CRTC approves new country music station in Joliette on 107.9 FM

Arsenal Media is still growing. On Monday, the CRTC approved its application for a new French-language country music station in Joliette, which will act as a sister station to its O103.5 there.

The new station will be branded Hit Country, using a format Arsenal has used in stations in Lac-Mégantic, Beauce, Saguenay and Plessisville.

The transmitter will be at 107.9 MHz, and 25kW. According to one document in its application, Arsenal is looking at using the callsign CJOL-FM for the station.

Theoretical listening area of Arsenal Media’s new FM station in Joliette. Areas in purple would expect interference from WVPS in Vermont.

The frequency chosen, effectively the only one remaining suitable for the station, might be frustrating for some listeners of Vermont Public’s radio station WVPS, broadcasting from the top of Mount Mansfield and getting a decent signal into the Montreal area.

For listeners in and around Joliette, the new country station will effectively replace Vermont Public on that frequency. For those further south, including in Montreal, it might depend on which direction you or your antenna is facing, and you could find yourself listening to both.

Because WVPS is an American station, it does not have any protection north of the border. A Canadian station can stomp all over its signal, provided it does not interfere with reception in the U.S.

Also on Monday, the CRTC approved an application by Radio Nord-Joli, owner of French-language community station CFNJ-FM in nearby St-Gabriel-de-Brandon. They proposed to replace the St-Gabriel station with one in Joliette, on the same 99.1 FM frequency, while keeping a retransmitter in St-Zénon. This follows the denial of an application to extend the St-Gabriel transmitter’s coverage area to include Joliette, which the commission found to be a back door to setting up a Joliette station.

10 thoughts on “CRTC approves new country music station in Joliette on 107.9 FM

  1. Marco Knee

    I am a regular listener of VPR on 107.9 and hope the new station doesn’t interfere too much. But I am already used to daily interruptions by crappy music while in traffic from people with RF transmitters to link their phones to their stereos on that frequency!

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Those mini RF transmitters are a real pain in the ass. I’ve had situations listening to WBTZ-FM in my car, and somebodies Arabic music cuts in. And it’s not that they pump their crappy music on them, they don’t seem to understand that even their phone conversations can be heard by other people. Get a bluetooth attachment instead of these mini RF transmitters for their cars. At the very least understand that 87.5 to 87.9 fm are not in use by any radio stations in the North America markets. Use those frequencies. It’s part of RF TV Channel 6 (82 -88) , and most markets in North America don’t use it because it’s a shitty frequency for TV use with ATSC 1. It may fair a little better for ATSC 3, but very few stations are using ATSC 3 for now, let alone Channel 6.

      Reply
  2. Gregory Brophy

    Responding to the CRTC approval of a country music station instead of Vermont NPR 107.9, I must say I am disappointed. Open minded media is fading from the landscape and NPR has always been there to provide quality programming. Do we really need another commercial radio station blaring commercials in between three songs and babbling DJ?

    So sad.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I’m not a fan of Vermont Public Radio. But, because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean I would want somebody who enjoys listening to it should have it interfered with due to the CRTC bad management.

      I’ll give an example of how the CRTC’s bad policies cause chaos on the FM dial with conflicting signals.
      On the island of Montreal, there are two low powered radio stations assigned to 90.7 FM. CJPB-FM is a community station located in the St-Laurent borough of Montreal. A repeater for the Ottawa station CHRI-FM is also assigned on 90.7 FM located somewhere in Point-Claire, QC. They are vey close to each other. You would think that the CRTC would make sure that those signals don’t cancel out each other, block out one or the other. You can pick up the repeater of CHRI 90.7 in Laval. Even though its transmitter is further away than CJPB-FM 90.7 in relation to Laval. This is the CRTC’s doing. And, don’t believe anyone that says that there isn’t a spot on the FM dial for one of those stations to be assigned on 88.1 FM. Because there use to be a low power station on 88.1 FM until it shutdown. The CRTC miss manages, doesn’t understand, whatever you want to call it, how signals work. They just jam things all over the place on the dial. And cause chaos. Basically mis-management of the band.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        I’ll give an example of how the CRTC’s bad policies cause chaos on the FM dial with conflicting signals. On the island of Montreal, there are two low powered radio stations assigned to 90.7 FM.

        First of all, spectrum is regulated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The CRTC defers to ISED in determining whether an application is technically feasible, and ISED accepted both these stations’ submissions. Neither is meant to serve Laval.

        88.1 could be another option for a low-power station, provided it properly protects CBC Radio One on 88.5.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          The point is not that neither station is meant to serve Laval. The point is that one of these stations is killing the signal of the other. So much so, that the most distant station to Laval comes in clear, while the closest station to Laval cannot be heard at all. And I have even checked it while driving in St-Laurent. And it’s the same situation. If this is happening into Laval, then it is equally so for the areas each is suppose to serve. Since the transmitters are so close to each other and both are using the same frequency.

          Why do we need to protect CBC Radio 1 on 88.5 fm. Don’t the other station deserve the same on 90.7 fm. What’s so special about CBC Radio 1? Why does the CBC need not just adjacent protect on 88.3 & 88.7 FM, but even more to 88.1 & 88.9 FM protection. When 88.1 was being used, wasn’t that against protecting the CBC on 88.5 fm. Let’s call a spade a spade here. CBC is parked on 88.5, and it’s fat rear end wants to shutdown the use of 88.1 and 88.9. And the CRTC and ISED allow it.

          And just more more point on 107.9 fm. WVPS-FM uses HD Radio. What that means is that the digital part of the signal is n the side bands of of analog 107.9 fm. This means 107.8, and 108.0 are being used by the digital signal. Let’s see how that works out with Radios that can pick up the HD Radio signals, and then replaces the analog 107.9 fm. We’ll see which station gets cut out then. Another fine example of your government not understanding what they regulate.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            The point is that one of these stations is killing the signal of the other. So much so, that the most distant station to Laval comes in clear, while the closest station to Laval cannot be heard at all. And I have even checked it while driving in St-Laurent. And it’s the same situation.

            I’m not sure why a 51-watt station would be overpowering a 50-watt station in the latter’s service area, but if there’s improper interference you can report it to ISED’s spectrum management division (though they’re not very obvious about how to contact them about these things). Note that the St-Laurent station’s licence is unprotected low-power, which means it can’t stop another legally constituted station from interfering with it. The Pointe-Claire station accepted in its CRTC application that it could receive interference from the St-Laurent station outside Pointe-Claire.

            Why do we need to protect CBC Radio 1 on 88.5 fm.

            Interference rules have limitations on how strong a signal can be compared to an existing station on the same frequency, a first adjacent or a second adjacent channel, and CBC’s 88.5 station is second-adjacent to 88.1. Some have argued protecting second-adjacent channels is no longer necessary and they should be opened up, and there are many exceptions currently (90.7 is also second-adjacent to CKUT at 90.3, but CKUT agreed to allow both 90.7 stations), but it’s still in the rules, which is why we don’t have a full-power station at 88.1. That said, the Pointe-Claire station says it seriously considered 88.1 as a possibility before settling on 90.7 after the CBC said no.

            And just more more point on 107.9 fm. WVPS-FM uses HD Radio. What that means is that the digital part of the signal is n the side bands of of analog 107.9 fm.

            This is a valid concern, and could mean areas on the fringe could hear the new station on analog but WVPS on HD. But this would likely be in areas that aren’t in either station’s protected service area.

            Reply
        2. Anonymous

          The two departments thing always ends up being a situation where they can blame each other and neither has to really be responsible. This is how we have ended up with horrible frequency allocations, border blasters, backdoor into market place moves all over the country. Same applies to broadcast TV.

          I am really curious how the paper pushers figured 107.9, when 107.7 seems to be just about as open in the same area and would cause less problems for everyone. There are a couple of low power CBC repeaters on the south shore like in Matane, but that is way far out of range.

          The new station on 107.9 should have been required to contour harder. Give them some more coverage direction to St Tite de Gazoo, and take some away from the lobe that would be pushing towards Montreal. This would keep it from sneaking into the already weak Montreal radio marketplace. That would keep 107.9 in play for the Montreal market, and avoid some possible interference for people trying to listen to that Hawkesbury station on 107.7.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            The two departments thing always ends up being a situation where they can blame each other and neither has to really be responsible. This is how we have ended up with horrible frequency allocations, border blasters, backdoor into market place moves all over the country. Same applies to broadcast TV.

            Border blasters are a matter of negotiation between the two federal governments, which is a bit outside the purview of either organization. Frequency allocations are entirely an ISED matter, and I’m not sure what’s “horrible” about them except for the fact that the FM band isn’t packed as efficiently as it could have been if we could force stations to change frequencies. As for backdoor market entries, the CRTC has been pretty hard on those of late (just ask Evanov about Z103).

            I am really curious how the paper pushers figured 107.9, when 107.7 seems to be just about as open in the same area and would cause less problems for everyone.

            107.7 is second-adjacent to CITE-FM (Rouge) in Montreal, so a station would need Bell’s approval to launch there in the city.

            The new station on 107.9 should have been required to contour harder.

            There would need to be some basis for imposing additional restrictions on this channel. As it is, the proposed parameters protect WVPS in the U.S., and other stations like Hawkesbury in their protected contours. WVPS does not have protection in Montreal.

            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              Ahh. the sounds of excuses and political double speak.

              the FM allocations are generally horrible. Quebec is a very difficult place because the language issues create a situation where the bands are essentially cut in half for each group. So when you start with that, things will be tough. So what happens in the Montreal market is determined by choices made in other markets, with frequencies needing protection in manner that limits the availability in the Montreal area. It is a long topic, but safe to say the Montreal radio market has been limited over the years by this. It is probably way too late in radio to fix it.

              The reason you would want to contour the station is two-fold: You want to maintain usability of the frequency in the Montreal area for a low power station, and also to keep the Joliette station from taking a backdoor route into the Montreal marketplace. The placement of the transmitter (to the West of Joliette) leans it into the Montreal market. Having the transmitter on the other side of Joliette would take their contour out of the Montreal area entirely. For that matter, would the station better serve an intended market by transmitting from somewhere closer to Trois Rivieres instead? Plunking down a fairly powerful station inside the fairly standard contour of Montreal stations seems like a bad approach. It is as if they are trying to create a problem instead o f finding better ways to resolve them.

              Perhaps getting back to the first point: Since they haven’t managed frequency allocation very well, we end up with this sort of wastage of public resources.

              Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *