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Commission approves Haliburton acquisition


OTTAWA - On Friday the CRTC approved an application made by The Haliburton Broadcasting Group to acquire CKNR-FM of Elliot Lake.

Haliburton made the $625,000 purchase last year and the Commission's approval will allow it to add the station to its stable of nine Northern Ontario FM stations in Sudbury, Timmins, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing and Cochrane.

The former owners were North Channel Broadcasters Inc. and the Elliot Lake station was its only one.

The decision also noted that "CKNR-FM Elliot Lake has been unprofitable on a consolidated basis over the period of 2000-2002. In Commercial Radio Policy 1998, Public Notice CRTC 1998-41, 30 April 1998, the Commission indicated that it would not require prospective purchasers to propose benefits in the context of their applications to purchase unprofitable radio stations. Nevertheless, in its August 2003 application, Haliburton made a commitment to direct, over a seven-year period, the amount of $37,500 (6% of the transaction's total $625,000 value) to the support of Canadian Music Week and/or FACTOR. In a subsequent letter dated 29 September 2003, the applicant made the further commitment to provide an additional $17,500 to FACTOR over seven years," reads the decision.

As well, in its application, "Haliburton identified various additional, intangible benefits that it stated would result from approval of the proposed transaction. These included an improved radio service in the Northern Georgian Bay area through the introduction of a live radio voice in Elliot Lake. Further, the applicant emphasized its commitment to enhance the resources and technologies available to CKNR-FM and each of Haliburton's other radio stations in the region. According to the applicant, approval would also provide greater assurance of the long term viability of this group of stations as a consequence of Haliburton's strengthened capacity as an experienced and successful Northern Ontario broadcaster, and the addition of Elliot Lake to the package of radio markets available to national and regional advertisers as a single buy," reads last week's decision.

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