THUNDER BAY – Thousands of people have joined a Facebook page offering information on a proposed move of radio station CFNO from Marathon to Thunder Bay. Hill Street Financial which owns the station has proposed moving the station from its current location in Marathon to operate from the company’s Thunder Bay Studios.
The Facebook Group has grown to over 3100 members in only a few days.
The station covers a geographic region that ranges across the North of Superior region. CFNO-FM Marathon and its transmitters CFNO-FM-1 Nipigon/Red Rock, CFNO-FM-2 Hornepayne, CFNO-FM-4 Geraldton, CFNO-FM-5 Longlac, CFNO-FM-7 Nakina and CFNO-FM-8 White River.
CFNO according to its website, “CFNO radio is heard by over 40 thousand listeners in Northwestern Ontario, over an area that takes two days to travel! CFNO is serving all these with local news, weather and road reports.
With 50,000 watts of power, and three frequencies at 93.1, 100.7 and 107.1, CFNO is proud to serve the many great communities in Northwestern Ontario.
Social Media campaign grows
Comments on the Facebook page opposing the closure of the local station are dominating the discussion. There is also a petition
Organizers of the campaign state that there are already over 180 submissions opposing the move of the station that have been sent to the Canadian Radio Television Commission. Those interested in participating in the CRTC process, either for, or opposed can visit the CRTC website.
The CRTC in a letter to Don Caron from Hill Street Financial states, “Please describe the measures you will implement to ensure that CFNO-FM will continue to offer local programming relevant to Marathon, and meet the needs and interests of the community served, in accordance with the following definition set out in paragraph 183 of the Commercial Radio Policy 2006:
Local programming includes programming that originates with the station or is produced separately and exclusively for the station. It does not include programming received from another station and rebroadcast simultaneously or at a later time; nor does it include network or syndicated programming that is five minutes or longer unless it is produced either by the station or in the local community by arrangement with the station.
In their local programming, licensees must include spoken word material of direct and particular relevance to the community served, such as local news, weather and sports, and the promotion of local events and activities.
2- One of the reasons the licensee gives for the requested change is the need to comply with its conditions of licence (Canadian content). However, Staff notes that the licensee is currently in compliance with its conditions of licence. Accordingly, please provide further information on the reasons for the requested change. In your response, please include the impacts on CFNO-FM if the Commission were to deny the application.