On November 27, 2012, Golden West Broadcasting launched the first radio station in Fort Saskatchewan. CKFT / Mix 107.9 FM broadcasts a classic hits/classic rock format and is fully committed to the local community. All employees are required to live in Fort Saskatchewan and have a demonstrated commitment to and a passion for the community. In their application, CKFT convinced the CRTC that they would not poach advertisers from Edmonton radio stations. On hand for the station’s launch was Mayor Gale Katchur who, along with many others from Fort Saskatchewan, actively demonstrated their support of CKFT’s application.
When I asked the Mayor what having a new radio station in Fort Saskatchewan means to the city she wrote:
Fort Saskatchewan, a vibrant engaged mid-sized City situated just east of Edmonton, in heart of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. Striving to strengthen Fort Saskatchewan’s identity, our community was fortunate to attract Golden West Radio which would be a game changer for Fort Saskatchewan by broadcasting our local news, weather and community information on a minute by minute basis.
Getting a radio station in a community is not as easy as one would think. First you have to explain why your City should have a radio station. Then you have to work to dispel the myths submitted to the CRTC by other radio stations who viewed the station as a threat to their survival. And then work with the new radio station to ensure they are launched as quickly as possible.
As the Mayor of Fort Saskatchewan, I walked each step of the way with Golden West and was thrilled to receive notice of their approval. Of course the hurdles didn’t stop there. When Golden West was denied access to a communication tower from a private provider, the City stepped to and granted them access to our water tower which will be their signal for the next few months until they get access to another tower.
The road is not an easy one, but working with our partners, we achieved success. I am pleased to report that Mix 107.9 is on the air and that Fort Saskatchewan now has its own voice with local content and continues to strengthen our identity as the place to people want to live, work, play and invest.
Excerpts from CRTC decision on CKFT’s application of January 10, 2012.
1. The Commission received an application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. (Golden West) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language FM radio programming undertaking in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. The new station would operate at 107.9 MHz (channel 300B1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 11,000 watts (maximum ERP of 20,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 70.2 metres).
3. Golden West proposed a mixed Classic Hits/Classic Rock music format. The 14 hours 5 minutes of spoken word programming proposed by the applicant would be comprised of local news (6 hours, 5 minutes), local weather, local sports, local surveillance, local farm and agriculture reports as well as oil and gas news. The station would also promote local concerts and the activities of the vibrant local arts community and other community organizations.
4. In its application, Golden West indicated that it would accept a condition of licence requiring it to broadcast 40% of its musical selections from content category 2 (Popular music) during the broadcast week and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday to Canadian selections. It also committed, by condition of licence, to contribute $93,500 over and above the basic contributions to Canadian content development (CCD) over seven years.
5. The Commission received interventions in support of this application as well as interventions opposing the application from Newcap Inc. (Newcap), Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers), Astral Media Radio G.P. (Astral), 1572422 Alberta Ltd. and an individual. Newcap, Rogers and Astral intervened regarding the impact of the proposed service on the Edmonton market. The individual argued that the format would overlap with other stations in the market and 1572422 Alberta Ltd. requested to set aside the application in order to allow it to submit a competing application for a new undertaking in Fort Saskatchewan/Lamont.
6. In their interventions, Newcap, Rogers and Astral, all owners of Edmonton stations, highlighted the negative undue impact the new service proposed by Golden West would have on the Edmonton market. The interveners indicated that Fort Saskatchewan is located within the Edmonton market. Rogers argued that Fort Saskatchewan could not support a local radio service and that revenues would be drawn from Edmonton in order to survive. Newcap stated that the proposed mixed Classic Rock/Classic Hits format would be directly competitive with its stations as well as other stations in the market.
7. In its reply, Golden West noted that the opposing interventions are focused on the Edmonton market and ignore the needs and unique nature of Fort Saskatchewan. The applicant argued that its application is not a back-door entry into the Edmonton market and its focus is to serve Fort Saskatchewan. Golden West submitted that Fort Saskatchewan is capable of supporting its own local radio station and that its proposed station would not impact the broader Edmonton market.
10. The Commission notes that the proposed 0.5 mV/m contour would encompass part of the city of Edmonton. To ensure that the licensee directs its programming to the market it is licensed to serve, the Commission deems it appropriate to impose a condition of licence preventing the licensee from soliciting advertising in the city of Edmonton as identified by Statistics Canada.
11. In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate an English-language commercial FM radio programming undertaking in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
12. The Commission reminds Golden West of its commitment to provide a local radio service to the communities it is licensed to serve. The Commission therefore expects Golden West to maintain its focus on local programming for Fort Saskatchewan.
13. The Commission reminds the applicant that it must adhere to the requirements relating to contributions to CCD…specifically, the applicant committed to contribute $93,500 over and above the basic contributions to CCD over seven years. Of this amount, 20% will be devoted to FACTOR or MUSICACTION, with the remainder to an eligible CCD initiative. A condition of licence to this effect is set out in the appendix to this decision.
14. The Commission also reminds the applicant that any development initiatives that have not been allocated to specific parties by condition of licence must be allocated to the support, promotion, training and development of Canadian musical and spoken word talent, including journalists.
Program director and morning show host is Andrew Nakonechny. Afternoon drive host is Tony Stacey. They don’t yet have a dedicated website but you can find informaton about the new station on the fortsaskonline.com website.