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June 19, 2018 10:49 am  #1

CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

The CRTC opened a hearing on Tuesday that I would definitely not want to be a part of. Four radio stations are being called on the carpet for repeated non-compliance issues, and the Commission's Broadcasting V.P. Caroline Simard admitted some of their rights to broadcast could be pulled if they don't properly explain themselves. 

Of the four, two are in Quebec and two in Ontario. The latter consists of a station in Christian Island, which I know little about beyond that it's a place near Midland. The other is CKWR-FM in Kitchener and what the CRTC veep has to say about them doesn't sound promising.

From her opening remarks:

"The licensee is in a situation of potential non-compliance for the third consecutive licence term. For the current period of licence, it seems that [owner] Wired World Inc. did not submit its annual reports for the past two years nor did it follow the regulations concerning the implementation of the National Public Alerting System. It also seems that CKWR-FM did not adhere to the regulations regarding Canadian music during the periods intended for ethnic shows for a given period...

"The CRTC would like to remind them that having a broadcasting licence is a privilege. This hearing will help assess whether the licensees should continue to benefit from this privilege."

It's rare but not unheard of that the Commission takes away a licence to broadcast. (The old Aboriginal Voices at 106.5 in Toronto comes to mind as the latest example.) As Ricky Ricardo often said to Lucy, "you got some 'splainin' to do." It should be interesting to see what those explanations might be. 

CRTC Opening remarks


July 2, 2018 5:23 pm  #2

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

Interesting article about CKWR in today's Record:

From the article:

In his arguments to the commission, CKWR board member and compliance officer Peter Beacock said the station has taken steps to fix the recent noncompliance issues, including replacing most of the station's leadership, firing an unqualified bookkeeper, and putting renewed emphasis on staff training.

In an interview with the Record, Beacock — who only joined the station this past May — said the station had suffered from years of poor leadership and oversight. In response, five of seven board members have been replaced since last November, and the former station president and vice-president were also required to step down.

At least it looks like the station is taking proactive steps to fix things.  I guess we'll find out if it's too little too late.

Last edited by Peter the K (July 2, 2018 5:25 pm)


July 3, 2018 9:27 am  #3

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

Thank you for the update.


July 16, 2018 4:56 pm  #4

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

CKWR kept its licence - but maybe not for long. In a decision released Monday, the Commission gave the Kitchener station permission to keep going - but only from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018. That's a total of only four months. It still faces demands for the reasons behind a host of non-compliance issues. This gives them a little more time, but not much to explain themselves.

     Thread Starter

July 17, 2018 11:10 am  #5

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

The 4 month renewal is generally an administrative one while they deal with any issues.  Expect a final decision within that period and if they keep their licence maybe a two year renewal so they can be monitored for compliance.


August 9, 2018 7:42 am  #6

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

More trouble for this already troubled radio station, after one of its now released hosts goes on an online rant accusing management of racism and that "white content" is replacing some of its multicultural programming.

It comes after CKWR received a slap from the CRTC for a host of infractions and was given only a temporary licence renewal last month. 

Schedule change roils Kitchener community radio station  

     Thread Starter

November 30, 2018 11:12 am  #7

Re: CRTC Starts Hearing On Pulling Radio Licences - Including Kitchener

It's taken months, but on Friday, the CRTC released its decision - despite a host of non-compliance issues going back years, the Commission is allowing Kitchener community station CKWR-FM to stay on the air. But only for a year. They've approved a temporary licence renewal from January 2019 to August 2020. 

Among their sins: not properly filing their annual returns for two years, refusing to meet all their CanCon obligations and still not being upgraded to air the Emergency Alerts, like the one tested earlier this week.

They used several excuses for their CanCon misses, but I laughed out loud at the last one. 

"The licensee also cited an internal culture at the station that reinforced the belief that regulatory compliance was not important."

That's a great one. We just didn't think it was important, so we ignored it. That may be my favourite mea culpa to the CRTC ever. 

The Commission has warned them - again - that if they don't get their collective act together, they won't have one left to perform in two years. 

CRTC Decision 

     Thread Starter