Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:08 am

Toomas - there are no agreements between Industry-Canada, the CRTC and FCC regarding the border and radio signals. FCC rules state that if a new AM or FM facility is within a certain distance to Canada or Mexico borders, officials of those countries must be notified. In our case that is IC. Regardless, all 3 take the technically-challenged belief that radio signals - both AM & FM apparently cease when they hit that invisible dotted line! This has allowed stupid decisions such as assigning the CBC 88.5 in the upper Fraser Valley. The interference & splatter and reach of this signal have ruined any chances jazz fans in south-west BC/northwest Wash have to listen to KPLU's blowtorch signal which used to reach from Campbell River to Portland. Another example is the thoroughly stupid assignment of 107.7A to Surrey in spite of a full power signal KNDD from Seattle. Great. Surrey gets a new radio signal and everyone else in the region gets noise & splatter on the frequency making Surrey or KNDD unlistenable. Too many other examples of this to list here. Off-record local IC inspectors I deal with, just shake their heads about this policy, & reply "you'll have to take this up with Ottawa...good luck with that!"

Regarding programming on US "border blasters" - the FCC doesn't give a crap about formats/programming/targeted audience unlike the anal-retentive CRTC that has to have every tiny bit of authority & control over what individual broadcasters may air. The FCC only cares that you do your paperwork, take your transmitter readings, keep the tower painted & lit, do your legal IDs....the practical stuff. KARI, KVRI, KRPI, KLYN and KRPA can target whomever they like in whatever languages or formats they wish. Note that here in Canada we need TWO entities - CRTC AND IC to administer this stuff (talk about gov't overkill!) Here in Canada, it could be argued that the BBG & CRTC took a 'blind eye' to the fact that top-40 giant CKLW 800 Windsor was, has been & continues to exist as a functioning Detroit station.

I know the ham operator quoted in the article - Ralph Parker. Ralph is an easy-going, intelligent person not prone to bitching about every little NIMBY issue. Ralph literally lives on the border - the other side of his back fence is the road ditch on the Pt Roberts side. If Ralph is bitching loud about the interference and radiation this new 50 kW plant will cause, he is to be listened to & has the technical expertise to advise on this issue. Nobody would have objected to a small 1 kW or even 5 kW AM signal emminating from Pt Roberts. However, 50 kW directional towards Delta/Surrey is another matter. The night-time signal lobes will direct much of this energy directly at Ladner & Tsawwassen. Just think...you won't need your car heater on those cold winter nights waiting for the ferry to the islands any more!! However, as the Optimist article states, there is little Canadians can do as there are no mechanisms to address this through IC.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby Dave L » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:14 am

skyvalleyradio wrote:the FCC doesn't give a crap about formats/programming/targeted audience unlike the anal-retentive CRTC that has to have every tiny bit of authority & control over what individual broadcasters may air. The FCC only cares that you do your paperwork, take your transmitter readings, keep the tower painted & lit, do your legal IDs....the practical stuff. KARI, KVRI, KRPI, KLYN and KRPA can target whomever they like in whatever languages or formats they wish.


Canadian content regulations and ethnic radio are not compatible otherwise we'd have every other special interest hammering us with electromagnetic radiation. Taking over existing licenses and utilizing current infrastructure is one thing, but deliberately working around laws just to thwart them is something yet again.

I'm not suggesting Cancon laws are fair, only that every other broadcaster targeting a Canadian demography must be compliant.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby jon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:30 pm

My understanding of, not my opinion on, cross-border interference is that no station in a foreign country is allowed to interfere with a station in its assigned coverage area. Interference is defined by millivolts per metre of signal and a percentile of time periods. For example, if freak skip conditions for an average of two days a year cause interference, that would not be enough.

Coverage area always ends at the country's border.

The only valid cases that come to mind of Canadian stations having legitimate cases about U.S. stations were:
  1. CKWX from the Portland area station on day pattern near sunrise and sunset, causing significant interference in the Fraser Valley
  2. WLW-700 running 500,000 watts in the 1930s interfering with CFRB-690 at night

This means, for example, that Team 1040 will never be able to serve Victoria during the day from its Lower Mainland transmitter site, because there is no way to avoid hitting Washington State in areas that the Seattle daytimer on 1050 can call its coverage area.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:19 pm

Hi Everyone,
Very interesting comments and information Sky Valley, Dave L. , Jon and Toomas. Enjoyed all your dx comments Jon about dxing the upper 1500 frequencies in the 60s , very interesting and good dx catches you heard back then including WAKR 1590 Akron which I have never heard out there or 1580 Waco, Texas. I did hear and verify 1460 WACO Waco, Texas from North Surrey back in the 1970s though. WAKR 1590 streams on the net. now and I get them on my wi-fi radios , they are currently all local news and oldies music, does a good job of serving Akron, Ohio. I can get them regularly practically every night in the Cobourg, Ontario area though over the air with plus or minus some interference from other stations in the east on 1590. Usually WAKR 1590 is the stronger signal here.

Toomas I agree with you that this new Point Roberts transmitter site that will beam 50,000 watts north on 1550 (more with effective radio power directionally!) will not seem to cover much of Whatcom County anymore compared to the present Ferndale site! In fact with all those towers don't they have a stronger null from Point Roberts South or Southeast, probably won't put a very good signal into most of Whatcom County, Ferndale or Bellingham at night!!! Not that anyone there will be listening to them anymore anyways with current format targeted to South Asian Vancouver population! I found it very interesting your comments Sky Valley about the amateur radio operator in South Delta that you know. He sounds like he knows what he is talking about and I appreciate your comments regarding that Sky Valley. As usual Sky you made some very good points regarding FCC policies versus CRTC and Industry Canada policies. That pretty much sums up the differences in regulating radio in the USA and Canada, good points!!!

I always find you and Dave L.'s technical comments very interesting on Radio West, you guys know what you are talking about!!!! Also Jon thanks for the interesting info, coverage patterns and dx comments, your insight into dx targets on the AM band are great reading too! Yes RadioFan that brought back some great memories too of KOQT 1550 in spring 1970. I had forgotten about all those records at the KOQT Mobile Home Studios been all over the floor, that was funny! You are correct too they had some offices on State Street in Bellingham as well.

Personally think former owners Richard and Leona Ellison of KOQT 1550/KNTR would not be pleased about what has happened to 1550 AM in recent years after all the efforts, hours they put in trying to make it a great Christian Format station serving Ferndale/Whatcom County as well as Greater Vancouver. They did not abandon Whatcom County to serve Vancouver but were trying to serve Christian listeners and others in both countries quite strongly! As far as I know they moved to Arizona where I think they had owned property after selling KNTR in early 1990s or 1992. They may have both passed away since that time. Their daughter Judy and son-in-law James Overreign (think that was his last name) are probably still alive. I got KNTR 1550 verified by letter in the 1980s or very early 1990 and James signed the nice letter verification. They also had sent me letters, fridge magnet, stickers and program schedules regularly in the mail back in those days too! If I can ever contact Judy or James I am going to ask them what their opinion of the present 1550 AM plans or operation are? If I contact them I will let you know on Radio West their comments. They had put a lot of effort and broadcasting on KNTR/KOQT too in the 1980s.

Anyway take care everyone, this has become one interesting topic on Radio West. Please keep us informed of what happens to this station as far as local Whatcom County approval, or anything else from Point Roberts and South Delta residents possibly blocking this!!!

73s All the Best,

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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby radiofan » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:36 pm

Eldon-Mr.CFAY wrote:Toomas I agree with you that this new Point Roberts transmitter site that will beam 50,000 watts north on 1550 (more with effective radio power directionally!) will not seem to cover much of Whatcom County anymore compared to the present Ferndale site! In fact with all those towers don't they have a stronger null from Point Roberts South or Southeast, probably won't put a very good signal into most of Whatcom County, Ferndale or Bellingham at night!!! Not that anyone there will be listening to them anymore anyways with current format targeted to South Asian Vancouver population! 73s All the Best,

Eldon


There is no need for there to be any signal south of Point Bob, as that will be the new COL. No need to serve Ferndale, Bellingham or anywhere south.

You might recall that KARI was granted 50kw several years ago, but that was rescinded because it would have overpowed an FCC monitoring station somewhere in the Ferndale area. I have never been
able to find that facility, but it does supposedly exist. Because the 50 kw isn't directed at the Ferndale/Bellingham area, that is likely why it was granted. In KARI's case, they wanted more signal to the
south and that would have been dead on to the FCC site from Birch Bay.

Here's some ad copy you can use to sell potential 1550, 1600 and 1110 listeners loop antennas Eldon:

रेडियो लूप एंटेना AM. एक एल्डन इलेक्ट्रॉनिक्स AM लूप एंटीना के साथ जोर से और स्पष्ट है कि आप पसंदीदा दक्षिण एशियाई रेडियो स्टेशन उठाओ
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby jon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:43 pm

I don't know enough about KARI's audience to say whether they could survive solely on Canadian listeners, or if they would need a new format, but a 50,000 watt "No South, everything North" pattern should pass muster with the FCC these days.

A quick look at their current 5 tower field tells me they certainly have the real estate to do it. They'd probably only need two towers, because CKPG Prince George is gone from 550, and CHTK Prince Rupert is also gone from 560. Only possible complaint could come from the CBC with their 40 watt Ucluelet LPRT on 540.

As a side note, I am amazed at the fact that they have 5 towers for their current 5000 watt day, 2500 watt night license.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby radiofan » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:08 pm

jon wrote:I don't know enough about KARI's audience to say whether they could survive solely on Canadian listeners, or if they would need a new format, but a 50,000 watt "No South, everything North" pattern should pass muster with the FCC these days.

A quick look at their current 5 tower field tells me they certainly have the real estate to do it. They'd probably only need two towers, because CKPG Prince George is gone from 550, and CHTK Prince Rupert is also gone from 560. Only possible complaint could come from the CBC with their 40 watt Ucluelet LPRT on 540.

As a side note, I am amazed at the fact that they have 5 towers for their current 5000 watt day, 2500 watt night license.



I believe two of those towers are for 1600 which shares the site.

Also, 550 Kamloops is long gone also. I guess they'd still have to protect PG and Kamloops if those are still Canadian allocations.

Thinking of Canadian stations that have gone dark .. what would happen to 1550 IF someone wanted to bring 1570 Nanaimo back to life, either on the Island, or move it to the mainland??
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby jon » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:21 pm

Looks like a complicated sharing arrangement between KARI and KVRI, as KVRI uses a set of 6 towers for both day and night patterns. From what I can tell from the tower layouts below, there are 7 towers in all.

KVRI, day and night:
ImageImage
ImageImage

And here is KARI day and night:

ImageImage

ImageImage
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby Dan Sys » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:44 pm

The original application from BBC Broadcasting to increase night power to 50KW and move the COL to Point Roberts was rejected by the FCC after Industry Canada intervened stating that the proposed coverage would interfere with the allocation for 1570 in Nanaimo.

BBC then resubmitted the application a couple months later with a null towards Nanaimo. That was deemed as acceptable to all parties concerned and the FCC approved it. Funny thing about those coverage maps that Jon provided is I sure don't see a null towards Nanaimo.at nights (old maps from the original application, perhaps?).

If by some fluke 1570 ever gets back on the air it will obviously be licensed to the Central Vancouver Island area as moving the allocation to the Lower Mainland wouldn't work from a technical standpoint once 1550 gets going from Point Roberts. Perhaps the CBC should look at 1570 for their long planned local Nanaimo service instead of sandwiching in a low power station on the FM band that probably won't make it beyond the Nanaimo city limits. 10KW's on 1570 would give them huge coverage (just like CHUB, and later CKEG) did.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby xwdcatvb » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:16 am

[quote="radiofan"][quote="Eldon-Mr.CFAY"]


There is no need for there to be any signal south of Point Bob, as that will be the new COL. No need to serve Ferndale, Bellingham or anywhere south.

[quote]

But didn't KRPI have to amend its application to move the COL to The Point to address FCC concerns about serving Ferndale at night?

I recall smirking at that and comenting that there must be all of five South Asians in North Bellingham.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby jon » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:30 am

After reading Dan's post, I checked and the pattern maps are current and correct. Here is what happened to the Nanaimo objection (from the FCC files):
Supplemental Filing Regarding Canadian Interference

On August 8, 2011, the Commission dismissed the present application (File
Number BP-20090226AAF), citing the Canadian government’s objection “because the
proposed 15 m/V/m daytime groundwave contour overlaps the CKEG(AM) 0.5 mV/m
contour inside Canada, a violation of the U.S/Canadian Agreement.”1

BBC Broadcasting, Inc. (“BBC”), licensee of KRPI(AM), Ferndale, Washington,
through counsel, timely filed a Petition for Reconsideration on September 12, 2011. The
Petition for Reconsideration highlighted the extensive efforts that BBC has undertaken to
eliminate blanketing interference and requested that the Commission provide the
applicant with an opportunity to resolve the Canadian interference issue.

Subsequently, on October 21, 2011, Industry Canada informed George Fehlner in
the International Bureau that it was withdrawing its objection.2 Mr. Fehlner
communicated Industry Canada’s withdrawal to the Media Bureau that same day.3

In light of Canada’s withdrawal of its objection, the Commission should grant the
Petition for Reconsideration, withdraw its dismissal of BBC’s application, and consider
the merits of BBC’s request to relocate its transmitter site in order to eliminate blanketing
interference complaints in and around its current site in Ferndale.

In the e-mail footnoted from Industry Canada, Industry Canada notes that they only complained about daytime interference. And they re-considered and dropped those objections on October 21, 2011.
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby skyvalleyradio » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:16 am

my interpretation of the proposed KRPI Pt Roberts day and night patterns reveals a daytime signal directed at Delta/Surrey/Aldergrove/Abbotsford. The night pattern will send most of the RF up the Salish Sea towards Nanaimo & north to Courtenay. The night pattern should give Surrey and points west a decent signal but listeners further up the Fraser Valley east of Surrey or Coquitlam probably will get poor reception
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:03 pm

Greetings Everyone,
Again interesting comments from everyone. Good to see your comments there Dan on Radio West too! Yes it will be interesting to see if anyone including the CBC applies for 1570 in the near future. Feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, August summer flu going around. Hope you are all feeling okay. Anyway I found radiofans comments interesting about the FCC in Ferndale. Ted I have never seen their monitoring station location in Ferndale all through the years either but have heard about them a lot. What I was going to say was how strange that they would worry about KARI 550 in Blaine Birth Bay which is considerably north of Ferndale causing intereference to the monitoring station if they boosted to 50,000 watts on 550. When for years now 1550 has been 10,000 watts and later 50,000 watts daytime right in the FCC's backyard in Ferndale!!! However after reading what Jon posted about the protest from Industry Canada to the move I see very clearly that The FCC mentions KRPI 1550 moving their transmitter site from Ferndale to Point Roberts will eliminate current interference and overload at some locations in the Ferndale area that are presently happening, could be that FCC monitorin station is experiencing some interference from 1550 and is very happy to see the transmitter site move out of Ferndale to Point Roberts!!!!!! At least that is how I read what Jon posted here from the FCC Notice on the move at the bottom of the notice!

Now another point, Sky I know the FCC really does not give a rats butt about what format or programming Am radio stations do, they do have some concern however for the new Low Power FM service which was created about 10 years ago and do want most of those stations to be local programming. However even that FCC policy on Low Power FM is not completely consistent or at least has not been in the recent past. There are some ( in the minority of the plus 800 low power fms on the air in the USA) that are complete satellite religious broadcasters with very little local programming on the low power fm dial. Example would be some of the staions broadcasting The Three Angels Network in the states, KETL LPFM in Republic, Washington. They did hope to provide some local programming but to my knowledge basically just broadcast that network to date. Now getting back to AM stations, I remember reading in Broadcast Engineering and Broadcast Magazine which I used to get from the states by subscription for quite a few years about competitive hearings for new AM stations in the 80s and 90s. The FCC looked at medium and small markets and where two or more applications were been applied for they were concerned about technically what application would serve the town or city been applied for by the station applicants better!!! Now that was not programming but strictly from a technical point of view. If an application was not giving a good technical coverage for the proposed town or city of license as well they would lose out and not get a license from the FCC.. However later on in perhaps 1996 or late 90s the FCC went to a lottery system of picking the successful applicant out of multiple applications for a town or city so they may have got rid of previous application requirements at that point. My Point is this if a station is applying or has applied to the FCC for a license to serve certain towns or city in the USA then normally that is what they are supposed to do. If their technical coverage does not reach that area of license it would seem that they would be in violation technically of not serving their licensed city or town. In the case of KRPI 1550 Ferndale , have they requested a Change of Location of the station from Ferndale to Point Roberts???? Not just application to move the transmitter site to Point Roberts but an actual Change of Location of the Station from Ferndale to Point Roberts? In other words if this is approved 1550 will no longer show Ferndale in the FCC database but Point Roberts as location of license???? That is an important point (no pun intended) because it would mean that really only Point Roberts would have to be covered with a good signal from KRPI 1550 not Ferndale regardless of program format! I know the FCC does not and has not really cared about program formats of AM stations in the states for years! However as Sky pointed out they are concerned about the technical requirements and have fined many stations in the past for not having lights lit on the towers, overpower at times etc. etc.. I have heard in recent years though the FCC has become a little less strict on technical matters though due to budget cuts and some daytime only stations and other AMers stay on past sunset or do not drop their day power after sunset to night levels. If the FCC finds out from various sources though I think they will still warn them and impose fines etc.

Radiofan I doubt very much I would have much of a loop antenna demand from the South Asian Community of Greater Vancouver. I am shocked that KRPA 1110 Oak Harbor is still on the air with that South Asian format. As mentioned previously with only 500 watts and been a daytimer the signal is more for a dxing target in the day in areas of the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, it certainly is not a listenable signal in Surrey or South Van. for most of the South Asian population who probably do not own good dx AM radios and could care less about the weak 1110 signal right next to 50,000 watt CKWX `1130 AM.. Even in Langley City in the day you have to carefully null out WX 1130 to receive 1110 Oak Harbor, Washington. In a few Langley area parks the signal of 1110 does come in fairly well with my good AM DX radios and portable loop antenna. Most South Asian listeners would not go to that trouble to hear it especially with 4 other strong local or semi-local AM and FM stations on their front door including CJRJ 1200, Red FM 93.3, KRPI 1550 Ferndale perhaps even closer at Point Roberts, and KVRI 1600. Absolutely no need for Satnam USA's 1110 Oak Harbor at all!!!! In fact if Satnam streams on the internet I am surprised they even bothered buying 1110 Oak Harbor, Washington in the first place. They must have virtually no listeners in Oak Harbor, the Air Force Base there, Skagit County-Mount Vernon as very, very few South Asians in that area. If Bellingham has 4 that area even less. Oak Harbor has a Dutch Heritage base in their population, big windmill near city entrance and I think they have an annual festival about that too. I am very surprised that Satnam would not have just sold 1110 and tried to make some money that way off it or let it go dark and hand the license back to the FCC. I doubt very much the FCC will approve any power increase on 1110 for them or even allow a change of location from that distance. The change of location idea was something kicked around on Radio West over a year ago about 1110 but so far I have seen no indication anywhere of that! I have tried to find feedback on 1110 Oak Harbor over the past year in the local newspaper down there but found virtually nothing. What I did find was a website that is quite bland and indicates no South Asian programming format but leads you to believe its their former local and network talk format under previous ownership. I also found they had moved their offices, phone number and whatever studio they are using from Oak Harbor to a Mount Vernon, Washington address. The contact person appears to be a non-asian name perhaps a sales person or their lawyer!!!

Regarding sales to South Asian residents, yes I actually have sold quite a few south asian residents west of Newton in Central Surrey radio and electronic parts when I and several friends were selling at The Surrey Public Market for a whole year from 1997 to 1998. It was a seven day a week thing as the Manager there wanted the Flea Market and Public Market to be open 7 days a week, quite a job, lucky I had some friends working for me but working 7 days a week was not a whole lot of fun! Anyway met some interesting people there from the USA and elsewhere. One guy who was selling there with his son had recently moved to Panarama Ridge in South Surrey from the States. He was from Nicarauga and his brother owned the high power AM station in Managua, Nicarauga on 540 Khz. with 50,000 Watts and a couple of smaller station in Nicarauga, the company and station name was Radio Corporation! Real nice guy and knew quite a bit about radio broadcasting too as he helped his brother operate the stations. Anyway it was not a South Asian but a biker from Kansas City, Missouri who was visiting Greater Vancouver and South Surrey (traveling on his Harley with his wife) that bought a portable Ferrite Loop Antenna off me, I remember he bought a bunch of vinyl record albums too. Nice guy and he paid me full price for it even though it was a flea market where negotiations happen quite frequently. I will tell you one thing, even though we had pretty reasonable prices on radio parts, audio connectors etc.. the South Asians who came there always tried to get it down to the lowest common denominator, in some cases you could say it would be a Free Market instead of a Flea Market!!! I had a couple of South Asian Radio Service Techies who bought tubes and other parts off me that were pretty good guys but again they did try to get the best deal. I did not mind too much becabecause they were regular customers. But as far as loop antennas go not one sale to a South Asian Customer. We had put a lot of effort into our sales and display booth there and had lots of vinyl records, some collector radios, lots of radio parts including tubes and some loop antennas plus radio books and magazines too. If any of you ever visited Surrey Public Market at 64th Ave. and King George Hwy in 1997 to 1998 I may have seen you there. The building is still here but is a white elephant because the owner could never get the price he wanted for the property. I believe the Surrey Public Market there closed in late 1998! Was never reopensed since!

Anyhow a few more comments of KRPI and other South Asian listening topics!

Take care, 73s ,

Eldon
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby dial twister » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:45 pm

I guess there is nothing the CRTC can really do about a border blaster on AM.

It would be nice if they did level the playing field a bit though.

CJRJ 1200 has to live with can-con plus yearly fees to FACTOR etc. Thes guys on 1550 and the ones on 1600 don't .

RJ 1200 has had problems meeting their commitments and making payments.

Wasn't there a case back in the 1980's where the PD of one of the Vancouver FM stations raised a little hell and managed to get the Bellingham FMs removed from cablce for basically the same reason?
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Re: Proposed towers get static on both sides of the border

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:08 pm

Greetings,
You bring up a good point Dial Twister and I agree with you. CJRJ 1200 is trying their best to serve the South Asian Market and in my opinion doing a good job. I have even heard an afternoon weekday talk show in English discussing issues. They have had some challenges though in recent months and I hope they can succeed. It is one of Vancouver's very few independently owned AMs and the lady who started it seems to be truly dedicated to broadcasting to the South Asian Market. With all the extra competition and possibly a new FM on 107.7 that might cater to Surrey and Greater Vancouver South Asian market it seems to be getting even worse for this market. From what I have seen of applications for the new 107.7 at least 8 or 10 of them are from South ASian companies for the upcoming CRTC Hearing. I wish CJRJ all the best in their broadcasting on 1200 AM and again hope they can meet the challenges of additional competition etc..

73s, All the Best,

Eldon
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