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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES AVANT
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
October 30, 2006 le 30 octobre 2006
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bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
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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
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Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Barbara Cram Chairperson / Présidente
Michel Arpin Vice-Chair, Broadcasting / Vice‑président, radiodiffusion
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Chantal Boulet Secretary / Secrétaire
Leanne Bennett Legal Counsel /
Lyne Cape Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Delta Regina Delta Regina
1919 Saskatchewan Drive 1919, promenade Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan Regina, Saskatchewan
October 30, 2006 le 30 octobre 2006
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
Newcap Inc. 7 / 35
Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited 81 / 340
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. 115 / 551
Radio CJVR Ltd. 151 / 764
1182743 Alberta Ltd. 209 / 1076
Vista Radio Ltd. 256 / 1291
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. 300 / 1489
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Monday, October 30, 2006
at 0930 / L'audience débute le lundi
30 octobre 2006 à 0930
1 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please. À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.
2 Bonjours mesdames et messieurs.
3 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
and welcome to
4 Joining me on the panel are my colleagues Michel Arpin, Vice‑Chair of Broadcasting; Rita Cugini, to my right, Regional Commissioner for Ontario; Ronald Williams, Regional Commissioner for Alberta, to Commissioner Cugini's right ‑‑ Alberta and the Northwest Territories; and Joan Pennefather, National Commissioner, on my far left.
5 The Commission team assisting us includes the Manager of Radio Applications and Policy Lyne Cape, who is also acting as Hearing Manager; Leanne Bennett, Legal Counsel; and Hearing Secretary Chantal Boulet.
6 Please speak with Ms Boulet if you have any questions with regard to the hearing procedures.
this hearing we will study eight applications to operate a new English language
commercial FM radio station in the
panel will then consider five applications to operate a new English language
commercial FM radio station, and one application to operate a new English and
Aboriginal language Native type B FM radio station in the
we will consider eight applications to operate a new English language
commercial FM radio station, and one application to operate a new English and
Aboriginal language Native type B FM radio station in the
applications are competing technically for the same frequencies in the
11 We will study the proposals in light of the cultural, economic and social objectives defined in The Broadcasting Act, and regulations flowing from it.
12 The panel will base its decision on several criteria, including the state of the competition and the diversity of editorial voices in each market, as well as the quality of the applications. It will look at the ability of the markets to support new radio stations, the financial resources of each applicant, and proposed initiatives for the development of Canadian talent.
13 Le comité fondera sa décision sur plusieurs critères, dont l'état de la concurrence et la diversité des voix éditoriales dans chaque marché ainsi que la qualité des demandes. Il examinera également la capacité des marchés à soutenir de nouvelles stations de radio, les ressources financières de chaque requérante et les initiatives proposées pour le développement des talents canadiens.
14 We will then look at the
applications to renew Aboriginal Voices Radio's licence for its radio
15 I will now invite the hearing secretary, Ms Boulet, to explain the procedures we will be following.
16 Ms Boulet...?
17 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
18 Good morning, everyone. Before beginning I would like to go over a few housekeeping matters to ensure the proper conduct of this hearing.
19 When you are in the hearing room we would ask that you please turn off your cell phones, beepers and black berries, as they are an unwelcome distractions to participants and commissioners, and they may cause interference on the internal communication system. We would appreciate your cooperation with respect to this throughout the hearing.
20 We expect the hearing to take approximately one week. We will begin each morning, starting tomorrow, at 8:30, and finish around 7:30. We will take one hour for lunch and a 15‑minute break in the morning and afternoon. We will let you know of any schedule changes that may occur.
21 The Tuscany Room, just outside on your right, will serve as the examination room, where you can examine the public files of the applications being considered at this hearing. As indicated in the agenda, you may reach the examination room by calling 306‑790‑4735.
22 There is a transcript, a verbatim transcript of this hearing being taken by the court reporter sitting at the table in front of me. If you have any questions on how to obtain all or part of this transcript, please approach the reporter during a break. Please note that the full transcript will be made available on the Commission's website shortly after the conclusion of the hearing.
23 Simultaneous translation is also available during the hearing. You can obtain a translation receiver from the technician sitting at the back of the room. The English interpretation is on channel 1 and the French is on channel 2.
24 Finally, we will proceed at this hearing with a four‑phase process as follows: First, we will hear each applicant in the agenda order, and each applicant will be granted 20 minutes to make his presentation. Questions from the Commission will follow each presentation.
25 Phase II is where applicants reappear in the same order to intervene if they wish on the competing applications. Ten minutes are allowed for this purpose. And again, questions from the Commission may follow.
26 In Phase III other parties will appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their appearing intervention, and ten minutes will be allowed for each presentation. Again, questions may follow.
27 Phase IV, finally, provides an opportunity for each applicant to reply to all the interventions submitted on their application. Applicants appear in reverse order and ten minutes are allowed for this reply. And again, questions may follow.
28 For the record, I would like to indicate that the letter dated October 4, 2006, regarding the use of frequency 102.9 megahertz from the applicant carrying on business as Northwestern Radio Partnership, has been added to the public record of this application.
29 Also e‑mails dated October 23 and 24, 2006, from the applicant Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., as well as the Commission's response dated October 27, 2006, clarifying the calculation of CKAV‑FM's spoken word programming, were also added to the public record of AVR's application 2006 0872‑1.
30 These documents are all available for your review in the public examination room.
we're now ready to proceed to item 1 on the agenda, which is an application by
Newcap Inc. for a licence to operate an English language commercial FM radio
programming undertaking in
32 The new station would operate on frequency 105.3 megahertz (channel 287C) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 214.4 metres).
33 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Robert Steele, who will introduce his colleagues. You will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
34 Mr. Steele...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
35 MR. STEELE: Thank you.
36 Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission Staff. I'm Rob Steele, president and chief executive officer of Newcap Radio.
37 Before we begin our presentation I'd like to introduce our team. Seated in the front row to my immediate right is David Murray, recently named chief operating officer for Newcap Radio.
Dave is Ron Thompson who heads up our
to Ron is Sue Stevenson, news director of our
40 Next to Sue is Mark Maheu, executive vice‑president and chief strategist for Newcap Radio.
Mark is Glenda Spenrath, assistant GM of Newcap's Alberta Radio Group East,
this application we are looking to extend our news programming and community
service to an additional market in
44 MS SPENRATH: Thank you, Rob.
retail sales are projected to grow in
economic statistics paint a very positive picture, and an even more tangible
example of economic growth, from January to May of this year housing starts in
49 Their radio stations share facilities with their television stations and enjoy the economies of scale that accompany this kind of operation.
be successful in this market a new entrant will have to provide high quality
programming. We have a track record of
providing excellent programming in all the markets that we serve. The synergies we bring in the back office, as
well as the added value of our
51 We must be willing to be patient for profits to come. Our business plan does not envisage showing operating profits until the third year of operations, and pre‑tax profits do not happen until year five. All the other applicants foresee profits at the latest in year three, and some in the first year.
52 We will maximize synergies to increase sales and generate incremental radio advertising revenues.
53 And we will direct the savings from back office and other administrative efficiencies to on‑air programming for listeners.
tell you a bit more about our Alberta Radio Group and our
55 MR. THOMPSON: Thanks Glenda. Good morning, Madam Chair and Members of the Commission.
Newcap purchased the Telemedia stations in
also created three subdivisions to further group stations regionally that have
even more similarities. The three groups
are based in
58 Adding Medicine Hat to this group would benefit all the other markets in the Southern Alberta Group, providing coverage of southeast Alberta while allowing us to provide a higher quality programming focus in that market.
59 A the same time, Medicine Hat's size means that we can invest in a strong local team, with all of the programming decisions being made in that market. We expect that we will be live and local at least 120 hours per broadcast week with occasional features from one of the larger markets.
example, if Nickelback is playing in
talk a bit about the news approach, I'd like to introduce Sue Stevenson our
62 MS STEVENSON: Thanks, Ron, and good morning.
63 In a radio environment that has increasing music choices from satellites, the Internet and iPods, we realize that to compete we have two strategic advantages. We are local and we are live. For this reason, you may have noticed in all three of the applications on this hearing we increased our commitment to news over the course of the written process to five hours and 45 minutes per week, and at least 75 percent of this weekly total will be local news.
Radio strongly believes that local news is the key to success in markets like
has introduced a news access system that allows
66 Newcap has instituted a protocol to share stories and interviews as well with our other centres right across the province for both news and agriculture.
agriculture sector is an important part of
are proposing to provide five‑minute newscasts each day of the week
through morning drive, at noon, and in afternoon drive in
three full time and one half time reporters will be supported by regional news
information from our 12 reporters in other southern
will also provide a range of other local information features, including 35
weekly community event updates, 35 weekly public affairs reports, which we plan
to call The Hat Today, and a one‑hour weekly public affairs program The
Hat This Week. We see the news
department following various
72 We will also seek out our listeners' opinions on issues of the day with our listener pole, The Hat Line. We hope to make this the coffee shop topic by asking for opinions throughout the week and then airing the feedback later in the week as a feature of our morning show.
course, our spoken word will include our announcers' talk about the music they
are playing, about the events around
74 And now to talk to you about our format choice and the sound of the station, here is Mark Maheu.
75 MR. MAHEU: Thank you, Sue. Good morning.
fairly clear when you review all the research presented at this hearing that
what is most missing in
77 The research that we commissioned showed two clear market voids, classic rock and classic hits. The research found that 44 percent would listen to classic rock most of the time or all the time, and 39 percent for classic hits. The strongest demand for classic rock was among men aged 18 to 49, while the stronger demand for classic hits was with women, particularly those aged 35 to 54. At the same time, there was still strong interest among men for classic hits and among women, particularly those 35 to 54, for classic rock. So they would both work together.
78 After we asked about the perceptions and the availability of the formats among those who liked them the most, we calculated the percentage of format void. These two formats ranked the highest again at 24 percent for classic hits ‑‑ or classic rock/classic hits, and 23 percent for classic rock.
79 Our conclusion after looking at all the research was to blend the most common elements of each format into one single format proposition. Our format choice of a classic rock and classic hits hybrid is called The Rock. The Rock combines the very best of mainstream classic rock from artists like The Who, Tragically Hip and Led Zeppelin, and it mixes it in with the classic hits sound of artists like Foreigner, Elton John and Brian Adams.
station will sound like a rock station, but a mainstream adult‑targeted
version. Since there are presently no
stations playing rock in
81 We'll also provide compelling music features to keep our listeners interested and involved.
82 One of those programs will be called The Way Back Machine and it's a Friday night show, it's a bit of a rock'n'roll house party, where from eight to ten The Rock rolls the best classic rock from the late‑'60s and the early‑'70s.
83 We'll also be featuring a program called Saturday Night in Concert where we will have live performance material from the legends of classic rock. From seven until 8:00 at night listeners enjoy front‑row seats as The Rock rolls the live cuts, and we'll do that commercial free.
West Rock will feature the new music makers from
Sunday's at 6, we fire up the MP3 player to feature the newest and unreleased
tracks from Canadian music makers participating in Newcap's making of the band
initiatives taking place in
the format we propose in
89 We will provide the Medicine Hat School Boards with $40,000 each year in total to help students develop musical literacy. Four programs will each receive $10,000.
90 Instruments for deserving and needy students, music scholarships for the most promising students, support for their music festivals and support for their musical curriculum.
the national level, we will provide $40,000 each year to the Radio Starmaker
Fund to support their efforts for emerging artists. We will also ask them to target this to
we will also provide an annual contribution of $20,000 to Canada Music Week
with a view to financing an Alberta Music showcase at their annual
local and national
Chair, Members of the Commission, Newcap is before you this morning looking to
provide a new service for the listeners of
radio listener's world is changing rapidly.
Every day there are new listening choices popping up. Conventional radio is challenged to find new
ways to keep people coming back to local radio.
At Newcap we believe a big part of the solution to maintaining and
building audiences is to create a broadcast content that is not easily
duplicated. This is why we believe our
Radio has an excellent track record in
that end, we have proposed significant benefits, including a Canadian Talent
Development package totalling $700,000 over the first seven years of a
licence. This, combined with our strong
local programming proposals, we believe makes Newcap the best choice to be
99 We thank you for your time and attention this morning. We'd be pleased to answer any questions you have about our proposal.
100 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Steele and panel.
101 Commissioner Pennefather...?
102 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
103 Good morning, Mr. Steele. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
104 I'll direct my questions to you, Mr. Steele, but if you would indicate to whom we ‑‑ you would pass on the answers, that would be great.
105 MR. STEELE: You can direct your questions to Mr. Maheu, if you wouldn't mind, and he will pass them on if it's ‑‑
106 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I shall. Mr. Maheu, we'll start with the programming with the music component. And your presentation this morning on that point and others actually has provided quite a bit of clarification, but I think it is important to go through the points and get a clear understanding of where you're positioning your approach to music.
107 In the Supplementary Brief and again this morning, you discuss, I think, what is a mix of classic hits and classic rock, and a mix which brings in both the male and female audiences. Let's ‑‑ I'd like to understand a little bit better how that works and why then you've decided to brand the proposed station as rock? In fact, in your Supplementary Brief I think you call it The Rock 99.1, but I think you might mean Rock 105.3.
108 Why have you ‑‑ if we can break that down this way. On the classic hits component of this mix, can you elaborate on how that's going to work? Is it a selection that's leaning more to the AOR variety or more to the top 40 variety, and can you give us some examples to demonstrate how the classic hits component will be heard by the audience?
109 MR. MAHEU: Sure, I'd be very happy to, Commissioner Pennefather. It's just to help you clarify and understand really what we're going to sound like and where these components come from.
we discussed in our Supplementary Brief and again in our remarks this morning,
it's a little bit unique, our approach in
the reason for that is in a market the size of
when we looked at the opportunity in Medicine Hat, and the research came back
and said, well, classic hits is a good opportunity and so is classic rock, we
looked at it a little bit deeper and we found that with men, classic rock was
certainly their first choice, and with women classic hits was their first
choice. But when you go down to second
choices it was vice versa, where women who enjoyed classic hits also enjoyed
some classic rock, and many who liked classic rock also enjoyed some classic
hits. So it brought us to the point
where we had to figure out a way to be wide enough in a market as small as
answer your question specifically about what genre of classic hits would work
with classic rock, there are a number of different flavours across
114 There are other classic hit stations that lean a little bit more to the rock side of classic hits, where there is some top 40 in the mix, but it's more on the songs that charted on the rock charts from the '80s and '90s.
we're proposing in
116 Where some classic hits stations you might be hearing songs by Hewey Louis and the News or Madonna from the '80s and the '90s, you would not hear that on our proposal for The Rock. You would be hearing songs from Foreigner and Elton John and people like that on the classic hits side, blended in with classic rock.
117 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think that's helpful, because if we look at the research that you've included in your Supplementary Brief, I don't believe that you submitted a separate research report. You included it with your Supplementary Brief, so I'm using that.
118 It would appear that the classic hits component came out though a little ahead from page 7 of your Supplementary Brief of classic rock. In your statement today, you say that the station will sound like a rock station ‑‑ will sound like a rock station, but a mainstream adult‑targeted version. Can you really do both?
119 MR. MAHEU: We believe you can, and you make a good point on classic hits where it did come out ‑‑
120 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes.
121 MR. MAHEU: ‑‑ just a hair above classic rock. Part of our consideration when we were putting our proposal together to make it a rock station rather than a hits station, was the fact that there is a ‑‑ somewhat of a mainstream AC radio station in the marketplace already. We know from our experience and the research that we've done, if you put a more classic hits based format on, it's going to steal much more from AC radio, or mainstream AC, and we felt there was just much more room for us to carve out our own audience and our own constituency of listeners as a rock leaning hybrid rather than a classic hits leaning hybrid.
122 So we felt that: A) we'd be able to generate an audience that is not being served right now at all, and we needed to position that radio station to be different; and B) it would infringe less on the existing AC that is in the marketplace today.
123 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well, I think that's the last ‑‑ the latter part of your comment, was part of my point, that the AC served in the community today is skewed to females at, I think, what is your target demographic. So again, they would appear to be well served in the market. One would have assumed then that you would lean more towards the rock component. To help us understand then, there are three components to your hybrid, if you will. Can you have a hybrid of three? Tribrid?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
124 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The classic rock, the classic hits and the newer rock, can you give us a sense of the proportions, the percentage more or less, of the play list and if each component will be broadcast throughout the broadcast day, or will there be particular components of the broadcast day which will be ‑‑ in which you will carry one or other of the three components of your rock?
125 MR. MAHEU: Sure. First of all, just on the components of what part of the broadcast day they might air, just so members of the Commission have a ‑‑ as clear an understanding as possible. We're not really proposing or anticipating to do any day parting on the radio station. So we're not going to be a little more rocky or a little more current at night and a little more gold based and familiar during the day. The idea here is to really focus the radio station with a consistent sound on a 24/7 basis, so very little day parting.
126 As to your question about the percentages or components of new music versus ‑‑ on your tribrid approach of how much current music, how much classic rock and how much classic hits. Under normal circumstances, and this really is a bit unique, because in virtually any other market that has more signals in it, we would not try to do as much in terms of the combination of different music styles. We wouldn't try to do as much in a larger market.
127 The competition likely would not let you get away with it if there were four or five or six radio stations in a market. But looking at the size of this market and the minimal amount of service it has right now, we can be a little broader than we normally would be in trying to please a few more people than we would normally try to please.
128 The current component of the radio station we anticipate to really be 10 percent or less. And to be forthright, the current component is really in there to give us an opportunity to play some of the new Canadian releases that are out there right now, for two reasons. Number one, there is a lot of good new Canadian music out there right now in the rock genre. And secondly, a little more self‑serving reason, it allows us to lean a little less heavily on some of the Canadian gold that ‑‑ from the '70s, '80s and '90s that is approaching the critical burn out level. So that's why we introduced a slightly small percentage of current music to the sound. So about 10 percent of the music that you're going to hear on the radio station will be new or newer, released in the last couple of years, and a large percentage of that is going to be Canadian.
129 The radio station, for the most part, is going to be firmly based in rock. In terms of classic rock, and ‑‑ and rock based classic hits songs, it's virtually the rest of the ‑‑ of the music sound of the radio station.
130 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So the rest 90. And of the classic rock and classic hits, is there ‑‑
131 MR. MAHEU: It's probably 60/30 classic rocks, 30 percent classic hits. The funny part about that, it's kind of hard to describe. Between classic rock and classic hits, the 60 and the 30, there are songs that could fall into either side of that category as you might appreciate, so ‑‑ but just to give you an idea, 60 percent would be that traditional classic rock that you would think of, you know, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, and bands, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Springstein. And then on that 30 percent part, you're going to have more pop/rock oriented top 40 chart type of hit songs from people like Elton John, Genesis, Phil Collins and folks like that, but finding the best songs that work with both constituencies.
132 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Speaking of both constituencies though in terms of being precise, which I'm sure is an exercise you've gone through in terms of the advertising issue looking at it. Your Supplementary Brief refers to ‑‑ on page 7 to the audience will be predominantly male, 35 to 44 men. And you've suggested as well that men aged 18 to 24 would be attracted to your format due to the 10 percent active rock component. So just to be clear for the record, what is the general and core audience you would serve with your rock/classic rock blend, just to clarify?
133 MR. MAHEU: Sure. The ‑‑ you know, in a market this small we can look at a broader target audience than we would in a large market where you're really narrowing it down to a certain demographic group. But the broad target audience for the radio station is adults 25 to 54, with a skew more men than women. The real tight targeting of the radio station is 35 to 49 year olds, more men than women.
134 At the end of the day, in terms of cumulative audience, our experience has been that you're going to have slightly more men in terms of total numbers, cumulative audience, slightly more men than women listening to the radio station. And in terms of hours tuned, we're anticipating probably 60 percent of the hours tuned to 62 percent will be male, and 38 to 40 percent will be female hours tuned. Although the cumulative hours will be rather close.
135 And in terms of, if I can, on the younger part of the audience, the 18 to 24 men coming to the radio station, it will be partly because a little bit of the new music we play, but to be quite honest, we're not going to play enough new music for young 18 to 24‑year‑old guys to love this radio station a lot. But by virtue of the fact that it will be the only rock offering in the market, we are going to get some tuning from 18 to 24s almost by default. We're not going to actively target them obviously because there are so many people in that 25 to 54 group that want this radio station, but they'll certainly come to it because there's no alternative choice for them in the marketplace to listen to.
136 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Mr. Maheu.
137 I'm going to ask you a question now about a response you gave to our deficiency letter. And your response is dated August 14. And you've indicated that nearly 100 percent of your program will be locally produced, and that voice tracked or automated programming will air only in non‑regulated hours between midnight and 5:30. You've also indicated your intention to offer some syndicated programming.
138 Could you tell us what type of syndicated programming would be offered and on average the number of hours per week you would devote to this type of programming?
MAHEU: Our intention, Commissioner, is
to be as live and as local as we can possibly be whenever we can possibly do
it. And we thought long and hard about
this, and we made reference to it a little bit in our opening remarks, that we
feel going forward for radio to be competitive, especially in smaller markets,
we need to be live and we need to put people on the air and have people in the
radio station. And we're doing that not
only in our proposal for
140 There's a ‑‑ this is our strategy and this is our approach. There are different opinions out there, but we believe that pouring money back into people and content on the air is going to be what helps differentiate us from competition.
141 In terms of voice tracking, we're only going to be voice tracked right now, we propose, between midnight and six. It's actually probably going to be probably midnight to 5:30. But in the unregulated hours, we will employ voice tracking to reduce our expenses.
going to be live with real people behind microphones in the radio station from
six in the morning until midnight seven days a week. We do want to have the opportunity to look at
some potential syndicated programs. We
have not chosen any yet, but there are some interesting programs out
there. We talked about our in‑concert
program. There are some live syndicated
programs that are available in
143 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I see in your comments this morning we expect we will be live and local at least 120 hours per broadcast week.
144 MR. MAHEU: Right.
145 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Can we take that as a specific answer?
146 MR. MAHEU: Absolutely, yes. And if I may, just to supplement that. When we are doing some features, or if we are running some syndicated programming between six in the morning and midnight, if we do run some of that type of programming there is going to be a real person in the studio. It's not going to be in a computer in an automated system. We're still going to offer service and surveillance, weather, et cetera, during those hours when those programs are airing. And if there's anything going on in the city or whatever, there is somebody there to answer the phone in the radio station. So we are ‑‑ we are live and we are doing business and it's not off a computer and turn off the lights on your way out the door.
147 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
148 Before we leave the music, one last question. I think you've given us a good sense of the play list and your approach to the mix. As you know, other applicants have also proposed the use of the terms classic rock, classic hits. Very briefly, how would you describe your approach in comparison? How does it differ from the approach that others have tabled?
149 MR. MAHEU: Specifically the difference with our proposal to the others is the fact that we're the only proposal looking to make a hybrid out of classic hits and classic rock. There are other proposals that are looking to incorporate alternative rock and mainstream rock and classic rock together, but our proposal really takes ‑‑ is rooted and based in familiar music with a small current component. The other proposals that are looking to put a rock station on are generally a little younger, have more different genres of music being put together into one format.
150 Our experience is with classic hits and classic rock, we do them as independent formats in a lot of different markets with a great deal of success, is that those two genres of music are very complementary, because partly they really target a very similar demographic group as opposed to, say, trying to mix alternative rock with classic rock.
151 You know, when you take those two genres, they both fall under the rock umbrella, but they're both kind of at polar ends of the rock scale, and it's very difficult to hybrid a format that, say, is targeted to 16 to 29 year olds with a format that's targeted predominantly to 35 to 54 year olds.
152 So we believe that our proposal here, that's how it's different, that we've taken two genres that are demographically complementary, sound ‑‑ they sound complementary in terms of the intensity and the texture of the sound of the music that we would play, and we put them together.
153 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
154 I'm going to turn now to another component of the 120 hours of locally produced programming, and that is the news and spoken word. I should say spoken word comprised of news, traditional news and non‑news. And I believe with your presentation this morning there is a ‑‑ a document which puts ‑‑ lists the components of the scheduled news, the non‑news and the hours. So if we repeat a little bit of this, those were some of my questions to try to clarify these points, but perhaps to also add a little more substance to what we're going ‑‑ what the audience would hear.
155 When we got to the deficiency on August 14th, you raised your news packages from 53 news packages, for a total of 3.5 hours, to 81 news packages of various lengths, for a total of five hours and 45 minutes of news. I see it here as five hours and 75 minutes, and in your presentation this morning you said five hours and 45 minutes.
156 Just can we clear for the record the news, per se, the packages as described in this document Monday to Friday, Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Is it five hour and 75, or five hours and 45?
157 MR. MAHEU: If I can, Commissioner, just to clarify. Five hours and 45 minutes we've done it numerically down the sheet, so that's 5.75 hours. So that's the ‑‑ five hours and 45 minutes would be five and three‑quarter hours.
158 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I see.
159 MR. MAHEU: And ‑‑ sorry for the confusion. So 5.75 hours, which would be five hours and 45 minutes.
160 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. So it's still five hours and 45 as such in terms of the news itself, okay?
161 MR. MAHEU: That is correct.
PENNEFATHER: That's what I had added up
from the August 14th deficiency. In
terms of the ‑‑ the news itself, you've talked this morning
about the content of the newscast and you will have on staff, as I understand
your August 14th deficiency and your Supplementary Brief at page 9, two
journalist announcers and one news director.
You also discussed this morning the possible synergies with other
MAHEU: I'm going to ask Sue Stevenson in
a moment to just kind of elaborate on that a little bit if I could. But I want to make quite clear that our
we talk about the synergies throughout the Alberta Radio Group, it's really the
icing on the cake. It's not the
cake. The cake is good service done by
165 And, Sue, if you wouldn't mind elaborating a little bit on what our intentions are in terms of doing news in Medicine Hat with people here, and maybe how we can work in what we're doing through the rest of the radio room.
STEVENSON: Thanks, Mark. Of course the reporters, journalists who are
what the ARG south stations can add to that is ‑‑ it's really
a complementary service. The
may have a story in
content of course, you know, we've stated 75 percent local, and that is ‑‑
you know, that's not going to happen every newscast. Some newscasts are going to be 100 percent,
some newscasts may be 65 percent, but the
170 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think if we could just pursue that. I wanted to be sure I understood you. The 75 percent of the news would be local news, and that was in your August 14th deficiency as well, but you said that could change so ‑‑
171 MS STEVENSON: No. On average it's always going to be 75 percent or more.
172 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay.
STEVENSON: And, you know, given by what
we do in
174 You know, there is going to be a day where you're going to have more local stories that you can even put in your newscast, the next day might be a little slower. It's going to balance out.
175 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So does this 75 percent cover only the news portion, or does it include the weather and sports and ‑‑
176 MS STEVENSON: The five‑minute newscasts, of course, would cover weather and traffic and sports. But all those are local issues. People want to know ‑‑ if there's a storm out on the highway, that's top of mind. That's what they want to know about. If there's a bad accident that's affecting traffic, that, of course, is local content, because that's what people want to hear, and that's what we would deliver.
PENNEFATHER: You recognize the ‑‑
the interest in discussing this as well because you explained well this morning
the synergies that you are bringing to your proposed station from your other
178 Will the 75 percent local content in newscasts be measured over the week or over the broadcast day?
STEVENSON: I think it would have to be
over the week, just for the reasons that I mentioned. You know, news doesn't happen in a
vacuum. We have national news, we have
international news. Of course you strive
to localize that. If we have something
180 But, you know, as I said, it doesn't exist in a vacuum. If there's a big national story, that might supersede local. If you have another 9/11, for instance, you know what's going to lead the news, so you can't say every single cast is going to be 75 percent, but during the week it's going average out to that or more.
181 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: When you responded to this point in the August 14th deficiency, and I think you also spoke to that again today, Ms Stevenson. You increased the news packages from 53 to 81, stating that the radio environment has increasing music choices from satellite and iPods. We have to compete, we have to be local and live ‑‑ compete local and live. And you used that same rationale for increasing your involvement and your commitment to spoken word.
182 The increase is in the news packages, why did you focus on increasing the number of news packages as opposed to the other component of your spoken word proposal, which is non‑news?
183 MS STEVENSON: I'm going to let Mr. Maheu answer that.
184 MR. MAHEU: Thanks, Sue. This is really in response, and this is characteristic of an approach we've taken on a number of our applications, and an approach that we've taken and implemented at our radio stations across the country. And I touched on it in our opening remarks.
185 The radio world is changing and it's changing quickly. And we plan on being in this business and being successful in it for a long time to come. We have seen this pendulum kind of swing back and forth. If you look back to the late‑'80s and through the early to mid‑'90s, when economic times were tough for AM radio and radio in general, things that were cut out of radio, and I'm unfortunately old enough to have been in the business during those times, newsrooms got slashed, sports departments disappeared.
186 The music centric orientation of radio became paramount. Everything was about the music, and everything else, including talent, surveillance, news and weather was cut back because people cost money.
187 What we found at Newcap, and I'm sure other companies are looking at it as well, in a world where we're not necessarily the king of the hill any more, where people can program their own play lists into an iPod and take it anywhere or pop it in their car, or listen on line to pretty much any music choice they want any time they want, radio broadcasts coming over on cell phones so you can listen to the music you want or even watch TV, so we have to re‑invent and re‑think our whole proposition.
188 It's been a great run for radio. We've had it pretty darn good, but now the competition is starting to close in around us, and it's non‑traditional competition. The interesting thing about the non‑traditional competition is it's made us kind of go back to our roots what made radio famous to begin with. Good local service done by real people doing things you couldn't get anywhere else, and it really isn't that complicated.
189 So we don't want to make it sound like it's some sort of big, elaborate, you know, well‑researched and well‑thought out idea. It's pretty much coming to the common sense basics that in order for us to compete in our markets, and we operate in a lot of small and medium‑sized markets, where people's expectations of us are maybe a little higher than they are in major markets where they have so many choices, that we have to re‑invest and re‑think our proposition, and that begins with people and service.
we think the way we can be different in markets like
191 And that's really our approach in our response in the deficiency, what it was all about. We've kind of come to this conclusion in a lot of our markets, that we've got to beef up the amount of local news and information that we're actually providing on the air, be more than just a stick cranking out hit after hit after hit, and start doing things that bring people back to the medium of radio and keep them listening to us. So that was really the reason for that.
192 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So you increased the scheduled news component. And on the non‑news, I think this sheet answers my question that I had coming in, is to get some precision on the number of hour that the community events updates, the public affairs reports, the one‑hour news public affairs announcer talk comes to 19 hours ‑‑ 19.95 hours, correct?
193 MR. MAHEU: Correct.
194 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: She can be taught. And could you tell us a little bit more about the listener poll?
195 MR. MAHEU: Sure. Maybe, Sue, would you mind doing that?
196 MS STEVENSON: Not at all. A listener poll is ‑‑ would be a way to engage our listeners. You're going to take the hot topic of the day, whether it be the end of free parking downtown or whatever, and you're going to poll your listeners on that and try and get some compelling answers that you're going to be able to use on the air. It's an effort to really engage our listeners in what we do, and we see it as a very good tool to use for that, to kind of gauge what the community is thinking.
197 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think you called it The Hat Line?
198 MS STEVENSON: That's right, The Hat Line.
199 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Why?
200 MS STEVENSON: Have a little fun with it. It doesn't always have to be serious, you know, so ‑‑
201 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It isn't always serious. The Hat Line, so throw your hat in kind of thing, discussion?
202 MS STEVENSON: Exactly.
203 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: All right. We're going to move now to Canadian talent development. And I'm looking at clearly your revised proposal through the August 14th deficiency, and you described it again in your comments this morning. And just a couple of clarifications.
believe in the August 14th deficiency we described a school board, and today we
have school boards. And I know there are
two school boards in
205 MR. MAHEU: That is correct.
206 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And could you describe to us then how that will work in terms of disbursement of the 40,000 amongst the two school boards?
207 MR. MAHEU: Yeah. The funds would be split evenly between both school boards. That was an oversight on our part in the reply to deficiency for the singular there. So it would be $20,000 to each school board each year for seven years.
208 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So they will be split evenly between the two school boards?
209 MR. MAHEU: Correct.
210 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And you indicated that they would have control over the distribution of the funds in the same deficiency letter, and your expectation is that it will be divided into ‑‑ the funds will be divided into four equal parts, which you've described again this morning in terms of instruments, scholarships, support for festivals and for the music curriculum.
211 Could you explain to us if the school boards have the control over the distribution, how you would assure that this breakdown would be carried forward and whether the control of the funds entails the control over which schools or students have access to the appropriate funding? How would you maintain some sense that the funds would actually be disbursed as you have proposed here if they have control of the disbursement?
212 MR. MAHEU: It's certainly a point we've contemplated, and our approach to that would be pretty straight‑forward. The staff or the management of the radio station would work with the school boards and liaise with them on an annual basis. Obviously we want to monitor how that money is being spent and whether it's working or not. Are we getting ‑‑ is the school getting the desired result and are we seeing it do what we thought it would do, because we also need to report back to you each year that we've spent the money and it's been done appropriately. So there would be an ongoing dialogue and a relationship between the radio station management and the school boards. I would envisage that there would be a meeting at least a couple of times a year to update each other on how it's going.
213 I think we want to ‑‑ we laid it out for you in our presentation and in our application so you got a good sense of where that money was going to be used. I think we need to be somewhat flexible in speaking and in working with the school boards, where maybe in a particular year a need in a certain area exceeds the amount that maybe they spent the previous year, and money from one area maybe gets moved to the other. So if each school board has $20,000 and it's five, five, five and five, there might be one year where, you know, they don't need to buy music stands this year because they did it last year, but they want to go to a couple of extra music festivals and need extra money. I think there needs to be some flexibility because the educators, I think, are in the best position to decide what the needs of the students are and where the money could best be used.
214 You know, I ‑‑ we want to give them as much latitude as possible as long as we're working together, knowing that that money is being spent on what it was proposed for, and that's to develop young talent for the future.
215 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think that's the point as far as ‑‑ I can certainly follow your point about flexibility, but clearly the Commission is interested in knowing, in fact, at the end of the day, if, in fact, these funds are supporting Canadian talent development as per the contributions approved by the Commission.
216 So backing up again on this point, have you had discussions with the school boards, and if so, at what stage are those discussion and are there any specific agreements to the points that you've raised in terms of: A) flexibility; but B) reporting?
217 MR. MAHEU: Dave Murray has certainly been riding point on this particular issue and ‑‑
MURRAY: We ‑‑ Al
Anderson actually was the one that made contact with the school boards. We don't have a lot of information about that
with us today, but we found that, in our experience and Glenda could give some
219 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay, thank you very much. You also changed your proposed Canadian Talent Development and are now proposing to ‑‑ I think it's 40,000 to Canadian Music Week. Can you tell the Commission why you made the change from the previous proposal?
MAHEU: The proposal from the
221 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That's correct, convention.
MAHEU: Well, there are certainly a lot
of worthy places for money to go to develop Canadian talent. We have proposed a ‑‑ a
what we did know is that there are a lot of worthy areas out there. Radio Starmaker Fund is certainly one we've
supported over a long period of time, and we're kind of really excited about
the Canada Music Week proposal. We
talked to Canada Music Week about doing a specific showcase of
PENNEFATHER: You say that you have a
view to financing an
225 MR. MAHEU: Yes.
226 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It is?
227 MR. MAHEU: Yes.
228 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: If you could table that?
229 MR. MAHEU: Sure.
230 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
231 My last area of questioning is in the area of the business plan and your economic analysis. In your Supplementary Brief at page 7 you outline for us your audience share which you propose the new station would ‑‑ would gain at 20 percent. If I understand correctly, you're looking at 12 percent of its share points from the audience of CFMY, and your projections indicate that eight percent of the audience share will come from out‑of‑market stations.
232 Could you help us by identifying the out‑of‑market stations from which you would expect to repatriate audiences and the extent to which these stations will contribute to the eight percent share that you project for repatriated audiences?
MAHEU: I believe the out‑of‑market
stations really are lumped into a category called others. And the others category comprise anything
from out‑of‑market radio stations, internet listening, et
cetera. So we can't really quantify
station call letters or station names when we talk about out of market, but
what we are talking about is other listening choices that are not available
generally in the
no one particular out‑of‑market radio station because there's not a
lot that gets into
PENNEFATHER: Okay. On your revenue projections, which we have in
front of us, based on your application.
In looking at that and looking at the market, what is your comment on
MAHEU: That's a really good question,
and our thinking has changed on that. As
you may note from the dates on our application, we, I think, triggered this
call a couple years ago when we filed.
And when we did our research and our homework on
were still pretty good, but
we originally applied, we put our application in in 2004, we felt that there
was certainly room for one, and that's kind of what we were thinking, and our
business plan was based on that. But
looking at what's happening now, and FP Markets, what they're reporting, and
just talking to some business people in
239 Here we are in late‑2006 instead of the middle of 2004, and we believe now the market has grown to the point and shows growth for the future that we could handle two.
240 Glenda, do you have some of the stuff that you found out?
SPENRATH: Yes. Actually, since our filing two years ago, I
have looked at the indicators over the past two years for 2005 and 2006 from
the FP Markets published by the Financial Post.
And what we're finding or what I found when I looked over this research,
is that the actual results are actually leapfrogging ahead of prior
projections. And the biggest thing is
the financial analysts are really being challenged in
here we are today in 2006, 2007 hasn't happened yet, and we're already at $1.29
billion in estimated retail sales for the
indicator would be the new housing starts.
And as everywhere else in
244 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Just on the population growth, what, in your view, is the percentage growth rate? You mentioned a number, but what is the percentage of population growth that you have seen in the reports?
245 MS SPENRATH: What they had said in 2001 to 2006 was about six percent growth in population during that period of time. And they're looking ahead for 2006 to 2011 to be another five percent. It's anybody's guess. Maybe eight percent at this point. That was yesterday.
246 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: And going forward, do you see that being maintained?
SPENRATH: I think what's happening in
248 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: The population within the contour at 105.3, what is that population and do you expect growth in that population as well?
249 MR. MAHEU: Dave, do you have the contour handy in our Supplementary Brief? I think it's in the 80,000 range. I'll just get that for you.
250 MR. MURRAY: Yeah, the population in the three millivolt contour is 61,091 people. And in the .5 almost 68,000.
251 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: 68,000. What impact would licensing ‑‑ you mention the possibility of one, the possibility of two. What would be the impact of licensing a somewhat similar rock, classic rock, rock, classic hits format, or even the adult standards modern nostalgia formats stations, what impact would that have on your application?
252 MR. MAHEU: Well, the impact, if you licenced another classic rock or classic hits application along with Newcap's hybrid proposal, it would certainly be giving the folks who like classic rock and classic hits a lot of choice because there would be two stations kind of trying to deliver that to them.
253 We would suggest that if we were fortunate enough to be licenced as one of the choices in Medicine Hat, and in the Commission's wisdom if you decided to licence a second, a classic rock or a classic hits format would not necessarily be as complementary with our offering as maybe some of the other proposals that have been put forth.
254 When you take a look at the audience targeting demographically, and the life group music choice, and how to best serve the market if you were going to do two, obviously there are a number of rock and classic rock proposals that fall into a reasonable area, and then there are older targeting softer formats that are also being proposed. So if you were to ask us which one would work best with what we are proposing, it would be an older, softer format, and I think there are a couple of those being proposed by Mr. Larsen and Mr. Hildebrand. They would certainly provide an alternative to the marketplace that's not there, and would not compete with classic rock, classic hits hybrid, and there would be minimum overlap. There would be lots of overlap with the other ones.
255 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So in your view, the ‑‑ it is possible to licence two stations in this market to add to the current incumbent stations, and provided that there was ‑‑ the effect on your application, however, if we also licence another classic rock station, would that make it impossible to achieve your revenue projections?
256 MR. MAHEU: No, it would not make it impossible. It would certainly make it more difficult because it is a smaller, medium‑sized market, and the vast majority of the revenue that we would be projecting to do would be retail, local advertising sales, and part of what drives local advertising sales is results and offering something different to advertisers to get them those results. And if we're out knocking on doors and, you know, the word comes down, hey, there's two new radio stations coming to town, and, hey, they're both the same, it's going to make it more difficult for the new radio stations to go out there and differentiate themselves and establish their business in the marketplace because they are going to really be competing head‑on for listenership and audience, and certainly advertising revenue. So it would not be impossible, it would just make it a lot more difficult.
257 I think if it were the case, and I certainly can't speak for other licencees, but speaking on behalf of Newcap, if we were licenced and another classic rock or classic hits station were licenced, we would do what we always do. We'd go back into the market and say, okay, we do some more research and go here's what we've got. We've got a classic rock station that's coming on and we want to be classic hits, classic rock hybrid. We'd go to the marketplace, do our homework and find out how can we make this work? What's the best formula, the best approach to put this on and actually get an audience and to be successful. So we would do whatever it takes to make it work.
258 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So it would knock your 20 percent share projection down if we licenced a similar classic rock?
259 MR. MAHEU: We'd probably end up splitting that share. We'd probably grow the share maybe to 28, and then we'd both split it somehow to whatever degree that would be.
260 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Okay. Thank you very much, and thank you for your responses to my questions.
261 Thank you, Madam Chair.
262 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Maheu and Commissioner Pennefather.
263 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
264 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Mrs. Chair.
I read your ‑‑ all of the applications for Medicine Hat and ‑‑
and the material prepared by staff, there were numerous references to the
Suffield armed forces base, which is somewhere around 50 kilometers west ‑‑
northwest of ‑‑ of Medicine Hat. And I also read that they do contribute
somewhere close to $120 million to retail sales in the
266 MR. MAHEU: It would be of importance to the extent that we wanted a 100,000 watt signal so that we would be heard there, for sure, and because we believe that's important. They are an important part of the community in terms of the retail sales and the local economy, so to that extent they are important, yes.
267 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Now, in your programming plan, have you provided for some things specific for the armed force or ‑‑
268 MR. MAHEU: I think what you are ‑‑ our plan would be because they are an important part of the community, and especially now more than ever with what's going on around the world, I think that would be handled more in the spoken word area. The reflection of the radio station, if we're going to be The Rock and some of these members of the forces are going to be our listeners, I think we need to be doing things on the radio station in terms of spoken word and featured spoken word that makes sense to them and that they can relate to and enjoy listening to.
269 In terms of special programming musically for that specific group of people, that's probably something we would look at down the road. I think the biggest thing though is to build an audience and to build some loyalty and partisanship with that constituency is through our spoken word, and being able to talk about things and report on things that are reflective of what they are doing and things that they would find interest in.
270 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you for your summary sheet.
271 And I notice that you've provided me with my answer to my question regarding median age, which you've put at 48 years old. The ‑‑ but your classic hits will carry more to female, while your classic rock portion of your hybrid programming, and even tribrid, with alternative rock, will cater more towards male. Overall, will it be more male or female driven?
272 MR. MAHEU: Slightly more male than female in terms of music appeal.
273 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Yes.
274 MR. MAHEU: We'll try to mitigate that because the market is of a size where you can do some things ‑‑ you have a little more flexibility, let's say, than in a major market. And I think some of our commitment to spoken word and the kind of news and information that we're going to do on the radio station, although it's branded as a rock station, it's going ‑‑ as we mentioned, it's going to be a very mainstream accessible rock station, so that women who enjoy the slightly harder side of classic hits and rock are going to feel very much at home on this radio station.
not going to be as much of a guy's radio station as you might hear ‑‑
as what we ‑‑ say what we do in
276 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mrs Chair.
277 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
278 Commissioner Cugini...?
279 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr. Maheu and team, good morning.
just have a question to fine tune a little bit your format, and with a
particular focus on the Canadian component, and perhaps an even finer tune on
the 10 percent new or newer artists that you referred to earlier. And the questioning really goes to the
diversity of music choices available in the market. You mentioned Sam Roberts, Arcade Fire,
281 MR. MAHEU: It could. And those are only examples for sure, but ‑‑
282 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So how extensive a list is there out there that would provide an opportunity for more exposure to more Canadian artists?
283 MR. MAHEU: Well, that's always the ‑‑ that's always the challenge when you're doing a gold based format, is, you know, looking at that part of the Broadcast Act where predominantly Canadian, and taking a look at the Canadian music that you can play.
284 In a gold‑based format ‑‑ we're kind of cheating the gold‑based format here a little bit, and we're only doing that because ‑‑ to be forthright, because the market is small enough that you can do it. If you try to do that kind of thing in a major market you'd really pay the price because you cannot be that wide.
285 But in terms of the current component, there are a lot of good bands making good Canadian music today. When we talk about Arcade Fire, for instance, on a classic rock radio station, that's a bit of a stretch because it leans ‑‑ active rock alternative, you know. We play it on our alternative rock stations. And, you know, it's a bit of a stretch, but we could play it because we're not going to be penalized in a market the size of Medicine Hat with ten other radio stations trying to carve up the pie where you have to be so right on the music all the time. We can take a little licence there, so ‑‑ but in terms of finding an outlet for current Canadian performers, it's very difficult in gold‑based formats because it is what it is. It's Guess Who, it's April Wine, it's Brian Adams, it's Triumph, you know, and all the usual great bands from the past.
286 What we wanted to try to do here is to at least ‑‑ and we're doing this on a lot of our classic rock stations too, like in Edmonton and Cold Lake and even in Saint John's, Newfoundland, where traditionally these stations have been 100 percent pure classic rock gold, no currents, we've started to play and introduce some current Canadian music on those radio stations, as long as it fits the essence of the radio station, sort of sounds like it belongs.
287 We'd be doing the same thing with the rock in Medicine Hat, where we would judiciously look at, you know, can we play a couple of new tracks from the Tragically Hip album? Absolutely. Sounds like classic rock, fits the essence of what we're trying to do. Are there songs from Arcade Fire we could play? Yes, yes, there are.
288 And we want to do that partly because if don't we're going to be recycling the same gold list over and over and over again. And it works with some degree of success in a lot of markets, but we're seeing through the music testing we're doing in markets of all sizes, that the life expectancy of some of that Canadian gold, because classic rock and classic hits is so popular now, is really starting to fade.
289 Like, the like‑a‑lot scores are way down, the tired‑of scores are through the roof on a lot of those library titles that we've counted on. So we've got to find new ways to re‑invent these gold‑based formats to accommodate the Canadian component, which is part of our responsibility, and we think the current portion is part of it. And although we're only proposing about 10 percent of our sound be current, of that 10 percent, of 100 records or 100 songs that you'd hear on the radio station, 10 percent of them would be new, and of those ten, I would suggest that seven are going to be Canadian. Seven to eight, to take a little bit of the heat off the gold library.
290 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Maheu. Thank you, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I have a few questions, and the first one is,
and I noticed that in both your letters of the 14th of August and, I guess, the
20th, you talked about being live to air for 126 hours. But of course you were at the Edmonton
Hearing where I asked if you would agree to a
292 MR. MAHEU: Yes, we would.
CHAIRPERSON: You were talking about
money to Starmaker, and that you were asking that they would target it to
MAHEU: It's ‑‑ it's
pretty simple. If there is an artist
that meets the criteria for Radio Starmaker funding that particular year or
time frame in the course of the year where the money is available, and they are
Starmaker says though, and they are right, there are only so many artists that
they look at each year that meets the criteria for number of units sold and to
be eligible for that additional funding.
And if there's not an Alberta artist eligible that year, our money is
just going to go into the general fund to promote Canadian talent to the next
level. But we've asked them that in case
of a tie, or in case of an
you know, Nickelback was one of the first ‑‑ you know,there's
297 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would this money be incremental to that otherwise allocated by Starmaker?
298 MR. MAHEU: We're going to send them that cheque each year and we want to know what the money went for. So, you know, obviously ‑‑
299 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Can you ‑‑ do you have a letter from Starmaker saying what the extent possible really means?
300 MR. MAHEU: We have a ‑‑ we have a pretty good relationship with Starmaker. We don't have a letter. We can certainly get one. We've got their say‑so on it. But we can certainly get a letter and have it described, to the extent that they can, what that exactly means.
301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
MAHEU: But we ‑‑ we're
operating on the assumption that we've always had with Starmaker in our
conversations with them, that they have a certain number of candidates each
year that meet their criteria for funding, they fund them accordingly. And obviously we want, in the case of
303 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
304 MR. MAHEU: Okay.
305 THE CHAIRPERSON: My next question is you didn't really answer Commissioner Pennefather when she said why did you beef up the news and not your non‑news spoken word programming? In other words, you beefed up your news in response to satellite radio and et cetera, but you didn't beef up the community event updates, the public affairs reports, and ‑‑ I'm not talking about DJ talk, but, I mean, you didn't increase those. And it would seem to me that on the news it would be far easier to recycle the same stories when you're increasing your news, as opposed to the community updates and public affairs reports that might require more staff input. Is that why you only beefed up the news and not the non‑news programming?
306 MR. MAHEU: Not exactly. We did not beef up the community event reports and the public affairs reports because we felt that 35 per week on each was pretty substantial to begin with. We did feel though when we looked back on the amount of news that we were doing that given where we wanted to go and what we wanted to accomplish, it wasn't enough.
307 In terms of, you know, whether it's easier to recycle news or it needs more work to be put into the updates and so on, I think it's a fair observation. Our experience has been, and would be in Medicine Hat, we're trying to build long‑time spent listening, especially in a gold‑based format like a classic rock, classic hits hybrid, and we're going to have to do a better job, as we're starting to do in a lot of our locations, on taking a ‑‑ an approach to news where we're doing more rewrites, we're doing more ‑‑ we're out gathering more actualities, we're cutting them up differently so that the newscasts that you hear at 8:00 in the morning on our radio station in Medicine Hat will sound substantially different from the newscast your heard at 7:30 if you're listening, you know, over the course of 40 minutes, because any more ‑‑ the expectations are going up, especially in a small market.
faced with this particular situation in
309 So in this particular case, that's why we're going to have three and a half people in the news department, because we're going to have to get people that know how to write, and we're going to take a much more proactive approach to going out and gathering news. And technology helps us do that a lot these days as well, so we can get more actualities on the air and do a much better job of creating a news cast. So the clip you heard of the mayer at 7:30 as part of story that was happening, it may be a different clip that you hear from the mayor at 8:00.
310 So substantively, the newscast is the same news, but it's being presented in a slightly different way so you don't fatigue and get burned out on it.
311 THE CHAIRPERSON: And my final question is, you were saying to my colleague that there would be a problem if a classic rock or classic hits format was also licenced. The reality is, we don't regulate those, and it's going to be a race, isn't it?
312 MR. MAHEU: It would be a race to who could get on first and ‑‑
313 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then the second person would just have to adjust?
314 MR. MAHEU: Would have to adjust, absolutely. And that's why we go and do research and figure it out.
315 Again, at the end of the day, we don't decide and the Commission really doesn't decide what format is going to be in a market, the listeners will decide what they want and how they want it. And if we do our jobs properly we will give them what they want. As long as it lives up to the spirit of what was intended originally, and that we honour our commitments and our promises and do a good job for the marketplace, and we would intend on doing that.
316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
318 MS BENNETT: Thanks. I just want to establish the filing dates for the letters that you agreed that you would file. The letter ‑‑ or the written agreement with respect to the Alberta Music Showcase at the Canada Music Week, could you indicate when you could file that letter?
319 MR. MAHEU: Could a week from today be okay?
320 MS BENNETT: I think that's fine.
321 MR. MAHEU: Would that be all right?
BENNETT: And the second letter from
Starmaker describing the extent to which they can target
323 MR. MAHEU: Could we file that at the same time?
324 MS BENNETT: Okay. Thank you.
325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Steele, Mr. Maheu, Panel.
326 We'll now take ‑‑ you have two minutes to tell us how wonderful you are and why you are better than everybody else. I'm sorry.
327 MR. MAHEU: How about we take 40 seconds? Just to sum up, thank you very much for hearing our proposal this morning. I know you've got a very long week ahead of you, lots of applications, lots of good ideas for not only Medicine Hat, but for other markets as well. We appreciate the opportunity to lead off this morning.
sum up, you know, for
told us through the research clearly they want this kind of music in the
marketplace. We believe we have a very
good track record of delivering this type of music in this format in markets
this size and smaller. We're very
comfortable and excited about markets like
330 Thank you very much.
331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Once again thank you, Mr. Steele, Mr. Maheu and panel.
332 We'll now take 15 minutes. By my watch that will be 20 after 11.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1105 / Suspension à 1105
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1120 / Reprise à 1120
333 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.
334 Madam Secretary...?
335 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
336 We'll now proceed with item 2 on the agenda of this public hearing, which is an application by Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited to amend the licence of radio programming undertaking CJLT‑FM Medicine Hat.
337 The licencee proposes to amend the licence by changing the frequency from 99.5 megahertz (channel 258LP) to 93.7 megahertz (channel 229A).
338 The licencee also proposes to change the authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power from 48 to 2,300 watts, by relocating the transmitter and by increasing the antenna height (non‑directional antenna/antenna height of 99.5 metres).
339 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Scott Raible. And Mr. Raible, you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
340 MR. RAIBLE: Thank you.
341 To the honourable members of the Commission and to others here at this hearing, good morning.
Broadcasting has been broadcasting and serving
quoted by a letter from the Mayor of Medicine Hat written in support of our
application for our technical amendment, CJLT‑FM has been a welcomed
been committed to
also feature various non‑profit groups and organizations on the air
supporting the different events that take place in our community. We're also used by the
346 We've also been a platform for local and Canadian Christian bands that you can't hear anywhere else in Medicine Hat, such as Medicine Hat's own Cross Rock, Play it Again and Minister Joe C, and some of the national Canadian bands that we feature are Amanda Falk, Downhere, and Starfield, just to name a few.
347 Indeed Lighthouse Broadcasting won the small business of the year for 2005 award as presented by Autracor(ph) and the Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce.
348 The one complaint that we have received over and over again was that our signal was not strong in many part of the city, even those that fall well within our 3.0 MV contour and our original map. This became an issue both with listeners and advertisers, as a commercial licence and a station dedicated to providing our listeners with high quality programming, this of course has caused a problem. Whereas in the end of the 2005 fiscal year we had a $12,000 profit, this past year we've had actually a deficit.
349 The reason we heard back from advertisers is that our signal wasn't strong enough and they do not have confidence in the strength of our signal. Many of them asked our sales team to come back once our signal is increased. We've tried several ways to compensate that, unfortunately we are still fuzzy in many areas that we should reach according to our original map and some listeners complain they can't get us on their alarm clocks because they want to listen to us when they wake up in the morning, as well as even in their cars, and, again, in some areas that should be covered according to our original application.
technical staff tells us that because of the coulees in
we, of course, are a commercial radio station, in order to remain economically
viable it is imperative that we are able to cover our entire city effectively. In response to our community, listeners and
advertisers, we feel the best course of action is to increase our signal
strength and relocate our transmitter to the CBC tower in the
352 We have approached CBC and they have given us written approval, upon condition of CRTC acceptance, to broadcast from their tower. Pippin Technical, which provided our technical Brief, has been in constant contact with the engineers from CBC and has agreed that our proposed signal will be able to adequately cover our broadcast area and will not interfere with any existing frequencies.
will remain committed to fulfil our commitment in our original application to
the City of
our comparison chart, our contours are focused on
stated in our application, Lighthouse Broadcasting will be willing to accept
any reasonable conditions of licence in order to obtain a technical amendment
to our broadcast licence. As a condition
of licence we would increase our commitment to the City of
357 I also want to take this moment and reaffirm Lighthouse Broadcasting's commitment to our Christian music format, and that the purpose of this power boost and technical amendment is to keep CJLT‑FM economically viable as a commercial radio station in Medicine Hat, and allow us to reach all of our current and potential listeners in our community with a strong, clear signal. This is particularly important to us due to the potential of future radio station in our market.
358 In closing, please let me read you the ten reasons we think you should approve Lighthouse Broadcasting's request for our technical amendment:
359 ‑ (10) Lighthouse Broadcasting is the only applicant applying for this frequency;
360 ‑ (9) As a condition of licence, Lighthouse Broadcasting will increase our CTD to a total of $900 to the Medicine Hat College, which will benefit local Medicine Hat musicians;
361 ‑ (8) There are no negative interventions against our application;
362 ‑ (7) This is our second attempt for this technical amendment, and Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited has responded to the Commission's request for more compelling reasons to grant us our request;
363 ‑ (6) It will provide Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited an opportunity at economic stability, especially with the potential arrival of other stations in our market;
364 ‑ (5) Lighthouse Broadcasting is the only station serving the Christian music format, and we are committed to the Christian music format, and of course would make it a condition of licence;
(4) We are the only outlet for local, regional and Canadian musicians and
artists of this format in
366 ‑ (3) Lighthouse Broadcasting is locally owned. We provide local jobs;
367 ‑ (2) We also promote community events and businesses;
(1) And the most important reason to grant us our technical amendment is our
listeners. It will allow the listeners
of Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited to receive a higher quality signal of the
desired music and programming, especially those in areas outlined in our
original application, but are not currently able to receive the signal, and
therefore more adequately meeting the need for a Christian music format in
369 On behalf of Lighthouse Broadcasting, I thank you in advance for consideration of this request and I look forward to your questions.
370 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
371 Commissioner Williams.
372 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning. Is it Mr. Raible?
373 MR. RAIBLE: Mr. Raible.
374 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Raible. Your application and your presentation to us this morning were quite thorough, however we have a few questions of clarification for you this morning and we will try to work our way through them.
375 In decision 2003‑12 you were licenced to serve the City of Medicine Hat, and in your current application for technical change you indicate that the station's principal marketing activities as a result of your increase in power will be directed towards the communities of Medicine Hat, Redcliff, Bow Island and Dunmore, all of which lie within the new proposed contours. I also note that the proposed five millivolt contour would include other communities, such as Bullshead, Bowell, and Vale.
let's say you were approached by a community group in Red Cliff, Dunmore,
377 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely. In fact, what we have done currently right now, because parts of Red Cliff are able to get us a little bit, we have been bringing on Red Cliff organizations to support their events, like Red Cliff Days.
WILLIAMS: Could you explain your need to
reflect these additional communities in your local and spoken word
programming? Since your stated rationale
in applying for this technical amendment is to increase your signal strength to
address coverage deficiency specific to
RAIBLE: Okay. Let's see if I can answer this
correctly. By serving
380 By ‑‑ what we have currently now, we have ‑‑ we would invite local groups from those areas to come on. During our morning show we actually have a spot every Friday morning where local groups can come on and explain to our listeners what's happening, so they would be included in that. Also we have a feature where local ministers or pasters from various denominations come and have one week free of doing what we call an on‑air devotional, and ministers from those communities would be invited as well to partake of that.
381 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: For the record, if your proposal was approved would you maintain the current conditions of licence as set out in your licence and the appended decision 2003‑12?
382 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. That was loud.
WILLIAMS: I note in your deficiency
response dated 26 October 2005, you indicated you would devote $500 a year
towards a music scholarship to the
384 MR. RAIBLE: Lighthouse Broadcasting would be giving the money to the Medicine Hat College Scholarship Foundation, and what would happen is the requirements to obtain that scholarship would have to be based on the fact they'd be applying to go to Medicine Hat College, be a member of the music program, and then myself with a couple other members of the Medicine Hat Cultural Centre and community would try and determine the best qualified applicant from those requirements.
385 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What criteria would you be using to choose the best qualified applicant?
RAIBLE: Again, we'd be looking to make
sure they were applying for a music program at the
387 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Could you comment on ‑‑ please comment on the commission imposing a conditional licence requiring that you make equal annual payments over seven consecutive broadcast years to the CTD initiative you've targeted, totalling $3,500?
388 MR. RAIBLE: I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear the question.
389 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Could you please comment on the Commission imposing a condition of licence requiring that you make equal annual payments over seven consecutive broadcast years to the CTD initiative that you have targeted totalling 3,500? If it became a conditional licence.
390 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, we would definitely do it, yes. We would accept that.
391 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Under the CAB plan as conditional licence, annual CTD payments by Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited for a small market station should be 400 per year. I had a question ‑‑ I had a question prepared that was to ask you ‑‑ ask you that it appeared that no payments have been made, but we received this document just this morning, stating that you're pleased to inform the Medicine Hat College Foundation has received a cheque for $800 from Lighthouse Broadcasting Limited, and these funds will be used to provide scholarships for students enrolled in the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music Academy Program for 2005/2006 academic years. When was this payment made?
392 MR. RAIBLE: The payment was made actually on Friday. And if I can clarify what happened there, we made this agreement with the college in 2005, and we felt ‑‑ we thought everything was organized and ready to go. I guess they didn't proceed with it, they were waiting for a fax I guess they didn't get, but they didn't tell us about it. So we've been under the impression that we've been having this going for the last two years.
393 When the request came from the CRTC to obviously provide proof and documentation, we went ahead to get that, only to find out that they had everything ready from 2005, but they didn't proceed with it and didn't notify us that they had not. So we got a hold of them immediately and settled ‑‑ asked what had happened. They explained, and so we, anyway, paid for 2005 and 2006. And we've asked that they would be able to explain that to you as well, should you have any questions, because we were quite surprised to find that out.
394 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay, thank you. In CRTC Broadcasting decision 2004‑549, the Commission denied a previous application by you for a change in frequency and an increase in transmitter power. In that decision, the Commission stated you had not presented compelling evidence of either economic or technical need for the proposed changes.
395 With respect to economic need ‑‑ just give me a second while I find the information you provided. Can you tell us how your revenues and expenditures during your first two years of operation may have differed from those projected in your original business plan and where they have differed, provide us some reasons.
396 MR. RAIBLE: Okay. I guess projections are never as accurate as when you're actually on the ground running a radio station, so for us ‑‑ for myself, experience has probably been the greatest teacher of what expenditures are real and what you can expect from economic forecasts. So for us it was a real learning curve. However, things were very well in 2005 as far as we were considering, but due to the fact that our advertisers could no longer have confidence in our signal, we found they weren't renewing, and it was simply because of the fact of the weakness of our signal strength. So we have confidence that once we can get our technical boost we can retain and regain the advertisers we had, for example, in 2005.
397 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Based on the information you've provided me here, you seem to have suffered a revenue drop of between 15 and 20 percent; would that be fair over those ‑‑
398 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
399 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: ‑‑ the time period we're talking about? Okay. Now, you said experience is a good teacher in terms of projections. Can you please tell us how you arrived at the revenue projections you included in this application? For example, what factors did you take into account projecting the amount of local advertising revenue?
400 MR. RAIBLE: We're looking at ‑‑ when we originally made the application in 2005, we were looking at several of the ‑‑ I guess what ‑‑ sorry. I guess we were looking at what we were currently generating at the time and what we could potentially get.
401 Things have changed in the last fiscal year. We weren't ‑‑ I guess we honestly weren't counting on our signal not being as strong as it was, and so we were faced, I guess, in a situation we didn't count on being in. And the importance of our technical amendment has really been stressed this past fiscal year, which is why I included in that package not just a copy of our 2005 fiscal year, but our 2006 as well, so you can see the drop in revenue. And when we've gone back to our advertisers, they keep on mentioning the signal strength.
402 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In our decision 2004‑549, the Commission denied a previous application for a change in frequency and in increase in transmitter power. In that decision the Commission stated you had not presented compelling evidence of the technical need for these proposed changes.
403 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
404 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Could you please describe the changes which resulted in the submission of this new application that occurred since the Commission's last decision on Lighthouse Broadcasting, which also was based on a proposal to change the authorized contour by increasing the effect of radiated power and antenna height?
405 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
406 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: What's changed since the last time?
RAIBLE: What we've tried to do is we've
tried to include, I guess, a clear picture, both from our listeners as well as
with comparative maps, to show you that areas that we should be getting in our
original application in our 3 MV contour, we're just not getting them. Key main areas we're just not reaching. So we're hoping to show that with the
overlay, that this signal strength will obviously get those key areas, and at
the same time, we believe we're still serving
408 We've also tried to provide information from Pippin Tech. And again, I believe if you look at the positive letters of support from our listeners, they'll mention over and over again that they ‑‑ the reason they're supporting us in this decision is because they want to hear us in their homes and in their basement, and many of those positive interventions are within the 3 MV contour. We didn't have that information in our last application.
409 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Your answers have satisfied my list of questions here.
410 I'm completed, Madam Chair.
411 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
412 Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
413 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
414 You have showed us a map that you have in your hand. Is it one of the maps that you put in your folder?
415 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. If you look in your ‑‑ in the package on the back tab, the first map will be of our original ‑‑
416 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: The Pippin map, yeah, which is the original technical ‑‑ taken out of the original technical brief that you submitted?
417 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
418 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: And what you're saying is that even in the interior of your 3 microvolt per metre, the coverage is not good enough, so even people don't ‑‑ can't listen to the station in their home, particularly in their basement, as you said?
419 MR. RAIBLE: Or in their base ‑‑ in their businesses. We have clients, for example, who live on 3rd Street ‑‑ who have businesses, sorry, on 3rd Street, and other areas right in the middle of our 3 MV contour, would love to play our station, especially if they're advertising with us, but they can't. Every time they get a fuzzy signal they question whether they should be advertising with us.
420 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Exactly, okay. Now, on your covering page of the document that you gave us this morning, which went ‑‑ which is going in the public record?
421 MS BENNETT: Sorry, could you repeat the question?
422 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: The document that we received, it's totally going into the public record?
423 MS BENNETT: Yes. I have a couple of questions to clarify exactly what we've got, but the documents will be put on the top of the licencee's file.
424 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Okay, fine. Now, you addressed ‑‑ you said earlier today that ‑‑ how many employees ‑‑ you're locally owned and you provide local jobs. How many employees do you have?
425 MR. RAIBLE: Including myself, we have seven local employees.
426 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: And how many are on air?
427 MR. RAIBLE: Five of them.
428 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Five of them?
429 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
430 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: And including yourself?
431 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
432 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You also provided us with financial material regarding the year ‑‑ your profit and loss financials for the year 2006. And could I question you on those financials?
433 MR. RAIBLE: If you like to you can, and I'll do my very best to answer them.
434 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Because I'm seeing, and you provided us ‑‑ there are two lines that I wonder if you could help me in getting more details. You have travel, and you have a $12,000 expense under travel, which for a station of your size, seems to me somehow significant and ‑‑
435 MR. RAIBLE: As you can tell, I don't handle the finances at the station, but I'll do my very best to answer that. I believe that included not just travel, but anything promotional to do with the station as well.
436 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You have another line that is called promotion somewhere ‑‑ somewhere up there. I've noticed that you have sales promotions with another $5,000.
437 MR. RAIBLE: Mmhmm.
438 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: If you can't answer, could you provide us with an answer, say, within the next week?
439 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
440 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Written answer?
441 MR. RAIBLE: Yes
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
442 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: I also have a similar question regarding line 54, 55, which is donations. And again, I have a fairly big number under donations. Do you know what that is all about?
443 MR. RAIBLE: That I can explain. Obviously we're a Christian radio station, so our religious beliefs, I guess, are ‑‑ motivate everything that we do. So what we do is we give back to the community, and so we believe in tagging 10 percent back to local churches and charities. No matter what, how much money we make, that's what we do. So that is the reason for that.
444 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Okay, that's fine, no problem. I don't see anywhere bad debts because you don't have any bad debts, your clients are paying correctly?
445 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. And ‑‑
446 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Lucky you.
447 MR. RAIBLE: We've got good clients.
448 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: You've got good clients.
449 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
450 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
452 Thank you, Mr. Raible.
453 So it is ‑‑ and I also notice that in the year before you have travel of 15,000, so I'd ask you to explain both?
454 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
455 THE CHAIRPERSON: And why they would be legitimate business expenses.
456 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
457 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I ask you then secondly, why we should consider the donations as a legitimate business expense, when it is not generally a business expense in radio stations? I mean, you're saying we're not profitable or won't be profitable, but at the same time you have 20,000 in each year as a ‑‑ as an expense, and why should we consider for you it's a legitimate expense when we don't habitually do that?
458 MR. RAIBLE: Again, we do that for ‑‑ I don't know how this sounds. We do this for religious conscience or whatever. What I could do is I could actually find out why we consider it an expense when I talk to my accountant, but I just know that's what we have done as a principle of business, is just take ten percent off every month what we make, off the top, and we donate it.
459 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Yeah, if you could ‑‑ if you could ‑‑
460 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
461 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, I'm confused as to when you actually went on air. The decision was issued 21 January 2003.
462 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
463 THE CHAIRPERSON: Today you say you've been on air since April '03.
464 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
465 THE CHAIRPERSON: In your Supplementary Brief at page 1 you said 2002, at page 1. And subsequently you said you've been broadcasting for two years. So ‑‑ that's your Supplementary Brief, I'm sorry. Your application said since 2002, your Supplementary Brief said you've been broadcasting for two years. Tell me when did you really go on the air?
466 MR. RAIBLE: I believe we were approved in January 2003. We were on the air in April 2003, very quickly right after that. I apologize for any oversight, for any confusion that would be in that application, but we have been on the air since April 2003.
467 THE CHAIRPERSON: So did you file your annual report as required by the regs for that year at the end ‑‑ effective the end of August?
468 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
469 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you pay CTD that year?
470 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
471 THE CHAIRPERSON: And to whom did you pay it?
472 MR. RAIBLE: I would have to double check and see who we paid it to, but I know we did.
473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why do you know you did?
474 MR. RAIBLE: Because it's a condition of licence, so I remember us doing that, but then after ‑‑ for 2005 we decided we needed a better Canadian Talent Development plan, and we felt that the scholarships, after talking to other radio stations in similar markets, would be a ‑‑ a better use of the money.
475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
476 MR. RAIBLE: Of the CTD.
477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our information was that was your annual report for 2003 was not filed. Could you provide us with a copy of that within a week?
478 MR. RAIBLE: Definitely.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
479 THE CHAIRPERSON: And did you then file your annual report for 2004, for the year ending August 31, 2004?
480 MR. RAIBLE: Again, yes.
481 THE CHAIRPERSON: Our information is you did not. Can you provide us a copy of that within one week?
482 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. You bet you.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
483 THE CHAIRPERSON: So then you say ‑‑ so in the year 2004, you say again that you made ‑‑ you paid your CTD?
484 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
485 THE CHAIRPERSON: For both 2003 and 2004, can you provide us with a copy of the cheque showing that you paid the CTD?
486 MR. RAIBLE: Yes. Yes, we will, within a week.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
CHAIRPERSON: And then you say you
decided to go to
488 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
489 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you did that, but they didn't proceed with it. Why didn't you write a cheque that would then push them to proceed with it?
490 MR. RAIBLE: Good question. Again, I don't handle the financial end of the business. We had made all the arrangements on the telephone. They had faxed us a contract, we had faxed a contract back, and I was under the impression that it was taken care of and that my financial department would look after any invoices that came in. I guess I have to do a much better job boning up and making sure in the future that things get taken care of.
491 When it came to our intention last week that it hadn't been taken care of, we contacted them. We wanted to find out what had happened. They, for whatever reason, didn't let us know.
492 Again, it's our responsibility. We took care of it the minute we found out, and we provided ‑‑ we paid for 2005 and 2006, and we have proof of that payment as well. But again, I do apologize, we should have been much more on the ball in that one and that's my fault.
493 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's your condition of licence?
494 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
495 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. If indeed it appears that our records show you did not file your annual reports for 2003 and 2004, it also appears that you have remedied your non‑compliance in terms of your CTD recently, habitually the Commission is not inclined to grant people relief if they are in non‑compliance. Why would we grant you relief if you were in non‑compliance?
496 MR. RAIBLE: I guess we would ‑‑ we would not knowingly be in non‑compliance. We want to comply to every ‑‑ everything you ask us to do. You've asked us to do reasonable conditions of licences, and so we want to meet those. And all I can promise to the CRTC, and I guess I have to show it by my actions, is that much more professional and making sure we commit and keep and follow‑up on every commitment and condition of licence that is granted to us. And you would definitely see that, no matter if you give us the application ‑‑ the request for amendment or not, we will definitely be better at doing that.
497 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Raible.
498 Oh, Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
499 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Filing of annual returns is a part of the regulation book, and so ‑‑ and it is very important that you file your annual return because we're collecting the information and providing statistics for all the broadcasters in this country, and we're publishing on a yearly basis and monitoring the report that is used largely by various groups, including the OACD. And it's very important that the numbers that we're providing those are complete and are showing the real picture how broadcasting is in this country.
500 If you will make sure that in the future to provide your annual return in due time. They're due each year at the latest on November 30th of each year, and it is ‑‑ it is a very important tool for managing the ‑‑ the broadcasting system.
501 MR. RAIBLE: If I may, I remember ‑‑ I know we did the 2003/2004 annual return because I remember being helped very patiently by ‑‑ by employees of the CRTC. So that's why I know it was done because I remember how patient they were with us figuring out how to do it. So we will find out for whatever reason why you don't have a copy, because I remember us doing it. And I know when I talked to Kim last week, she said there were some problems with some faxing of things back in that time. Again, I'm not sure, but we will make sure that you get 2003/2004.
502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Along with proof of when you filed it.
503 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
504 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams...?
505 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Just one more question of clarification on your donations. The donations are to be 10 percent of your gross revenue; is that correct?
506 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, every month.
507 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Maybe when you speak with your accountant then, he seems to have donated a little more than 10 percent. It's probably ‑‑ probably almost 10 percent over contribution. You might want to check his math on that one as well because it is affecting your bottom line in a negative manner.
508 MR. RAIBLE: Okay.
509 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you.
510 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, I have another question, Mr. Raible. When Commissioner Williams was asking you questions, I thought the whole essence of your argument on lack of coverage was that in the first year you broadcast your advertisers thought your coverage was better than it was. Is that your point?
RAIBLE: In our first couple years,
advertisers were just excited that there was another alternative to radio in
know we've tried many different days to make do with what we have because we
want to be good stewards of what we have.
Again and again we keep on hearing that we need to increase our signal
strength so people can get it consistently in their cars in the City of
513 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when we get your annual ‑‑ copies of your annual reports as filed, we will notice a consistent decrease in advertising income over the years; is that correct?
514 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
517 MS BENNETT: Thanks. I have one substantive follow‑up question, and just a couple of housekeeping matters just to sort out what we've got here to put on the file. But the first question is just a substantive question on the number of people that would be within the proposed contour.
518 So could you just confirm that approval of your application would increase the population covered by your 3 millivolt per metre contour from 35,000 people to just over 66,000?
519 MR. RAIBLE: Yes, that would be correct.
520 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you. Now, I just want to go to sort of nailing down all of the things that will be filed, but firstly I want to just confirm that what we have here in the package that you filed today on page 4 and page 5, are the revised annual returns for the years ending August 31st, 2005 and 2006, that were requested by the Commission staff; is that correct?
521 MR. RAIBLE: Yeah, I don't know ‑‑ I don't believe 2006 was, but 2005 definitely was.
522 MS BENNETT: Okay. Now, have these been filed separately with the Commission, or is it your expectation that we will forward this to them, monitoring ‑‑ or the annual return group?
523 MR. RAIBLE: 2005 has already been submitted with all the information.
524 MS BENNETT: Okay.
525 MR. RAIBLE: And 2006 will be as well, but 2005 they already have it, Kim already has it.
526 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you. Now, just to go back through some of the things that you've agreed to file this morning. Firstly, you agreed to file a clarification on the 10 percent profit that goes back to the community. Could you indicate when you could file that information?
527 MR. RAIBLE: Within one week.
528 MS BENNETT: Okay. Now, secondly, you have agreed to file the annual reports for the years ending August 31st, 2003 and 2004, with a proof of when you filed those returns. When will you do that?
529 MR. RAIBLE: Within a week as well.
530 MS BENNETT: One week, okay. And lastly, it was the copies of the cheques for payment of CTD for the years 2003, 2004, I believe?
531 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
532 MS BENNETT: Yes. Is that one week as well?
533 MR. RAIBLE: Yes.
534 MS BENNETT: Okay. Thank you, I believe that's everything.
535 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You now have your two minutes.
536 MR. RAIBLE: Again, I just want to thank you so much for the CRTC ‑‑ for hearing our request for a technical amendment for Lighthouse Broadcasting. We believe that this technical amendment will not only improve economic stability for Alive 99.5, but also improve the quality that our clients and our listeners can receive of their favourite Christian Canadian and other music.
537 Thank you very much.
538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Raible.
539 Madam secretary, do you have anything to add to the record at this moment?
540 THE SECRETARY: No, madam chair. Thank you.
541 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will take a one‑hour lunch break, which means we will reconvene at 1:05.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1205 / Suspension à 1205
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1305 / Reprise à 1305
542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
543 Madam Secretary...?
544 THE SECRETARY: Before ‑‑
545 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are presently experiencing technical difficulties, please standby.
546 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
547 Before we introduce the next application, I would just like to clarify ‑‑ to indicate for the record that the letter dated October 30th from the foundation coordinator with respect to the Lighthouse Broadcasting application that we heard prior to the lunch, will be placed on the application file of Lighthouse Broadcasting.
we now proceed to item 3 on the agenda, which is an application by Golden West
Broadcasting Limited for a licence to operate an English language FM commercial
radio programming undertaking in
549 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Elmer Hildebrand, who will introduce his colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation.
550 Mr. Hildebrand...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
551 MR. HILDEBRAND: Thank you. Madam Chair, members of the Commission and Commission staff, thank you so much for having us here today for this important hearing.
552 My name is Elmer Hildebrand, president/CEO of Golden West Broadcasting. I'm also on the Board of the Canadian Women in Communications, secretary‑treasurer of BBM and the Radio Marketing Bureau.
me here today are Lyndon Friesen, executive vice‑president and chief
operating officer of Golden West. Keith
Leask to my right, senior, manager for
554 As many of you know, I have been in the small market radio business since 1957, so next year we are marking our 50th anniversary. Lyndon Friesen has been with Golden West since 1975; Keith Leask joined our company in 1983, and Barrie Vice is the rookie of our team arriving in 1990.
West has made its mark serving the prairies, and
started in 1957 with a small 1,000 watt radio station in
557 From these modest beginnings in '57 our organization has continued to grow, always serving non‑metro markets.
558 Today we operate AM stations in 13 prairie communities and FM stations in 12. Just like everyone else, our AM stations are not experiencing a lot of growth, so we must increase the number of FM stations so our company will have long‑term viability when AM radio ultimately falls off into the sunset.
then brings us to our application to provide local radio service to
Leask will now outline our plans for news and information for the community of
LEASK: News from the community is
likely ‑‑ excuse me, is likely the most important thing we do
at Golden West Broadcasting. It's how we
remain relevant to our listeners. It
will be no different in
563 Each weekday, Golden West will air a comprehensive three‑minute local newscast at the top of the hour at six, seven, eight, nine and 10 a.m. An additional newscast will air during the peak morning drive time at 7:30. One‑and‑a‑half minute sportscasts will follow the newscast at six, seven, 7:30 and eight. Three‑minute newscasts will also air during the midday and afternoon drive times at 1:00, two, four, five, and 6 p.m., with an extra newscast at 5:30. One and a half minutes of sports will follow each news segment at four, five, 5:30 and six. And you'll see the first of the two charts that show this very clearly in your package.
hard to capture all that's going on in a growing city on a daily basis during
three minutes of news. That's why we're
proposing a one‑half hour noon hour show called Medicine Hat Today to air
each weekday from 12 until 12:30. This
show will feature expanded news and sports, as well as features on items that
are important to the citizens of
will include the oil industry, agriculture, Medicine Hat City Council, the
School Board and other education stories, including
fast‑paced half hour will also include a good news feature that we'll
call "Southeastern Success Stories."
This will highlight accomplishments and successes, both large and small,
of people, organizations and businesses in
567 This news coverage, combined with our weekend news coverage, means a total of just over five and one‑half hours and one hour and 20 minutes of sports, in addition to our ongoing surveillance of local traffic, local weather, community news and local entertainment.
568 Golden West will have a four‑person newsroom to cover all of the news in the area, including a dedicated reporter to cover regular beats and features.
570 MR. VICE: Thank you, Elmer.
571 Golden West will play a hand‑picked mix of classic rock and modern rock to appeal to a broad base of listeners between 25 and 50. This format will incorporate new rock music from artists like Train, Coldplay, U2, Stone Temple Pilots, 3 Doors Down and Evanescence, along with great Canadian modern rock artists like Nickelback, Sam Roberts, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Sloan and AlexisonFire. As well as artists from the '70s, '80s and '90s, such as the Rolling Stones, Kansas, Boston, Pink Floyd, The Doors, April Wine and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
572 This format will skew 35 plus, and would be appealing to both male and females, while at the same time being completely different from what the incumbent stations are playing in Medicine Hat, which is country, and a pop music blend. Golden West would commit to playing 40 percent Canadian content and we would do so as a condition of licence.
573 MR. HILDEBRAND: Lyndon Friesen will now outline our plans to distribute $100,000 in direct contribution to Canadian Talent Developments.
574 MR. FRIESEN: Golden West Broadcasting has committed ‑‑ has committed to $100,000 over the first term of our licence in direct contributions to Canadian Talent Development. $10,000 per year in years one through five, and $25,000 per year for years six and seven. We also have a chart to indicate how that will be distributed.
575 Although our plans call for those monies to be split between four groups during the first five $10,000 contribution years and five groups for the $25,000 contribution years, many more individuals will directly benefit from those CTD contributions.
577 Although there are generally scholarships readily available for the academy students, this is not the case for non‑academy students. As the college tells us, very often musical training must come to an end for some of these students simply because they cannot afford to continue their studies.
West will set up scholarships through five of the musical divisions at the
conservatory of music and dance at the
second portion of our CTD contributions would go to the Medicine Hat School Districts
junior and senior high band programs at the Alexandra Junior High, Medicine Hat
High and the
580 Again, we would leave it up to the people who know best where the needs are, the instructors of the programs, to determine how the money would best be spent to acquire new instruments.
third portion of the CTD contributions would go to the Medicine Hat Jazz
Festival. For 11 years now the Medicine
Hat Jazz Society has brought the Jazz Fest to the streets, clubs and concert
582 The Medicine Hat Jazz Society is a not‑for‑profit organization and is a registered charity. Golden West Broadcasting would contribute $2,500 annually as a sponsor of the Jazz Festival. We would also provide extensive additional on‑air support and promotion of the Jazz Fest.
final portion of the CTD funding would go to the Medicine Hat Folk and Roots
Music Club and their monthly singer/songwriter nights. These nights are held at various venues
584 Golden West would then promote the CD and the performer on the station in an attempt to spur on sales of the CD, all of which would go, of course, directly to the performer.
585 In years six and seven: The above ‑‑ the above‑mentioned organizations will continue to receive their assigned benefits through years six and seven, however, we have intentionally left $30,000 unassigned, or $15,000 per year. Once we become better established in the community and have solidified relationships, we will have a much better handle on which local organizations have the greatest need and would most benefit from financial contributions. The recipient organizations of this initiative would be directed to reflect our musical format.
HILDEBRAND: That details Golden West's
Canadian Talent Development contributions.
On top of these direct contributions, we will make ‑‑
Golden West makes music development an integral part of our commitment to the
communities we call our home. We will
air weekly a 30‑minute music program called "Made in
587 This is something we do everywhere through our Golden West group of radio stations, and even though the program has continued for several years in some cases, we find there is never a shortage of great material to feature, from new emerging artists to established musical artists.
note that there are other applications from
589 We have projected the lowest revenues from any of the stations applying, and therefore, we would have the least impact on the existing radio stations in the market.
would also like to make a comment that goes back to what you heard this
morning, where Mr. Maheu was saying that some years ago, during tough times,
many broadcasters cut back in newsrooms as far as news people and sports people
and information people. Golden West did
just the opposite. When we saw everybody
was cutting back in their newsrooms, we added people. So we have continued to add people to our
news operations, and that has stood us in good stead, and that is what would
make us, I think, the best application for
591 Our track record in providing real local service all the time is well established. We have the experience, the people and the resources to give Medicine Hat the kind of community service that is superior by any measure to any of the applications before you this week, and we hope that you would grant us a licence at the end of this meeting, and now we will be prepared to answer any questions you have. Thank you very much.
592 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
593 Commissioner Cugini...?
594 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Gentlemen, good afternoon.
595 Mr. Hildebrand, your experience shows in that you must have anticipated some of the questions that we would have for you today and you did answer some of them in your oral presentation. So regrettably, I do have some more for you.
596 The first area I would like to cover is your format because in your application you called it a "popular format," and here today you're telling us that it's going to be a mix of classic rock and modern rock. So is that what you meant by popular all along?
597 MR. HILDEBRAND: You know, in our case, music is not the most important part of our business plan. Music is something that we obviously want to do, but our music genre is much broader and is very hard to sort of put in a narrow slot, you know, so we feel it would be popular, but it would be a much broader skew of music than you've heard either this morning or you will hear later this afternoon.
598 We think the most important part of our broadcast schedule is actually the news and information that we provide. Music is generally available anywhere from satellite to CD to iPods, to any number of other sources. But local news and information is the thing that makes us relevant, and that is the most important piece. So our genre of music would not be a narrow segment, but a much broader base of music.
599 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: We'll get to your local news and spoken word programming because I sense that you're quite anxious to talk to us more about that. But I hope you can appreciate that format ‑‑ music format is one of the factors that we consider, not only in terms of the incumbent stations in the market, but as well from the other applicants in these proceedings.
600 We don't licence format, that's true, but, of course, it forms the basis of your business plan and assessment of the market and so on, so I am going to delve a little bit into your format. Is there going to ‑‑ is your classic rock and modern rock going to be day parted or is it going to be seamlessly blended throughout the day?
601 MR. HILDEBRAND: I'll ask Barrie Vice to answer that.
602 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you.
603 MR. VICE: Sure. No, we have no plans to day part music. Our intent is to seamlessly blend, as you put it, through the day.
604 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And your target audience is 25 to 50?
605 MR. VICE: Yeah.
606 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you plan on skewing more male or female with this format?
607 MR. VICE: I think we see it as something that we hope would appeal to both sides because of, as Elmer has mentioned, the broad nature of it.
608 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And I will ask the question that Vice‑Chair Arpin usually asks, and what is the median age of your listeners?
609 MR. VICE: I think we're typically looking at 35 plus. I would say around, if we need a number, 42. But 35 plus is our ‑‑
610 MR. HILDEBRAND: 42.5.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
611 MR. VICE: Thank you.
612 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How do you see ‑‑ what do you see as the difference between this format and what's currently available in this market?
613 MR. VICE: I think this format will have music ‑‑ will put music on the radio station that isn't currently ‑‑ or on the radio in this market that isn't currently on the radio in this market because of its ‑‑ because of its rock roots.
614 I think ‑‑ I think we'll be pulling our music largely from the '80s and the '90s. We mentioned some of the artists that we plan on spotlighting. We mentioned the new rock component, so ‑‑ it's certainly not our intent to duplicate, you know, much or anything that's on the radio currently.
615 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And what differentiates this format from any of the other applicants?
616 MR. VICE: Again, not being familiar with what the other applicants will be saying, only having seen this morning, I think it's the broad based nature of our format that probably sets it apart and makes it a little bit different.
617 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So ‑‑
618 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think maybe ‑‑ just to add to that, I think we will also be featuring more local music than might normally be the case, simply because that's part of our, you know, local inbred policies that we have at all of our stations, to feature as much local material as we can. And that doesn't ever get on the chart, so ‑‑ but we find it's important, and we find that there is an audience for that when you do that.
619 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You also mentioned in your application that with this station you plan on repatriating people who currently tune out of market to your radio station. How will this music format do that?
620 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I think the repatriation will be accelerated more by what is aired between the music. The news and information will really be drawing people back. They may have been listening to CBC, and CBC doesn't do much local news, and they certainly can't get any local news on any of the other genres, so that's what we have found again in other markets. Once we get involved with the local community, that in itself repatriates a lot of people to our radio station and then the music just balances out the whole product for the day.
621 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Local programming and spoken word. So from what you've told us today, if my math is correct, it's six and a half hours of local programming? Of spoken word programming, I apologize? 390 minutes is six and a half hours?
622 MR. HILDEBRAND: I'll have Lyndon Friesen talk about that.
623 MR. FRIESEN: Yeah, I think on the ‑‑ if you refer to the chart that we provided, it ‑‑ we tried to make it quite clear. Six hours and 55 minutes including ‑‑ and that is just the local newscasts and local sports casts. It doesn't add the features or the news ‑‑ the daily news feature. It doesn't include everything else that we do that we can't or haven't quantified.
624 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So that's Monday to Friday six and a half, right? The 390 minutes?
625 MR. FRIESEN: Right. And 25.5 ‑‑
626 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And 25 minutes on Saturday, so let's say seven hours. And that is strictly news, weather, sports, surveillance material?
627 MR. FRIESEN: It is 100 percent local. We have a policy within our entire organization that our newscasts and our local information, and as you can see earlier, we actually will hire four people that ‑‑ four news people that specifically do nothing but gather local news information and then that's why we can make this kind of commitment.
628 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And the program that you spoke of today ‑‑ or this morning, "Medicine Hat Today," is that the news program or a public affairs program?
629 MR. FRIESEN: I think I would characterize it more as a public affairs program. Maybe I'll let Keith Leask describe it better.
630 MR. LEASK: Now it's on. We anticipate that that will be a program that fleshes out the news that we do during the regular newscasts. It will be encompassing a longer form of news. It will also encompass interviews with community people. Like I said, the southeastern success stories feature will encompass that in there as well. It will just be to flesh out the news that we're doing on a regular basis more.
631 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And will that ‑‑ is that part of the seven hours, or is that in addition to the seven hours?
632 MR. FRIESEN: That's part of the seven hours.
633 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And that program will also be produced by the four‑person newsroom?
634 MR. FRIESEN: Correct.
635 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Is there any other programming staff that will be hired?
636 MR. LEASK: Programming staff?
637 MR. HILDEBRAND: There will be programming staff hired as well in addition to news people.
638 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And how many programming staff do you ‑‑
639 MR. HILDEBRAND: We expect four.
640 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Four. So if we were to add DJ banter, for example, to that seven hours, what would your total spoken word programming commitment be?
641 MR. HILDEBRAND: Everybody is very quiet when you ask ‑‑ you know, how much would the DJ banter add up to in hours.
642 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Just so we can arrive at a total of spoken word programming.
643 MR. HILDEBRAND: At best it would be an estimate that we can give you here, but certainly every hour there would be anywhere from five to seven minutes of additional information that's provided during breaks.
644 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. And do you plan on doing any voice tracking?
645 MR. HILDEBRAND: Any what?
646 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Voice tracking?
647 MR. HILDEBRAND: We would probably do a little voice tracking to assist during various day parts, but we plan to be live basically from six to 12 midnight, and we would be, as somebody said this morning, we'd be answering the phone during that time. So we are going to be fully staffed.
648 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: So you might have voice tracking between midnight and 6 a.m.?
649 MR. HILDEBRAND: We would.
650 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Monday to Friday or Monday to Sunday?
651 MR. HILDEBRAND: Monday to Sunday, yes.
652 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Monday to Sunday, okay. I am now going to move on to CTD. And thank you for the details in your presentation. You also are committing to the CAB $400?
653 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
654 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And that's in addition to?
655 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I think that's part of the whole package, but we could easily say that's in addition to, if you would like us to say that.
656 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And will you accept as a condition of licence the incremental expenses of your CTD going ‑‑
657 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
658 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: ‑‑ $10,000 years one to five and $25,000 years six and seven?
659 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
660 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, the 30 ‑‑ you said there was $30,000 unassigned that you have left. What are your plans in terms of informing the Commission of how you're going to spend that $30,000 if you are established in the market?
HILDEBRAND: Well, we obviously ‑‑
I mean, as Lyndon indicated, we are leaving some of that in abeyance as to who
would get that. Because a lot of things
happen in a community like
CUGINI: Okay. Synergies:
In response to deficiency questions you did indicate that there may be
some synergies with your
HILDEBRAND: We see a lot of synergies
have, you know, what we think experts in a lot of departments, and they're
available then to all of the radio stations.
So that's one of the pluses that we see being able to give to
665 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How do you see the newsrooms, for example, elaborating or ‑‑
HILDEBRAND: The newsrooms would not only
collaborate, they would also share whatever news is generated in
667 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And are there any other back‑office functions that will be shared between the ‑‑
668 MR. HILDEBRAND: A lot. The traffic and the creative and accounting and overall management is all shared, so we have huge savings in that area. Again, we have the experience to make this work, and we find that the most important things for a community is to have visible news people and visible program people. They're really not concerned who does the accounting.
CUGINI: And speaking of accounting,
we're going to move on to your projections.
You are by far the lowest in terms of your advertising projections of
HILDEBRAND: Well, basically, again, we
were calling on experience in other markets, and I think as the Commission
knows, we tend to be conservative in our estimates of revenue projections. And in all likelihood, we would work hard to
exceed these, but we felt that this made some sense going into the
process. And we're projecting very
little national business because that's not something that really comes through
to smaller markets like
671 And so when Commission staff have asked me in the past how do we come up with our numbers? By and large, we have to rely on our experience from past years in other markets, and as I say, we generally try to be conservative.
672 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Some might argue that you're being overly conservative because you are proposing perhaps one of the most popular music formats, and by being over conservative you're underestimating your impact on the incumbents.
673 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, I'm sure that case can be made. And as I say, if we can over‑achieve these numbers we'd be happy to do that, but we think that this makes some sense going forward. And we also feel that this would have the least impact on the existing broadcasters in the community.
CUGINI: How many radio stations do you
HILDEBRAND: One of the concerns that
certainly I've expressed before to the Commission is that the ‑‑
overlicencing is a concern. And so we're
hearing and we're seeing that
676 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Mr. Hildebrand, gentlemen, thank you.
677 Thank you, Madam Chair. Those are my questions.
678 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice‑Chair Arpin...?
679 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
HILDEBRAND: The reason that I didn't
mention it yet is we still have that radio station to launch at a full
power. Right now it's a low power
operation, and we're working at launching the full power, which was approved by
the Commission. And certainly there will
be synergies there as well, but at this point, we ‑‑ because
we haven't launched it yet, it's sort of hard to say how much the integration
will be. And the format is also quite
different than what we're proposing here, but certainly from administration and
the back‑end operations, there would be a lot of synergies. And once the station is fully operational in
682 VICE‑CHAIR ARPIN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
683 THE CHAIRPERSON: Than you.
684 I have a few more questions. I think number one, I'd like to start with your financial projections in your application. And it's just a ‑‑ it jarred me at ‑‑ it's 4.1. Now, the pages aren't paginated in our ‑‑ but I see no local revenue, and I'm wondering, that's got to be a typo? Everything should be moved down?
685 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes, it's basically all local revenue, yes. It's obviously in the wrong line.
686 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So everything in network should go down to national?
687 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right.
688 THE CHAIRPERSON: And everything in national should go down to local?
689 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right, yes.
690 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I just couldn't understand that. And in exhibit ‑‑ or chart 1, I notice it refers to three minutes of local news and one and a half minutes of local sports. Now, my colleague, Commissioner Cugini, referred to news, sports, weather and traffic. Is weather and traffic separate from these 4.5 minutes?
691 MR. FRIESEN: Yes, it is.
692 THE CHAIRPERSON: And would that be part of the five to seven minutes an hour of DJ banter you're talking about?
693 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
694 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The easiest way we could probably compare, would be what's called scripted word. And in those cases we normally use weather to include in scripted word. Could you give me an idea of what news, weather, sport and surveillance per hour would be, or per chunk would be?
695 MR. HILDEBRAND: You know, I think all of that was included in the package that I mentioned earlier. This would be, I think I said five to seven minutes an hour, and I think that's all inclusive there.
696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, okay. Now, I carefully read your reply to interventions ‑‑ or reply to deficiencies dated July 24th, and if I can take you to page 3, right after the bullet about voice tracking. And I wanted to know ‑‑ what you said today, and I'm not the stenographer so I may be wrong, you said you would be live to air 6 a.m. to 12 midnight?
697 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
698 THE CHAIRPERSON: So page 3 of that reply to interventions contemplates some voice tracking in the evenings?
699 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think what we would contemplate there, we would have an individual in the radio station who would be doing a variety of things, including answering the phones, taking calls from the news reporters that were out, and he would or she would be doing some voice tracking while they're still in the studio so they could continue doing two jobs at the same time. So this wouldn't be the kind of voice tracking where they would be leaving the building.
700 THE CHAIRPERSON: So how many hours during 6 a.m. to midnight would be live to air programming?
701 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, with the exception of the kind of situation that I referred to, in the evening everything.
CHAIRPERSON: So would you agree to a
703 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
704 THE CHAIRPERSON: To live to air programming from ‑‑ during the entirety of the broadcast regulated week?
705 MR. HILDEBRAND: Sure.
706 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And then also on the same page of the reply to deficiencies, you were referring ‑‑ you were asked about what you were going to be doing in relation to the CTD. And your answer consisted of one sentence ‑‑ two sentences. We will be splitting up the 10,000 into four specific contributions to local musical groups. The sixth and seventh year amount of 25,000 will be split between five groups. And you agree with me that today is the first time you've shown us where in particular you've chosen to ‑‑
707 MR. HILDEBRAND: That's right, yes.
708 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ allocate these monies?
709 MR. HILDEBRAND: Right.
710 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why did you by ‑‑
711 MR. HILDEBRAND: By and large, from earlier hearings that we attended, we felt it prudent to provide more detail today, and that's why the charts were being provided. We anticipated some of your questions.
712 THE CHAIRPERSON: But the problem is that none of the people with whom you are competing have had a chance to look at this ‑‑
713 MR. HILDEBRAND: I see.
714 THE CHAIRPERSON: And provide their input and deal with the competitive side of that. So I guess I'll go on. You talk about the contribution to the Jazz Festival, does the $2,500 include on‑air support and promotion? No?
715 MR. FRIESEN: No.
716 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The same with the Medicine Hat Folk and Roots Music Club, you talk about the recording program and then you've got on‑air support and promotion. On‑air support and promotion is not part of the $2,500?
717 MR. FRIESEN: The $2,500 is a cash support, all of the rest is on top of that.
718 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And what will the funding to the Jazz Festival be used for?
719 MR. HILDEBRAND: Keith Leask will provide an answer.
720 MR. LEASK: That will be ‑‑ when I spoke to Lyle Revic(ph), who is the chairman of the Jazz Festival, that will be used for doing things like staging the shows, promotion ‑‑ promotion outside of the radio station, you know, for doing certain things. And just, you know, it will be designed to enhance the program, enhance the Jazz Festival to do that.
721 THE CHAIRPERSON: And in your view, is that appropriate CTD in accordance with our policy?
722 MR. HILDEBRAND: I think so.
723 MR. LEASK: I believe so too.
724 THE CHAIRPERSON: The next one, the Folk Festival initiative, again, what is ‑‑ that is for recording solely; is that correct?
725 MR. LEASK: Yes.
726 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now, today you said that you would be using a classic modern rock format, and I believe we ‑‑ Commissioner Cugini stated to you at ‑‑ or asked the difference between what you said in your application, which was popular music, if I understand. I guess my point again is, do you see this as a change from popular ‑‑ popular format to the classic modern rock? And if so, would you consider your lack of specificity in your application as being perhaps unfair to the other applicants?
HILDEBRAND: I don't think so because
popular music covers a broad spectrum, and so we will be certainly very
different from anything that's being broadcast in
728 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
729 Commissioner Pennefather...?
730 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you, Madam Chair.
731 Just back to the Canadian Talent Development chart briefly. I think if I recall in your response to questions from my colleagues, you ‑‑ in talking about years six and seven, which is the 30,000, it's a fair chunk of the overall proposal, and it's left fairly vague as to where this money would go.
732 You ‑‑ I think you put it, Mr. Hildebrand, it would be as you see things evolve and what may come up. But is it possible though for you to assure us that in choosing some projects for this $30,000, which is a fairly significant part of the 100,000, that these projects would be in line with Commission policy on eligible contributions to Canadian talent development?
733 MR. HILDEBRAND: Absolutely, we would assure the Commission of that. I think I also then draw the Commission's attention to the fact that as an organization we have achieved or exceeded our CTD commitments in the past, and that we would be certain to do that again here. But we can absolutely assure you that it will fall into the policy of the Commission today and at that time.
734 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
735 Thank you, Madam Chair.
736 THE CHAIRPERSON: On that subject, when would you be in a position to inform us of your intentions as to whom the recipient of your largesse would be of that?
737 MR. HILDEBRAND: Well, we could, let's say, advise the Commission of that in year four.
738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
BENNETT: Thanks. I just have two brief questions with respect
to conditions of licence. You've
indicated that you plan to provide 40 percent Canadian content in your overall
musical selections. Could you comment on
the imposition of that 40 percent as a
741 MR. HILDEBRAND: That's fine.
742 MS BENNETT: Okay. And then secondly, was your intention to provide the 40 percent as well between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday?
743 MR. HILDEBRAND: Yes.
BENNETT: And would a
745 MR. HILDEBRAND: It would be.
746 MS BENNETT: Okay.
HILDEBRAND: And just as an add‑on,
our company has a policy of doing 40 percent in all of our radio stations as a
floor, and, in most instances, we would be more between 40 and 45, so we're
happy with a
748 MS BENNETT: Okay, thank you.
749 Those are my questions.
750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hildebrand, Panel.
751 Madam Secretary...?
752 MR. HILDEBRAND: I ‑‑ I ‑‑
753 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your two minutes of fame, I'm sorry.
754 MR. HILDEBRAND: No, I still have something left to say.
755 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you do. I'm sure you do.
HILDEBRAND: Again, we don't want to take
two minutes. We want to thank the
Commission for allowing us to appear here today. The Commission knows well what Golden West
has been able to provide to the prairies over the past years, and we would take
it as an honour to be able to do the same thing in
company is positioned to grow. We're 50
years old, and as a Canadian broadcaster, that may be getting a little long in
the tooth, but we have a lot of young people that are eager to provide service
for many years to come, and we know that we can provide a great service to the
758 Thank you.
759 THE CHAIRPERSON: I really thank you, Mr. Hildebrand and panel. Thank you very much.
760 Madam Secretary...?
761 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would now call on the next applicant to come forward for their presentation, Radio CJVR Limited.
now proceed with item 4 on the agenda, which is an application by Radio CJVR
Limited for a licence to operate a commercial English‑language FM
commercial ‑‑ sorry, English‑language FM radio
programming undertaking in
763 Appearing for the applicant is Mr. Ken Singer, who will introduce his colleagues, and you will then have 20 minutes for your presentation. Mr. Singer...?
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
764 MR. SINGER: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners, and Staff.
we begin our presentation, I'd like to introduce the members of our team. My name is Ken Singer. I'm vice‑president of broadcast
operations for our company. On my right
is the president and owner of Radio CJVR, Gene Fabro. To Gene's right is Linda Rheaume,
administrative manager for Radio CJVR's two stations in Melfort and our new FM
station in Whitecourt, Albert, CIXM‑FM.
Next to Linda is Jessica Schnell, director of research services at
Insightrix Research of Saskatoon, and Jessica is trained in a wide variety of
analysis techniques and earned her Bachelor of Science degree with great
distinction from the University of Regina with a combined major in mathematics
and statistics. Next to her is Corrin
Harper, a partner at Insightrix Research.
Corrin earned her Bachelor's degree in commerce and a Master's of
business administration from the
Chair and Members of the Commission, Radio CJVR is pleased to appear before you
today seeking approval to establish a classic rock formatted FM station on
frequency 102.1 to serve Medicine Hat and surrounding communities. If approved, CJVR will provide
767 In keeping with Medicine Hat's reputation as a community of choice, relative to the quality of life, economic opportunities, business growth, and social support that it affords its residents, Classic Rock 102 will provide a further important element of choice, namely a local radio service dedicated to fulfilling the needs and preferences of the area's underserved 25 to 54‑year‑old listening public.
the fact that the city of
of CJVR's proposed Classic 102 programming undertaking will establish
competitive balance within
771 CJVR has strived over the past 15 years under the Fabro family's ownership. Since acquiring CJVR in 1991, they have contributed stability and business acumen, along with strong financial and moral support to our management and staff.
Classic 102 is approved, CJVR will bring to
FABRO: Madam Chair, when CJVR appeared
before the Commission this past June at
established CIXM, our earlier proposals for
think it is fair to say that
must grow its critical mass by expanding its radio operations in both
778 MR. GEMMELL: Madam Chair and Commissioners, in response to the call for applications to serve Medicine Hat, CJVR engaged Insightrix Research Services of Saskatoon to conduct a consumer demand study to assess the market's potential for a new FM station and to identify service voids relative to musical and spoken word programming.
its many significant findings, the IRS survey underlines strong listener need
and preference for a greater choice in music and a more focused approach to
news and informational programming, specific to
noted earlier, radio listeners in
781 Lost in the middle are the 25 to 54‑year‑olds, and, in particular, those 25 to 44‑years‑old who tune to distant stations, satellite radio, and other audio options to source their preference for classic rock.
782 The IRS survey indicates that 83 percent of respondents aged 35 to 44, 78 percent of those 25 to 34, and 63 percent of those aged 45 to 54 say they would spend more time listening to the radio if they had access to a local classic rock station.
to the IRS survey results in relation to listener demand for a local classic rock
station, CJVR was moved by the heartfelt comments articulated by many
784 The following examples are representatives of the many comments, which captured the listener frustration and need for a local classic rock station.
785 Ben Wenzel states in part: Our current stations play country and young adult music leaving all us baby boomers, who grew up with rock music, without a listening choice.
786 Angela Pederson comments in part: I'm only 23, and I grew up listening to all my parents' favourite rock classics, and I think it would be great and well‑received.
787 Art Railton states: I believe there is tremendous support for this format, and it will bring people back to local radio rather than listening to Sirius or XM Satellite Radion. Me for one.
788 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, CJVR, in programming its proposed new FM station musically will specialize in playing classic rock including milestone rock albums. The playlist will feature music by artists such as Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Santana, Bryan Adams, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, The Guess Who, Neil Young, The Beatles, Tragically Hip, and Streetheart, to name but a few. We'd like to provide you with a sense of how Classic 102 will sound and feel musically with the following montage.
‑‑‑ Audio Clip / Clip audio
SINGER: CJVR, in bringing fresh musical
790 Classic 102 will further enhance that diversity through its in‑studio production of two special musical programs. In this regard, CJVR will produce a 20‑minute program, Canadians On Track, that will run weekdays at 3 p.m. Four Canadian rock artists will be featured daily in five‑minute segments in which each artist will be profiled and their music played.
791 The second program, Alberta Rocks, a 60‑minute weekly special that will run in prime time on Saturday from eight to 9 p.m.
such, CJVR will aggressively seek out new and emerging
793 MR. GEMMELL: Madam Chair and Commissioners, among the key findings of the IRS study is the fact that nearly 87 percent of respondents on hearing a description of the proposed FM's musical and spoken word programming stated they were very or somewhat likely to listen to the station.
794 On the basis of gender, 94 percent of males and 81 percent of females said they were very or somewhat likely to listen.
795 A further breakdown by age group indicates that 92 percent of respondents aged 35 to 44 are very or somewhat likely to listen to the station, followed by 88 percent of those aged 25 to 34 and 83 percent within the 45/54 age category.
to the music, respondents were near unanimous in defining their common
informational needs and priorities relevant to
797 In response to meeting listener needs for locally relevant news and information, CJVR will employ three full‑time news reporters. Their work will be supplemented by a network of community correspondence and resource persons from various disciplines who will work ‑‑ who will assist in compiling information to be presented in the form of special features throughout the broadcast day and on weekends.
798 With respect to newscasts, the station will present locally originated news at the top of the hour and every half hour in the mornings and again during selected hours throughout the day. Classic 102 will also broadcast news on weekends. In all, the station will provide over five hours of scheduled newscasts per week plus additional surveillance material when necessary and as it becomes available.
the importance that respondents placed on traffic and road conditions, a
minimum of 12 reports will air daily between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The
800 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, in 40 years of broadcasting to both urban and rural communities, CJVR has consistently provided its listeners with spoken word initiatives that focus on where they live and on those elements that influence and shape their daily lives and activities and impact on their communities.
such, CJVR has devised an inclusive broadcast plan for Classic 102 that enables
it to keep a finger on the pulse of daily events and activities occurring
802 This will be achieved in a number of ways, including the recruitment of a network of community correspondents who will be responsible for regularly providing Classic 102 with news and information specific to their communities.
803 These 90‑second reports from our community correspondents, known as Community Connections, will be featured four times daily as part of Classic 102's regular program schedule.
804 Information on current and upcoming events and activities within the coverage area will be highlighted every hour by Classic 102's Culturally Speaking information snippets.
further exciting daily initiative, Live from the Esplanade will feature a
midday arts and entertainment report from the Esplanade Arts and Heritage
Centre, which brings together
well, Classic 102 will produce the 60‑minute news magazine show, a
community perspective, which will run Sunday at 10 a.m. The program will initially focus on youth issues
and activities, the area's diverse business sector,
807 In keeping with CJVR's deep‑rooted sense of community, Classic 102, through its newscasts and many special programs will ensure that the cultural diversity within each community served is truly reflected.
808 A further prime source for exposing and reflecting the area's cultural diversity will be realized through the collection of stories, folklore, and other such materials by groups and individuals who will transform them into vignettes. These many stories, in turn, will be featured throughout Classic 102's daily program schedule.
FABRO: Madam Chair and Commissioners,
CJVR brings to
810 As such, CJVR has been recognized for its efforts six years in succession at the national level, and 11 years running at the provincial level by the Canadian and Saskatchewan Country Music Associations respectively.
planning our strategy for
812 While cash dollars are obviously important, hard air‑time currency and on‑air promotion is tremendously valuable to new and emerging artists who need the exposure and the public recognition to advance their musical careers.
813 With respect to direct expenditures, Classic 102 has committed to a minimum of $40,000 per year or $280,000 over the licence term on its Canadian talent development initiatives, which include 21,000 for each of the CAB/FACTOR Talent Fund, broadcast journalism scholarships, music scholarships, $42,000 for Alberta Rocks Boot Camp, $175,000 for opening acts.
814 Further to the $280,000 in direct expenditures, CJVR is committing to a minimum of 1.225 million over seven years for indirect on‑air expenditures.
815 CJVR is excited by the synergistic values created for talent development initiatives when direct and indirect expenditure allocations are combined to maximize their total effectiveness.
GEMMELL: Madam Chair, a recent episode
of CBC's television program, Venture, described
examining some of the local market's key economic indicators, it is estimated
818 The retail sales in 2003 ‑‑ in 2005 were $1.053 billion, some 47 percent above the national average.
819 The FP market report estimates they will escalate by over 11 percent to 1.171 billion in 2007 and a further 17.3 percent increase to 1.373 billion by 2010.
its natural resource‑based economy, growing population, expanding retail
core, and inextricable linkage to
2005 retail sales are estimated at $1.053 billion. Advertising expenditures represent four percent of retail sales or $42 million available.
821 CJVR's market analysis shows 14 percent of the advertising dollars are available for radio or about $6 million. We estimate the current operators take about $4 million, leaving $2 million on the table for a new operator.
822 CJVR budgeted $1.35 million in first‑year revenue.
823 MR. SINGER: Madam Chair, the following are but some of the many important considerations that my colleagues and I feel warrant approval of our application for a classic rock FM station on frequency 102.1.
102's unduplicated music format will add significant programming diversity and
listener choice to
Classic 102's unique music format and locally relevant spoken word initiatives,
many of the unfulfilled listener needs and preferences of
826 The new classic rock station will help produce out‑of‑market tuning by repatriating listeners and drawing former listeners away from alternative audio options. This will result in new listeners and increased hours of tuning to local radio, without impacting on existing stations.
827 The listening public's desire for more choice, coupled with the commercial appeal of its classic rock format will result in new radio dollars being added to Medicine Hat's market with minimal impact on existing stations.
828 Approval of a new classic rock station will provide local and national advertisers with a more cost‑efficient advertising vehicle to target and serve Medicine Hat's maturing 25 to 54 adult population.
addition of Classic 102 will establish competitive balance within the
830 CJVR, if approved, will provide a minimum of $280,000 in direct spending on Canadian talent development initiatives ‑‑ development initiatives over the term of the licence, as well as 1.225 million budget for indirect on‑air expenditures.
102 will maximize the utilization of the 102.1 frequency by extending its
unduplicated classic rock format to serve the largely underserved 25 to 54
listenership spectrum within the
of Classic 102 will result in the creation of 16 full‑time and two part‑time
employment equity opportunities within
102, through its daily musical and spoken word programming, will reflect the
growing cultural diversity within
834 MR. FABRO: Madam Chair and Commissioners, my family believes that it is important to the public interest and to the ownership structure of Canada's private broadcasting system that voices of independent broadcasters be encouraged and maintained.
835 Equally, it is our view that motivated independent broadcasters, like CJVR, have an important and continuing role to play within western Canada's commercial radio sector at a time when ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated.
836 We are proud of what we've accomplished in Melfort, both in terms of quality of service that our radio stations provide to over 150,000 residents of over 100 communities throughout northeast Saskatchewan and the success that CJVR has experienced in our Canadian talent development endeavours.
837 Last month, CJVR had the privilege of launching CIXM Whitecourt. It is our hope that the Whitecourt launch represents the first of several FM stations that we'll have the honour of bringing to air in the coming months.
838 On behalf of my colleagues, I wish to thank the Commission for this opportunity to appear, and we respectfully ask for your approval of this application, which is central to CJVR's strategic broadcast plan.
839 We will be pleased to answer any questions that the panel may have. Thank you.
840 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Fabro. Should I address Mr. Singer with my questions, and then he can send them wherever he'd like.
841 I'm just going to be talking about programming. And you've said classic rock again here today, but in your Supplementary Brief at page 7, you actually talk about classic hits. That was a typo?
842 MR. SINGER: Yes, that would be, I apologize for that.
843 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And in terms of the mix that you're going to be using for classic rock because there's one that sort of skews older, and I must say, from the sounds of it, that one ‑‑ the clip that you provided us with had me liking it a lot better than I think my nephew would. Are you essentially trying to skew more to the 45‑plus or ‑‑ or where are you trying to skew that classic rock? Mr. Singer...?
844 MR. SINGER: I'll let Dean Sinclair speak to that point, Madam chair.
845 MR. SINCLAIR: Thank you, Ken.
846 Thank you, Madam Chair. The bullet for the station is essentially 35 to 44. The research in the market will show the interest for the format was 25 to 44, and a big part of that has to do with the absence of the format, in general, in the market in terms of rock music.
847 In the mixture, we tried to give you an example of how the station would sound. It is, as you mentioned earlier, a true classic rock station, and where it comes from, it draws music from the '60s, '70s, and predominantly '80s, so there's a real mixture of product in there.
848 The format itself is really artist‑driven. It's not a hit‑driven station unlike what a classic hits station would be. And, as such, with artists, it gives us a great example ‑‑ a great chance to play a lot of product from those artists over those decades. It's a deep‑track station, album‑oriented.
849 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what about the new music artists that would be on this ‑‑ on this ‑‑ on your format, would it be the emerging AOR or the new alternative rock, or modern? Mr. Sinclair...?
850 MR. SINCLAIR: Thank you, Madam Chair. I don't think we would close the door to anybody wanting to get airtime, but, essentially, we would ‑‑ there would be a combination of rock music, whatever form that may take, broad‑based rock, and there could be some pop artists that cross over as well too, but, essentially, we would want to stay within the rock genre.
851 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you ‑‑ and I'm going to go directly to Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Singer. Can you tell me what is different in your proposal as to format between yours and Harvard's, yours and Newcap's, yours and Vista, yours and Pat Lough, and the classic modern rock as proposed by Mr. Hildebrand?
852 MR. SINCLAIR: Absolutely. Thank you, Madam Chair. First of all, as we just talked about, the essence of this station is pure classic rock, so, predominantly, it's an older‑based station, '60s, '70s, '80s. It may creep up into the '90s. The good thing about the format is that it will add newer old music each year as, of course, the audience ages.
853 Just based on my interpretation of the other applications, what I see with Newcap, as Mr. Maheu said this morning, a combination of blended rock with classic rock and classic hits. The classic hits format is a wide interpretive format across Canada. But, essentially, by nature, classic hits is gold for top 40 stations from years ago, and top 40, by nature, played music from country, rock, and pop, but predominantly hit‑driven. So a classic hit station is an older version of that. I disagree with comments made earlier that it crosses over a lot with classic rock because it doesn't. It's more pop‑driven, so there are very big distinct differences between ‑‑ there's a little bit of overlap in terms of artists, but not in terms of the songs. So in their case, it would add that component of more classic hits music.
854 With respect, I believe, to the Vista application, Mr. Larsen's, the way that I read it, it does mention 35‑54 as a demo, but, again, focuses predominantly on '80s music. So in this case, you'd be missing with ‑‑ compared to ours, the '60s and the '70s music as well. I think there was a mention or a reference in there about K‑Tel albums and that, so that was more '80's‑driven.
855 With respect to Harvard's application, the demographic, as I read it, is 18‑49, so it's a bit younger. And you get that by adding in the modern and alternative formats as well. They're more new‑based, and so classic rock becomes maybe a bit of a spice format instead of a mainstream format in that particular application. We may call that a barbecue format.
856 In Rogers' ‑‑ Rogers', what I read was broad‑based rock, which was 25‑54, and it's probably closer in some ways to what we would do, although steps up a little more into the '90s music, so it's a little more current‑based. In other words, it would lop of anything prior to 1970 and add on things plus 1990. So there's two decades of difference between that application and the one that we're proposing.
857 Mr. Lough's application, again, not dissimilar to what I see with Newcap in where it blends hit music as well, the classic hits and also some alternative. I think there's a reference in there of going after 18 to 34 audience. That becomes a very broad radio station, as well, so ‑‑ they've also talked about playing some oldies, I believe, Sunday morning or something like that, so, again, that's astray from the format. I hope that helps.
858 THE CHAIRPERSON: And is there any ‑‑ can you distinguish yourselves from what Mr. Hildebrand described his format as today?
859 MR. SINGER: I'm sorry, I forgot about that. That was a new entry for us today to get down. It appears to us that it would lean more newer based. I have to tell you, I didn't quite get a grasp on the format entirely. It's sort of ‑‑ I don't think it would fall under our definition of popular music. It's certainly music out today, but popular, generally, is pop music, so they talked about more rock flavour. It seemed to be more current or newer‑based than it did on pure classic rock.
860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Spoken word. Now, I think, number one, I'm going to ask you if you can, within a week of today's hearing, provide us with the equivalent of Newcap's chart so that we have it in clear ‑‑ sort of an apples‑to‑apples comparison of spoken word programming, non‑news, and feature programming in minutes and hours. Could we have that, Mr. Singer?
861 MR. SINGER: No, problem, Madam Chair, we'll file that with you possibly even today.
‑‑‑ Undertaking / Engagement
862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Because I still was having problems counting minutes and hours when we were ‑‑ when you were talking today, but I want to start off with the inclusive broadcasting plan, and you referred to it again, and this inclusive plan seems to be largely based on volunteers. Is that the concept?
863 MR. SINGER: We have a ‑‑ I would say not primarily on volunteers, but it certainly would be an ingredient. Our plan to develop a number of community correspondents is ‑‑ it's an add‑on to our news resources in terms of our news department will be a full‑service news department and with three news people in it. But the correspondents are really our connection to these communities we propose to serve. These would be people that are residents of smaller communities and of Medicine Hat that are largely the ‑‑ involved with a lot of the events and organizations that are going on in those communities. We ‑‑ we, certainly, recognize that small communities ‑‑ I happen to live in one in Melfort, and it's difficult not to become very involved in just about anything that goes on in that community. So if you want to know about what's going on, talk to somebody that's on a committee or whatever. So it's our feeling that these correspondents would certainly be a go‑to for us to talk to them about events, functions that are planned for the area, and also to provide us with any information of news events in those communities, as well as ‑‑ but our news people will be digging those stories in addition to that.
864 THE CHAIRPERSON: So aside from the community volunteers, what else is involved in your inclusive broadcast plan?
865 MR. SINGER: Would you like me to go through the list one‑by‑one?
866 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'd like you to give me ‑‑ and I don't need descriptors, I just need to understand the skeleton of this plan?
867 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm, okay.
868 THE CHAIRPERSON: It includes community volunteers, number one, and then are you going to go into the specific programming that you've referred to? Is that ‑‑
869 MR. SINGER: Yes, our ‑‑
870 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
871 MR. SINGER: I have a list of spoken word programming initiatives that we have outlined in our Brief.
872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, and you'll give that to me in the chart. So what else, then, is the inclusive broadcast plan? You have the community volunteers, the spoken word programming. Is there anything else in this inclusive broadcast plan?
873 MR. SINGER: Well, I guess it's the sum total of our spoken word programming, which, as you mentioned, is indicated in features such as Community Connections, Culturally Speaking, our community perspective programs.
874 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, yes.
875 MR. SINGER: Yes.
876 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have three people in the newsroom, a station producer, an in‑studio producer, and another person. What will that job ‑‑ what will that job be called, just reporter, I guess?
877 MR. SINGER: The news department will be a news director and reporters. The in‑studio producer is more on the commercial side ‑‑
878 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, on the creative stuff.
879 MR. SINGER: ‑‑ our commercial producer, yes.
880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So what I need to figure out is I am living in Suffield, and I am your community correspondent, and I want to tell you about what's going on in Suffield.
881 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Who do I contact to relay this information?
883 MR. SINGER: Our news director would be the one that coordinates these correspondents' information.
884 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
885 MR. SINGER: Now, we also have ‑‑ we'll have a website as well and an opportunity for e‑mails and listener feedback as well, but ‑‑
886 THE CHAIRPERSON: And, again, that's the responsibility of the news director?
887 MR. SINGER: Correct.
888 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And I am phoning in, and I am talking about some activity, and I guess what I do is I either ‑‑ you either tape me, or you read what I say in my e‑mail?
889 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that what happens in terms of these ‑‑
891 MR. SINGER: There would be ‑‑ as we develop these correspondents, our plan would be that we would have some training with them as to the type of material, the ‑‑ just, you know, the ‑‑ I guess the format of the information that we require from them, and it wouldn't always be someone out in a community picking up the phone and calling us, we may ‑‑ our news department may be alerted there's something going on at Suffield, as you pointed out, and pick up the call ‑‑ pick up the phone and talk to any number. We don't propose to have only one person there, we might have several, depending on the size of the community. But, most definitely, there would be a training and an orientation type of a process with these individuals.
892 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So that's ‑‑ that was what I was headed for.
893 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
894 THE CHAIRPERSON: There will be a training before these people do this?
895 MR. SINGER: Yes, there would be, and we're not suggesting that they would be ‑‑ you know, have the same abilities that a trained journalist would have, but, you know, we want to hear their perspective as a resident of that community, more or less, give us the high points of this item. We may use a part of their voice clip, we may do the whole thing, but, really, it would be driven by ‑‑ more like an interview process more than develop a story and file it with us.
896 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay. So how would you select these people?
897 MR. SINGER: I think the number one thing is we would ‑‑ it doesn't take long to find out who the potential people are in these communities, as I say. And, you know, in Melfort, where we operate two radio stations, we have developed such a rapport with the over 100 communities we serve. We do know people in those communities, and they know us, and we've really developed this over the period of time that we have kind of go‑to list, and if a really bad storm strikes in a certain area, our news department has a list of people that they know live in that area that they can pick up the phone and ask them what the condition is there specifically, as opposed to assuming that it's a widespread storm or whatever. And, certainly, that's ‑‑ you know, as I say, we ‑‑ on the air, we encourage people. If you have something going on in your community, let us know. Or over the period of time, we get to know who these organizers of these various events are, and, as I say, they're from all walks of life, teachers, lawyers, doctors, homemakers, farmers. We definitely have a broad range of contacts, so ‑‑
898 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if I described this as a rolodex ‑‑
899 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
900 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ in order to be able to have somebody to phone on each and every issue ‑‑
901 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
902 THE CHAIRPERSON: How far would I be wrong?
903 MR. SINGER: Well, for sure we would certainly keep a database of the type of that listing, but I think from the point of view of recognizing that, you know, today we talked to Mary Smith from, you know, this organization in that community. I think when others hear that, they say, hey, I've got a story to tell too, and that's been our experience. They pick up the phone, and, say, you know, we'd like to tell you about what's going on in our community as well. So it's kind of ‑‑ it starts with ‑‑
904 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's not that they do the programming at all?
905 MR. SINGER: Oh, no, no.
906 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's that your news people do the programming ‑‑
907 MR. SINGER: Yes.
908 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ they have the list of the people and their phone numbers, and they phone them for comments, and they may or may not use them. Is that ‑‑ is that where I ‑‑
909 MR. SINGER: But at the same time, what I'm saying is I think that there's information coming to us that's unsolicited as well because there's a pride in these communities and these smaller organizations that don't have this type of local coverage. If you pick up any weekly newspaper in Saskatchewan or in Alberta to that ‑‑ as far as that goes, you'll see that kind of pride. You'll see little stories that say, gee, that's not necessarily hard news, but it certainly is something worthy of sharing with the rest of the residents in the area. And, definitely, I think the contribution to those types of stories is ‑‑ usually just starts with, gee, I better let, you know, the radio station know about this because they have this program that profiles communities and events going on. So it's ‑‑ I guess it's a step beyond just taking a fax or an e‑mail from somebody that said there is going to be this event on, and here's what's going on. We're trying to find some people that are involved in the community who can tell us their story about that event. So, I think, yes, we will call out and ask questions, but we'll also be answering the phone and the e‑mails and the fax from people that are contributing this without being solicited.
910 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at the end of the day, my concern is with who retains editorial control, and who ensures adherence to all the standards?
911 MR. SINGER: That is the responsibility of us, as broadcasters, to ‑‑
912 THE CHAIRPERSON: So in terms of your inclusive broadcast plan with these ‑‑ I'm going to call them community correspondents ‑‑
913 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
914 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ who is the one who retains ‑‑ what person in your chart is retaining responsibility for the control and adherence?
915 MR. SINGER: It would be the news director and his staff.
916 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And what kind of qualifications would you be looking at in terms of the news director and their staff in order to ensure that there would be compliance with the standards?
917 MR. SINGER: Our news directors certainly have ‑‑ they've got to have, you know, some experience for sure, but they've been trained in their orientation to work with us. They fully understand the parameters of what we expect from our news department, and the news director recruits and develops his or her news people as well, so that training is passed on.
918 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. You see, when I read your Brief, I thought that ‑‑ and I've been talking about the news, but I'm going to move into the longer form programming, this Culturally Speaking, and I had ‑‑ I've got to say nightmares about somebody getting on and saying something incredibly anti‑Muslim because we have a community person who, you know, strongly believes his beliefs, but that you were just going to sort of let it go.
919 MR. SINGER: No, no.
920 THE CHAIRPERSON: So Culturally Speaking will be a news gathering from these community correspondents, but then the actual production of that will be done by your news people?
921 MR. SINGER: It's not exclusive to gathering from the correspondents. Culturally Speaking is a ‑‑ it's a reflection of what's going on in our listening area. So, in some cases, we may have a correspondent, in some cases we may not. We may have picked up on something that's going on from another source.
922 THE CHAIRPERSON: But at the end of the day, my point is it's not volunteer programmed?
923 MR. SINGER: No, no, it's not.
924 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And neither is your other community programming that you referred to? There was another ‑‑ Community Connections?
925 MR. SINGER: Correct.
926 THE CHAIRPERSON: That will not be ‑‑
927 MR. SINGER: It's not programmed by the correspondents, it's programmed by our news director's news team who will develop the story and the final on‑air product.
928 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. If I can take you to your letter of August 17, and I just needed to get ‑‑ it's answer C.
929 MR. SINGER: Concerning the hours of local programming?
930 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, the hours of live to air. When will that 14 percent of the broadcast week be automated, as you say, or voice tracked?
931 MR. SINGER: Our proposal is Monday through Friday we will be live 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., so 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be the ‑‑ we'll use voice tracking.
932 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it will be two hours Monday to Friday, eight to ten, that will be voice tracked?
933 MR. SINGER: Correct ‑‑ or ten to ‑‑ I'm sorry, ten to midnight.
934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, yes.
935 MR. SINGER: It's six to ten live, ten to midnight voice tracked.
936 THE CHAIRPERSON: Correct, yes. At page 62 of your Supplementary Brief, you were talking about critical weather extremes, and you don't have to go to that. Is there anybody in the station ‑‑ would there be anybody in the station 24 hours a day?
937 MR. SINGER: No, there would not, but what we have in place in our present newsrooms is a plan of when such weather strikes, we have got a plan that we bring people in immediately if it is a time when we don't have someone in the newsroom, and that includes not just news staff, it includes extra programming staff. Really at the ‑‑ we have a ‑‑ I guess it's an emergency weather plan more or less, and we call it a snow desk plan in the winter months, but with the way the weather can be unpredictable at other times of the year, it would apply there as well.
938 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. So then you talk about an emergency advisory service at page 70.
939 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
940 THE CHAIRPERSON: And if I can refer to it, you talk about it ‑‑ well, what I want to figure out is how it works. Page 70 at the top whereby, "Its broadcasting facilities will, in times of emergency, be available 24/7 to all levels of government and attendant agencies when it may be critical." Do you have a protocol for this?
941 MR. SINGER: Our intention here is that given a licence, an opportunity to operate in a new community, is ‑‑ we would work immediately to coordinate with the emergency measures organizations, amateur radio operators clubs, kind of plug into the whole infrastructure of what a community does when there is a disaster of any sort, and just make our radio station ‑‑ our transmitter available to them in terms of where can we play a role, and, you know, to what degree. If it means dropping our programming totally and just carrying public service announcements of what to do in an emergency situation, that we would ‑‑ we would spearhead the coordination of those types of measures, and, certainly, I respect that there's a lot of communities that may have this in place already, but as a broadcasting outlet, we would just like to make it very clear that we're there to serve and play our role in, you know, getting the message out to the people in our listening area.
942 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you don't necessarily have a protocol established ‑‑
943 MR. SINGER: Not a ‑‑
944 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ say, within your present licence ‑‑ with your present licencees?
945 MR. SINGER: No, we do not.
946 THE CHAIRPERSON: No? Because I can see, frankly, the Boy Scouts, you know, I mean, if you take it to sort of the extreme, wanting to take over your airwaves and, you know, sort of Captain Smith, you know, wants to make sure everybody should be looking out for, you know, Jimmy Jones because he threw a rock through a window. And so I guess my concern is with having a protocol that sort of tightly retains the licencee's control over the station.
947 MR. SINGER: The ‑‑ this would be developed very carefully with the authorities. I mean, the police, obviously ‑‑ we're talking about a major emergency situation here.
948 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you define that?
949 MR. SINGER: Well, and that, again, is ‑‑ it would be a part of our plan to develop ‑‑
950 THE CHAIRPERSON: Should it be harm to life, or should it be harm to property?
951 MR. SINGER: Safety. Harm to ‑‑ you know, safety issues, certainly health issues, that type of thing. If ‑‑
952 THE CHAIRPERSON: Harm to property? A tornado that only harms property?
953 MR. SINGER: Well, certainly. I would consider that to be a role where we, as broadcasters, could play a very important role in helping people cope with that.
954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm. Now, how many programmers are you planning on hiring?
955 MR. SINGER: How many ‑‑
956 THE CHAIRPERSON: Programmers?
957 MR. SINGER: ‑‑ programmers? We will have one program director who will also be our morning host. You're talking about a program director?
958 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm talking about programmers, people in the cage from 6 a.m. until ‑‑
959 MR. SINGER: Oh, oh, on‑air staff?
960 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ 10 p.m., yes.
961 MR. SINGER: I'll let Linda Rheaume run you through our staff lineup because Linda has a chart on it.
962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, good enough.
963 MS RHEAUME: Thank you, Ken.
964 Madam Chair, our plan is to have a programming department consisting of, as Ken has already said a news team with one news director and two news ‑‑ sports reporters. The on‑air team consisting of a program director, who would be the a.m. announcer, a midday announcer, a p.m. announcer, and two swing announcers, one being a part‑time. Those would be actual on‑air announcers.
965 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. I want to go back to these volunteers for a moment. I guess I'm trying to think. It appears ‑‑ what size is Melville [sic]?
966 MR. SINGER: Melfort?
967 THE CHAIRPERSON: Melfort, yes, sorry.
968 MR. SINGER: Melfort is just under 6,000.
969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I ask myself if the larger the community, the less available sort of volunteers would be ‑‑
970 MR. SINGER: Mmhmm.
971 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ because they get involved in different things, and, certainly, in a ‑‑ in a building community, you know, I'm sure the unemployment or the employment rate or the unemployment rate in Lethbridge is ‑‑ or in Medicine Hat is very low. So I ask myself, if the kind of smaller town, prairie community volunteer concept would be able to graft itself on the Hat in terms of sort of a different dynamic there?
972 MR. SINGER: I think that there ‑‑ you know, there may be ‑‑ in a younger demographic, there might be a little different dynamic. Our former mayor has just moved to Medicine Hat. I think he'd make a great correspondent for us because he certainly knows community life, but I think you've got to look within a community of Medicine Hat as pockets of smaller communities, not the big picture. You know, we're talking about organizations here, I guess, if you'd want to identify them. I mean, you might be the head of the Kinsmen organization in Medicine Hat. Well, you know, if there's Kinsmen activities and things going on, well, that's our correspondent for the Kinsmen community. And, you know, within Medicine Hat, I think there's quite a few like that. But I'm talking about, as well, beyond Medicine Hat are the small, you know, communities of several hundred, not several thousand people. And, again, it's something that we feel that with promotion, some of those are going to come out of the woodwork and say, hey, count me in, I'd like to share some information about what we're doing.
973 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mmhmm, okay. Are you planning on any programming synergies between your existing stations with this proposed station?
974 MR. SINGER: Yes, we most definitely are, and before ‑‑ I'll let Linda speak to the actual positions, but one of the ‑‑ the key synergies to us is we would have some cross‑training opportunities here between our other radio stations.
975 THE CHAIRPERSON: The question was programming synergies.
976 MR. SINGER: Programming synergies, we do have a number of positions. I'll let Linda speak to those.
977 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I was just talking about synergies in programming.
978 MR. SINGER: Oh, oh, the actual format? I'm sorry.
979 THE CHAIRPERSON: Programming synergies, please.
980 MR. SINGER: I don't ‑‑ like, we're ‑‑ we don't currently operate a classic rock format on any of our stations, so as far as musical programming, no. The closest thing to it would be our format in Melfort on our oldies AM station. I suppose there's some degree of sharing there, but from the point of view of, I guess, production for our programming, the production elements of our programming, yes, there would be some synergies that ‑‑ for example, we might produce a promo for Medicine Hat in our Melfort production studio and so on.
981 THE CHAIRPERSON: Voicing?
982 MR. SINGER: Yes. But actual programming elements, no. The news direction and I guess the style of news we do, there's some synergies there from a news point of view in terms of sharing stories between our ‑‑ especially our new Whitecourt station and Medicine Hat. There would be some synergies in an exchange of stories that are Alberta, and where Saskatchewan and Alberta stories could be tied together as well, there would be some synergies in that area.
983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, Ms Rheaume, the operating synergies.
984 MS RHEAUME: Thank you. With sharing stations, there are certain positions that would be shared, especially the admin side, the traffic, our two ‑‑ and ones that will for sure be shared between the two stations ‑‑ or three stations. With Whitecourt, we already do that. Our engineer will share responsibilities with our Melfort and Whitecourt and, hopefully, Medicine Hat. Other synergies that are ‑‑ we have already used between Melfort and Whitecourt is our music director programming and helping both with the country music format. That may not be as available with the Medicine Hat synergy that way, but we ‑‑ you know, we see it between Melfort and Whitecourt. I believe, you know, those are the positions where we see, and then as Ken had mentioned as well, the training of our people, we, you know, sent ‑‑ we use those synergies. When we started Whitecourt, we sent the news director to Whitecourt to help train, you know, to fit into our style of radio. As well as our producer went there, and our promotions manager went there to help train those people. So I feel we would probably do that the same way in Medicine Hat.
985 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The Canadian content. It appears that in your application and in your Supplementary Brief you did not refer to the fact that you would be exceeding the regulatory requirement of Canadian content. And, apparently, now, and I noticed, you have said that you would adhere to a COL for 40 percent?
986 MR. SINGER: Correct.
987 THE CHAIRPERSON: Normally in competing proceedings, we're not open to people revising their commitments, especially something like this, at the hearing because we end up in a bidding war. Would you care to comment on this?
988 MR. SINGER: I have to be honest with you. We, Madam Chair, all along, had the plan to be at 40 percent, and in preparing for this hearing, we recognized that in no place had we written that down on the actual application. It ‑‑ it was added to our presentation today, most definitely. I was certain we had made an indication of that in our application, but I ‑‑ somebody else discovered it. Nobody has pointed it out to me yet, but we have not found it in there.
989 THE CHAIRPERSON: How would you feel if this happened to another party and you were sitting in the back of the room ‑‑