CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

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CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:07 am

It's what happens when owners:

1- Install the antenna without permission in the first place.
2- Refuse to move it to an alternate lobe when offered.
3- Fail to comply with an Industry Canada order to move it.
4- Never make a lease payment on the space, ever.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby jon » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:45 pm

There is a difference between Public Land owned by the Federal Government and the Property of a Federal Crown Corporation. The distinction seems to have been lost on these folks, or they just didn't care whose property it was.

I remember having an argument with the Security Guard manning the front door of a Provincial building in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He figured that the Parking Lot was Public Land, so he did not feel that he had the right to look for and chase away the local kids who spent their evenings slashing tires. He obviously starting working there after the days of Civil Service Exams.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:49 pm

jon wrote:There is a difference between Public Land owned by the Federal Government and the Property of a Federal Crown Corporation. The distinction seems to have been lost on these folks, or they just didn't care whose property it was.

I remember having an argument with the Security Guard manning the front door of a Provincial building in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He figured that the Parking Lot was Public Land, so he did not feel that he had the right to look for and chase away the local kids who spent their evenings slashing tires. He obviously starting working there after the days of Civil Service Exams.


The antenna was put there by the install engineer of the original CHOO-FM station. Right in the very middle of the absolute top, hence blocking any potential for CBC to their clients to upgrade. I didn't know about it until next day when the transmitter was fired up. There were some issues. Aside from the STT link pairs being out of phase, somehow the new signal interfered with a JR-FM rebroadcaster and the owner told him to get stuffed when they complained. Nevertheless, I addressed the complaint and worked with them to get them back up. I was fired two days later, but not for that. That's a whole other story.

They never paid a dime for the space nor acted upon requests to relocate the antenna seriously. Some time later. the other co-owner foreclosed on the other. I was hired back. I recall several times being asked by the CBC engineer to move it, but those requests always fell on deaf ears when I presented it. CHOO invariably failed a year later and the transmitter/antenna remain in place, having been sold off to the soon to be CHMZ owner. Again, despite numerous requests, they neglected to move it. They also never paid a dime for the space either.

Industry Canada ordered it moved. It wasn't.

Then came the time for CBC to do upgrades, so they did what they had to do. After 18 years of being ignored (even outwardly flipped off), enough was enough.

From Facebook today:

Cameron Dennison wrote: Hi, CBC is switching towers and we are off the radio waves for a few days as they make the switch. I own Tuff City Radio and Mathew McBride is the current lease holder with the CRTC and I lease the license. I am working towards owning the actual license.


I have no exception to Cam. He works hard and his heart's in the right place, but he's going about this the wrong way. He's basically "squatting" on the frequency and the license holder isn't objecting or supporting it.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:49 pm

This news comes as no surprise. What IS a surprise is how long this inevitable scenario took to play out. An even bigger surprise was the CRTC renewal of the CHMZ/CIMM licenses a few years back. Nice scam if you can bullshit the inept CRTC enough - which appears to be the case. Cam gets a big thumbs up for keeping enough band-aids on this horror show to keep it from sinking for good. Dave is right, however, that Cam is going about this the wrong way. Others before him have found out the hard way when "leasing' radio stations & licenses from this owner. I believe McBride has had offers to purchase these stations in the past but his price tag is ridiculously high. The licenses are worth squat at this point. In both Canada & the US, commercial & non-comm licensees outside of the large urban areas are surrendering their licenses due to unsustainability. Small businesses in small communities are having their operating budgets squeezed due to land /rental prices, wages & other operating expenses. When cuts come, advertising is usually the first to go. Broadcasters & newspapers in small markets have been finding this out the hard way. In spite of increasing tourism at Tofino/Ucuelet/Long Beach, there's little increase in business activity that can afford the cost of advertising. To succeed with a tiny market "microbroadcaster" requires a LOT of hard work, intimate knowledge of the communities served, strong interaction with listeners & business owners, along with the skills & talent to pull off any duties required at a functioning radio station. As an experienced "microbroadcaster" I don't think these stations will ever do more than break even, at best. McBride's stations have ONLY had modest success thanks to talents of people such as Dave L, Cam Dennison, Geoff Johnson, John DeVries & others who have worked their asses off with little in return. I wish Cam all the best getting Tuff City Radio back Up & running - if he has any decent rapport with McBride, gathering the troops together, find some financing & Make the owner an offer. I'm sure the CRTC will be more than happy to see CHMZ/CIMM get some new ownership to move forward & keep these vital services on air for the west coast. If not...maybe it's time for Cam to take TCR online only...best of luck!! :rockon:
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:04 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:Cam gets a big thumbs up for keeping enough band-aids on this horror show to keep it from sinking for good.


He does indeed. When he took over, McBride was locked out of the studio by the landlord. The STT link was cut off. No heat in an old fish camp isn't good for electronics or furniture, hence the studio was moldy and rat infested. The best decision was to start over from scratch. He rented a heated place, in a nice location with a good view and I suspect the rent isn't cheap. New computers, new boards, compressor etc. all at his cost. Cam is invested in the community, not McBride although McBride has the benefit of having his skin saved (for the time being) by a motivated guy.

I'd hazard to guess McBride has not set foot in this town for years. Just trying to communicate with him is difficult. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Gee.. I thought the commission insisted upon that sort of thing?

My advice to Cam was (and still is) to re-apply on his own and be free of this nonsense. A LOT of people would intervene to support of Cam. Either way, the next time this or any license comes for a public hearing, I'll be intervening.

The commission needs to hear it... all of it, right from 1999 to this day. It won't be pretty.

Nice to hear from from you.

73
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby skyvalleyradio » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:28 pm

Dave L wrote:

<<"He does indeed. When he took over, McBride was locked out of the studio by the landlord. The STT link was cut off. No heat in an old fish camp isn't good for electronics or furniture, hence the studio was moldy and rat infested. The best decision was to start over from scratch. He rented a heated place, in a nice location with a good view and I suspect the rent isn't cheap. New computers, new boards, compressor etc. all at his cost. Cam is invested in the community, not McBride although McBride has the benefit of having his skin saved (for the time being) by a motivated guy.">>

oh dear...I hope this doesn't end up badly for Cam as has happened to so many others before him. At the very least, the equipment Cam's purchased could be sold off to other broadcasters should this fail. I'm guessing McBride still owns the TX, antenna & perhaps the STL gear?? If that's the case, it's the entire monetary value of CHMZ as it exists & that's all the owner should be offered. I do hope Cam has, at least, gone up to the CBC site to retrieve the antenna, co-ax & any other equipement the CBC removed from service

<<"My advice to Cam was (and still is) to re-apply on his own and be free of this nonsense.">>

Dave, the feds WILL NOT issue another license for the peninsulas as long as McBride holds the licenses for CHMZ & CIMM. The ONLY ways to change this, is if McBride surrenders the licenses (unlikely) or the commish finally decides it's done with his bullshit & yanks the licenses. Cam & the community have a better chance of success if the owner can be convinced to sell, then go through the CRTC change-of-ownership application. With some sweet talking, Cam may be able to wiggle out of any unpaid previous CCD contributions, but the feds will want any paperwork, yearly financial statements missing from the stations files plus a full accounting at the time of sale. If the licenses get yanked, then starting fresh will be necessary, but could be much more difficult. From the CRTC's POV, this would be the SECOND broadcaster on the west coast to go belly up. The financial & personnel scrutiny on a new application will be excruciating. It will take more than interventions & a few quick emails from area businesses. The feds will DEMAND a detailed business plan & will want to see letters or better yet affidavits from regional advertisers committing to sign ad contracts. They won't be prejudicial based on the past two failures, but will carefully scrutinize whether a change in ownership will benefit the community. They may even choose to do their own financial assessment of the region as they did with Salt Spring Island at the time of the CFSI application.

<<"A LOT of people would intervene to support of Cam. Either way, the next time this or any license comes for a public hearing, I'll be intervening. The commission needs to hear it... all of it, right from 1999 to this day. It won't be pretty.">>

where oh where were those interventions at CHMZ/CIMM license renewals a year or two back?? Based on all the non-compliance & bullshit baffle from the owner, I thought for sure the commish was going to yank the licenses & was genuinely surprised when this didn't happen. A strong stack of opposing interventions may have actually tipped this in favour of license deletion. Admittedly, I only looked once at the renewal app to view the interventions - some may have shown up after that viewing. No matter! It's just a matter of time until these are gone & documentation of these stations histories should be on file with the CRTC. Cam is going to need massive support from the entire community & especially you broadcasters, technical experts & First Nations leaders out on the coast. It will be time to put any differences aside & work together to convince the feds that the west coast deserves a radio station on the two frequencies. One of the strongest arguments would have to be the isolated location, numerous potential hazards & emergency scenarios plus the ever increasing volume of tourists to the region, particularly over winter. What a sordid mess...good luck Cam!
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby jon » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:02 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:I'm guessing McBride still owns the TX, antenna & perhaps the STL gear??

The CBC may not, as a Public Corporation, want the potential Bad Press, but I could see any for-profit organization holding on to all the equipment on the tower site until the bills are paid. As in the amount of money the CBC would have received had they rented the space to CHMZ.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:25 pm

This letter was sent to the Chamber of Commerce in Tofino and Ucluelet and has been circulating on social networks.

Once again, I have no objection to Cam acquiring the the station, but the route taken to that end is deeply flawed. They seem to be missing the point that the station is non-compliant (on numerous counts) and any technical amendments or transfer of ownership does not happen in the absence of public hearings and subsequent gazetting.

Just who is in effective control? Does the CRTC not require notice in advance of any intention to transfer?

Bolding mine

Cameron Dennison wrote: Dear Friends of Local Radio, Fellow Entrepreneurs and all of the generous and supportive,Tuff City Radio Advertisers,

As you already know, Tuff City Radio (TCR) has been off air for several weeks. Firstly, I apologize for the tardiness of this letter. It should have been in your inboxes some time ago. I honestly thought I could deal with this issue without missing a beat and, as it is turning out, this is not the case. Moving forward, I will do everything I can to keep you abreast of pertinent information with respect to TCR. I am extremely grateful to have you supporting the station and I hope, prior to this event, you have been happy with your advertising packages as well as our over all commitment to being an active and caring part of our strong and growing community.

How to tell a long story short? Well, several weeks ago, CBC shut off TCR’s transmission. TCR rents tower space from the CBC which makes them TCR’s landlord. CBC has the lease on the land up on Barr's Mountain. I recently learned (in early January) that CBC had not been paid for over eight years by McBride Communications. CBC issued several warnings to McBride Communications which I was not made aware. I was told, just prior to leaving the country in February that if CBC was not paid that they would shut down TCR’s transmission but that they would give me fair warning so that I could let advertisers and the community know. Unfortunately the employee who promised me this heads up retired and someone else, who was told not to give us fair warning by the CBC head office, shut down transmission two weeks ago. I had a deal and a contract with them to remove all past owing and let me take over the new lease and start again. Mr.McBride wouldn't sign the agreement or engage with CBC so they took a harder course of action and have removed us from the tower and to this point have confiscated our gear. We have recently been given permission to collect this gear and will do so in the coming week.

Currently I am leasing the radio license from McBride Communications. Although Tuff City Radio is my company, 90.1 is still owned by McBride Communications. This makes negotiations or even conversations with the CBC impossible as my name is not on the CRTC license . However, I would like you to know that in the last two weeks McBride Communications has finally decided to accept an offer which I have had on the table for the past year, to buy the license of ( CHMZ) 90.1 fm. As well as CMMI ( Ukee Radio) This would mean the Tuff City Radio as well as UKEE Radio, would be owned and operated locally and that nothing of this nature would ever happen again.

Unfortunately, this transaction cannot happen overnight and even if and when the radio stations are purchased, it will still be some time before the technology is ready to transmit a signal again. CBC will deal with me once I , or someone , has their name on the license. Their fees are impossible for the size of our little station so instead, I am working with the a lot of different and very helpful people, to develop a green technology (solar power transmitter? New Location with alternate power?) to power and transmit the station.

Please be patient. Please know that there is not a day where getting this station up and running again is not on my mind or a part or my activities. I apologize that there is no music nor advertisements on the air and my hands are tied until I have successfully purchased the station and created the new spot for the transmission tower. Tofino Tech and the DOT have been instrumental in making this new chapter happen and I am confident that you will hear Tuff City Radio soon…and if not, I will be sure to be in contact with exactly where we are at and our proposed timeline for transmission.

I am in the process of raising funds for the purchase and there have been many helpful ideas as to how to make this happen. Fund raiser, pre sale advertising. Kim and I are very open to ideas and, if we are to keep the West Coast Radio alive and healthy, we need your ideas and support.

These past four years have been such a privilege to serve the community and our clients. All of the musicians and guests as well as the all of the tremendous volunteers,we thank you and we look forward to more and even bigger growth.

In Gratitude,

Cameron Dennison
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:34 pm

Dave - it looks as though several issues are at play here that need to be resolved before Cam or anyone else can ressurrect TCR a.k.a. CHMZ & CIMM and Cam may not be aware of all that's involved. I don't think the CRTC has to be notified of "intention to transfer control" but instead has to receive & approve an application by Cam for change of authorized control & acquisition of McBride Communications assets BEFORE such a sale can actually take place. It's all in the wording :-)

The 2nd issue here we both know about: Cam can't just find any ol' place to plunk his antenna to get back to business. He will have to hire someone with a "P.Eng" at the end of their name to create the technical brief, contour maps, output powers & height of tower/average terrain, type of antenna & have it approved by IC (or whatever the hell they're called now....sorry, I'm retired!) THEN Cam would have to file a separate application to the CRTC to change the authorized contours of both CHMZ & CIMM & each will require it's own set of approved technical briefs.

The 3rd issue is all the non-compliance issues on file about these stations. These will get taken into account as will any unpaid CCD payments as promised in the conditions of license, any unfiled paperwork, missing financial statements etc. Both stations are on a pretty short tether judging by the recent approvals & statements made by the CRTC, so this may prove the toughest of all.

I hope this somewhat answers your questions & I wish Cam Dennison all the best but do hope he is made aware of exactly what he is taking on
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby jon » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:52 am

Cameron Dennison wrote:Currently I am leasing the radio license from McBride Communications.

I could have this wrong, but I thought that an LMA required CRTC approval before it happened. Isn't such a lease an LMA?

In fact, I'm not sure that anyone uses the term LMA anymore: Local Management Agreement.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:30 am

jon wrote:I could have this wrong, but I thought that an LMA required CRTC approval before it happened. Isn't such a lease an LMA?

In fact, I'm not sure that anyone uses the term LMA anymore: Local Management Agreement.


Perhaps, but it's neither inked between the parties nor approved by the commission.

If Revenue Canada was to audit, Cam would be off the hook as far as McBride would be concerned. They could audit Cam for revenue, but there'd be no association to McBride.

Although the transmitter was putting out an un-modulated carrier when McBride was locked out of the station three years ago, the station technically went dark.

Cameron took it upon himself to build a new studio. McBride neither consented nor ordered him to cease and desist, after all he was thrown a lifeline. It's not that it will ultimately save him, but to cockblock new applications by suckering the CRTC into believing McBride was still in operation, albeit non-compliant.

It comes down to "effective control". The only rule either of them seem to have agreed upon was McBride having login capability to the main computer to give the appearance of it. Revenue grabbing is how they sort it out. The left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing. McBride doesn't answer calls, even Cameron's. Maybe one time, agreed to sell/buy it but no permission from the commission was obtained nor was cash thrown on the table. From there it's little more than he said, he said. Cameron is trying to appease the locals by that letter, which is more than McBride is doing, but it flies in the face of the rules.

Industry Canada is watching though. They're overseeing major upgrades to the infrastructure in Tofino and the Coast Guard facilities on Mt. Ozzard. Replacement of the CHMZ TX requires a technical amendment and a notification of compliance from the CRTC, or it ain't happening.

For the time being, what does the CRTC do? Nothing. They are merely biding their time until the next renewal hearing in 2109. Meanwhile, no one is being served, again.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dan Sys » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:39 am

You are correct Jon. Several years ago an application for a proposed LMA between Cogeco (CKOF) and RNC Media (CFTX, CHLX) in Ottawa-Gatineau went in front of the CRTC. Approval was granted as I recall.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby splunge » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:11 am

Dave L wrote:For the time being, what does the CRTC do? Nothing. They are merely biding their time until the next renewal hearing in 2109. Meanwhile, no one is being served, again.


@Dave, the CRTC does nothing because they know nothing. Unless and until a formal complaint is received, it's off their radar.

Also, what is being described is not an LMA. An LMA exists between two licensed operators who would otherwise be in competition. "Leasing" a broadcast licence is flat out illegal. Dave is correct though, as long as the optics of effective control are maintained by the person named on the licence, then meh? Owner could say he's simply brokering 100% of his inventory. The person actually broadcasting should be as profane, insolent, and offensive as possible to generate multiple complaints... that would reflect poorly on the licence holder with effective control. Just kidding.
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:27 am

splunge wrote:
Dave L wrote:For the time being, what does the CRTC do? Nothing. They are merely biding their time until the next renewal hearing in 2109. Meanwhile, no one is being served, again.


That's may be true, but if one was to file a formal complaint, the commission forwards it to the licensee for a response. The licensee can say whatever they please and that's expected to stand as a fact issue.

In that case, what did the commission do, other than forward the complaint?
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Re: CBC removes CHMZ antenna from tower in Tofino.

Postby Dave L » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:42 am

When CHMZ went off the air a few years ago, several local people filed complaints. In one response, McBride replied he was sabotaged "by a local". He claimed the STT link was deliberately damaged in an elaborate manner that required two TELUS trucks from across the island, two times to resolve, yet no police report was filed and the local TELUS technicians had no knowledge of anything of the sort. Even after that nonsense matched with other non-compliance issues, the commission renewed the license to 2019 nonetheless.

Who besides McBride was being served? Certainly not the community.
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