|City of license||Columbia|
|Broadcast area||South Carolina|
|Branding||"Newstalk 1320 WIS"|
|First air date||1945|
|Power||5,000 watts daytime
2,500 watts nighttime
|Callsign meaning||"W"onderful "I"odine "S"tate (The same as news partner WIS-TV)|
|Former callsigns||WKIX (1945-1947)
WOIC (1953-1989)
|Sister stations||WNKT, WLXC, WOMG, WTCB|
WISW is a news/talk radio station licensed to Columbia, South Carolina. It serves the Columbia, South Carolina market. The Cumulus Media outlet is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast at 1320 kHz with 5,000 watts daytime and 2,500 watts nighttime, directional. The station goes by the name Newstalk 1320 WIS.
WISW is frequently known as "News Talk 1320 WIS" or "WIS Radio", taking the base of its call sign from the former WIS. The latter station was the longtime sister station of WIS (TV) in Columbia, the dominant NBC television station. The WIS portion of the call letters stood for "Wonderful Iodine State." The former WIS is now WXBT.
1320 signed on as WKIX in 1945. The station featured local and national programing from the CBS Radio Network. In 1947, the station became WMSC, retaining the CBS Radio affiliation. The transmitter site was later used by WZLD and WXRY.
In 1953, WMSC was sold to new owners and the station became WOIC. WOIC became the first station to target the African American community in Columbia. In 1976, WOIC applied for an FM on 103.1, which was dismissed and awarded to another group. WOIC appealed, which caused the application to be held up. The case was dismissed in October, 1981 and 103.1 became WDPN (now WOMG) in 1982. Ironically, WDPN was acquired by WOIC's parent company, Nuance Corporation, by 1985.
By the 1980s, WOIC's ratings started to decline due to the growth of new Urban Contemporary outlet WWDM. In the fall of 1989, it was announced by then-owners Price Broadcasting that the station would change over to a simulcast of WOMG-FM's Oldies format. In order to prevent any community backlash, an arrangement was worked out with 1230 WODE to move the staff and programing over to their station. WODE became WOIC, while WOIC became WOMG, simulcasting the majority of WOMG's programming, breaking off at times for broadcasting various Clemson University sporting events.
In 1995, WOMG became All-news WISW under a local marketing agreement with Cosmos Broadcasting then-owners of NBC affiliate WIS. The station featured AP News as well as simulcasts of WIS's newscasts. In 1997, the syndicated Imus In The Morning show was added. Despite the changes as well as exposure from WIS-TV, ratings did not materialize as hoped.
In August 1999, Imus was dropped for "Good Morning Columbia", hosted by longtime former WSCQ air personalities Bill Benton, Doug Enlow, and Gene McKay (who died in 2007). Ironically, both McKay and Benton began in the Columbia market on 560 WIS (now WXBT) until leaving in the mid 1970s for WSCQ, which they were part-owners. Benton's son Charlie, a WISW sales manager, joined the show in 2007 after McKay's death.
With the addition of "Good Morning Columbia", WISW shifted the format to a mostly satellite-fed Adult Standards format, but kept the WIS newscasts in the process.
By 2002, the station adjusted its format again to a full time news-talk format, competing head-on with rival WVOC. In addition to "Good Morning Columbia", the station features a rotating "Local Angle" hour (9-10A.M.) with nationally syndicated Neal Boortz, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rollye James, and Jim Bohannon.
Until the format and transmitter move of WNKT from St. George to Eastover, a weeknight "Prime Time Sports" program and a weekly "Sporting News Radio" program were featured, but they moved to WNKT, which was now a Columbia-area station serving sports. That opened up Mark Levin's new ABC Radio show to WISW.
Also in 2002, WISW became the official flagship station to broadcast the games of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks after Host Communications decided to take its program to Citadel Communications, who provided the Gamecocks with airtime on its more powerful FM stations. Clear Channel Communications (who owned WVOC-AM) was not willing to move the Gamecocks programming to any of its more stronger FM stations in Columbia. The station is the exclusive home of the women's basketball program (when there is a conflict between men's and women's games, WISW broadcasts the women's games) and the official flagship station of the school.
- "Call Sign History". FCC Media Bureau CDBS Public Access Database. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
- NewsTalk 1320 WIS ... Columbia's News / Talk leader
- Taylor Jr., Otis R. (2012-07-03). "Revamped radio stations aim to rock your world". The State. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- WIS Radio's Official Website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WISW
- Radio-Locator Information on WISW
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WISW