CIHS-FM, Wetaskiwin

Satnam Media Group

CIHS-FM200793.51700Satnam Media Group
CIHS-FM200193.51700Tag Broadcasting


On November 8, Tag Broadcasting was licenced to operate a new low-power specialty FM station at Wetaskiwin. The new station would offer a format of old-time country and country gospel music. The station would broadcast on 93.5 MHz with an effective radiated power of 50 watts.


CIHS-FM signed on the air. Studios and offices were at 5214-50 Avenue.


On December 15, CIHS-FM was authorized to increase ERP to 1,700 watts, increase antenna height from 50 to 70 metres and to relocate the transmitter to a site approximately 2.7 kilometres northwest of the current site.


On May 2, CIHS-FM was given approval to increase effective radiated power from 1,700 watts to 5,120 watts and to increase antenna height. The change would improve the reception of CIHS-FM to the east and southwest of Wetaskiwin.


The CRTC approved the transfer of ownership and effective control of the numbered company that owned Tag Broadcasting, to Satnam Media Group Inc. Satnam was owned and controlled by Sukhdev S. Dhillon. Tony Greengrass (51%) and Allan Greengrass (49%) had owned Tag. Tony Greengrass had been ill and CIHS had not been making money so it was decided the station should be sold.


On November 21, the CRTC denied the applications by 902890 Alberta Ltd. to amend the broadcasting licence for CIHS-FM in order to increase its power and change its class from that of a Class A to a Class B station and in order to change the categories from which it must draw its musical programming. The first application sought to modify the station’s technical parameters by increasing its average effective radiated power from 5,120 to 50,000 watts and changing its class from that of a Class A to a Class B station. All other technical parameters would remain unchanged. The second application proposed to replace the station’s condition of licence requiring it to devote a minimum of 50% of all musical selections broadcast each broadcast week to selections from subcategory 35 (Non-classic religious) with the following condition of licence: The licensee shall devote a minimum of 50% of all musical selections broadcast during each broadcast week to selections drawn from subcategory 32 (Folk and folk-oriented), 40% from subcategory 33 (World beat and international) and 10% from subcategory 21 (Pop, rock and dance). With respect to the proposed technical change, the licensee stated that it wished to improve the station’s signal reception in the counties of Wetaskiwin, Leduc, Ponoka and Camrose. The licensee added that although the technical changes approved in Broadcasting Decisions 2004-550 and 2006-179 improved the station’s coverage, they did not achieve the goal of ensuring that its signal would reach the surrounding areas of Camrose, Leduc and Ponoka set out in Broadcasting Decision 2004-550. As regards the second application, the licensee stated that the reason for the proposed format change was financial. Specifically, it stated that it had not been able to sell advertising within the existing music format. The licensee added that operating in a specialty music format that targeted a niche audience, in combination with having unreliable signal strength, had presented challenges in making the radio station financially viable. In this respect, the licensee indicated that while the above-noted applications were severable, if only one of the amendments were approved it would continue to be a challenge to make CIHS-FM a profitable operation.


CIHS was granted a short-term licence renewal to August 31, 2017 because of non-compliance issues. The station was also denied a request to amend its existing specialty FM licence by replacing the required 50% religious music commitment with 25% folk and 25% world beat music.


On May 19, at the request of 902890 Alberta Ltd., the CRTC revoked the broadcasting licence for its English-language specialty commercial radio programming undertaking CIHS-FM. Owner Sukhdev S. Dhillon requested the closure based on an inability to make the station financially viable.

The story continues elsewhere…
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