WPOZ/Orlando (Z88.3) is celebrating its 26th anniversary.
WPOZ is owned by Central Florida Educational Foundation, Inc… It’s President/Founder is Jim Hoge who told HisAir how “The Z” came to be, in his words.
“Thanks for the opportunity to tell about the mighty acts of our God in birthing Z88.3 Though it is true that we are celebrating our 26th anniversary of signing on, the story actually begins eight years earlier in the summer of 1987.
I was working as a GM of a radio station near Orlando and had hired a skinny 23 year old kid from Kansas City by the name of Dean O’Neal.
In those dark days, there was no FM Christian music station in Orlando. A channel search revealed one last channel for Orlando on 88.3 FM … the bad news is that it interfered with television channel 6 also licensed to Orlando.
At lunch one day, Dean and I begin to dream. We mastered minded “Z88.3” on a napkin and we began to pray.
This is where God showed up in a big way with both favor and timing. Working closely with channel 6, we crafted a solution where we combined our proposed FM signal with the television into one antenna. This eliminated the interference and we signed on August 14, 1995.
This is where the real story begins, but it was one miracle after another that created a ministry that spans 11 Central Florida counties with eight Christian formats. Thanks be to God that His mercy is new every day!”
In late 2008, WPOZ was granted authorization by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase its signal strength to 100,000 watts; this was accomplished when the Central Florida Educational Foundation acquired a station in Lecanto, Florida, WLMS, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Petersburg. As that station also broadcast on 88.3 FM, Central Florida Educational Foundation closed down WLMS, enabling WPOZ to increase its signal strength without interfering with that station. After the upgrade, WPOZ’s main signal would sufficiently cover areas already served by some of its repeaters, making them redundant. Those were moved into Orlando to rebroadcast the HD offerings.
WPOZ had a repeater in Daytona Beach, WEAZ 88.1 MHz, licensed to Holly Hill; this station signed on in 1995 as WANX, becoming a simulcast of WPOZ as WEAZ in 1998. The station closed in December 2008, and its license was soon cancelled, following WPOZ’s power increase that made this rebroadcaster redundant. On its website, it was announced that it had moved WMYZ 88.7 from Clermont to The Villages/Ocala, Florida. This made Clermont listeners redirect from 88.7 to 88.3.