CJRJ-AM, Multicultural – Spice Radio, Vancouver

I. T. Productions Ltd.

CJRJ-AM2006120025,000I. T. Productions Ltd.


On July 21 the CRTC approved application by I.T. Productions Ltd for a new Vancouver ethnic radio station targeted primarily to South Asian audiences.  The applicant had made a commitment to provide programming directed to a minimum of 11 different ethnic groups in 17 different languages in each broadcast week.  The company, controlled by Ms. Shushma Datt, has been operating Radio Rim Jhim for ethnic audiences in Vancouver since 1987 via the sideband (SCMO) facilities of CJJR-FM Vancouver.  The new station was licensed to operate at 1200 kHz (previously used by CKDA Victoria, but vacant since May 2000) with a transmitter power of 25,000 watts directional, with different patterns day and night.  When questioned why an AM frequency was chosen for the new station, Ms. Datt said, “I had a choice to apply for either an AM or FM license.  But when I looked at the availability of frequencies, the choice was clear – there was simply nothing left on the FM dial that provided an unimpaired signal, while the AM dial had some very viable options for a strong, clear signal and the 1200 spot was the best of those available.” 


After transmitter testing, which began in late October, “RJ 1200” CJRJ Vancouver officially signed on November 25 at 12 minutes to 7 p.m.  The station claimed to be the first in Canada to target a specific age group within the specialty ethnic South Asian market, with a format featuring a high ratio of music to talk, showcasing a lively mix of Bollywood, Hip Hop, Indi-Pop, Rap and Bhangra.  It was announced that there would be a 30-minute major newscast nightly at 6:30 p.m. with Sundays devoted to the international community, offering independent programming in 10 languages, including Filipino, Farsi and Italian. 


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJRJ until March 31, 2012.


On March 20, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CJRJ to August 31, 2012. On August 28, the licence was administratively renewed to March 31, 2013. 


On March 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CJRJ to August 31, 2017. This short-term renewal would allow the Commission to review the licensee’s compliance with its conditions of licence and the Radio Regulations, 1986 at an earlier date.


RJ1200 re-launched as Spice Radio. It was self-described as Top 40 playing contemporary South Asian music with a range of programing in a fun, magazine style format. 


On December 19, the CRTC renewed CJRJ’s licence to August 31, 2020. The short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with regulatory requirements. The licensee was directed to file missing financial statements for 2015-2016 by January 31, 2018. At the 2013 renewal, CJRJ recived a short-term renewal due to the licensee’s non-compliance relating to the filing of annual returns and contributions to Canadian talent development.


On August 26, CJRJ had its licence renewed short-term to August 31, 2023 due to ongoing issues of non-compliance.

The story continues elsewhere…
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