CIRH-FM, Roundhouse Radio , Vancouver
South Fraser Braodcasting
South Fraser Broadcasting
0971197 B.C. Ltd.
On August 6, the CRTC approved the application by 0971197 B.C. Ltd. for a broadcasting licence to operate a new specialty commercial FM radio station to serve Vancouver. The Commission considered that the proposal would be a positive addition to the market. The station’s niche spoken word offering would target adults aged 25 to 64 living in downtown Vancouver. As a new entrant in the market, 0971197 B.C. would enhance the diversity of news voices in the market. The control of 0971197 B.C. was exercised by Pushor Family Holding Corp., Okanagan Valley Business Consulting Ltd., Dautrich 2007 Family Trust and Craig and Candace Cameron as per the specific powers vested to their nominees pursuant to the terms of their shareholders’ agreement dated June 5, 2013. The new station would operate on frequency 98.3 MHz (channel 252A) with an average effective radiated power of 2,080 watts (maximum ERP of 6,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of ‑11 metres).
The station would broadcast 100 hours of local programming per broadcast week and 77 hours of spoken word programming, of which 4 hours and 12 minutes would consist of pure news. The spoken word programming would include, among other things, news, weather, sports, local event promotion, public affairs, documentaries, radio plays and dramas, slam poetry, programs of public debate including talk shows and some open-line programming. The applicant also committed to devote, by condition of licence, 50% of its musical selections from content category 2 (Popular Music) and content category 3 (Special Interest Music) to Canadian selections over the broadcast week and, in the case of the category 2 Canadian selections, the period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
On July 7, CIRH-FM received CRTC permission to move the transmitter site, decrease the maximum effective radiated power from 6,000 to 1,700 watts (average ERP from 2,080 to 770 watts), and increase the antenna’s effective height above average terrain from -11 to 87.5 metres.
It was announced in the summer that Roundhouse Radio would launch in the fall. Roundhouse Radio 98/3 planned to have a community focus, serving the needs of the people who live, work and play in the City of Vancouver. The Roundhouse difference would be to provide a spotlight on an active citizenry: public debate, storytelling, live music, local arts and culture, community events, news and features focused on the City's neighbourhoods.
It was announced in September that CIRH-FM would begin testing sometime in October.
Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM) signed on the air in October with a talk format during the day and Triple A at night.
Roundhouse Radio went dark on May 6 with the owners confirming that an offer had been received from an unnamed buyer to take over operation of the fledgling news/talk station. The station employed about 30 people.
On June 12, the CRTC approved the application that would allow South Fraser Broadcasting to take over the assets of Roundhouse Radio CIRH 98.3 from 0971197 B.C. Ltd. The request to delete the condition of licence requiring the station to devote a minimum of 50% of its musical selections from content category 3 to Canadian selections; and to reduce the requirement to devote a minimum of 50% of its musical selections from content category 2 to Canadian selections to a minimum of 40% was denied. South Fraser planned to keep the Roundhouse Radio brand and studios would be shared with the company’s CISF 107.7 "Pulse FM" in Surrey.
On February 24, the CRTC renewed the licence of off-the-air CIRH-FM until August 31, 2024. In June of 2019 the commission granted an ownership change to CIRH from Pushor Family Holdings in Kelowna to South Fraser Broadcasting in Surrey (owner of CISF-FM). On October 14, 2020 Rick Pushor advised the CRTC that the deal with South Fraser had fallen through, but there were a couple of groups who had expressed an interest in purchasing the station and returning it to the air. Apparently South Fraser reneged on the deal to purchase the station due to being denied approval on relief from certain conditions of license.
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