Tower 101

Friday, February 16, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 7

Sports Radio 104.5, one of the largest towers in the area, reaches about 1,200 feet.

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

What’s the difference between all those towers that dot the ridges around Middle Tennessee? Plenty. And don’t just call something an antenna.

Tower climber John Hettish breaks it down for you:

For AM broadcasters, the tower is the antenna. The transmitter is embedded into the steel, so the entire thing serves the broadcasting purpose.

For FM and television broadcasters, as well as public-safety entities, the antenna is supported by the tower. For instance, Hettish says, “If you look at the Channel 4 tower on White Bridge Road, that thing on top is their antenna. The 1,220 feet of metal below it is the tower.”

Towers in Middle Tennessee are no higher than 1,999 feet. That’s because there are limits set by the government regarding height, all based on sea level. If a hill here is deemed to be 600 feet above sea level, then its tower can only be 1,399 feet tall.

Hettish says his highest climb to date, the WNSR (99.7 FM) tower in Murfreesboro, is 1,359 feet.