Toronto station CKLN's broadcast licence revoked

The CRTC has revoked the broadcasting licence of CKLN-FM, the community radio station located on Toronto's Ryerson University campus.

The CRTC has revoked the broadcasting licence of CKLN-FM, the community radio station located on Toronto's Ryerson University campus.

The decision means CKLN, which is independent from the university, will have to cease all programming as of Feb. 12.

In a Friday release, the federal broadcast regulator said that the station had violated numerous regulations and conditions of its licence.

"CKLN Radio was given several warnings and opportunities to come into compliance. Each time, it demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to address our concerns. Taking away its licence is the only appropriate course of action in this case," said CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein in a statement released on Friday.

The suspension comes at the conclusion of a CRTC investigation of the station prompted by "numerous complaints about the station’s governance structure, day-to-day management and operations, programming and ability to remain on air."

The CRTC cited a litany of problems with how the radio station conducted its operations.

The volunteers at the campus station were locked out by the building manager, the Palin Foundation, in March 2009 after infighting by management, staff and volunteers. That lockout lasted seven months, during which the station "broadcast an intermittent loop of programming without any ongoing community involvement or oversight by the licensee," the CRTC said.

Decision 'unwarranted and inequitable'

The problems with the station didn't end after the lockout concluded in October 2009, the CRTC said.

The commission found that when regular programming resumed, the station "lacked any significant quality-control mechanism for its programming and there was little involvement from the Ryerson University student body despite its status as a campus radio station."

The station also violated a number of requirements of licence holders, including submitting on-air tapes, program logs and complete annual returns, the CRTC said.

CRTC commissioner Louise Poirier wrote in a dissenting opinion that the station had always been given full licence renewals since it was first formed in 1983. She said she believed revoking the station's licence without first applying a less severe regulatory measure, like a more short-term licence renewal or a mandatory warning is "unwarranted and inequitable. "

"No other licences have been revoked in this manner in recent commission history," she wrote. Friday's ruling, she said, is creating a precedent for enforcement against non-compliant licence holders.

The station has a volunteer staff of over 200 people and broadcasts out of the Ryerson Student Centre on 55 Gould St. near Church Street.


  • An earlier version of this story identified CKLN-FM as the Ryerson University campus radio station. In fact, CKLN is only based on the Ryerson campus and has no official affiliation with Ryerson University.
    Jan 28, 2011 12:43 PM ET