Calgary radio station’s move from rock to talk has CRTC cringe

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A federal regulator says it still hasn’t found what it was looking for after a station switched a classic Calgary rock radio station to a talk format.

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Corus Entertainment’s decision to convert its Q107 FM from rock music to simulcasting its 770 CHQR AM news and talk shows was made last month without the necessary broadcaster and license, the Broadcasting Council said. and Canadian Telecommunications (CRTC).

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“According to commission records. . . there are no rebroadcast stations licensed to simulcast the programming of the commercial AM broadcaster CHQR Calgary,” says a January 24 letter that CRTC chief radio analyst Laurent Robillard-Cardinal sent to Karen Gifford, director principal of regulatory compliance and licensing for Sender.

“The licensee has not requested a license change to require that CFGQ-FM be permitted to work in the special format.”

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The letter goes on to say that Corus only owns the transmitter licensed to broadcast its 24/7 news/talk format in Banff.

And as it stands, the FM station can only air content from its AM counterpart 42 hours a week, the CRTC says.

In order to comply with federal regulations, Corus was asked to submit information on seven questions – including “Does the licensee intend to keep both stations operational?”. – and to announce the number of hours of the news/talk format the station plans to broadcast on the FM station per week.

He gave Friday as the deadline for submitting the requested information to the CRTC, and a deadline for “further intervention” was set for February 13.

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Last December 16, it was announced that QR107, which has been broadcasting classic rock music for 19 years and whose predecessors date back four decades, would change its format in early January.

In sometimes emotional farewell parties, the station’s DJs, who were soon to be laid off, said goodbye by airing only listener requests that day.

With much fanfare and kudos from politicians, CFGQ FM began airing content on January 9 which was also carried by its sister station AM.

Nowhere in Robillard-Cardinal’s letter does it indicate that CFGQ FM must cease broadcasting, but it concludes by saying: “If you do not receive a response within the time indicated, the Licensee will be in a situation of no -apparent compliance. federal regulations.

On Friday, CFGQ FM aired its usual news content.

The CRTC did not respond to requests for comment Friday, and a Corus spokeswoman had little to say.

“We can confirm that we have received questions from the CRTC regarding CFGQ-FM and CHQR and we will be happy to provide answers shortly,” Rishma Govani said in an email.

“Corus is proud of the extensive news, local and regional programming that its Calgary radio stations have provided the community over the years.

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Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn


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