Shere Punjab Radio Folds Under CRTC Pressure But Radio India Vows To Fight On
SURREY – The LINK reported recently on how the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) was being pressured by existing CRTC licensed stations RJ1200 and RedFM to close down so-called rogue Punjabi radio stations originating from the US.
There has been a surprise revelation this week that Shere Punjab, one of the three Punjabi stations with signals originating from US, including Radio India and Radio Punjab, will stop producing Punjabi programming on the KRPI-AM owned by BBC Broadcasting, which is partly owned by Badh family, which owns 100 percent of Shere Punjabi radio run out of Richmond, BC.
“It is clear to us that the Commission (CRTC) has concerns that Shere Punjab is engaged in a broadcasting undertaking without a license. We understand the Commission’s concerns in this regard.,” wrote Shere Punjab COO Jasbir Badh to the CRTC in a letter dated September 22 (Monday).
To unwind the Shere Punjab operations, the Badh family has agreed to sell their various shares in the BBC Broadcasting to a third party, including “termination of the lease of airtime from BBC Broadcasting by Shere Punjab when an as permiss1ble.”
Further to that: “Termination of the production programming by the Badh family meant for broadcast on KRPI-AM in the Richmond BC Studios when and permissible. In fact, there will be no further production of any ethnic programming by the Badh family,” states the letter.
While the Badh family has agreed to be out of cross-border Punjabi radio business, which many say was dictated by the CRTC after it awarded the Badh family an FM station in Surrey this year, Radio India managing director Maninder Gill said he is in for a long fight because he believes that his station is vital to the local Punjabi community.
“No other station is providing the kind of service Radio India is providing,” Gill told the LINK.
Gill added that he is baffled as to why 18 other mainstream radio stations, including one run by media giant Rogers, originating from US have not been called for a hearing and while the Punjabi stations have been.
“I’m completely confused about this. Why are we violating the broadcast act and not these 18 other mainstream stations,” he said.