CFQR gets license renewal – and a slap on the wrist

This week, the CRTC gave approval for a license renewal to CFQR-FM, commonly known as Q92 (but who prefer to refer to themselves now as “92.5 the Q”). They can keep broadcasting until Aug. 31, 2014.

The approval is considered “short-term” because CFQR was in violation of one of its conditions of license, a minor one that requires that 20% of music from the jazz and blues category be Canadian. (The station exceeded its requirements for Canadian content overall.)

The station blamed this on improper labelling involving a new program:

Our non-compliance related solely to the introduction of a new three-hour program on Sunday evenings called Chill. This program is a showcase for Canadian smooth jazz. We experienced a problem with the labelling of songs in this three hour program block. The result was that we could not correctly identify individual selections as to whether they did or did not qualify as Canadian content. This in turn led directly to the compliance question raised by the Commission.

We deeply regret our failure to comply with the category 34 requirement. We take our responsibilities seriously and understand the importance of meeting our regulatory obligations. The non-compliance was not intentional and it was for a short duration.  It only related to this program feature.   We want to assure the Commission that it will not happen again.

This isn’t the first time CFQR has gotten a slap from the national regulator. The last time their license was up for renewal, the commission noted that the station was not in compliance with a condition of license requiring no more than 49.9% of music broadcast be hits. (You know, so it doesn’t sound too much like CJFM AM radio.</sarcasm>)

The CRTC has also renewed the license of CKLX-FM, Planète Jazz 91.9, even though the station was in non-compliance on its financial obligations.

8 thoughts on “CFQR gets license renewal – and a slap on the wrist

  1. Marc

    CFQR’s Chill program is crap. But as far as I’m concerned it’s the CRTC that needs gutting and a slap on the wrist. They’re the reason why radio sucks.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Minor violations of broadcasting licenses are fairly common. There are a lot of rules to deal with, and many broadcasters teeter on the edge of minimums that are inconvenient for them.

      As for sanctions, there weren’t any in this case for either station. Not that the CRTC can do much. They can take away a license in an extreme case, or impose additional conditions of license, but little else.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      You’re right. It’s actually just the three Montreal English stations, as well as those in the Ottawa market, supposedly to reduce competition with francophone stations, even though that makes little sense.

      Reply
      1. Marc

        Actually, no FM station in this country can be all-hits. This is an old rule from the 70’s that’s still on the books. Back then all the hit music stations were on AM and this rule was to protect them because you can have lots more stations on FM than AM.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Actually, the rule was changed in 1997. English-language stations outside the Montreal and Ottawa markets (i.e. those that compete with francophone commercial stations) can broadcast as many hits as they want, provided they were released after 1980. So they can play Katy Perry non-stop (Canadian content requirements notwithstanding), but not so much they’d be limited to only 49.9% Beatles.

          This is supposedly so that the stations don’t compete with the oldies format that is basically the only remaining music format that still works on AM radio.

          Reply

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