Dialed in: Sylvan Lake, Ponoka close to landing FM stations

Sylvan Lake and Ponoka are each a CRTC stamp of approval away from getting their own radio stations.

Sylvan Lake and Ponoka are each a CRTC stamp of approval away from getting their own radio stations.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is scheduled to consider separate applications on Nov. 12 for broadcast licences for the two Central Alberta communities.

Clear Sky Radio Inc., which is based in Lethbridge and operates radio stations CJOC-FM there and CJCY-FM in Medicine Hat, is seeking approval for a new FM station in Sylvan Lake. It would have a “modern music” format and target adults between the ages of 18 and 44.

Leduc-based Blackgold Broadcasting Inc., which has operated CJLD-FM in that city since April 15, 2013, wants to launch an FM country music station in Ponoka. It would be designed for listeners 25 to 54.

The proposal by Clear Sky says it would offer 62 news packages each week, which would account for just over three hours of broadcast time. There would be a further five hours and 20 minutes of other “scheduled spoken word” content, including road reports focused on Hwy 11 between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer.

Clear Sky’s signal would be directed primarily to the west, north and south of Sylvan Lake, and orientated so that it does not encroach on Red Deer. The company also said it would not solicit advertising from Red Deer.

Clear Sky is committing to invest $84,000 over a seven-year period for the development of Canadian music. This would include $16,800 each to a local music in the schools program, the Shake the Lake Festival and the Jazz at the Lake Festival.

Blackgold’s proposal includes 98 news packages per week, equating to just over six hours. There would be a further seven hours and 23 minutes of other spoken word content.

The company said it will provide $35,000 for Canadian music development over seven years. This would include $14,000 to Wolf Creek Public Schools for the purchase of musical instruments.

In its application, Clear Sky pointed out that a number of smaller Alberta communities have successful radio stations. It cited Lacombe, Olds and Rocky Mountain House as examples.

Paul Larsen is the president of Clear Sky, and owns 50 per cent of the company.

Mark Tamagi is president of Blackgold, which he owns with his wife Robin Curtis-Tamagi.


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