WUSF-FM 89.7 in Tampa, owned and operated by the University of South Florida, has replaced its aging transmitter structure with a replacement structure that is now fully operational.
Once construction was finished on the replacement tower, engineers transferred all the broadcast equipment from the old tower to the new one. Then the task of taking down the old tower, piece by piece, began.
Workers completed the removal of the old tower in early August.
“For more than 50 years, the residents of the Tampa Bay region have counted on WUSF,” said station GM JoAnn Urofsky. “The radio broadcast tower is the backbone of our public service. This replacement tower will allow us to build on our legacy and serve the Bay area for future generations.”
According to Urofsky, the replacement tower cost approximately $2 million to build and was paid for by the State of Florida and WUSF.
The new tower is the same size and height of the old tower, but updated with new technology and safety features. Foundations for the tower were poured 80-feet down into the bedrock to ensure the tower would be secure.
“Safety has been our first priority with this project,” said Max Sitero, WUSF’s Director of Engineering. “We worked methodically during the last ten months to do all of this work carefully – and make it seamless to our listeners. Our team did an excellent job.”
With the new tower, WUSF remains a Class C1 but reduces its power from 71kw at 942 feet to 69kw at 968 feet.
For all intents and purposes, there’s no change in coverage area for the station, which enjoys a massive signal that includes all of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area; Lakeland and Winter Haven; Sarasota and Bradenton; and much of Sebring, Fla.