CRTC Approves Rogers Purchase of FM Stations in Edmonton & Fort McMurray
The CRTC has approved an application by Rogers Broadcasting to acquire CHDI-FM and CKER-FM, Edmonton and CKYX-FM in Fort McMurray. Also included in t acquitision wre transmitters CJOK-FM, Tar Island, CFGP-FM, Grande Prairie, CFGP-FM-1, Peace "River and CFGP-FM-2 Tumbler Ridge. The stations were all acquired from O.K. Radio Group Ltd.
Rogers proposed a tangible benefits package totalling $2.4 million to be distributed over seven years, which represents 6% of the value of the transaction. The benefits funding would be allocated as follows: $1,200,000 to the Radio Starmaker Fund, $800,000 to the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), and $400,000 to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to provide annual scholarships in perpetuity for students enrolled in the Radio and Television Arts Program. This initiative would be known as the "Roger Charest Endowment Fund." The applicant indicated that these scholarships would provide incentives and opportunities for students interested in a practicum in non-metro markets in Alberta.
Rogers made a commitment to maintain CKER-FM, also known as World FM, as a specialty ethnic FM radio service and confirmed that it would continue its involvement and investment in order to serve the local ethnic communities. Rogers noted that it had provided a voice for ethnic communities by focusing on the news and issues that are of direct concern to them. Rogers submitted that its involvement and investment in CKER-FM would provide an opportunity for the company's participation in ethnic broadcasting to grow and evolve.
In addition to Rogers' commitment to operate the five radio stations it proposed to acquire under the same terms and conditions of licence that currently apply, Rogers submitted that diversity in the markets served by the undertakings would be maintained under its proposal, given that it currently holds no broadcasting assets in Edmonton, Grande Prairie or Fort McMurray. Further, Rogers noted the formats of the radio stations that it proposed to acquire have been very well received and that it has no plans to change the formats or the target audience of those stations since they add to the diversity of music and radio programming available to local audiences.
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