. So we are asking for an exception, saying "Could we have three FMs because we have 15,000 people in the market, I think maybe a total of 18,000 ‑‑ I'm sorry, 18,000 is the correct number."
6289 To have another owner come in there when there is already three radio stations is just really never going to happen. I mean, the city would have to be ‑‑ and it isn't really growing. So we are saying could there be an exception like that to have three FMs instead of an AM and two FMs, just for coverage matters and for technical reasons.
6290 So that's not quite on point, but I think there are opportunities for exceptions in these smaller markets, so you will just get better service for the listener, which again is our whole thrust.
6291 So I think it is quite a creative idea.
6292 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: I think your answer is giving me an opportunity to ask a subsidiary question.
6293 The CAB has defined a small market as being 250,000 or less listeners. Obviously you were talking about Saskatoon being 200,000 people, but you are making a comparison using North Battleford as your example.
6294 What is your own definition of "small market"?
6295 MR. G. RAWLINSON: I'm going to ask Pam to answer that.
6296 MS LEYLAND: If I can take that question first, Monsieur Arpin, and then Gord will probably jump in after.
6297 I suggest that the biggest reason why ‑‑ and we suggest the threshold would be 250,000 ‑‑ is clearly shown in the study that was done by Ken Goldstein for the CAB. It showed PBIT in markets with populations of 100,000 or less to be 12.9 percent and in markets from 100,000 to 250,000 population it was 13.1 percent compared to PBIT in centres over 250,000 of in the range of 18 to 20 percent.
6298 So PBIT is essentially the same for communities up to 250,000 and then it takes a significant jump.
6299 I do have some other thoughts too if you wouldn't mind just listening for a moment.
6300 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: Well, I think ‑‑ sure, yes because ‑‑
6301 MS LEYLAD: The other differences, the other ‑‑ the realities.
6302 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ obviously you just gave us the CAB point of view ‑‑
6303 MS LEYLAD: Okay.
6304 COMMISSIONER ARPIN: ‑‑ and I want to hear the Rawlco view.
6305 MS LEYLAD: You bet. Okay, well let us talk practical examples then, because I heard Commissioner Cugini says that she likes to hear practical stories and I live in the practical world running Rawlco, so..
6306 In markets of 250,000 or less there are no traffic reports, effectively there is no traffic, it is one of the great things about living in a smaller centre. You can be anywhere in 20 minutes or less and that includes a city the size of Saskatoon of just over 200,000 people. In Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, population of what 40,000 people, we like to say you can be anywhere in a sportscast and a 30, which means that you can get home during a two or three minute sportscast and a 30‑second commercial.
6307 More than 80 per cent of our revenue in a smaller market comes from the businesses in our community. It is very very labour intensive. These businesses don't have advertising agencies, they don't employ an advertising agency to come up with their creative, to place their buy. I always like to say that we, in effect, are their advertising agency.
6308 Our advertising consultants go out ‑‑ I mean, it is feet on the street ‑‑ they go out and meet with clients. One of our sales managers calls it belly to belly