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cfox on air

CFOX on air in Whistler By Oona Woods The Vancouver rock station CFOX, 92.3 on your FM dial, has joined Mountain FM and CBC on the airways in Whistler. As of Friday, Sept. 11 locals have more variety in the air. CFOX was granted permission by the CRTC on July 8 to set up a 47 watt transmitter in order to get their signal up here. "We have been receiving faxes and phone calls all week," says marketing and assistant program director Mary Ann McKenzie. "We love everyone up there and we are as proud and happy about the people listening up there as we are for everywhere else. But in a strictly business sense the reason it was done was because our central audience would head up to Whistler for 3 or 4 days." McKenzie describes the central audience as being the 18 to 34 age group but also says that they are very popular with the 18 to 49 demographic. CFOX plays alternative rock, with some classic rock in the mix. "When our listeners head up to Whistler we were losing them for three or four days. People have ratings diaries and we found we were losing the 28 year old fellow from Burnaby. This way we can retain him as a listener. A lot of people in that audience range go up to Whistler once a season and some go a lot more. So we have found a way for them to take it with them." CFOX is owned by Shaw Radio Ltd. The Vancouver station worked out a plan with Whistler Cable Television so it can use that company’s transmitter. "Our General Manager Chris Pandoff put together a deal whereby we would be able to transmit without leasing Crown land and building a transmitting tower. It made sense to us because it didn’t involve a huge outlay. I can’t tell you details but as I understand it it’s an exclusive deal." The only hitch in the road to the air was an interference plea by Rogers on behalf of its Mountain FM station. "We had to make it clear that we are not going into the Whistler market and they understood that point," McKenzie said. "I don’t know what it would be like for other radio stations." As part of negotiations with the CRTC CFOX has agreed not to solicit advertising in Whistler. They also doubt that anyone who is not already advertising with them will start to do so because they are priced for a Vancouver market. Advertising manager Gord Forbes says they have no reason to be aggressive in the local market and that they just want to be laid back and cool with their restrictions. "I supposes if someone did approach us we would have to take their business, but we’re not anticipating many people doing that," says Forbes. The Fox will not be altering its programming in any formal way to include Whistler. They will continue giving road conditions for Highway 99 and snow reports. "Well, I mean we’ve always done that," says McKenzie. "We’re not planning to create special programming. What’s happening in entertainment is a little tricky. It’s falling into the realm of advertising, getting in with night-clubs or concerts is crossing over. But if there’s a major band or something we’ll impart the information."