Radio Laval (CJLV 1570AM) won’t be turning into yet another ethnic third-language radio station.
The station that has been mainly oldies music since it launched in 2003 had applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to modify its license to increase the amount of third-language programming it would be able to broadcast, from 15% to 40%. The goal was to change its format, pick up an ethnic audience and pull the station out of perpetual deficit.
But on Tuesday, the CRTC issued a decision denying the application. The denial was for two main reasons:
- While it agreed that CJLV was in a money-losing situation, it was unconvinced that the proposed change would rectify that, particularly because the request to change format came only months after the station changed ownership. It’s now owned by a subsidiary of Radio Humsafar.
- The CRTC has recently ruled that adding more ethnic stations in the Montreal area would be harmful to the five existing stations in the market. Last fall the CRTC rejected three applications for ethnic new stations, including one by Radio Humsafar, which said at the time it would run it along with CJLV.
In its application for the CJLV license change last August, which it qualified as “urgent”, owner Jasvir Singh Sandhu said he had invested “over $500,000.00” in the station over the previous year, but that he was not prepared to throw more money away. The actual cost to acquire the station was only $200,000. Financial statements submitted with the application showed revenue of $182,251 and expenses of $438,255 (about half of which was salaries, benefits and commissions).
The proposed format would have been 60% local programming, with the remaining 40% third-language programming being half Spanish and the rest split between Creole, Chinese, Portuguese and Greek.
In the application, the station said if the proposed change was not approved, shutting the station down might be their only option.