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City Hickory, North Carolina
Branding 63 Big Ways
Frequency 630 kHz
First air date 1948 (as WIRC)
Format Oldies
Power 1,000 watts (day)
57 watts (night)
Class D
Facility ID 20323
Transmitter coordinates 35°43′22.00″N 81°16′41.00″W / 35.7227778°N 81.2780556°W / 35.7227778; -81.2780556
Former callsigns WIRC (1948-2003)
Owner Newton-Conover Communications, Inc
Website mytotalradio.com/WAIZ/

WAIZ (630 AM) is a radio station broadcasting an oldies format to the Hickory, North Carolina, USA area. The station is currently owned by Newton-Conover Communications, Inc.

The format recreates a format resembling a 1960s Top 40 station by using the jingles and other airchecks from WAYS (which was the original "Big Ways"), a legendary Charlotte Top 40 station from the 1960s. Since the callsign and frequency of the original "Big Ways" was different, the jingles and airchecks used are those that feature the words "Big Ways" rather than the actual callsign or frequency.

WAIZ's music is drawn largely from the late 1950s and early 1960s, an era largely ignored by many oldies stations in their efforts to appeal to Baby Boomers. It often refers to its music as "Real Oldies".

The morning drive time is the only time that the station features live on-air announcers, when it simulcasts with its corporate sibling WNNC from nearby Newton, North Carolina. During this time, the music shifts to oldies from the '60s and '70s, which form the basis of WNNC's playlist. This portion of the broadcast day also features a filler segment called "Something You Should Know" at 8:30 AM. During the rest of the broadcast day, the station utilizes an automated format, with no live on-air personalities. Songs are played back-to-back, separated by various forms of the station's jingle, pre-recorded weather forecasts, or a filler segment from The History Channel called "This Week in History."

Prior to Fall 2014, the station carried broadcasts of The Elvis Only Hour, an hour of music exclusively from "The King." This program aired on Saturdays and Sundays at noon, but has since ceased production.

WAIZ airs headline news segments from ABC Radio on the hour and half hour. At the start of the hour, WAIZ does not broadcast the full newscast, but rather, simply the first 2 minutes, similar to the brief newscasts that Top 40 stations of the 1960s often broadcast in their efforts to play as much music as possible. At 30 minutes past the hour, WAIZ airs the full newscast. On weekends and evenings, WAIZ airs sports headlines from ABC Radio at 20 minutes past the hour.

The station broadcasts the audio portion of the local newscast of Charlotte's WSOC-TV from 6:00 to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday.

WAIZ began has carried broadcasts of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets games starting with the 2010-2011 season. Starting in 2015, WAIZ has aired play-by-play broadcasts of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears football games.

WAIZ features a relatively low number of commercials, with most commercial messages airing during the live morning drive time segment. Often, instead of airing commercials, WAIZ starts and ends a broadcast hour with messages stating the name of the sponsor for that hour of "Real Oldies", similar to underwriting credits read on noncommercial stations.


WAIZ signed on in 1948 as WIRC from a transmitter site in southeast Hickory, North Carolina. In 1977 the station was sold to new owners, along with sister station WXRC-FM. From 1980, probably earlier, until sometime after 1982, the station broadcast a country music format using the Drake-Chenault Great American Country programming service. As late as 1982, the transmitter site remained at the original location. Sometime after 1982, the owners of WIRC bought out another Hickory AM radio station. They moved the WIRC studios into those of the other station and began transmitting on 630 from the other station's transmitter site, still using the WIRC call letters. Around 1993 the station was purchased by Newton-Conover Communications with the studio facilities combined with sister station WNNC.

In 2016, WAIZ began an FM simulcast on 105.9 mHz.

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