Founder, President and CEO
Jim, or as he was known in the beginning of Z as “General Jim” for general (manager) Jim Hoge. This is contrary to the belief that it came from a militaristic management style. However, rumor has it there really was a real life General Jim in the Hoge family tree. Regardless, Dean O’Neal has taken over the title of General Manager of the station leaving the current General Jim with just his pedigree.
Our Jim was born in San Antonio, Texas but grew up on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the border of Virginia and West Virginia in the city of Bluefield. He began his broadcasting career at the age of 3 on his grandmother’s TV show, Kiddie Kapers which aired on WHIS-TV Channel 6.
Jim took an early interest in electricity and electronics, building a complete radio station, including a 50 watt transmitter, for a ninth grade science fair and winning first place in the school.
Jim earned degrees in electrical engineering technology from Bluefield State College and business administration from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. At Marshall, he was named the student manager of WMUL, the radio station on campus. One thing he did was institute 11 hours of Christian music on the weekends.
After graduation, Jim worked primarily in secular radio. In 1981, he and two associates formed a company called Texar, based out of Pittsburgh, PA that manufactured cutting edge audio processors for major market broadcasting.
In 1986, Jim sold his interest in Texar and moved to Florida. While working for a radio station near Orlando, he got inspired to bring contemporary Christian music to the region and was able to find a non-commercial allocation for that purpose.
After 7 long years of litigation with 6 other competing applicants, Z88.3 was born on August 14, 1995.
In 2001, Jim took over the chairmanship of the Emergency Alert System for the eight county Central Florida area, volunteering his stations as the local entry point for emergency information for all television, cable and radio station in the region.
Presently, Jim is the president and chairman of Z88.3 in Orlando which is broadcast on four full power FM facilities, four translators through out Central Florida and encompass the facilities that are Hot 95.9 and 106.3 – The Rock in Orlando.
In addition, he serves in the community as chairman of Pathways to Care, a homeless respite, and chairman of the State of Florida Operational Area Seven (Central Florida) EAS Committee. He is on the State of Florida Emergency Alert System (EAS) Committee, is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of directors and Treasurer for Circle Christian Schools and serves on the board of advisers for Nathaniel’s Hope, Inc. (Special needs children ministry), and currently teaches children’s Sunday School at Northland, a Church Distributed, in Longwood.
Jim has been married going on 25 years to the former Eunice Medina of Cali, Colombia, and they have two beautiful daughters that take after their beautiful mother; Viviana, a recent graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) in International Business, and Gabriella, a sophomore at PBA majoring in ministry. The family resides with three cats and a chinchilla named “Stitch” way back in the swamp on the northern edge of Sabal Point.