Scott Fybush
Tue Nov 18 12:17:18 EST 2003

At 10:53 AM 11/18/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Maybe Scott would know, but why didn't CFRB jump at the chance to apply 
>for 740 when it opened up? (Same could be asked why CJAD didn't try to 
>move to 940)

Excellent question, and one I've not been able to answer to my 
satisfaction. But here are my best guesses:

1. At the time, both CFRB and CJAD had just completed major improvements to 
their existing facilities on 1010 and 800. CFRB, as you may recall, worked 
out a mutual-interference agreement with WINS in the mid-90s that allowed 
both stations to rebuild their antenna systems to better cover their home 
markets (at the expense of, well, ME - Rochester is right in the middle of 
the new interference zone created between the stations). CJAD lost its 
towers in the 1998 ice storm and spent a lot of money rebuilding and 
improving them (Garrett and I saw the engineer's book of before-and-after 
photos when we visited the CJAD site in the summer of 1999.) So I'm 
guessing that Standard was loath to walk away from those facilities so soon 
after pouring lots of cash into them.

2. CFRB, as Dan alluded to earlier, holds a marker of sorts with the 
Canadian government for the eventual use of 860 in Toronto. During the 
CBC's signal expansion in the forties, the government took the I-A facility 
on 860 away from CFRB and swapped it with the lesser facility on 1010 that 
had been the CBC's secondary outlet, CBY. Supposedly, a part of the deal 
with CFRB gave it the right to return to 860 with 50kw ND-U if the CBC ever 
stopped using that frequency. Would a CFRB application for 740 void that 
agreement? Who knows...

3. The CRTC probably wouldn't have given either station the better facility 
even if they had applied. The motivation at the CRTC was to increase the 
choices available to local listeners, especially in Toronto, and the 
promise of standards on 740 and all-news on 940 was undoubtedly more 
appealing to them than the chance to give already-dominant 'RB and CJAD a 
slight signal improvement. (Note that Metromedia, which did get 940 and 690 
in Montreal, did not simply apply to move its existing CIQC and CKVL over 
to the new frequencies, an application that would almost surely have been 
rejected - they proposed the new all-news formats instead, effectively 
relaunching 940 and 690 as new stations.)

4. And it would have been only a SLIGHT signal improvement in the core of 
each market. Both 'RB and CJAD do just fine covering their home markets 
with their existing signals. Adding listeners outside the home market is 
even less valuable in Canada than in the US, since the BBM doesn't even 
report listening to out-of-market signals (which makes the Hamilton 
ratings, for instance, look distinctly odd - you can tell that something 
like half the market's radio listening is missing, but you can only guess 
at which Toronto signals it's going to. And  yes, Hamilton is a separate 
radio market from Toronto.)

5. Anyway, AM is going away in Canada - right?  At least from the CRTC's 
perspective, the future of broadcast radio in Canada is the Eureka-147 DAB 
system (Garrett, you can stop laughing now...)

And whatever Eureka's flaws may be, it does provide signal parity across 
the market. The digital transmitters for CJAD and CFRB get out precisely as 
well (or as poorly) as the digital transmitters for CHWO and CINW, the 
eventual winners of 740 and 940. This may even matter, someday.

Those are my best guesses...


More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list