Calgary gets 3 new FM radio stations
3/12/01

The CRTC has approved three new FM radio stations for the Calgary area.

Telemedia will run a smooth jazz station, Standard will offer a urban rhythm sound and a Aboriginal-language station controlled by Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR) will also air.

Standard will operate their urban rythm station on the 98.5 MHz frequency. Telemedia, which had planned to use the same frequency, will now have to apply for a different frequency that is acceptable to both the commission and Industry Canada. While AVR's not-for-profit service will use the 88.1 MHz frequency and for the most part use broadcast programming originating with the FM radio station licensed to AVR in Toronto.

"The new station, SMOOTH JAZZ FM, will be launched in September 2001 and will offer a 'new adult contemporary /smooth jazz' musical format. This format enjoys strong support in the U.S. and has been recognized as an important emerging genre in Canada. Calgary is a city with a thriving jazz community and a major annual jazz festival; this new radio station, with this unique and exciting format, will respond to a clearly identified gap in the market," says Claude Beaudoin, president and chief executive officer of Telemedia.

Currently in Calgary, nine mainstream commercial stations (five FM and four AM) compete for listeners. Ownership of these nine stations resides with three of Canada's largest radio operators. Four of the stations (two FM and two AM) are owned by Rogers Broadcasting Limited. Two more Calgary FM stations and one of its AM stations are owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., while Standard owns the remaining two stations (one AM and one FM). Together, these stations attract 81 per cent of the total radio audience. The CBC's non-commercial radio services, out-of-market radio tuning, and two, small, independent Calgary stations share the remaining radio audience.

With this new station, Telemedia will now be serving Alberta's two major
cities, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as 14 other cities and communities
throughout the province. Standard already operates one AM and one FM station in the Calgary area.

The commission says it is "satisfied that the Calgary market can support the operations of two, new commercial FM stations." It adds that the stations proposed by Standard and Telemedia will "effectively increase the level of competition in the market, while the the impact of the proposed AVR station will be minimal."

The commission denied applications from CHUM, NewCap and Craig.
You can review the CRTC's complete decision at www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/Decisions/2001/DB2001-172.htm

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