The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Friday, September 05, 2003


Boonie Radio

In last week’s Terminal City, I took a look at local radio in a couple of Northern B.C. towns. Fort Nelson’s only radio station had become a repeater with local advertising thrown in—a situation that the CRTC (Canada’s broadcast regulator) finds acceptable, but one that’s useless in an emergency, as the town’s mayor and fire chief discovered earlier this year when they tried to get the word out on emergency preparedness. The story of the pillars of the community breaking into a radio station and taking it over sounds too weird to be true—and outside of radio fans, nobody in Vancouver knew or cared. about what had happened in Fort Nelson. Well, at least a few more people in Vancouver know what the country’s broadcast industry does to debase itself. Maybe some of them will do something about it.

Over in MacKenzie, a couple hours north of Prince George, CHMM-FM is getting ready to go on air this fall. That might sound unremarkable, but CHMM’s story is anything but. After the Jim Pattison Group shut down local full-service station CKMK 1240 in 2001, the townsfolk set up a society to bring local radio back to MacKenzie. The new MacKenzie community station will have more original programming than CKMK had, and with just as much professionally produced radio. In fact, they’ll get more fresh radio from their community station than they were getting from the old CKMK!

Here’s the kicker: CHMM’s presence means that the Jim Pattson Group, which operates repeaters of its Prince George stations in MacKenzie, will no longer be able to sell ads to MacKenzie on their repeaters. The rule ius that if there’s a local station that produces at least 42 hours a week of original radio, no repeaters in that same market can sell local advertising. Ostensibly, this gives an incentive for broadcasters to actually operate real stations in small markets. Usually it doersn’t work as intended, but in this case, it does. At least a few CRTC rules don’t favour greedhead owners who use their stations as money factories while giving nothing back to the community.

If you haven’t yet checked last week’s column out, here’s a link:

Boonie Radio: Don’t mourn, organize!
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