CKLN remains on the air

In News /

Rebecca Burton

Associate News Editor

Emma Prestwich

News Editor

CKLN 88.1FM will continue broadcasting after a judge ruled they could continue operations until a federal court will decide if the station can go forward with their appeal against the CRTC.

On Jan. 28, the Canadian Radio-Televison and Communications Commission (CRTC) announced the decision to revoke the station’s licence after several instances of non-compliance with the commission’s standards for broadcasting, including failing to fill necessary paperwork and a lack of balanced representation on the station’s board of governors.

The court is not expected to rule until April at the earliest. Until then, the station will remain on the air.

The decision to appeal was led by Lauren Speers

At CKLN’s annual general meeting on Jan. 31, Speers presented the station’s legal options for appeal.

The two options were to either hire a lawyer for an emergency appeal to stay the decision, or send a ‘renewal charter’ to the CRTC, committing to fix the problems.

Speers, who mediated the discussion at the AGM acknowledged that the station had been non-compliant and that it was best for the station to stay on good terms with the CRTC.

“We can’t argue with the criticism they gave us, because it’s all true,” she said.

Louise Poirier, the sole CRTC commissioner to disagree with the decision, wrote a four-page letter of dissent, which was attached to the end of the CRTC’s official statement.

Poirier’s letter noted that the normal procedure for a station that is non-compliant is to first issue a mandatory order before revoking the license, which the CRTC did not do. She said that the station had been under oath to fix the stated issues, and revoking a license immediately is not standard practice.

Some disgruntled community members and programmers think it’s all a big conspiracy against CKLN.

“I admit that it’s conjecture, but I think there’s political motivation,” Brill said.

Suzy Alvarez, a programmer with the station, said that in her personal opinion, corporate interests might have played a role in the decision.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” she said.

Peggy Nebout, with CRTC’s media relations, dismissed rumours that the decision had anything to do with commercial interests.

“The report is as detailed as it can be about the reasons for the decision,” she said.

However, the station’s desirable position on the FM dial is fueling speculation about who might take it over.

President Sheldon Levy said that Ryerson had no interest in buying the station.

Ryerson’s online station SpiritLive could not be reached for comment.

CKLN is currently funded by a $10 student levy. RSU president Toby Whitfield, who is a student representative on the CKLN board, said he has no idea where this money will go if the station shuts down.

Photo: Nicole Siena

Comments

  1. Why do we have to pay for a radio that we never listen to? If Radio and Arts student need a radio, let them pay for it.

    1. CKLN isn’t for RTA students It’s a community based station.

      90% of students don’t even know that the station exists.

      Why are we paying to support a station that students can’t use?

  2. Cryptic inferences about “corporate” or “political” influences on the CRTC’s decision do not help the station to focus strategies and responses. Our enemy is the misapprehension of the staff and board’s motives and abilities for continuing to broadcast, which is being spread by misinformed media and malicious blog trolls. Good radio and transparent processes of improvement are key. Case in point: Lauren actually said of the criticism: “It’s all factual” NOT “it’s all true”.

  3. @ 2ndYear-Electrical, You have a choice, whether or not to listen to the radio. Just like, you have a choice whether or not to use roads, healthcare, government services etc… You don’t have a choice whether or not you pay taxes. If, you make money, you pay taxes. If you go to Ryerson, you pay tuition. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use the Library, or the Radio Station or any other services offered by the University.

  4. I was happy when they pulled CKLN’s license.

    I have never heard any other station that had a culture like their’s that supported the use of vile misogynist language used every day on that sorry excuse of a radio station.

    This is a sad day for the women of Toronto.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      I just need to say I’ve had a very different experience as a young woman at CKLN. I started there in 1997- I was 16 years old and an activist at my alternative high school. I was involved in a regular radio show for over 4 years, as well as LGBT Pride, International Womens Day and news programming covering various issues relating to poverty and marginalization. Beyond that, CKLN has had a long history of having progressive hip hop shows as well as other genres and scenes that are made *more* inclusive than they are sometimes found to be outside of the station. I’d go as far as to say that some of the best conversations I’ve had about the use of language have been at or related to CKLN, with people bringing up subjects such as reclaiming language and being positive about sex and sexuality.
      It makes me sad that the station was in such a state of distress for the stretch that so many current Ryerson students came to the school, because it has a legacy of 20+ years of amazing programming, culture and student inclusion.

      tm

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