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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Retired broadcast engineer says Ocala will never have TV station again

To the Editor:

Ocala did have a TV station. It was on channel 51. It was bought by the group that owns Ch35 in Orlando, then the transmitter was moved to Gainesville.

Good luck getting a construction permit from the FCC, and a permit for a decent tower from the FAA. I am a retired Broadcast Engineer, and I built one station from scratch, in Destin. I hope that you have really deep pockets, because you have to show that you can afford to stay on the air when a station goes live.

OTOH, a local interest channel on your Cable TV system might be possible and be affordable. Ch55 (WACX) in Orlando started that way, on the Cable TV system in Leesburg. They bought the failing WIYE independent station that was located behind Lake Square Mall. Then they got the permits to move to a 1700 foot tower in Orange City, along with a power increase to a full 5MW. I worked there in 1987/1988, after these changes took place.

Michael Terrell

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