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November 28, 2022 8:38 pm  #31

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

Fitz wrote:

paterson1 wrote:

They are already playing lots of cancon.  Don't know if it is 35% and they may only need to play 30% when they finally sign on. Right now CFAJ doesn't need to play any since they are not officially on the air.   The owners would have known all about cancon requirements when they applied for the license, so this is no surprise. CFAJ could be following their planned music format right now. 

Did  quick calculation based on the last 43 tracks played as listed on their web site and I think they played just above 20 % cannon in that period so It should not be that hard to reach 30 % and perhaps they do already during certain periods.

An hour I looked at previously was close to 50% The playlist seems like it might be on shuffle rather than structured, so they may well be meeting 35%


November 28, 2022 8:53 pm  #32

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

Interesting, because the CCD requirements are the only ones that are going to cost them actual money. 

     Thread Starter

November 28, 2022 10:24 pm  #33

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

After listening to the stream for a couple hours, I have to say I personally really like the mix. I'd love to listen to this on a great-sounding table-top AM radio in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree up.

Not a business case; just a person anecdote.


November 29, 2022 7:03 pm  #34

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

Is CFAJ operating at full power now?


December 3, 2022 11:55 pm  #35

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

RadioActive wrote:

It started back on April 20, 2016, when the CRTC released its decision about a proposed new AM station on 1220 AM in St. Catharines, replacing the shuttered CHSC. It took a while, but a post on SOWNY on Feb. 11, 2020 revealed that someone had heard a test signal for the first time from the newcomer.  

A lot of people wondered then who would think a mono all-oldies station on a relatively weak signal from the Niagara area was a good idea, but the Commission gave it the go-ahead in any case. 

Since then, CFAJ has gone into what has to be the longest testing mode in the history of broadcasting. We are now just under two years and counting from that first day, and still nothing about what's going on at the place. 

I listened to them non-stop for about an hour on Saturday, just to see what they were up to. Sure enough, it remains a wall-to-wall jukebox, with no news, no weather, no announcers beyond apparently sole employee Peter Borberly reading pre-recorded liners and perhaps, the real troublesome sign - not a single paid spot or show. Not one in two years. I think I've heard the occasional PSA but they don't pay the bills. 

And there surely must be bills. Even with nothing but automation software running, they have to pay the electricity bill to keep the equipment and the transmitter running. And they certainly have to fork over money to Socan and others to play the music. Plus they owe a few grand to help pay for Canadian content. 

Their moribund webpage lists the songs they've played (it's the only way to find out, since there's no on-air identification) and does have what looks to be auto-filled news entries, but there's very little else there. (In fact, while they have had an un-updated Facebook page for more than a year, their other links to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ simply lead back to the original website.)

So my question: how is this station still on the air after two years without, presumably, making a single cent? It's baffling to me, especially if you look at what they promised the CRTC six years ago, when they got the licence:

"The station...would broadcast 126 hours of locally produced programming each broadcast week, including 2 hours of news, weather and sports.

In addition to local, regional, national and some international news, the station would offer community-focused programming, such as weather and traffic reports, community billboards and talk shows promoting local events from charities and not-for-profit groups, for a total of 10 hours and 25 minutes of spoken word programming each week."

Not only have all of those promises seemingly gone by the wayside, they barely have 60 minutes of spoken word programming in an entire week. And those are the endlessly repeating liners. They give out an email address for "your questions and concerns" but never answer them. (At least mine have gone unanswered for months.)

A provided phone number (with a 416 area code no less, which is not St. Catharines) gives you a recording asking you to leave a message and promising a reply which never comes. 

Some have suggested this is a tax write-off for the owners and I have no idea if that's true. Either way, something has to give. According to the CRTC, the licence, awarded so long ago, was up for renewal last August. Still nothing. I'm presuming they must have gotten an extension. But to paraphrase the old Ace hit (which they might even play someday) How Long Can This Keep Going On?

If anyone knows what's up with this place, please spill the details here. This is one of the strangest local radio circumstances I can ever recall.  

Your post got a shout out this week on Glen Hauser's World of Radio program #2167.

Admitting you have a problem is the second step. The first step is finding a problem you really enjoy.

December 4, 2022 12:49 am  #36

Re: The Bizarre & Ongoing Mystery Of 1220 CFAJ St. Catharines

Wow. thanks for telling me. I haven't heard that show in decades, but somehow, it continues on. Good on Mr. Hauser for his incredible longevity. 

     Thread Starter