CFRC in limbo

Station still unsure of future financial state

Nearly two years since CFRC 101.9 FM announced its decision to split from the AMS next April, its long-term financial security remains uncertain.

Following the Memorandum of Understand (MOU) signed with the AMS in April 2012, which outlined the CFRC’s division from the AMS umbrella, the campus-based radio station has since cut one of their core staff positions, restructured their board of directors and is looking to up their student fee in hopes of stabilizing the financial break.

CFRC came under the jurisdiction of the AMS in 2006 after it was decided that the University needed a student-run radio station.

The AMS agreed to provide the CFRC with three grants before the split is officially enacted in April 2014. After this period, the AMS will no longer fund CFRC.

Devin McDonald, AMS media services director, said one of the grants was given at the end of the 2012 fiscal year, with the

other two given for the current fiscal year.

He said CFRC’s decision to remove a second programming manager position last year saved approximately $20,000, while the station also received about $79,000 in student fees.

“[CFRC] is projecting a surplus for this fiscal year which I think is great, and hopefully if they can sustain that path to financial sustainability, they’ll continue to be strong for many years to come,” he said.

Nicola Plummer, AMS vice-president (operations), said that the future of CRFC would be partially determined by the University, not solely the AMS.

“I think that [CFRC] is a fantastic service that we would hate to see go, and I think right now a lot of its future and the fate of the CRFC is in the hands of the University,” she said.

Kristiana Clemens, CFRC’s operations officer, said the transition since 2012 hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a stressful process,” she said. “Ultimately, in order to continue to have a campus station, Queen’s and the AMS have a role to play in helping to ensuring the CRFC continues to exist.”

Clemens, who has been with CFRC for over five years, said that many structural changes had to be implemented to ease the transition, the most drastic of which was the decision to cut one of their core staff positions.

Clemens said a new board structure, implemented last year, would have representation from the AMS, the SGPS, the University and the community.

Funding for the future still remains a primary concern, she said. In 2012, CFRC was projected to finish the fiscal year with a $10,000 deficit, which the AMS covered.

Currently, 50 per cent of its funding comes from students, the rest coming from advertising, fundraising, grants and sales.

“We’re trying to increase revenue from other sources such as grants and donations. Part of our long-term need for financial stability on campus involved increasing levels of funding we receive from graduate students,” she said.

Last year, AMS Assembly voted against placing the student fee increase on their agenda, despite the SGPS agreeing to raise the station’s fee to $7.50 per student. Clemens said she hopes to bring the topic up again with this year’s AMS executive.

Clemens added that CFRC’s current relationship with the University has been undefined, making any future contingency plan difficult.

“The University needs to make a determination of what its relationship will be with the CFRC moving forward, hopefully recognizing that if the station is suddenly expected to pay market value rent ... and no longer benefit from services we have received from the University, then that will also jeopardize the station’s future,” she said.

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