Radio station's separation finalized

Memorandum of Understanding signed by AMS and license holder

Queen’s campus radio station, CFRC is looking to raise its student fee after beginning its gradual separation from the AMS yesterday.

If the $4.93 AMS student fee doesn’t increase the station will go bankrupt, CFRC Operations Officer Kristiana Clemens said.

“The only reason the station has existed this long is because the AMS has subsidized the deficit and made up for the shortfalls in that deficit,” Clemens said.

She added that she expected the AMS to provide more financial support during its two-year transition from an AMS media service to a financially autonomous organization. By May 2014, the service will no longer be under AMS control.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CFRC and the AMS was passed on April 25 by members of the station’s license holder, Radio Queen’s University (RQU).

The MOU, which outlines the station’s transition, passed unanimously with three abstentions.

CFRC is budgeted to incur a $10,000 deficit this year, covered by the AMS.

Under the MOU, the AMS will provide CFRC with a $10,000 grant in 2013-14 and a $5,000 grant the following year. These grants are meant to help stabilize the station’s deficit.

Clemens said these grants are less than the station received in previous transition periods.

The MOU states that a 2006 transfer agreement gave operational management of CFRC to the AMS from Queen’s.

“The University paid the AMS an estimated $94,000 in grants during the transition,” Clemens said. “What the AMS is offering in terms of transition support will only be adequate if we increase our student fee.”

As a result of the MOU, CFRC will no longer receive the mandatory AMS student fee in 2013. Instead, the fee which brings in 40 per cent of the station’s revenue will be subject to triennial review.

“We’ve already maximized all other sources of revenue for the station,” Clemens said. “Without that extra money we hope to get by increasing our student fee, the station won’t be able to continue to function.”

Discussions for an MOU began in late March after the AMS Board of Directors proposed a management restructure for the station in October. The proposed plan was later found to be in violation of a Canadian Radio-television Communication (CRTC) legislation that required all campus community radio stations to be financially and managerially autonomous.

Dan Szczepanek, the 2011-12 AMS media services director, said the AMS plans to provide less grant money to the station than it was provided in 2003 due to its improved financial state.

“Right now, the service brings in about $75,000 a year compared to an average of $25,000 in 2003,” Szczepanek, ArtSci ’11 said. “The MOU is to ensure that the AMS isn’t leaving the station out in the cold during its transition.”

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