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February 11, 2021 10:48 am  #1

A Dubious Happy Anniversary To CFAJ 1220 St. Catharines

It was exactly a year ago today (Thursday, Feb. 11th) that a SOWNY poster first noted a signal at 1220 AM. It turned out to be CFAJ St. Catharines, starting tests broadcasts for its all oldies station. 

Fast forward a year later and while a lot of the world has changed (thanks to COVID-19) one thing hasn't - CFAJ remains in perpetual test mode, with no obvious indication they'll ever actually sign on as a real radio station. I'm guessing the pandemic delayed a lot of their development, but I can't believe a year later, they remain in "test mode." 

Repeated attempts by yours truly to reach them via their Facebook page, their stated on air phone number and email has failed to elicit even a single response. 

Shades of CKNT! I wonder how long this can go on? Is there some sort of CRTC rule that they must actually be operating as a real station within a certain time frame? Or is just having a signal on air enough to protect the licence (which, by the way, expires in August 2022?) It was issued in 2016, with the proviso that - without an extension request - it be on air "no later than April 20, 2018."

There were also commitments to donate to CanCon development by its second year. We're past that now. Do they still have to contribute if they're not technically on? 

Lots of questions about this place, but few answers. 

Original CRTC Approval Of CFAJ

Still, there is a good side to this. They're playing a large selection of oldies you rarely hear on the radio, with no commercials. So in that sense, may the tests continue!


February 11, 2021 11:02 am  #2

Re: A Dubious Happy Anniversary To CFAJ 1220 St. Catharines

By the way, I wonder how many know or remember that a numbered company once tried to get a licence for 1220 in St. Catharines back in 2013. The format would have been very different and - for an AM station - very odd. 

The submission to the CRTC offered this:

"The proposed station would offer a mix of music from the past and the present, including emerging artists, and would primarily target those between 18 and 45 years of age. The station’s programming would be primarily in the English language, but a maximum of 15 hours per week would consist of third-language programming in Filipino, Tamil, Russian, Portuguese, and South Asian languages."

They were turned down because the CRTC couldn't get a clear answer about their programming plans, or how their spoken word commitments would serve the local area. And of course, other ethnic stations in the GTA objected to their foreign language proposals. Not only that, there wasn't a single intervention from anyone in the community supporting the idea or the need for such a station. 

In the end, the CRTC said no. Until the new owners - whoever they are now - of CFAJ came calling. How this current group ever expects to make back whatever money has been invested so far, is beyond me. Do they even have studios, a physical presence anywhere or even more than one staff member? Like how they built the Great Pyramids, it's a mystery the world still doesn't know the answer to. And at this rate, it may never be solved! 

     Thread Starter

February 11, 2021 11:55 am  #3

Re: A Dubious Happy Anniversary To CFAJ 1220 St. Catharines

perhaps you should contact the owner - Manu Datta at ICC Immigration Consultants.
(tel) +1 (905) 461-2424
 mobile +1 (905) 461-2426
 1137 Derry Road East, Mississauga, 
Ontario, Canada L5T 1P3
Business Hours Mon – Fri 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday – 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
Sunday – Closed

Last edited by tvguy (February 11, 2021 11:56 am)


February 11, 2021 12:21 pm  #4

Re: A Dubious Happy Anniversary To CFAJ 1220 St. Catharines

I can try. But being immigrant consultants, I just hope they're not out of the country!

     Thread Starter