Kevin Vahey
Tue Nov 18 15:05:32 EST 2003

860 is a sticky wicket for CBC/SRC I suppose. I can not fathom SRC 
setting up a FM repeater system in french to cover Ontario but they did 
blanket Quebec with the english service so who knows.

That said I still do not follow the logic of moving the CBC to FM. You 
would think the government would want to allow a Canadian viewpoint to 
be heard in the US and that the AM blowtorch signals could cover the 
holes of the repeater system.

On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:37pm, Scott Fybush wrote:
> 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...
> s

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