In its submission to the CRTC, the union points out that Canadians value local programming as part of a broadcasting system that helps them participate “in the democratic and cultural life of their country, region or city.”
The CMG also notes that given the positive profit information for commercial radio across the country (from 12% profit in small markets to 30% in major markets), “it’s clear that station owners still derive a significant benefit from the use of public airwaves. Without the requirement to be responsive to and invest in the communities in which they operate, our broadcast system is effectively creating a type of ATM for licence holders, who have also been using technology to cut back on jobs and wages.”
Here are the highlights of the CMG recommendations:
– CMG supports the Commission’s proposal to impose on licensees a requirement to complete a licence renewal application checklist which should be robust and comprehensive enough to demonstrate investments in the communities
– We also support the Commission’s proposed requirement for licensees in non-compliance to file regular reports, including reports that are transparent in relation to the licensee’s financial situation
– We recommend the Commission revamp its conditions of licence for commercial radio to reflect and emphasize the increased importance of true local programming including local newsgathering resources across our broadcast system, including the commercial radio sector.