|City of license||Miami, Florida|
|Broadcast area||South Florida|
|Branding||Sportsradio 560 WQAM|
|First air date||February 1921|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
1,000 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||We Quit At Midnight|
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio
ACC Radio Network
(CBS Radio Stations Inc.)
|Sister stations||WBFS-TV, WFOR-TV, WKIS, WPOW|
WQAM (560 AM, "Sportsradio 560") is a South Florida radio station owned by CBS Radio. The call letters WQAM were claimed to stand for We Quit At Midnight ... since the station signed off at midnight every night until 6:00 the next morning. Its studios are in Miami Gardens and the transmitter is in Virginia Key, Florida.
The station is Florida's first radio station, going on the air in February 1921 when a license was issued to WFAW. In the beginning, the young station was helped with programming by The Miami Metropolis newspaper, but after the paper stopped its participation in 1922 the station adopted the call letters WQAM in January 1923.
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 1000 watts in 1928 and WQAM became a full-time affiliate of CBS. In 1947 its affiliation was changed to the American Broadcasting System. In 1948 Barton sold his interest and The Miami Herald newspaper became the station's owner.
WQAM is famous for its days in the 1960s, under ownership of Storz Broadcasting, when it presented a Top Forty 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 a friend's house 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 which Watermark had put out on vinyl records at a speed of 33. 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 sound bites 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 studio's with then WKQS now WKIS @ 9881 Sheridan Street in Cooper City, FL then owned by Sunshine Wireless.
Around 1992, WQAM became an all-sports station. Currently, WQAM is the University of Miami Hurricanes flagship station. WQAM ceased broadcasting in HD Radio during daytime hours only, but is simulcast on WPOW HD3.
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/talk hosts
- Prior to June 22, 2009, WQAM would interrupt its all-sports format to air a general talk show hosted by Neil Rogers from 10AM-2PM.
- WQAM was for a short while the local affiliate of the Howard Stern morning show.
- Hank Goldberg The Hammer hosted afternoon drive. Now on ESPN.
- Jim Mandich The Mad Dog hosted middays and PM drive.
- Sid Rosenberg hosted afternoon drive.
- John Brown - Now at WOFL in Orlando, FL
- Jon Sciambi "Boog" is now doing Play-by-Play on ESPN.
- Scott Ferrall Mr. "Shake It Up" hosted morning drive and is now on CBS Radio.
- Michael Irvin "The Playmaker" hosted mid-days. Currently an analyst on The NFL Network
- Miami Dolphins (1997–2004, 2007–2009, currently on 940 WINZ and 105.9 WBGG-FM)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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