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Ryerson University Students Compete with Christian and LGBT Radio Stations for Spot on Dial

New Ryerson Radio Hopes for Toronto License

New Ryerson Radio Hopes for Toronto License

Nearly a year ago, campus-community radio station CKLN at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada had its license revoked by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Last month’s “Reclaim Your Radio” event across Canada was meant to bring attention to not only the plight of CKLN, but also to draw attention to the opportunity for another non-commercial group to apply for CKLN’s former frequency. Yesterday was the deadline for new applicants to submit materials to the CRTC in order to compete for the new license and a student group was among the contenders.

The campaign for the new station, The New Ryerson Radio, was the result of surveys that showed that 86% of Ryerson students were not only interested in a new radio station, but that an equal number were also willing to help fund that station through student fees. A press release on the New Ryerson Radio website states:

“‘We would like to encourage people to support the continued existence of campus and community- based radio in downtown Toronto,’ said Shelley Robinson, Executive Director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association. ‘Campus radio is both fun and relevant, helps promote emerging Canadian talent, makes space for under-represented voices and builds a bridge between the university and the larger community.’ Robinson also pointed out that community-based campus radio is not just for media-savvy students, 
but also involves opportunities in marketing and advertising, volunteer coordination, management and engineering. ‘There’s simply too much commercial radio on the dial. New Ryerson Radio will be a not-for-profit station with content created by students and for the students, and will reflect what students want to hear. There will be also a lot of opportunities for all students to get involved,’ said [student Noorez] Rhemtulla…”

One entity competing against The New Ryerson Radio for the license is Christian radio group Trust Communications Ministries, which currently owns Life 100.3 FM (CJLF-FM) in Barrie and hopes to bring its Christian radio format to Toronto.

LIFE 100.3 Competes for Toronto Station

LIFE 100.3 Competes for Toronto Station

The other contender is Dufferin Communications Inc., owner of the gay-friendly CIRR-FM 103.9 PROUD, which is said to be the first commercial terrestrial LGBT radio station in the world. CIRR-FM put in an application with the CRTC asking to move its frequency from 103.9 FM to the former CKLN frequency of 88.1 FM.

PROUD FM Applies to Move Frequency in Toronto

PROUD FM Applies to Move Frequency in Toronto

After its license was revoked, CKLN continued as an online-only station, but its future is a bit murky. A new Internet station, Radio Regent, is set to launch on January 1 under new management. According to its Facebook page, the station will be a service of the Regent Park Focus Youth Arts Centre. It plans to air shows by “many of the individual programmers” from CKLN. Over the summer, after losing its space, CKLN moved its operations to the Regent Park Focus Youth Arts Centre, so it’s not surprising that this partnership is continuing. On October 11, CKLN members approved a motion asking that “CKLN Radio Incorporated seek the permission of the court to dissolve.” If that approval is obtained, CKLN property and equipment was to be donated to the Regent Park Focus Youth Arts Centre.

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