Fox on the run to Whistler
Vancouver rockin' radio wants in
By Chris Woodall
Move over Mountain FM, CFOX classic rock radio wants a piece of Whistler's airwaves.
The Vancouver-based radio station has applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission — better known as the CRTC — to pipe its Vancouver signal over an area that barely covers Whistler, from Emerald Estates south to Function Junction.
The radio station, like many other Vancouver and Seattle stations, has long been available on cable, but in broadcast mode it'll be listenable on vehicle and personal radios at 92.3 FM, says Chris Pandoff, CFOX general manager.
It's not a done deal, dude.
The CRTC is still open until Jan. 7 for submitted "interventions" that say why or why not The Fox should rock in Whistler.
"They can come from anybody," says a CRTC spokesman.
"We are definitely an interested party," says Geoff Poulton, operations manager for Mountain FM in Squamish.
"Mountain FM will be filing an intervention before the deadline," Poulton says.
The application was submitted March 26, but didn't make a public appearance until the CRTC published a series of broadcasting applications, Dec. 3, for a number of locations in the Western Canada and Territories Region.
Assuming there are no complaints, CFOX could be on the air with a signal strength of 47 watts by the end of March, Pandoff says.
CFOX is owned by Shaw Radio Ltd.
In his March 26 letter to the CRTC, Pandoff indicates an interesting knowledge of Whistler's radio scene.
"As there are no local radio stations in Whistler, our proposed rebroadcaster will not have a market impact in this respect," Pandoff wrote to the CRTC. "On the other hand, many of our Vancouver listeners spend weekends and other recreational time in Whistler and would appreciate the availability of our CFOX-FM signal at that location."
Mountain FM may have a different opinion about it not being a "local radio station in Whistler."
Mountain FM is based in Squamish, but a bureau in Whistler's Fairways Hotel & Resort is the touchstone for sales staff Janis McInnes and Glenn Mishaw, and full-time reporter Scott Roberts.
CFOX will not operate a bureau, nor will it seek advertising from Whistler businesses, Pandoff says.
"We would not want to infringe on that (Whistler as a marketing area for Mountain FM), and we wouldn't propose to speak for the people of Whistler the way Mountain FM does," Pandoff says.
"It would be in poor taste" to poach advertising in Mountain FM's market, Pandoff says.
Still, there would be nothing to stop Whistler advertisers from buying time on CFOX.
As for musical styles, if Mountain FM (102.1 FM in Whistler and 104.5 FM in Pemberton) can be personified by Herb Alpert's "Mellow Yellow," then CFOX is "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Band.
Pandoff describes CFOX's format as "album rock."
Programming includes a Sunday night blues show, a Power Drive Hour heavy metal show, the Electric Lunch of classics from the 1960s-70s-80s on the order of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, and alternative and modern music shows.
"We're offering Whistler another choice in entertainment without linking up to us on cable," Pandoff says.