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CRTC awards Quebec City radio license to Cogeco

Ottawa-Gatineau - The CRTC has awarded Cogeco Radio-Television Inc. a license to operate a new FM radio station in Québec City.

The commission received four applications that each proposed a new radio station at 91.9 MHz, which was the last available frequency in Québec City.

It concluded that Cogeco's proposal represented the best alternative and it best responded to the expectations of residents and the objectives of the Canadian broadcasting policy as set out in the Broadcasting Act.

The residents of Québec City will have access to a new radio service by tuning into 91.9 MHz.

The new station will offer:

* Contemporary adult music, composed mainly of hits from the 70sand onward.

* Local programming totalling 77.5 hours per week, of which 2.5 hours will be local news.

* Programming aimed in particular at women aged 25 to 54, whose market is less well served by existing radio services.

* 45 per cent Canadian content, which greatly surpasses the CRTC's regulatory requirement of 35 per cent.

* Investments of more than one million dollars over seven years for the development of French-language Canadian artists.

In a separate decision the CRTC has also renewed the license of CHOI-FM Québec for a two-year period. The decision attaches a number of conditions to the renewal, and the commission says it will monitor the licensee's respect for the conditions and its conduct during this period.

Over the course of four analyses of the programming broadcast by CHOI-FM, the Commission found that the regulations had not been respected with respect to the amount of vocal French-language music played and the provision of logger tapes.

In addition, CHOI-FM has been the subject of numerous complaints from the public over the term of its licence with respect to the broadcasting of spoken-word content.

In response the commission has decided to limit the term of the licence renewal to two years instead of the usual seven. It has also decided to impose as conditions of license certain corrective measures, to use the means at its disposal to closely monitor CHOI-FM programming and to ensure that the breaches of conduct are not repeated.

The regulator also reiterates that the license granted to CKNU is intended to serve the residents of the Portneuf region. In light of the circumstances with respect to this application, the commission has denied Genex Communications Inc. the permission to move its main antenna in order to access the Greater Québec City area market.

It concluded that if Genex decreased local programming for listeners in Portneuf in order to meet the expectations of the residents of the Greater Québec City area, it would risk weakening the only local radio service available to Portneuf.

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