Q: WHERE IS Z100FM?
A: Z100fm is a radio station that broadcasts from the base of 14,000' Mt.Shasta in Northern California. Our studio's located in downtown Mt.Shasta and our transmitter sits a the 5,000 foot level of Broadcast Ridge on Everitt Hill. Geographically, we're about as far south on Mt.Shasta as you can get before it starts it's 5,000 foot drop into the Redding area. Fortunately for us, being on the south side of Mt. Shasta gives us the benefit of putting our signal into the Redding area, where there are some 250,000 or so souls that can see the mountain from the valley floor.
Q: WHAT CLASS STATION IS KZRO-FM
A: KZRO-FM is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. as a class "C-3" FM, and broadcasts with an ERP (Effected Radiated Power) of 12,500 watts.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE TRANSMISSION SITE?
A: The site is remotely located on a tree plantation owned by Sierra Pacific Industries at the 5,000' level of Mt.Shasta, named Broadcast Ridge/Everitt Hill. The site is nearly inaccessible in the winter, receiving nearly 6 feet of wet snow. We've been stuck in 4 wheel drives many times, and use snowmobiles towards the end of winter. The station uses a "6-bay" Circularly Polarized antenna by "SWR" on a 120 foot "Magnum" tower, powered by a 5,000 watt "QEI" transmitter sitting in an "ITEL" converted cargo container, (a portable housing retrofitted for mobile missile launch installations). The entire site is controlled by remote computer and telephone voice prompt technology.
Q: WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL TRANSMISSIONS?
A: KZRO-FM broadcasts three different types of signals.
1: FM MAIN SIGNAL We transmit our main radio signal on 100.1mhz.
face="Arial" color="#FFFFFF">2: SUBCARRIER TRANSMISSION We broadcast a secondary transmission not heard by our FM listeners over what is known as a subcarrier, This is a data transmission, which we rent to a national data distribution company whose signal is picked up by 18 wheelers with specialized computer terminals.
3: RDS Known as "Radio Data System", we transmit this special signal to "smart radios" that pick up and lock in on our powerful broadcast. It delivers text information on the displays of these radios that tell them who we are, where we are, and the type of format we play.
Q: WHAT'S Z100fm's FORMAT?
A: Our base format is twofold. Sixties and Seventies Classics during the day, and Seventies and Eighties Classic Rock at night. Philosophically, if you grew up in the seventies, you're probably aware that most people were on one side of the musical fence or the other. You either liked disco or you hated it. If you hated it, you loved the rock and roll of the time and that's what Z100fm plays. We don't play any disco. Disco sucks... although, I did own a pair of shoes with big heels once.
Q: WHAT TYPE OF STUDIO EQUIPMENT DOES Z100fm USE?
A: We pride ourselves with state of the art equipment from the ground up.
On Air Facilities:
Z100fm uses the "AXS" multi-computer network digital broadcast system for on air use. Basically, there's a computer and screen in the air studio and it is the heart of the system. The screen is configured to show the operator what is playing now, what has played and what's coming up. It keeps track of everything that's been played digitally on an internal log (including commercials, liners, jingles, sound effects and CD music) and never takes a lunch break.
When a DJ is live on the air, s/he just follows the "log" on the computer. "Logs" for programming are made on another computer, logs for music are made on another, commercials are recorded on still another and they're all hooked together on a computer LAN (Local Area Network) throughout our facility. The air computer that the DJ uses has all daily elements pre-programmed and "running", so they can concentrate on their show vs. hunting down commercial carts and pulling records to play.
The music rotation is pre-programmed as well by computer using a program called "Music Box." Even though this may sound "automated" to some even leading to thoughts of "canned radio", it is valuable from a standpoint of achieving the perfect rotation. There are only so many Classic Rock songs that we play, and they must be separated as far from each other as possible... and computers do the job perfectly.
You will never hear the same song on the same day on Z100fm (except for the occasional live request that slips through). As a matter of fact, using our music rotation software allows an average turnover time of nearly 5 days, which is pretty good with a finite library.
Q: WHAT'S THE STORY ON Z100fm's MUSIC?
A: We generally play around 350 songs per day, and have some 4,500 songs available to air via Compact Disc. Our AXS system controls a Pioneer VAC-3200 CD juke box that contains two "players" inside holding a maximum of 300 CD's. From a programming standpoint, the V3200 is a marvel, giving access to any CD in the library back to back.
When doing a live airshift, Z100fm DJs can immediately call up requests by punching a few keys on the AXS air studio computer. Songs can be scanned by title, artist, year or length.
The daily playlists are generated on a rotation program called Music Box (residing on the "music" computer), sent to a program called Super Log on our "traffic" computer, then combined and sent to AXS (residing on the "air" computer), all over cables that run throughout the station. When a DJ is on the air, s/he can over-ride the system at will for going live, substituting music by request or whatever. The system is 100% flexible and runs unattended overnight saving the station money in wo/man hours, yet playing the rotation as set forth by the Program Director.
Big Tree Communications, 2013