New FM Station for Toronto

The CRTC approved a new FM station for Toronto today (9 June 2011). The new station target the local Caribbean and African communities and will offer a World Beat and Non-Classic Religious Music format, with at least 50% of its weekly music drawn from content subcategory 33 (World beat and international).

It will operate on frequency 98.7 MHz (channel 254B1) with an average effective radiated power of 446 watts and a maximum ERP of 1,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 276.8 metres.

The station is owned by Fitzroy Gordon and should be on the air later this year. The CBC objected strongly to the use of this frequency in Toronto claiming it would interfere with their FM 99.1 MHz in Toronto and 98.7 MHz FM in Peterborough. So in May of this year there were engineering tests conducted and industry Canada concluded that using 98.7 frequnecy in Toronto was acceptable. However, it required the unusual step of Industry Minister Jason Kenney gettign involved as the CBC did everything in their power to prevent this frequency from being used.

It will be interesting to see if this new station can make it as a commerically viable operation in such a niche format and given its limited signal coverage. Flow struggled for many years to attrach advertisers to thier niche format, and eventually sold to a larger broadcaster.