CRTC Grants 2 New Kelowna Stations
March 17, 2008 at 5:31 AM (PT)
The CRTC has granted licenses for two new FMs in KELOWNA, BC, with SUN COUNTRY CABLEVISION LTD. and VISTA RADIO LTD. winning the new facilities. SUN COUNTRY will launch a Classic Rock format at 96.3 FM, and VISTA will put a Classic Hits format on a frequency to be determined (the CRTC rejected its proposed 96.1 FM facility). The winners beat out CTV, CORUS, HARVARD BROADCASTING, DEEP WATERS MEDIA, CLEAR SKY RADIO, TOUCH CANADA BROADCASTING, NORTHERN NATIVE BROADCASTING, RADIO CJVR LTD., and IN-HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS for the stations.
Morin: Existing Stations Played Unfair Format Games
In a dissenting opinion, Commissioner MICHEL MORIN decried the format changes of competitors in the KELOWNA market made after the formats of applicants for the new stations were announced. MORIN called the format changes prejudicial to the application process and "as far as radio formats were concerned, KELOWNA was a Wild West town without a sheriff."
"Why should local, regional or national undertakings invest sums often upwards of $100,000 to submit a proposal to the CRTC if existing players can move to a different format with impunity just before the public hearings, and by doing so deal a fatal blow to the proposals submitted by undertakings attempting to participate in the public process?," MORIN asked. He proposed a freeze on format changes when the agency opens new stations for applications until hearings are completed, at which time formats would be unfrozen, then, when a winner is chosen, existing players would not be allowed to adopt the format of the new station until it is on the air.
MORIN also voiced a preference to the proposals made by CORUS, CTV, and DEEP WATERS over the applicants who won the licenses.