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East coast radio hearing starts Monday

2/27/2004

OTTAWA-GATINEAU - While the CRTC will consider a number of different items beginning Monday in Halifax, the biggest ones on the agenda will be the possibility of adding more radio stations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Rogers, Newcap, Astral, Maritime Broadcasting, and many others have made applications for commercial stations while others have applied for low power frequencies.

Rogers Broadcasting's application is of particular interest since it proposes a regional network of sorts comprising two formats (newstalk and urban music) and has told commissioners that its business model will only work if it wins all six of its applications serving several eastern markets in both provinces.

"(Rogers) has indicated that its proposed business plan is predicated on the licensing of all of its 6 applications. In this case and in order to use its time more efficiently at the hearing, the Commission may decide to question RBL at its first appearance on any matters related to issues common to all six of its proposals," says the Commission's notification. "(Rogers) would still be required to present itself at the public hearing as part of the standard four-phase competitive process for each market for which it has submitted an application. Under this scenario, interested parties are asked to be present for (Rogers') first presentation and to consult future Commission notifications for confirmation of this scheduling approach."

The hearing, to be held at the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre, is expected to last about a week.

Those interested can log on to the CRTC web site at www.crtc.gc.ca to listen in beginning Monday morning.

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