Photo: Jess Tsang

CRTC approves The Scope as Ryerson’s AM radio station

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By Keith Capstick

Ryerson’s Campus radio station The Scope, announced on Twitter Thursday morning that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has approved their application for an AM radio license. The Scope will be broadcasting under AM channel 1280, and is aiming to start broadcasting by January 2016.


The application, which was formally received by the CRTC on Feb. 18 and has been in the works for almost a year now, commits to 126 weekly hours of programming which will contain both musical and spoken word broadcasts.

“We are overjoyed with the decision and want to give heartfelt thanks to all of the station’s volunteers and also the hundreds of people who took the time to write a letter of support.” said Elissa Matthews, The Scope’s Program Director, in a press release.

The Scope will be renting an off-site AM transmitting space and preparing their staff and volunteers for the live AM experience in the next year.

“There will also have to be a test period where you go on air without broadcasting to test the signals and make sure everything is working,” said Matthews.

The costs for the transition from online to AM radio will be covered in part by the student levy The Scope receives from tuition fees.

“Capital purchases, costs of the broadcast equipment, technical costs and installation…represents and estimated $90,000,” said Jacky Harrison, The Scope’s station manager, in an email. “The neat thing about the levy is that on the one hand students are investing in our own facilities and our own media… [but this is also] a gift the students are sharing with the city.”

According to Matthews, the process started in March 2012, when she was hired and she teamed up with Radio Ryerson to attempt to acquire an AM license.

“It was[n’t until] February 2013 when we finally submitted our application to the CRTC… then just today we heard back from them,” she said.

Matthews said that the acceptance will change both the amount of content The Scope will be able to provide its listeners, and the amount of students that will be able to be involved.

“There will definitely be an increase in content. We want to be creating local content ourselves…and we’ll be able to open up the space for live broadcasts at later hours,” said Matthews.

The application says The Scope will feature a variety of musical and spoken word formats, ranging from pop and rock to world beat international and experimental music.

The application states there will be “a focus on emerging artists” and an emphasis on “music discovery.”

Programming will often feature excerpts of music coupled with background information and interviews to provide “insight into why some songs are matched with others.”

Currently, The Scope broadcasts exclusively online.

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