CRTC: U.S. public radio not factor in denying Concordia station FM transmitter

The CJLO studio, located on the Concordia University Loyola Campus in N.D.G.
Photo: JOHN MAHONEY / THE GAZETTE

Concordia University's campus radio station will not be available on the FM dial following a decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

"In a move that surprised even local media experts, the CRTC has denied our application for the FM repeating transmitter. This is obviously a disappointment for all of us, but we will still continue to pursue all of our options and recourse in the days and weeks to come," reads an email sent by CJLO AM 1690 Station Manager Michael Sallot to station employees and volunteers.

The station had applied to add a retransmitter near the Concordia downtown campus to solve issues of spotty and overall poor reception, but was immediately met with opposition from many Montreal listeners of Vermont Public Radio's WVPS-FM, which broadcasts from Mount Mansfield.

The CRTC maintains concerns from VPR or its listeners didn't factor into the decision.

"Because VPR operates a U.S. station, its station was not considered in the examination of this application," it wrote.

The CRTC denied the application because it said CJLO "not demonstrated that [CJLO's] technical difficulties are severe within its licensed service area or that it is subject to more interference than other AM stations in urban areas," adding that, because 107.9 is one of the last viable frequencies available for new broadcast licenses in Montreal, using to retransmit CJLO's AM signal "may not be the best use of frequency."

"We respect the CRTC's decision, and while this isn't the outcome we were hoping for, it does not change our mandate," said Sallot in a statement.

"We will continue to serve both Concordia University and the Montreal community by producing quality programming, promoting a greater diversity of voices and viewpoints, and by offering a platform for alternate music styles, ideas, and interests not commonly found with local commercial stations."

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