Radio station seeks to plant roots in Ponoka

“We believe Ponoka is large enough and can sustain its own FM radio service.” Mark Tamagi, president of Blackgold Broadcasting

The CRTC has just received a proposal from Blackgold Broadcasting to start a new radio station in Ponoka called The One at FM dial 89.7.

The CRTC has just received a proposal from Blackgold Broadcasting to start a new radio station in Ponoka called The One at FM dial 89.7.

Country music may take on a more local flavour in Ponoka with an application to start up a radio station located right in town.

Blackgold Broadcasting has submitted an application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) with the intent of starting a station called The One with an FM radio dial of 89.7, explained president and founder Mark Tamagi.

The format will be the same as Blackgold Broadcasting’s The One on 93.1 FM in Leduc, he told Ponoka News in an interview Sept. 15. “Ponoka’s been on our radar for probably five years.”

The company has already developed a website at www.ponokaradio.ca outlining the company’s goal and application submitted to the CRTC. Tamagi said they want to provide daily news and information specifically targeted to the community.

“All the Red Deer stations and most of the Edmonton stations broadcast into Ponoka but nobody really talks about Ponoka and Ponoka County,” he explained.

In an effort to reach members of the community during the application phase, Tamagi has plans to meet with Mayor Rick Bonnett and Ponoka County Reeve Paul McLauchlin.

“We believe Ponoka is large enough and can sustain its own FM radio service,” he stated.

A public hearing has been set for Nov. 12 in Gatineau, Que. Those interested in providing input on the request can do so by contacting the CRTC or through the company’s website.

People will have to wait 90-days before a decision is announced, said Tamagi and they have 30-days from Sept. 12 to provide input. Tamagi feels the biggest challenge will be opposition from competition stations. Tamagi outlined his goal for the proposed station in Ponoka.

“We’re going to be ultra-local. We’re going to focus on the daily lives and what enhances the daily lives of people in the county and in the Town of Ponoka,” said Tamagi.

Meeting with business owners is Tamagi’s next priority as regulations do not allow that until the application is in the public domain, explained general manager Karren Andreychuk.

She feels being in Ponoka will also bring jobs into town and promotional options to local organizations eager to promote themselves.

The application to the CRTC outlines the goals for the business including meeting local content standards for airplay.