CHIP-FM, Community, Fort-Coulonge

La Radio du Pontiac Inc.

CHIP-FM2016101.911,900Pontiac Community Radio
CHIP-FM1981101.711,900La Radio du Pontiac Inc.


On March 20, La Radio du Pontiac Inc. received a licence to operate a new Community FM station at Fort-Coulonge (101.7 MHz with effective radiated power of 3,000 watts) with rebroadcast transmitters at Chapeau (93.5 MHz with ERP of 150 watts) and Rapide-des-Joachims (94.3 MHz, and ERP of 35 watts). Two-thirds of the programming would be in French and one-third in English; with music distribution of 50% for each language.

. The filing of applications was not completed until after the CRTC freeze on FM which had been imposed to allow the CBC time to complete a study on the utilization of frequencies. The CRTC had decided to consider the applications on the basis that specific frequencies would not be assigned until the FM allocation plan was finalized. The CRTC had also departed from the usual restrictions on community stations, allowing for as much as ten minutes per clock hour of conventional advertising on the new station.

This type of broadcasting had been well supported by the Community Media Service of the Quebec Department of Communications.


In June, La Radio du Pontiac Inc. was authorized to change frequencies for CHIP-FM, CHIP-FM-1 and CHIP-FM-2.

CHIP-FM and its rebroadcasters signed on the air. The Fort Coulonge operation used a McMartin BF 3.5M transmitter with 3-bay Comark antenna on a wind turbine tower. Chapeau had a BFM-100 transmitter with 4-bay Phelps-Dodge antenna. A BFM-50 transmitter with 3-bay Phelps-Dodge antenna was used at Rapides-des-Joachims. The rebroadcast transmitters picked up the Fort Coulonge signal off-air by means of a TBM-1005D receiver/monitor.


On January 11, the CRTC renewed the licence for CHIP-FM and its transmitters (CHIP-FM-1 and CHIP-FM-2) until September 30, 1985.


In January, CHIP-FM informed the CRTC that the transmitter at Rapide-des-Joachims had never been implemented and that it did not wish to seek renewal for this rebroadcaster. 

The CRTC renewed CHIP’s licence for only one year, with the requirement that it reduce its broadcast week to 56 hours. In 1986, the CRTC found CHIP-FM in violation of almost every major element of the Promise of Performance. At a public hearing, the licensee reported on improvements that had been made, and proposed to continue on a 126-hour a week schedule, with some changes in the POP. The Commission ruled that the station’s limited resources justified only 56 hours a week, and reclassified CHIP as an experimental FM station. 


The CRTC renewed the licence for CHIP-FM and CHIP-FM-1 for three years to enable the Commission to review the station’s operations and its compliance with its commitments following a major reorganization earlier this year. That reorganization followed a one year renewal by the CRTC which had resulted from the station’s serious problems in meeting its commitments. 


On January 18, La Radio du Pontiac Inc. was given permission to change CHIP-FM’s frequency from 101.5 MHz to 101.7 MHz, and to increase effective radiated power from 3,000 watts to 11,900 watts. Because of these improvements, CHIP-FM-1 Chapeau would no longer be required and the licence would be surrendered. Local programming would increase from 90 to 126 hours per week, eliminating programming from CIMF-FM in Hull. English programming would be increased with the move to more local programming.


The licence for CHIP-FM-1 Chapeau was revoked February 25 at the owner’s request. 


On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CHIP-FM Fort-Coulonge by changing the Promise of Performance as follows: a) by increasing the percentage of English-language programming from 30% to 40% per broadcast week; and b) by reducing the percentage of French-language programming from 70% to 60% per broadcast week. The licensee indicated that the anglophone population in its service area had increased and that this amendment would enable it to better serve its listeners in the Pontiac region.


Red Bennett, 64, died of an apparent heart attack in the studios of CHIP in July, about half-an-hour before he was scheduled to go on air.


On August 13 the CRTC renewed CHIP-FM’s licence until August 31, 2014.


On December 22, the CRTC approved applications by Torres Media Ottawa Inc. and Pontiac Community Radio to amend the broadcasting licences for the English-language commercial radio station CIDG-FM Ottawa and the French-language community radio station CHIP-FM Fort-Coulonge by exchanging their frequencies, and in the case of Torres Media, by moving the transmission site and changing the technical parameters of  CIDG-FM. This exchange would improve the quality of the signal that CIDG-FM provided to listeners in the Ottawa-Gatineau market and support the ongoing operations of CHIP-FM and the programming it offered to listeners.

CIDG-FM would move from 101.9 to 101.7 MHz, increase the effective height of the antenna above average terrain from 98 to 99.6 metre, and increase maximum effective radiated power from 5,500 to 19,500 watts (average ERP from 1,793 to 5,360 watts). CHIP-FM would move from 101.7 to 101.9 MHz. It would continue to operate with an effective radiated power of 11,900 watts with effective antenna height above average terrain of 90.5 metres.


In August, CHIP moved to 101.7 to 101.9 MHz in an exchange of frequencies with CIDG Ottawa.

The story continues elsewhere…
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