Revelstoke listeners have chosen CBC Kelowna over CBC Kamloops.
In a CBC online poll asking which morning show Revelstoke residents want to receive, 68 per cent of the 449 polled preferred Kelowna over Kamloops. Kamloops garnered 32 per cent of the vote.
The result means the CBC will now ask the CRTC to allow the national broadcaster to switch Revelstoke back to the Kelowna feed.
“I spoke to [Mayor David Raven] yesterday,” said Johnny Michel, senior managing director for CBC radio in B.C. and Alberta. “The community spoke very loud and clear.”
The vote came in response to a petition from Revelstoke residents. The petitioners asked Revelstoke City Council to lobby for a change back to Kelowna after the Revelstoke listening area was switched to the new CBC Kamloops bureau’s radio programming in the fall of 2012.
The CBC will now inform the Canadian Radio Television Telecommunications Commission that they want to make the change. That could take anywhere from six weeks to six months, according to Michel. “It probably would be on the shorter end of the timeline,” he said, adding the CBC will file the paperwork soon. “They may make a decision fairly quickly.”
He said the vote wasn’t a reflection of the Kamloops programming; Revelstoke listeners simply feel more connected to the Kelowna broadcast area.
“The mayor in Revelstoke asked me to thank the team in Kamloops becase he thought they were doing a very good job,” Michel said.
He said the vote showed a healthy interest in CBC. “This was a very unique situation for us. We are happy we were able to conduct a very open and transparent process,” he said. “I think it’s perfect that people are havig a conversation about wat CBC programming they prefer.”
So, how about a CBC Kootenays? Michel said the broadcaster has no plans to open another bureau as part of the local programming initiative that created CBC Kamloops.