CKLN Kicked Out Of SCC

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By Jeff Lagerquist

CKLN’s microphones will be silent at Ryerson on August 27 after nearly 30 years of community and campus broadcasting.

Lawsuits, infighting, and a battle with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) have led the Palin Foundation and the RSU to serve the station with letters of default, requiring CKLN to leave the SCC and student fees to be held in trust.

“We can’t get insurance and we are no longer FM broadcasters. We can no longer meet our agreements,” said station manager Jacky Tuinstra Harrison.

CKLN agreed to terminate its lease agreement with the Palin Foundation, which governs the SCC, in an August 3 meeting. CKLN has been unable to secure an insurance policy because of ongoing lawsuits involving former board members and volunteers. The Palin Foundation is named in one of these cases.

A separate agreement with the RSU stipulated that CKLN must provide opportunities for student broadcasters in order to receive funding from student fees.

CKLN officially lost its license to broadcast on the 88.1 FM frequency in January of last year over breaches of CRTC standards. Broadcasting continued on 88.1 FM until April 15 and have since continued online. CKLN has decided not to reapply for the license because of ongoing issues.

“The agreement between the RSU and CKLN referenced ‘high-frequency broadcasting.’ All of that has been lost over the last couple months,” said RSU president Caitlin Smith.

Current student fees include a $10.35 levy to fund CKLN. The station has faced regular criticism over a lack of student involvement.

“I would say we are a mid-sized student club with a lot of community members. We have about two dozen [students] in training and another 20 on-air,” said Tuinstra Harrison.

Fees will be held in trust by the RSU until students are asked to vote on their use.

“It’s our responsibility to protect the money that students are paying them. We already have SPIRITlive for online broadcasting,” said Smith.

The RSU is currently circulating an online survey to gauge the demand for community radio. Ryerson has not expressed an interest in applying the 88.1 FM frequency.

Although no longer a part of Ryerson, CKLN will continue broadcasting to online listeners. Equipment and resources have been slowly shifting to a new location at the Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre located at 38 Regent St.

“I think it’s an excellent fit.  Our young people have been producing a radio program on CKLN for years,” said Regent Park Focus Media Arts Centre director Adonis Huggins on CBC’s Metro Morning.

CKLN is already training volunteers in the centre’s broadcast studio.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to expand on our social mission. We want to help marginalized communities and groups not represented in traditional media,” said Tuinstra Harrison.

Photo by Lindsay Boeckl


  1. So with the unilateral power to levy fees on students the RSU still wants to give these incompetents more of our money?

    How many years has the RSU been taking over $300,000 a year from students only to give it to CKLN.

    Where has all that money gone? What about what that money bought? Does CKLN still get to keep it or does it revert to the students who paid for it? What about the security of the assets we bought – is the RSU looking after that to make sure it isn’t sold off?

    Since the RSU supported the radicals who drove all the students out of CKLN that we paid for, why should anybody trust them now with our money? Perhaps we need a new student union and throw out the RSU which works for activists and the Canadian Federation of Students and seems to have little to no regards for students!

  2. More spin from CKLN: “mid-sized student club with a lot of community members…” Did Ms. Harrison say that with a straight face? Everything she’s paid to say (with student money) is a known deception. It would be more accurate to describe that CKLN was/is a very well student financed operation (over 300K a year) for the benefit of concert and events promoters/club DJ’s/petty swindlers selected to be there by the NDP/Union/CFS/ anarchist fringe players who completely dominate the paid management, Board plus editorial and political slant of the operation. Absolutely NO Ryerson students in day-to=day management of CKLN for at least two decades and student board members often from CFS entities or just fed a line, lied to and marginalized, expected to dutifully rubber stamp the ongoing fraud. CKLN has been a swindle and a shake-down operation allowed to operate on Ryerson’s campus.

    It is a lie to publish that there are “20 (students) on the air”. I would estimate the number (if we’re counting Ryerson students) liberally, at 7. That’s even high for CKLN, and a far cry from “20”.

    Can CKLN just outright lie and the Eyeopener will slavishly publish it without question? Maybe the author Mr. Lagerquist, he and his co-host being two of the seven students I included in my earlier estimate who work under Ms. Harrison’s CKLN stewardship (journalistic conflict of interest anyone?), might web-publish a follow up to his story checking the claims made by CKLN. Now THAT would be some semblance of journalism instead of this rejiggered CKLN press release. Oh, who am I kidding? Mr. Lagerquist questioning his boss and minders? How could I be so naive?

  3. Ryerson’s next radio station has to have a majority of students on its board. It already looks like the new station Ryerson is proposing will be dominated by the Ryerson University while all the money for it will come from students. That’s just not on and I for one will campaign for the no side in a referendum if what’s being proposed is a Ryerson admin heavy station. The RSU needs to develop a backbone and stand up to the admin on this one or the new station will be so dry, boring and timid that it’ll make CIUT (another station run by the administration rather than students) look interesting. There also has to be room for not RTA students and for part-timers – let’s please not have another SpiritLive!

  4. Not mentioned in Mr. Lagerquist’s article, but in my prior post, is that he is host of a show entitled “Headlines and Deadlines” on that he positions as the Eyeopener’s official radio/podcast outlet.
    There was a discussion on his evening program August 7, 2011 part of which was about my post and critique of his article. Thanks for bringing it up, although I wish you’d actually read and discussed the entire piece instead of stopping on the second sentence.
    I think it would be a fair description that the dialogue centred more on whether or not I was a “coward” for being anonymous than actually discussing the issues. I guess “journalists” don’t accept anonymous tips, and decry whistleblowers, huh?

    The discussion turned into a defensive and stalwart defense of station manager Jacky Harrison as if she had been dishonoured, or even slandered. (Presumably this recording will appear on their “Headlines and Deadlines” blog at some point.)

    Mr. Lagerquist called himself a “professional journalist” although he declared he wasn’t being paid by anyone. But the question remains, because the issue was never actually brought up on the radio show: Was CKLN station manager Ms. Harrison, who is being paid with student money, being deceptive about her claim that there are twenty (20) Ryerson students “on-air” at CKLN? And what about “two dozen” in training?
    As for the twenty on-air, where are the shows? Surely that’s pretty easy to independently fact check, the author being a CKLN insider. Mr. Lagerquist has stated previously on his blog that CKLN maintains a “logger” that would presumably contain the work of these twenty students, if checked. Please, go check it.

    What was also troubling about the dialogue on the program was how Mr. Lagerquist dug himself deeper into the hole of why he felt he couldn’t discuss the issues in his article, and the ensuing debate about it, because he said “I like Jacky. Jacky is a nice person and doesn’t deserve that kind of abuse.” Still the question remains…did she lie? The allegations are hardly “abuse” if she lied.
    At one point “professional journalist” Jeff even unilaterally shut down all future conversation about CKLN, which thankfully met with some resistance from his faithful co-host Mr. Vanegas. Thanks for having some common sense and integrity, Charles.

    Mr. Lagerquist said it was “weird” to discuss CKLN on CKLN’s own webcast, this after he’d done week after week and after insisting that his show was really an Eyeopener show thus because he wasn’t being paid by CKLN, he wasn’t beholden to them. Later he said he was thankful to CKLN for the opportunity to do the show. Does being “paid” money to do journalism automatically mean you have to cow to authority on matters of the truth? I guess so.

    So, “professional journalists” should have gag orders about certain items according to Jeff. Yes…that sounds VERY familiar. You’ll do well out there in the world, Jeff. And you wonder why I want to be anonymous. You’re prepared to sign your name to what could be a pack of lies and go away feeling proud or even smug about it.

  5. airwaves are community property. not the property of a few student union activist types.

    campus made up 1% of the trasmitter’s geographic reach and 2% in terms of listener market. from this perspective, campus participation rate is always hugely disproportionate in student’s favor.

    factor in the value of volunteering contribution and other forms of community contribution, donations, ads (a form of charitable donation) and student politician claim on ownership is a nusiance which draws out a few vocal troublemakers from time to time.

    the silent majority on and off campus are hugely dissapointed with the efforts of a few small minded troublemakers.

    finally, the CRTC can go fuck itself.

  6. Pingback: CKLN Holds a Moving Sale | news | Torontoist

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