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April 3, 2019 10:57 am  #1


CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

The CRTC has granted CKLO-FM, which broadcasts to the London market, the right to drop a condition in its licence that required it to play something called "Special Interest Music." The applicant argued that being forced to play that category as 10% of its daily music requirement (30% of which had to be Canadian) was an obstacle in competing with other stations there. 

My questions: what the hell is Special Interest Music and what was it doing in their COL in the first place? And in an era when the Internet provides you with whatever kind of music you want, why does the CRTC still get to tell stations what they can and can't play (past CanCon, of course?)

Anyway, they granted the change, noting no one else intervened to try and stop it and allowing it to be changed to pop, rock and dance instead - i.e. just what everyone else is doing. The Commission also noted that they generally force stations to wait until their first licence period ends before amending a licence - and CKLO is now in term two. 

CKLO-FM Decision

 

April 3, 2019 11:46 am  #2


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

After doing some quick research (my favourite kind!) I've discovered that Special Interest Music means: concert music, folk, authentic traditional folk songs and dances, jazz and non-classic religious. 

Wow. Who could ever hope to succeed in a major market when having to play 10% of that as part of your condition of licence, especially when everyone else is playing the hits? 

I'd love to know how CKLO ever agreed to that in the first place.

Category 3 Special Music Defined 

     Thread Starter
 

April 3, 2019 11:53 am  #3


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

They launched as a AAA with a blues component. It was a way to stand out in a crowded group of applicants. A few other stations had the same or similar condition around the same time....104.3 Vancouver, 90.3 Calgary, 95.7 Edmonton, 100.7 Winnipeg, etc. All have since been removed except in Vancouver where they were denied due to flubbing their compliance. 


 
 

April 3, 2019 12:09 pm  #4


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

RadioAaron wrote:

They launched as a AAA with a blues component. It was a way to stand out in a crowded group of applicants. A few other stations had the same or similar condition around the same time....104.3 Vancouver, 90.3 Calgary, 95.7 Edmonton, 100.7 Winnipeg, etc. All have since been removed except in Vancouver where they were denied due to flubbing their compliance. 

So promise blues to stand out, get picked over the others, survive or even prosper slightly for one licence term, then revert back to a format where you might not have stood out and won the licence in the first place. Wonder if 1220 could ever end up multilingual after one licence term...
 

 

April 3, 2019 12:22 pm  #5


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

RadioAaron wrote:

It was a way to stand out in a crowded group of applicants.

And that, it seems to me, is the most salient point. I've long wondered why stations make the most ridiculous promises to get the attention of the CRTC when they're going for a licence and then immediately start complaining that it's not feasible once they do.

"We'll play 100% CanCon!"

"We'll do 15 hours a day guaranteed of all Indigenous throat singing!"

 "We'll play 30% Canadian Amish folk songs during primetime. Really, just give us the licence!" 

"We'll pay attention only to Orangeville and forget trying to appeal to a Toronto audience!"
 
Well, that last one could never happen.https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/laughing.png

Hey, I get it - you've got to make them see you in a crowded field of contenders. But then don't make promises you can't keep, especially if you want to compete with long established players who don't have that kind of baggage.

Still, the CRTC admitted that owner Blackburn did live up to those promises, but even the Commission seems to be aware that it's not a way to stay competitive in a crowded market.

"While Blackburn did not cite an economic need in its application, the Commission acknowledges that the deletion of the conditions of licence would ease the competitive imbalance that the station has faced in the London market. Further, the proposed amendment is unlikely to have an undue impact on other stations in the market."

Maybe I'm being overly harsh, but to me the lesson is, "be careful what you wish for." If the CRTC grants it, you have to live up to it, despite putting yourself behind a creative 8-ball before you're even on the air.  

     Thread Starter
 

April 3, 2019 1:41 pm  #6


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

As noted by someone above, it was a successful strategy going back 10 plus years ago... recall the days before spotify was a thing??  Anyway,  the promises were made partly in good faith and partly as a way to one-up the competition.  Other applicants try and buy the licence with CCD dollars, or high CanCon, etc.
(Byrnes' CIHR Woodstock was one of the first mainstream stations to offer 40% CanCon.... now almost every new competitive applicant does)

Relief of Cat 3 virtually never happens in the first 7-year licence term.  The CRTC expects proof that the attempt has been made, and there are legit reasons that it hasn't worked.  As a stand-alone in a highly competitive market, i'm not surprised Blackburn won this one.
 

 

April 3, 2019 2:48 pm  #7


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

Speaking of 1220 St. Kitts:  I seem to recall that Domenic Pellegrino noted restauranteur and food truck operator and CHSC licensee, argued that he wasn't operating an ethnic station on 1220, because he was playing mainstream music - with Italian vocals. He said something like "everybody loves Italian music".   Apparently the CRTC did not.

The (new) licensee of 1220 have a core business as  "Immigration consultants".  (ICC Immigration) 
They believe that having a large advertising inventory on 1220 will be useful to their consulting business.  Yeh?   I understand that Rogers having lots of (unsold) inventory to flog cell phones and high speed internet on its radio stations might have some value.   But promoting immigration consultant services on "Grapevine"???? Not so valuable.
From ICC Immigration's website: Our company simplifies the immigration process for you, in what is perhaps your most important decision: migrating to Canada. With our reach in various industries ranging from education and health care to finance, food and hospitality, and more, let us do the work for you. The diversity of our clients, many of whom are in the GTA, not only enriches our company profile, but also fosters great community. Nevertheless, our extensive overseas clientele allows for a global network across numerous industries, ensuring that we can cater to your every need.


 

Last edited by tvguy (April 3, 2019 2:49 pm)

 

April 3, 2019 6:11 pm  #8


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

RadioActive wrote:

Maybe I'm being overly harsh, but to me the lesson is, "be careful what you wish for." If the CRTC grants it, you have to live up to it, despite putting yourself behind a creative 8-ball before you're even on the air.  

They for sure knew it, but it beats not getting a license in the first place.
 


 
 

April 3, 2019 9:56 pm  #9


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

Chuck99 wrote:

Another common tactic used to secure a radio license is to low-ball the power required to generate a good signal to avoid having your application turned down by the CRTC. Then after you have been on the air for a year, you plead financial hardship and claim you need a power increase to remain economically viable. 

An example in the GTA is Indie 88, which has applied on two occasions for a boost in power, even though the owners had to have known that, under the terms of the original license, the signal would be crummy. 

The first request was granted in 2013 and the second was denied in 2018.

As an application tactic, that's not quite true.  until the signal goes on the air, the only thing an applicant has is "theoretical" contours... circles on a map.  it's not until the station goes live that  signal deficiencies can be understood completely.   Nobody sits in a strategy and planning meeting with their PEng asking "give me an average signal to apply for and then maximum coverage to spend more money to get later"

After a few years of operation,(or more often a full licence term) a station may find an opportunity to increase power, or change parameters based on a new Tx site or technical improvements.  CRTC expectation is to maximize frequency usage at the time of application.  They entertain pattern modifications based on technical or economic need, or to completely cover the market a station is licensed to serve.  If you go back for an increase app within the first 3 years, lacking credible data, then you're sure to fail.

sure, indie 88 has a lousy signal, and they knew it.  but why not try to offer an alternative to ISED and the CRTC and see if it floats?  Evanov is doing the same with their toronna and orangeville stations (if the dust ever gets blown off that app!)

Last edited by splunge (April 3, 2019 9:57 pm)

 

April 5, 2019 6:19 am  #10


Re: CRTC Grants London Stn. Licence Change - But Why Was It There At All?

Back to the original intent of this post, CKLO or FREE-FM 98.1 as it's known.

I'm an occasional listener and never would have guessed their licence was encumbered with the "Special Interest Music" category. It sounds like a true classic rock station to me. Perhaps they grouped all the special interest music into off peak times like many stations did in the early Cancon days, all Canadian Sunday nights comes to mind. 

Last edited by zed (April 5, 2019 6:19 am)