CBC Radio is conducting a 12-day online poll to gauge the radio preferences of Revelstoke listeners in order to help the broadcaster decide the CBC Radio Kamloops versus CBC Radio Kelowna debate.
In the fall of 2012, CBC Radio opened a new bureau in Kamloops and switched the Revelstoke listening area to Kamloops. Some residents protested to Revelstoke City Council, which resulted in a request from the City of Revelstoke to have the Kelowna feed back. The city argued Kelowna is a better, more natural fit for Revelstoke. City council also said they weren’t consulted before the change was made.
Bureaucratic snafus then delayed the request for months.
Johnny Michel is the CBC Radio senior managing director for B.C. and Alberta. In a June 10 interview, he said the poll is in response to the City of Revelstoke lobby to have the radio feed switched back.
Michel said he’d spoken with Revelstoke Mayor David Raven, who said he’d received 50–70 emails on the issue with two-thirds requesting the switch back.
But Michel told the Times Review that number doesn’t represent a majority in a town with over 7,000 residents.
Michel said the “unscientific” online poll is designed “to gauge what the overall sentiment is in Revelstoke.
“We’re here to serve the B.C. public,” Michel said. “I think it’s wonderful that there is a conversation going on about which CBC service British Columbians want. That means that we are listened to, that means we are part of the community.”
The CBC will use the results of the poll to help guide their decision. It isn’t intended to be binding.
CBC Radio is promoting the poll using radio messages that are fed only to listeners in Revelstoke, and CBC radio hosts have discussed the issue on the air.
“We’ll wait until the 12 days are over and we’ll see what kind of results we get and we’ll take it from there,” Michel said. “We’ll have another conversation with the mayor and then we’ll see how to proceed.”
Michel also noted CBC Daybreak Kamloops had the second-highest ratings in a recent survey of the Kamloops radio market, something he said was “unprecedented” for a program that has been on the air for less than a year.
To vote, visit the CBC Kamloops website at cbc.ca/kamloops/. The poll is located on their homepage. It started on June 10 and runs until about June 22.
If CBC decides to switch back to Kelowna, they will have to apply to the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the federal regulator. Michel said that in his experience that can take anywhere from six weeks to six months.
“We’ll see what the results [of the poll] are and we’ll take it from there,” Michel said.