Z88.3 FM - Orlando's Christian Music Radio Station: Moves You

Strong Tower

Strong Tower?  How about a 1,600 foot really, really BIG strong tower!

by Jim Hoge, President and Dean O’Neal, VP / GM


Update —  June 7th, 2012, a day that will live in infamy… Well, just the opposite!  This glorious day is the day we closed on the Lake Pickett Tower and the property.  Thank you for your prayers and gifts as they have been sowed into making a voice that proclaims Christ that much louder.  Please pray for safety as we refurbish the site and for wisdom and favor in maximizing the signal with this wonderful tool.  Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you have done so that others can hear about Jesus!


The purpose of this installment of “Strong Tower” is to purchase the tower on which Z88.3 has been leasing space since our sign-on in 1995.  Purchasing the tower gives the station a permanent place to call home and the opportunity to maximize the coverage of the 88.3 signal to it’s fullest.

Here is a short movie about the project:


Here are answers to questions that you may have:


What’s the Goal?

The goal is 4,700 families that will step up with a $100.00 one-time gift.  That is equal to $470,000.  The lion’s share of the purchase price, just over a million dollars, has already been placed in escrow for the tower purchase.  The $470,000 represents the approximate difference between the total sale price of the tower vs. what is already in the bank.

Since the station’s sign-on in August of 1995, Z88.3 has leased space on the 1,608 foot “Lake Pickett” broadcast tower in eastern Orange County.  The tower is jointly owned by two local television stations who have been very accommodating to the needs of the Z as a tenant.

Due to their own transmission equipment, the tower has never been able to support the additional weight and wind loading of the antenna required to allow Z88.3 to maximize it’s main signal on 88.3.  With the implementation of digital television (DTV), the two TV stations constructed new towers to build out their new digital transmission facilities.  With the completed purchase of the tower, Z88.3 will be able to remove the old TV antennas and gain the ability to build out the necessary transmission equipment to bring about a significant power increase to the 88.3 signal.

A good part of the installed TV equipment can be re-purposed to use for the power increase saving Z88.3 thousands of dollars.


So why didn’t Z88.3 just move to another tower?

There are only six (6) towers in all of Central Florida that are in the right place and are tall enough to meet the technical needs of Z88.3 (–See picture above.  The Lake Pickett Tower is the big one on the left side.)  Moving the Z to any of the 5 remaining towers would require some significant up front costs and a significant increase in rent that we will never recoup.  It is more cost effective to purchase a tower and the property, that way any monies spent we keep as an asset.

“Rent is economic waste!”  — Dr. George Corrie –  Professor and  Department Chair of Economics, Marshall University, 1978

Owning the tower gives us security of knowing that the Z will always have a permanent, paid for place from which to transmit.  It also give us the ability to take the amazing tool that God has given to the Body of Christ and maximize it’s coverage, reaching out to even more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Do you want to know the greatest reason is to own?

When you OWN the tower, you get the TOP and therefore the BEST coverage, and this of course, to bring the maximum glory to God and to build His Kingdom.

So far, none of us can take credit for what has already happened so far with Strong Tower campaign—

Who would have known but God that WKMG-TV Channel 6 with whom we interfered with all these years because of our dial position would move to UHF with digital television (DTV) conversion thus allowing us to substantially raise our power?

Who but God knew when we purchase the HD digital radio transmitters in 2006 so that we could broadcast Y-Hot and The Rock that several years later the FCC would change their rules where we could put those formats on FM via a translator station?

Who but God knew that some of the translators we built in Lake county in 2003 to overcome the poor signal could be moved in to metro Orlando to become HOT 95.9 and 106.3 The Rock with the purchase of 88.7 WMYZ, Clermont in 2005?

Who but God knew with digital television (DTV) conversion, both WKMG-TV channel 6 and WFTV channel 9 would build new towers to accomplish the change orphaning the existing facility?

Who but God knew that He was going to use this silly little signal that signed on in 1995, combined with channel 6 in their TV antenna to keep from interfering with channel 6, to call so many people to Himself that Z88.3 would become the Arbitron rated number one (#1) most listened-to radio station in Orlando, Florida?

Who but God knew one day that channel 6 would relocate, opening the allocation, and then the tower would become available to support the massive antenna required, all to get His Z88.3 to the maximum allowable power of 100,000 watts?

God knew.  He took the gifts that you have so faithfully provided over the years and multiplied them a thousand times over for His glory.  Today, he has opened a new door for us to step through in buying the tower for the power increase.


Got more questions?

Email Jim or Dean.  Check back as we hope to post those questions and answers along with a nifty movie ride to the top of the tower in the elevator (Yes! The tower comes with an elevator!) and other photographs.





Restaurant Thank You’s

Einstein Brothers Bagels


Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ

House Blend Café and Catering Ocoee

Boardwalk Pizza

Dunkin Donuts

Uncle Kenny’s BBQ

QDoba Mexican Grill


House of Blues

4Rivers Smokehouse


Coca Cola Bottling Company