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July 7, 2022 7:26 pm  #1

How A CRTC Decision Led To A Broadcasting Pioneer Leaving Canada

You could call it sour grapes. Or you could call it the final straw. Either way, the story of why broadcasting legend John Parikhal decided to leave Canada for the U.S. starts and ends with a CRTC decision made back in 1992. The co-founder of Joint Communications (along with the great Dave Charles) helped land the licence for Q107 and put it on the air to great success. 

But he tells that when the group tried for another licence in Toronto, (which likely went to CISS-FM) he was so upset with the CRTC's decision making that he realized he had no future in Canada. 

"I moved to the US for two reasons. One was the much bigger business opportunities in a country of 300+ million people, and the other was that the CRTC had denied our application for a rhythmically focused, ethnically diverse radio station while granting it for a format that had low demand in Toronto – country.

"This was 1992. Consolidation hadn’t really started then. We weren’t the only ones applying for the “right” format for Toronto. There were others. We knew it was right because we had researched the demand in advance and were ready to apply for whichever format was most in demand for Toronto. This was all about what a lot more people actually wanted. If another applicant in the “rhythmic” category got the license, I would have been fine with that. However, Country had less than half the demand of the rhythmic format.

"The fact that the CRTC consciously ignored such a huge discrepancy in demand led me to believe that what the people asked for was no longer their priority and that perhaps some form of unspoken decision criteria might have come into play. If we had won the license, I would have stayed and been thrilled to launch another station (after Q107) that the people of Toronto wanted. It was a great disappointment and it demonstrated that the CRTC had lost its way." 

John Parikhal: Fixing Legacy Media ...And The CRTC