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February 11, 2019 12:59 am  #1


1220 AM St Catharines again

Well it has been about a year since I asked whether anyone is aware of any developments with respect to the still silent 1220 AM. Any testing taking place? Any activity at the transmitter shack? I think its been over two years since the new operators were given the okay to put it on the air.

I occasionally check the frequency but only hear the signal from Cleveland.

Anyone hearing anything?
 

 

February 11, 2019 2:09 am  #2


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

A cut and paste from Airchecker.ca: 

(CRTC) CONSTRUCTION PERMIT FOR NEW ST. CATHARINES STATION ON 1220 AM
HAS BEEN SOLD
The CRTC has granted an ownership change of the “yet to go on the air” 10,000 watt facility on 1220 AM in St. Catharines, Ontario which was approved in 2016. Sivanesarajah Kandiah and David J. Dancy will be relinquishing 100% control of the construction permit to Manu Datta and Ripudaman Singh Dhillon (Radio Dhun). Purchase price is $300,000.00. The new owners plan to stick with the original plans of launching the English language station with a Classic Hits.

The big mystery remains....WHEN???    
 

 

February 11, 2019 5:58 pm  #3


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

The new owners must be looking for a tax write-off.  Its amazing that anyone would expect to make money playing music on the AM band in the 21st century.  

The only reason the original CHSC stayed on the AM band was due to the owners inability to find a suitable spot on the FM dial.  They tried to get 107.5, but instead the CRTC awarded that frequency to CJDV Cambridge.

 

February 14, 2019 8:36 pm  #4


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Thanks for the update. Doesn't look promising for a spring launch.... how long can they prolong this before the CRTC becomes concerned?

Maybe 960 in Mississauga could use this frequency / facility to improve coverage there.

     Thread Starter
 

February 14, 2019 10:03 pm  #5


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

710 would actually be the best frequency for 960 in Mississauga, but it was still being used by CJRN in Niagara Falls when CKNT originally applied for its license.  The closest station is WOR which operates on a directional night-time pattern designed to serve the New York City area.

1220 would definitely improve coverage, but at a much higher cost.  CHSC used 9 towers with different day and night patterns.   Using 960 allowed the station to go non-directional, with one tower, albeit with a poor night time signal. 

A non-directional signal with one tower on 1220 would likely interfere with WHKW in Cleveland.  However, if could afford it, you could produce good daytime and much better night time coverage into Peel and most of Toronto using a signal directed north from a transmitter located south of Mississauga.






 

 

Yesterday 7:11 am  #6


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Chuck99 wrote:

  The new owners must be looking for a tax write-off.

   

What profitable media properties do they currently own, that would qualify for losses from this venture to be applied to profit, Chuckie?
 

 

Yesterday 9:10 am  #7


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Kilgore wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

  The new owners must be looking for a tax write-off.

   

What profitable media properties do they currently own, that would qualify for losses from this venture to be applied to profit, Chuckie?
 

I have to agree. Once a person has been in business, they understand the value of making a profit, not looking for losses to write off. If write-offs were the goal, we'd all be offering crappy products and services to ensure a loss, just to get that tax break. 


 
 

Yesterday 11:36 am  #8


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Kilgore wrote:

Chuck99 wrote:

  The new owners must be looking for a tax write-off.

   

What profitable media properties do they currently own, that would qualify for losses from this venture to be applied to profit, Chuckie?
 

My tongue was firmly in my cheek as I wrote that comment.  

The previous owner, Pellpropco, essentially ran out of money and the CRTC did not grant a license renewal for CHSC in 2010.  Since then, the CRTC has granted two new FM licenses in the Niagara Peninsula including a soon-to-be-launched station in Grimsby.  And last year, Byrnes Communication acquired two Niagara Falls area FM stations that, according to the CRTC, had been losing money for years. 

Also, the CHSC transmitter and tower array is nearly 30 years old and nearing the end of its useful life.  The transmitter for 101.1 FM is around the same age and Byrnes has had to make major repairs at its Kraft Rd. location in Fort Erie.

When you factor in the saturated radio market, the aging transmitter, and the diminishing number of listeners on AM radio, the new CHSC would likely end up with the same financial problems as the old CHSC and CKNT 960.
 

 

Yesterday 5:39 pm  #9


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Chuck99 wrote:

  
The previous owner, Pellpropco, essentially ran out of money 
 

Where are you getting your information from? They were making good money with Radio Uno.
The problem is, they did so illegally, beyond what would have been an acceptable number of hours dedicated to such a format.
The week-end Radio Uno content alone made more money than the week.
However, they did not want to be known as a multicultural station.
They continued with classic hits during the week day.
CRTC did not tolerate their format, nor did they tolerate their website, claiming to be a Toronto radio station.

There is nothing to suggest that they had no money. Just several indications of not serving St. Catherines properly.
If they didn't target Toronto, and if they respected the max number of hours allowed for multicultural content, they may have continued to make just the right amount of money to continue on.

Here is a link to a time when they insisted that they are a Toronto radio station...
https://web.archive.org/web/20110706201950/http://www.radiouno.ca/


 

Last edited by Radiowiz (Yesterday 5:50 pm)

 

Yesterday 7:50 pm  #10


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

They were locked out of their Queenston St. studios in 2008 and the bailiff sold their equipment at auction.  Its highly unlikely that would have happened if the station had been making money.

http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listing_and_histories/radio/chsc-am-0

https://www.fybush.com/NERW/2010/100802/nerw.html

 

Yesterday 9:00 pm  #11


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

What kind of signal (quality / strength) did CHSC put into Toronto through the day and night?

     Thread Starter
 

Today 12:08 am  #12


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Apparently, it was very good and that is why the owners got the idea of increasing the amount of Italian language programming.  When not broadcasting in English, it was known as Radio Uno and targeted the Italian community in Toronto.  

The maps of its day and night time signal coverage has been removed from Radio Locator, but I remember it was a tight directional pattern which directed the signal mostly north of St. Catharines.  I remember being unable to receive it on a car radio in Fort Erie at night.

 

 

Today 12:21 am  #13


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

If I were going to try to program this station, I would do local news / talk in the morning from 05:30 to 09:00. Then switch to classic country with a live announcer at 09:00. At 15:00 - 18:00 some kind of live drive show with local host. You would need some deep pockets to hire good personalities.

In the evening you could automate or hire newbie low cost announcers who would polish their skills and stay live until 23:00.

A pipe dream? Could it be profitable?

     Thread Starter
 

Today 1:36 am  #14


Re: 1220 AM St Catharines again

Small market AM stations used to do block programming i.e. talk for a few hours, country for a few hours, Top 40 for a few more.  It largely ended with the advent of consultants, who feared that listeners that liked talk radio would switch on mass to another station if you adopted a country music format in the middle of the day.

Nonetheless, I think out-of-the-box thinking is going to be required for the survival of terrestrial radio in smaller markets.  So, who knows, block programming could be the salvation of local radio. 

But you are right about one thing.  To make it work, you would require deep pockets.  You would also have to meet CRTC license requirements.  And I think you would require an FM frequency for it to be successful.