Art Bites: CRTC Says No to Ajax and Pickering New FM Radio Station

 CRTC Says No to Ajax and Pickering New FM Radio Stations

sweirsweir Art Bites: It happened this morning.  The Canadian Radio and Television Commission issued a ruling Wednesday that officially puts the kibosh on a bid to operate an ethnic radio station in Ajax and Pickering.  As well, the CRTC said that it will not accept any applications for new ethnic radio stations in Ajax and Pickering for the next two years.

Durham Diversity Radio (DDR) approached the CRTC in January 2020 just prior to the Covid shutdown with an application to operate an 880-watt ethnic station at 91.7 FM servicing the communities of Ajax and Pickering. The FM station was to broadcast programmes in a variety of different languages for people living in the community.

The Federal government agency turned the application down because the GTA already has 35 radio stations, of which 10 are considered to be ethnic stations. The CRTC  believes that the Ajax and Pickering market can’t sustain another commercial radio station

“Two radio stations are  (already) licensed to operate in Ajax/Pickering;” reads this morning’s decision. Those stations are “CJKX-FM Ajax, an English-language commercial radio station operated by Durham Radio Inc. and CJRK-FM Scarborough, an ethnic commercial radio station (East FM).”

“The Ajax/Pickering market is ethnically diverse, with a majority of the population of Ajax and a significant portion of the population of Pickering self-identifying as visible minorities,” continues the CRTC decision. “However, a relatively low percentage of households in Ajax and Pickering reported speaking a language other than English or French at home.”

Before the CRTC made its decisions, it received comments from East FM, Corus radio, CHIN radio and CJKX-FM Ajax. All of the stations expressed concerns that the advertising market could not support another station is the district.  As well Torres Media (Torres), the licensee of CIUX-FM Uxbridge, the  Asian Television Network, and Radio Humsafar Inc. (Humsafar), the licensee of ethnic radio stations operating in the Greater Montréal Area, Quebec, and in Brampton, Ontario told the commission that there is room for more stations in Pickering and Ajax and asked they be allowed to apply for broadcast licences in the future! 


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