CRTC Tests Signal In Ottawa As New Licenses Hang In Balance
June 1, 2009 at 5:23 AM (PT)
The CRTC is running tests of a station at 94.5 FM in OTTAWA as part of a tangled proceeding that saw two licenses granted by the agency for new stations abruptly withdrawn by the PRIVY COUNCIL because the stations proposed operation in English and the council decided that the stations should be French-language.
The 94.5 test was proposed by FRANK TORRES, who had won 101.9 FM for Blues 101.9 DAWG-FM and hopes that the additional 94.5 FM signal could be used for the French station while TORRES and ASTRAL MEDIA get their original choices; ASTRAL had also won a license, for AC-Talk 99.7 EVE-FM. A group called RADIO DE LA COMMUNAUTE FRANCOPHONE D'OTTAWA (RCFO) challenged the grants last year and won its appeal to the PRIVY COUNCIL, resulting in Heritage Minister JAMES MOORE ordering the CRTC to reconsider, and new hearings were held on MARCH 30th and 31st.
"It is viable, it's a great signal," said TORRES of 94.5 FM, according to the OTTAWA CITIZEN. "It's the only solution that came to the table that would meet everyone's needs." But ASTRAL's ROB BRAIDE objected, "Our problem is that frequency (94.5) would infringe on our ROCK DETENTE 94.9 frequency in GATINEAU. That doesn't make any sense to us, that we should have to damage our business model to allow a competitor into the marketplace."