Tobermory getting its first FM radio service

Bayshore Broadcasting has CRTC approval to erect a repeater tower at Tobermory to deliver 98 The Beach's signal to the Bruce Peninsula and enlarge its newscast to include Tobermory and Northern Bruce Peninsula information. (File photo) jakkapan21 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Spotty radio reception on the peninsula for its stations and demand for a radio service are why Bayshore Broadcasting will be putting a transmitter at Tobermory, the company’s managing director said Thursday.

The CRTC issued its decision July 23, which allows the Owen Sound-based radio broadcaster to erect a transmitter to repeat the signal from its FM radio station, 98 The Beach in Port Elgin, which is farther south along the Lake Huron shoreline.

The new Tobermory radio service has a working name of 92 The Wave. The transmitter will be in place this fall if possible but maybe not until next spring.

“That’s an underserved area of Grey-Bruce,” Bayshore managing director Kevin Brown said in an interview.

“And we’ve heard from different listeners over the years and even more so in the past year that they wish they could get one of our stations up here and get local news, local weather . . . .”

He also noted Bruce County “has been growing like wildfire in tourism and of course Bruce Power has been a major proponent of jobs and expansion over there.”

The broadcaster promised the CRTC it would “enlarge our newscast by 30 seconds to include news from up there,” Brown said.

The amendment granted by the CRTC to Bayshore’s Port Elgin station licence notes the new radio service would incorporate “information of direct and particular relevance to residents of Tobermory and the Northern Bruce Peninsula.”

Brown added: “And then some day, and I don’t know when the day is, it may never be, we hope that it’s grown enough in that area that we can evolve from a rebroad(cast) to a full, originating local station.”

He speculated that might be 10 or 20 years away.

“Between 98 The Beach and the new transmitter, pretty well all of Bruce County will be able to get this signal now,” Right now, 98 The Beach’s signal is strong only as far north as Wiarton, he said.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decision allows the new FM transmitter to operate at 91. 9 MHz, about a 2000-watt service.

It said the transmitter will service a population of about 923, won’t overlap the primary area of any other station, and isn’t projected to add any additional revenue potential for Bayshore Broadcasting.

It’s the first radio service directly serving Tobermory.

With the Tobermory broadcast, Bayshore Broadcasting will have 10 radio services under its banner.

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