After considering 10 applications at a hearing last September, the CTRC announced their approval on January 6, 2017 for two new radio stations in Edmonton, an ethnic commercial AM station to operate at 580 AM and a French language community FM station to operate at 97.9 FM. The new ethnic station is intended to serve a growing ethnic audience of Edmonton residents by offering a mix of spoken word and music programming targeting the South Asian community, as well as other ethnic communities.
Specifically, the station will broadcast 126 hours of local ethnic programming each broadcast week directed to at least 9 distinct ethnic groups in at least 17 different languages. At least 91% of the programming broadcast each broadcast week will be devoted to third-language programs,
As a condition of its licence, the new ethnic station committed to broadcast approximately 42 hours of spoken word programming each broadcast week, including 10 hours of news, 6 hours of which would be devoted to local and regional stories relevant to its audience. At least 60% of all its musical selections would consist of world beat and international music. In addition, it proposed to devote at least 12% of its musical selections in each broadcast week to Canadian selections.
The new ethnic station also committed to make an over-and-above contribution to Canadian content development (CCD) of $50,000 in each broadcast year as of the commencement of operations, for a total contribution of $350,000 over seven consecutive broadcast years. It also promised to contribute $15,000 each broadcast year to both FACTOR and MUSICACTION (for a total of $30,000). The remainder of its annual over-and-above CCD contribution ($20,000) would be directed to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology for scholarships for students in broadcast journalism from visible minority communities.
In the same decision, the CRTC also approved an application by Société Radio Communautaire du Grand Edmonton Society, a not-for-profit organization, for a broadcasting licence to operate a French-language community FM radio station.
As a condition of its licence the station has committed to broadcast 126 hours of programming each broadcast week, including at least 92.5 hours of local programming produced by and for the French-language official language minority community in the city. The remaining programming will originate from Réseau francophone d’Amérique and Radio France International.
The station intends to broadcast 46 hours of spoken word programming each broadcast week, including 2.5 hours of local and regional news. In addition, it would devote 22% of its musical selections to a range of special interest music (world beat and international, jazz and blues, folk and folk-oriented, concert and non-classic religious music) and at least 63% of its musical selections each broadcast week to selections from emerging Canadian artists.
In its application, the station management stated that it had met and developed partnerships with different organizations and entities representing the French-language Edmonton OLCM to solicit participation from volunteers. Training would be provided by employees, and the station would provide evaluations and tutoring to the volunteers on a regular basis.
No word yet and when the two new stations will launch but we’ll keep you posted.