CRTC Calls for Applications for New Edmonton Radio Station

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Possibly Targeting Ethnic Communities

BroadcasterMagazine2
2015-12-18

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The CRTC finds that the Edmonton radio market can sustain an additional radio station at this time. Consequently, and given the number of applications received and the interest expressed by other interveners to apply, the Commission has issued a call for applications for new commercial radio stations in Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2015-562, also published today, with a preliminary view that the market would be best served by proposals targeting ethnic communities.

The Commission announced that it had received applications by VMS Media Group Ltd. (VMS), Neeti P. Ray, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated (Neeti P. Ray), Antoine Karam, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated and South Fraser Broadcasting Inc. (South Fraser) for broadcasting licences to operate commercial ethnic radio stations to serve Edmonton, Alberta.

The Edmonton Numeris central market includes the cities of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc and St. Albert. That market is currently served by 19 commercial radio stations, of which only one is an ethnic service.

The Commission called for comments on the capacity of Edmonton to support a new station and whether it should issue a call for applications for new radio stations to serve that market. The Policy states that the Commission will weigh factors such as market capacity, spectrum availability or scarcity and interest in serving the market when deciding whether to:

•publish the applications for consideration as part of the non-appearing phase of a public hearing;

•issue a call for applications; or

•make a determination that the market cannot sustain additional stations, return the applications and issue a decision setting out this determination.

The Commission received numerous interventions expressing support for an ethnic radio station in response to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2015-135. These include interventions from three of the applicants (VMS, Neeti P. Ray and South Fraser), a city councilor, the Member of Parliament representing Edmonton and Members Elect of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Moreover, two of the interveners (RED FM and Sapreet Buttar) expressed interest in applying for broadcasting licences to operate ethnic radio stations in Edmonton and requested that the Commission therefore issue a call for applications.

Corus, Rogers Media, Newcap and Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, incumbent ownership groups in Edmonton, submitted a joint opposing intervention. The aforementioned applicants and RED FM submitted individual replies to the opposing intervention. The public record for this proceeding can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I would assume this particular South Fraser Broadcasting is not the same company, formerly owned by Michael Dickenson, which was sold to Standard Broadcasting Ltd. in 1996?

  2. I can’t see any new station surviving in Edmonton. As it is there are stations that need to flip. Even ethnic stations won’t fly. Look at world FM. It doesn’t even do that well. Then we have the cluster f*ck that is hot/virgin/fresh. One or more need to go. Unless your name is Now changes could be made almost everywhere else. Adding another station is a joke. Wait until the economy gets better then analyze the conditions then make a decision

  3. Right on Brian. Doesn’t the CRTC realize Alberta is in a recession firstly because of the downturn in the industry, oil prices dropping below 40 bucks which has caused over 60,000 layoffs. In a city like Red Deer radio sales are down 20 to 30% and Lord only knows how much more damage the Notely Dippers will cause. Now is NOT the time for another Edmonton radio station.

  4. I recently heard rumblings that a couple Alberta stations are quietly being shopped looking for a buyer due to the economy. If no buyer emerges there is a potential to go dark. Again it’s due to the economy. So yes crtc let’s bring in another station. Great idea

  5. Take a couple steps back, guys. A call for applications simply means the CRTC got a credible application, and they’re opening the process to others and will examine all business models and take into consideration the state of the market, knowing it would be a couple years before any new station would hit the air. It’s not just the CRTC saying “Everything’s awesome! Who wants 106.5?!”

  6. Edmonton needs a hip hop station. So tired of the endless teen bop and country music stations on the dial. Sirius xm has overtaken the dying breed of am fm radio imo.

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