Wanted FM spot too close to air traffic frequency
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has denied Concordia radio station CJLO a SGW campus transmitter meant to alleviate poor downtown reception.
Michael Sallot, who took over the helm as Station Manager in November of last year, said CJLO tried to get the transmitter by citing the station’s mandate as set by the CRTC itself: serving both the Loyola and downtown communities of Concordia.
“We quickly found that with the power of our transmitter, being what it is, it’s difficult to tune in to CJLO … when you’re downtown,” he said. “It’s complicated by the geography of the region: with the mountain and all the skyscrapers downtown that absorb the signal.” Simply turning up the power would require a separate application to the CRTC, said Sallot. Instead, they applied for a repeating FM transmitter atop the Hall building that would make it available on the FM band. CJLO currently broadcasts at 1690 AM.
Montreal’s FM spectrum is already crowded, and this proved to be the reason behind the CRTC’s unreceptiveness to the idea. CJLO requested they be given 107.9 MHz, just shy of the 108 and upwards reserved for air traffic control communication. Sallot said the CRTC felt the issues faced by CJLO weren’t exceptional compared to the problems faced by other stations and too close to the air control frequencies for comfort.
Another thorny issue was with Vermont Public Radio, which also broadcast on the 107.9 frequency, who Sallot said filed interventions against them for fear of broadcast overlap. Sallot says this did not figure into the CRTC’s decision. “If [VPR] thinks they prevented us from getting our application in any way, they’re mistaken.”
Despite the setback, CJLO is considering its options.
“To that end, we’re not going to abandon hope. At the end of the day, it’s business as usual.”