Radio & Podcast News – CRTC commercial radio review relaxes Common Ownership Policy

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The CRTC has released the results of its commercial radio review, allowing broadcasters to operate one more FM station in the same market, under certain conditions, while upholding Canadian Content requirements. The first commercial radio policy update since 2014, one of the review’s key changes offers greater flexibility to Common Ownership Policy. For markets with eight commercial radio stations or more operating in a given language, an individual may now be permitted to own or control as many as four stations, with a maximum of three stations within one frequency band (FM or AM) in that language. For markets with fewer than eight commercial radio stations operating in a given language, one may be permitted to own or control as many as three stations, with no limits on frequency band. The CRTC has maintained the quota for Canadian Content and French Vocal Music (FVM) for French-language broadcasters, while eliminating the “hits policy” in Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau. In reference to the current MAPL (Music, Artist, Performance and Lyrics) formula, the point system that determines whether a song is Canadian, the commission says it is moving towards new criteria and refining some content categories that will broaden the eligible songs that stations can play to meet their Canadian content requirements. Read more here. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) is calling the review “a profound disappointment,” while Music Canada says it’s looking forward to helping the commission modernize the MAPL system. Read more reaction here.

The CRTC has approved Acadia Broadcasting’s purchase of Classic Hits radio station CKQV-FM (Q104) Kenora, ON from Golden West Broadcasting. The acquisition of the station and its repeater transmitters increases Acadia’s existing presence in Northwestern Ontario where it already owns and operates 89.5 The Lake (CJRL-FM) Kenora. The purchase is Acadia’s fifth market where it operates two radio licences, increasing its broadcasting licenses to 18 across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

The CRTC will hold a virtual hearing on Feb. 23 to hear several radio applications, including one from Four Senses Entertainment, which has applied for a licence to operate an English-language commercial FM station in Squamish, BC. Operating at 99.7 MHz with a maximum ERP of 5,000 watts, Four Senses is proposing to broadcast a mix of news, talk and adult alternative music. The company already operates Whistler FM (CKEE-FM). The commission will also hear Pickering College Campus Radio’s application for a broadcast licence to operate an English-language community FM station in Newmarket to replace the current low-power campus radio station. Pattison Media’s application to acquire the assets of CKLF-FM and CKLQ-FM Brandon from Westman Radio will also be heard, in addition to Kenner Media (Edmonton) Limited’s application to acquire CKFT-FM Fort Saskatchewan from Golden West Broadcasting. The deadline for interventions and comments is Jan. 23.

David Bray

David Bray has a breakdown of the Fall 2022 PPM ratings for Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, covering the 13-week period from Aug. 29 to Nov. 27. Among the ratings winners were Toronto’s boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM), which was once again well out in front with men, 25-54, posting an 11.5 % share. boom also led the way for M18-34 with a 13.7% share, and F18-34 with a 15.7% share. In Edmonton, UP! 99.3 (CIUP-FM), NOW! Radio (CKNO-FM) and CISN Country continue to perform well, while in Calgary, CBC Radio One and CHQR were tied for first place A12+ with a 9.7% share. Read more here.


The New Classical FM and Zoomer Radio’s Holiday Hope Fund, in support of The Scott Mission, is running until the end of the year. Since its inception 14 years ago, the fund has raised just over half a million dollars for The Scott Mission, which provides food, clothing, shelter and children’s toys to those in need. 


Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto is presenting Q107’s third annual Festive 50/50 in support of Abuse Hurts. Fifty percent of tickets sold will go to the lucky winner and the other half to Abuse Hurts to further support their mission to raise awareness about the cost of neglect and abuse. The goal this year is to reach a jackpot of one million dollars. The last day to purchase  50/50 tickets is Dec. 21. 

102.1 the Edge (CFNY-FM) Toronto presents Feliz Navi Claws, coming to Ren’s Pets in Toronto’s Liberty Village on Friday, Dec. 9 from 3-7 p.m. Listeners are invited to join hosts Kolter Bouchard and Meredith Geddes for an afternoon of pet-friendly fun, including pics with the Grinch in support of Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. The event will include a special busking performance from The Trews.

980 CFPL London is once again supporting the annual Salvation Army of London Christmas Hamper Program with the annual Gift a Gift campaign. Listeners can join the 980 CFPL team on Dec. 8 as they broadcast LIVE for 12 hours to help make sure every child wakes up with a toy under their tree this year. People can make contactless donations in-person at the Salvation Army drop off centre, at the Delta London Armouries or make e-donations on the website.


LISTEN: CKIQ-FM Iqaluit recently took the bold step of revamping its format to an all-Canadian playlist. The move, in part, was in response to a previous CRTC violation for failing to meet Canadian Content quotas because of challenges presented by the MAPL formula, which determines how Canadian or un-Canadian a song is, regardless of whether it’s recorded by a homegrown artist. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Glenn Craig, President of Northern Lights Entertainment, joins us to talk about embracing CanCon, his enduring passion for radio, and how a kid from Mira Bridge, Cape Breton ended up the licensee of two radio stations in the far north.

LISTEN: On the latest Sound Off Podcast, Wendy Mesley – the longtime Sunday host of CBC’s The National, among other shows – joins Matt Cundill to talk about everything from her early years as a reporter at CFCF Montreal to her controversy-mired retirement from the public broadcaster in July 2021. Mesley currently co-hosts the Women of Ill Repute podcast with good friend and fellow CBC alum Maureen Holloway, which in its first week hit #1 on Apple Podcasts in Canada. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:

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The Pro Bono Group, a collection of advertising and media pros who offer radio creative at no charge to worthwhile organizations, have written and produced a series of PSAs rolling out between now and April to stations across the country. The first PSA entitled “Food Banks – Pretend” is now available to stations for download in support of Canada’s food banks. Contact for more info.

Benztown is set to release its 9th Annual Benztown 50 List of Radio’s Biggest Imaging Voices, recognizing the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada. Voice talent can apply for the Benztown 50 until Jan. 13. The list is based on several criteria, including number of radio station affiliates, station size and market.