CKRO-FM, French Community, Pokemouche
|Radio Peninsule Inc.
At a May public hearing, the CRTC considered proposals by three applicants for licences to operate new French-language FM radio services in northeastern New Brunswick. Radio de la Baie Ltée and La Compagnie de Radiodiffusion Beausoleil Ltée each proposed to operate regional commercial FM stations in Bathurst and to establish a rebroadcaster. Radio de la Baie’s proposed stations would serve the counties of Gloucester and Restigouche and part of the county of Northumberland, while those proposed by Radiodiffusion Beausoleil would serve the counties of Gloucester and Restigouche in New Brunswick and Bonaventure County in Quebec. Radio Péninsule Inc. proposed to operate a community FM station that would serve primarily the county of Gloucester, particularly the French-speaking population of the Acadian peninsula. The Commission also noted that Radio de la Baie and Radio Péninsule both proposed the use of the 97.1 MHz frequency. All three applications were therefore competitive in terms of the markets to be served, and two of them were also competitive on technical grounds.
On July 20, the Commission approved two of the proposals, that of Radio de la Baie Ltée to operate a new FM station in Bathurst and a rebroadcasting station in Dalhousie/ Campbellton, and that of Radio Péninsule Inc. to operate a community FM station in Inkerman to serve the Acadian peninsula. As pointed out earlier, the 97.1 MHz frequency (channel 246) proposed by Radio de la Baie in Bathurst was also proposed by Radio Péninsule for its station in Inkerman. Because of this conflict, the Commission examined the various technical solutions available to both applicants and concluded that it would not be possible for Radio Péninsule to select another frequency for its proposed station in Inkerman and still provide coverage to the whole of the proposed service area. Such a change was possible for Radio de la Baie at its proposed site in Allardville. The Commission notes that according to the Department of Communications’ FM Allotment Plan the 97.1 MHz frequency was alloted to Caraquet. A station using this frequency in Inkerman could provide service to the Caraquet area, which would not be possible if this frequency were to be shifted to Bathurst. The licences for both new stations would expire on August 31, 1991.
On July 15, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKRO-FM Inkerman by increasing the effective radiated power from 28,800 watts to 39,000 watts, and by relocating the transmitter site from Six Roads to Pokemouche, approximately eight kilometres further north. The Commission noted that this increase in power when combined with the new transmitter site would not change the reception quality of CKRO-FM, except for offering an improved quality of service to listeners in the fringe areas.
CKRO-FM commenced operations on July 18. Studios and offices were located at 142 Rte. 113.
On July 10, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CKRO-FM by allowing the station to broadcast night-time programming from midnight to 6:00 a.m.
On July 24, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CKRO-FM until March 31, 1992.
On March 19, the CRTC renewed the CKRO-FM licence until March 31, 1994. This period would allow the Commission to assess the licensee’s compliance with the community radio policy and related conditions of licence as well as the Radio Regulations. The Commission denied the licensee’s request to be relieved of the existing condition of licence that prohibited it from soliciting advertising in the community of Caraquet. The Commission noted violations related to advertising and logger tapes. It also stated that the licensee’s performance would be monitored closely during the coming licence term.
On March 25, the CRTC renewed the licence for the Type B community radio programming undertaking CKRO-FM to March 31, 1996. This two-year term would allow the Commission to assess at an early date the licensee’s compliance with its conditions of licence and with the Radio Regulations. The Commission again denied the licensee’s request to be relieved of the existing condition of licence prohibiting it from soliciting advertising in Caraquet. The Commission viewed with grave concern the licensee’s failure to comply with its Promise of Performance. It noted that this was the second licence renewal for CKRO-FM since the station began broadcasting in 1988, and that, on each occasion, the Commission has found it necessary to issue a short-term renewal because of the licensee’s failure to honour its commitments. The Commission approved the request to amend the existing condition of licence relating to advertising and substitutes therefor the following condition: It is a condition of licence that the licensee broadcast no more than 6 minutes of advertising in any given broadcast hour, and that, on average, it broadcast no more than 4 minutes of advertising per broadcast hour up to an overall total of 504 minutes of advertising per week.
On August 27, for administrative reasons, the CRTC renewed the broadcasting licence for CKRO-FM until December 31, 1996. Thes administrative renewal was granted solely because the Commission was not in a position to rule on the licence renewal application before the expiry of the term of the current licence.
On October 25, the Commission renewed CKRO-FM’s licence to August 31, 2000. The licence term granted, while less than the maximum of seven years permitted under the Broadcasting Act, would enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence in accordance with the Commission’s regional plan for community radio undertakings across Canada and to better distribute the workload within the Commission. In addition, the Commission approved the application by CKRO-FM for a licence amendment requesting relief from the condition of licence that currently prohibited the licensee from soliciting advertising in Caraquet. It was a condition of licence that the licensee broadcast no more than 6 minutes of advertising in any hour of broadcast, and that it broadcast an average of no more than 4 minutes of advertising for every hour of broadcast up to a total of 504 minutes of advertising per week, in accordance with the community radio policy for Type B stations. The Commission noted that the station would broadcast a minimum of 3.82% Category 3 music (Traditional and Special Interest) as a percentage of its overall music programming.
On August 4, the licence of CKRO-FM was administratively renewed until February 28, 2001.
On February 20, the CRTC renewed CKRO-FM’s licence to August 31, 2007. The renewal followed the new Community radio policy. Among other things, the Commission removed the requirement to submit a Promise of Performance and the limit on advertising for Type B community radio stations. Type B stations now had the same advertising flexibility as Type A stations. CKRO would broadcast 126 hours of programming per week. Community radio licensees had the flexibility to reduce or increase their weekly broadcast time by up to 20% without application to the Commission. A change of more than 20%, however, required prior Commission approval. In accordance with the requirements of the new Policy, the licensee made a commitment to devote 30% of its news programming time to local news and 25% to regional news, during each broadcast week. The licensee also committed to meet the new regulatory requirements with respect to the percentage of Canadian musical selections from category 2 (35%) and category 3 (12%) that community and campus radio stations must broadcast each broadcast week.
On July 6 the CRTC renewed CKRO-FM’s licence until August 31, 2011. This short-term renewal would permit the Commission to review, at an earlier date, the licensee’s compliance with the provisions of the Radio Regulations, 1986. On 18 January 2005, the Commission requested that the licensee submit logger tapes and other related material for the programming broadcast by CKRO-FM during the week of 9 to 15 January 2005. The Commission analysed the programming broadcast on CKRO-FM during the week of 9 to 15 January 2005. The analysis revealed that only 3.8% of all musical selections broadcast during that broadcast week were from category 3 (Special Interest Music). This constituted an alleged violation of the station’s condition of licence as set out in the Community radio policy). In a letter dated 5 July 2005, the Commission advised the licensee of its apparent non-compliance with its condition of licence regarding the percentage of category 3 musical selections that must be broadcast by CKRO-FM. The licensee advised the Commission that during the week of 9 to 15 January 2005, the station was unable to broadcast its usual Sunday morning program that included thirty category 3 musical selections. Condition of licence: The licensee shall devote, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 12% of its musical selections from content category 3 (Special Interest Music) to Canadian selections broadcast in their entirety.
On August 31, the CRTC renewed the licence for the French-language community radio station CKRO-FM Pokemouche until August 31, 2015. This short-term renewal would allow for an earlier review of the licensee’s compliance with the Radio Regulations, 1986.
The story continues elsewhere…
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