Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CRTC complaint re: RRCC

I wrote to Graham Thompson regarding my thoughts about the cancellation of The Great Canadian Talk Show, and while I understand the need for the Board as "station owners" to have the ability to determine programming, I can't help but feel there is a lot more going on here, so I reviewed the license granted to RRCC as well as the requirements of Campus Radio Stations. The complaint looked just like this,

Regarding http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2002/db2002-227.htm and Kick-FM broadcasting on 92.9 FM in Winnipeg.


Recently, the board governing the radio station mentioned above, decided to remove vital programming from it's broadcasting. In the opinion of the writer, this change hinders or extinguishes completely the ability for the station to fulfill it's required objectives.
Specifically, the required objectives of,
"13.     The Commission's primary objective for the campus radio sector is that it provide programming differing in style and substance from that provided by other elements of the broadcasting system, particularly commercial stations and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The Commission considers that campus stations should add diversity to the broadcasting system by providing alternative programming in both music and spoken word.


14.     The Commission believes that a healthy and vibrant not-for-profit sector is essential to fulfil the goals of the Act. Campus stations play a unique and valuable role in the communities they serve. The revised policy set out below is designed to ensure that they continue to play this role."


Further more, the writer requests a review of the decisions made by some members of the Board of Directors regarding the programming in light of the requirement set out, namely,


"56.     Accordingly, under the revised policy, the Commission will expect the board of directors of a campus radio station to include balanced representation from among the student body, the associated college or university (for example, faculty or administration), station volunteers, and from the community at large. To ensure continuity of direction, the Commission also encourages campus stations to establish positions on their boards of directors with terms of more than one year."


It would appear that the recent changes at the Campus Radio Station do not have the input of the entire board, and as such, the validity of the members is called into question. If there is no "real" representation as required, the "faux board" would appear to simply exist to fulfill the requirements and as such are in fact, NOT fulfilling the stated requirement.


The commitment to volunteers as noted in the application decision,


"16. The applicant indicated that students from the college's Creative Communications Program would work at the station to fulfill the requirements of the course. However, Red River indicated that it would also be willing to involve students participating in other courses as well as volunteers from the community-at-large as volunteers at the station... Red River indicated that it would implement a delay system for any open-line programming that it broadcasts.", appears to be called into question since written statements posted on the RRCC website differ from the above noted commitment. These statements made by RRCC are found below.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010
KICK Programming
Recent decisions about programming on KICK-FM have raised questions about the station's governance and about its role in the local broadcasting market. According to its by-laws, the primary purpose of the station is to act as a training forum for students enrolled in Red River College's Creative Communications Program. The objective is to provide a setting that resembles, as nearly as possible, the operation of a commercial radio station.


In compliance with CRTC policy on campus and community radio, the station is managed by a non-profit corporation called Cre Comm Radio Inc. The Board of Directors of this corporation includes representation from the general community (including potential employers), the student body, the Creative Communications program and Red River College.


The College does support the station by providing annual financial assistance, studio facilities, transmitter and tower space, and technical assistance. However, decisions about programming are the responsibility of Cre Comm Radio Inc.


Recently, the Executive Committee of the Board of CreComm Radio Inc. made a decision to re-focus on the station’s role as an instructional resource. This means giving students more opportunity to hone their craft during primetime hours, ensuring they receive structured performance feedback, and exposing them to standards and practices that are consistent with the management of a commercial radio station.


This reorganization will include a review of all current programming, and will likely lead to several changes in the KICK-FM broadcast schedule. As an initial step, the Executive Committee has decided to stop broadcasting the Great Canadian Talk Show.


While we understand this decision might not be welcomed by the show's listeners, we do feel it's consistent with the stated purpose of the station and its future direction. Going forward, we anticipate the launch of many exciting new shows, providing new opportunities for students to gain broadcasting experience, and new voices for listeners to enjoy.


For further information about the station reorganization, please contact KICK board member Graham Thomson at 949-8377 or gthomson@rrc.mb.ca


As a member of the public, served by the CRTC, I feel that the changes implemented by the Executive Committee do NOT help the license holder to effectively fulfill it's stated, and required commitments, and feel that the community of Winnipeg as a whole is no longer being served in a number of ways required.


The requirements for programming that is "alternative" as well as "multicultural" and "multiracial" will be hampered, as the volunteer host of the time slot that was canceled, as well as the time slots the popular show was rebroadcast in, assisted in listeners learning about the traditions and beliefs of a minority race/religion, and assisted in bringing tolerance, acceptance, and understanding to the majority.


I sincerely hope that the CRTC will review the governance at the radio station, as well as review the decisions recently made as they relate to the community at large, the capacity for students to learn from volunteers, and the other items of concern listed above.


Sincerely,


RM


For whatever it's worth, I let my displeasure be heard. Perhaps you could to?

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