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February 28, 2020 11:27 am  #1

T.O. Station Founder’s Death Leads To Warning From CRTC

What a mess things must be a CKFG-FM, the Toronto urban music station at 98.7.
It all started with the sudden and unexpected death of its founder, Fitzroy Gordon, in April 2019. Apparently, he was totally in charge of everything that went on there, and when he disappeared from day-to-day management, the place had trouble figuring out its direction.
They fell afoul of the CRTC when they didn’t pay all their required contributions to the Canadian content development fund, a portion of which all stations must put out yearly as part of their condition of licence.
Station personnel essentially went to war for control of the place and it took a lengthy court battle to sort it all out. Now that one entity is back in charge, the question is – how to pay what they owe with their financial future less than secure?
The CRTC had ordered them to put up the money by Feb. 29th. But they’re not quite financially ready to do that, so on Friday, the Commission gave them one more chance, citing the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of the owner.
They’re now ordered to make the payments, just over $72,000, by no later than this coming August. The station apparently did try to pay part of what’s owing, filing a copy of a cheque for $12-grand as proof they’re trying their best.
I found the CRTC’s response somewhat hilarious. “…The Commission reminds the licensee that a copy of a cheque does not constitute an acceptable proof of payment. The Commission’s approach is clear in that regard. Applicants must file a copy of a cancelled cheque and/or a signed receipt from the third party (i.e., the recipient) to prove that contributions were effectively made and well received.”
CKFG hasn’t made much of an impact in the Toronto market one way or another. It does serve a vital part of the community, though, and it looks like the CRTC is trying to do everything it can to help it survive – within limits.
Should be an interesting story to watch and see what happens with a station that unexpectedly lost its leader and devolved into chaos behind the scenes.
CRTC Decision