At the beginning of the month Mayor Dawe sent his congratulations to the grand opening of 102.7 Canadian Chinese Radio
With only 10 days left in the year any congratulations for a radio station opening here in Aurora are going to have to wait until 2017 or beyond.
After receiving both town grant $ and charity $ a license was provided by the CRTC back in March under these conditions:
Furthermore, the Commission will only issue a license for this undertaking once the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 24 March 2018.
In April the founder of this, yet to be heard from station, told the press they were able to move on to next steps:
“Moving forward, we have to apply for funding from different sources to renovate the area, purchase the equipment and get the place up and going,”
Just what operations are “Voice of Aurora Radio” prepared to commence exactly?
The town has been more than accommodating. Since July of 2015 free space was provided. When I went looking for it however it was not located in the “newly constructed youth space” at the Family Leisure Complex as the Mayor’s letter of support indicated:
Instead it is located right beside one of the ice pads, an entire floor separating it from the loft space for youth.
When you go to view it there is an empty room with tape marks on the floor
and a cobbled together sign taped to the window:
The same press piece states the board confirmed that the intention is to operate the community radio station from funds raised through donation, grants and advertisement revenue, and that the installation of an antenna on top of the Aurora Cultural Centre that will be purchased with dollars raised and possibly an Ontario Trillium grant.
So how many donations have come pouring in?
Which grants have they secured because it doesn’t look like this group made the cut for the most recent Trillium funding announcements.
And more telling who has signed up to pay for advertising?
This Wired article on TV advertising back in May points out that the internet dramatically changed the newspaper, magazine, and radio industries. Many advertisers are no longer willing to pay top prices (or advertise at all) in those places as the audience shifted online.
That’s right online, where you can find the bulk of Voice of Aurora’s intended programming, and without any ads.
Advertisers realize that radio is not where people are going for local news.
Chris Ashfield’s article in the Saskatchewan Valley News outlines how radio is the 2nd least source Canadians rely upon for local news:
The very article Mayor Dawe agreed with when commenting on it in Linked-In
The claim that they were “nearly ready to hit the airwaves” was made going on 2 years ago and it doesn’t appear they have been able to move the dial at all.
There is no viable business model presented for running a radio station in Aurora that doesn’t place its operating pressures onto the tax base at one level or another.
If there was it would be operational already.