CKLN, the Ryerson University radio station, has more trouble on its hands. CKLN is in a dispute over electricity costs with CIUT, U of T’s radio station, which claims the Ryerson station owes them thousands in payments.
According to CKLN board member Barry Johnson, two months ago CKLN received a two-line letter from CIUT asking for back payments amounting to over $11,000, according to CIUT’s own calculations.
Johnson told The Varsity that he replied, asking CIUT to work out the discrepancy with the stations’ shared electricity provider, Brookfield Power. He heard no reply until two weeks ago, when he said CIUT threatened to shut off CKLN’s transmitter.
“It is noted in our agreement that, yes, we are on the same power source. However, a calculation is done to assess CKLN’s power on a monthly basis and we pay that to the property management,” said Johnson, who noted that Brookfield did inform him of an accounting error, though not the nature of the error or what it could mean for the power dispute.
Brian Burchell, station manager and CEO of CIUT, said that CKLN is ignoring a longstanding arrangement. “Presently and historically, we’re paying 100 per cent of the electrical charges, inclusive of that of other users, including CKLN,” he said, adding that CIUT’s recent move to Hart House did not change the arrangement.
A representative of Brookfield Power could not be reached for comment.
CKLN is still recovering from a year-and-a-half-long scuffle between two competing boards of directors of the station. The situation finally found resolution when a new board was elected in July and took office in September.
“We’re really in a very difficult period at CKLN. To receive the demand and then receive a threat, it’s in my opinion just disgusting. I felt they could have handled this a lot better,” said Johnson. “We are really struggling to try and save our station, and it’s almost like he’s trying to kill our station.”
Despite the confusion and dismay, both Burchell and Johnson were hopeful that the issue would be resolved and emphasized that representatives of the stations are still talking to each other.
“I can say, and this is good news, that we’re talking. We weren’t before, and not all the facts are known. I’m sure that the parties will come to some mutually satisfactory resolution,” said Burchell.
Johnson agreed: “I’m just hoping that whatever the issues, [that they get] resolved.”