CHSC-AM, St. Catharines

Closed down October 1st 2010

CHSC-AM2010122010,000Closed down October 1st 2010
CHSC-AM2002122010,000Pellpropco Inc.
CHSC-AM1990122010,000Coultis Broadcasting Ltd.
CHSC-AM1981122010,000Radio Station CHSC Ltd.
CHSC-AM196712201,000/500Radio Station CHSC Ltd.


Robert Redmond’s Radio Station CHSC Ltd. launched CHSC-AM and FM on March 20. It was a most unusual move – being able to launch brand new AM and FM stations on the same day. CHSC-FM broadcast on a frequency of 105.7 MHz and had an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts. The stations had a completely new building at 36 Queenston Street. There were separate AM and FM studios and control room blocks. The “SC” in the call sign: St. Catharines. William Stoeckel was general manager. John Tyrrell was named national sales manager.

Slogan: All Family Radio.


Even before CHSC-AM-FM opened, program director Francis Kirton said Bob Redmond determined the station would have an adult sound based on easy listening music, first rate news and mature voices. Little had changed in the programming over the past year but CHSC-AM now had a phone-in show between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. AM and FM offered separate programming during periods of heavy local interest – FM continued with music when AM was doing the talk show, news, sports, business, etc. CHSC-FM broadcast in stereo and aired four concerts by the St. Catharines Symphony Orchestra over the past season.

CHSC-AM-FM had two FM equipped stations wagons for covering outside news events.


CHSC subscribed to the Rogers Radio News Network which began operations in April. RRNN was affiliated with ABC in New York.


CHSC applied to change its frequency to 1600 kHz. It was not alone. CFRS (1560) Simcoe, CKOT (1510) Tillsonburg and CHIN (1540) Toronto also wanted the frequency. There were also two applications for new stations at Guelph and at Waterloo, using the adjacent frequency of 1590 kHz. 1600 kHz had been used in the region by CJRN Niagara Falls – now on 710 KHz. CHIN wanted 1600 for night-time use only. It would continue to use 1540 during the day. CHIN also felt that if it got 1600 for night use, the channel might still be of use to any of the other applicants – especially during the day.

Brian Master left CHSC for Toronto’s CHUM-FM.


On July 9, CFRS Simcoe was authorized to move to 1600 kHz and operate with a power of 10,000 watts, day and night. The change was originally approved February 28 but required clearance from the Department of Communications which was now given. The other applications for 1600 kHz and for 1590 kHz were turned down.


On May 26, Radio Station CHSC Ltd. was authorized to increase the power of CHSC  from 1,000 watts day and 500 watts night to 10,000 watts full-time. The transmitter site would move from Collier Road, near Beaver Dams Road to Turner Road, two miles east of Turner’s Corners, Thorold Township.


On May 22, CHSC-FM was authorized to continue simulcasting CHSC-AM between 6 and 9 a.m. This was due to the AM station’s limited signal performance in the morning hours. Simulcasting on FM allowed CHSC to reach more listeners. The AM power increase granted in 1978 had still not become effective because the Department of Communications had not yet issued a technical certificate. The simulcast on FM could continue until the AM power increase took effect. It should be noted that both stations simulcast during the overnight hours.

CHSC-FM changed its call sign to CHRE-FM.


CHSC 1220 increased power to 10,000 watts. Different day and night directional patterns were generated, using nine towers from a new transmitter site.


CHSC/CHRE’s news director was Frank Fanstone.

Ken Coughlin joined CHSC for afternoon drive from CJYQ in St. John’s. Neal Kelly joined the news department.


Bob MacGregor was CHSC’s morning man.


Former news director Jim Marino was now mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake.


Robert Redmond announced his intention to sell CHSC so that he could concentrate on FM operations in St. Catharines, Calgary and Toronto. CHSC would be sold to Stetco Inc., controlled by St. Catharines advertising executive Douglas Setterington.


On March 13, the CRTC approved the application by Douglas S.K. Setterington, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, for authority to acquire the assets of CHSC from Redmond Communications Limited. The new licence would expire 31 August 1994. This authority would only be effective and the licence would only be issued at such time as the Commission received documentation establishing that the company had been incorporated in accordance with the application in all material respects. The Commission noted in this regard that the applicant company would be controlled by Setterington through his ownership of 53% of the total voting shares. Mr. Setterington had a background in radio production and broadcast sales, having once worked at CHSC and at a number of other stations in small and medium-sized Ontario markets. While his occupation in recent years had been as principal shareholder and manager of a successful St. Catharines-based advertising/graphic design agency, Setterington indicated that his goal had long been to re-involve himself in broadcasting as the owner of a radio station. At the public hearing, Mr. Redmond assured the Commission that the divestiture of CHSC did not signify any dilution of his commitment to the community of St. Catharines, or any lessening of his continuing responsibilities to that community as the owner of CHRE-FM. In the application, Setterington submitted that a number of important intangible benefits would flow from this transaction, including the fact that it would contribute to diversity by establishing a new and independent broadcast voice in the St. Catharines area. Emphasis was also placed on the fact that the station would be locally owned and operated by one already familiar with the station, and who possessed the financial resources, marketing and sales experience “… to maintain the pre-eminent position of the station within the community.” The applicant also made commitments with respect to a number of financial expenditures it would make. Included among these were first year expenditures of $188,800 which would be principally for conversion of the CHSC signal to AM stereo capability. As other tangible benefits, the applicant proposed annual expenditures in the form of contributions to certain music and arts funds, scholarships and bursaries, as well as various other initiatives in support of Canadian talent.

By agreement, CHRE-FM was allowed to continue using the FM studios in the CHSC building, but separate offices had to be found for administration, marketing, creative, promotion, programming and accounting. They ended up five miles away from the studios. It was then announced that CHRE would relocate to CorBloc, a new office and retail complex in downtown St. Catharines.


On January 31, CHRE-FM began broadcasting from new studios and offices at CorBloc, 80 King Street. 1220 CHSC continued to broadcast out of 36 Queenston Street.


CHSC sought bankruptcy protection.


On January 31, the CRTC renewed CHSC’s licence until August 31, 1996, subject to the terms and conditions in effect under the existing licence.


In 1997-98, CHSC entered a local marketing agreement with CJRN and CKEY-FM, Niagara Falls.


A court deemed CHSC bankrupt on December 2 and KPMG took over the station.


CHSC applied to convert to the FM band, operating on 107.5 MHz with 3,000 watts. The application was withdrawn as Industry Canada hadn’t approved the frequency.


On June 19, the sale of CHSC to Pellpropco Inc. from Coultis Broadcasting Ltd. was approved. At this time, CHSC was under the temporary management authority of KPMG Inc., the receiver of Coultis Broadcasting Limited. Pellpropco was jointly owned by Fabrizio Pellegrino and Terrance Gertner (50% each).


Robert E. Redmond, founder of CHSC 1220 passed away on May 7.


The CRTC denied an application by Pellpropco Inc. (Pellpropco) to amend the licence for CHSC to authorize it to devote up to 40% of its programming to third-language programs. The decision noted the licensee’s admitted non-compliance with the requirements of Public Notice 1999-117 and section 7(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the Regulations), which states that non-ethnic commercial radio stations may not devote more than 15% of their schedules to third-language programming. The decision also noted Pellpropco’s failure to file its annual return for the broadcast year ending 31 August 2005, as required under section 9(2) of the Regulations. Finally, the Commission noted its longstanding practice of denying licence amendments requested by licensees that are in non-compliance with their regulatory obligations.


CHSC’s former home at 36 Queenston Street and its contents were sold in a bailiff’s auction.


On June 30 the CRTC issued mandatory orders directing Pellpropco Inc. to comply at all times with the requirements set out in sections 2.2(8), 7(3), 8(4), 8(5), 8(6) and 9(2) of the Radio Regulations, 1986 relating to the broadcast of Canadian music, the broadcast of third-language programming, the provision of complete logger tapes and program logs, and the filing of annual returns and financial statements. In addition, the Commission required the licensee to operate CHSC under additional conditions of licence pertaining to the broadcast of ethnic and third-language programming between 6 a.m. and noon from Monday to Friday and the provision of English-language news on weekends. The Commission also required that the licensee submit certain ownership-related information and documents within 30 days of the date of this decision.

In addition, the Commission received complaints alleging that since 2006 Pellpropco had reoriented CHSC’s programming to serve Toronto’s Italian-speaking community rather than the community it is licensed to serve, St. Catharines. Following an assessment of the complaints filed with the Commission and the licensee’s response and in view of CHSC’s various instances of apparent non-compliance during the current licence term, the Commission called Pellpropco to a public hearing in Orillia to show cause why a mandatory order requiring it to conform to the Regulations relating to Canadian content, the broadcasting of third-language programming, the filing of complete annual returns, and the provision of logger tapes, program logs and music lists should not be issued. The Commission also indicated that it might wish to discuss certain local programming issues, including the extent to which the local programming content and programming orientation provided on CHSC are of direct and particular relevance to St. Catharines and the surrounding area, the community CHSC is licensed to serve. The Commission signalled the possibility of imposing a new condition of licence relating to the licensee’s broadcast of local programming content and its programming orientation. Further, the Commission indicated that certain ownership issues might be discussed.

At the hearing, the Commission questioned the licensee concerning the existing Management Agreement between Multimedia Management Limited and Pellpropco Inc. Following a discussion, it was found that Mr. Dominic Pellegrino, the owner of Multimedia Management Limited, was given the responsibility for the day-to-day operation of CHSC. However, the licensee Pellpropco reassured the Commission that it remains in full control of its decisions and that Multimedia Management Limited is reporting to the Board of directors for any decisions to be made.


On July 30, the CRTC denied the application to renew the broadcasting licence held by Pellpropco Inc. for CHSC St. Catharines. The licence was to expire 31 August 2010.

As part of its application, Pellpropco also requested that the Commission amend the broadcasting licence for CHSC by deleting the condition of licence requiring it to refrain from broadcasting any ethnic or third-language programming on CHSC between 6 a.m. and noon Monday to Friday. In Broadcasting Decision 2002-155, the Commission approved an application by Pellpropco for authority to acquire the assets of CHSC and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of this undertaking. In Broadcasting Decision 2003-388, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licence for CHSC from 1 September 2003 to 31 August 2010. In Broadcasting Decision 2006-688, the Commission denied an application by Pellpropco to amend the licence for CHSC to authorize it to devote up to 40% of its programming to third-language programs on the basis of the Commission’s general approach of denying licence amendments to licensees that are in non-compliance with their regulatory obligations. The decision noted the licensee’s admitted non-compliance with the requirements of Public Notice 1999-117 (the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy) and section 7(3) of the Radio Regulations, 1986, which states that non-ethnic commercial radio stations may not devote more than 15% of their schedules to third-language programming. The decision also noted Pellpropco’s non-compliance with section 9(2) of the Regulations for its failure to file its annual return for the broadcast year ending 31 August 2005. In addition to the non-compliance noted in Broadcasting Decision 2006-668, during CHSC’s current licence term, monitoring of the station also found other instances of apparent non-compliance with numerous sections of the Regulations, including: broadcasting less than the weekly Canadian content regulatory requirement for category 2 music (section 2.2(8)); exceeding the weekly maximum allowable level of third-language programming (section 7(3)); two instances of failing to provide complete logger tapes and complete program logs (sections 8(4), 8(5) and 8(6)); and failing to provide complete financial statements and complete annual Canadian talent development expenditure reports for its annual returns. The Commission also received complaints alleging that since 2006 Pellpropco had reoriented CHSC’s programming to serve Toronto’s Italian community.

CHSC did not leave the air on August 31 when its licence expired. On August 25, a motion was filed with the Federal Court of Appeal and CHSC was to remain on the air until the appeal was heard.

1220 CHSC left the air on October 1 after its Federal Court application was denied. The court ruled that there were no grounds for appealing the CRTC’s earlier decision to revoke the station’s licence.


John Larocque passed away at age 79. Known as the ‘Mayor of the Morning’, Larocque’s last stop before semi-retiring was at CHSC from 1971 through 1996. Before that, he did mornings at CKTB for six years, and was in mornings at CKOC for 9 years.

The story continues elsewhere…
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