Ryerson radio station stripped of CRTC license

Decision follows complaints into lack of quality control and student involvement


Ryerson University’s campus radio station, CKLN, was stripped of its license, the CRTC announced today. The decision follows an investigation into complaints over the station’s management structure and purported lack of involvement from the Ryerson community. Last summer, “the station experienced significant infighting and the volunteers, staff and management were locked out of the studio premises by the building manager,” a CRTC press release stated. During the lockout that lasted seven months, CKLN “broadcast an intermittent loop of programming without any ongoing community involvement.” When the station resumed operations, there were concerns over “quality-control” and “little involvement from the Ryerson University student body despite its status as a campus radio station.”

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Ryerson radio station stripped of CRTC license

  1. This is very sad. While the station did deteriorate in quality over the past few years, it served many communities that don’t have a voice in mainstream media. There was a time during the 80’s when it was by far the best radio station in Toronto, some incredibly creative programming, free of political agendas that arrived sometime in the 90’s. It played music that just wasn’t played anywhere else.

    The CRTC should have given them a chance to get their act in order. The little guy gets kicked again, while large corporate monopolies seem to be able to do what they want and get verbal slaps for their transgressions. Please remind me – who is the CRTC supposed to be serving?

  2. @Dave R: I would think the GTA radio stations are
    pissed about this. Ryerson’s Radio and Television program spawns the DJs and all support staff for the local stations. The station was a great way for them to be cheap, well trained interns and then staff.

  3. @Colin Ferguson

    As with many persons commenting about the CKLN situation, you misunderstand the relationship of Ryerson University, its Radio and Television program and CKLN Radio Inc. The University had no control over the station, even though it sat on its campus. In fact, in 2000, CKLN passed by-laws to bar the Ryerson Administration and Faculty or staff from sitting on its Board, in contravention of CRTC edicts. The “activist” management of CKLN, for as long as I know, discouraged students from any Ryerson program from participating at the station and only allowed those who were “politically pure” into even behind the scenes roles, let alone being on the radio. As for the local stations having access to “…cheap, well trained interns…” from CKLN, the station had equipment that was not up to date or well maintained and most of its volunteers had no idea how to run it most of the time.
    CKLN was mainly a place where local club DJ’s could populate the airwaves, all paid for by the Ryerson students, and promote their gigs. One such DJ was there for 27 years doing this, making out he was a volunteer, all the while taking untold “commissions on advertising” home with him in his pocket.

  4. The CRTC gave these people so many chances to meet their statutory requirements, gave them individual help which is extremely rare and gave them an extra 6 month postponement and yet they had done little and had no plan of action.

    I can’t blame the CRTC.

    Why must students pay for a station that excluded them?

    CKLN was taken over years ago by radical activists and the students pushed out with the help of the Ryerson Students’ Union and the Canadian Federation of Students who have very political agendas that have little to do with education.

    An outside agency appointed by the Courts needs to be brought in to see who is controlling the assets created by yearly $1/4 million funding from student dues and who it really should belong to and if any have been misappropriated and needs to be gotten back through legal actions or criminal charges.

    I would hate to see this board liquidating all the assets and the students who paid for it and have been excluded from running the station also be excluded from deciding what should happen to it.

  5. @ME According to the dissenting opinion this decision was unprecedented because CKLN was given so few chances.

  6. In her dissenting opinion Commissioner Louise Poirier said, in part:

    “I am firmly opposed to the panel’s majority decision to revoke the licence for the campus radio station CKLN-FM Toronto, primarily because I am of the opinion that a mandatory order issued under section 12(2) of the Broadcasting Act should have been used as the first step for this station… Immediate revocation, without first applying any other regulatory measure, is clearly inconsistent with the Commission’s usual practice. No other licences have been revoked in this manner in recent Commission history. Such revocations have always been preceded by either a mandatory order or a short-term licence renewal. The Commission is thus creating a precedent with respect to the principle of gradation of regulatory measures taken by the Commission when dealing with a licensee in a situation of non-compliance. This action is unwarranted and inequitable… This decision is consistent neither with the Commission’s usual practice nor with the spirit of Circular 444. In my opinion, based on the evidence before us, the decision to revoke the licence at this time is premature, disproportionate and inequitable.”

  7. There was one dissenter and the other four all agreed to revoke the license.

    That’s the end of the story unless the station decides to appeal as is their right.

  8. Jim S. is speaking total nonsense, and obviously has a personal agenda. CKLN represents a populist voice, and as representatives of the voiceless, we are often wrongly misconstrued as “activists” “leftists”
    and other epithets reflecting mid-20th century divisive political polarities.
    “Politically pure”? How can you even type such a B movie cliche as that without shame Jim?
    We at the station have maintained equipment over the past year without any assets at all, students have never been excluded and very few club dj’s have deigned to work here as volunteers when clubs are so lucrative. Anonymous drones like Jim S. and others are working the media and blogs to give a bad impression of a sincere hard-working group of radio innovators with consciences. We weren’t perfect, but beware future generations: there will be no place to even dare to try this free ideology attitude if the attack on alternative media succeeds.

  9. I hope they re-consider. I was really enjoying myself.

  10. That site is run by netkook Tim Rourke who spends all his time attacking a number of tenant groups and community organizations with half-truths, inventions and outright lies.