Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Erin Radio needs your help.

[This call for help comes from Jay Mowat at Erin radio in Ontario. -jlt]

This note is being sent to most of my address book. All of you should know a little about Erin Radio - a project I have been working on for six years. It is a small community based 50 watt radio station. It has become a key element in the life of my town - Erin. Local voices, local issues, local music. Please read the attached letter for more detail about our little local station.

This little station is now facing a serious challenge. Three companies in Guelph are applying to use the frequency we currently have. They can do that because, as a 50 watt station, we have what is known as an unprotected frequency. If one of the applications is successful we will lose our frequency and there are no others available in this crowded GTA area.

We could move to AM, but it is very expensive - well over $100,000 for antenna, transmitter and associated gear.

We are currently running a campaign to try and save our frequency, but we need your help. The CRTC pays attention to public opinion. If you love local, small, community, volunteer-based, non-profit operations, we would invite you to support us by making your opinion known.

There are two ways you can express your opinion. The first is to sign and fax back the letter I have attached to this email. Our fax number is 519-833-9682.

The second, for those who know about the internet and wish to intervene directly with the CRTC, please go to: lang=en&applicant=n2008-10

and follow the instructions. You should select the following notice numbers for your intervention:

200806797 Blackburn Radio
200717879 Frank Torres
200806896 Guelph Broadcasting Corporation

For those who which to look at the applications of the above three stations, please go to:

The deadline for submissions is September 25. If you are sending us the attached letter, we need it by September 19 to process and deliver the package.

With your help I know we can be successful.


Sample letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to submit this letter as an intervention against the following applications:

-Frank Torres Application No. 2007-1787-9
-Blackburn Radio Application No. 2008-0679-7
-The Guelph Broadcasting Corporation Application No. 2008-0689-6

If the CRTC accepts any of these applications, it will force CHES-FM, Erin Community Radio, to relocate from 101.5 FM.

Erin Radio is an important and essential member of the Erin community. It supports local service clubs and local business. It carries news and information about our rural area including live broadcasts of important community events such as the Erin Fall Fair, the Remembrance Day Ceremony, the Santa Claus Parade, The Terry Fox Run, The Rotary Rodeo and dozens of other local activities. The applicants for the frequency have stated they will concentrate primarily on Guelph and our local area will essentially be ignored.

Erin Radio also gives significant exposure to local musicians from the Orangeville, Guelph and Georgetown areas. Local music is played every hour of every day. Our local musicians will have little opportunity to get radio airplay without Erin Radio.

Erin Radio plays a wide range of music including country, folk, and world music in addition to rock and roll and blues. The applicants will concentrate on one or two kinds of music and Erin Radio╩╝s great diversity will be lost. Erin Radio plays over 50% Canadian content - much more than any of the applicants have promised.

Erin Radio has become a training ground for local youth interested in broadcasting and journalism. Several have gone on to post-secondary studies in media. Without a local radio station, Erin youth will be without a rich training ground.

Our area depends on Erin Radio for community announcements, weather forecasts, school closings and other information of a local nature. Erin Radio is the official emergency broadcaster in the event of a power blackout or other disaster. The applicants listed above have all stated they intend to concentrate primarily on information of interest to Guelph residents and will not be a replacement to Erin Radio.

There are already sufficient radio stations in Guelph that cover Guelph news, sports and information and ignore the Erin area. We do not need another. Please leave Erin Radio to do what it does best - serve the local Erin area.


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