In the US grandfathered Class D low-power FM stations (under 100 watts) and translator stations–which only rebroadcast the signal of a full-power station–are the only classes of broadcast stations that don’t enjoy any protection for their spot on the dial. If a full-power station wants to increase power, move its transmitter or make other changes where it would infringe on or take over a Class D or translator station’s frequency, then it’s too bad for the Class D. Apparently, it’s the same situation for some stations in Canada.
But it’s even worse for community radio CJAM at the University of Windsor in Ontario. This 1000 watt station never received “protected” status from the CRTC (the Canadian FCC) due to pressure from the FCC over interference concerns. Now its existence is threatened by a station soon to be licensed by the FCC south of the border on the same frequency, 91.5 FM, in China Township, Michigan.
This is the second such threat to the station’s existence. The first came from inside Canada when the CBC wanted to set up a station on CJAM’s frequency. That situation was resolved when the CBC chose a different frequency.
CJAM is now petitioning the CRTC to move to a different frequency, 99.1 FM, and receive protected status there.
To the best of my knowledge CJAM is the only community station in the Windsor or Detroit area, and it would be a shame to lose such a diverse community voice after 25 years of service. It would be especially tragic to lose CJAM to a cookie-cutter, statewide “positive hits” radio network repeater blaring in from the States. CJAM is asking listeners to send letters to the CRTC and Industry Canada on its behalf:
CJAM has identified a new signal – 99.1 FM – that could afford the station protected status and has moved forward with applications for this new signal to Industry Canada and the CRTC. The application currently before the CRTC is now open for public comment, and this is where we need you, our community of listeners, programmers and volunteers to make your voice heard. If you value CJAM and community radio in Windsor and Detroit, please express your support of our application.
Letters may be submitted electronically at the CRTC website , by fax at 819-994-0218, or by conventional mail to the following address: CRTC Ottawa Ontario K1A 0N2.