The decision is finally in! On September 9th, 2011, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced their approval to allow Vancouver Co-op Radio to broadcast at the 100.5 FM frequency. This decision has many benefits for the 35-year-old Co-op Radio, including new technical equipment, new outreach opportunities and new financial income.
Last year, Co-op Radio made a joint application with CKPK-FM (The Peak) to swap frequencies. In exchange for the 102.7 FM frequency The Peak’s owner, Jim Pattison Broadcasting Group is providing Co-op Radio with 2 transmitters, 2 station-to-transmitter links (STLs), $300,000 worth of advertising, and a cash payment of $10,000/month for 5 years. In return, The Peak receives the ability to boost their signal and reach new listeners.
For Co-op Radio, this decision provides an opportunity for a brighter future and a solution to some long-standing technical and financial concerns. Co-op Radio will replace its ancient transmitter (older than the station in fact) and have a backup transmitter should its broadcast equipment fail. As well, Co-op Radio finally has the opportunity to find a stable financial foothold, something it has struggled with for decades.
So what does this frequency swap mean for Co-op Radio listeners? The station, itself will not move locations and there will be no programming changes resulting from the swap. Everyone’s favourite programs will still be broadcasting the same great independent commercial-free community radio and now in stereo. The change for listeners means finding Co-op Radio even “further to the left” on the radio dial at 100.5 FM.
Over the past year the board and staff of Co-op Radio, with the assistance of members, have been engaged in a long-term strategic planning process. The exact frequency transfer date is not yet known. However, over the next few weeks the board and staff will be focusing efforts to facilitate the smooth transition for the swap and to continue the long-term planning for investment and development of the station.
Stay tuned for more developments!