A new Christian music FM radio station in Kelowna will be rebroadcast on Kamloops airwaves.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved a request for a Christian music station to broadcast at 88.1 MHz in Kelowna and at 99.1 MHz in Kamloops.
The station is the first in Western Canada by International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association Inc., which operates three stations in Halifax, Moncton and Charlottetown, rebroadcasting those three in five other cities.
The station will feature 126 hours of programming per week, 91 local programming hours and 35 hours of wraparound programming.
The station’s spoken word content will include 40 minutes of news, 40 minutes of local weather and traffic reports, 112 minutes of local community announcements and 100 minutes of interviews with local community leaders, organization heads and singers.
Harvesters told the CRTC that 95 per cent of all music on the station will be in the “non-classic religious” category.
Avenue Radio Ltd., a sister company of Kelowna’s Castanet Media that operates oldies station CKOO-FM, opposed the station’s approval, arguing that Kelowna radio market revenues and profitability declined every year from 2012 to 2016.
Avenue also argued the station’s proposed frequency (88.1 MHz) may be the last viable Class C frequency for the Kelowna market.
In response, Harvesters said most of its revenues would come from the Bible programs it broadcasts and that its advertising sales “would not have any measurable effect on other stations in the market,” according to the CRTC’s decision.
Harvesters was founded by Jeff Lutes, who describes himself as an evangelist specializing in evangelistic campaigns, evangelism and prayer conferences.