WINZ (940 AM, "Miami's Sports Station") has a Sports radio format and serves Miami-Fort Lauderdale and their suburbs. The station primarily airs syndicated programming from Fox Sports Radio with some local sports talk and game coverage. Its daytime signal reaches as far north as Ft. Pierce, as far west as Ft. Myers and Naples, and as far south as Cuba. The station has managed to score ratings in the Ft. Myers-Naples radio market despite its transmitter being over 100 miles away.
The station is non-directional in the daytime hours and broadcasts with 50,000 watts. During nighttime hours (sunset to sunrise) the WINZ directional skywave pattern must not interfere with stations in Canada and Mexico. Those countries have Class A Clear Channel rights to the 940 kHz frequency. Those stations are XEQ-AM in Mexico City, and a station allocation in Montreal previously occupied by CINW, which fell silent in February 2010; however, the allocation still exists by international treaty, and will soon be occupied by a new station.
In July 1981, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted WINZ special temporary authority to transmit with 25,000 watts at night instead of the 10,000 watts for which it is licensed. A station in Cuba causes interference and consequently a loss of service in some areas of WINZ's listening area. This authority has been renewed regularly since then.
From the late 1950s and into the early 1960s, WINZ went head-to-head with top 40 WQAM at night, featuring Bob Green, from 7pm to 11pm. When Green left the station, he was replaced by "Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow. Morrow left the station to begin a legendary career at WABC (AM), in New York City. He is now with SiriusXM. By coincidence, both WINZ and WQAM are Sports Radio stations today.
WINZ was briefly an All-news radio station. On July 12, 2004, WINZ became a Progressive Talk station. Former talk-host included Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, Stephanie Miller, Lionel, Neil Rogers, Thom Hartmann and Don Imus. Traffic Reporters for WINZ were South Florida's traffic reporting veterans Trish Anderson in the 80's and George Sheldon from 1988-1997. Frank Mottek worked as an anchor and reporter for WINZ from 1981 to 1992 before joining CBS station KNX (AM) Los Angeles in 1992. From 1985 to 1991, he broadcast the live descriptions of all space shuttle launches for the CBS Radio Network which aired on WINZ. Before the station adopted progressive talk as its format, it was 940 Fox Sports Radio, an all-sports station that competed with WQAM and WAFN. On April 3, 2009, the format shifted back to sports as "The Sports Animal". The station's slogan today is "Miami's Sports Station."
WINZ is owned by Clear Channel Communications (Now iHeartMedia, Inc.), the largest U.S. radio owner. Clear Channel purchased the station from West Palm Beach-based media entrepreneur Bud Paxson. WINZ management changed in early 2007 from Peter Bolger to Ken Charles. New weekend shows included Clout with Richard Greene and 7 Days in America with new Air America Radio network co-owner Mark Green (no relation). Other local shows have been dropped recently, such as Radioactive Politics and The Nicole Sandler Show.
In 2008, Miami Heat (National Basketball Association) games moved back to WINZ from WIOD. One game will be simulcast monthly on 103.5 The Beat. WINZ previously carried Heat games from 1993 to 1996.
On April 2, 2009, it was reported on Radio-Info.com that the station would switch to sports the following day, making it the sixth sports station in Miami; this follows Clear Channel's trend of changing liberal talk formats (regardless of success) to its own Fox Sports network. Since the change of format, ratings for WINZ have dropped from a 1.0 in the Spring of 2009 to a 0.3 in April, a 06 in May, and a 0.5 in June, behind the sports station WAXY and WQAM.
The National Football League's Miami Dolphins announced on March 1, 2010, that it had entered an agreement with Clear Channel that would make WINZ and WBGG-FM flagship stations of the Dolphins Radio Network for the next six years.
On November 14, 2010, the Dolphins and Heat played on the same day at the same time. Per contract, WINZ aired the Dolphins game while another station had the Heat broadcast. Clear Channel then threatened to sue the Heat for breach of contract. Sometime after that, the Heat switched its flagship station to competing station WAXY. On November 6, 2013, WINZ announced that they were the new flagship station for the Miami Marlins starting with the 2014 season, ending a 5-year relationship with WAXY. In case of scheduling conflicts (particularly with Dolphins games), Marlins games are broadcast on sister station WIOD instead.