Media News Digest: NNA & CAJ awards, Star bringing back paywall, NBC saves Brooklyn Nine-Nine

News about news

At the CRTC

  • Evanov Radio is trying again with its plan to reconfigure its two Toronto-area radio stations to turn at least one into a bona fide Toronto station. Like its last attempt, this new one involves converting CIDC-FM (Z103.5) into a station serving Orangeville (as it was licensed to do) and clearing the way for CIRR-FM (Proud FM 103.9) to increase power to cover all of downtown Toronto. But after the last attempt was deemed technically unacceptable by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (which regulates radio spectrum) because of interference it would cause to other stations, this one tries another option: move CIDC to 103.7, with a signal pointed entirely northwest away from Toronto, and move CIRR to 103.5, allowing it to increase power 100-fold. Evanov also proposed to add an HD transmitter for CIRR, with up to four channels. The first will simulcast the analog signal, but it hasn’t decided what the other three will carry yet.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing an appeal by Bell over the CRTC’s Super Bowl ad substitution policy. The court’s focus isn’t on the CRTC’s rules per se, but on the issue of how the courts can overrule decisions by administrative bodies like the CRTC. It’s unclear if we’d get a decision on this by the next Super Bowl in February, but the court has declined a request to expedite the process.
  • Kanesatake’s community radio station CKHQ-FM 101.7 is fighting against a proposed new Christian radio station in Lachute on the same frequency. Under Canadian broadcasting regulations, CKHQ is a low-power station and is unprotected, so if another station gets a licence to operate that would cause interference, CKHQ would have to move to another frequency. The problem is that Kanesatake is close enough to Montreal that there aren’t many frequencies available, even for a tiny 11-watt station. Legally it doesn’t have much to go on, but it’s hoping political pressure will push the CRTC to act in its favour. The station, which can’t be heard outside the immediate area of Kanesatake, has been off the air since last July.

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14 thoughts on “Media News Digest: NNA & CAJ awards, Star bringing back paywall, NBC saves Brooklyn Nine-Nine

  1. Alain

    City News Montreal will likely launch in August when their morning licensing requirements expire. Must be nerve wracking for the BT team.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      City News Montreal will likely launch in August when their morning licensing requirements expire.

      The licence requirement to produce a local morning show on City Montreal expired on Sept. 1, 2017. It now has the standard conditions of licence applied to the rest of the City network. That means it must produce 14 hours a week of local programming, including 6 hours a week of locally reflective news.

      Reply
  2. DS

    Another informative post Mr. F.! Possible that the delay at City television has something to do with Paul Rogers retiring?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Possible that the delay at City television has something to do with Paul Rogers retiring?

      I’m unaware of any delay. They promised a local news show in 2018, but never set a date.

      Reply
  3. Sam H

    Just about spit out my Mother’s Day supper reading the Cult Mtl Best of .LOL… Of the 10 favourite media personalities 9 of them were likely authentic nominations whereas one is not. #selfnominator #yeahright #weknowyouvotedforyourself LOL LOL

    Reply
    1. Michael Black

      The Best of Montreal has always been pretty suspect, first from the Mirror and now CultMontreal.

      I remember the early days, people would list Burger King or McDonalds for “best fries”. And then they’d get letters about it.

      People might be interested in a few categories, and then stuff others. I assumed people were either listing some very obvious answers, or just perpetuating what already had been best. So somebody who’d never seen much dance would fill in “O Vertigo” or “Margie Gillis”. Once on, it was harder to topple. Allison Louder was in the “best activist” category after campaigning to keep Park Avenue as the name. But she stayed there for a few years, though she wasn’t an activist after that.

      But it got worse with time. Since they didn’t want “ballot stuffing”, they required answers in a certain number of categories, which made it hard. If you didn’t eat meat, that eliminated a lot of categories. So instead of people filling out a few categories that really interested them, they’d pick obvious name. I know I’d put in people I knew, since I had to fill the categories.

      It all got worse once places started campaigning. I know at least one website which would say “vote for me” and point to the previous year’s answers “in case you need suggestions”. So it perpetuated the mediocre.

      I gave up before the Mirror expired. I even wrote a letter about it, I don’t think it was published, saying why I’d stopped.

      To make matters worse, when the Mirror closed down, I remember one site, I think “Midnight Poutine” lamenting that “The Best” was gone. But they could have stepped in and done “Cream of Montreal” or whatever, and try to make it more authentic. But they didn’t see it as their place, so Cult gets it, them sort of being the heirs to the Mirror. So it continues in all its mediocrity, no longer all that important, except for those who get listed. Even the campaigning has stopped or lessened.

      Michael

      Reply
      1. Dana

        Touché! Most “Best of ” lists are just lazy content and opportunities for wannabes to win a popularity contest for once in their life!

        Reply
        1. dilbert

          It’s also a self-selecting survey, so it’s “most popular whatever for 20 somethings in university who won’t have to work for a living yet”, mixed in with “most popular in the McGill Ghetto”. Not really informative!

          Reply
  4. Dorothy

    Re: The Toronto Star’s Public Editor wants to know why more women don’t write letters to the editor.
    The same question can be asked about radio: why do male callers to talk shows vastly outnumber women?
    Whether venturing an opinion from politics to pitbulls, or as a contestant to win a prize, it seems there are way more men calling in to news and talk shows than women.

    Reply
  5. dilbert

    Evanov might have better luck with their efforts to change things around if they put HD on both and offered at least one of the channels to a community station to be determined by the CRTC (ie, a non commercial, non competitive station) in each marketplace. The tangible benefits (getting community radio a wider signal) might play in their favor.

    As a side note Steve: Have you noticed that the UK is going to be the second country to basically ditch FM radio and replace it with digital / HD / non-tradition distribution methods? I find it really interesting to see how this is picking up speed.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Evanov might have better luck with their efforts to change things around if they put HD on both and offered at least one of the channels to a community station to be determined by the CRTC (ie, a non commercial, non competitive station) in each marketplace.

      The CRTC doesn’t operate that way. It’s up to the applicant to propose things, not the CRTC. And I’m not sure a community radio station would be viable with just an HD Radio channel.

      Have you noticed that the UK is going to be the second country to basically ditch FM radio and replace it with digital / HD / non-tradition distribution methods? I find it really interesting to see how this is picking up speed.

      The UK transition is not without controversy. And being only the second country to do so it’s hard to talk about “speed”. But we’ll see how it goes.

      Reply
      1. dilbert

        I was thinking about an existing community station. If each of the players in the market was required to (a) add HD to their transmitters over time, and (b) offer carriage to one of the lower power stations, community stations, or AM stations in the marketplace you would suddenly see a bigger offering on HD, which in turn would drive at least some consumer demand. When you consider that they can put 3 or 4 stations on each, it becomes a real benefit in the market. It wouldn’t be long before all of the lower power stations could find themselves with decent coverage.

        UK has some controversy, mostly from the Luddite “I can’t use my antique 75 year old radio to listen to anything anymore”, the same sort of people who got really upset when TV moved off of analog, I guess. It’s pretty sad to hold back technology to satisfy a very small part of the market.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          If each of the players in the market was required to (a) add HD to their transmitters over time, and (b) offer carriage to one of the lower power stations, community stations, or AM stations in the marketplace you would suddenly see a bigger offering on HD, which in turn would drive at least some consumer demand.

          Most major-market HD radio stations owned by large broadcasters already simulcast their AM stations. I’m not sure it has caused any significant demand for HD radios, which are still very hard to find outside of cars.

          UK has some controversy, mostly from the Luddite “I can’t use my antique 75 year old radio to listen to anything anymore”, the same sort of people who got really upset when TV moved off of analog, I guess.

          If by “75-year-old” you mean “bought yesterday”. According to regulator Ofcom, it was only in 2016 that more than 50% of households had DAB radios, and only about a third of households have a car with DAB. More than 50% of radio listening is still through AM/FM, and in 2017 analog radios made up 63% of total radios sold in the UK. It is indeed similar to the TV digital transition, in that a lot of people are still using analog receivers.

          Reply

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