| The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

August 28, 2023 11:40 am  #1

CRTC Renews 3 GTA Stn. Licences, Despite All Being In Non-Compliance

Sometimes I look at the CRTC press release page and laugh. It's amazing what stations try to get away with, after they make an agreement to certain conditions to get a licence. 

Take the latest three GTA outlets that got a small slap on the wrist from the Commission, despite getting their licenses rubber stamped for another seven years. 

We start with CIRV 88.9, known as Red-FM, which primarily broadcasts in Hindi and Punjabi. They failed to file two months of required financial statements to the Commission, insisting the place had been sold and the new owner wasn't aware they were missing. Eventually, they did file them. The CRTC chastised them, but renewed the licence anyway. 

Next was CHIN-FM 1 at 91.9, the third station the Lombardi family managed to wangle out of the Commission, despite it starting as a rebroadcaster for its 1540 AM signal which somehow became a separate entity all its own. They failed to contribute a promised $15,000 to the Canadian Content Development fund in 2017-2018. Why?

"The licensee indicated that basic CCD payments are calculated based on the previous year’s revenues and, because of this, it mistakenly concluded that similar rules would apply to the over-and-above CCD contributions that it is required to make."

Nice try, but no. They were forced to make up the missing money. 

And finally there's campus station CFMU-FM in Hamilton, which also failed to report some of its financial information. Their excuse? "CFMU Radio stated that a new financial controller started in 2019 and was not aware of the obligation to upload financial statements." Whenever I hear an excuse like that, I'm reminded of the Steve Martin stand-up routine about why he didn't pay his income tax. "I forgot," he claimed. 

But my favourite part of all this involves an intervention by CJRK-FM, aka East-FM, a low power Scarborough ethnic station that wanted a say in the CIRV licence renewal decision, complaining that its competitor's HD stations intrude on its primary Tamil audience and they're suffering commercial losses because of it. 

The owners of Red-FM weren't having any of it and issued what I think is a hilarious response.

"The licensee considered that CJRK-FM’s loss of revenues is not a result of unfair competition by CIRV-FM and other stations, but rather a factor of the extent of competition from incumbent ethnic radio stations in the Greater Toronto Area, which it considered that CJRK-FM would have been aware of when it first competed for its licence." 

Game, set and match!