ARCHIVÉ - Transcription de l'audience
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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Various broadcasting applications /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
Best Western Mariposa Inn
400 Memorial Avenue
January 27, 2009
Best Western Mariposa Inn
400, avenue Memorial
Le 27 janvier 2009
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Various broadcasting applications /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Rita Cugini Chairperson / Présidente
Suzanne Lamarre Commissioner / Conseillère
Peter Menzies Commissioner / Conseiller
Candice Molnar Commissioner / Conseillère
Marc Patrone Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Lynda Roy Secretary / Secretaire
Francine Laurier-Guy Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
Eric Bowles Legal Counsel /
Best Western Mariposa Inn
400 Memorial Avenue
January 27, 2009
Best Western Mariposa Inn
400, avenue Memorial
Le 27 janvier 2009
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PHASE I (cont.)
PRESENTATION BY / PRÉSENTATION PAR:
|Frank Torres (OBCI)||333 / 2145|
|Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.||405 / 2547|
|Instant Information Services Inc.||467 / 3018|
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
|Larche Communications Inc.||503 / 3215|
|Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd.||520 / 3306|
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
|Joseph Evans||536 / 3406|
|Newplace Reading Services||550 / 3495|
|Women's Habitat||565 / 3586|
|Wellcraft Music||621 / 3952|
Gatineau, Quebec / Gatineau (Québec)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 0832 / L'audience reprend le mardi 27 janvier 2009 à 0832
2138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everyone. Sorry for the slight delay.
2139 I would like to make one housekeeping announcement before we start. We have to attend to some CRTC business this afternoon, so we will be adjourning the hearing no later than 3 p.m. today.
2140 Madam Secretary.
2141 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. We will now proceed with Item 6, which is an application by Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, for a licence to operate an English‑language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Orillia.
2142 The new station would operate on Frequency 89.1 MHz, Channel 206B1, with an average effective radiated power of 5,600 watts, maximum effective radiated power of 14,740 watts, with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 130 metres.
2143 Appearing for the Applicant is Mr. Ed Torres.
2144 Please introduce your colleagues, and you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2145 MR. E. TORRES: Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, and Commission Staff. My name is Ed Torres, and I am the President and co‑founder of Skywords Radio. I am also the Chairman of Torres Media Ottawa.
2146 I would like to begin by thanking the Commission for entertaining our application for a new female‑oriented adult contemporary format FM radio licence to serve Orillia.
2147 Please allow me to introduce our panel.
2148 Seated to my right is my brother Frank Torres. Frank is the Chief Operations Officer at Skywords. Together we founded Skywords in 1991. Today it is a national radio company, with offices in several Canadian major markets, including Ottawa, Halifax and Markham, and our newest base of operations in Edmonton.
2149 To my left is Robyn Metcalfe. Robyn is the Vice‑President of Programming at Skywords.
2150 To the right of Frank is Yves Trottier, the former Operations Director at Couleur fm in Gatineau. He held various PD positions prior to joining Skywords as the General Manager of Quebec Operations.
2151 A slight change of seating plan, just to accommodate the microphones ‑‑ Todd Bernard is joining us in the front row. He is seated to your far left, and he is the General Manager of Eastern Canada Operations for Skywords, and a part owner of this application.
2152 In the second row, seated directly behind me, is Ron Ford. Ron is a chartered accountant, and the Chief Financial Officer for Skywords.
2153 To the left of Ron is Aubrey Clarke, Director of Business Development for Skywords, and former National Sales Manager.
2154 Let me start by saying that on August 26th the Commission granted this group its first broadcast licence. Radio Station CIDG FM was to broadcast from the nation's capital, and would have been the first all‑blues format commercial radio station in North America. That application is being reheard, as I am sure you are aware, at the end of March. If accepted, we expect to realize a number of operational synergies between DAWG FM Ottawa and SHORE FM Orillia.
2155 Today our presentation will illustrate that Orillia can sustain an additional entrant to the market, that we will increase plurality and provide a new independent news voice for Orillia, that our national network operations provide a natural infrastructure and will assist us to fulfill our strategic plan of becoming a national Canadian broadcaster, and that we provide a missing, highly desired radio option to listeners in the region.
2156 Our format will appeal to female listeners and repatriate listeners to the Orillia market that currently tune to out‑of‑market stations.
2157 Our formal research was carried out by Mann Media, an award‑winning media company, with over 20 years' experience in the Canadian radio industry.
2158 MR. BERNARD: The Orillia region's economy is diversified over many sectors, including but not limited to agriculture, forestry, mining, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance, professional and educational services, accommodation, health care, and, finally, arts, entertainment and recreation.
2159 This diverse list of employment sectors will help the region's economy through these difficult economic times.
2160 In the Orillia area, the manufacturing sector, one of the hardest hit in Canada, particularly in the automotive industry, is slightly below the national average. Thus, the region's broad diversification in other employment areas will be of benefit, as no single employment sector will bear the brunt of the downturns brought on by the current global situation.
2161 The Economic Development Committee for the City of Orillia is currently working on a five‑year strategic plan, which is expected to be released by late spring, but in a recent conversation with the City's Manager of Economic Development, Mr. Robert Lamb indicated that despite the current global downturn, he foresees a strong year ahead.
2162 There are currently large investments being made in the construction sector. The City is investing $9 million on the Westridge Boulevard expansion project, and is also building a new twin‑pad arena. The current expansion of Lakehead University is a $35 million to $40 million dollar project that will see a permanent campus completed on an 85 acre parcel of land.
2163 In addition to these projects, the recent grand opening of the new WalMart Superstore will create approximately 150 new jobs. Construction is also underway on a new Giant Tiger store that is expected to employee an additional 80 to 90 people, many of which will be full‑time positions. There is also ongoing construction of a new Shoppers Drug Mart store that will employ between 30 and 40 full and part‑time workers.
2164 Mr. Lamb also commented that the Kubota Corporation, one of the region's largest employers, is in a healthy state. With over 300 employees, Kubota currently has well over one year's worth of orders to fill in the company's Castings division, which supplies parts for the global oil, gas, and pipeline industries.
2165 Polyethics Industries is a home‑grown Orillia plastics company that is a world leader in the production of biodegradable plastic bags. The company is currently constructing a new on‑site building, as well as expanding its existing production facility. The company has grown from 35 employees five years ago to over 100 at this time.
2166 Another of the region's large employers is the Ontario Provincial Police General Headquarters, which is considered to be generally recession‑proof, which is further good news for the City's population.
2167 Similarly, Casino Rama, the City's single largest employer, with over 3,000 staff, including 1500 city residents, has to this point faired well in the current economy and has had no significant job losses to its staffing levels.
2168 Orillia has a population of 40,532, as per the 2006 Census. This represents a 5.7 percent increase over the 2001 survey, and is 5.6 percent higher than the national average.
2169 The region's largest demographic group is adults, aged 25 to 54 years, accounting for 39 percent of the population. Furthermore, the key 25 to 49 female group accounts for over half of the female population aged 20‑plus.
2170 Therefore, the fact that more than half of the region's females over 20 years lies in the key 25 to 49 cell, combined with Orillia's growth rate of 5.6 percent above the national average, shows that Orillia's demographics strongly support our proposed adult contemporary format.
2171 MR. F. TORRES: SHORE FM retained the services of Mann Media, an award‑winning media company, with over 20 years' experience in the Canadian radio industry. Mann Media researched population statistics, listening trends, BBM ratings, and Census data in order to determine the demand for a new music format and to determine which music format would most likely succeed in the community.
2172 Population demographics in Orillia skew female with 2006 Census indicating a 52 percent to 48 percent weight in favour of females. Age demographics skew significantly older than the provincial median, with the Orillia median age of 43.2 compared to the provincial average of 39.
2173 The majority of the population, 39 percent, lies in the critical adult 25 to 54 demographic. This clearly indicates that a new radio service should suit an older demographic, skewing female.
2174 Broad‑based popular music formats with a firm commitment to local spoken word content are ideally suited to small markets. Statistics Canada CANSIM, Canada's key socioeconomic database, confirms this assertion in its radio listenership database, signifying that adult contemporary music formats rate almost 10 percentage points higher than the next most listened to radio format.
2175 The Radio Marketing Bureau indicates that radio tuning for women 35 to 54 is above average for all day parts and that, "Radio is a significant medium in their daily lives keeping them entertained and informed."
2176 Eighty seven percent of females 35 to 54 indicated that their time listening to radio increased or stayed the same in the past year. This confirms a strong brand loyalty to radio among SHORE FM's key demographic.
2177 In the Fall 2007 BBM Survey, CICX‑FM, Orillia's only incumbent commercial broadcaster, reached an average of 18.3 percent/12‑plus in Orillia.
2178 This indicates that the vast majority of Orillia listenership tunes out of market for their music, entertainment and spoken word information content.
2179 Out‑of‑market tuning choices include four stations in Barrie, as well as weaker signals from Collingwood, Huntsville, Midland, and a number of signals from Toronto.
2180 These facts reflect the need for another radio choice that is dedicated to providing residents of Orillia with locally relevant content for news, weather, traffic, and sports, combined with a desired music format.
2181 A mainstream adult contemporary radio station will repatriate a significant audience, which in turn will build a secure financial future for both the radio station and the local retail business sector.
2182 The research clearly indicates that the Orillia market is ideally suited for a broad‑based adult contemporary music format, skewing female, with a high level of local spoken word content.
2183 MS METCALFE: SHORE FM will be more than a radio station, it will be a community, a community of listeners and a community of employees that will come together in a positive and enjoyable workplace.
2184 As a programmer, I look for people with a passion for radio, with a team mentality, who will work together to come up with great products and amazing radio. The station's people are key to building a community connection, and we will partner with the community to create a radio station that is locally focused.
2185 It has been my experience over the past 10 years that female talent is in very high demand in the radio industry. I have hired and trained female talent throughout the many years I have served as Vice‑President of Programming at Skywords. Skywords' female announcers are a great asset to our radio station affiliates. In some cases they become part of the show and serve as co‑hosts. In many cases our affiliate stations like our talent so much that they eventually offer them positions as full‑fledged hosts or co‑hosts.
2186 Skywords' trained female broadcasters can be found on the Weather Network, TSN, CBC, Virgin Radio, and the list goes on.
2187 My vision for SHORE FM is to have a female‑hosted morning show, a female Program Director and female News Director. I believe that programming by females for females is an important method that will attract the type of audience we are trying to reach.
2188 SHORE FM will cover local, regional and national news stories, but we will always be mindful of a female angle to each story. Our local sports, similarly, will focus on the youth of Orillia ‑‑ minor hockey and high school sports will be featured prominently.
2189 The morning show will be hosted by a female announcer, and will cover the day‑to‑day issues that are important to our listeners. Topics like health, wellness, finances, child psychology, music and fashion will dominate our morning shows.
2190 I am proud to highlight the fact that our station will be a good corporate citizen, engaged and connected with our community, and environmentally responsible. We take pride in proposing that SHORE FM will be a CARBON‑neutral radio station.
2191 MR. TROTTIER: Our station will share a close relationship with the community. In fact, we have invented a new format for that. After the success of the Triple A format throughout North America, the Torres Group is proud to present Triple L. You have surely said to yourselves, "Not another format from these guys!" We can reassure you right way, Triple L is simply "local, local and local" ‑‑ 4 hours and 22 minutes of pure news, and 19 hours and 10 minutes of spoken word.
2192 The true strength of our station will be its presence in the community. This will become apparent after listening to SHORE FM for a few hours. You will know without a doubt that this station is originating from Orillia and nowhere else. Yes, we will provide a Triple L service to the population of Orillia and its surrounding area.
2193 Our company will embrace spoken word programming and will allocate the required resources to give Orillia a high‑quality level of news.
2194 Our AC format will be made up of popular music that appeals to active adults, especially woman 35 to 54.
2195 The sound of SHORE FM will be more youthful and energetic than a traditional AC format radio station. Our radio station will play a wide variety of well‑know Canadian artists like Sarah McLachlan, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Jann Arden and Chantal Kreviazuk. Our playlist will also include adult contempory Standards like James Blunt, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, Sheryl Crow and Elton John.
2196 Simply, the music will reflect today's most recognized artists and include the most popular selections from the seventies, eighties and nineties.
2197 We also believe in the appeal and relevance that Canadian artists bring to radio. That is why we will accept as Condition of Licence to play a minimum of 40 percent Canadian content between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and over the entire broadcast week.
2198 SHORE FM will be the soundtrack of everyday life for the people of Orillia, with shows programmed for the different parts of the day. For example, "Request Lunch Time" will feature listener requests and interaction by phone and e‑mail, designed to give listeners a chance to have their input into daily programming.
2199 Middays will be music intensive.
2200 Weekends will focus on special events, and offer special programming that will help to achieve the overall female‑oriented sound of the station.
2201 MR. FORD: In support of the fact that the Skywords Group has made multiple radio licence applications as part of our national radio network vision and strategy, we would like to outline our financial strength and capacity.
2202 We had reached an agreement with Mr. Joe Dwek and his company to finance the building and start‑up operations of a number of radio stations in preparation of our business plan to embark on this national radio network strategy prior to making these applications. Mr. Dwek, a chartered accountant, whose CA firm performs the annual year‑end review of Skywords Traffic, demonstrates his confidence of the business acumen of the Skywords Group by his acceptance of the financing arrangement.
2203 Upon the granting of the Ottawa/Gatineau licence, we began discussions with our corporate commercial bankers to explore the optimal use of our internal resources to fund the new radio station. The bankers had presented a favourable financing agreement when the suspension of our Ottawa/Gatineau licence was announced.
2204 This financing agreement, which is now on hold, would enable us to finance Ottawa/Gatineau operations without needing to access the third party funds provided by Mr. Dwek and his company. This further demonstrates our financial strength.
2205 MR. CLARKE: Our Canadian Content Development has been carefully designed to provide funding and promotion to Canadian national talent and nurture the future of musical development in Orillia.
2206 FACTOR will receive $10,000 dollars in funding annually for the first seven years of operation, a total contribution of $70,000.
2207 The Chippewa of Georgina Island will receive $15,000 dollars in funding annually for the first seven years of operation, a total contribution of $105,000.
2208 The funds will be used to develop a musical program for youth at risk from the Chippewa of Georgian Island who are attending elementary or high school off reserve in Sutton, Ontario. The intent of the program is to give these students an enjoyable program that will encourage them to remain in school and help ensure regular attendance.
2209 The Rama Mnjikaning First Nation will receive $10,000 dollars in funding annually for the first seven years of operation, a total contribution of $70,000.
2210 The funds would be used in the Rama Kendaaswin Elementary School's instrumental music program to assist with the purchase of musical instruments for students in Grades 1 through 8.
2211 The Beausoliel First Nation will receive $15,000 dollars in funding annually for the first seven years of operation, a total contribution of $105,000.
2212 The funds are intended to be used as a scholarship program for select students at Christian Island Elementary to take professional music instruction. The funds will cover the cost of instruction, as well as the cost of acquiring instruments, as required.
2213 The total CCD contribution is $350,000, with a minimum over and above contribution of $50,000.
2214 MR. F. TORRES: Once licensed, SHORE FM will immediately apply to Industry Canada for experimental approval in order to commence testing an IBOC digital transmission to provide additional programming in the region.
2215 Subcarrier channels can be used to provide text information like artist and song names, traffic and weather, and programming targeted to the hearing impaired community.
2216 IBOC digital technology provides enhanced sound fidelity and improved reception, eliminating the static, hiss, pops and fades associated with today's radio caused by conditions known as multipath, atmospheric conditions and interference.
2217 The advantages of digital radio are not limited to sound quality. IBOC radio services will compete with and reduce the migration of listeners to other forms of digital broadcasts like satellite, iPods and MP3's. These platforms have been proven to fragment radio listenership, particularly young demographics that are attracted to cutting edge technology.
2218 The use of IBOC also increases the potential to realize non‑traditional revenue sources for the broadcaster. Program‑associated data sources can be used to enhance programming and provide an increased value proposition to advertisers and listeners alike.
2219 Because IBOC is transmitted in conjunction with the radio station's FM signal, listeners have the choice of receiving the pre‑existing analog signal initially, and then eventually upgrading to a digital receiver, thus providing access to the full range of digital offerings that the station makes available.
2220 HD radio receivers are available right now at prices comparable to a low end iPod docking station or a medium quality clock radio.
2221 At the present time, over 1,800 radio stations in the United States broadcast on IBOC, with an astounding 83 percent of Americans having access to digital radio via IBOC.
2222 Implementation of IBOC transmissions is relatively easy. Over 63 manufacturers produce IBOC receivers, and transmit equipment costs are comparable to FM transmitter capital costs. Competition from various emerging manufacturers is providing better quality and choice, while driving capital costs down and improving overall performance.
2223 SHORE FM would be proud to lead the field of commercial broadcasters into the digital era.
2224 MR. E. TORRES: The approval of this application will add a mainstream format that is not currently available in this market. The format will repatriate listeners to an Orillia‑based station, and female listeners back to radio.
2225 Further, our station will take a leadership role in the promotion of HD radio through IBOC, thus giving Canadians greater access to specialized programming and giving Canadian consumers greater choice in music and radio programs.
2226 Finally, the approval of this application will strengthen our core broadcast business and generate economies of scale and other synergies from operations.
2227 This concludes our oral presentation, and we look forward to your questions.
2228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Torres and your colleagues, for your presentation this morning.
2229 Commissioner Patrone will lead the questioning.
2230 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair, and good morning all.
2231 I want to begin with a statement that was made by Mr. Ford, just for a matter of clarification. It is on page 13 of your presentation. It says:
"The bankers had presented a favourable financing agreement when the suspension of our Ottawa/Gatineau licence was announced."
2232 As I was looking at that statement, it got me wondering about whether or not it was the very suspension of that that prompted the banks to take that action. In other words, assuming that Ottawa/Gatineau ends up becoming a reality for your group, will you be in a position to handle, say, a second start‑up, in terms of financing and the rest of it?
2233 Or, did I misread that sentence?
2234 MR. E. TORRES: Maybe we will clarify that. Ron was at the meetings.
2235 The timing was actually very coincidental.
2236 And this was, of course, happening ‑‑ we will frame it ‑‑ in, possibly, the worst time of the global economic crisis, the period between August and November.
2237 The licence was issued in August. We immediately went to our commercial bankers to put a financing arrangement in place, and that deal was approved, and they were actually headed to sign it ‑‑ they were headed to our offices on November 21st when the Heritage Minister sent out his press release.
2238 So the timing was very coincidental.
2239 Just to clarify, that shows that we were able to achieve that level of financing because of our stability, and based on the track record that we have with our bank at Skywords.
2240 They were happy to put forward the funds.
2241 We haven't gone to the initial source for our funding, but that is still there, reserved for other applications. However, we are confident that not only could we get financing approved by the bank for Ottawa/Gatineau again, going forward, but that we would probably approach the bank again to finance a second or third radio station.
2242 Ron, you might want to comment on that. Have I missed anything?
2243 MR. FORD: I think that, as part of the meeting we had with the banker, his final comment was: When the dust settles, you can always come back to us to have another look at the financing.
2244 So the suspension of the licence has a direct effect on what they are saying.
2245 To answer your question, I think that we had gone to the commercial banks to see whether we needed, on our own, resources ‑‑ whether we were able to finance the operations without having to go to the in‑place financing that we had with Mr. Dwek.
2246 MR. E. TORRES: And part of the reason for that was, again, that the borrowing costs the bank was presenting were very favourable, and we have an existing relationship with them.
2247 What we really wanted to do with our Ottawa/Gatineau operation, because it was our first licence, was that we really wanted to put that on the air in short order. We wanted to get it up as fast as possible. So it was easier to go to our existing commercial banker, whom we had already dealt with, and proceed along that route, and then things went off the rails.
2248 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: As you know, obviously, the economic situation around the world has deteriorated somewhat since your group was able to secure financing for the other endeavour.
2249 The reason why I asked, of course, was to find out if, in fact, your group felt comfortable enough in launching two undertakings of this type, were you in the position of being licensed to do so.
2250 MR. E. TORRES: That is an excellent question.
2251 I think what our experience with Ottawa/Gatineau has shown us is that there are your application costs, which you put forward, but you have to be ready, and you have to have a going concern to finance what can happen, what the potential is.
2252 It is a question that we have been asked before at hearings: What happens if your business plan doesn't work out?
2253 The simple answer is: You have to increase your equity position to make the business plan work.
2254 That is what we have done, but we have the backstop, which is Skywords, to provide that additional strength.
2255 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I am going to have a few more economic questions regarding your business case a little later on, Mr. Torres, but I want to begin by asking you a little bit about diversity.
2256 Could you tell the panel how your proposed mainstream AC station will be distinct in terms of music and spoken word perspectives, and what distinguishes your application in that regard from other proposals we have heard?
2257 MR. E. TORRES: Sure. Commissioner Patrone, the first thing that we will provide is a new news voice. In terms of our spoken word, we will provide not just news, but a whole range of surveillance that is not currently available in the market.
2258 First and foremost, there will be new editorial opinions.
2259 A new ownership group is the second way that we will add diversity.
2260 Another angle of the diversity platform is the fact that it will be a local format. We will cover council meetings. Essentially, we will provide, again, a counterpoint to the one voice that is in the market with respect to news.
2261 We will be involved in service clubs. We will be at the parades.
2262 Those are a couple of areas where we will add diversity: ownership, the fact that it's a new format that is not local to the market, and also the news and surveillance, which we think will be the most important linchpin.
2263 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes, I will get to that, as well.
2264 In your supplementary brief you commit to, I believe, 19 hours and 10 minutes per broadcast week of spoken word programming, of which 60 percent will be pure news. You expect to employ two full‑time news staffers.
2265 Is that correct?
2266 MR. ED TORRES: Yes.
2267 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Could you talk about your rationale for offering so much news considering the format, the music‑based format, and how you expect to achieve those levels with a relatively modest staffing commitment of two people?
2268 MR. ED TORRES: And I will maybe ask Yves and Robyn who have worked in similar‑sized newsrooms to comment.
2269 Spoken word is essentially what our company does. We produce it for 180 radio stations across Canada and we're good at it. But we also think that, again, the way to drive home local content is to be a local radio station to cover those council meetings, to cover the high school sports, to cover the local hockey teams.
2270 So in that ‑‑ from that perspective we think that you need to have a high level of spoken word content and we think it's achievable with staffing levels. It's not different from a lot of the medium to small markets that we deal with. They have similar size newsrooms.
2271 MR. TROTTIER: What is important to understand that we have Skywords to back it up for national and regional news. So the people that's going to be here in Orillia will do essentially just local news. So it's two fulltime people and one part‑time for the weekend.
2272 But just to give you an example for the weekend, it will simplify everything. We are going to have somebody for Skywords who is going to be there for us, perhaps in Toronto, whatever, for traffic and for news, and we have somebody here in Orillia doing just local news and we have somebody on air that's going to be there to be an announcer.
2273 But with the new technology now announcers are not just announcers. They are doing sports, they are reading the newspaper; they are doing local news at the same time. So for a Saturday morning show you can have three people who can do news at the same time that they are on air.
2274 So that's why with Skywords there, with our force and with the new technology we can do a lot of spoken word with a small amount of people that is working.
2275 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: All right. Go ahead.
2276 MS METCALFE: We are also going to be hiring occasional stringers to go and cover local town hall meetings and events that are going on within the city.
2277 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think also, just to round out the answer as far as why so much spoken word, it points to our research. Our research clearly indicated that our target group being females, 35 to 54, is first of all a very loyal listener. They listen to radio above average as far as the time tuning in the day, and they have indicated that spoken word and local news content is very important to them and that's why we need to service that.
2278 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much. And I do want to touch on some of the synergies that could eventually exist between Skywords and some of your proposed radio properties and whether you think that there are competitive advantages into doing that. I'm going to get to that a little later.
2279 The ratio between your projected audience share and the advertising revenue generated from that share appear optimistic according to our analysis. By Year 3 you are forecasting that your station will generate $104,000 each percentage point in tuning share. That's greater than the amount generated by CICX‑FM in 2007.
2280 So I was hoping that you might provide us a little bit of your rationale and your logic behind those numbers.
2281 MR. ED TORRES: Sure, and I will ask Aubrey who has put together most of the revenue projections and sales analysis to round out this answer.
2282 We sell this market. We sell most markets in southern Ontario already so we have got 19 or 17 years of experience selling in this market. So the numbers ‑‑ so the percentage of sell out is based on our experience when we open up a new market and then the revenue ‑‑ the rate we have based it on three things.
2283 To establish the rate we first of all ‑‑ we look at the rate that we are charging in the market but we also look at rate cards of incumbent broadcasters and then we ask the national agencies, because we deal with them directly at Skywords ‑‑ so we ask them what the market is charging per point. On the revenue side that's how we establish the rate.
2284 From that we ‑‑ projecting the share now is a function of the research and generally we take a conservative bend towards projecting our share now.
2285 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You can take a drink, Mr. Torres. It's okay.
2286 MR. ED TORRES: I will ask Aubrey to fill in the rest there.
2287 MR. CLARKE: Yeah. Our whole sales strategy is not necessarily based on the share alone, like the direct correlation between the share and the amount of revenue we bring in won't line up because we specialize in selling a lifestyle selling concepts more than selling the share of the station.
2288 Right now we get a considerably high amount for traffic tags alone in Orillia. I mean I have sold a client traffic tags in Orillia for 50 bucks a spot, right, depending on the concept and the promotion that we have put together, right? And as you can see from our sub‑brief we are only ‑‑ our rate is based on a 39 spot rate, right, which is in the line with ‑‑ I believe Newcap was 41 and the group that went before us yesterday was like $42, right?
2289 I find just from speaking to some clients who have agreed to come into the market with us that we currently do sell to ‑‑ I think we have an advantage with the synergy from Skywords knowing customers that want thirties in the market who ask us if you get thirties in the market we will add to the budget that we are already spending with you.
2290 So it doesn't affect the incumbent in the market, right? If it affects anybody it may affect our Skywords business a little bit, right? So we are kind of taking from one to feed the other in a sense.
2291 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think a couple of levels of expertise that we have in the market is that on those 180 radio stations that we sell advertising to across Canada, probably I would say, up to 80 percent of them are not rated. They are unrated radio stations. So we have specialized in selling not based on ratings. And we can sell national campaigns. We can sell local and regional campaigns and not necessarily tie them directly into share numbers.
2292 And just to very briefly expand on that one, and Todd has mentioned a lot of the new business start‑ups here and they are big hitters; the Walmarts, the Shoppers Drug Marts, Giant Tiger. They are all existing customers of Skywords. Again, it goes back to being able to leverage those relationships, relationships more than just pure numbers in order to generate revenue in the market.
2293 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So you are suggesting that there is a unique business model here that perhaps hasn't been the providence of other stations that you are bringing something different in the way that you are able to charge for your time and you are charging for lifestyle and concepts and promotions?
2294 MR. CLARKE: Yes.
2295 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: More so than other ‑‑ is that what I heard you say, sir?
2296 MR. CLARKE: Yes. I mean we put together specialized promotions where it increases our radio advertising. And what we can do is we can use the synergy of just our aerial advertising alone, right, to say, "Okay, you know what? You are going to buy these thirties but you know as a bonus what we may throw in is aerial advertising for you". You know, when you are doing a remote you have ‑‑ a banner is flying over your remote, you know, that's promoting that remote as well, right?
2297 So those are the synergies we bring in order to close deals more than just the share point.
2298 MR. ED TORRES: Yeah, and just to pickup on a point, within the market ‑‑ I mean we monetize greatly the seasonal nature of not just the Orillia market but all of northern Ontario. So our rate actually goes up in the summer months. We put together a package of cottage country radio stations and we sell that specifically and directly to national advertisers So one of the advantages and synergies of Skywords is that we have an in‑house national sales force.
2299 A local radio station generally use a rep house, so they use a CBS or an IMS or a target. And they will essentially do visits every once in a while with the national rep house where, based in Markham, we are in the agencies every single week. We meet with them because we have to. We derive ‑‑ 70 percent of Skywords' revenue is national.
2300 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: In Year 2 of your economic forecast you estimate that 25 percent of the revenues generated by your undertaking come from local retailers. How did you come up with that number and how much, if any, would be generated at the expense of CICX‑FM?
2301 MR. ED TORRES: Aubrey may be ‑‑
2302 MR. CLARKE: I believe that was a Year 3 number.
2303 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Year 3, yeah, okay.
2304 MR. CLARKE: Year 3, not Year 2.
2305 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Fair enough.
2306 MR. CLARKE: Right.
2307 When we look at it from past experience we figure that when we first come into the market we will have like maybe a 5 percent effect on the actual incumbent in the market but by Year 3 what happens is as we bring new clients into the market the revenue in the market begins to grow and we become more ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ the clients in the market will become more familiar with us.
2308 So yes, 25 percent ‑‑ we believe 25 percent of our revenue will come from the market but it will have negligible impact in the market because of the other revenue we are also bringing in the market. By 2012, you know, the economic forecast looks pretty rosy right now, right, that we know ‑‑ so by 2010 the economy is expected to turnaround and by 2012 we should be back to where we were before this crisis, kind of.
2309 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Almost anything looks rosy.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2310 MR. CLARKE: Right, like I said along with the clients who have already expressed interest in coming into the market.
2311 I will give you an example. We have one specific client that has never done radio before with Skywords and we are able to take them from being a contra client of $15,000 a year to spending with us this year $150,000 cash, right? We are able ‑‑ what we basically, we do, we go and we look at their marketing strategy and we say ‑‑ we help them with their marketing strategy and then we help them place their revenue as well, you know and that ‑‑ go ahead. You were going to say something?
2312 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: No, I am listening. Go ahead.
2313 MR. CLARKE: Okay, right. And that $150,000 this April will turn into $200,000 as the client has already approved that budget, right? And these are clients that we develop strong relationships with ‑‑ you know based on these relationships.
2314 We have the same type of relationship with OFC. They have appeared in the hearings twice for us already to verify that. And there are other clients that we build those types of relationships with. So we have a pretty good idea of where revenue is coming from already when we are going into the market.
2315 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Do you have an estimate on the amount of annual spending by Orillia advertisers on out‑of‑market stations?
2316 MR. ED TORRES: I don't know that we have estimated what the exact number is. I mean, we know that 80 percent of the tuning goes out of the market. Certainly, this morning in our hotel there was a Barrie station, an AC station playing in the foyer. We heard a number of Orillia ads. So I mean if 80 percent of the tuning is going to Barrie you could be safe in saying that 60 to 70 percent of the ad spend is going to Barrie.
2317 MR. CLARKE: Right. And I mean, just being Skywords and being a national house, and we do sell the surrounding market as well, there have been clients in the past, some agency clients who have bought Barrie to hit Orillia. So we do know that some money is coming out of the market as well from what we can tell from our own experience.
2318 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: According to your projected tables you stand to lose quite a lot of money in the first three years of operation. How comfortable are you with being able to absorb that kind of loss, especially since no one really knows how long the current economic downturn will last?
2319 MR. ED TORRES: If it's just the loss that's on paper I would be overjoyed considering the losses that we have incurred on our Ottawa‑Gatineau licence. But I mean how long can we sustain it? We are pretty confident that we can absorb the losses on a going‑forward basis. So is, I mean, our bankers as well or we wouldn't be here.
2320 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You start reversing those losses by Year 4 and according to my calculations by Year 7 you have made up your losses and be up a little less than $200,000 in seven years total. So obviously, in terms of an investment this clearly is a labour of love because it doesn't work any other way, does it?
2321 MR. ED TORRES: Well, yeah, I think that you are absolutely right. And Ron and I talked about this, this morning.
2322 And Ron, feel free to get in here if you want.
2323 But I mean radio is our passion. We have been doing radio since 1991. We are the youngest group, I think, without having anyone pull birth certificates. We are going to be around for a long time. We have a national strategy to grow our business across Canada.
2324 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Other applicants ‑‑ I'm sorry, were you going to add something to that, Mr. Torres or Mr. Ford?
2325 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yeah, I just wanted to add to that comment that although we ‑‑ you know, I think and I hope our passion for radio is obvious.
2326 I think we are business people first and I think that is reflected in our application and when we look at our financials we know that we have to end up presenting this to a group of bankers that are going to either accept it and sign financing over to us which will help our position going forward with other applications or need to rely on our existing financing.
2327 So although the passion is there we like to use the phrase, "We don't wear radio blinders". We are business people that believe in a sound financial plan first.
2328 MR. FORD: I think that what I would like to add is that this is a long term strategy that the group has taken ‑‑ the Skywords group has made the decision that they want to be a national network strategy. And it goes to speak to the long term outlook that we are looking at, that we are ‑‑ I think that we are ‑‑ and I will be corrected on that, but I think that basically what we are saying is that we are willing to bear the effects of a downturn economy for the long term outcome.
2329 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Other applicants have made much of the fact that they are from Orillia; that they have longstanding roots here. How do you overcome the perception of being an outsider who perhaps doesn't understand this community as well as others?
2330 MR. ED TORRES: Well, I mean, when we talk geographically speaking, I think, we are no really further afield than any of the other applicants in this proceeding. You know, we own recreational properties in the area. Markham is ‑‑ from the office to here it's a pretty short drive on good highways and we also know what the traffic is doing and where the police are, you know.
2331 And really that's for your benefit, really. The listeners will treat this ‑‑ and it will be treated entirely as an Orillia radio station and we are going to hire a general manager and that person will more than likely have local roots or have experience in the market; likewise with our management staff. We are going to encourage them to join service clubs. We do that at Skywords with all our senior management.
2332 So it's a top down approach. We will hire ‑‑ try and hire the local people with connections but also with respect to the day‑to‑day operations there is going to be a Skywords person, you know, in the building on a regular rotation.
2333 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to ask you a little bit about Skywords, unless you wanted to add to that, Mr. Torres?
2334 MR. FRANK TORRES: I did just want to add that our first experience on record with the Commission was the diversity of voices hearing and, really, we have been waiting on the wings for years for our opportunity to become broadcasters. And the diversity of voices hearing and policy that has come from that has really been our driving mandate to make these applications.
2335 We know the Commission has to weigh in every market, large or small, the benefit of having ‑‑ further strengthening an incumbent and creating synergies and weigh that against offering new voices, plurality and diversity into the market.
2336 So I think, in answer to that question, we feel that the Commission has maybe an unenviable task of weighing those balances whether it is diversity further benefits the objectives of the Broadcast Act more so than strengthening an incumbent. And we have seen decisions go both ways in all of our applications, but that's why we are here.
2337 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You have spoken about Skywords and in a way your application is unique in that way because of course you have this large arm of your company which supplies programming to many other stations.
2338 Does Skywords ‑‑ does the radio station intend to sell ad time to this other enterprise as some of your other clients do, as I understand your business model for Skywords?
2339 MR. ED TORRES: The radio station is going to operate at arms length from Skywords. So the general manager will be hired. He will be an employee of the radio station. He will have total autonomy to make whatever decisions ‑‑ programming meet his budget or her budget or meet their criteria for how they would need the station to sound.
2340 So there is going to be no ‑‑ there is going to be no requirement for the station to take any of Skywords programming but it's there in the event that, you know, the general manager decides that he or she wants to proceed with some programming.
2341 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: But you are the boss, Mr. Torres.
2342 MR. ED TORRES: Yeah.
2343 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I mean you run Skywords. You would be owning this proposed station and that person works for you.
2344 MR. ED TORRES: Yes. But, I mean, Robyn will tell you that I'm the boss but actually she is the boss. So she runs the programming department at Skywords with essentially autonomy, right?
2345 What our role I see as being an owner and what close to 20 years as a business owner has taught me is that the people that you employ do their best work when you stay out of their day‑to‑day hair. But you need to be there on a constant basis as a support mechanism. So that's very much the philosophy that we have taken.
2346 And Yves, who is going to be the Director of Operations and Todd who is the General Manager of the Ottawa station, they were making all the decisions and getting the station running.
2347 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Because as a supplier of programming, of course, Skywords could be in the unique position of basically supplying another outlet of the company which is this proposed station, as well as its competitor. So you know, if there is a breaking story or something you might be in a position of being able to play favourites here with your local station, you know giving them a bit of information before its competitor which is also your client through Skywords.
2348 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, I mean, it creates some interesting questions.
2349 Now, we have been asked this before and I certainly hope that I can maintain the relationships on a Skywords basis that I have with the stations that are our affiliates. But that's not ‑‑ I mean when you operate the type of service that Skywords is many times we get ‑‑ that's a constant ebb and flow that we have to deal with affiliates.
2350 It just happened the other morning where somebody got a traffic report on an accident and it didn't air on the other station in the market. We have to manage that as we speak.
2351 But Robyn, I don't know if ‑‑
2352 MS METCALFE: I am just going to say we have to be loyal to ‑‑ on the Skywords side we have to be loyal to our affiliates no matter who they are, you know who the owners are. We have to keep that going because without our affiliates we don't have a business on that side.
2353 So I think, you know, as the VP of Programming of Skywords I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that everybody is getting what they need and what they want.
2354 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay, thank you.
2355 Well, I asked because of course one would, you know, ask if one of your other clients would be wondering that very question of whether or not there are safeguards and buffers in place that prevent any kind of bias in that regard. Now, I ‑‑
2356 MR. ED TORRES: I think, if I could just add ‑‑
2357 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Yes.
2358 MR. ED TORRES: ‑‑ it may be that it gives us an advantage from a competitive point of view coming into this market because we already deal with the incumbents and we want to maintain those relationships. And we have said in our previous applications that we want to play nice.
2359 Certainly, when you look at some of the other groups that you could licence into this market that don't have those types of attachments to the incumbent the likelihood of a, you know, ultimate fighting challenge breaking out is greater.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2360 MR. CLARKE: If I can just add to that? I mean, on the sales side as well I do media buying and planning also for Skywords, for some of the clients, and I do buy our incumbents first before I buy any other station when I am distributing that money, right. So we do play nice for our incumbents.
2361 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. I want to ask you a little bit about your ‑‑ and I can appreciate your strong focus on tracking female listeners. And I see that your hiring is going to head in that direction and your hosting. There is of course that other gender that likes to listen to the radio on occasion, too.
2362 Is it a little too risky an approach to focus almost entirely on the female audience?
2363 MS METCALFE: It's not that we are focussing solely on the female audience, I think. It's a vision of mine going into it, seeing a female program director and a female morning show host, because you don't see that generally and, you know, getting into a female's head ‑‑ do it through females ‑‑ but again it's going to be the best person for the job that comes out, decided by the general managers.
2364 And that's kind of the focus that we are doing but my vision was to have the female side of things.
2365 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: A female program director, female news director.
2366 And I'm wondering ‑‑ you talk about a gender‑driven newscast. I have been in the news business for a while myself and I can appreciate, you know, maybe having more stories about women but what does a female‑centric newscast sound like because I normally hear just a newscast. When I listen to a newscast I don't think that it's geared to one group or another group.
2367 Can you talk a little bit about your vision of that?
2368 MS METCALFE: M'hm. I think we are obviously going to go through the news pages; local, regional, national and we are going to report the news, but maybe having umbrella stories that affect females.
2369 Like there was a truck that hit a Bell line yesterday in Orillia and it, you know, downed some lines. So how is that ‑‑ that's the news. How is that going to affect females? Well, you know, their kids can't watch the TV that day or something like that. Like that kind of, you know ‑‑ and then maybe start up a conversation on air with the morning show, talking about, "Oh, how is this affecting your day? You usually have the TV on for the kids before they get to go to school or whatever and now that you don't so what are you doing to deal with that?" that kind of thing, like kind of putting a female angle onto each of the stories that we choose.
2370 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think our demographic and our research also points towards our core demographic as being female/family‑centric, if I may indulge? And I know in my family when I come home, you know, my wife has the radio going and we have four kids going crazy. And what she listens to is mostly to her tastes and it certainly doesn't offend me as a male. It's not ‑‑ so it's not completely gender driven as it is more lifestyle and family oriented.
2371 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to pass along my gratitude to you and your presentation, but I know my colleagues have a lot of questions. I probably have taken up more time than I should have.
2372 So Madam Chair, I hand it over to you.
2373 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2374 Commissioner Lamarre.
2375 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you, Madame la Présidente. Good morning to you all.
2376 I have a few questions. I'm going to start with the support coverage one, because I don't usually ask that type of question.
2377 I know in your presentation on page 10 that you will be mindful of the female angle to sports stories and you refer to local sports, youth sports and minor hockey sports.
2378 What about focusing also on the development of female athletes in the area? Have you given any thoughts to that, because if there is one place in sports where I see a void to be filled is to get stories about female athletes who work just as hard as male athletes but don't get the same coverage in newspapers and magazines? So what would you be able to do for that?
2379 MR. ED TORRES: That is a very good question and I think that that's exactly what we were going for in hiring a female news director. I know that when Robyn and I discussed this; yes, you always hear the men's hockey, right, but there is almost as many girls playing hockey as there is boys. You rarely get the girls' scores.
2380 So again, that's something that a female news director is going to take and run with. But also, I mean, we have got the Olympics coming up. We have got a lot of local skiers that ski here. They ski for the Ontario Alpine team and we don't hear any of those stories.
2381 So you know part of our plan was to do in‑depth profiles of skiers and cover the racers in Collingwood at Horsehose, at Hockley Valley, at Moonstone. Every weekend there is a ski race and some Ontario athletes that will go on to become Olympians, you know, will never get highlighted. So we have given that some thought.
2382 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So I take it that the reason why you did not mention it in your presentation is because you only get 10 minutes for your presentation.
2383 MR. ED TORRES: Yeah, exactly. I mean the supplementary brief is brief.
2384 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: On the IBOC issue I will come with a few answers on that ‑‑ a few questions on that. I hope you have the answers. I won't make up the answers for you.
2385 First off, you say that once you are up and on the air what you are going to do, or even prior to being up on the air, once you get the licence you will apply to Industry Canada for experimental approval to commence testing an IBOC digital transmission from that transmitter.
2386 How much is it going to cost you to get that texting going, and then what would be the incremental to make it permanent afterwards?
2387 MR. ED TORRES: Well, I think that we have budgeted close to $250,000 in capital to start the experimental phase of the IBOC. We think on a going‑forward basis ‑‑ and Frank is more familiar with it ‑‑ that the incremental cost won't be substantial.
2388 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yes, most of the cost would lie in capital costs up front, and we do have that budgeted in this application.
2389 And again, going forward, we feel that ‑‑ we didn't really think of it at the time, when we initiated this application, but once we engaged our engineers and started researching spectrum, this is an area of spectrum scarcity.
2390 And we hear that a lot, and I hope I'm not the first one to mention that at this hearing, but in any market where spectrum is an issue, we believe IBOC has to be experimented with and researched and we believe it is the future of a lot of our spectrum congestion solutions.
2391 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But at the same time, speaking of spectrum scarcity, looking at the maps you provided with your application, you obviously have already stretched to the limit the possibility of 89.1. That's obvious. And in order to do that, you have to secure the agreement of several incumbents.
2392 Now, if you are going to add some IBOC programming, you are going to actually stretch again your spectrum footprint, if I may use that expression, and you will need to secure again the approval, the agreement of those incumbents.
2393 Have you already done that?
2394 MR. FRANK TORRES: It's very difficult to make specific comments on technical issues. If there were a term to describe "beyond experimental" ‑‑ it's really a completely uncharted territory, but, in general, the practices of IBOC, as accepted in the United States, are between 1 and 10 percent power output of your existing FM signal, so it would ensure that the footprint would actually be smaller than your original radiating footprint.
2395 So as long as your original FM signal is approved and approvable, the IBOC signal should be only slightly smaller than your ‑‑
2396 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. I should not have used the word "footprint" relating to spectrum. What I mean is that the spectrum range will be increased, so you will actually produce more interference to incumbents that have already accepted that 89.1 be stretched to the limit.
2397 So my question is: I understand all the technical aspects of IBOC, believe me, take my word for it, but what I do want to know is that have secured the approval of the incumbents that you will need in order to go ahead with that testing?
2398 MR. FRANK TORRES: We know that there are hurdles in front of us in the sense of IBOC and any experimental testing and ‑‑
2399 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So that means no.
2400 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yes, absolutely, no.
2401 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2402 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yes, no. And it's not something that we would venture in
2403 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Before getting a licence.
2404 MR. FRANK TORRES: Really, the first event, the place where this all starts, is an FM licence, and, really, to expend much more capital into it before that happens would probably not be a wise idea.
2405 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And like you, I cannot help see all the hurdles ahead of you with that project, so that's why I'm asking the questions.
2406 On page 16 of your presentation, you state that 83 percent of Americans have access to IBOC in the U.S.
2407 So, first of all, where is that data coming from?
2408 MR. FRANK TORRES: That data comes from one of the manufacturers. iBiquity is the largest manufacturer of digital radio in the U.S.
2409 And, again, that number doesn't mean that 80 percent of Americans tune into IBOC, but certainly there is that type of availability.
2410 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But that availability could be reached by having one large station in every large market in the U.S. carrying IBOC.
2411 MR. FRANK TORRES: I don't know.
2412 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You don't know.
2413 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, well, there's 1,700...I think 1,700 stations that carry it, so...
2414 MR. FRANK TORRES: It's gone from 1,700 in 2006 to over 1,800 at the end of 2008, so where they are exactly and what markets they are is not specifically known to me.
2415 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Would you know what percentage of the total transmitters that represents?
2416 MR. FRANK TORRES: No, but I know there are a lot of transmitters in the U.S. and certainly they have had the spectrum issues for many more years than we have. And by all means we can undertake to acquire that information, if the Commission sees fit.
2417 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And then you said it rightly that, you know, that doesn't mean that 83 percent of Americans are tuning.
2418 Do you have the data as to how many Americans actually have an IBOC receiver and use it?
2419 MR. FRANK TORRES: We don't have it with us at the hearing, but we can undertake to get that information.
2420 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, the question with a new technology that always comes around is the question, you know, the chicken or the egg, you know, whatever comes first. So let's say you do start again, start that IBOC transmitter, you invest a hell of a lot of money ‑‑ excuse the expression. As far as I'm concerned $250,000, that's a lot of money for a test.
2421 Obviously, you are hoping to be able to continue after the test and bank on that investment. So that investment can actually turn into profits if it turns into listeners.
2422 So what are you going to do to encourage the deployment of IBOC receivers?
2423 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, that's the million‑dollar question, and, again, it goes to our long‑term approach to this, not just this application but all of our applications.
2424 We want to be a national broadcaster and we may not be able to achieve that using the current spectrum as it exists, you know, Vancouver, Montreal, places where there's a lot of congestion. So we need to lead on this.
2425 It's a big investment, but certainly we hope that we can recover that investment. But somebody has to start it, and we don't see anyone else stepping.
2426 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But to my point, what are you going to do to encourage listeners to buy receivers?
2427 MR. ED TORRES: What we are going to do is we have already talked to iBiquity about, you know, assisting in their distribution, and we are trying to sell them a media buy, is what we are trying to do, but we are all trying to partner with them, you know, using some ‑‑ again, we started talks with them once we were licensed in Ottawa‑Gatineau. Those talks have kind of stalled since we have no FM licence now, but we had started the dialogue towards, you know, distributing for them or assisting in their distribution.
2428 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think marketing, marketing, marketing. We launched Canada's first digital‑based cellular location‑based traffic information on cell phones, this was in 1994, the very first text messaging that was ever received on digital cell phones. And what we are able to do to roll out the launch was to partner with all the cell phone distributors, and then the programming distributors, and get them to co‑op marketing campaigns.
2429 So we rolled out a $500,000 marketing campaign in Toronto alone to roll out this product, which was subscriber‑based, and it was a great success. Since then, we have rolled other online products.
2430 So we are not complete strangers to technical advances and to some of the pitfalls that exist in rolling out experimental technology, but I do believe that what makes or breaks a success lies in marketing, branding and teaching the public, informing the public of this option that's out there.
2431 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: On the question of maybe using an alternative frequency for this proposed application, you have identified 101.7, Channel 269. And in reply to a question by the Commission whether or not it would help you meet your coverage objective and how it would affect your business plan, your reply was that there would be a negligible effect on your business plan.
2432 Now, at the time you submitted that reply, I'm sure you were not aware that there was going to be applications in an adjacent market, in Gravenhurst, for that same frequency or for 201...102.3 ‑‑ sorry, I'm used to speaking channels, and so it's difficult for me to speak in frequencies, so 102.3.
2433 Have you had a chance to look at, you know, if the Commission were to approve either one of the...well, actually, one of the two frequencies, or, actually, maybe even both frequencies in that market, how that would affect your business plan then?
2434 MR. FRANK TORRES: No, we haven't. Obviously, we didn't have the information, as you mentioned.
2435 One thing that we do when we engineer our footprint, our brief, we always try and maximize use of spectrum, but we always ask our engineers for options, and we ask them to be creative.
2436 So 101.7, at the time, was not as good a signal ‑‑ I believe it's 101.7 ‑‑ it was not as good a signal as 89.1, but it would have met the objectives. Again, it was going give us a demographic, the area of coverage that we want.
2437 So either/or, I think, would do, but it's far from a full engineering brief that we have done.
2438 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
2439 MR. FRANK TORRES: What we have really done is a spectral analysis for 101.7.
2440 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And my last questions is actually a request.
2441 On Map 6, that was provided with your application, you are showing both the theoretical and the realistic contours.
2442 Could you please provide us with the information as to what receiving antenna height was used for the calculation of the realistic contours?
2443 MR. FRANK TORRES: Yes, we will do that.
2444 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
2445 Those are all my questions. Merci, madam.
2446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2447 Commissioner Molnar.
2448 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, and good morning, everyone.
2449 I know that some of you were here yesterday and you heard me potentially asking questions on revenue and rate card, and it occurs to me that your in an excellent position to answer my questions on what is the revenue capacity here in this market. So I have a couple of questions.
2450 One of the issues that has come up over the last day and in the supplementary briefs that I would like to get your views on is in the area of capacity, revenue capacity. We have seen two sort of sides discussing the revenue capacity.
2451 One is saying that it is a market that's underserved, because if you look at the retail sales and you do the traditional equations, you would see that there is a capacity or there is an amount that should be generated by radio that just isn't happening here in Orillia. And the other side that we have heard as well is it's generating that revenue, but it's being captured by out‑of‑market stations.
2452 What is your view on the service to the Orillia advertising community today? Are they being served, are they being served by out‑of‑market stations or is it simply unserved?
2453 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think it's a combination of unserved and it's being poached by the Barrie radio stations, the out‑of‑market stations that get into the market. So it's hard to get a handle on why the market performs as poorly as it does, but certainly, you know, these are very experienced broadcasters.
2454 And maybe I will ask Aubrey to comment. Again, I think that there is a lot of dollars going out of the market. That's part of it. But, again, it goes back to the notion of choice.
2455 So, for example, at our hotel ‑‑ and I will go back to this example because it's fresh in my mind ‑‑ they are playing an AC format out of Barrie. And the reason that they are playing an AC format is it's a hotel, they want to be middle of road, the country station is going to have its detractors if you are a business owner.
2456 Most businesses will play an AC format to be safe, and so if you look at all of the businesses in Orillia, all the retail, they are playing AC stations out of Barrie.
2457 And what you are playing in your shop, from my personal experience, your sale is 80 percent done when you walk into a retail store and they are playing your radio station on the air. Right?
2458 You know, you want to hear your own business on the radio station that plays in the business. So I think that's a huge challenge. We have seen it ourselves. Aubrey's talked about ‑‑ and maybe, Aubrey, you can talk about the national dollars and how they are allocated.
2459 I mean, when the national agencies buy, they tend to buy top‑down, so they buy the number one station, and then they buy the next two or three. Well, in Orillia, you have got the number one station, which is the local station, and then all the other national dollars flow to Barrie. So there's a huge disproportion of dollars flowing to Barrie, but then there's the other issue of choice.
2460 I mean, I think that you could probably say that it's 50:50, that the revenue that's missing in this market, half of it is going to Barrie and the other half is just underdeveloped.
2461 Aubrey, I don't know whether ‑‑
2462 MR. CLARK: Yes.
2463 What I have seen with some of they national buys as well is when the big‑box stores are buying advertising for the Orillia market, they will buy the Barrie stations in order to get Orillia, right? But there's some strategic ways in order to get the big‑box stores to buy Orillia alone.
2464 If we had 30s in Orillia right now, I think we would be generating a lot more revenue at Skywards, but just because we sell 10s, a lot of times they said, "When you get 30s, come back to us and we'll buy you", right? I mean, what the ‑‑
2465 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm going to admit to ‑‑
2466 MR. CLARK: Go ahead.
2467 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ you right now I have no idea what 30s and 10s are.
2468 MR. CLARK: Okay. Okay, I will tell you. Thirty‑second commercials ‑‑
2469 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Oh, okay.
2470 MR. CLARK: ‑‑ are the traditional commercials and 10 second are the traffic tags, right?
2471 MR. FRANK TORRES: We also sell 10‑year‑olds and 30‑year‑olds. We traffic in humans!
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2472 MR. CLARK: Yes. That's what 10s and 30s are.
2473 Like, I mean, there's an opportunity, there's lots of opportunity in Orillia to get money from the big‑box stores, but there's a strategic way you have to go about it.
2474 If you called the advertising agency and you say, "Oh, buy us in Orillia", they will say, "No, we get you from buying Barrie", right? But in order to get that money, there's some things that you can do in order to get that money in the market, and we are prepared to do it.
2475 MS METCALFE: I also find sometimes with retail owners, they are going to buy the station they listen to, and if they are not listening to the station in Orillia, they are not going to buy that station, they are going to ‑‑ generally, I have noticed that a few times when talking with retail owners, saying, "Oh, you know, buy this package" or whatever, he's like, "I don't listen to any of those stations" or she's like, "I don't listen to those stations, so I really am not interested".
2476 I have had that experience myself, so that might be one of the problems and one of the reasons why they are going to Barrie, because they are listening to the stations in Barrie, and then they can hear their ads on them, and that's what they want to hear.
2477 MR. BERNARD: I would just like to, as well, that with respect to local advertisers, a lot of times you are dealing with modest advertising budgets. So, you know, those business people have to be quite shrewd with their dollars and make sure their investments are going to get returns.
2478 And currently, what we have been finding with our sales experiences at Skywards, even in the current downturn, it's not that local advertisers don't have budgets set aside, a lot of times they are quite reserved to commit them right now because of the situation.
2479 So when a local advertiser is presented with the reality of, you know, potentially, 60 percent of their budget of a radio buy going to out‑of‑market listeners, you know, they will be reluctant to make that investment, whereas if they do have more incumbent choices, they are more likely pull the trigger because they know a hundred percent of those hard‑earned advertising dollars are going to consumers who are going to be buying goods and services in the marketplace.
2480 So, again, with respect to increases in local radio sales in the Orillia market, you know, we do think that another incumbent signal from Orillia definitely will have a significant increase on the overall revenues generated from and in Orillia.
2481 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you, and that leads into my next question, and the question is about the fact the proposals in the spectrum that's being considered here is Orillia only and virtually everybody's who's operating in the market, including the incumbent, has an Orillia regional station and it flows into Barrie, it flows into Midland.
2482 The fact that it is only Orillia certainly will have an impact. And I appreciate what you say that potentially could be a positive in trying to gather advertising dollars from Orillia advertisers who want to be local, with their local consumers, but I also assume that comes at a different price tag, having local reach versus a regional reach.
2483 And that takes me to the question of the rate card, and I realize a rate card is any mix. You know, you play with your revenues and you make your deals, and I understand that, but the revenue forecasts that have been put before us have used a rate‑per‑minute estimate of really what can be gathered out of the Orillia‑only market.
2484 We have seen yesterday that Bayshore used an estimate of approximately $15 a spot, which is $30 a minute. You are within the range of $40 flowing up to over $50 over the period of this seven years. Now, $30 versus $40, I realize it's all estimates, but that's a 30 percent difference, and virtually everybody's business plans look very different if revenues are reduced by 30 percent.
2485 So I am trying to understand what is the reasonable revenue per minute that can be gathered for Orillia only.
2486 Do you have anything you would like to help me with in getting to that conclusion?
2487 MR. ED TORRES: Yes. Immediately yesterday, I know that, again, this market we sell and it's a 10‑second commercial, but we sell it at $21 per commercial, on average, outside of summer. In the summer, our rate is $29, and that's a net number, so we actually are charging the agencies closer to at $31 rate in the summer. That's for a 10‑second commercial.
2488 Now, as I said before, there's three levels of research that we did on the rate. The other was to look at the rate cards. And the rate cards are generally nice pieces of art that are normally, you know, discounted quite heavily, so we don't put a lot of stock into the rate card. We do put a lot of stock into what the agencies buy the markets for, because, again, we are dealing with the agencies in Toronto on a regular basis.
2489 So that's how we come up to our projection of around $21 for a 30‑second commercial.
2490 And we think that, looking at the other applications, it's fairly middle of the pack. We certainly don't think that coming in lower in this market is ‑‑ we don't want to come into a market and start a price war, so we are very comfortable with that rate and that revenue projection.
2491 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Can I just ask you? You mentioned that you looked at what the national advertisers buy this block for, but, again, there is a difference between buying today, which gives you a regional reach, and buying into Orillia only.
2492 So what do you view to be the difference in the value? What's really the discount, if you will, between the regional price and a price that will be Orillia only?
2493 MR. ED TORRES: I think in the demographic there is no discount, so there is no difference if you want to buy Orillia, and you pay the rate.
2494 You know, I certainly ‑‑ and, Aubrey, maybe you could shed some light on this as well, but I believe that ‑‑ and Todd touched on it ‑‑ a retailer that does 90 percent of his business, you know, within five kilometres of his location, that person doesn't necessarily want to buy a regional coverage.
2495 So we wouldn't offer a discount on the rate just because we are concentrating on Orillia, if anything you should pay more for that because we are going to give you more ears in Orillia. We are repatriating that adult contemporary female from 35 to 54. That's a very good demographic.
2496 MR. TROTTIER: We are talking a lot about rates and everything, but we have experience here at this table about selling radio for a big market like Ottawa and a small market, and I can assure you that's two different things.
2497 It's not the things, it's the relation that you have with your client, the plan that you develop with your client, the marketing tools, what you are doing to sell for the ‑‑ like, I can give you just an example.
2498 We are doing snowmobile reports with Skywards, so if you are going to a snowmobile dealer and ask them to pay $20 for 30 seconds, they will say, "Well, I don't have that kind of money". But if you are going there with snowmobile reports, who talk directly to their client, they will $25.
2499 So you cannot compare big markets with small markets. In Orillia it will be different from, say, Toronto, and we will have to work with the people of Orillia to increase the sales. It's as simple as that.
2500 MR. FRANK TORRES: I think we are specialists in monetizing special features, including spoken word, so all of the features that we list in our supplementary brief, in our presentation, is not only to provide quality programming, but it provides platforms, programming platforms, for revenue streams.
2501 And they are not necessarily alternate or non‑traditional revenue streams, they still fall in the area of sponsorship, but it's an areas whereby, you know, a lot of existing broadcasters might give up on summer months as not being able to capitalize on revenue of no‑existent consumers. But we actually do find ways to monetize it, and it's a major platform of our existing business.
2502 MR. CLARK: Right. And just to comment, you were asking about the Orillia‑only market. According to the BBM map, when I put the code into the BBM and I come up with a cost per point for that market, that's what the agencies will normally buy on if they are going to buy the Orillia market.
2503 Now, they do buy Barrie sometimes in order to get the whole spectrum, right, but if they want to know numbers specifically for Orillia, then, you know, that's what I would give them.
2504 There are ways. Like, I mentioned before, some of the big‑box stores haven't been buying like some of the smaller markets, but recently a colleague of mine has developed a platform in order to get them to start buying the smaller markets, and it has been working, and we are willing to put that to the test.
2505 I don't really want to go into in detail because, yes, the competitors are around, and I don't really want to give them all our trade secrets, but there are ways in order to get that box‑store money in the smaller markets.
2506 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Fair enough.
2507 Just help me understand one other thing. As you noted, you are experts in selling advertising into certain markets and into your niches and so on, and you do it here today, and you do it for the radio stations that exist here today.
2508 So how would that work going forward?
2509 MR. CLARK: We don't do it for the stations, but we do on ‑‑ we have our own inventory that's allocated to us on the stations that we sell for ourselves, so it doesn't affect. So we don't go after their clients, we find our own clients and sell it in those markets. So we are not taking from the stations revenues.
2510 The way that Skywards' model work it's like a barter system: we do their reports, they give us inventory, we sell that inventory, we make our revenue. So that doesn't directly affect the incumbent in the market.
2511 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you, potentially, could be selling ads across how many stations within this region?
2512 MR. ED TORRES: Well, when you look at our packages, we don't sell them a region specifically, right, so we group all of our stations together. So when you buy a package from us, you buy a southern Ontario package. So, you know, there's not going to be a direct Orillia buy that comes down, right? We don't do that.
2513 MR. BERNARD: I think it's also important to note that at Skywards we sell, essentially, one advertising vehicle, and that's a spot, it's a 10‑second spot, which, you know, has its own inherent challenges.
2514 With respect to, you know, incumbent stations, and SHORE‑FM, hopefully, you know, there's a multitude of other options to be able to present to advertisers: 30s, 60s, remotes, things like that.
2515 So, you know, there exists a clear distinction between what a licensed radio station can offer its perspective clients and what Skywards can, you know, offer those clients as well. And there's not a lot overlap there because, again, at Skywards we sell one thing, and that's tags.
2516 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay, thank. Those are my questions.
2517 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2518 One point of clarification. Page 15 of your oral presentation this morning, you said:
"The total CCD contribution is $350,000, with a minimum over an above contribution of $50,000." (As read)
2519 Did you leave off "per year" at the end of that sentence?
2520 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, I believe we did.
2521 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I just wanted ‑‑ I was pretty that's what was it, and that's what you meant, but the record is the record.
2522 I'm sure I also know the answer to this question, based on the conversation you had with Commissioner Patrone at the very beginning of the questioning, but are you able to provide us with updated financial capacity information within 10 days?
2523 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, absolutely.
2524 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2525 Legal counsel.
2526 MR. BOWLES: Yes, thank you, Madam Chair.
2527 I have just two quick housekeeping matters.
2528 First of all, would you be willing to abide by condition of license to the Equitable Portrayal Code?
2529 MR. ED TORRES: Yes, gladly.
2530 MR. BOWLES: And secondly, in response to an undertaking provided to the panel to provide the height of the receiving antenna used for the purposes of calculating the realistic contours, could you provide us with a date by which you would be willing to provide this information?
2531 MR. ED TORRES: Friday, Friday being the 30th.
2532 Did we come to a conclusion on that? Or the 29th.
2533 MR. BOWLES: No, I believe it is the 30th.
2534 MR. ED TORRES: The 30th, then.
2535 MR. BOWLES: That should be fine.
2536 Thank you, that's all.
2537 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you, Mr. Torres and Mr. Torres and your colleagues for your presentation this morning.
2538 MR. ED TORRES: Thank you.
2539 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be taking a 15‑minute break.
2540 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1001 / Suspension à 1001
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1022 / Reprise à 1022
2541 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
2542 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2543 We will now proceed with Item 7, which is an application by Rock 95 Broadcasting Ltd. for a licence to operate an English‑language FM commercial radio programming undertaking in Orillia.
2544 The new station would operate on Frequency 89.1 MHz, Channel 206A, with an effective radiated power of 6,000 watts, non‑directional antenna, with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 75 metres.
2545 Appearing for the Applicant is Mr. Doug Bingley.
2546 Please introduce your colleagues, and you will have 20 minutes to make your presentation.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
2547 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
2548 Commissioners, to my right is our comptroller, Cathy Buller. Cathy has been with Rock 95 for seven years. Prior to that she was an accountant in the manufacturing and health care industries.
2549 Beside Cathy is Deb Raynard. Deb is co‑host on the morning show of KOOL FM. Before joining us she was the Program Director and did mornings in Wingham. Prior to that she did mornings on a talk show in Owen Sound, mornings in St. John's, and she started it all in Corner Brook, where she tells me that she did a little bit of everything. If licensed, she will be the Program Director of SUN FM.
2550 Beside Deb is Tom Manton, our Sales Manager. Tom came to us from Maritime Broadcasting and NewCap, where he was Vice‑President of Sales and oversaw sales for the entire chain. He started his career at CKMP in Midland.
2551 To my left is Linda McGregor. Linda has worked with us for almost 20 years in the development of our Native programming, as well as appearing on‑air. Linda has just returned to university to obtain her Master's Degree.
2552 Beside Linda is Larry Campbell. He is the President of Campbell Media Research. Larry has 28 years of experience in this field, and he has owned and operated radio stations in small, medium and large markets.
2553 Commissioners, before I begin the formal part of our presentation, I would like to take a moment to give you a bit of an insight into why I am here today.
2554 Twenty years ago I made a conscious decision that I didn't want to be in the business of acquiring radio properties. Instead, I wanted to be involved in building and running a few great radio stations. That is because a great radio station can become an important part of people's lives. It can entertain them, it can inform them, it can comfort them, and, in some cases, radio actually can save lives.
2555 It is truly wonderful to create such a station and to work alongside the great talent that makes the station possible, and that is what has motivated me over the years.
2556 Commissioners, I have only applied over the years for a few licences, and I have only done so in situations where I thought we could make a significant difference, and this is one of those situations. If licensed, we can build, and we will build, a great radio station for the people of Orillia.
2557 Rather than us telling you what we think the people of Orillia need, I thought we would start our presentation by letting the people of Orillia speak for themselves.
2558 Let's take a look.
‑‑‑ Video presentation / Présentation vidéo
2559 MR. BINGLEY: How representative of the general population is this group of people? In fact, they are very representative, and I would ask Larry Campbell to comment on that.
2560 MR. CAMPBELL: Thanks, Doug.
2561 Commissioners, our market research study was based on a random sample of 200 Orillia residents, aged 18 to 64. This sample size has a low margin of error, as small as plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
2562 What you just heard on the video was clearly mirrored by the results of our study.
2563 Normally, when our firm is asked to conduct market research studies, we are looking for a small group of listeners who don't have an in‑market radio station that caters to their musical preferences.
2564 In the case of Orillia, however, it can truly be said that all of the listeners are disenfranchised. The station that is licensed to the market changed its programming in March 2008, and now targets the rest of the region, with minimum local content. The research shows clear evidence of this fact.
2565 Therefore, to maximize public benefit for Orillia residents, we were not looking for a format hole. Instead, our task was to identify which of the many formats we investigated would provide first radio service to the greatest number of people in Orillia.
2566 We did a comparative analysis that was quite comprehensive. As you can see on the screen, we looked at a total of eight formats. Due to time constraints I won't address each one in detail, but here is how they rank from top to bottom, based on what we call "Potential P‑1 Indexes", which are a very strong predictor of comparative market share.
2567 At the bottom you will see that the CHR format Potential P‑1 Index was only 8.
2568 Mainstream AC achieves a P‑1 index of only 11.5.
2569 Moving up a bit, the country format ranks at 16.5.
2570 The highest ranked format was full service, playing a wide range of musical styles. Its P‑1 index was 24.5, but the full service format didn't have strong support among the younger listeners, 18 to 34.
2571 Just behind full service, though, is hot adult contemporary, with a P‑1 index of 21.
2572 The hot AC format was much more popular with younger listeners.
2573 Now, here is the critically important fact from our research. From a listener's standpoint, these two formats are highly compatible. A station that combined the music of the mainstream hot adult contemporary format with the Orillia‑focused spoken word content of the full service format would broaden the demographic appeal, yet still achieve a P‑1 index of 23, which is statistically equivalent to the appeal of the full service format.
2574 You will note that we didn't test the niche formats, such as Indie and Triple A, which past experience shows would just not garner a sizeable audience. We view them as inappropriate for first service in a small market like Orillia.
2575 MR. BINGLEY: Thanks, Larry.
2576 We have established the need. Let's now talk about the how.
2577 Since this will be the community station for Orillia, we wanted to build it as a big tent type of radio station, one that is inclusive of most members of the community. The programming must be balanced, and if there is one message that I would like to send to you, this proposal is all about balance.
2578 I am going to ask Deb to describe how we are going to accomplish this.
2579 MS RAYNARD: Thanks, Doug.
2580 Let's begin by reviewing our musical balance. Our mainstream hot AC format would be broader than that of a major market hot AC station. The selections will be drawn from a variety of styles, compatible with a wide range of listeners.
2581 Let's take a listen to how that would sound.
‑‑‑ Audio clip / Clip audio
2582 MS RAYNARD: Let's turn to the other program content. The levels and themes of spoken word and news are balanced, to interest a wide range of listeners, and the delivery style will be relatable to a wide audience.
2583 In days gone by, full service stations appealed to a wide and varied audience through the use of block programming. While this worked well in single‑station markets with little competition, such an approach is not practical in a competitive market.
2584 In lieu of block programming, we will carefully balance the music with spoken word features all throughout our day.
2585 When we build a full service radio station for 2009, it is imperative that we make the listener the star and engage him or her whenever possible. SUN FM's updated programming schedule will appeal to that full range of listeners through shows like "Talk Back Orillia", "Days of Orillia Past", and "The Canadian Showcase".
2586 To compete with those other market stations we need great talent. This takes money, and, fortunately, we can reduce costs by drawing on the resources of our Barrie facility. This will free up funds and resources so that we can hire great quality air talent.
2587 Finally, the studios will be located downtown at street level, and our staff will become actively involved in community projects, creating even greater bonds with the community of Orillia.
2588 MR. BINGLEY: Thanks, Deb.
2589 Commissioners, when examining the various proposals before you, one of the most useful tools available is an analysis of the signals. The signals tell all.
2590 For example, here is the CICX‑FM Orillia and CICZ‑FM Midland transmitter site. It is on the highest piece of land in Simcoe County. It is 19 kilometres from Orillia, 28 kilometres from Midland, but only 12 kilometres from Barrie.
2591 Here are CICX‑FM service contours, which are virtually identical to those of their Midland station, CICZ. You will see that it gives them full access to the Barrie market.
2592 Across the country, wherever a smaller station's signal encompasses a larger market, their marketing and programming has invariably shifted toward that larger market.
2593 For example, it happened in Woodstock, Ontario. It happened in Orangeville, Ontario. And the same has happened here in Orillia, and I see that later in this hearing you are going to be addressing the very same issue for St. Catharines.
2594 Now, a number of the proposals before you today do provide regional coverage in their technical plans, at the expense of the local Orillia signal.
2595 I am sure that all of these applicants have honourable intent, but in the fullness of time the combination of those large coverage areas and economic forces would naturally skew the programming of those stations away from Orillia, toward the region. It is like the force of gravity.
2596 However, here is our coverage area. Our transmitter site will be located within the Orillia city limits, providing a better signal in Orillia than that proposed by any other applicant.
2597 You will note that our signal does not encompass any other major population centres.
2598 It is our equivalent of burning our boats on the shore. There can be no doubt but that this will be an Orillia radio station.
2599 I would like to turn now to Canadian talent. Our commitment is $526,000, the greatest amount of all applicants, but it is not just about the money. These are great programs, and we would like to tell you about a couple of them.
2600 Our "Youth at Risk" music program will be operated by the Orillia Youth Centre. It provides three benefits: first, the immediate social benefits; second, talent development for youth; and, finally, future opportunities. Just as an athletic program for youth can lead to future athletic stars, we believe that a music program for youth can lead to future musical stars. This program really can make a difference in kids' lives.
2601 Something that is very unique to our company has been our work with Native broadcasters. Linda McGregor will address this at this time.
2602 MS McGREGOR: Commissioners, I have worked with Rock 95 for over 18 years, and here is a bit of the company's background.
2603 Doug Bingley made his first commitment to Aboriginal programming 20 years ago, one of the first commercial broadcasters to ever do so.
2604 In 1997, Doug and I met with Gary Farmer, and we were instrumental in the conception of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network. We were the first broadcasters to ever propose funding and support for Aboriginal radio stations, and due to those commitments, we built four Native community radio stations in this area.
2605 Through this application, our first goal is to ensure the continuing success of those stations. Our prior commitment to provide operating funds for the stations will run out in approximately one year. Although the stations have developed some other sources of funding, they will see a shortfall once those payments conclude, and their continued operation could be in jeopardy.
2606 Therefore, we are proposing to provide financial support for a further seven years, and our support extends beyond funding, to include training, technical and moral support, which, of course, will continue.
2607 One problem that we identified through our work with community stations has been timely Aboriginal news content. To address this issue, we will work with the Union of Ontario Indians to set up a broadcast news bureau. We will provide the necessary equipment, training and support to get this bureau up and running.
2608 In addition, we will also air a one‑hour weekly Native show on SUN FM, which will be hosted by local Native talent.
2610 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you, Linda.
2611 Commissioners, there are some great proposals before you today, but at the end of the day you will be awarding a licence to a company and to the people who run that company, so here is a little bit about us.
2612 We operate two radio stations in Barrie, and over time those stations have become part of the community. People love our radio stations. They become just as important to them as the public library or the park at the end of their street.
2613 We have accomplished this through a commitment to connecting with our listeners, and through a philosophy of always giving back to the community.
2614 I am sure you have noticed the many interventions and letters of support that we have received from local charities and groups that we have helped over the years.
2615 A great example of this is our Christmas toy drive, which has helped give a Christmas to needy kids for almost 20 years, raising close to $2 million in cash and toys over that period.
2616 But this year the toy donations were way down, and the bank account was almost bare. As a fundraiser, two of our jocks camped out for 26 hours in freezing weather. The response from the public was overwhelming, generating mountains of toys and thousands of dollars in contributions.
2617 One of the agencies that we work with, which does their own fundraising, contacted us a few days before Christmas to say that, due to the current economy, they were down about a third on their donations, and they didn't know what to do. They needed $38,000.
2618 That afternoon we were able to present them with a cheque for the full amount. They called it the miracle they had prayed for.
2619 That was made possible by the hard work of our great staff, and the fantastic rapport that we hold with our listeners.
2620 We can do the same here in Orillia. SUN FM can make a huge difference for the people of Orillia, and it will become just as important to them as their public library or the park at the end of their street. In time, they will grow to love their radio station.
2621 To conclude our presentation, I would like to close by playing an audio clip. More than anything else, it tells you what we are all about. This is a phone call from one of our KOOL FM listeners. Her husband was stationed in Afghanistan at the time.
‑‑‑ Audio clip / Clip audio
2622 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioners, I am happy to report that Joel Cam returned home safely three weeks later, and that is a picture of him in Afghanistan with some Afghan kids. He is delivering some soccer balls that were donated by Barrie children.
2623 That concludes our presentation.
2624 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Bingley and your colleagues, for your presentation this morning.
2625 Just for the record, could you please identify the appendices that you have attached to your oral presentation, just so everybody else in the room knows the information you have given us?
2626 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, there are two appendices. The first appendix contains some contour maps. Actually, we will have them up on the screen, as well, later in this presentation.
2627 The second one is a contour map, as well.
2628 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Like I said, it's just so that everybody in the room knows what it is that we are looking at.
2629 I will ask Commissioner Menzies to start the questioning.
2630 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you.
2631 Thanks for your presentation.
2632 Speaking of contours, our records indicate that the contours for your two Barrie stations intersect with the proposed Orillia contours, and that makes it appear that approval of the new licence would put you in contravention of the Common Ownership Policy.
2633 Do you agree?
2634 MR. BINGLEY: I don't agree with that interpretation. We have prepared a little presentation that covers this off.
2635 The first point ‑‑ and I think that Mr. Larche mentioned it yesterday ‑‑ this is the definition of the market as contained in CRTC policy, and it states that the market is the lesser of the 3 millivolt contour or the BBM cell, whichever is smaller.
2636 If you take a look, you will see that there is the Orillia BBM cell, and next ‑‑
2637 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is this in here?
2638 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, it is.
2639 If you want to follow along through that ‑‑
2640 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: My eyes are kind of elderly, and I ‑‑
2641 MR. BINGLEY: I know the feeling. I can't see the screen from here.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2642 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is that it?
2643 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, that's it.
2644 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just thought that I would get my revenge.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2645 MR. BINGLEY: Could you hold it back a bit farther, I am having trouble seeing it.
2646 The first one shows Orillia. It is labelled "Orillia" at the top of that document, and you will see that that is the BBM cell. It's the grey area. It is at the north end of Lake Simcoe, and it includes Lake Couchiching.
2647 The next page shows Barrie, and you can see that that is at the south end of Lake Simcoe, and, in fact, they are not contiguous. They do not connect with each other.
2648 Under our interpretation of the FM policy, this certainly would indicate that we are in compliance.
2649 However, the next issue that we would like to address is the 3 millivolt per metre contour.
2650 I put this in here particularly for Commissioner Lamarre. I thought that she would appreciate it.
2651 These are our realistic contours, at a height of 9.1 metres, the antenna receive height, and the area that we have highlighted in yellow is the realistic 3 millivolt. You will see outside the yellow area on your documents that Orillia is not encompassed, in fact, by the real 3 millivolt contour of CKMB.
2652 So although we believe that we have passed the test in terms of the BBM ‑‑ smaller of BBM ‑‑ I think, in fact, when we look at the 3 millivolt per metre contours, we certainly also pass that part of the test in spirit.
2653 Moving forward, I think that the real issue is undue influence in the market. So the next page shows the Orillia CA, the BBM figures, and the share of hours tuned.
2654 Now, you can see that CICX has a 17.2 share. CFJB, which is our station, has a 15.3 share. But way at the bottom is CKMB, with a 4.2 share.
2655 You can see that our two stations, combined, have a share of 19, which is just a little bit more than the large CICX station in the market.
2656 That is partly due to the signal and partly due to the fact that CKMB is purely a Barrie‑focused radio station. It is a Barrie community radio station.
2657 In addition, CKMB is a hot AC, and once we bring a new hot AC to the Orillia market, we would naturally expect that tuning to go, effectively, to zero.
2658 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: If I could interrupt you for a second, if CKMB is purely a Barrie station, what is CFJB?
2659 MR. BINGLEY: CFJB is a Barrie station ‑‑ we call it Barrie's rock station ‑‑ but it also provides coverage to the region, which is how it was positioned when we first applied for the licence in 1998.
2660 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I wasn't saying that there was anything wrong with it, I was trying to ‑‑
2661 MR. BINGLEY: No, no.
2662 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Continue from where you were.
2663 MR. BINGLEY: I'll slow down.
2664 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's okay.
2665 MR. BINGLEY: On the matter of precedents, as you look across the country, it is quite common in terms of adjoining markets to have a similar situation, and where, in all cases, the 3 millivolt may not be there, certainly there is a strong 500 microvolt, maybe 1 millivolt, which certainly, in most cases, would make these very similar to what we are seeing here.
2666 If we take a look at Astral, they have two FMs in St. Catharines, one FM and one AM in Hamilton.
2667 CTV has two FMs in Peterborough, and in an adjoining market, Lindsay, which is a similar distance, they have one FM.
2668 Corus, in fact, operates two FMs in Barrie ‑‑ and this is very similar ‑‑ and one FM in Collingwood. It is a lower power FM. Again, Simcoe County is a similar distance from Barrie as we are here in Orillia.
2669 On top of that, if you overlay that tuning, the signals come in from their two Toronto FMs and one AM in Toronto.
2670 So you can see that these broadcasters certainly are in no different situation than ourselves.
2671 Finally, I think, in terms of the real spirit of the policy, that we are talking about undue influence and not giving share a voice. You can see that we own no other media properties. We are not in television, we are not in newspaper, we are not in specialty. We have two radio stations in Canada, and that's it.
2672 So, for all of those reasons, that's why I believe that (a) we are in compliance, and (b) we certainly meet the spirit of the policy, as well.
2673 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you.
2674 There were some other decisions that the Commission made in the not too distant past ‑‑ Okanagan, North Battleford ‑‑ a couple of Pattison stations there ‑‑ and Campbell River, recently, where the Commission denied some of the applications.
2675 We are, obviously, not going to solve all of that today, it's a longer discussion, but I understand your argument, and I expect that Commissioner Lamarre might have some questions on it, which is handy.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2676 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: However, I do want to know, if, at the end of the day, you lose that argument and it is found that an Orillia station would put you in contravention of the Common Ownership Policy, what actions would you propose to take?
2677 MR. BINGLEY: First, we would be willing to accept a Condition of Licence that CKMB not sell in the Orillia market.
2678 While that is more of a marketing issue, it certainly, I think, from your standpoint, could give you some comfort that there would be no temptation for us to shift the programming toward the market.
2679 Second, we would, if you required, reduce the pattern ‑‑ adjust the pattern of CKMB in this direction.
2680 That is somewhat problematic for us, in that it is a shared antenna system, and it may require us to reduce the transmitter power output, which would give us a bit of a problem, because we take commuters down Highway 400, and to the south we are limited, in terms of our pattern, to something in the order of 1,000 to 1,500 watts.
2681 So you can see that reducing the power in this direction, by just turning down the amplifier on the transmitter, could create some problems, but we would accept that.
2682 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One of the things that crossed my mind when you were speaking about your contours with this application, and how it would basically fence you into just Orillia ‑‑ as you said, burning your boats on the beach. That's good, but what is to prevent you from discovering two or three years down the road that that's really not working for you, and you are coming back to us saying: I need to rebuild my boat and get back across the lake, because this isn't working. The market reach is too small and I need to expand.
2683 MR. BINGLEY: We seem to get water analogies in ‑‑
2684 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Water, water, everywhere, yes.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2685 MR. BINGLEY: I think the first point I would make is that, over the years, if you look historically at the Orillia market, if you look at the incumbent going back to the Telemedia times, there was sufficient revenue in the market to run a station with a modest profit, with an operating margin of 10 to 15 percent. So I am not concerned that the boat won't float.
2686 In terms of what is to prevent me ‑‑ I guess we are putting it on the public record that I won't be doing that.
2687 The other factor is ‑‑ I can't say anything else. That's it. That's my commitment. I won't do it.
2688 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I want to touch on the research that you mentioned in your oral presentation ‑‑ the 200, and the 3.4 percent ‑‑ and then you kind of get into your age group breakouts and that sort of stuff. Those must have significantly higher margins of error once you get into quoting 18 to 34, once you get into the various demographic breakouts.
2689 In a sample size of 200 you have 3.4 percent, but surely, if you get into 18 to 34‑year‑old women, it's, what, 12 percent?
2690 MR. CAMPBELL: As the sample size goes down, the margin of error goes up, obviously, and our projections are based on 18 to 64. It's the full amount of the sample, so the smaller margin of error would apply.
2691 But, yes, when you get into 15 or 20 people, it is really unreliable data.
2692 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But you are still comfortable, because you have taken the broadest possible approach ‑‑
2693 MR. CAMPBELL: Yes.
2694 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: ‑‑ in terms of that?
2695 MR. CAMPBELL: Absolutely.
2696 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You talk quite a bit in your application, in your supplementary brief at least, about the dedication to news, with three reporters/producers.
2697 Can you take me through their roles a little bit, because it struck me that with three ‑‑ you have one doing the morning drive, another doing the afternoon drive, and the third is a reporter, but also producing the noon‑hour show.
2698 It strikes me that you have them pinned down in the office quite a bit, and with the amount of time you have dedicated to news, I am wondering if a staff that size will be able to produce anything other than rip‑and‑read press releases over the air, or will they be able to actually get out into the community?
2699 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, we have a swing newsperson, as well as a weekend person, and Deb will address that question.
2700 MS RAYNARD: We have a morning show newscaster, who will be our News Director as well, and there will be some morning show co‑hosting duties with that.
2701 The afternoon newsperson will actually be the producer for the midday talk show ‑‑ the noon‑hour talk show ‑‑ and then we will have a newsperson who will be working on weekends, and also covering off some of our reporting. So we will have somebody actually out covering the beat a fair bit ‑‑ council meetings ‑‑
2702 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Sure. Can you give me ‑‑
2703 I am trying to be fair. I understand that this isn't the CNN newsroom.
2704 MS RAYNARD: Good.
2705 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: It's not a big market and, you know, these things all have their limitations, but could you take me through the day with the third reporter?
2706 What percentage of the time would they be in the studio giving news updates, and what percentage of the time would they actually be able to get out the door and talk to people?
2707 MS RAYNARD: The third person, almost fifty‑fifty, because we have that person in doing casts on the weekends, and then we have kind of a swing shift. They are out throughout the week ‑‑ technically it is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, but we will be able to call upon them when we have a council meeting.
2708 It will pretty much be fifty‑fifty for that person to be out and about.
2709 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The other two are primarily studio‑based, then?
2710 MS RAYNARD: Primarily.
2711 Again, they will be able to get out as much as possible, as well. But, yes, they are probably going to be inside.
2712 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes, typically.
2713 I am sure that you will get your pound of flesh out of them.
2714 MS RAYNARD: Oh ‑‑ hello!
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2715 MS RAYNARD: No worries.
2716 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, if I could add, in small market radio newsrooms the telephone is our friend.
2717 We can get someone on the telephone, and get an actuality on the telephone, and get it on the air.
2718 The other thing that happens quite a bit is that the news comes to us.
2719 For example, a couple of weeks ago there was a fire in a seniors' home in Orillia, and ‑‑ bang ‑‑ we got a call from a listener who was out and about, and we actually had them on the air, describing the scene.
2720 Our listeners are a great source, and we do integrate them into the programming.
2721 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. I think that answers my question, thanks.
2722 Tell me a little bit about the noon‑hour talk show. How are you going to sustain that?
2723 It is a really neat idea, but it's an hour long.
2724 MS RAYNARD: It's an hour long.
2725 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And that's a lot of yackety‑yackety‑yack.
2726 MS RAYNARD: Oh, we love yackety‑yackety‑yack, though, in small markets.
2727 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Tell me who is yackety‑yacketing for an hour every day.
2728 MS RAYNARD: It will depend. It's a call‑in show, so the midday announcer ‑‑ we will be calling upon that person to take a look at the Orillia market, to see what is going on, to be able to bring some topics to the table.
2729 We will be calling upon our listeners. Again, this is their forum. This is where local radio shines. You open up your phone lines: What's on your mind? What's going on? What's bugging you? What's ticking you off? What makes you happy?
2730 There will be a lot of that interaction, as well.
2731 As well, we will be able to rely on a very local news department, to call upon them with news stories of the day, the newsmakers, talk to council, the reaction from council stories...
2732 It will be a mixture of all of the different things that are going on on a daily basis in Orillia.
2733 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Do you do this elsewhere?
2734 MS RAYNARD: I have personally, yes.
2735 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: But your ‑‑
2736 MS RAYNARD: Our current ‑‑ no.
2737 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: All right. We will go on from there.
2738 Your daily editorials ‑‑ yes, daily editorials you are proposing, as well. I am interested, again, in whether you have the resources to pull that off, because those aren't easy things to do.
2739 To put it bluntly, to do a good editorial and not get yourself in too much trouble requires a little bit of time for research on things.
2740 They say that opinions are like belly buttons, right, everybody has one, but you can't do something substantive and not get yourself into too much trouble if you are just reading what somebody else has done and then ‑‑
2741 I mean, you can, but I just want to know how you manage it.
2742 MS RAYNARD: Again, this is where we rely on our listeners, to get the feeling, the pulse of what is going on, and in some cases using their words. We will be reading some of their input.
2743 A lot of input is coming into our website, and into the radio station itself. We will be posting responses to the different stories we have, in some cases ‑‑ you know, letters to the editor.
2744 So they will be making their way into part of our editorial comments ‑‑
2745 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I'm sorry to interrupt ‑‑ this would be sort of like a community forum, then, for people to ‑‑
2746 MS RAYNARD: That will be part of it. Also, our News Director, that will be part of their daily routine, to come up with topics that are local, that are topical, and that are national and international stories, as well.
2747 Of course, everything that is going on nationally ‑‑ smoking in the car with our kids ‑‑ affects you in Ottawa, or you in Nova Scotia, and me in Orillia today, as well.
2748 There are a lot of national stories, as well, that we could put that local flavour to.
2749 I don't think we will have any problems at all.
2750 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, if I could interject, we do that now at Rock 95. Our News Director does a daily editorial. It's called "From the Cheap Seats", and he has been doing that now for probably about 14 years, and I am very aware of some of the issues surrounding that.
2751 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I bet you are.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2752 MS RAYNARD: We have a very good legal team.
2753 MR. BINGLEY: I have to tell you, I was really happy the other day ‑‑ every day I am on the radio, and I do "President's Pick". I play a song.
2754 Last week I played Electric Light Orchestra, and I'm thinking: This is great. This is a song that no one has heard for a long time.
2755 Everyone gives me fan mail.
2756 Well, I get an e‑mail, and this guy is going up one side of me and down the other. He called me an old goat, and said that I should go and live in a microbus in Orillia.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2757 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Did you?
2758 MR. BINGLEY: I took it as an endorsement, so...
2759 MS RAYNARD: We're here.
2760 MR. BINGLEY: Here I am.
2761 I realized that that was the first time anyone had ever complained about me, and, you know, over the years I have had a few concerns with "The Cheap Seats", because, of course, when you have a point of view, people dispute it.
2762 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: To sort of close this off, what percentage of the content in these would have something to do with ‑‑ specific to the local market, something to do with Orillia?
2763 What is your experience in Barrie ‑‑ national, international, and other things?
2764 I understand that they are contextual and that sort of stuff, but we are talking locally, and we are talking about serving this community.
2765 What percentage of these things would really be about something happening right here, within your contour?
2766 MR. BINGLEY: I would say, approximately, 50 percent.
2767 And you are right, in terms of context, that issues such as the impact, for example, of layoffs is a local issue as well as a national issue.
2768 There could be a layoff at GM, which has an impact locally here.
2769 In terms of hard local, to answer your question, it's about 50 percent.
2770 It is not always hard news, by the way. We had a great editorial one day ‑‑ Al Brown, the News Director, was talking about how people are afraid of mice. I thought it was beautifully written, because he commented that people love squirrels, which he considers to be a rat in a fur coat, but yet people are afraid of mice.
2771 Now, that's a local thing because ‑‑ well, I guess it's a universal thing, but that's the wide range of the editorial comment.
2772 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: One of our criteria, as you know, is diversity, and given that you already have some presence ‑‑ you have a 19.5 share from your two Barrie stations in this community ‑‑ help us understand how a licence for you in Orillia would add to diversity, in terms of advertising ‑‑
2773 You can answer these all at once, if you want, or separately.
2774 ‑‑ advertising, marketing, ownership and editorial options.
2775 MR. BINGLEY: If I could start at the end, with editorial options, first, you are looking at separate news departments, newsrooms, right through to the general manager.
2776 One area that I don't mess around with at the radio station is news. I have always believed that there should be that separation of ownership from the actual content on the air. I consider that a responsibility of mine, and, quite frankly, some days I would be afraid to go into the newsroom to try to have any influence.
2777 That is sort of a personal commitment, but the real fact is, you have a separate staff here which is totally distinct from the Barrie operation.
2778 In terms of ownership, I can't say that we bring additional ownership, but I can say that we only have the two radio stations in Canada. We are an independent, and, in fact, in our opinion, issuing us this licence would help to ensure our continued operation as an independent.
2779 To that extent, in terms of the broadcasting system, that maintains diversity.
2780 In terms of marketing and advertising, we are far from a duopoly, or even an oligopoly in this market. There are a lot of stations selling into here. You have everything from the Newmarket station, all the way up to The Moose, up in Bracebridge, which does some radio sales here.
2781 Of course, Larche would continue, as would the Corus operation.
2782 Obviously, we wouldn't be broadening the ownership, but we certainly wouldn't be shrinking the ownership from where it stands today.
2783 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How would your sales team operate?
2784 Would your sales team be based in Orillia, or would your sales team be working out of your Barrie offices, and would they be selling both ‑‑ or all three?
2785 MR. BINGLEY: They would be based ‑‑
2786 I should let Tom answer this.
2787 Do you want to answer this, Tom?
2788 MR. MANTON: Absolutely.
2789 Thank you, Commissioner. We would see a separate sales force of three people and a sales manager based out of Orillia.
2790 We do not anticipate a three‑station package whatsoever, it would be SUN FM.
2791 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You are telling me that advertisers wouldn't be offered a package buy?
2792 MR. MANTON: We wouldn't put the three stations together. We might have Rock 95, we might have SUN FM, but we don't see that we would be selling three stations.
2793 I think that Doug already referenced that.
2794 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, we would take a commitment to that ‑‑ and I think this is an important point, by the way, Commissioner. A stand‑alone station would have a real problem in this market trying to sell radio advertising, and us selling these stations in combo, we don't shy away from that. We think that Rock 95 and SUN FM, by selling them in combo, would ensure the ongoing success of SUN FM.
2795 It's a roundabout way of saying: To the extent that we can continue with this thing, it doesn't have to go to a larger operator or something, and it would succeed.
2796 Yes, combo is the way to go.
2797 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Did I just hear you say that you would accept a Condition of Licence restricting your sales on that?
2798 MR. BINGLEY: We would accept a Condition of Licence to not sell CKMB, which is our other Barrie station, in this market, yes.
2799 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: If you had an Orillia station, would your Barrie staff be upselling Orillia to people in Barrie?
2800 MR. BINGLEY: Actually, that is an opportunity. In Barrie, there are some advertisers that would be interested in Orillia.
2801 There was some talk about Orillia retailers wanting access to the region. The reality is, not many people are going to get in their car and drive from Barrie to Orillia to buy a computer, or a suit, or even to go to a restaurant. The commuting patterns are to the south.
2802 So, yes, there are some opportunities there to say that we have an Orillia station and we can bring the Orillia market to you.
2803 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You indicated that there is about $850,000 a year that comes out of Orillia ‑‑ advertising buy ‑‑ the Orillia market that goes to out‑of‑market stations.
2804 MR. BINGLEY: Correct.
2805 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So you would obviously want to try to capture some of that within your own company.
2806 MR. BINGLEY: Oh, most definitely, and we would want to capture that in the Orillia radio station's revenue base.
2807 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: How much of that $850,000 that leaves Orillia now are you getting with your Barrie operations?
2808 MR. MANTON: We are getting just a little north of $350,000.
2809 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: That's not bad.
2810 I want to touch quickly on your CCD contributions. I need to clarify a couple of things.
2811 Involving your contributions to the Jazz Festival, which, I think, is $2,000, the Blues Festival, $4,000, and your planned Street Music Festival, I just need to make sure that the money meets the requirements of the Commercial Radio Policy in regards to its definition of direct expenditures to artists, et cetera.
2812 Which portions of each of these festivals will be supported by your proposed CCD contributions?
2813 MR. BINGLEY: All of it would be dedicated to hiring ‑‑ to artists' performing fees.
2814 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: For the record, will you ensure that each of these contributions is made in the fashion that qualifies them as acceptable contributions under CRTC Guidelines?
2815 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, we shall.
2816 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. That was the right answer.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2817 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: What percentage of current out‑of‑market listeners in Orillia do you think you would repatriate?
2818 MR. BINGLEY: In terms of tuning?
2819 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.
2820 MR. BINGLEY: I will let Larry address that.
2821 MR. CAMPBELL: The combination of the full service/hot AC format has significantly more appeal than the country format. A very high percentage of listeners would only listen once in a while, or almost never to the country format, and by bringing in an alternative to the country format, with the full service/hot AC format, which focuses on Orillia, there would be a significant number of those listeners recaptured, particularly in terms of tuning and time spent listening.
2822 They would simply spend more time with the station.
2823 It would feature the most desired type of music, which was tested with eight different options, and it would specialize in local news and community involvement, weather and traffic.
2824 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, give me a number. I need ‑‑
2825 MR. BINGLEY: Sure.
2826 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Best guess.
2827 MR. BINGLEY: Going through it, the natural targets, in terms of music, are the two out‑of‑market AC stations, which are CHAY FM, which has about an 11 percent share, and KOOL FM, which has about a 4 percent share. So that is 15 percent that is up for grabs, and we would capture about two‑thirds of that.
2828 So there would be 10 percent of it coming from that source.
2829 Of the balance, it will be widely spread, a little bit from here and there.
2830 The important thing to realize with this format is that there will be listeners who will tune primarily for the music, but there will also be a lot of other listeners who will ‑‑
‑‑‑ Technical difficulties / Difficultés techniques
2831 MR. BINGLEY: I didn't do that.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2832 MR. BINGLEY: Where was I?
2833 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: You were doing exactly what I needed you to do. I need a breakdown of where you were going to get it, and I need the short version.
2834 MR. BINGLEY: Okay. The breakdown will be, approximately, 10 percent from those two out‑of‑market stations ‑‑ sorry, about 50 percent from those out‑of‑market stations, 25 percent from the other out‑of‑market stations ‑‑
2835 Actually, the majority of it will be, because the country format ‑‑ if you define the only in‑market station as CICX, it's country ‑‑ we might get a couple of share points. So virtually all of it will come from out‑of‑market stations.
2836 That was a long, circuitous route.
2837 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Larche said that its proposed new station would draw 60 percent of its revenues from its incumbent station in Year 2, and your application predicts zero from the Larche incumbent in Year 2.
2838 I am having a lot of trouble figuring that one out. How could it be that it would be zero?
2839 MR. MANTON: We certainly find, it has been my experience, that country advertisers are much like country listeners, they are loyal to a fault. They are buying that particular format because they want to have access to a country listener.
2840 The reality is, our focus will not be on that radio station. We want to have a mainstream hot AC station that is going to build new advertisers in the market.
2841 In Year 2, almost half ‑‑ $295,000 ‑‑ of our revenue will be coming from Barrie radio stations, and that will be our focus, repatriating those Orillia advertisers back to a local station, and that's what is going to make the difference, because it's local.
2842 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: The number you had on that was 47 percent, but 53 percent is coming from Orillia, and it's just hard to imagine that one of your sales reps wouldn't be knocking on a door and saying: I know you love your country, but at least peel off 10 percent or 20 percent.
2843 MR. BINGLEY: I think the answer to that is churn, and how we have presented this ‑‑
2844 For example, our sources of revenue ‑‑ in the second year we show market growth of $105,000. That is market growth.
2845 The way we have broken it out is, we have said that 100 percent of that is going to us. Obviously, it won't go to us. A portion of that will go to the existing station, and certainly some of the revenue will come from that station.
2846 When we put this thing together, what we were trying to illustrate was the overall impact of that.
2847 So $105,000 market growth ‑‑ let's say that we get half of it, CICX gets half of it, and then we have half of that amount again, if we take ‑‑
2848 I hate doing numbers.
2849 One hundred and five thousand, we would get half of it ‑‑ $50,000 ‑‑ the other half would go to CICX, and $50,000 of their existing clients come to us. It nets out at zero.
2850 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So it's not that you don't have an impact, it is just that it is a net to zero.
2851 MR. BINGLEY: It nets to zero, that's correct.
2852 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So they don't shrink, but they don't grow.
2853 MR. BINGLEY: That's correct.
2854 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: If you have taken 47 percent from out‑of‑market, how much of that are you risking as cannibalizing from your own Barrie operations?
2855 MR. MANTON: We would estimate almost $80,000 from KOOL FM, and possibly about another 50 from Rock 95.
2856 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you very much, those are my questions.
2857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2858 Without even scanning the panel, I am going to throw it to Commissioner Lamarre first.
2859 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2860 First, I have to demonstrate that I am not interested in maps only, so I would like to know which ELO song you actually played on radio.
2861 MR. BINGLEY: It was Ma‑Ma‑Ma Bell.
2862 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: I guess that I'm an old goat, too.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2863 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: I will start with the easy question about your coverage map, which is Figure 7 of your engineering brief.
2864 It shows the predicted contour for your Orillia proposed station, and it also shows areas of interference that you would be receiving from incumbent stations. I am sure that Mr. Moltnar took you through this, but I just want to make sure you realize what it means. It means that, in this area, you will receive interference, either now or in the future, meaning a few years after you have launched, if existing incumbents increase their power, or if some other licences are given out on Industry Canada's allotment.
2865 You are aware of that situation?
2866 MR. BINGLEY: Absolutely, Commissioner. I believe that there is an allotment for Collingwood. There is also a first adjacent ‑‑ most of these are first adjacent, and there is one co‑channel in Kitchener, I believe.
2867 So, yes, we are well aware of that.
2868 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And you accept the situation as is?
2869 MR. BINGLEY: Absolutely. Yes, we do.
2870 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Going to the map you provided to us this morning in relation to the Common Ownership Policy ‑‑
2871 I will try to articulate my questions as best as I can in English.
2872 You are right, I do like it, but I want more, and I am going to tell you why.
2873 The whole point of the Common Ownership Policy is to demonstrate whether or not there is overlap between the contours, and on this map all I have is one contour. We don't have the contour from CFJB, we don't have the contour from your proposed station in Orillia.
2874 In order for this to really be relevant to this issue, we would need to have a map that shows all of these contours.
2875 MR. BINGLEY: Certainly. If I could comment just for a second ‑‑ let's bring up SUN FM. This is our proposed realistic contour.
2876 You are correct, they do overlap outside of the Orillia market.
2877 If you take a look at that map, you will see that there is really not a sizeable population where that overlap occurs. It is south of Orillia, and we are not showing the CKMB or the CFJB here, but certainly, in terms of the overlap of what we just saw with CKMB, that is the area of overlap, an area of very small population.
2878 With respect to the CFJB 3 millivolt contour, it definitely does cover the Orillia central area. There is no doubt about it. The CFJB contour ‑‑
2879 I will bring it up.
2880 MR. BINGLEY: Between the two of us, we will see if we can torture the rest of the panel.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2881 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, I think that I am going to have to buy my own dinner tonight.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2882 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: What you are showing here is exactly what I do not want to see, and I am going to tell you why.
2883 MR. BINGLEY: Okay.
2884 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You have just shown two realistic contour calculations, and now you are showing me a theoretical one.
2885 We cannot mix both. Either we make the point with all theoretical contours, or we make the point with all realistic contours.
2886 MR. BINGLEY: Okay. I understand your point. This is not a realistic contour, and what I am conceding here is that the theoretical would come out quite a bit north of Orillia.
2887 I could prepare that for you. Actually, let's put it that way.
2888 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. That will limit the suffering of my colleagues here, if you agree to provide that to us.
2889 I also take the point that you have made ‑‑ obviously you were in the room yesterday, and you were listening to my questions, and you did specify the receiving antenna height in the calculations.
2890 Again, I am going to need to ask for a little bit more in that context, because of what is at stake here. I think that once you provide a map showing all of the realistic contours, I also need to know which prediction model was used, including the version number and the percentage of location and the percentage of time for the reception.
2891 MR. BINGLEY: I am making a note of that. I believe that Mr. Moltnar is listening in at the moment, and hopefully he is writing that down.
2892 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, and I am sure that he is not even surprised.
2893 MR. BINGLEY: Okay.
2894 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: To a point that is more one of principle, even when we use theoretical contours, those contours are predicated on statistics that were put out many years ago, I agree.
2895 When we do a realistic contour, it is also a statistical prediction, but we factor in the local topography, which gives us what we believe is a more accurate picture. But it has always been the theoretical contours that have been licensed. It is those contours that are protected, and I am sure that you wouldn't want to see the protection of your CKMB station diminished to what you are showing me here.
2896 Are you suggesting that we should be applying the policy with contours that best suit the situation of the ownership that is in question or ‑‑
2897 What are you suggesting by presenting those realistic contours?
2898 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, if you take a look ‑‑ and it depends ‑‑ it depends ‑‑ on the part of the country.
2899 In Saskatchewan, for example, there are a lot of places where the theoretical and the realistic ‑‑ I mean, they are going to be pretty close.
2900 If you take Orillia, for example, the reality is that the city is built around a bay, so there is a rapid drop ‑‑ the terrain is what makes the difference here. There is a lot of shadowing because of the terrain.
2901 In terms of the Commission, overall, making an assessment, I think, in fairness, if you just look at the realistic, you are actually going to be imposing different ‑‑ a more stringent requirement in terrain with rolling hills or different topography than you are in an area of the country where it is flat‑as‑a‑pancake topography.
2902 It is obviously up to the Commission to decide what applies, and in what situation, but I think that realistic says it all.
2903 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Put yourself in the opposite situation. As an existing broadcaster, who would want to bring up the fact that a competitor is coming in with a third station in the market, what would you think would be fairest to you, the incumbent, in this analysis, looking at theoretical, what is licensed ‑‑ what is legally licensed by the Commission and what is recognized as the protected contour by Industry Canada, or factor in uncertainty in looking to those realistic contours?
2904 MR. BINGLEY: Commissioner, in all honesty, I believe that it should be realistic ‑‑ not realistic ‑‑
2905 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Theoretical licence?
2906 MR. BINGLEY: Not the theoretical, the realistic. It should be realistic, what really exists.
2907 We have had disputes in the past with a broadcaster on first adjacent channel, and they went to Industry Canada, and they said ‑‑
2908 No, we were moving our transmitter site, and they said: Hey, look, you are imposing on our theoretical.
2909 We came back with realistic, and Industry Canada upheld it because, in fact, we weren't causing interference to them.
2910 Personally, I think that realistic is the way to go, because realistic is real. That's where it comes from.
2911 In terms of this policy, however, I think we come back, first, to the point that, notwithstanding the whole issue of the signal contours, the policy pretty clearly says that it is the lesser of the BBM cell.
2912 I brought this forward because I believe ‑‑ I want to meet the spirit of the policy and overexceed it, but certainly I believe that we have met the policy. We are in adherence to the policy, based upon the BBM cells.
2913 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you, those are my questions.
2914 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2915 Commissioner Molnar.
2916 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I just want to ensure that I understand what you are proposing here.
2917 Your hot AC format is very similar, as I understand it, to what you have with CKMB in Barrie.
2918 Is that right?
2919 MR. BINGLEY: That's correct.
2920 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And the rest of your format, your spoken word and so on, would be very similar to what you offer to your Barrie residents?
2921 MR. BINGLEY: There is a little bit more. There is more news to it and more spoken word, but in terms of presentation style, yes, it is.
2922 MS RAYNARD: Our music, also, is mainstream hot AC, which is ‑‑ in Barrie we are playing more current music. That is a typical hot AC, what you would hear on CHUM FM in Toronto, sort of thing, but ours is more mainstream, so more of a mixture ‑‑ fifty‑fifty ‑‑ between current music and gold selections. That is what we are proposing for Orillia.
2923 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I was going to follow this ‑‑ and I will ask the question anyway. What is your market share in Barrie with the hot AC format that you have there, and the format that you would be copying, in large part, here to Orillia?
2924 MR. BINGLEY: The market share in Barrie is approximately 11.5 percent, with CKMB.
2925 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So where does that fit you in the market?
2926 MR. BINGLEY: That places us third in the market.
2927 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Third in Barrie.
2928 MR. BINGLEY: Yes.
2929 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
2930 That was my only question.
2931 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Patrone.
2932 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
2933 Good morning.
2934 MR. BINGLEY: Good morning.
2935 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I want to pick up on something that Commissioner Molnar just asked you about, which is market share. I see that by Year 7, if I see it correctly, you are projecting a 23 percent share.
2936 MR. BINGLEY: Correct.
2937 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: That is substantially higher than some of your potential competition, or competition as far as this hearing is concerned.
2938 Torres, for instance, is anticipating about half of that, as is Bayshore.
2939 I heard you say that you currently have 11.5?
2940 MR. BINGLEY: Correct.
2941 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I am wondering, that is fairly ambitious, don't you think?
2942 MR. BINGLEY: If you look historically at the market, if you look at when it was a pure community‑focused radio station, it's not. In fact, you were seeing double‑digit share numbers. You were seeing something similar to that way back when Telemedia was operating the station.
2943 The reason for that is, not only do you have your core group of listeners, you also have the cume listeners. What that basically says is, someone who might ordinarily be outside what you would expect for this format, given that this is the only station in town, they are going to tune in, for example, to your morning show.
2944 So, where it wouldn't be their first choice for music, it certainly is the station that they will be tuning to.
2945 In addition to that, if you compare us with the Torres and Bayshore applications, our market research simply shows that the desire for this format is considerably higher.
2946 Larry, perhaps you could comment on that.
2947 MR. CAMPBELL: JACK FM, as I recall, had a 22.7 share before the format was changed to country, and the country station, with limited appeal, has a 17.2 share.
2948 In our research, we saw that the full service/hot AC format would generate more folks who would listen often, and for whom the radio station could be their favourite, 39 percent more than the country format.
2949 We have projected a cume reach figure from 35 to 45 percent, based only on the percentage of listeners who would listen often to the format, not the once‑in‑a‑whiles, so it is very conservative.
2950 Then, based on norm turnover levels for the format in the industry, we see a 21.5, 22, 23 share very, very attainable.
2951 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Norm turnover?
2952 MR. CAMPBELL: The percent of your cume that is in your quarter‑hour ‑‑ that converts to quarter‑hour.
2953 It is just a programming tool of measuring the quality of the programming. It is like time spent listening.
2954 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you.
2955 How soon do you think you would be prepared to launch this new station, if you were granted a licence?
2956 MR. BINGLEY: We could launch it within six months, but we would prefer to launch it ‑‑ and we will launch it ‑‑ coming out of the recession.
2957 To answer your question, we would expect to be launching about a year from now. We will take a look at the economy, and if the economy hasn't turned around, we could take up to the full two years.
2958 However, the Conference Board of Canada has said that we should be coming out of this by the end of this year.
2959 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: There has been some talk about monetizing summer audiences. You may have heard some of the questions asked earlier on that.
2960 The answers have run the gamut, from "Yes, we can," to "No way," or "It's unlikely that we ever will be able to," or "For many years to come."
2961 Where do you stand on that?
2962 With your Barrie stations, for instance, I assume that you have a lot of ‑‑ you have a bubble ‑‑ an audience bubble, I guess ‑‑ a lot of people on their way farther north, I suppose, but do you have any position on that?
2963 MR. MANTON: We absolutely do monetize it.
2964 I think, for clarification, the discussion has centred around local opportunity versus national opportunity.
2965 There is certainly no question that our retailers' tills are ringing much more May through Thanksgiving, and we do capitalize on that. They want to earn their share of the business and go forward.
2966 The question, I think, centred around the Toronto audience swelling to a million people, because we do not have a summer book, but, absolutely, we monetize it.
2967 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: To what degree? Are you able to give me any figures on that?
2968 MR. MANTON: Confidentially? No.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2969 MR. BINGLEY: There are a lot of guys in the room with calculators.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2970 MR. BINGLEY: Typically a radio station sees a dip in sales in the summertime, and, actually, we see an increase in sales in the summertime.
2971 Now, what we cannot monetize, unfortunately, to a large extent, is the national, and that is where you kind of split the difference between these points of view.
2972 The retailers, yes, you can monetize it. National? Very difficult.
2973 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Do you anticipate being able to realize programming synergies with the Barrie stations?
2974 I am sorry if you have already addressed this question. I didn't hear it earlier, but...
2975 And I am talking specifically about the news department, where stories are aired between stations ‑‑ stories of interest.
2976 Do you have the capability to do that, maybe even mixing and matching reporters ‑‑ that kind of thing?
2977 MS RAYNARD: That is exactly it. I mean, obviously, we are putting up an Orillia radio station, and 50 percent of all of our spoken ‑‑ all of our news content will be dedicated to Orillia, but there will also be another large chunk, 20 percent, or 25 percent, that we will give to regional stories, and that might include Barrie.
2978 That is where, yes, our radio stations in Barrie will come in very handy, because they have a news department and they have reporters. If there is something going on in Barrie that is important to the County of Simcoe, then it will be important to Orillia.
2979 So, yes, we will definitely cash in on that. Why wouldn't you?
2980 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Obviously, that kind of coordination comes in handy, particularly if there is a breaking story between the two areas.
2981 MS RAYNARD: Yes.
2982 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You know, who do you send, and that kind of thing.
2983 MS RAYNARD: Exactly. It comes into play, yes.
2984 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much for your presentation.
2985 Thank you, Madam Chair.
2986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
2987 Just two points. In your oral presentation you said that your over and above commitment is $526,000, and your application says $526,800.
2988 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, I was rounding ‑‑ $526,800.
2989 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Don't round, not when it comes to numbers and COLs.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
2990 MR. BINGLEY: Okay.
2991 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2992 And, then, the final question, which we have been asking all applicants: Are you able to provide us with updated financial capacity information within 10 days?
2993 MR. BINGLEY: Absolutely, Madam Chair.
2994 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2995 Legal counsel?
2996 MR. BOWLES: Thank you.
2997 I have one housekeeping matter to clarify.
2998 I believe, in response to deficiencies, you did specify that you would be willing to abide by the Equitable Portrayal Code as a Condition of Licence.
2999 Is that correct?
3000 MR. BINGLEY: That's correct.
3001 MR. BOWLES: With respect to the undertaking that was just provided to Commissioner Lamarre having to do with submitting a revised copy of the realistic contour map, showing the realistic contours of your two existing stations, as well as that of the proposed station, I believe it was also requested that the following be included in the information provided: the prediction software that was used, including its version; the percentage of location, as well as the percentage of time figures used for the calculations; and also to indicate the height of the receiving antenna used for the purposes of those calculations.
3002 Would you be able to undertake to provide that information by this Friday?
3003 MR. BINGLEY: That is subject to my consulting engineer being able to deliver that. That's a difficult one to answer, and that's such a simple question.
3004 I will undertake to provide it by Friday, subject to the consulting engineer being able to provide it to me.
3005 MR. BINGLEY: Can I undertake to provide it by a week today?
3006 MR. BOWLES: It would be much preferable if you could get it to us by Friday.
3007 MR. BINGLEY: I will commit to that. I am sure that Mr. Moltnar will help me.
3008 MR. BOWLES: Thank you very much, that is all.
3009 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Bingley and your colleagues, for your application in these proceedings.
3010 We will take a 10‑minute break. Thank you.
3011 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1140 / Suspension à 1140
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1155/ Reprise à 1155
3012 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please, everyone.
3013 Madam Secretary.
3014 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3015 We will now proceed with Item 8 which is an application by Instant Information Services Incorporated for a licence to operate a low power English‑language tourist information FM radio programming undertaking in Orillia.
3016 The new station would operate on frequency 98.5 MHz (channel 253LP) with an effective radiated power of 27 watts (non‑directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 92 metres).
3017 Appearing for the applicant is Tim Hern. Please introduce your colleague and you will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
3018 MR. HERN: Thank you very much.
3019 Good afternoon, Madam Chair. I will begin by sort of introducing ourselves.
3020 My name is Tim Hern. I'm the Ontario General Manager of the applicant company and I am a long time radio and television journalist and producer based out of Ottawa. I have initiated, developed, written, hosted, produced and marketed media programs and initiatives including radio and television programs since 1987, many in the field of news, travel, sports and entertainment.
3021 My colleague is James MacLeod. James is the General Manager of Instant Information Services Inc. and its predecessor since 2002. James is based out of Toronto and plays an active role in all facets of the companies operations including production, programming, expansion and sales and marketing.
3022 We now operate eight low power FM radio stations throughout Atlantic Canada and Ontario. They are commonly called information radio ‑‑ in Ottawa, Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, on the Confederation Bridge and in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
3023 We will be launching our Brockville service as soon as Mother Nature's current cold snap let's up.
3024 In addition to our applications here, we have received encouragement from several municipalities in Ontario to establish similar services to serve their communities.
3025 We wish to review for the Commission, in some detail, how our stations operate and what kind of information they deliver.
3026 We are "unconventional" broadcasters and we believe that what we do is both valuable and useful for both mobile and static audience, visitors and residents. Our operations could best be described as a service that does not compete with the programming of conventional radio stations.
3027 We broadcast a program loop, repeating every 10 to 15 minutes pre‑recorded voice reports, or MP3 audio files, and they come from a number of different sources. The files are sent through the internet to a server at the site of a transmitter and played according to a log that is updated regularly. Many of the files get there automatically through our proprietary software. Some are updated daily, some two or three times a day and some every few minutes.
3028 Environment Canada makes two‑day and five‑day weather forecast audio files available to us in both official languages and our software checks every few minutes for updates and bulletins.
3029 We also carry road reports, a major report of the current events and attractions, the Bank of Canada exchange rate and stock market reports ‑‑ not our most popular feature of late ‑‑ and update them regularly.
3030 But perhaps our most important role is as a standby emergency broadcast facility. And Mr. MacLeod will describe that role for us.
3031 MR. MacLEOD: Good afternoon.
3032 When a municipality calls upon us to become their designated emergency broadcast system we will remove all commercial and irrelevant features to maintain a repeating loop of emergency information. It happened for the third time in Halifax during Hurricane Noel and it happened during severe flooding in the Fredericton area.
3033 We are building a model which we believe will be the most effective and reliable delivery system for emergency information in Canada. That claim is based on three operating principles: First, our business is repetitive messaging in a 10‑minute loop. An ice storm, flood or a hurricane alert would be broadcast at least every 10 minutes during an emergency. Second, we intend to create a 24‑hour production and monitoring centre so that we can respond immediately with emergency messaging during such events. And third, we are prepared to strip down our regular program loop to broadcast emergency messages exclusively every few minutes.
3034 We know from discussions with EMO officials that conventional public and private radio stations cannot make that commitment. That's why we are the designated broadcast system in Halifax and Ottawa by formal agreement and in other centres by verbal agreement.
3035 Because we broadcast the information travelers need or want to know in a repeating loop, we have earned the support of provincial transportation authorities. Motorists need to know about weather and road conditions and they want to know about local events and attractions, so about 35 percent of our content is safety related and 65 percent community‑related information. It's current, reliable and it is always available.
3036 So we have been allowed to share with provincial transportation authorities in four provinces precious sign space on limited access highways to inform drivers of our service. Instant Information Services Incorporated has recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to erect traffic signs with our frequency at key locations on Highway 401 on either side of Brockville and on provincial highways in the Ottawa region. We have similar partnerships with departments of transportation in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
3037 We look upon our role in broadcasting as partnering with public agencies to communicate public information. And since the information has broad public application, we regard it as broadcasting in the broadest sense.
3038 As we have already stated before the Commission, our stations are unique creatures in the Canadian broadcast system locally managed by young and experienced journalists and broadcasters.
3039 MR. HERN: Orillia Information Radio will fill a void on the FM broadcast band. Music is the mainstay of most conventional radio stations and news, which was once an hourly feature of most stations, is now commonly reduced to a headline format or five minutes every few hours. Even news/talk radio is mostly talk.
3040 Basic information is getting short shrift, but that's our business. We're an unconventional service in a conventional broadcast world. We are unconventional because our content is almost entirely public service information and we deliver it every 10 to 15 minutes in a constantly refreshing loop.
3041 To use our Ottawa station as an example here is the information, updated frequently, that we broadcast every 10 minutes: weather, road construction, closings, traffic, gas price summaries, ski reports, school closings, amber alerts as required, stock exchange reports, the Bank of Canada rate, ice thickness reports ‑‑ and we maintain our role as a standby emergency broadcast system.
3042 Much of the information is gathered from reliable government or public service agencies in either text form and converted to live voice reports or translated through our software or onto text‑to‑voice files.
3043 The conventional way of handling public information is that available free of charge is to assess its value in terms of newsworthiness. If it doesn't get through the newsworthiness filter, it hits the G‑file. We do not broadcast current news, although the information is useful to listeners.
3044 We have information filters as well, but our filters reject most political material, and it's the political material that most conventional stations cherish.
3045 Where can people hear the weather forecast every 10‑15 minutes directly from environment Canada? Only on our service.
3046 We charge municipalities a fee for access to our service to broadcast non‑political public information that most other radio stations do not carry unless it's in the form of paid advertising. We accommodate a limited amount of commercial time as well, but the access fee is a broad sweep charge that gives public agencies instant access to a radio service without the time‑consuming process of crafting a message, purchasing commercial time and placing it in a broadcast schedule. There is somewhat less control for the municipality, because it must also pass through our basic journalism filter, which is to say the message much be of broad public interest.
3047 The fee is new to broadcasting and we have to admit that many public agencies are having a difficult time getting their heads around the idea. But the City of Ottawa and other cities where we have operated services for the past few years, and all the municipalities we have approached recently to help us establish parallel local services, understand and accept the principle of paying for safety and community information because it can be interpreted as tourist promotion, economic development or municipal service.
3048 Should we be granted a licence, we see that one of our first steps as opening discussions with the appropriate police, civic and medical authorities to build on the experience gained in the Maritimes and in Ottawa, to ensure that the station's airtime is made quickly available to the above‑mentioned contacts in the event of a weather, or other type of disaster that affects the broad community.
3049 We will be broadcasting only information and features which do not constitute the same service being offered by conventional licensees.
3050 The service will be financed in part by advertising revenue from municipal authorities and tourism organizations, and from the sale of advertising time to local and extra local businesses, giving our small local businesses an opportunity to move into radio advertising for the first time.
3051 As the Commission noted in its decisions regarding our applications in Moncton and Fredericton:
"The Commission is of the view that the proposed station would not have a significant undue financial impact on existing conventional FM stations that are targeted to a mainstream audience."
3052 MR. HERN: We will broadcast no more than six minutes per hour of advertising material and in emergency situations we will drop all advertising and other features in order to make the frequency available for the transmission of essential public safety information. Modest production fees will be charged to advertisers for specific field or studio production that is beyond the normal production facility offered to advertisers or information suppliers.
3053 The service will be produced by professionals, from this community when possible, with the assistance and participation of community officials.
3054 We want to reach visitors coming near or into the city and residents living and driving in the city. All benefit from the safety, regulatory and community information we intend to broadcast. Many visitors could be encouraged to spend more time in the area than they originally intended, benefiting the local economy and the organizers of local festivals, events and attractions.
3055 Madam Chairman, we are not going to be a service that people are going to want to listen to all day. But when they need the information they will know it will be available on this station, updated on a regular basis.
3056 Madam Chair, we have created a new potentially profitable business in the broadcast industry and we believe we have proven through our existing undertakings in Atlantic Canada and in Ontario that our commitment is to broadcast useful safety and community information and at the same time it is to help local emergency response officials transmit important messages to people in the community.
3057 We would be happy to respond to your questions.
3058 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Hern and Mr. MacLeod, for your application. I will ask Commissioner Lamarre to begin the questioning.
3059 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes.
3060 Good morning, Mr. Hern and Mr. MacLeod.
3061 MR. HERN: Good morning.
3062 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: I will start with a few points of clarification on your presentation. As you were going through I had a few questions.
3063 The first one is regarding the fact that you mentioned you are receiving Environment Canada weather forecasts in both official languages. Are you planning to broadcast in both official languages or just in English?
3064 MR. HERN: Well, we have ‑‑ in our Ottawa station we broadcast we have a French station and an English station but in this in particular we broadcast in English.
3065 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: It's only in English.
3066 MR. HERN: Yes, yes.
3067 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, the fact that you present yourself as being a designated emergency broadcast system and maybe at the disposal of the municipality in case of emergency, what I'm wondering is what type of measures do you put in place in your operation and in your implementation of your transmitter to make sure that you don't go down when there are emergencies?
3068 And I'm basically thinking here about weather emergencies, really. You know, you referred to the hurricane in Halifax. So what measures do you have in place to make sure that you are still there?
3069 MR. MacLEOD: Yeah, well, we have partnered directly with emergency measures in Halifax. They would probably be the best example because this all really gained momentum after Hurricane Juan and we didn't have the necessary infrastructure at that time. However, due to the decentralized nature of our stations we were able to stay on the air throughout the entire emergency, whether that was at the head office of EMO during the hurricane itself.
3070 We did lose internet and power but in Halifax we are located on the CBC transmitting tower. We went directly there with backup power generating and we maintained delivery and receipt of MP3 files and had constant emergency messaging throughout the entire emergency.
3071 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. So clearly you have thought this through and you are positioning yourself even as you are implementing your station and having the discussions with the local authorities to ensure that this takes place?
3072 MR. HERN: That's right.
3073 MR. MacLEOD: We definitely have. What we ‑‑ the end game for us would be what we consider as zero fail policy. That's incredibly difficult to come up with entirely but we are working directly with EMO to cover as many bases as we can in the case of emergency. Their EMO headquarters actually doubles as a broadcast facility for us.
3074 We have been in discussions with having a secondary transmitter that they could actually ‑‑ only the EMO could use in the case of a dire emergency, and that's how we try to proceed with every community we go into, recognizing the fact that it is a considerable investment to have the perfect zero fail in place.
3075 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You also mentioned that, you know, should you be granted a licence your first step would be opening discussion with the appropriate police, civic and medical authorities here in Orillia.
3076 Am I to conclude that you have not already done that?
3077 MR. MacLEOD: Well, we have had discussions with several municipal contacts but one ‑‑
3078 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Informal ones, then?
3079 MR. MacLEOD: Informal. We have a lot of parallels because we have dealt with a lot of provincial entities as well.
3080 So it would be sort of getting ahead of ourselves if we tried to discuss software issues and getting past firewalls but we have certainly talked with fire chiefs and the necessary people and they have informally said that it's something that they are very interested in. However, due to the number of applications some people were reluctant to endorse us, but they just said that it's something they would very much like to discuss.
3081 And our turnaround time for these things is very short. We have the proprietary software. We can go in, have discussions, identify who the correct contact is and who needs the pertinent information and we could have ‑‑ we could turn that around within a week.
3082 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: On the last page of your presentation you referred to getting revenues, advertising revenue from municipalities, tourism organizations, and the sale of advertising time to local and extra local businesses. I'm not familiar with that term. What does that represent, extra local businesses? Who are we talking about here?
3083 MR. MacLEOD: It's a very good question. That's a term that we have used in Halifax and it's unfortunately coined by our sales manager in Halifax. So I don't know exactly what he is referencing there but I do think it highlights the fact that we recognized that we have a challenge. We are very small fish in a lot of these markets.
3084 We thrive ‑‑ after our revenue generation from partnerships we thrive on going directly to specific bars or local areas that want to get their message out about a festival or a show, a concert, and we really identify close relationships with small businesses and maintain those relationships throughout and even, in some instances, give them access to our station on a reserve basis ‑‑ never ‑‑ but they can actually put their own things on air because of our decentralized nature, as I said before. Our production facilities enable us to have those sorts of niche broadcasts on there.
3085 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And that's a source of revenue for you?
3086 MR. MacLEOD: According to the six minutes per hour, yes.
3087 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, when you actually turn over your transmitter to official authorities for emergency situations, do you get compensation in any way, shape or form other than the advertising the municipality may be purchasing on your airwaves?
3088 MR. MacLEOD: When we "flip the switch" in an emergency situation we receive absolutely no monetary gain whatsoever.
3089 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So if you have advertising that was scheduled during that time you actually lose the income of that advertising that has been taken over by the emergency services?
3090 MR. MacLEOD: We tell all of our advertisers ahead of time about the deal we have with the emergency broadcast system and the EMO officials. It's something they are very comfortable with and, in fact, it's one of the reasons they are enamoured with the product in the first place.
3091 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. So when you ‑‑ in your revenue projection you do specify advertising but you also say other ‑‑ that you have other revenues. Can you be more specific as to what those revenues would be, because so far we have only talked about advertising?
3092 MR. HERN: Yeah, I would think that if you are looking at other revenues ‑‑ well, we talked about the municipalities access fee which is ‑‑ you know each municipality gets that.
3093 Basically, that fee if it's through the municipality itself or as part of it, we do ‑‑ also do in some instances produce programs that can be actually purchased and put on the air for different agencies and that type of thing. And the advertising is sort of the cream on the crop or the cream on the top which goes over it. Our costs, because they are so small, are covered by basically the municipal access fee that is charged to the municipality.
3094 So the advertising revenue which comes on which we can get through smaller businesses, that type of thing, is basically where the profit comes in.
3095 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. You have talked about the fact that you already have ‑‑ and you have listed them and your percentage, and you already have other transmitters in other locations.
3096 How much of an advantage do you feel this would be for you, not just at the implementation stage but also throughout you know your programming years? What type of synergies would you develop either ‑‑ you know, I'm thinking about training but you may already have other ideas in mind. What type of synergies would you be developing with those other locations?
3097 MR. MacLEOD: With reference to Orillia?
3098 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Orillia, between Orillia and the other existing ones. The first one that comes to mind also obviously is Ottawa because it's the closest one.
3099 MR. MacLEOD: If I could just speak to that?
3100 The main synergy for us would be ‑‑ for example if you travel in the Maritimes right now you can enter Saint Stephen, New Brunswick and drive all the way to Halifax and you will see all of our road signs and you will know by that identified road sign, blue and white signs with our frequency, you can tune that in and get Environment Canada, any traffic or road reports that you need plus some of the features that are common to the network itself.
3101 So with Orillia and Ottawa and others, as we hope to continue to grow, essentially with the traffic and advisories, as we become branded as a recognizable source of not only pertinent local information but also emergency information, I think the main synergy would be the identification of the highway signs and travelers driving on the main highways, knowing that with those frequencies right there they would be able to access that information immediately.
3102 Secondly, a lot of our production that we use when it's not locally specific, we use those on all of our stations, whether that's a daily opener file, political comment if it's not site‑specific; sports comment, again if it's not site‑specific. So that is all reusable and we actually encourage having reusable for the thread on all the stations being recognized.
3103 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So basically you are admitting that what you are looking at is a seamless coverage through their highways as much as you can?
3104 MR. MacLEOD: No, we are looking at maintaining local representation. The only reason I have referenced that is because we have received encouragement from certain provincial and even national entities that it would be something that would be of great service to travellers.
3105 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So you are leading me to my next question.
3106 I am looking in your application, the page where you show the information radio program ‑‑ and you show there what type of information you will be giving out. Maybe you were there in the room yesterday so I don't know ‑‑ just download and check the other applications you have heard, but a concern that I seem to hear recurring here is the fact that people from Orillia they want to hear about what's going on in Orillia, especially as far as weather and traffic is concerned.
3107 So how well will you be able to address specific Orillia weather forecasts and specific Orillia transport issues with this transmitter should you be licensed?
3108 MR. MacLEOD: Well, we have no limit to how specific we can get. We encourage what's called a public/private partnership. We like to align ourselves as closely as possible with municipal entities existing in Orillia. So once we talk about the "annual fee" for the municipality to come onboard we then say, "It's up to you how much you want to put on".
3109 Obviously, we maintain journalistic integrity. And we may say that we don't want that, but on all of our stations we receive daily written reports about local events and attractions whether it's in a high school or at the local theatre. They can run anywhere from 30 seconds to two or three minutes. They are written and produced by us when wanted. If the municipality wants to record them themselves we provide them the facilities to do that and they can send it remotely and we will edit it for them and put them on at their convenience whenever they want it on.
3110 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So do you have somebody locally in the municipalities where you have those transmitters and would you have somebody here locally in Orillia that would look after that, choosing the spots, making sure you get the right information on?
3111 MR. MacLEOD: Well, ideally ‑‑ I can't speak for the contacts that we may have in the future ‑‑ speaking for all of our other existing stations it's something that they have welcomed with very open arms and have used to great benefit.
3112 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So that's how you operate right now.
3113 MR. HERN: That's right.
3114 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And is that how you are planning to also operate in Orillia?
3115 MR. HERN: Yes, that's right. In each of the ones, the cities that we have, there is a local presence, someone that you can contact locally to get the information to because you can put a face to a name there.
3116 And in particular, in Brockville we have done the same thing. We have a local person that's actually doing a lot of the work for it because a lot of the information has to be sort of edited or checked to see, you know, if it's there.
3117 Also, sound checks and that type of thing, it's very important that they check the material before it goes over. So it's someone that knows the local community. And in Ottawa they particularly send us loads of information. We have almost too much that we can have locally that we can get on the air. So we have to really watch what we put on the air very carefully but it's all good stuff.
3118 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Turning to your choice of frequency here I just want you to confirm this for me because for some reason I have conflicting data in what I had.
3119 You are applying for 98.5 here in Orillia?
3120 MR. MacLEOD: Yes.
3121 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
3122 And in answer to the deficiency letter from the Commission where you were asked whether you would provide alternate frequencies you replied that since you would be operating a low power of 50 watts that in the event that you will need to find another frequency it wouldn't be such a challenge because you are only transmitting 50 watts. That's correct?
3123 MR. MacLEOD: We don't want to encourage being bumped but certainly we would and we have in the past accommodated the CRTC in that case.
3124 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: But you realize ‑‑ and thank you again for leading me to my next question ‑‑ you realize that by being a low power station you are also not protected as per Industry Canada's procedures and rules, and should any licensee come on the air with a protected frequency you would have to find yourself another frequency?
3125 MR. HERN: Yeah. We have had to do that in Ottawa and it's part of the business. That's what we ‑‑ part of what we do.
3126 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And it may happen even after you are on air.
3127 MR. HERN: Yes, that did happen in Ottawa as well and we had to advertise it.
3128 We worked together with the station that was coming onboard and they advertised for us for our new frequency and we advertised for their new frequency and it was quite seamless. It seemed good.
3129 It took ‑‑ you know, the amount of time that it takes them to prepare to go on the air and our advertising that's saying we are moving are ‑‑ the listeners are very loyal so they like to move with us and it's the way it worked. It was much better than we thought.
3130 MR. MacLEOD: And again, the transportation authority relieves a lot of that headache for us in that they put up the new frequency virtually immediately on the road signs.
3131 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Oh, good.
3132 On a totally different topic, Canadian content development contribution, originally in your form ‑‑ you had filled in the form saying you would contribute an amount of $1,000 per year. Then in answer to a deficiency letter you said, no, that was a mistake; you will not be contributing any amount because your station was a spoken word station.
3133 Now, I need to clarify this point with you because the policy provides for all commercial stations to make a minimal contribution and that contribution is based on the previous year's revenues. So the first year would be nothing and in your case, considering your projection here, it would be $500 a year.
3134 MR. MacLEOD: Okay. Well, I apologize for the confusion. I will defer to our president who did apologize to the Commission for the error, and we will have a written answer to you before the end of the hearings with a formal reason why we will or will not provide the set amount.
3135 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Well, what I'm trying to tell you is that the minimal amount that you would have to contribute would be $500 per year because you are considered a commercial station.
3136 MR. MacLEOD: Well, we would abide by whatever rules the CRTC ‑‑ I think this is just a miscommunication on our part.
3137 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you. Those are all my questions.
3138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3139 Commissioner Patrone.
3140 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3141 Good afternoon.
3142 MR. MacLEOD: Good afternoon.
3143 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I just have a couple of questions. You spoke at length about the municipal fee that you levy as part of your business case. Do you currently have a signed memorandum of understanding with the Municipality of Orillia?
3144 MR. MacLEOD: No, we do not.
3145 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: How does that affect your ability to launch the undertaking?
3146 MR. MacLEOD: The fee is not contingent on us launching. As I said, our overhead is significantly lower than conventional radio broadcasts.
3147 We could be up and running on our own if the case may be. However, it's a much more seamless transition if we have the support of the community and with all of our other stations that are currently on the air we have received support in our first year of operation.
3148 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Have you approached the municipality yet?
3149 MR. MacLEOD: Informally. I have had some discussions with them informally, nothing on the record. And we have received informal support that it's a service that they would welcome.
3150 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: So basically verbal support saying if you get the licence ‑‑
3151 MR. MacLEOD: Yes, but I would stress that, no, they have not committed to any fee. That's something we would open ‑‑ that's actually getting ahead of ourselves a little bit. We don't want to speak for them so we would just provide them ‑‑ and there is also a case of how far we would go with some of the services we would offer. So we would sit down and talk to them about, you know, how many contacts do you want on there, how much ‑‑ they may readily endorse it and if it increases our capacity then we may have to discuss numbers.
3152 So as I said, it was very informal and if we were fortunate enough to be granted a licence we look forward to speaking to them further.
3153 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I have vivid memories of Hurricane Juan, the power outages and everything. I was there. And I remember the loss of the electricity and the inability to get radio signals, of course, unless you were in your car or whatever. But I seem to remember as well the service being available through my discussions with EMO.
3154 In terms of stylistic ‑‑ and this is just one question. I found that the broadcast seemed robotic for some reason, and I don't know if you ever heard that analysis before but there just ‑‑ it seems to be almost a mechanical sense of what's coming through the speakers.
3155 Is that a creative decision to present the information in that way?
3156 MR. MacLEOD: It's not. I think one of the main reasons that it sounds like that is because of the partnership with Environment Canada. The files that ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3157 MR. MacLEOD: No disrespect to Environment Canada but we receive their files from Abby, which is a computer‑generated voice.
3158 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right.
3159 MR. MacLEOD: And that's a significant aspect of our 10 to 15‑minute loop. So we do have a lot of people commenting on the computer‑generated style radiohead, if you will.
3160 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Steven Hawking ‑‑
3161 MR. MacLEOD: Exactly, exactly.
3162 MR. HERN: That's right, yeah.
3163 MR. MacLEOD: Exactly. So would we love to do those and voice those ourselves? Absolutely, but that's really not within our production mandate at this time.
3164 MR. HERN: I think just to add to that as well is that what we have done over the past number of years is add to the ‑‑ anytime there is a sort of robotic sounding computer‑generated voice we have a lot of commentary that we do locally. We go on the air ourselves and talk about things. So suddenly we sound very local and there is a lot of local information. It sounds ‑‑ we have tried to make it more people friendly so that it is more fun to listen to and that type of thing.
3165 But you have got to keep the balance of information that needs to be there, such as you know the dollar or the bank information which is correctly done and it's scraped and brought out using an XML file and brought onto air doing text to speech. So we try to make it fit in with different things.
3166 And we have local commentary and different things like that, especially in Halifax and Ottawa that's really more entertaining. We have added that in.
3167 The municipalities often say, "Well, what about our information?" and so we have tried to take the municipal information and work with that as well and make it ‑‑ give it a bit of a more interesting spin and make it sound really good, and it's working, I think.
3168 MR. MacLEOD: And further to that we do have proprietary software, as I discussed before, but that's one of the great benefits. It gives a local context voice. We get to the firewall.
3169 And say, for example, in city hall we have Public Works delivering messages throughout the day about in Halifax the harbour cleanup. If there is a holiday they come on the air themselves for 30 seconds and say that the garbage collection will be delayed by 24 hours.
3170 So it's an excellent vehicle and, in that respect, it does give a lot more community feel. And in some communities some listeners think that it's actually a municipal station, occasionally, because they are aware and they know the context delivering the information.
3171 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I thought I heard you say that you don't have the production capability to re‑voice the information that's coming in. Is that correct?
3172 MR. MacLEOD: No, that's not correct. I just said that that wouldn't be within our business model right now. We would absorb far too much time. We could easily do it but we are a smaller enterprise and we have our energies focused on maintaining other priorities. Doing the weather and the way we do it now, one of the strengths is that it comes in every ‑‑ anytime Environment Canada sends a new file it's within ‑‑ it's on our station within minutes.
3173 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Right.
3174 MR. MacLEOD: So for us to have someone standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week recording that and then sending it would be redundant and it wouldn't make sense.
3175 So I was just speaking to the fact that we would prefer to have a great voice on there delivering the weather with some personality but we chose to have the fast access and immediate information because that's our priority.
3176 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Understood. And did I also hear you say that you sell your program production services to others as the best ‑‑ a part of the business case?
3177 MR. HERN: Yes, that's right. We can do that in terms of producing a program for someone or that type of thing and then we would put it onto the air. But it has to fit what ‑‑ our particular programming model ‑‑ so it's very strict as to how we can do it. But for instance we can do that kind of production work for people.
3178 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay. Those are my questions. Thank you very much.
3179 Madam Chair, thank you.
3180 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And since you didn't have to provide the proof of financing for your original application I don't have to ask you whether you can do it within 10 days.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3181 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel.
3182 MR. BOWLES: Yes. Thank you. I only have one simple little housekeeping matter to clarify.
3183 Can you confirm whether ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ can you confirm your willingness to abide by the code as a condition of licence should your application be successful?
3184 MR. MacLEOD: (No audible response)
3185 MR. BOWLES: Just one second.
3186 That will be all. Thanks.
3187 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much for your presentation here this morning in these proceedings.
3188 MR. HERN: Thank you very much.
3189 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
3190 THE SECRETARY: Madam Chair, I would just like to add for the record that we wish to inform you that the applicant, Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation, has submitted a map containing the realistic contours for its proposed news station along with those of two existing stations operating in the area, which map is accompanied by an indication of the height of antenna ‑‑ of the receiving antenna used for the purposes of dividing the contours for its proposed news station.
3191 And these documents will be added to the public examination file of its application, and copies are available in the examination room.
3192 Thank you.
3193 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3194 We will now be taking a one‑hour lunch break. Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1233 / Suspension à 1233
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1341 / Reprise à 1341
3195 MR. BOWLES: Madam Chair, before we commence I would like to make an announcement on behalf of the panel.
3196 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3197 MR. BOWLES: In response to an undertaking given by Larche Communications Incorporated to provide the panel with a realistic contour map by Friday, the 30th of January, the panel has received the request to provide an opportunity for comment.
3198 The panel has decided that establishing a comment and reply process would be appropriate. According, Larche Communications Incorporated is requested to copy its realistic contour map on all applicants for the Orillia market. These applicants will be given until Thursday, the 5th of February to submit their comments, making sure to copy Larche Communications Incorporated. Comments are to be restricted to the realistic contour map to be provided.
3199 Larche Communications Incorporated will then be given until Monday, the 9th of February, to reply to the comments submitted, making sure to copy the relevant applicant or applicants.
3200 The panel has also decided to setup a similar comment and reply process with respect to the maps provided or to be provided by Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited as part of their presentation.
3201 Accordingly, Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited will be requested to copy all other applicants for the Orillia market with copies of its map and related information at the same time as these materials are provided to the panel by this Friday.
3202 Applicants will then be given until Thursday, 5th of February, to comment on the maps, making sure to copy Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited with their comments. Comments, once again, are to be restricted to the contour maps provided.
3203 Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited will then be given until Monday, the 9th of February to reply to the comments submitted, making sure to copy the relevant applicant or applicants.
3204 Thank you.
3205 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Bowles.
3206 Hopefully, all of you will see this as an indication of just how transparent this process is as are all of our public hearings.
3207 Madam Secretary.
3208 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3209 First of all, for the record, I wish to inform you that the applicant, Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited, has submitted the format ‑‑ chart that was displayed this morning during their presentation and this document will be added to the public examination file on its application and copies are available in the examination room.
3210 We have now reached Phase II in which applicants appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications if they wish.
3211 Newcap Inc. and Debra McLaughlin, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated have indicated that they would not appear in Phase II.
3212 Therefore, I would ask Mr. Nick Montague to intervene on the competing applications. And I believe, for the record, that Mr. Montague is not here.
3213 So I will therefore call Larche Communications Inc. to come forward, please.
3214 And for the record I would please ask you to reintroduce yourself and then you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3215 MR. LARCHE: Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Paul Larche and I'm the President of Larche Communications Incorporated.
3216 Madam Chair and Commissioners, thank you for this opportunity to intervene in opposition of the other applicants.
3217 Depending on who you listen to I'm either a terrible operator or a great one and I hope it's the latter. I know these hearings can get a little rough. We are always presenting our strengths and the competitors' weaknesses and I usually don't get caught up in it. But I feel that I need to defend the honour of my hardworking staff who do an outstanding job.
3218 Mr. Bingley's application and presentation this morning seemed to characterize us as nothing but a de facto Barrie operator with little regard or coverage to the markets that we are licensed to serve; namely, Orillia and Midland. Not only is this inaccurate it is misleading and frankly hypocritical.
3219 To help make my point I would like to quote Mr. Bingley's own research that was submitted as part of his application:
"Asking Orillia listeners to state which station came to mind regarding various programming elements provided by radio here are the results: Gives up‑to‑date weather reports and forecasts for the Orillia area, the station that comes to mind first, CICX‑FM; gives the top news and local information, focusing on Orillia, the station that comes to mind first CICX‑FM; is active in Orillia community events supporting sports, charities and organizations, the station that comes to mind first CICX‑FM; and has frequent reports of traffic and road conditions for the Orillia area, the station that comes to mind first CICX‑FM." (As read)
3220 MR. LARCHE: I must prefer Mr. Bingley's research assessment than his anecdotal comments on video which were obviously prepared.
3221 Madam Chair and Commissioners, yesterday and today some applicants have tried to make the case that there is also a million dollars in unclaimed radio revenue. They base all of this on retail sales using conventional advertising formulas.
3222 Although we agree that the new station would foster some new advertising the available new money is nowhere near a million dollars. Anyone making a business plan based on tapping that money will be in for a rude awakening.
3223 As we have mentioned, this is a unique and very competitive market which has partially inflated retail sales, primarily as a result of high retail activity by cottagers and tourists, a group which has been difficult to monetize. Summer is also our best time of the year but it's not at its full potential.
3224 How can Orillia retail sales be 30 percent ahead of the national average; yet, household income is below the national average?
3225 Retail sales in this area can be misleading and are subject to change. In fact, according to Financial Post markets, retail sales dropped 3 percent in Orillia between 2008 and 2009.
3226 But you don't have to look any further than Midland to see how retail sales does not always indicate what the market is worth. In contrast with CICX whose sales remain flat between 2002 and 2003 CICZ sales increased by over 40 percent. Using Financial Post data and using the same formulas used by the other applicants during this hearing, we technically outperformed the retail sales revenue pool. That does not even include the additional revenue that is taken out by the Barrie radio stations.
3227 And CICZ was never the number one station in Midland. It was always Rock 95 out of Barrie.
3228 So what was the big difference between CICZ and CICX? As we have mentioned yesterday, although CICX offered a strong local Orillia audience, it did not have any significant tuning outside the market and that put the station at a significant competitive disadvantage against the five other stations selling in the market.
3229 As Ms McLaughlin's application pointed out yesterday, much of the Orillia population works outside of Orillia but within the region. In fact, it's 30 percent.
3230 So I sincerely hope you understand when I believe that a standalone with a limited signal will not generate a million dollars out of thin air. Consider that the three broadcasters based in central Ontario all have projections of approximately half of that from applicants from outside the region. We have a little more insight.
3231 But whatever the number, a portion of this revenue will come from us. Let's be honest. Commonsense and past history clearly shows that any new station coming into the market will have an impact on the incumbent, but by how much and how quickly we know that's a point for debate. But even using conservative projections that have been supplied by the other applicants, it would have a negative impact on CICX's already weak financial position.
3232 Some have also made the argument that because we are a country station and that they are proposing a much different format that we are immune to any type of financial impact by a new incumbent or a new entrant because country listeners are very loyal, as are our advertisers.
3233 Well, where that argument falls apart is that we just switched to a country station here in Orillia this past March. Prior to that Rogers went through several different formats, including AC and the Jack‑FM format, always doing very, very well in Orillia but usually coming in last place throughout the region.
3234 But where the argument really falls apart is that some applicants state that their advantage will be low rates. Some have claimed that they will charge around $15 for a 30‑second commercial. This contrasts with our rates for CICX of approximately $35. So what will that do to a local advertiser when he can buy a local radio station for half the price that he is currently paying? Well, he is of course going to take it and we are going to have to react and unfortunately that's going to drop to our bottom line.
3235 The final point I want to touch on is that some of the applicants are just painting a bit of a rosy picture on how Orillia will fare during the global downturn in the economy. Some say they are ignoring the recession all together. Well, I wish I could share that optimism but, in reality, nobody really knows.
3236 The Governor General in her Throne Speech yesterday, referring to the economy, said Canadians could face several difficult years.
3237 The local newspaper here in Orillia recently cutback its paper from a biweekly to a weekly because of deteriorating print advertising sales in Orillia.
3238 Our bank is concerned. As a result, we withdrew our application for Gravenhurst/Bracebridge which you would have heard later this week. Proving a new entrant now when the market criteria doesn't hold up when our financials are threatened, and when the economy is weak will only result in cutbacks in services, a cutback in local content and coverage and a cutback on the quality of the product that we supply.
3239 The Commission has made it clear over the years that it is sensitive to the impact on incumbent stations, particularly in small markets and with small independent broadcasters. Indeed, in a recent revised policy concerning the issuance of calls for small markets, the CRTC stated:
"Radio stations in smaller markets are more vulnerable to the impact of increasing competition. The Commission considers that smaller market stations have fewer resources than larger market stations to absorb the impact of competition." (As read)
3240 MR. LARCHE: It went on to say that:
"Prior to issuing a call the Commission would take into account the historical financial data for existing stations, aggregate revenue growth and market PBIT compared to industry average."
3241 MR. LARCHE: Well, Madam Chair and Commissioners, based on the financials of our operations which of course you have, and the history of the market which you also have, and the current uncertain economy, I respectfully submit that this market cannot support a station at this time.
3242 If you decide that the market merits a station then it must be ours. I know that sounds extremely self‑serving but that's the position we are in, not by choice but by necessity; the necessity for our company to prosper and to continue delivering a high quality product and content that we are known for.
3243 Thank you.
3244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Larche.
3245 I have one question just for clarification. Do you also oppose the licensing of the Instant Information Services application?
3246 MR. LARCHE: No.
3247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
3248 Commissioner Menzies.
3249 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: First of all, your staff should be proud of you for sticking up to them like that. It must have been difficult for them to sit there and listen to that.
3250 MR. LARCHE: Excruciating.
3251 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Good for you on that.
3252 I would like you to address ‑‑ not really go through everything again but what about the Newcap argument that the pie grows, and they supported it with ‑‑ I mean we didn't get the ‑‑ well, they gave us numbers but not documents, but with the argument that ‑‑ they gave Red Deer and that you could accept that ‑‑ Moncton, as an example where they had competitors come in against them and their revenue grew.
3253 MR. LARCHE: As we have said in our application, and I just mentioned now, the market would grow. I don't think it would grow to what Newcap said where actually my sales would increase as a result of a new competitor coming in but there would be some growth there. There would just have to be because of all the arguments that all of us have put forward. There would be, you know, more people on the street talking about radio and offering them alternatives including ourselves.
3254 The point I'm making is that that pie won't grow as big as many of the applicants have stated the potential is for this market. I hope we have tried to illustrate that.
3255 And, again, I think if you look back to the applications from the local broadcasters, Barrie and Owen Sound, their projections were more realistic in the half‑million dollar range, not the million dollar range that Newcap put forward.
3256 And then again it draws back to we are not afraid of competition. I mean, you know, I have worked in several competitive markets. It keeps the business vibrant. It's the best for the consumer. It's the best for the listener, but there has to be a time and a place and the Commission has always, you know, made it very, very clear that they want to make sure that introduction of a new service into a market is not going to impede the incumbent's ability to provide their service.
3257 We just purchased this station a year ago. We are in the midst of transforming a lot of things and we are in one of the worst economies to hit our country, probably since the Great Depression.
3258 So I'm saying that now is not the time for a new radio station in this market because of the impact it would have on us. And, frankly, I think that a lot of the applicants, despite their predictions would find it just as difficult. We would all be in trouble.
3259 You know, maybe three years, maybe five years down the road when we have a better understanding of what the economy is like and how the market forces have balanced things out, it might make imminent sense to look at another radio station for Orillia, but now is not the time.
3260 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Got you. Thank you.
3261 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Patrone.
3262 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Madam Chair.
3263 Mr. Larche, what about the view that by the time of launch, say in a year or two, that Canada will be in recovery, as has been forecast by the Bank of Canada? I mean do you not think that by that point ‑‑
3264 MR. LARCHE: I certainly hope so and, frankly, I do think so. But (a) we don't know and (b) is we were intervening on these same grounds prior to this meltdown. I mean, the PBIT is well below average, sales have been flat for several years and it's an extremely competitive market.
3265 I mean our arguments, you know, we mentioned in our application which was put ‑‑ you know we sent to you back in the spring ‑‑ that, you know there was tough economic times that were on the horizon. I wish I could say that I had great foresight but I didn't think it was going to be this bad.
3266 But even taking that argument away, you have to wait for the incumbent to get in a better financial position regardless. And two years from now will the economy be better? It could very well be but we don't know. And if you licence someone now and you say you have got two years and we will give you an extension ‑‑ it may be three years just to make sure everything is okay, well, that ‑‑ again, there is an unknown there.
3267 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: You would suggest waiting until we are in the midst of a recovery before we then contemplate adding to this ‑‑
3268 MR. LARCHE: I say that now is not the time to be awarding a radio station in this market because there is just too much uncertainty in the future and it would hurt the incumbent radio station which happens to be us and our company.
3269 I know that's self‑serving but there is just too much of an unknown. You know, you rendered a decision on Friday with Guelph. That market is ‑‑ the radio stations there by Corus are not in the financial position that we are in and you still said that, you know what, maybe that market we are just going to wait a little while because we are just not sure how the economy is going to go.
3270 Everyone up here said they would get their station on within, you know ‑‑ I think some of them said they might go the max of two years but a lot of them said that they would do it within a year. You don't control that when you issue a licence. You just say you have two years. Somebody could be up and running in six, eight months.
3271 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, presumably they would be working within the same economics you are and be able to gauge the market just as you have and, hence, make decisions that are based on and resonate with the economic situation of the time. Wouldn't that be the case?
3272 MR. LARCHE: Well, of course, but if you have got your financing in place for a new radio station, you know, the best time sometimes during tough times is to hit the other guy while he is down and while things are down, get yourself prepared so that when we do come out of the recession you are hitting the street running.
3273 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Newcap's presentation, they said that they would on occasion ‑‑ that they could actually work with you in terms of being able to offer a prospective customer ‑‑ direct a prospective customer towards your operation if they felt that it didn't lend itself perfectly to their own operation. They would have no qualms about that.
3274 Did that give you any comfort?
3275 MR. LARCHE: Well, not really. We all do that. We do the exact same thing and I know that Mr. Bingley's group does the exact same thing.
3276 We will also recommend that, you know what we are not the right radio station for your fit. Radio ‑‑ we know that we have to sell radio first and, sure, it's a competitive business. We would expect that of Newcap. You know, they are good broadcasters but we do exactly the same.
3277 The bottom line is, if it's not Newcap or even if it was Newcap and, depending on what you know the market conditions are in, when you are going to an Orillia advertiser there is a certain advertising pie there. The discussion we are having here and where I am intervening is on the size of that pie and if it's going to ‑‑
3278 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Well, their argument, of course ‑‑ and you heard it and Commissioner Menzies has mentioned it ‑‑
3279 MR. LARCHE: M'hm.
3280 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: ‑‑ was that you know adding choice to the market is going to then in fact grow the pie, that really it's the lack of choice that is an anchor around this market right now. That is proving to be a detriment towards revenue growth.
3281 MR. LARCHE: However, there is lots of choice in this market. I mean there ‑‑ again, there is six radio stations that are serving this market; seven if you want to include a Christian station, plus many more coming in. Of course, the argument is that if it's in Orillia, an Orillia‑only radio station it's going to grow that radio advertising pie and we acknowledge that.
3282 We are just saying that now is not the time.
3283 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I understand.
3284 I have one last question before I hand it over to my colleagues. And this, I admit, might put you a little bit on the spot but if you can answer it I would appreciate it.
3285 Now, you heard all the other applicants.
3286 MR. LARCHE: M'hm.
3287 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Obviously, you are your own first choice in terms of where the CRTC should go but which of the other applicants would you say would have the least impact on your operation?
3288 MR. LARCHE: Well, assuming everyone would stick with what they say they are going to do in terms of their format, most likely Newcap because they have applied for a CHR station which would skew either ‑‑ there would be, you know, some difference there. But again, I think that that would still have an effect on us, I think.
3289 Listen, all of these applications are very good ‑‑ all of them. Mr. Bingley's is very good despite what he said.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3290 MR. LARCHE: And Ms McLaughlin's is good.
3291 Bayshore, you know, they are an excellent broadcast company. I mean I have a lot of respect for Mr. Kentner and his group. I think they would do a good job in this market as well; hopefully down the road but not right now. You know they are a company that would really come through with what they say they are going to do.
3292 Again, they are all good. So it's kind of an awkward question for me to answer because ‑‑
3293 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I know and you did answer it.
3294 MR. LARCHE: Yeah.
3295 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And I appreciate your honesty on that.
3296 MR. LARCHE: Yeah.
3297 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Madam Chair.
3298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much. Those are all of our questions.
3299 Thank you, Mr. Larche.
3300 MR. LARCHE: Thank you.
3301 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Chair ‑‑ Secretary.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3302 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3303 For the record, I would like to inform you that Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation will not be appearing in Phase II. Therefore, I will invite Frank Torres, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, please, to come forward to the presentation table.
3304 It appears that no one from Frank Torres is present. I would therefore call Rock 95 Broadcasting Limited.
3305 THE SECRETARY: And I would ask you to please reintroduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3306 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
3307 I'm Doug Bingley, President and General Manager of Rock 95 Broadcasting. With me is Larry Campbell from Campbell Media Research.
3308 This is the part of the hearing that I do not relish. I respect the other applicants but, nevertheless, I must draw to your attention some flaws in their proposals.
3309 LCI is positioning themselves as a small market, Orillia‑only station, yet they operate as a regional station with revenue well beyond Orillia. Nevertheless, they are asking for protection in their home market. Only they should be awarded a licence. To award a licence to us would imply a less than level playing field.
3310 Well, here is a bit of history. In 1999 Larche applied for a new Barrie FM. They proposed to transmit from the same site they are broadcasting from now. They proposed a classic rock format. The CRTC turned them down.
3311 Now, Midland and Orillia broadcast from the same tower with the same power and with almost identical contours. So last year after acquiring the Orillia station LCI unplugged their regional country station CICX ‑‑ KICX‑FM from the Midland frequency and moved it to the Orillia frequency. Effectively, it was the same station with the same reqional coverage and the same regional audience.
3312 We submitted evidence of this in an independent two‑day monitor of that station. It's in our application. There was not a single Orillia news story in the entire two days. Indeed, yesterday and today CICX led their morning casts with a Barrie story.
3313 Now, you are probably wondering, though, what happened to the Midland frequency? That was re‑launched as a regional Barrie classic rock station. In their first book they achieved a 7 share in Barrie. They equalled the in‑market station CHAY‑FM which has been in operation for 32 years. They took away a third of our hours tuned and they are not done yet.
3314 Now, what would you expect them to bill from a new Barrie radio station? Their revenues are about to go through the roof, Commissioners.
3315 LCI currently dominates the Orillia market. They have full access to the Barrie and regional markets. Clearly, a new Orillia‑only licence for us would not tilt the playing field away from LCI.
3316 There is also a contradiction in their basic position. Mr. Larche's comments notwithstanding, as justifications for past actions LCI contended that the only way they could survive in Orillia was by going regional. Yet, now they are saying they can make a go of it in the future if you award them with a new Orillia‑only station.
3317 Turning to Newcap, our research which considered all major formats shows CHR near the bottom in overall appeal. This applicant's market research was incomplete as it did not consider AC or Hot AC. I spoke earlier of a big tent radio station that did not exclude sizeable portions of the market. The Buzz is a little tent radio station.
3318 This format would have little appeal to listeners under the age of 35 and we wonder if this format is even viable in the Orillia market. Revenue objectives and expenses are unrealistic in this market size for this market in particular and due to the resistance of small market retailers to the younger skewing CHR format.
3319 With respect to Bayshore their research, again, did not compare Soft AC with any other formats. Therefore, there is no evidence that this is in fact the best format for the market.
3320 Orillia needs a station that considers the majority of the population, yet Bayshore states their core market will be 35‑64 that centres at 50 years of age.
3321 Now, I personally don't have any problem with that but this goes beyond the typical Soft AC. And I have handed out to you a copy of their block programming and music list and it includes big bands and adult standards and a very soft playlist. So this skews considerably older and I would characterize this as a senior station which will exclude large members of the Orillia population.
3322 They also propose a regional coverage signal and its regional coverage that I think causes some of the problems in this market.
3323 And we note their $25 rate‑per‑minute. As Mr. Larche mentioned, that's $12.50 a unit. In 1988 the average rate was in the neighbourhood of $18. That's a huge step back which could crash the local rate to the detriment of all.
3324 With respect to Debra McLaughlin, OBCI, we view their revenue and expenses as unrealistic for the market. Our contention is that this revenue is only achievable with a regional Barrie focus.
3325 If you take a look at their statement of financial operations, their planned profit and loss, and you take the average of the projected revenues from the other applicants and substitute it for the McLaughlin application, you will see that in the first year they would lose $901,000. That would continue. Even by Year 7 they would be losing a million dollars a year if you use the average of the other applicants' revenue projections. That's a $6.5 million operating loss and clearly that would not be sustainable.
3326 And we believe that this format as well is broadcasting from the same tower site as the Larche Communications is now. You will note their single contours encompass the whole region. We actually operated from that site with Rock 95 for a number of years and we achieved a 14 share in Barrie.
3327 And I think Larry has a couple of comments on the research.
3328 MR. CAMPBELL: We have four additional areas of concern regarding the McLaughlin application.
3329 First, the research study didn't include other formats which would allow the applicant to compare the interest in Triple A against other formats. This gives a rather myopic view of the format potential in Orillia and, as Doug mentioned, this is also true of all applicants and have investigated only one format in their research.
3330 Point two, the Triple A format descriptor set forth in the appendix to the applicant's research study is so broad in description that it actually invites interest from respondents.
3331 If the applicant had also investigated interest in a new format that provides the best songs from the top 60's and 70's oldies artists, the best songs from the top classic rock and classic hits artists, the best of today's current hits and songs by top contemporary artists mixed in with the very best country crossover songs, and played more music than any other station in Orillia with less talk and interruption between songs, they might have found 100 percent interest.
3332 Point three, the applicant's format question measures interest in listening to the Triple A format in the form of "very", "somewhat", "not very" or "not at all interested" without measuring what percentage of the respondents who said they were very or somewhat interested; would choose the station as their very favourite radio station to listen to for music as opposed to their second or third choice station. This information is needed for proper format selection and proper ratings projections.
3333 Finally, the Triple A format is not represented in Canadian markets so there is no real frame of reference available from BBM regarding the Triple A format's rating performance. However, there are approximately 120 Triple A radio stations in the States and they are not top tier market‑leading radio stations. They are niche formats with limited appeal.
3334 MR. BINGLEY: Thanks, Larry.
3335 And Commissioners, don't get me wrong. I'm all for innovation. You may recall I applied for an Indie format in Vancouver. But I didn't apply for that here. It's just not appropriate for this market.
3336 Triple A is a really interesting format but it's an unproven format. And I must say it was presented by a wonderful group of people, but we believe this is just the wrong spot for it.
3337 To summarize, the combination of format, financials, the contours and expenses can only point to one thing. This is a great concept but it could only survive as a regional radio station.
3338 And finally, with respect to Torres, the quality of application, a big issue we see with this is the lack of a listener's survey. That's a basic component of most applications. They are proposing a Soft AC which is similar to Bayshore with a focus on listeners 35‑plus. Again, we don't believe this provides balanced service to the entire population.
3339 And, finally, as is the case of Bayshore and McLaughlin, a strong regional signal.
3340 And that concludes our intervention.
3341 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Bingley.
3342 Commissioner Molnar.
3343 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
3344 Mr. Bingley, I don't actually have a question for you but I did want to comment. You came up here and said this is the part of the process you don't enjoy.
3345 So my comments are for you, and for Mr. Larche as well, to say while I understand while it's an uncomfortable position, I think it is a very important part of this public process that you come forward and you do share your views, your opinions, your experience and your knowledge of the market with us through this process so that we have a full understanding and a full record.
3346 So thank you for coming up here and sharing your comments on the other applications.
3347 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you.
3348 And if I can just comment that Mr. Larche and my sales manager are very good friends and they go snowmobiling almost every weekend so I hope he doesn't push Mr. Manton down a pressure crack.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3349 THE CHAIRPERSON: We hope he doesn't either.
3350 Commissioner Menzies.
3351 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I just wanted to check that I heard something correctly.
3352 And, actually, I would like to support Commissioner Molnar's comments. It's very difficult to wade through the advocacy and try to find the facts on these things. I mean, I understand everybody has to support their shareholders and do a good job for it, so I'm not unsympathetic, but the more information the better.
3353 Did you say that LCI's revenues were about to go through the roof?
3354 MR. BINGLEY: That's correct. There's two things that are occurring here.
3355 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay ‑‑
3356 MR. BINGLEY: Yes, yes.
3357 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: ‑‑ and I just wanted to check on that.
3358 He doesn't look like a guy whose revenues are about to go through the roof. And he's been very frank with us, I think, on most points. He has his position and he advocates for it and his staff strongly. But if you are right, either he doesn't know something he should know ‑‑ and maybe your friend the sales manager might tell him, but I doubt it ‑‑ or we are not getting the whole story here some place.
3359 So help me understand that perspective, because there's a big difference between what you just said and what he just said.
3360 MR. BINGLEY: Sure, Commissioner.
3361 First, when you look at the financials, the most recent year filing for CICX‑FM, it's really a blend of two radio stations. The first six months we are operating as JACK FM, the second six months we are operating as the country regional format. So what you are seeing is the averaging of the two. Next year when you see a filing, you are going to see pure numbers for the country format.
3362 And since, really, this is talking about shifting frequencies around, if want a better idea, we would contend, of what the future holds for CICX, you would have to look at the past revenue streams for CICZ, because essentially it's the same stations with the same revenue base and clients and so on.
3363 So that's the first point. The second point is they, indeed, have launched a classic rock station. And right now, when you launch a new station, you normally don't have very good revenues. That's the nature of the beast. But, as I said, what would you expect out of the Barrie market with a brand new radio station: you would expect the revenues to climb substantially in the next two or three years.
3364 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: I see. I see the point you are trying to make on that.
3365 We obviously have to decide if this was appropriate for this market. I'm not sure I know how to ask this, but do you think that this market is primed ‑‑ I mean, what would you do if you were in Mr. Larche's position?
3366 MR. BINGLEY: Could you just add to that a little bit, I'm sorry?
3367 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Well, let me put it this way: he's making the point that the CRTC's policies for small markets call for a relatively protectionist point of view, perspective, particularly for independents. You are an independent to that extent, as well.
3368 What do you think of the CRTC policy regarding the protection of independent players in small markets, let me put it that way?
3369 MR. BINGLEY: I think it's an excellent policy, I really do. And if this was a hearing for a new Barrie FM, I would probably be at the hearing making similar remarks as Mr. Larche is making.
3370 I point out, though, that I have a new FM in my market. For all intents and purposes, this year, I mean, the dock launched. I have a new entry in market. I'm in that situation right now. That's the way it is.
3371 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Did your revenue grow after the new competitor launched?
3372 MR. BINGLEY: No, it did not.
3373 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.
3374 I think that's all I have for now. Thanks.
3375 Thank you.
3376 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Lamarre.
3377 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Merci, madame le présidente.
3378 I want to take you back to the comments you made about the format proposed by Ms McLaughlin ‑‑ hopefully I'm pronouncing this right ‑‑ and the Triple A format.
3379 Do you I understand your comments correctly, that, in your assessment, this is an innovative format that you don't think is sustainable in the Orillia market? Is that what I understood you to say?
3380 MR. BINGLEY: That pretty well summarizes it, yes.
3381 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay. Formats that we do not regulate, if I may remind you, is one of the elements that obviously we consider in coming up with a decision. But just how much should we also factor in the fact that, first of all, the applicants are willing to take a risk with an innovative way of doing broadcast radio, first; second, as they made the point of saying throughout their presentation, you realize that financially it's going to be difficult, but we had most of the shareholders on the panels and they committed to doing it through tough times?
3382 So how do we balance it out if we want to enrich the broadcasting system while, at the same time, making sure that the entire industry stays healthy?
3383 MR. BINGLEY: I think with regard to format, you have to look at it on a case‑by‑case‑market basis.
3384 First, I think we are all in agreement that the primary objective here is to provide the best radio service possible for the people of Orillia. And that's why I didn't ‑‑ aside from the commercial viability, I wouldn't even consider of proposing an Indie format.
3385 Because if you imagine for a moment you are sitting here in Orillia and you don't have a local radio station, you turn it on, there's no hits, there's not the music you are used to ‑‑ I mean, they do call them a "hit" for a reason ‑‑ I think there would be a lot of people wondering, Gee, what is this and why is this? So that's the first point.
3386 With respect to applicants taking the chance, I think we all take a chance in every market with every format, and I recognize that. I point out, however, you have stated no commitment to the format, there's no commitment even to emerging artists in this, it's conditional upon the format.
3387 One thing I would lean back on is: is this going to provide service for Orillia? What's the signal? Where does the evidence of that point? And that, to me, is saying: I think it should come down to what's best for the people of Orillia?
3388 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
3389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Bingley. Thank you.
3390 MR. BINGLEY: Thank you.
3391 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
3392 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3393 I will now invite Instant Information Services Incorporated.
3394 It appears they are not in the room, for the record, so this completes Phase II.
3395 We will now proceed to Phase III, in which intervenors appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention, and I will now call Mr. Joseph Evans.
3396 For the record, Mr. Evans is not in the room.
3397 I will therefore call the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce.
3398 UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: He's here, Mr. Joseph Evans.
3399 THE SECRETARY: Oh, he's here?
3400 Mr. Evans, you have 10 minutes for your presentation. Go ahead.
3401 MR. BUNKER: My name is Bunker. I'm with the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce.
3402 THE SECRETARY: I'm really sorry, I thought I heard he's here, Mr. Evans.
3403 So just for the record, I would like to confirm you are from the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce?
3404 MR. BUNKER: Correct.
3405 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. Please present yourself, and you have 10 minutes.
3406 MR. BUNKER: Thank you.
3407 As was mentioned, I'm with the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce. We are fairly active in our community. And the reason I'm here today, of course, is to ‑‑ excuse me, I don't have my glasses. I prepared my notes due to the fact I speak rather lengthily.
3408 Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
3409 I'm the Special Events Coordinator for the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, and have been for the last 22 years, and I have been requested to be here today to support the application by Larche Communications for a radio licence to serve the City of Orillia.
3410 As a special events coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce, I depend heavily on media partners to help promote the events, raise awareness and, first and foremost, the City of Orillia. But just as important to the regional audiences, too, I have been dealing with Larche Communications for the past 10 years, and when it comes to promotions and broadcasting assistance for events, I have always received a top level of service from Larche Communications and all its employees.
3411 Last January, when I learned that Larche was purchasing the CICX‑FM station, I was thrilled to know that I was now getting the same top level of service from not one but two stations in Simcoe Country, represented by them.
3412 The Orillia Chamber of Commerce organization organizes several annual events and shows, including the Orillia Perch Festival, which is now in its twentieth year, it is the largest fishing derby of its type in Canada; Spring Cottage and Outdoor Show at the Port of Orillia; a charity event called Christmas in June; the Orillia Waterfront Festival; and our Orillia Santa Claus Parade, just to mention a few of other events that we do.
3413 Each year we have come to depend upon our partnerships with CICX to promote these events. Since purchasing CICX‑FM, Larche has not missed any of our special events, they have been there on a continual basis, and they have supported all the events with both on‑air exposure, as well as on‑site exposure with their promotional teams and staff.
3414 As I mentioned, the Orillia Perch Festival is the largest derby of its kind in North America and we have always had full support of our local CICX station. It seems a lot of its listeners are fishermen.
3415 CICX has always sponsored our Tag Perch Program, which is if someone catches it, they win $500. We have had people as young as three and as old as 87 catch them. It's a family event, recreational fishing.
3416 Larche Communications has also supported us with free advertising for the Perch Festival and it helped us promote the event both locally and regionally.
3417 The Chamber is a not‑for‑profit organization and for things like this this is invaluable in our ability to promote what we are doing. This year the CICX‑FM Morning Show broadcast live from the Perch Festival on the water. The announcers had an on‑air competition to see who could catch the most fish during the show, so it was very interactive. Lots of responses and lots of anglers came down, actually, to the site to give us our good wishes, and, of course, comment on what was going on air.
3418 During that show, of course, we were able to get many other sponsors named on air, and it again helped with us to further promote the event.
3419 Another big part of the festival is our kids' day with the OPP. Part of the festival's mandate is to encourage kids and families, of course, to get involved with sport fishing. It's the only sport you can do at any age, with anybody any age, and therefore is a great memory builder.
3420 We dedicate the entire day to this during the festival and always receive on‑site support from CICX and their staff and support groups. And they promote the event with live cut‑ins and they get participants on‑air during these cut‑ins as a way to telling everybody what's going on and how they are enjoying it, and their services are also lent to the festival in this capacity. They do daily reports, updates, et cetera, during the event, as well as all the other events.
3421 The Orillia Chamber of Commerce also holds two annual waterfront boat shows at the Port of Orillia during the summer. One's in June, one's in August. For each of these shows, the Chamber of Commerce has come to know that they can have the CICX marine unit there, which is a boat that's giving live reports and supporting us.
3422 It's been a tradition of this team, of course, to park right at the very front of our docks, in the centre of the docks, at the Port of Orillia. They constantly provide the events with in‑depth on‑air reports and draw their listeners to the port while doing so for the many great weekends and attractions that we do. They also assist in the pre‑promotion of these events with a very extensive air campaign.
3423 The same can be said for basically all the events that we hold in Orillia. What I really enjoy, I guess, with dealing with Paul and his staff and everybody on‑air is that there's a very personal interaction between us all. We have got to know each other over the years. They are very tolerant of some of the things I ask of them.
3424 And, yes, most will show up at the event with their logoed vehicles and so it's been said to get a level of personal service like northern media we use at this time, i.e., print, et cetera.
3425 Paul Larche and his teams are always willing to go the extra mile to help us out, and we are very grateful for that.
3426 I'm looking forward to the prospect of the second Larche station to partner with to help make our events in the area and the City of Orillia a success story. Paul does demonstrate a genuine local commitment, not only to the city, but to the residents of the City of Orillia. And for those reasons I urge you to approve the application by Larche Communications Incorporated as it would be best used for this.
3427 Thank you.
3428 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
3429 I'm just going to ask you to repeat your last name so I don't have to say "Hey, you", because I didn't get it the first time.
3430 MR. BUNKER: Bunker, same as Archie.
3431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Bunker. Thank you very much, Mr. Bunker.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3432 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner ‑‑ oh, no, whoa, we might have questions for you.
3433 MR. BUNKER: Oh, great.
3434 Do you like to fish?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3435 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have never been.
3436 Commissioner Lamarre.
3437 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, I do. I do, and I was wondering, your Perch Festival, is it a summer one or a winter one?
3438 MR. BUNKER: It starts on April 18th and goes to May 9th, that's the day before Mother's Day, we know better than to fish on that day.
3439 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, you do.
3440 MR. BUNKER: Yes. It's 22 days of fishing, it's open to all ages. Annually, we attract an average of 5,000 anglers, 20 percent local, and the rest come from areas beyond 25 kilometres. It is unique in its twenty‑eighth year, so it's one of the longest lasting derbies of its type, of course, on the whole continent. And it's all for recreational fishing, it's live‑release, so it has sustainability and conservation in mind. And we have great support from sponsors because they believe it's a great sport to have all ages in.
3441 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You mentioned a number of ways that the Chamber of Commerce is associated with Larche Broadcasting, and you mentioned free advertising and, I'm assuming, free airtime for local and regional activities, with interviews.
3442 Obviously, you have developed over the years an excellent business ‑‑ and probably even more ‑‑ relationship with both Mr. Larche and his employees. Can you tell me what you think you would gain from the fact that Mr. Larche would get a second licence for a different type of radio station in Orillia that currently you do not get?
3443 MR. BUNKER: More is better. I think the more opportunities we have to get the word out there is imperative to participation. Basically PSAs in advertising we enjoy now, of course, could be an extension of that.
3444 And I don't know exactly what the listenership is, but I know we have an amazing response. The demographics of listenership might be a bit different, of course, and that opens, of course, another opportunity to a group of listeners to attend what we do.
3445 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: And if I may just abuse the fact that you are from the Chamber of Commerce, and ask you: you know, we have had discussions for the past day and a half about how sustainable it would be for Orillia and its retailers to be able to support a second radio station. Do you have any views on this?
3446 MR. BUNKER: Well, the Chamber of Commerce, of course, is local, provincial and national, and some of the reports we are getting back say there has been a decrease in purchasing. The pie is only so big.
3447 I believe that at this time we don't have an equation to that. And sustainability‑wise, it may be difficult to launch, but we are always looking towards the future, maybe two years from now, or something like that.
3448 It's hard to say because we have just come into this situation in the last year to six month more intensely and so we are still evaluating it and trying to get the statistics back, and data, to see if we can do something.
3449 We have sort of a new program out just by the Chamber of Commerce, it's called Buy Something, anything, because it's the only way we are going to pull ourselves out of this. So we are promoting the fact that people should keep doing what they do, as far as advertising, as far as they should do about some of their lifestyles. It may not be something to the way it was before, but at least it will keep the economy stimulated.
3450 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you, Mr. Bunker.
3451 Those are all my questions.
3452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3453 Commissioner Patrone.
3454 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3455 Just a couple of questions, Mr. Bunker.
3456 You are a country music fan, are you?
3457 MR. BUNKER: A multi‑music fan.
3458 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Multi‑music.
3459 When you are talking to your friends and colleagues around the fishing hole, forget the market for a minute, to what degree do you think Orillians want or need another radio station here?
3460 MR. BUNKER: I guess it comes down to, if you have a regional newspaper and a local type of publication coming out, it's what the readership is and what your reach is.
3461 The sustainability that we talked about just earlier is questionable in some views, but, once again, we go back to: can we keep stimulating people to go out and do things?
3462 So if I was sitting around with my friends and listening to, per se, a radio station, whether it be music or talk or whatever, it's what people do, so...
3463 Orillia is a destination for a lot of people in the summer, it's a tourist destination, it's a boating mecca, so if there's something going on and the people who visit wanted to know what's going on locally, I think that's partly what would support something like that.
3464 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: I'm just talking about water cooler conversation. I mean, do you get the sense that people really want another radio station here?
3465 MR. BUNKER: Hard to answer, because I believe that we are at a transition time, as I said earlier, so a lot of people are speculating: do we want another radio station? I think the more you offer people, sometimes the response is what you get. The more you offer, the more you get back.
3466 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Okay.
3467 And if the Commission were to decide not to license anyone out of sensitivity to the incumbent, do you think that your colleagues, your friends, the community, would view that as a negative thing or a positive thing?
3468 MR. BUNKER: Chambers of Commerce are a business. We think growth in any way is a positive thing.
3469 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Would you be disappointed?
3470 MR. BUNKER: Somewhat, you know, because, basically, it allows me another opportunity to promote what I do, and through to the Chamber.
3471 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much, Mr. Bunker.
3472 Madam Chair.
3473 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for your participation, Mr. Bunker. You can leave now.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3474 MR. BUNKER: Finally, thank you.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3475 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3476 Now, for just everyone's attention, I know I announced this morning that we would be adjourning at three o'clock. We still have to adjourn a little bit earlier, but not that much earlier.
3477 So what I'm going to do now is call for a 10‑minute break. I would ask the intervenors who are scheduled to appear on behalf of Debra McLaughlin's application to indicate to the Secretary if they are prepared to appear this afternoon, and we will get a little bit ahead of schedule therefore.
3478 If they are prepared to appear this afternoon, then we will hear them, and adjourn at about a quarter to four. If they are not as they were originally scheduled to appear tomorrow morning, then we will adjourn after the next intervenor.
3479 But I did want to give some time for that confirmation to the hearing Secretary.
3480 So we will take a 10‑minute break right now.
3481 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1438 / Suspension à 1438
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1500 / Reprise à 1500
3482 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order please.
3483 All right, just to clear up any confusion ‑‑ and I do realize that this is entirely my fault, in terms of timing ‑‑ this is because I do have to attend to some other Commission business at exactly 4 p.m. this afternoon. However, that being said, it may only take me about 10 to 15 minutes.
3484 We know that there is an impending snow storm, so, in the interest of time and in the interest of allowing people to get home safely, this panel has decided that we will do our utmost to finish the Orillia portion of this hearing if at all possible today.
3485 So that being said, we will hear this panel of intervenors and the panel of intervenors on behalf of the Debra McLaughlin application. We will then recess till about 4:30.
3486 At that point, we will hear the panel in support of Frank Torres' application and the panel in support of Rock 95.
3487 I will ask that during the break up until 4:30, you indicate to Cindy Ventura whether or not you will be appearing in Phase IV, and that will help us to determine whether or not we complete the Orillia portion of this hearing tonight or we do Phase IV tomorrow morning.
3488 If you have any questions about what I have just said, please see the hearing secretary. But like I said, we are hoping to be able to finish Orillia today so that everyone can get home safely.
3489 Madam Secretary.
3490 THE SECRETARY: All right. Thank you.
3491 Just before proceeding, Madam Chair, I would like to add on the record a response to an undertaking filed by Debra McLaughlin on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, and it's the clarification on the receive antenna height used in printed program to produce the realistic contour map.
3492 So this document will be added to the public file and is available in the Examination Room.
3493 And we now have at the presentation table Newplace Reading Series.
3494 Please introduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
3495 MR. PARKES: Thank you. My name is Robin Parkes.
3496 Madam Chair and Commissioners, I'm here in support of Bayshore's application for a radio station here in Orillia.
3497 To introduce myself, as I said, my name is Robin Parkes. I am the founder and director of Newplace Literature Reading Series. I'm a teacher for a local school board. I also teach part time at Georgian College here in Orillia. I am also an English professor and I'm also a writer of poetry and I have won several awards for my poetry.
3498 DR. MEYER: Madam Chair and Commissioners.
3499 My name is Dr. Bruce Meyer. I'm a Professor of English in the University Partnership Centre at Georgian College, where I teach for the Laurentian University BA Program. I'm an author of 27 books in print, three more on the way. I have been a broadcaster with CBC Radio. My broadcasts on the Great Books, with Michael Enright, for This Morning and for the Sunday Edition, are the CBC Network's best‑selling spoken‑word audio series. I also am the artistic director of the annual Leacock Summer Festival of Canadian Literature here in Orillia and I teach both in Barrie and here in Orillia for the Laurentian University BA Program.
3500 MR. PARKES: Why is Newplace Literature Reading supporting Bayshore for this application?
3501 The format which Mr. Ross Kentner and his staff introduced to us showed us a commitment to the greater community, it showed a commitment to artists, and it showed a commitment to Canadian identity, which is extremely important when it comes to writers.
3502 DR. MEYER: Madam Chair and Commissioners, it's my belief ‑‑ and I think Robin shares this, as well, and this is why we are supporting Bayshore Broadcasting's application for an Orillia licence ‑‑ it is our belief that culture is, in fact, a dialogue and that good radio is a good conversation.
3503 What we are proposing is a literary broadcast that will appear at 11 p.m. on Sunday evenings, for rebroadcast on Wednesdays, that will, in fact, not only showcase the talent of younger writers from the North Simcoe County area, but also the works of emerging writers from across Canada and major voices, as well.
3504 One of the things we are trying to do is to establish a type of programming that is community oriented, that has an effective way of disseminating and spreading literary culture, and that will, in fact, become a conversation.
3505 So we intend to support the program with URLographies, lists of author websites and so forth on a website for the program, with a blog, with email answers from both Robin and myself, and with, in fact, community involvement competitions, prizes and so forth, that will, in fact, engage younger writers with the older writers.
3506 What we are trying to do is present a kind of cross‑section of the way in which Canadian culture works, and also Canadian literature works.
3507 I would say to you: do you remember as children being read to? Do you remember the joy, in fact, or your mother or father or an older relative sitting down with you and reading you a book at bedtime?
3508 The time slot that we are in fact examining and we are aiming for is the 11 p.m. slot, following a blues and jazz program, and blues and jazz gets people in a mellow mood, it's gets them thinking, feeling their way through, you know, the end of the day.
3509 And what we are suggesting and proposing is a program that would enable the listeners, in fact, to be able to entertain the theatre of their minds and to be able to feed and sustain themselves on the value of literary culture. It's one of the things that helps build a strong creative economy and a strong creative community, and Bayshore Radio is, in fact, behind us all the way on this particular idea.
3510 MR. PARKES: The question may be how does Newplace fit into this forum? First of all, I would have to explain what Newplace Literature is. Newplace Literature is an open forum for writers and poets locally to share their works, to gather, share, reflect.
3511 And when I refer to "writers", I mean people who are aspiring to become writers. There's always this idea that if you are a writer, you need to travel down the 400 to Toronto and sell your wares there. There are many great talents in Orillia and Northern Simcoe County that would like this opportunity to share their works. So our mission statement is to create a greater awareness of local talents, particularly in the Orillia area and Northern Simcoe County.
3512 DR. MEYER: Orillia has a natural literary brand. This is one of the few communities in Canada that can boast a National Historic Site that is dedicated to an author. This is the Leacock Museum, which is operated by the City of Orillia. Every summer we have the annual Leacock Summer Festival of Canadian Literature there, and Bayshore Radio has very graciously provided author support, in terms of travel, in terms of honorarium, to encourage authors to come into this community and share their work.
3513 This is a community that has two universities and a college located in it. This is also a community that is highly literate. And having met the community, having engage them, having talked to them, since about 2000, when I first became involved with the Leacock Summer Festival here, the sense is that people want a wonderful idea of diversity, in the sense of what they experience through cultural mediums such as readings, such as literary events, such as education, and, above all, through radio.
3514 MR. PARKES: Thank you, Madam Chair and Commissioners, we look forward now to any questions you have for us.
3515 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Parkes and Dr. Meyer.
3516 I like the fact it was almost like listening to a radio show hearing you guys ‑‑
3517 DR. MEYER: We are practising.
3518 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ feed off of each other ‑‑
3519 MR. PARKES: We are practising.
3520 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ it's terrific.
3521 MR. PARKES: Thank you.
3522 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3523 Commissioner Molnar.
3524 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you and welcome to our hearing.
3525 MR. PARKES: Thank you.
3526 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I am quite interested in this program. When Mr. Kentner proposed this in their opening remarks, they said that this may be the first of its kind on commercial radio in Canada, and it's always exciting to talk about firsts.
3527 So to what extent was this a proposal that they brought to you, Bayshore brought to you, or was this something that is a collaborative effort?
3528 DR. MEYER: This is a meeting of minds, if you want to look at it. The Newplace Literature Series already existed. They said, "Oh, well, this would make great radio", which is one of the things you hear when you are engaged in an event that actually inspires people. They come away with ‑‑ it's take‑home listening, if you want to call it that, where, in fact, someone appeared at an event said, "Gee, you know, that's really great. I really enjoyed that. It's a shame more people weren't here. It's a shame more people didn't attend the event".
3529 With the idea of a broadcast, you are reaching a wider audience, with the idea of podcasting the broadcast afterwards you are reaching a wider audience, with the idea of backing up the broadcasts with emails, with URLographies, with a kind of constant exchange, it really disseminates the idea of what literary culture can do.
3530 If you go to Paris, for example, one of the things you will hear in all the cafes is the local Parisians are talking about Bernard Préveau and his book shows. I don't whether you have ever heard Bernard Préveau or not, but it's a big thing in France. People talk about literature. That can happen here because the curiosity, the energy and the creativity are inherent in this community, it's just waiting to be tapped into.
3531 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
3532 You very obviously have a passion for literature ‑‑
3533 DR. MEYER: It's all I do.
3534 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, I know. That's excellent.
3535 You also mentioned that you are a former broadcaster, and, obviously, you have a way of expressing yourself that's very compelling and will sound great on the radio.
3536 DR. MEYER: I have also been a journalist, as well ‑‑
3537 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
3538 DR. MEYER: ‑‑ and I used to write for the Windsor Star, and so I would like to be asking the questions.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3539 DR. MEYER: Actually, I envy your position up there, so...
3540 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Anything's possible.
3541 One of the thing I was wondering about is who normally, as you see it, would be broadcasting. Who would be on the air? Now you are, clearly, a very experienced on‑air personality. I read this to say that you would have new and emerging ‑‑
3542 DR. MEYER: Talents.
3543 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ writers.
3544 DR. MEYER: Both of us are going to be ‑‑ go ahead.
3545 MR. PARKES: Yes, both Bruce and I, obviously, are on the program. It will be new talents, obviously, people who would like to share their artistic talents. That's someone from 16 years old to 92, to be honest with you. At our readings, we have had, literally, people from those ages come to our readings.
3546 And we would also bring guest speakers. The Newplace Literature Reading Series that I do, I always bring in a guest speaker, someone who is published already, someone who has the experience. I have them come in and they share that with ‑‑ not just their poetry and writings, but share their experience, so that people understand that there is an opportunity for them to share their works.
3547 Because many people like to share their works and poetry, they just don't feel they have the avenue. Bringing a guest speaker in from Toronto or Montreal or other places shows that these are real people, poets are real people.
3548 DR. MEYER: And you have to make it worth their while to come, as well. And one of the things that I found was a wonderful experience, as a young writer coming up through Toronto, which was a very, very competitive literary environment, was the thrill of being on the same ticket as an established author.
3549 Being, you know, 17, 18 years old, sneaking out of the house with a bunch of poems in my back pocket, appearing at an open‑mike session and suddenly there's someone who just won the Governor General's award reading on the same ticket, and having them come up to you afterwards and say, "Hey, kid you got something" is that sort of spirit that we are trying to inspire with this sense of, again, two‑way radio, radio that isn't that interactive, that will reach the community and, at the same time, really inspire the kind of cultural dialogue that really fires creativity, new artists and new ideas.
3550 You have to keep culture alive.
3551 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes. And I certainly agree with that.
3552 Just one more question for you. As well as the time on the radio, Bayshore has also committed, as part of their contributions to Canadian content development, to support your reading service. I was wondering if you could tell me, to what extent, perhaps, your reading service ‑‑ the potential for developing new voices for us in the broadcasting system through your service.
3553 DR. MEYER: Well, essentially the moneys that we have received so far in support of the Leacock Festival ‑‑ Bayshore Radio has been a sponsor of the Leacock Festival ‑‑ they have been put towards author stipends, towards author travel expenses.
3554 The Newplace Reading Series likes to move around. Like, you know, if you can sort of take the circuit‑rider idea and apply it to culture and if you can involve the City of Orillia, but also some of the outlying communities as well with readings, it reaches a broader audience.
3555 Now, what we want to be able to do is to offer prizes to encourage the younger authors, the people who have not yet turned pro, to be able to pay the pros to come in so that they are reaching, in fact, a very definite audience.
3556 We are not eligible for Canada Council funds as of yet, so we need to be able to offer the authors a Canada‑Council‑style stipend to come in, and that's about $250 for an hour‑long reading, and that's the current Canada Council rates.
3557 So what we are trying to do is to sort of say, "Hey, you should come to North Simcoe County, you should come into the community, you should participate in this. Why? Because here is a chance, in fact, for you to engage in a culture which is not just Toronto‑centred, but which is, in fact, speaking directly to your experience and that you are part of".
3558 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
3559 I have no more questions. Thank you both again for sharing your vision with us here.
3560 MR. PARKES: Thank you.
3561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Patrone.
3562 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3563 Just one quick question, gentlemen. I want your read on the degree to which Orillians really need a radio station, in general. And I appreciate that you are here to support Bayshore's application.
3564 DR. MEYER: It's a question of diversity. I think if you get radio that makes you passive, that in fact you can lie back and just listen to it, that's fine. But if you get radio that, in fact ‑‑ if you have the opportunity to plug into something that's not just, you know, stimulating, you know, in terms of intellectual content or in terms of entertainment content and so forth, if you have something that's stimulating in terms of here is someone who lives next door to me, or who lives down the block, someone who's a member of my community, and, my gosh, they are talking about their experience, but it's also my experience, it's that kind of local stimulation, which isn't provided by, you know, CBC or the major networks.
3565 This is, in fact, a unique breakthrough for commercial radio in that commercial radio is suddenly saying, "Hey, we want a dialogue with the community, we want to hear what the community is thinking, what it's feeling". And if you plug into that, suddenly you haven't just created a radio broadcast, you have created a pulse.
3566 MR. PARKES: Further to what Bruce Meyer is saying there, when we first started this endeavour, 2005, we had five people show up. We are at the point now where we are turning people away. So 50, 70, 100 people at a time.
3567 When I do put a call out for writers to come, my email usually gets so big that my Sympatico account they asked me to do something about it. So there is definitely a call there for it.
3568 And again, it's always, too, when people ‑‑ I use Facebook a lot to promote the events, and I could have from 200 to 500 hits saying coming or not to our events. So there's definitely a call there.
3569 And I said earlier that I'm a part‑time professor here at Georgian College in Orillia, and when I announce that there's going to be events at Georgian College, again, it's another sold‑out event, which shows that there is a thirst for that and that people will attend this market.
3570 DR. MEYER: We started something through the UPC at Georgian called L3, in coordination with Barrie North Collegiate. It was a day of writers' workshops last spring. We had 650 teachers and students from all over Simcoe Country who showed up to hear professional writers talk about the craft, how to go about doing it. And we had an evening reading. We had 350 people show up to the evening reading in the gymnasium.
3571 We started the Leacock Festival in 2000 with four readers over two days. Now, in fact, we have about 35 over five days, and the people are parked way out almost onto whatever the road is, I think it's Forest Avenue, out at the end of the museum. There's a sense that suddenly people want this.
3572 This is a very articulate, very tuned‑in community, and part of its character, part of what makes North Simcoe County unique is the fact that people are very literate. The sense of the literacy level, the sense of wanting to engage in literature is constantly expanding because you have got two universities located here, you have a college.
3573 All these things are feeding into the same idea of a kind of core consciousness behind the culture that wants to be engaged, that wants to be entertained, that wants to come out to events and wants to be ‑‑ you know, wants to be given kind of a voice of its own imagination.
3574 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you both very much.
3575 DR. MEYER: Thank you.
3576 MR. PARKES: Thank you.
3577 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Madam Chair.
3578 THE CHAIRPERSON: Once again, thank you very much for your participation.
3579 DR. MEYER: It's been a pleasure being here. Thank you.
3580 MR. PARKES: Thank you.
3581 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
3582 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3583 I would now call Women's Habitat, Liz Janik Associates and Larry Leblanc, to appear as a panel and present their intervention.
3584 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3585 We will start with Women's Habitat. Please introduce yourself for the record, and you have 10 minutes.
3586 MS ROFFEY: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff.
3587 I'm Rhonda Roffey. I'm the Executive Director of Women's Habitat. I have dedicated many years to equality rights, with a focus on aboriginal issues and women's equality. My formal education includes studies at the University of Toronto and Ryerson's School of Journalism.
3588 I appear before you today in support of the application by Debra McLaughlin for a new station to be called Orillia's Own. My support is premised on three key elements that I believe sets this application apart from all the rest.
3589 Orillia's Own will offer a new format, in particular music that cannot be currently heard in the market, and a truly local perspective on news and information.
3590 Secondly, Orillia's Own offers a comprehensive plan for developing participation in the broadcast system by providing funding for education to the Aboriginal Media Education Fund, as well as creating a training opportunity through the Mentorship Program.
3591 And Orillia's Own will introduce a female perspective into the ranks of broadcast ownership, and, in so doing, provide new sensibilities on issues and create strong female role models that are urgently needed.
3592 I will begin by elaborating on my views as a consumer. From 1995 till 1998, I lived in Barrie but worked extensively in Orillia doing public education. In this capacity, I became familiar with Orillia. In a town like Orillia, local radio is the only immediate media, as such, and can play an incomparable role in developing a sense of one's hometown. It's this one‑of‑a‑kind news and information that sets a local station apart from all others and creates a connection to a community that transcends gender and age.
3593 I understand that Orillia has been without local radio for some time. Despite being served by regional stations that focus on central Ontario, Orillia residents are without a dedicated source of stories that originate here.
3594 The economic interdependence with Barrie notwithstanding, Orillia has its own identity, its own history and its own unique sense of self. It is proudly the home of Stephen Leacock, Gordon Lightfoot, the Mariposa Folk Festival and the Chipawas of Rama.
3595 With a population in excess of 40,000, it's unimaginable to me that a breaking local news headline is not the lead story on a station that is licensed to the market, and it's not. Orillia's Own proposes what, to me, is the correct emphasis for a radio service licensed to this market, that is Orillia stories first.
3596 Beyond the headlines, this station promises, through its spoken‑word programming, to cover the issues and events that are important to people in the area, including interviews with newsmakers and features that address particular interests.
3597 In terms of music, I don't think it matters much whether you live in Orillia, Barrie or Toronto, it seems to me that no matter where you are much of what is being offered on Canadian radio seems the same. Sometimes you even hear the same stations name recycled or the same news voice on many stations. You can listen to a song in the morning and hear the same song on your way home on your drive home that afternoon. One can't help but wonder if one person's programming all of it.
3598 This is why the format of Orillia's Own appeals to me, the music fan. The range of music played will be bigger, the artists will be more representative of the new music that is being enjoyed at clubs and purchased online, and the way it will be mixed will be more reflective of how many of us enjoy music when choosing it for ourselves.
3599 I suspect that only in a programmer's mind does the thought of one genre of music 24‑7 make any sense. Orillia's Own promises something different. It promises radio that will introduce new music, expand the artists and the songs we hear, and provide balance in this narrowly focused, high‑repeat stations that are everywhere on the radio dial. It promises a real choice and something that is listenable. It will give greater exposure to Canadian artists and, in particular, introduce more new and emerging talent, including talent from Orillia, which I understand is a first for the area.
3600 The second reason I'm here supporting this station has to do with the contribution it will make to the aboriginal people. Orillia's Own is proposing financial support for the Aboriginal Media Education Fund, as well as an opportunity to gain on‑the‑job experience.
3601 As an aboriginal person who was once a journalism student at Ryerson School of Journalism, I know firsthand that one of the greatest challenges is raising awareness of career opportunities for young aboriginals. This is a function that the Aboriginal Media Education Fund has undertaken as it pertains to jobs within the broadcasting and production fields.
3602 They are providing information on career paths and skill sets that can be developed and the opportunities for employment that exist. In so doing, AMEF is encouraging aboriginals, and young people in particular, to think of themselves and their futures in new ways.
3603 In addition to raising awareness, AMEF also assists aboriginal people to find the training they need to realize their career aspirations. Whether that is sourcing facilities or courses or providing the necessary funding, AMEF's goal is to provide practical assistance that will result in aboriginal people participating in the creation of aboriginal content.
3604 Of all of the applicants before you, only Orillia's Own has committed to supporting this vital organization, and I join Chief Henry of the Chipawas of Rama in applauding this investment and supporting the application by Debra McLaughlin.
3605 Secondly, as well as providing funding, the applicants made room in their business plan for a mentorship that will provide a member of our community with invaluable on‑the‑job experience. The plan to mentor at least one aspiring aboriginal broadcaster each year enhances the opportunities being created for aboriginal talent, both within Orillia and the broadcast system. I'm please to see this, particularly in light of the important cultural, economic and historic contribution aboriginal people have made to the Orillia market.
3606 Combining both funding for education with the opportunity for real‑world work experience, this recognizes the practical needs that are associated with improving representation of any group. And that leads me to my last reason for supporting this application: the introduction of female ownership into the system.
3607 I think it's easy to forget how far as a society we have come in a relatively short period of time. This journey towards equity and opportunity for all is, however, far from over. As an aboriginal woman, I can certainly tell you that we have not achieved equality and we do not live in a society that holds the same promise for everyone.
3608 In our mothers' lifetime, women were denied the right to vote in parts of Canada; in our mothers' lifetime under the law women were not recognized as citizens; women were not allowed to be employed in some professions; and clubs in certain societies were off limits if you were female.
3609 What we take for granted today was not an option as recently as 60 years ago. Why does this matter? It matters because it speaks to a coming of age, and, as well, and with all such processes, it takes place over time. The progress has been achieved in increments and noted through benchmark. Orillia's Own offers the opportunity to establish one such benchmark: female ownership in the broadcast system.
3610 It is my understanding that while women have had ownership roles in other organizations, this represents a first: majority control by women. This can have a profound impact on young women. I know this from my own agency that is 100 percent governed by women. From the Board of Directors to the frontline workers, the women who use our services marvel at this every day.
3611 Women bring unique perspectives and ownership offers the best opportunity to have this incorporated into the broadcast system. The Broadcasting Act specifically recognizes the need for the reflection of all Canadian and Orillia's Own promises to provide a notably absent input at a critical level.
3612 The fact that this represents a first suggests that it's long overdue. As I mentioned at the onset, I'm the Executive Director of Women's Habitat. The organization provides much‑needed services to low‑income women and children, has done so for 30 years. We are frontline, we are on the front lines with issues affecting women, and we have been strong advocates for equality. We know firsthand the need to have a voice. We know firsthand the power of the media to shape opinions, frame the issues and create a dialogue.
3613 And just to be clear, I'm not here suggesting that there has been no input for women in media today. But no one could argue that there is a great difference between working for a company and owning it.
3614 Orillia's Own will break through a glass ceiling, create a model for other women in the broadcasting industry and in other male‑dominated areas.
3615 As cliché as it might seem, there is always a need for a role model. And Orillia's Own is offering just that.
3616 And so when I look at the applicants today before you, I strongly believe that Orillia's Own is far and away the best use of a radio frequency.
3617 I'm proud to be here today to lend my support to Ellen and her team. The professional achievements and qualifications are evident in their proposal. The vision they have of the role of local radio in my assessment is the right one.
3618 And there's no doubt in my mind that if licensed, Orillia's Own would make a meaningful difference to the residents of Orillia and the surrounding communities as well as the broadcast system as a whole.
3619 I encourage you to reward the years of hard work that has culminated in this proposal by granting Debra McLaughlin, OBCI, the radio license for Orillia.
3620 I thank you and I'd be happy to answer your questions.
3621 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3622 We will now hear Liz Janik Associates. Please introduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes.
3623 MS JANIK: My name is Liz Janik ‑‑ I should know that. My name is Liz Janik. My company, Liz Janik Associates has been working as a consultant in research and programming throughout North America for nearly 20 years.
3624 I am also a Chair of the Humber College Radio Advisory Committee. I'm an instructor of Harris Institute for the Arts which helps young artists coming up into the industry. And I'm a contributing editor to several American publications, writing articles on research and programming.
3625 I'm here today in two capacities. I'm here as a fan of radio and as a person who has worked in radio, well, I started in radio in ‑‑ when I was at age the 15 at my hometown radio station in Kitchener Waterloo, CKKW.
3626 My passion for radio took me into college radio. I was the founding programmer for the Ryerson College radio station.
3627 I also interned at CHUM FM, went on for my first fulltime job at CHFI and eventually I ended up in a station called CFNY which earned the moniker 'The Spirit of Radio', one of the truly successful alternative stations in North American history.
3628 That station had a legacy of 11 years. And its memory lives strong even into today's time. It was fundamental in breaking many Canadian artists. And its fans still have great memories of the station.
3629 It surprised me recently to get fan mail, people saying it's taken me 20 years but here I am.
3630 When CFNY changed format I was shown the door. And I joined a company which was one of the top companies in North America for research and consulting. And working with them I moved off the alternative pathway into a wide variety of formats.
3631 And over the last 19 years I've done research in most of the major markets across Canada, many of the American markets, large and small. And using research was able to identify many original formats and also identify many opportunities for the alternative format.
3632 In terms of other original formats, I had the pleasure of being a part of the design team for one of the original hot A/C formats which was created for KHMX Houston; one of the ‑‑ the very first Hip Hop format which was launched in New York city with HOT 97; Rhythmic A/C which was launched in Boston. But my passion is still the alternative format ‑‑ oh, R&B oldies in Chicago which was another personal passion.
3633 So, research can show us where the opportunities are for finding audiences. So, today I'd like to address three specific areas: One is independent ownership and why its important. Second, local and live programming. And third, I thought I'd throw in my hat about some alternative issues.
3634 When it comes to independent broadcasting, I think this is ‑‑ we have now reached the point in our history where we have to defend our communities by keeping our ownership diversified.
3635 The United States started consolidating radio in the mid‑90s. It gained such momentum that it drove up the price of radio rapidly from 7 times cash flow to sometimes 18, 20 times cash flow.
3636 It happened so quickly they created a separate trade paper called 'Who Owns What', because people couldn't keep up with the changes. And everybody kept talking about how wonderful this was for radio and how it would bring opportunities and efficiencies of scale and phrases like that.
3637 Well, that phenomena came into Canada a little later and with a little less aggressiveness. But I think it's important for us to look at what's happening in the United States today because I think what's happening in the United States today is on the threshold of becoming a reality in Canada and it may have already started to gain momentum here in Canada.
3638 When the broadcasters consolidated they got larger and larger and larger. And at some point they stopped looking at radio as a community service and they look at it as a distribution channel.
3639 So, as a result they started pulling out the live bodies out of the radio stations and the localized programming, centralizing the programming and using the new technology to deliver the content.
3640 Last week Clear Channel reduced its workforce by 1,850 employees. I read through the data for the radio side of the Clear Channel operations and I was dismayed to see how many programming bodies were shown the door as well as sales people.
3641 And I was particularly struck by the fact that this is not just something that happens in small markets. I mean we could almost see a logic to it happening in small markets. The big concern for me today, it's happening in large markets.
3642 In fact in Chicago WNUA which is one of the more popular softer music stations, I noticed that Rick O'Dell was let go. Now, that's one person. But Rick O'Dell was the program director, the music director and also did a five‑hour mid‑day shift. So there's three bodies out the door, three jobs already gone and who's left to run the building?
3643 In Detroit there's a sports station that no longer has any live bodies in the building. And someone mentioned to me and if you need the specifics I'll find them for you, that there's a market in Montana where there's six radio stations and there's no one in the building.
3644 Now this is starting to happen in Canada. We're starting to see jobs instead of having one job you have two jobs, three jobs, four jobs. Major broadcasters, not the little guys, the big guys are stripping out the live bodies out of their buildings.
3645 We don't have live overnights; we don't have live mid‑days; we're missing live evenings. And so my concern is that as long as they look at radio as a delivery system for audio content radio is doomed to fail.
3646 I'll show you why. I've got here a jump drive, a little stick drive. You can get a stick drive from LuraTech Industries which you plug into your computer and it will automatically put up on your screen a radio tuner which pulls in thousands of radio stations. So the new technology is bringing us a world of radio into our home.
3647 The only way local free radio can survive is if it goes back to what it originally was, local and live, serving the community.
3648 I believe radio is the original social network. We hear today how MySpace and particularly Facebook has become all the rage. Well, that's because people can be part of the programming of those particular platforms.
3649 And that's what radio was about. It was about local people hearing about other local people, having warm bodies in the building so if you came to the radio station a human would talk to you, having the radio station out at local events.
3650 These things are what make radio so important to communities. And I really would like to see that principle maintained. And I don't trust the major broadcasters to do that. I probably just talked myself out of a few jobs.
3651 The second point that I wanted to raise is the live component of it. What's the point of having radio stations with just digitally transmitted data? I mean could it be that eventually we'll have a computer talking to us?
3652 People are more hungry today than before for real people talking to real people. So, I think that's really important.
3653 We've had a lot of conversation here today about the alternative format, whether it works, whether it doesn't work. And I think there's a lot of confusion about what the heck the format is.
3654 So, because I've had extensive experience with this format in all sorts of markets, I would like to simplify the entire thing for everyone. Based on listeners and the feedback that we've gotten back from listeners in research studies, the common ground of the alternative format is it plays music not played by the regular formats.
3655 All radio format pigeonhole music to such an extent that new music has a very hard time breaking through if it sounds different. If you look at some of the history of what alternative stations have done for music, it's a long and glorious history that goes back 40 years.
3656 The idea of playing songs that aren't played by mainstream formats goes back to the very early days of FM and progressive FM radio. And Canada had several stations at that time that embraced that philosophy of not defining music by whether or not it fit a pigeon hole but defining it based on whether or not the audience loved it.
3657 And there are so many artists out there who never would have been heard on radio if it wasn't for progressive or alternative radio stations. In fact if today Led Zeppelin came out with "Stairway to Heaven", there isn't a format that would touch that song. Pink Floyd, same story.
3658 The Police, when they first arrived on the scene were not played by mainstream formats. They were played by alternative radio stations and gained enough momentum to get into the mainstream.
3659 The same is true with U2. Sarah McLaughlin's career was launched on alternative radio in Canada and the United States. We would not have had a Sarah McLaughlin success story today in Canada if she hadn't been championed at a station, at 89X in Detroit.
3660 So, I probably could go on giving you a list of details like this. The reason why I like the Debra McLaughlin application is because it meets these points.
3661 It brings radio back into the independent operators who are still connected to their local communities. It brings it back into having live content, live dialogue. And it also opens the door for having a format that would embrace all music, not just the stuff that fits the pigeon holes.
3662 And in this market there's evidence of a strong demand for alternate music styles. I've seen that in so many.
3663 Their commitment to 20 percent emerging Canadian talent is extremely important to the industry because if you don't fit the pigeon holes you're pretty well shut out at the starting gate from getting radio play in Canada.
3664 We no longer even have a trade paper chart that we can rely on to create stories around the artist.
3665 I strongly believe based on my working experience with Carmela Lorignano and my professional regard for Ms McLaughlin, that they understand what radio, real radio, the free stuff that we can get over the airwaves, what makes it work both in terms of listeners, in terms of staffing ‑‑
3666 THE SECRETARY: Excuse Mrs. Janik.
3667 MS JANIK: ‑‑ and in terms of client relations.
3668 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me ‑‑
3669 MS JANIK: Thank you very much. This ‑‑
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3670 MS JANIK: And thank you for your time.
3671 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3672 We will now hear Mr. Larry Leblanc. Mr. Leblanc you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3673 MR. LEBLANC: Thank you.
3674 It's an honour to be in front of the Commission in kind of a non‑professional basis today of...
3675 Madam Chair and Commissioners, I've been before the Commission a number of times. I've actually worked for the Commission at various times.
3676 I'm something that is rare I guess in Canada. I'm considered an expert on various forms of music and the relationship they have to the music industry.
3677 I've been a music trade writer since 1970. I was with Record World the American publication from 1970 to 80. I was a co‑founder of the Canadian trade paper The Record that lasted for about 18 years. And for 17 years, from 1991 to 2007 I was the Canadian Bureau Chief for Billboard Magazine.
3678 In between that time I did work for obviously other people including the Commission, including Heritage Canada, Competition Bureau. I can go on and on. It's a small community here. This is how we make a living.
3679 I also have a local stake here as well. I'm a resident in 705 area code here and I'm quite familiar with this marketplace.
3680 I'm quite familiar with it because of you know, having a cottage here. But also Orillia has such a rich musical history.
3681 I didn't attend the first Mariposa Folk Festival back in 1961. I was a little too young for that. But I certainly attended them through the years.
3682 I also worked for Ian and Sylvia Tyson as their publicist. So I was greatly aware of the roots of you know folk music within this community. And of course it's returned here as well.
3683 But there's also the Folk Society here, there's a Jazz fest, a Blues fest. There's a number of different things that go on here.
3684 And you know, Orillia, over the years has been almost a destination region for other artists to kind of you know make their popularity a little bit better known.
3685 I'll give you a good example of that. Mariposa was the first place that a 17‑year‑old artist named Serena Ryder played. It was one of the first, you know, major festivals that, you know, she played.
3686 And last year she came back here and played here at the Opera House and filled it. She's now a rising star within Canadian circles yet you won't hear her on many radio stations in Canada. You know, it's scattered. And you don't hear her certainly here local. That's a good example.
3687 The AAA format is interesting in a sense that, you know, there's so much misconceptions about an adult album alternative, you know, what is it. I've heard so much over the years that it's a secondary format; it's a big city format; it's a format that doesn't work very well; it's a fringe format.
3688 Well, for a fringe format it's doing pretty well. First off it's an outgrowth of the album‑oriented rock format of the 1970s. So it's a little over 40 years old you know, for a first.
3689 There's 119 stations in the United States that are deemed AAA. We haven't any that I know that are licensed that way by the Commission in Canada but there certainly are four that are designated at least by the record companies as being leaning toward AAA and in terms of what their play list is.
3690 And the other thing is in the past year both Radio & Records, the American trade paper and also Mediabase, the other, you know, service that gauges radio, have both started AAA charts. And the reason for that is unlike a lot of other formats it really does fill a hole in the programming, you know, of music, of what people hear.
3691 There's a lot of artists we no longer hear. Yes, you'll hear the Sarah McLaughlin's and the Coldplay's and The Killers on AAA as you will in some other formats too. But consider some of the artists today that you generally don't hear on Canadian radio and not just Canadian radio too. In some cases American markets too if there isn't a AAA format.
3692 When's the last time you heard Tracy Chapman? Very rarely do you hear. The Killers you don't hear that much in some cases ‑‑ pardon me, not The Killers, The Pretenders anymore. Ryan Adams, not Bryan Adams, Ryan Adams and The Cardinals, you don't hear them, Missy Higgins.
3693 And then you've got the Canadians, you know, people like Serena Ryder. Kathleen Edwards is celebrated around the world. I was with her last year over in England. And she gets hardly any airplay in Canada and no airplay in this market in particular.
3694 And you know, it's odd like that. We have a lot of performers and a lot of artists that are like that.
3695 I jokingly say that Canadians as an industry do things very well in a couple of different, you know, musical genres. We do meat and potatoes Rock and Roll very well, as we see by Nickelback. Obviously we do Folk‑based music very well as well.
3696 We hear Rock on the radio but we don't hear a lot of singer songwriter artists on the radio. We used to on the CBC. What's going on with Radio 2, I don't know right now. And 3 it's more alternative. It seems to be skewing younger.
3697 I worked within the CBC for 10 years. I know that you play an artist on a program because it's all segmented program. You play them, they don't probably get played on the radio unless they're doing a performance probably for about another month.
3698 So, that's where AAA becomes very important particularly for Canadian artists. And I think what is interesting about this market right here is this is a black hole for music in a sense.
3699 Name another Orillia artist other than Gordon Lightfoot. I don't think many of us in this room can do it. I know I couldn't do it before coming up here until I did some research.
3700 The only one I knew was Lance Anderson who has the Make it Real records. But there's an awful lot of artists here like Sarah Melody, Steve Henry, The Sensations. I don't hear these people on radio. I don't hear them locally. And quite frankly they're off my radar in terms of working in the market.
3701 I've been doing this for, you know, as I said, a little over 35 years. I get 100 CD's a week of Canadian artists. I don't get that much from this area.
3702 And there's a couple of different reasons for it. One is Ontario is the only market in Canada, only province that does not have an industry association. Every other province has got one. Ontario doesn't.
3703 It doesn't have it for a couple of reasons and part of it is because Toronto dominates and essentially they feel that an awful lot of things can though, you know, FACTOR or can go through, you know, various Mech programs.
3704 So, well that's fine if you're in southern Ontario. You can kind of you know, make use of those type of programs. But you go further up north and you can't.
3705 And quite frankly the talent here needs that kind of help as other parts of Ontario does as well.
3706 And anyways, as I said, I'm here basically, I'm not ‑‑ I was not hired to be here. This is me believing in the people that want to put on this format. I've worked with Debra and her team before. I know how they are as programmers.
3707 I believe in this format. I believe also the Canadian music industry needs this type of format because how Canadian records are played on the air is real, real simple.
3708 Radio programmers when they get, and there are exceptions, the Country format is probably the big exception and maybe Easy Listening because they need certain types of records, but for the most part if you have a record, the order of Canadian records, how they get on the air is if it's on a major U.S. label it gets on first.
3709 If it's on a Canadian‑based major label and multi‑national, if it's based here and it's signed there, that gets on second.
3710 Third up is an independent distributed by a Canadian multinational.
3711 And fourth at the bottom of the barrel are those Canadian independent who have got good product who don't have the representation who do not have access to multinational distribution.
3712 And keep in mind we lost three major distributors, independent distributors, this last year in Canada. We just lost Fusion III, we lost Landwash in Newfoundland and we just lost Festival Distribution in Vancouver. So the options are getting a little harder for those people and the outlets.
3713 And for a format like this that exposes a great deal of new music and new artists and goes in depth with even those artists that you know from other formats, because it's not a niche format. It really is not a niche format. This is a popular music format.
3714 And the reason that it hasn't reached Canada as much as I think, an awful lot of the programmers are scared of it because they're lazy. They have to go back and do the type of things and basics that they did in the 60s and 70s when the Commission had mosaic programming and different parts of, you know, of their programming at that point.
3715 It's easier to do a Classic Rock station. It's easier to do perhaps other formats.
3716 I don't want to put any of other formats down.
3717 This is a format that is intensive and it's helpful. And the Canadian music industry needs it.
3718 Thank you.
3719 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well thank you all very much for your interventions here this afternoon.
3720 Ms Janik you know how much it pains me to cut you off.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3721 THE CHAIRPERSON: But perhaps after we've rendered this decision you and I can get together and have a real good chat about music.
3722 Your interventions both written and oral are quite detailed, quite interesting and informative to the process. And I want to thank you for that.
3723 Ms Roffey, you in particular and I apologize if I have mispronounced that.
3724 MS ROFFEY: Perfectly done.
3725 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3726 You made a point of highlighting the ownership issue with this application. And I think that most of us if not all of us on this panel have a true appreciation of what that would mean to the system because it would be a first.
3727 What is that going to mean to the listener?
3728 MS ROFFEY: Well, radio as a business is not my sector. But what I do know is that equality rights.
3729 And I think that it speaks very poorly to the industry that this hasn't already happened. I mean there has to be something wrong.
3730 It's just too ‑‑ it's, you know, a new millennium and we don't have a radio station that's owned by women. I find it quite shocking. I was shocked to find that out.
3731 So, I think, you know, we can never put a price tag on these kinds of things. But certainly we know that it's really important to women to be able to see role modelling.
3732 And it's great that women work in the sector and that would be the sort of first step in. But ownership I think is the next plateau. And certainly women as bosses are important things.
3733 We know it bodes well for Fortune 500 companies. All the studies show the more diverse that your ownership is and your management is, the better your company is going to do.
3734 I think for me working with young women who really feel like they should be able to do anything, these kinds of things are important, these kinds of landmarks.
3735 And I think for the industry just in terms of pride in industry I think you need to be able to look around and see all kinds of different people at all levels of the industry. And if you don't I think it needs to be fixed.
3736 That doesn't mean that you put forward you know, people that don't have the experience to do the work. But certainly from what I can see and what I've heard today and what I know of working particularly with Ellen, these are people that have a lot of business savvy, a lot of experience in the radio industry.
3737 So this is probably the time to do it because it certainly needs to be done.
3738 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, like I said, your presentations were quite informative and detailed. And I really do want to thank you for your participation.
3739 Thank you.
3740 We will now take a break till about 4:30. If that should change we'll let you know. But I suspect we'll be back at 4:30.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1555 / Suspension à 1555
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1630 / Reprise à 1630
3741 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3742 We will start with Mariners Cove Marine. Please introduce yourself, and then you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3743 MR. HINTZE: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff.
3744 My name is Peter Hintze. I am the owner of Mariners Cove Marina, and the operator.
3745 Mariners Cove Marina was established in 1968.
3746 Mariners Cove is a full‑service marina offering a wide array of services. Our services include engine and boat repairs, docking facility with open and covered slips, water taxi service, rentals, retail in marine accessories and seasonal products like ice cream, newspapers, and so on. Last but not least, we have a full‑storage facility for boats up to 27 feet.
3747 Mariners Cove employs certified Mercury master technicians and all technical staff complete registered courses in Mercury outboards and Mercury's with stern drives.
3748 I am here to fully support the application by Frank Torres, Shore FM, not only because the music format is missing in the region, but because of the effect that the business relationship that Mariners Cove have had with Skywords Media.
3749 To give you a couple of examples, first, for over six years, Mariners Cove has purchased radio advertising from Skywords.
3750 Since then, we have watched our business grow steadily with a winter storage increase of 50 per cent over the last six years and continuing to grow today.
3751 I am convinced that a major component of our success is to be attributed to the marketing plan that was developed by Skywords.
3752 They not only sell radio advertising, they consult us for no additional charge on all our marketing needs, including placing media on local radio stations from time to time.
3753 Secondly, as a past president of our local snowmobile club, I was pleasantly surprised to hear three years ago that the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs had partnered with Skywords to provide up‑to‑the‑minute snowmobile trail conditions, weekly local club events and support for volunteer drives.
3754 I was not at all surprised to see Frank Torres personally attend one of our district meetings to present a proposal and get to know our club members and initiatives on a personal level.
3755 The reason this does not surprise me is because both Ed and Frank Torres visit my marina every year since the beginning of our business relationship. And to get a bird's eye view or even a hands on of my business and better understand the challenges that my business faces on a day‑to‑day basis.
3756 They have both sipped coffee with me and my staff in my service shop, and they have both helped hitch and launch boats and even pulled boats out when we were just too busy to chat.
3757 Thirdly, I am also very impressed with Shore FM's green shore program. Mariners Cove Marina is a member of the Clean Marine Program, which is a voluntary program offered with the Ontario Marina Operators' Association.
3758 These are environmental best practices for the marine industry recognized as leaders in North America.
3759 As a clean marine, Mariners Cove waves the five‑leafs rating, which is the highest rating available today.
3760 Mariners Cove follows environmental sound practices to protect our waterways for all to enjoy.
3761 In this region, businesses and residents alike are extremely concerned about our environment.
3762 Shore FM's green shore program should be acknowledged and accredited as a major factor in determining the licensing of a new radio service in Orillia.
3763 It is the hope of Mariners Cove that the Commission license Shore FM, which will provide an environmentally‑friendly source for adult contemporary music in the area.
3764 We will be glad to be a founding sponsor of the new station and help guarantee the ongoing success of both of our ventures.
3765 Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to make comments.
3766 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3767 We will now hear Christian Island Elementary School.
3768 Please introduce yourself, and you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3769 MR. LUCAS: Good afternoon.
3770 My name is Mike Lucas. I am currently principal at Christian Island Elementary School on Christian Island.
3771 Formerly, I was principal with the Simcoe County District School Board, until I retired a few years ago.
3772 I have been a principal at this school for three years now.
3773 I have been an educator for 40 years.
3774 Christian Island is Beausoleil First Nation territory, which is located directly north of the Blue Mountains of Collingwood and at the top of Nottawasaga Bay.
3775 The community has about 600 to 650 people living there.
3776 You will see it if you are checking your local news weather broadcast on TV. It is at the top of the map there.
3777 To access the island you have to travel past Midland, Penetanguishene, through Lafontaine, to the fairy landing at Cedar Point.
3778 It takes about an hour and 15 minutes driving from here to that Point. The boat ride across takes about 20 minutes on a good day.
3779 With the ice, however, the trip is longer. It took us 45 minutes to cross on Monday morning a week ago.
3780 And soon travel will be by skidoo, once the boat stops running.
3781 I am telling you this so that you have an understanding of how difficult it is for residents on the island to get to the mainland this time of the year and how complicated travelling becomes.
3782 A doctor's appointment that you and I could slip out of the office to make in an hour's time very well takes at least a half a day or a full day for the people on Christian Island.
3783 Our students who are involved in hockey or other organized after‑school activities often have to leave the school early and often return late at night.
3784 I was first contacted by a representative from Shore FM last spring.
3785 While I understand that the application at the table is for an FM station playing adult contemporary music, and being of that age that certainly I would appreciate that type of content, my purpose here is not personal.
3786 I am here on behalf of the students at the school and on the island, and my motivation is for the possibility of bringing quality music instruction to the school, to the island.
3787 And it is through the connection with SHORE FM, should they be successful, that that would come to pass.
3788 Our grade 4 to 8 students made their hand drums at school last year. These were used at our Christmas concert in December.
3789 Some of our students have already had some experience with drumming with other local groups.
3790 Our grade 8 boys played a piece for parents at our Christmas concert, and most had never played an instrument before.
3791 They demonstrated great pride in what they accomplished.
3792 I spoke to the boys about what I was doing here today ‑‑ and actually we had arranged for some of them to come with me, but that just wasn't possible.
3793 But a couple of the students did write some of their thoughts that I am just taking a second to share with you.
3794 This is from Shane, a grade seven student:
"I think it would be a great opportunity for music lessons in our school because it is an extracurricular activity and it would allow kids to learn music and give them something to look forward to in the upcoming years. But most of all, it would allow them to have fun and it would give them an opportunity later in life." (As read)
3795 MR. LUCAS: This from Braden, another grade seven student:
"Dear CRTC, I would like to have a music program on the island because it would keep kids busy. And it's great to play music and kids love music on the island. It was great to play music in the Christmas concert. We were having so much fun. And that's why I want a music program on the island." (As read)
3796 MR. LUCAS: Clearly, over my years as an educator, I have seen the joy that music and its many forms have brought to children.
3797 Whether it is through choirs, musical productions, a class of recorders or marching bands, I have witnessed the commitment and pride that students have demonstrated through their involvement with learning and playing music.
3798 Our students have not had these opportunities, something that I would like to be able to change.
3799 We might have had one or two students who might have taken private music lessons, but as stated previously, travelled to town to engage in such an activity. It makes a long‑term commitment difficult, if not impossible.
3800 Music, to most of our students, is listening to their iPods, CDs or turning on the radio.
3801 We are attempting to build self‑esteem amongst our students through knowledge of their language and culture, increased literacy levels, and now hopefully through music.
3802 I know from experience that many students in schools come to school for reasons other than academics.
3803 It has often been their involvement in extracurricular activities, school teams or perhaps music programs that has driven them to attend and remain in school. And student retention is an issue for us.
3804 A music program at our school would serve a similar purpose.
3805 My experience in schools over the years has been students enjoy the sports programs offered by staff, but equally enjoy the arts where available.
3806 The boys who have written to you today are a good example. For the most part, in spite of our efforts, the boys have to this point in the year found academics a challenge, even though they may be quite capable.
3807 However, their commitment to the musical production at Christmas was outstanding. Many of their parents in the audience were in tears watching their sons perform.
3808 A music program in our school would help captivate these boys and provide them another reason for coming to school regularly and enthusiastically.
3809 I only use this as one example. There would be many more students who would very much like to participate in such a program.
3810 Although we have not to this point worked out the logistics of how a program would be run, some initial thinking has taken place.
3811 We have a custodian and a native language teacher at our school who play regularly. Both are willing to share their time with students either at lunch or after school.
3812 We have one of our parents with a music background who is enthusiastic about sharing her expertise with interested students.
3813 We might even build in regular music classes within the school day.
3814 It is open.
3815 Of course those students involved would be able to share their learned skills at regular assemblies and parent evenings.
3816 Our connection with Shore FM would allow this to happen. It would allow us to purchase instruments for student use and provide pay for professional instruction.
3817 This is not a community that could otherwise find the resources to accomplish this. It would allow us time to put such a program in place and be successful over the course of seven years.
3818 This could otherwise not happen for our students.
3819 It is my hope that I have been able to give you an overview of our school's location and associated difficulties around travel.
3820 As well, I hope that I have been able to convey the needs that exist as a relatively isolated First Nation community.
3821 I trust that I have conveyed the reasons for my support of Shore FM's proposal.
3822 Should we share in Shore's successful bid, we will provide opportunities for our students to learn more about the music industry in Canada.
3823 We may well have new, young Native Canadian music talent that we might otherwise never know about.
3824 My thanks to the Commission for taking the time to hear this today.
3825 Thank you.
3826 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
3827 We will now hear Mr. Jef Mallory.
3828 Mr. Mallory, you have 10 minutes for your presentation.
3829 MR. MALLORY: Thank you.
3830 Good afternoon, Commissioners and staff. My name is Jef Mallory.
3831 I have been a seasonal resident in the region for over nine years.
3832 Entertaining friends and family at the cottage is a time‑tested tradition and a high point of the summer for us.
3833 Ever since EZ Rock went off the air, there is no radio station that plays an easy‑listening adult contemporary music format.
3834 All that there seems to be in the region is rock and pop music, which is target to a much younger demographic than what is attractive to me and my friends.
3835 Because we don't subscribe to a satellite television service, I am forced to pre‑program my MP3 player and rely on it solely for all of our musical entertainment.
3836 I find that over the years I have listened to less and less radio when at the cottage, and I could not even name a DJ or radio show that I listen to.
3837 Because of this we have had the misfortune of not knowing significant news and weather information that has affected us profoundly during our holidays.
3838 Recently what we thought was just a simple summer storm actually turned out to be a severe weather system that included hail, damaging tree‑topping winds and long‑term power outages.
3839 Though we turned to the radio to local radio stations, most weekend music is pre‑programmed and we could not find any real information on the weather, when we could expect to get the power on again or what road closures there were.
3840 What this region needs is a radio station that plays music you can have on in the background all day and into the night with music and personalities that are entertaining, but kid‑friendly.
3841 As a part‑time DJ and having reviewed a sample of Shore FM's playlist, I can confidently state that even though their playlist and information lean towards female issues, it does not do so at the exclusion of the males of the household.
3842 It is also very important for us to receive current news and weather information, especially on the weekends when seasonal residents count on the information, not only for decisions like whether or not to get the suntan lotion out, but for information on downed power lines, road closures and possible severe weather conditions.
3843 Shore FM's proposal not only focussed on providing adult contemporary music that can be played all day, but it also provides critical information programming that most current broadcasters in the region take for granted or do not provide at all.
3844 For these reasons I support the application of Frank Torres on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated for an FM radio station playing adult contemporary music in Orillia.
3845 I thank the Commission for allowing me to appear today and to make my wishes known as part of this public process.
3846 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you very much, gentlemen.
3847 I really do appreciate the fact that, while the three of you are supporting the same application, you bring very different perspectives to this, and I would like to thank you for that.
3848 I just have a couple of questions for each of you.
3849 Mr. Hintze, does Mariners Cove Marina advertize on any other media in Orillia, other than the relationship you already have with Skywords?
3850 MR. HINTZE: Not at the current time.
3851 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you don't use the current radio station or any print media that is available?
3852 MR. HINTZE: We haven't for years.
3853 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you use any radio station outside of Orillia to advertise? We have been hearing a lot throughout this process that radio stations from Barry, for example, come into Orillia and a lot of advertisers use those to reach the Orillia audience.
3854 MR. HINTZE: I do on occasions. Not for Mariners Cove, but with the snowmobiling industry. I have used them in the past.
3855 THE CHAIRPERSON: But you don't currently use them?
3856 MR. HINTZE: No.
3857 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3858 Mr. Lucas, one of the great things about this job is we get to learn about places across this country we never knew about, and I am embarrassed to say that as the Ontario Regional Commissioner I had never heard of Christian Island.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3859 MR. LUCAS: Gordon Lightfoot.
3860 THE CHAIRPERSON: Pardon me?
3861 MR. LUCAS: Gordon Lightfoot.
3862 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Fair enough.
3863 In you written intervention, you specified that "certainly with funding", and you used those words, does that mean that there is no other third‑party funding available for your school? Would this be your only source of third‑party funding?
3864 MR. LUCAS: For this particular project, yes.
3865 THE CHAIRPERSON: What are your other sources of funding?
3866 MR. LUCAS: The school is funded federally for education, yes.
3867 THE CHAIRPERSON: But nothing for a musical program?
3868 MR. LUCAS: No.
3869 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
3870 Mr. Mallory, you don't seem old enough.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3871 MR. MALLORY: I look young. I do look young. I am older than I look.
3872 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
3873 You are a seasonal resident of Orillia?
3874 MR. MALLORY: Yes.
3875 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have heard other applicants say that the population really does swell in this area, and we know that it does.
3876 By how much in your estimation does the population swell here?
3877 MR. MALLORY: I am not sure exactly. Do we go from 20,000 to one million in the summer? It's exponential.
3878 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you are a DJ and entertainer and you work in this area only those peak seasons?
3879 MR. MALLORY: I don't work in this area. I entertain my friends.
3880 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ah, okay.
3881 Well, those are all my questions. I don't know if my fellow members have any.
3882 Commissioner Patrone?
3883 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3884 Welcome to our hearing.
3885 I just had one quick question for Mr. Mallory regarding the lack of weather information during a severe storm.
3886 When did that happen?
3887 MR. MALLORY: When was that storm? I am not good with chronology.
3888 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Was it last summer?
3889 MR. MALLORY: Yes. It was definitely last summer. I can't remember which one. We had a bunch of blow outs. But ‑‑
3890 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And it happened on the weekend?
3891 MR. MALLORY: Yes.
3892 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: And you turned on the radio probably because you had heard that there was a storm on the way?
3893 MR. MALLORY: Well, the point of what I was saying is that I don't turn on the radio anymore because I am not getting what I want to hear. I haven't listened to the radio in a long time.
3894 So because of that, you know ‑‑ and the radio stations that we do have are all pre‑programmed. So I can't get any live information from what is going on out there.
3895 It has compromised us.
3896 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: We have heard different accounts of the level of quality as far as regular updated weather reports are and that sort of thing, and that is why when you said that you couldn't get any kind of current weather information on the weekend it made me want to ask you a little bit more about that.
3897 So thank you very much.
3898 Madam Chair?
3899 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you gentlemen for your participation.
3900 Madam Secretary?
3901 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
3902 For the record, the intervener CHRZ‑FM listed on the agenda has informed us that they will not be appearing at the hearing.
3903 I would now call Chippewas of Georgina Island and Wellcraft Music.
3904 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is still on. That is good. Put it on, please.
3905 As we are waiting for the setup, just so all the applicants are aware, we will start Phase IV tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.
3906 Thank you.
3907 THE SECRETARY: Oh, I am sorry, Madam Chair. Just a clarification, for the record, CHRZ‑FM is actually here, and it is the Chippewas of Georgina Island that are not here today.
3908 THE SECRETARY: So when you are ready, we will start with Chippewas of Georgina Island.
3909 Please introduce yourself. Then you have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
3910 I am sorry. I am sorry.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
3911 THE SECRETARY: CHRZ‑FM.
‑‑‑ Ojibway spoken
3912 MR. CHECHOCK: What I just said is: "My name is Vincent Chechock. I am from Wasauksing First Nation." And also the operator of CHRZ REZ 91 from Wasauksing First Nation.
3913 One of the four stations that Doug Bingley helped get started back in 2002. There was ourselves. There was Ojibwas of Christian Island or Chimnissing. And also Watha, as well as the Chippewas of Georgina Island.
3914 My name is Vince Chechock, and I along with my wife Anita operate CHRZ, a community radio station out of Watha and Wasauksing First Nation, which is right close to Parry Sound, the town of Parry Sound. It is an island right off of Parry Sound, actually.
3915 I guess we have an ERP of 63 watts, and we have a broadcasting radius of about five miles ‑‑ that is city‑grade signal ‑‑ and maybe up to about eight to 10 miles beyond that.
3916 It was with Rock 95's help that we were able to do that.
3917 My background is in electronics. I have been in electronics for the last 40 years, I guess. Since I was 20‑22.
3918 I was in broadcasting. I worked for Global Television in the transmitter department for years.
3919 Now I have been working for Bell Canada as a radio/telephone and a central office technician for the last 19 years.
3920 Since 2002, we have ‑‑ well, I had a small radio station before that. But Doug Bingley helped us out to expand it and turn it into a real radio station.
3921 So that is what it is.
3922 The impact that it has had on our First Nation, I think, has been quite profound.
3923 The fact that it has bridged the gap between First Nations ‑‑ that was part of the purpose. Our purpose, anyway, of putting the radio station on the air was to try to bridge that gap.
3924 I used a few Ojibway words when I introduced myself today. There are people who live right in Parry Sound who were not aware of the fact that we had our own language, that we had our own identity.
3925 So that was part of the purpose of the radio station, part of its reason for being.
3926 So we do things like ‑‑ I start off the morning. It's very small operations. It's a one‑person operation. If there is any more than one person in the station, if there are two, it's really crowded.
3927 But it is professional nonetheless.
3928 We have an on‑air studio, we have a production studio and we have a traffic studio as well, all within a renovated washroom, which Doug Bingley helped renovate back in 2002.
3929 But that's our radio station. We are really very proud of it.
3930 One of the things that it's done was to bring Wasauksing First Nation as well as the town of Parry Sound and surrounding area more together so that ‑‑ and we don't, we call Parry Sound, Seguin Township, McDougal Township and Carling Township and the Archipelago, we call that our community.
3931 We identify, we go on the air in the morning. One of the things that we do is the community billboard (Native language) "What's Up and What's Happening?"
3932 And when we introduce ourselves, introduce that program we call it (Native language) we call it "Our Community" which includes all of those communities.
3933 So, a lot of the stuff that's happening in the area comes to our radio station and we put that out as news.
3934 We don't have a news department as per se because as I mentioned I work fulltime with the Bell. My wife works at the station. So it's just a half‑time position for both of us.
3935 And we, like a day for us starts at 5:30 in the morning and a lot of the time ends up at about 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock in the evening. So that's our normal day.
3936 And we don't pay ourselves all that much, maybe enough to buy something at the end of the year.
3937 The Rock 95 money that's sustained us for the last six years, seven years now, six and a half years, has gone a long way to helping us keep somebody on there while we're not there.
3938 And looking for somebody who would fill that gap that by us not being there, finding somebody to fill that gap has been a bit of a ‑‑well, you have to radio was ‑‑ it's a specialized business, I guess and to find somebody who is willing to do it all. And it's a small business so whoever we were looking for had to be able to cover it all.
3939 And we finally found that person. And having the funding from Rock 95 has enabled us to keep that person on. And so that's one of the benefits that, just one of the benefits that has come our way has far as Rock 95's and Doug Bingley's help.
3940 As far as the UOI news proposal is concerned I think that's because I think all of the radio stations that he's helped out and probably helped a lot more of the radio stations, the small Aboriginal radio stations that are out there will benefit from the new service that he is helping the UOI, the Union of Ontario Indians, Anishnawbek News start up because it does take a resource to go out there and gather news and we don't have that resource or the training as of yet.
3941 Anishnawbek News already has journalists, trained people who are experienced in place already. So they have to make, I guess making the transition from the written word to the spoken word is going to be, probably be a lot easier for them than it is for somebody just coming in cold into news gathering.
3942 Hopefully Doug Bingley's example will help, will encourage other broadcasters to maybe do the same thing that he's done, help the Aboriginal word get out there by way of radio stations.
3943 Part of our, another one of the things that we do, of course, our programming. A large part of our programming is advancing and promoting Aboriginal artists and also by way of spoken word.
3944 A few years ago, back in 2004, one of the things that Doug Bingley helped us with was a music festival that we put on called Rez Stock that happened in July of 2004. And some of the, at least three of the episodes that were on Rez Blues were filmed at Rez Stock. So those artists who were there, two of them were George Leech and Derek Miller.
3945 And I think that exposure really helped those artists there as well as during the day we had other Aboriginal artists that were there that weren't quite of the, had quite the exposure that those three others had.
3946 The other artist was, the other group was The Wolfpack. And they're kind of like on their way up.
3947 But during the day we had, we offered the stage to a lot of lesser known Aboriginal artists. So, that's another one of the things that Rock 95 has helped us, helped the Aboriginal scene out with.
3948 And probably there are another couple, a number of other issues that come into play here. And if I can answer any questions after we're done here I'll be glad to answer them.
3949 Thank you very much. (Native language).
3950 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
3951 We will now hear Wellcraft Music. Please introduce yourself and you have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
3952 MR. HOPSON: Thank you. My name is Jim Hopson. I own a company called Wellcraft Music Group and I'm delighted to be here today.
3953 Madam Chair and Commissioners, I've been in the music business all my life. I am third ‑‑ fourth generation musician. And my father was on the road in the 1930's in a band called The Canadian Ramblers where you didn't have a record, you went in the radio station and you unplugged and you played.
3954 And I must admit from a family heritage standpoint, it's startling to look at your own name on a tombstone that I passed away in 1885 that has a music note on it. That would have been my Great‑great‑great‑grandfather.
3955 So, I, music is something that I'm passionate about. It's something I care about. And it's something that I've cared about for a long, long time.
3956 We have been incorporated as a music company in the province of Ontario for 24 years. We have two recording studios. One is on the east shore of Lake Simcoe. The other one is in Oshawa.
3957 We pride ourselves on working being the musician's underdog if you will. We came back from Canadian music week one year realizing that no one that we knew of was connecting all of the dots, in other words taking calls from the inception of moms and dads looking for a place to let their kids play and et cetera.
3958 And I can certainly speak to that because when I was much younger and much better looking I was an artist in the Country music field a number of years ago.
3959 And we have, forming our studios in Canada, we felt that we had an offering. After building the studios and realizing it wasn't a matter of just building them and they will come, it was a matter of how we market and promote ourselves.
3960 We then about I guess it would be 15 years ago now, we embarked on calling radio stations. We have called in excess of a dozen stations over the past 12 years, ranging from Kingston to London, Ontario, Oshawa, Durham and throughout all of Ontario. And trying to partner in terms of what their music needs and what they felt local talent was about and et cetera.
3961 One of our most successful campaigns we've ever had has been with our Rock friends at Rock 95. We called Rock 95 a number of years ago. We ‑‑ it'd be six years ago now, we introduced ourselves. We went to them and we pitched several ideas.
3962 One was a kids' band Rock contest. But we insisted on finding a venue that would accommodate all ages. There's enough places for 19 plus bars. We thought it's the kids that are playing in the garage, that's what matters.
3963 We've formulated an organization called Local and Loud and thanks to our friends at Rock 95 we are, we kicked off our fifth year last Sunday to a full house and a full condiment of bands.
3964 Our commitment to Rock 95 is that we post a prize of it ranges to a full album contract with the winning band. Rock 95 beyond their commitment of helping us get it on the air and advertise it, generously offered to pay for a CD compilation all three years that feature every band that was in the semi‑finals.
3965 This is completely paid for by Rock 95 including graphics and their assistance. And that would be the photo of this year's CD that's at the plant right now being manufactured.
3966 A great deal of the artists showcased on our splash page of our website have come through the contest.
3967 Their sister station then felt a little upstaged and came to us about doing a contest called Cool Idol. And we have been running it now very successfully.
3968 Let me introduce my colleague. Taylor Abram is an interning engineer at our studio, is in charge of all our e‑commerce website designs for us as well as in the studio as of Tuesday cutting his first debut album.
3969 Taylor came through Cool Idol and that's where we met Taylor. And we are looking at another young man right now as well.
3970 What I would like to do it certainly one of the highlights of our Kool Idol competition and if I may indulge the panel, to play a little bit of this lady.
3971 And I'll certainly explain who this gal and a bit about her after you hear a few bars of her music.
‑‑‑ Musical Interlude
3972 MR. HOPSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
3973 This young lady is named Lisa Goodridge. She won our last Cool Idol.
3974 This gal was aspiring young lady who wanted to move forward in the music business, had no idea how, heard about the competition, entered and won.
3975 She has since gone to her friends at Kool FM and asked for some assistance. They have set her up with a website. She has gone on to open for April Wine, Sloan, Divine Brown and is a regular featured artist on Kool FM.
3976 This is the type of thing that this country needs a lot more of. I get a litany of calls, a litany of e‑mails constantly asking how this works and how you get airplay and how this goes forward.
3977 And to speak to some colleagues that spoke earlier, it is a huge issue.
3978 We feel very proud about our contest but we feel more proud that our friends at Rock 95 overwhelmingly have exceeded every station we've worked with in the province in this regard. Their commitment has been unbelievable and just keeps growing.
3979 We can tell you that Drew Wright, number three Canadian Idol last year came through the Local and Loud Rock contest.
3980 I can share with you that Tara Oram, the Country artist that came in number five two years ago in Canadian Idol came through our contest with Durham Radio, KX96 who equally helped us with her. She has gone on to sign a record deal, all as a result of local contests.
3981 It is about local. I've had the pleasure of working with, I'm dating myself now I'm sure to the Commissioners, but I've had the pleasure of working with Bobby Curtolla in the studio, Michael Burgess. We have a Jazz nominated record in the Junos, Martin Aucoin.
3982 We have worked with Thomas Wade, Ronnie Hawkins. But I need to express we are not genre ‑‑ the fact that I was a Country artist, we are not genre‑specific.
3983 We are happy to work with any radio station that wants to step up to the plate and help themselves with a local talent and set up a contest.
3984 Further to Rock 95, they do the Christmas toy run for the kids. I think that was explained earlier.
3985 Here is three years' of Christmas CD's paid for by Rock 95 and Kool FM. They went to the marketplace announced, do you want to sing and be a part of this? They sent us a list of candidates. And we did the screening for them, made recommendations. And here is 40 songs from local Barrie and surrounding area people.
3986 This commitment is certainly not one that I take very lightly. And I can tell you that my experience and my growth in the music business comes from crossing at a red light and getting hit enough times that you have to figure out how to do this on your own.
3987 And I can assure you, a lot of young aspiring artists need help and they need a vehicle to get their music heard.
3988 I also have a chain of e‑mails and phone calls from parents thanking me that my kids have a place to play their music. And we insist as does Rock 95, this remains an all‑ages event.
3989 I thank you very much for your time. And I look forward to certainly the result of the Commission's thoughts.
3990 Thank you.
3991 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for being here this afternoon, taking time out of your own lives to participate.
3992 Commissioner Lamarre will lead the questions.
3993 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Merci, madame la président.
3994 Thank you, all of you for being here today.
3995 I do have question for you, Mr. Hopson and also for you, Mr. Chechock.
3996 So, I'll kick it off with you, Mr. Hopson, because it seems to be a natural transition here.
3997 You have made your point quite well about the past initiatives that Rock 95 has taken up with you that has encouraged and not only encouraged but has helped feature and expose Canadian local talent.
3998 Now, I'd like to know what you expect Rock 95 would be doing if they do get the license as far their commitment for Canadian content development that may differ from what they have done in the past.
3999 MR. HOPSON: Thank you for your question, Madam Commissioner.
4000 I think ‑‑ I have chatted with them obviously. I've become quite familiar with the people at the radio station. And in speaking with Doug we certainly have levied whatever commitment they need.
4001 I think I would also agree with some colleagues that spoke earlier that the Orillia market is very unique. I believe there is a unique offering here.
4002 The Jazz festival certainly calls t?hat. The fact of Gordon Lightfoot's birthplace I think has certainly fostered a lot of, you know, non‑mainstream music. And I think that the needs and what we would do in this market would be predicated on what is needed.
4003 I think kids are kids. Music is a universal language for the kids. And I think they're better playing in the garage and looking forward to competing in a contest than raising cane on the streets.
4004 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So, what you're saying here is that you expect that with the commitments as far as Canadian content development is concerned it's going to help, actually develop the local talent in Orillia and around Orillia.
4005 MR. HOPSON: Yes. I don't see ‑‑ I see the market being unique as all are. But I don't see its needs in terms of fostering young talent being any different than any other market in Ontario. I think that the need is here as it is in any market.
4006 And again, we are not genre‑specific in our offering. And we offer it to many, many stations in Ontario. So, when asked we certainly will do the best we can.
4007 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
4008 Mr. Chechock, thank you for your patience. I would like to touch on one issue I am not sure I fully understand here.
4009 In your written submission you mentioned that the approval of Rock 95 would help the development, the establishment of a radio news bureau.
4010 Could you expand on that to explain to me what that involves in developing the bureau? I understand the human resource aspect of your station in particular but I'd like to know what you're referring to here specifically.
4011 MR. CHECHOK: Typically, okay, our stations specifically as you just mentioned we don't have the resources to news gather. We are connected with the Anishnawbek News and the Union of Ontario Indians. And the Wasauksing First Nation is a member of that union.
4012 They already have a news gathering machine in place. And so they just have to make the transition from the written word to the spoken word.
4013 Now, what I understand will happen was that can get streamed down to us or it can get e‑mailed down to us and we can rebroadcast that. It will be news that's pertaining to the area.
4014 There are other news services such as Nation Talk which have a wider coverage, so they cover the whole country. Anishnawbek News more or less covers the news for Ontario. So that's more local.
4015 It's not quite as local as if we had a news gathering staff person going out and gathering news locally but at least it's more local. And the issues would be more pertinent to our First Nation.
4016 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: You also referred to the fostering and I'm not sure if that's the correct word but fostering the development of Native artists that has been done in the past by Rock 95. And I take it you would expect that if they were licensed part of the initiative they would endorse would continue to do that.
4017 MR. CHECHOCK: Well, it certainly would enable us to help in that promotion in that we would be the recipient of an additional funding for another seven years.
4018 What the current funding is helping us do is keep that staff person in place so that we can not only jut keep our noses above water but actually lend some growth to our small business.
4019 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Now, I have a last question because you in your comments you have touched an issue that's a little bit too close to my heart for me to miss an opportunity to mention it.
4020 You mentioned that you work in the transmission business. You're the one who put up the transmitter you currently have the Rez '91. And as I was listening to you talking about the training of journalists and fostering artists what came to my mind was that we rarely see initiative to actually develop the talent and the transmission site of broadcasting and in the electronics side of broadcasting.
4021 Do you see any room for such initiative within the Native communities around the area here?
4022 MR. CHECHOCK: Oh, that door has always been open. And I think we've made the offering a few times to several different people in organizations that we ‑‑ well at least I have the training, the background in that area to help them out.
4023 And indeed I think I've helped a couple, well, I think we've helped at least two of those stations out, you know, setting things up. And my expertise is in RF and high‑powered transmitters.
4024 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yeah. And that expertise is actually scarce. So...
4025 MR. CHECHOCK: It's not quite as glamorous as the other stuff but it's necessary I guess.
4026 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes. If we want the artist's program to be delivered we need those transmitters.
4027 Thank you very much.
4028 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4029 Commissioner Patrone.
4030 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you, Madam Chair. I have one question.
4031 I want to thank you all for appearing here today. It's very helpful for us.
4032 Mr. Chechock, I hope I'm saying this correctly (Native language). That's all the Ojibway I know.
4033 Is it?
4034 MR. CHECHOCK: It's mistaken for French sometimes.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
4035 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: There has been some talk during this hearing about the difficulties in covering Aboriginal issues by some of the applicants and in part a suggestion that there has been challenges in terms of getting the community to open up.
4036 I was just wondering if you had any quick thoughts about how best to open up the lines of communication in order to facilitate that?
4037 MR. CHECHOCK: Certainly. I remember ‑‑ I'll try to answer it and it might be in a roundabout way.
4038 But I attended a seminar a few years ago up in Canador College. And one of the presenters said there was four elements that made Aboriginal news.
4039 And I can only ‑‑ only one or two of them come to mind at the moment. One of them was corruption and the other one was protest, something that lent itself to good photo opportunities.
4040 And I don't know if anybody could remember the June 29th, a year ago June 29th, our first National Day of Action? One of the first things that greeted people in the morning was the front shot of the Toronto Star. And it was about half a page. And it was a picture of this, presumably an Aboriginal person dressed in camouflage standing beside a pile of wooden skids burning on the 401.
4041 So that was, that kind of struck me when that observation came back to me when I saw that picture on the front page of the Toronto Star back then.
4042 And I remember we were part of that, our First Nation was part of that National Day of Action.
4043 And what happened, it was kind of interesting because people were coming across the bridge onto our First Nation. What happened was people wouldn't even wind down their windows when we were handing out pamphlets and stuff like that (laughter).
4044 And I remember writing an article to the local newspaper that the local Indians caused a local Indian uprising. You know people were paranoid of losing their hair.
4045 But as time went on and I think the radio station was partially responsible for it that I guess the awareness that we were just protesting peacefully (laughter), it was an information‑sharing thing. You know, come on, get out of your cars and come and join with us and sit in our circles.
4046 And I think that's always been my thought anyway, that information is probably the best tool that we have to exchange ideas, exchange across.
4047 I mentioned bridging that gap and I think that is what Aboriginal radio does. And I think Rock 95 has certainly helped make that happen.
4048 COMMISSIONER PATRONE: Thank you very much. Madam Chair.
4049 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
4050 Those are all our questions.
4051 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
4052 This completes the list of appearing interventions in Phase III.
4053 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And we are therefore adjourned for the evening. We will see you all tomorrow morning at 8:30.
4054 And once again I want to thank everybody for their indulgence in all the changes to the schedule today. Have a good evening.
‑‑‑ Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1727, to resume
on Wednesday, 27 January, 2009 at 0830 / L'audience
est ajournée à 1727 pour reprendre le mercredi
27 janvier 2009 à 0830
REPORTERS / STÉNOGRAPHES
Johanne Morin Sue Villeneuve
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