CRTC wants to crack down on cross-border stations

UPDATED below with CRTC’s notice of hearing.

Tim Thompson, centre, heads Montreal sales for 94.7 Hits FM (WYUL) and other U.S. stations targetting Montreal.

Tim Thompson, centre, heads Montreal sales for 94.7 Hits FM (WYUL) and other U.S. stations targetting Montreal.

In an office building next to the Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire, Tim Thompson and his team of 10 salespeople and four promotions people are trying to get Montrealers to tune away from the big three music stations they’re used to — CHOM, Virgin Radio and The Beat — and tune into a station beaming its signal into the city from across the border in Chateaugay, N.Y., near Malone.

94.7 Hits FM (WYUL) markets itself as “Montreal’s Hit Music Channel“. While technically licensed by the FCC to serve this tiny New York town, its real goal is to get a foothold in Montreal with its 50,000-watt signal. And it succeeds, reaching most of the western half of the island.

The advantage to being a cross-border station is regulatory freedom. CHOM, Virgin and The Beat have to ensure 35% of the music they broadcast is Canadian. They have to ensure no more than half the music they broadcast is or was hit music (a condition originally meant to protect AM stations, now used to protect French stations in Montreal and Ottawa). They’re not allowed to air advertising in French.

As an American station, WYUL doesn’t have any of those obligations. It can broadcast whatever music it wants and programming in whatever language it wants.

“We really just play top 40, and that’s the beauty of our station,” says Marketing Director Tina Paylan.

Not only does the station target Montreal listeners, but advertisers as well, with about 90% of its advertising coming from this region. (It also targets Cornwall in eastern Ontario, in addition to Malone.)

hits-studio

Brad Johns in the Hits FM Montreal studio.

It even has a studio here, where Marty Lamarre contributes Montreal traffic reports and Brad Johns does his evening and weekend shifts. They also heavily promote the station in the West Island and other areas.

And they give back, too. “We’ve raised over a half million dollars for community organizations,” Thompson says.

Thompson runs what is essentially a Canadian subsidiary of Martz Communications Group, which owns WYUL and WVNV (Wild Country 96.5). He sells Canadian ads for those stations (WVNV’s 16kW signal is weaker in Montreal, and so the marketing focus is on Vaudreuil and other areas more westerly and closer to the border). He also sells Canadian ads for two other U.S. cross-border stations owned by other companies, WEZF (Star 92.9) and WBTZ (99.9 The Buzz).

There are, of course, disadvantages to running cross-border stations. Their signals aren’t as strong as the ones transmitting from Mount Royal. They have no way of getting ratings information, which impacts advertising sales.

And their signals aren’t protected across the border, so if a Canadian decided to put a station on their frequency that blocks them out in Montreal, they can’t do anything about it (a fact we learned in the recent CJLO vs. VPR case). Fortunately for them, these stations are in a sweet spot, close enough in frequency to big Montreal stations that those frequencies can’t be used for new stations here, but far enough that a decent radio can pick up the U.S. station without being drowned out by the adjacent Canadian one.

It’s kind of a free ride for them, essentially.

But this free ride might be in danger after a CRTC decision last week about a proposed radio station 3,600 kilometres away.

“Time to examine the issue”

The decision, published last Wednesday, awards licences for two new radio stations in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C. It was a very competitive process that drew 13 applications for new stations or transmitters in the market, mainly at 107.7 FM. The winners were an urban-focused spoken-word station in downtown Vancouver called Roundhouse Radio at 98.3 FM, and an adult-contemporary music station serving Surrey at 107.7 owned by South Fraser Broadcasting.

But there were also applications for three stations at 600 AM. Two were for ethnic stations serving the South Asian community, and the other a business news station run by Channel Zero.

The commission found these applications, as well as applications for 91.5 FM, weren’t “the best use of these frequencies” considering the scarcity of available frequencies in the Vancouver area.

But there was something else. One of the ethnic station applications was by Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc., a company that runs an ethnic AM station in northwest Washington state that targets the Vancouver market. The company proposed at the hearing to accept a condition of licence to shut down the U.S. station once the Canadian one could begin operations. But opponents objected to this, suggesting that the company was making an end-run around the CRTC’s licensing process and would be rewarded for setting up a station that is not licensed in Canada.

The CRTC denied the application, and said in its decision that this denial “will also provide the Commission with time to examine the issue of broadcasting services transmitted from locations outside Canada and which appear to serve Canadian markets.”

(One commissioner, Raj Shoan, thought they should have gone further, and denied the application by South Fraser Broadcasting because its owner was connected with Sher-E-Punjab’s U.S. station. I explore this in a story at Cartt.ca.)

Three companies called to hearing

On Aug. 13, a week after the Vancouver decision, the CRTC issued a notice of hearing, calling three B.C. companies to appear to explain their operations of Washington-based transmitters targetting Vancouver.

In addition to Sher-E-Punjab (whose situation has also resulted in complaints from residents of Point Roberts, Wash.), the notice calls:

Radio India (2003) Ltd. of Surrey, B.C. This company, owned by Baljit Kaur Bains, a Canadian citizen, leases 166 hours a week from KVRI 1600 AM in Blaine, Wash., from studios in Surrey. Managing Director Maninder S. Gill tells the CRTC in a letter that his company has been trying to get a Canadian licence since 2004. Its service is also available via SCMO in Calgary and Edmonton, but the Gill says the company has not consented to such rebroadcasting. This company also tried to apply for a licence in the Vancouver proceeding, but missed the deadline.

Radio Punjab Ltd., of Surrey, B.C. This company is providing all programming to the daytime-only station KRPA 1110 AM in Oak Harbor, Wash., from a studio in Surrey. Owner, president and CEO Gurpal S. Garcha says in a letter to the CRTC that he is broadcasting online and exempt from licensing, and the U.S. station is 80% owned by a U.S. citizen, Harinder Singh. The station operates under a revenue sharing agreement, with the owner keeping U.S. ad revenue and Radio Punjab keeping Canadian revenue. The station bills itself as broadcasting “from Seattle to Vancouver”, but Garcha says the signal is marginal in Canada.

What can it do?

There’s a big question about what it can do to stop this. The CRTC has no authority over U.S. radio stations, just as the FCC has no authority over Canadian ones. The two countries coordinate allocations, but only to ensure a station isn’t interfered with in its own country.

But the commission does have authority over Canadians. It can issue a mandatory order, which is enforceable in court, requiring “any person” to act or cease to act in a certain way. If a Canadian citizen refuses to act on that order, that person could be found in contempt of court.

Cross-border radio stations or “border blasters” like these are limited to places where a large market sits near a border. Montreal and Vancouver are definitely attractive to U.S. stations, Toronto sits across the lake from Niagara Falls, N.Y., and then there’s Windsor, which is right next to Detroit (and enjoys exemptions from some CRTC rules because of that).

And there’s WLYK, a station in upstate New York owned by Border Broadcasting Inc., but managed by Rogers and marketed as a Kingston station. The CRTC is definitely aware of this and even discussed it at a hearing 14 years ago, but hasn’t done anything about it.

Beyond preventing Canadians from owning U.S. stations, or finding a way to prevent U.S. stations from having studios or other operations in Canada, the commission could seek a new agreement with the U.S. to prevent obvious cases of stations reaching across the border for audience. But that would need to be done by the federal government.

Still, if I was Tim Martz, a Canadian who owns Martz Communications, I’d be keeping a close eye on this hearing.

UPDATE (Oct. 4): The National Post has a story about the situation in B.C., though the CRTC has not “vowed to shut them down”.

32 thoughts on “CRTC wants to crack down on cross-border stations

  1. Marc

    I tried to view your story on Cartt.ca but it wants me to purchase a subsrciption. I guess there’s no way to view for free?

    Reply
  2. Frank

    Maybe the CRTC should take this opportunity to examine both cross border radio and television services at the same time, and that way all the related broadcasting issues and concerns from both sides can be appropriately addressed in the context of bilateral Canada-US trade relations.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Maybe the CRTC should take this opportunity to examine both cross border radio and television services at the same time

      Is cross-border TV as much of an issue? More than 90% of Canadians get TV through subscription services, which are regulated by the commission. I don’t know of any cases in recent years of Canadians setting up stations across the border as a way around CRTC licensing.

      Reply
    2. Marlene Westfall

      I agree. Canadian broadcasting companies should be allowed to run their airwaves from the US. I’m tired of not being treated like a Canadian when I live in Canada by CBC and CTV. Television can be provided to Canadians without having to purchase cable while targeting Canadian ads. Investigative journalism will get a boost because there is too much libel chill in Canada. I might as well be waving an American flag thanks to our broadcasters. I completely sick of BellMedia and how they have covered national events like the Beijing Olympics and the Women’s World Cup. I CHOOSE not to purchase cable because I don’t have to living in a border city. Canada’s cable companies aren’t going to force me to purchase cable just to watch national events. There is redundancy and opportunity with CTV2 but they just don’t get it. Everything that is aired on CTV2 is aired on CBS 62.1 from Detroit.

      Reply
  3. Frank

    What about Canadian advertising on US TV stations, Canadian BDUs inserting commercials on local avails over US stations, PBS logos with Canadian flags to raise donations from Canadians, not to mention all the retransmission rights and sim sub issues associated with US signals in Canada.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      With the exception of Canadian advertising on U.S. stations (which simsub has largely mitigated) and PBS cross-border fundraising (which I don’t think the commission really has a problem with), everything else there is already regulated by the CRTC. It’s going to look at simsub and other TV issues in its TV review this fall, but it’s hard to see this as the same issue. This proceeding is about U.S. stations owned (or run) by Canadians in order to serve a Canadian market.

      Reply
  4. Eric Jon Magnuson

    This may soon become a big issue in Thunder Bay: Last year, three licenses for Grand Portage, Minn., were auctioned by the FCC; all three of them are in the commercial band (i.e., 92.1 and above), and are either Class C1 or Class C (running 100 kW).

    Especially from the stations’ proposed sites, they really couldn’t reach either the Iron Range’s main cities (e.g., Hibbing, Virginia, and Grand Rapids) or the Twin Ports (Duluth/Superior). Likewise, sparsely populated Cook County already has some non-commercial outlets (both from Minnesota Public Radio and the local WTIP).

    Therefore, the only logical target for these new stations would be to the north–toward Thunder Bay. Even though I haven’t come across any new developments in about a year, I seriously doubt that none of those three stations will make it to air. (Doing a cursory search on the FCC site, it looks like one currently has a Construction Permit.)

    The person who’s probably tracked this the most is Jon Ellis; his latest update may be at http://www.northpine.com/broadcast/archive/news0713.html.

    Reply
  5. Steve Oneill

    Radio stations in Montreal always bring the topic of cancon. But there are other reasons why these american stations reach an audience.

    I prefer Hits over Virgin, not because of the music. But because the hosts on Virgin are just impossible to listen to. So much gossip and boring entertainment news presented with no substance and in such a populist way. On Hits, hosts don’t talk much and its best like that.

    Hits keep it simple and this bilingual programming is a strong statement for french listeners. When is the last time you heard Virgin ackledging they have a french audience?

    Reply
  6. Jack

    Interesting how Martz Communications is owned by a Canadian. A few years ago, they tried to promote their now defunct acquired translators in Detroit and went on a full offence towards on a Windsor station (CIMX) that had the same format as them (alternative rock) and kept ranting on how CIMX was not an American station and that they were the only “truly” an American station that played the music of that format…

    In the end it’s all business as usual, patriotism does not run in these radio stations and if programming is similar, they are trying to find excuses for listeners to tune into their station, whether they are Canadian or American.

    Reply
  7. Dilbert

    On the plus side, it’s good to see the CRTC waking up to this after a really long slumber. Sadly, it may really be too late to get much of anything done. These stations exist and changing them may not be very easy, at least from an international regulatory stand point.

    However, there are things that can be done. Pressure should be put on the FCC to require these stations to contour their signals away from the Canadian market. WYUL would essentially disappear overnight if they were forced to contour out of the Montreal market, and at the same time it would open up that frequency for a station operating from Montreal.

    https://maps.google.com/?q=http://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/contourplot.kml%3Fgmap%3D2%26appid%3D272480%26call%3DWYUL%26freq%3D94.7%26contour%3D60%26city%3DCHATEAUGAY%26state%3DNY.kml

    It’s contour map clearly shows that the transmitter is aimed specifically at the Canadian marketplace. It’s on air approach (and even call sign) make it really clear what market place they are playing in. Licensing this station in this manner by the FCC was, well… a pretty big fail.

    The Wild Country station also represented a loss frequency in Montreal as a result of it’s contours, 96.3 and 96.5 could be used otherwise, at least for lower power stations.

    Hopefully the CRTC and FCC can work something out to deal with this issue. While I know the CRTC isn’t going to protect distant stations, there is still the issue that the presence of the station makes it very hard for anyone else in the marketplace to put a station on the air on the same frequency.

    At the same time, it might also be time for the CRTC to consider that it’s policies in regards to canadian content and “non-hit” material make stations like WYUL impossible in Canada, and that a certain segment of the market place looks elsewhere for what they cannot get OTA in Canada. In a world that is more and more driven by online services and music on demand type situations, it would seem that the old Can-con rules and such are woefully out of date.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      The Wild Country station also represented a loss frequency in Montreal as a result of it’s contours, 96.3 and 96.5 could be used otherwise, at least for lower power stations.

      Wild Country is weak enough that a Montreal station could be put on those frequencies. The problem with those frequencies is they’re too close to existing Montreal stations, Virgin 95.9 in the first case and CKOI 96.9 in the other. A new station would need permission from Bell Media or Cogeco, respectively, to operate on those frequencies.

      At the same time, it might also be time for the CRTC to consider that it’s policies in regards to canadian content and “non-hit” material make stations like WYUL impossible in Canada, and that a certain segment of the market place looks elsewhere for what they cannot get OTA in Canada.

      The CRTC has reconsidered those policies. The non-hit policy now applies only to Montreal and Ottawa English-language stations, and are meant to protect French stations in those markets. As for Canadian content, that’s part of the reason the CRTC exists in the first place. It’s not about to eliminate that.

      Yes, “a certain segment” of the marketplace tunes cross-border stations. But it’s still very low. Most Montreal anglos still listen to the big local music stations.

      Reply
      1. Dilbert

        “The problem with those frequencies is they’re too close to existing Montreal stations, Virgin 95.9 in the first case and CKOI 96.9 in the other. A new station would need permission from Bell Media or Cogeco, respectively, to operate on those frequencies.”

        You are correct. But it would certainly allow for a lower power station in areas, say, north of Montreal or to the East of Montreal. As has been pointed out before, the CRTC is incredibly conservative when it comes to frquencies, you can go look at something like New York City to see how things can get really stacked, with typically only .4 between active channels TOTAL… in FCC terms, both 96.3 and 96.5 COULD have a station on it in market. The CRTC wants .6 to .8 between stations, which is incredibly wasteful.

        http://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/locate?select=city&city=New+York&state=NY&band=FM&is_lic=Y&is_cp=Y&is_fl=Y&is_fx=Y&is_fb=Y&format=&dx=0&radius=&freq=&sort=freq&sid=

        It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s a pretty good indication. 35+ FM stations in market… under the CRTC / Industry Canada rules that isn’t possible up here, a true waste of the public airwaves IMHO.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          it would certainly allow for a lower power station in areas, say, north of Montreal or to the East of Montreal.

          Since WVNV can’t even be picked up in those areas, I highly doubt the strength of its signal is preventing other stations from setting up in those areas. Remember, all those stations would have to do is ensure they don’t interfere with WVNV south of the border. That’s highly unlikely for a medium-powered station set up on the other side of Mount Royal.

          As for having new stations on second-adjacent channels, that issue has been brought up before, and the CRTC decided against it in 2009. Personally I think they should reconsider, at least for large markets like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

          Reply
          1. Brett Morris

            It would allow for national radio networks like Aboriginal Voices radio which had signal issues on 106.7 FM to come back and make the network available to the aboriginal community in the city.

            Would also allow medium powered stations to start offering music formats that other Canadian cities have such as alternative rock or hip hop.

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          2. Dilbert

            The CRTC is pretty much scared of it’s own shadow, easily spooked by almost anything. You have to think that the incumbent “don’t need more station” types were part of argument as to why it ended up like that.

            the FM band generally needs some rationalization and fixing. closer spacing and compacting of the current dial would open up a goodly number of frequencies, my guess is that they could add anywhere between 5 and 15 new stations is they decided to do it that way. Yes, they would likely have to rock the boat a bit a move some stations around, but the public airwaves are the public airwaves. Adding significant diversity on the air would be a huge improvement.

            “Since WVNV can’t even be picked up in those areas, I highly doubt the strength of its signal is preventing other stations from setting up in those areas. ”

            The problem is, like it or not, it does have some effect when you consider any overlap in the signals. While it may not be protected in Montreal (just out of range), it would be protected to the west of Montreal, which would in turn mean that any use of the frequency would have to be very local, such as a CJLO type deal.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              The CRTC is pretty much scared of it’s own shadow, easily spooked by almost anything.

              I’ve not seen any evidence of that. If anything, my experience is that the opposite is true. The CRTC has said no to some very powerful interests.

              You have to think that the incumbent “don’t need more station” types were part of argument as to why it ended up like that.

              I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. But the CRTC has, in fact, been licensing new commercial radio stations in Montreal. Just no full-power ones on FM because the band is full.

              the FM band generally needs some rationalization and fixing. closer spacing and compacting of the current dial would open up a goodly number of frequencies, my guess is that they could add anywhere between 5 and 15 new stations is they decided to do it that way.

              By my count, allowing second-adjacent channels would open up about 12 frequencies for stations (without moving any existing stations around, which would be a coordination nightmare), though most of those would have to protect stations in Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières or the U.S. And that’s assuming that no community around Montreal wants a radio station.

              While it may not be protected in Montreal (just out of range), it would be protected to the west of Montreal

              WVNV is not protected anywhere north of the U.S. border. Neither is WYUL, WVPS or any other U.S. station. The coordination agreement with the two countries only protects the stations within their own country.

              Reply
              1. Dilbert

                “The CRTC has said no to some very powerful interests.”

                Yeah, like they said no to the Bell Astral merger, right? No just means “ask us more nicely”. It’s rare that anything the majors ask for is turned down for good, at best rejected and put off a few month waiting for a new application slightly more favorable to the CRTC goals.

                ” But the CRTC has, in fact, been licensing new commercial radio stations in Montreal. Just no full-power ones on FM because the band is full.”

                Te band is only full because of (a) how frequencies have been alotted, and (b) because the CRTC and IC require very large spacing between stations, which is no longer really needed considering the quality of modern receivers.

                “hough most of those would have to protect stations in Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières or the U.S. ”

                Well, first off they don’t have to protect US stations (your own words). Except where their signal would go over the border. Then again, the reverse should be true, so you could even consider signals including 99.9 could be forced to change contours so as not to impact a Canadian station on the same frequency. I don’t think anyone wants to do that, but the potential is there.

                Second, with careful contouring (and re-contouring of the existing stations) there should not be much difficulty. Freeing up a dozen frequncies without re-alignment would be a huge boost in Montreal.

                The only new FM stations I have seen in Montreal seem to be ethnic stations on island, and low power regional stations off island, which don’t have full coverage for Montreal Island, let alone the great Montreal area.

                “WVNV is not protected anywhere north of the U.S. border. ”

                No, but without changes in their contour, any station on the same frequency would likely have very poor coverage to the West. They are protected as it’s unlikely that a new station of the same frequency would be approved anywhere near them in Canada, ie no new station in Cornwall :)

              2. Fagstein Post author

                Then again, the reverse should be true, so you could even consider signals including 99.9 could be forced to change contours so as not to impact a Canadian station on the same frequency.

                That’s not how radio coordination works. If you’re proposing a new allocation, you have to protect existing stations, and accept interference from them.

                The only new FM stations I have seen in Montreal seem to be ethnic stations on island, and low power regional stations off island, which don’t have full coverage for Montreal Island, let alone the great Montreal area.

                The CRTC has licensed three commercial AM talk stations in Montreal (TTP Media), a commercial FM music station in Hudson (Evanov), a commercial AM talk and music station in Montreal (Evanov), a commercial music station in Kahnawake (KIC Country), and a commercial music station in Vaudreuil (CJVD), in addition to the ethnic and community stations that have sprung up in recent years. There would probably be more if the FM band wasn’t so full.

              3. Dilbert

                The CRTC has licensed three commercial AM talk stations in Montreal

                I was speaking only of FM, where the only real new commercial stations aren’t in Montreal. KIC is a bad example (it was on the air anyway), and the two other stations are to the West, lower power, and won’t even reach into the Montreal market to the level of WYUL.

                Last new commercial station in Montreal I think was the jazz station, which is now Radio X.

        2. Jim Ronback

          Dilbert,
          I’m intrigued on how you created the Google map with contours.
          How would I display the contours in volts/meter for KRPI 1550 AM in Ferndale WA and after their proposed move to Point Roberts, WA?

          We are trying to prevent the relocation because it will cause harmful blanketing interference to 23,000 people in densely populated Tsawwassen in Canada just 330 meters from the 50,000 watt antenna array with five towers.

          Any help would be appreciated.

          Jim Ronback

          Reply
  8. ATSC

    I have just one question about this discussion.

    Is the CRTC, and the supporters, of such a policy to go after cross-border stations any different than what North Korea does?

    And don’t fool yourselves by pointing out that North Korea and Canada are not the same thing.
    A policy of targeting cross border stations to deny Canadians access to foreign signals has the same results as what North Korea is going. And what other nut bar run countries do as well. Are we as sick as they are to limit access to foreign signals that target Canadians! They are not trying to take down Canada. The US stations are just trying to entertain us, and provide news from different sources.

    Think very carefully. It’s time to look in the mirror, and see what we have become.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Is the CRTC, and the supporters, of such a policy to go after cross-border stations any different than what North Korea does?

      I’m not aware of any North Koreans who own radio stations in South Korea or Russia. And I think if the North Korean government had an issue with such a situation, it wouldn’t be holding a regulatory hearing on the matter.

      A policy of targeting cross border stations to deny Canadians access to foreign signals has the same results as what North Korea is going.

      That’s a ridiculous analogy. The CRTC is simply saying that to use public airwaves, you have to be licensed, even if you’re transmitting from across the border. If you believe regulating the AM and FM bands is tantamount to censorship, then vote for an MP who will repeal the Broadcasting Act and start a free-for-all.

      Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I guess that analogy would work if the people who owned these radio stations had defected to the United States because of political persecution. I’m not aware that that’s the case.

          I would also point out that in these cases the stations’ studios are not in North Korea.

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  9. Brett Morris

    If the CRTC does target 94.7 Hits FM and we lose it as a Montreal station, where would the little daily programming of urban music that we have end up?

    Would The Beat or Virgin fill the hole in the market. Sure they both play a tiny amount of hip hop but it’s mostly throwback 90 songs. I’m talking about the new stuff that is on Hits FM and other Canadian cities.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      If the CRTC does target 94.7 Hits FM and we lose it as a Montreal station, where would the little daily programming of urban music that we have end up?

      That would likely be left to community and campus stations that have a wider variety of music.

      Reply
  10. John Caravella

    I don’t support the idea some of the posters here have that stations like WYUL should be required to aim their signals away from Canadian markets. Firstly , the FCC allocates those signals based on where they technically fit – the New York stations have been that way for a long time. There are very few markets where this is even an issue, and there aren’t a lot of new spots on the dial where you could put a US FM that would reach a Canadian market of any significant size. The “problem” as you or the CRTC perceive it won’t grow much larger than it is currently. Cutting down these American stations would only result in harm to small businesses and reduction of service to areas that are also not served by Canadian stations. Most of them are based in very small markets and also serve them – WYUL for instance, serves the community of Malone, NY and is the closest contemporary hits station to that community. For a marginal “comfort factor” to much larger Canadian stations, you would harm the businesses and service level of many smaller communities in the United States.

    The only possible step that could impact these operations is an outright ban on contractors providing services to US based licensees. I’m sure no Canadian voiceover or DJ talent wants their freedom of trade compromised to the degree where their studio can’t even produce programming for an American radio station. That would create a myriad of problems.

    Even if the CRTC and FCC were to agree (which is unlikely) to force technical changes on US licensed stations, the costs to the operators and reduction in service wouldn’t proceed without an extended court battle. These broadcasters are entitled to the licenses they have so long as they comply with FCC terms and technical parameters – and they can’t very well stop Canadians from listening, or be forced to make their programming unappealing (thereby ruining their business model) simply because a Canadian station is concerned they may be losing audience.

    My intel tells me that Hits and Wild Country aren’t significantly impacting the bottom line of any station in Montreal. If you’re that worried, focus on your audience and programming delivery to ensure it’s the best it can be.

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    1. Fagstein Post author

      The only possible step that could impact these operations is an outright ban on contractors providing services to US based licensees.

      The CRTC isn’t going after contractors or talent. They’re going after owners (legal and de facto) who are Canadian.

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      1. John Caravella

        I’m aware of what they’re not doing. I’m saying the only way to prevent the US licensed stations from doing business in Canada would be to ban anyone on the Canadian side from doing business with them – be that programming, sales, etc.

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  11. Jason

    Does anyone notice that WYUL 94.7 has no stereo signal, just mono, it’s like the transmitter is not transmitting the stereo pilot in the main carrier signal from chateaugauy, by transmitter

    Reply

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