|Broadcast area||South Florida|
|Branding||Miami Sportsradio 560 WQAM|
|First air date||February 1921|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||Sequentially assigned. Later adopted slogans based on the call letters, including We're Quality A M Radio, and was jokingly referred as We Quit At Midnight, since the station formerly signed off at midnight every night.|
|Former frequencies||834 kHz (1923)
1060 kHz (1923-1924)
1120 kHz (1924-1925)
1140 kHz (1925-1926)
1050 kHz (1926-1927)
980 kHz (1927)
780 kHz (1927-1928)
1240 kHz (1928-1929)
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio
ACC Radio Network
(sale to Entercom pending)
(CBS Radio Stations Inc.)
|Sister stations||WBFS-TV, WFOR-TV, WKIS, WPOW|
WQAM is one of Florida's oldest radio stations, receiving its first broadcasting license, issued to the Electrical Equipment Company of Miami, in January 1923. The station's early history was related to WFAW, also of Miami, which was licensed to The Miami Daily Metropolis from June 16, 1922 to June 11, 1923. In the beginning, the young station was helped with programming by the newspaper, until the paper ended its participation.
Things were primitive in the early days. Fred W. Barton, president of the Miami Broadcasting Company made many of the electrical parts himself. In 1926, the station increased its power to 500 watts. The station was the first in the United States to install a permanent remote pick-up from the U. S. Meteorological Department. Power was increased to 1,000 watts in 1928, and WQAM became a full-time affiliate of CBS. In 1947, it switched to ABC Radio. In 1948, Barton sold his interest in the station and The Miami Herald assumed entire ownership.
WQAM is famous for its days in the 1960s, under ownership of Storz Broadcasting, when it presented a Top 40 format and competed vigorously with rival WFUN (at 790 AM). In February 1964, the station interviewed and heavily promoted The Beatles' second and third nationally televised appearances on CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show live from the Deauville Hotel in North Beach, Miami Beach. By far Miami and South Florida's preeminent radio station at the time, baby boomers from Jupiter to Key West, and down to Havana, listened to WQAM for the latest in local and American pop music from the 1960s well into the late 1970s. At that time, WQAM was one of the many AM radio stations airing Casey Kasem's American Top 40, and Cuban youngsters used to gather at friend's houses to listen to the countdown of America's most popular songs, especially the 8-hour-long year-end show of Billboard's top 100 songs of the year in which the syndication company that owned the show had put out on vinyl records at a speed of 33 RPM.
On February 29, 1980, after many years as contemporary music station, competition from FM competitors forced the station to switch to a country music format, but not after running a montage of music and soundbites from its Top 40 days. From that time, WQAM was known as "56 Country WQAM", and was successful in the ratings and had many veteran DJ's. WQAM shared studios with then WKQS at 9881 Sheridan Street in Cooper City. The stations were owned by Sunshine Wireless at the time. During the late 1980s, WQAM would add sports talk programming in the evening hours.
By 1989, the station had been unable to achieve a full share point in the Arbitron surveys with its mix of country music and sports. In 1990, WQAM had abandoned its country music format in favor of the satellite-fed "Kool Gold" service, which aired '50s and '60s music.
On October 2, 2014, Beasley Broadcast Group announced that it would trade 5 radio stations located in Miami (including WQAM) and Philadelphia to CBS Radio in exchange for 14 stations located in Tampa, Charlotte and Philadelphia. The swap was completed on December 1, 2014.
Former sports and talk show hosts
- Hank Goldberg – The Hammer host; now at ESPN
- Jim Mandich – The Mad Dog' host
- Sid Rosenberg – host
- Jon Sciambi – now at ESPN.
- Scott Ferrall – now at CBS Radio
- Michael Irvin – "The Playmaker" host; now an analyst on The NFL Network
- Neil Rogers
- Miami Dolphins (1997–2004, 2007–2009, 2016-present)
- Miami Heat (1988–1993, currently on 790 WAXY/104.3 WSFS)
- Florida Marlins (1993–2007, was on 790 WAXY/104.3 WAXY-FM, but is now on 940 WINZ as of November 6, 2013 )
- Florida Panthers (1993–2007, 2010–present)
- University of Miami Hurricanes (1999–present)
- Radio Service Bulletin, February 1, 1923, "New Stations: Broadcasting Stations", page 3. Other stations first licensed that month included WQAJ, Ann Arbor, Michigan, WQAN Scranton, Pennsylvania, and WQAO New York, New York.
- Radio Service Bulletin, July 1, 1922, "New Stations: Broadcasting Stations", page 3.
- Hollingsworth 1949. p. 56
- CBS And Beasley Swap Philadelphia/Miami For Charlotte/Tampa from Radio Insight (October 2, 2014)
- Venta, Lance (December 1, 2014). "CBS Beasley Deal Closes". RadioInsight. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 23, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Miami Marlins Move to 940 WINZ Radio Insight, November 6, 2013.
- Hollingsworth, Tracy. History of Dade County Florida. Coral Gables, FL: Glade House, 1949.
- WQAM official website
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WQAM
- Radio-Locator Information on WQAM
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WQAM
- Rick Shaw Remembers WQAM Tiger Radio (South Florida Radio History article by Rick Shaw)
- WQAM Tribute Site
- FCC History Cards for WQAM