WIOD (610 AM) is a talk radio-formatted radio station in Miami, Florida, owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.. Its studios are located at the iHeart Broadcasting Complex in Miramar and the transmitter site is in North Bay Village. Most of WIOD's weekday schedule is made up of nationally syndicated talk programs, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and George Noory. A weekday morning news-talk program is hosted by Jimmy Cefalo.
Experimental broadcasts began in the spring of 1925 by Carl Graham Fisher, a Miami Beach developer. The station made its formal debut on the South Florida airwaves on January 19, 1926. Carl Fisher selected WIOD as the call letters signifying the "Wonderful Isle of Dreams" to commemorate Collins Island, on which the station was situated. WIOD is Florida's seventh oldest continuously licensed broadcast radio station.
From 1959 to 1962, the call letters were changed to WCKR (for Cox-Knight Broadcasting, who also owned television station WCKT, now WSVN). Branded Wacker Radio, it broadcast a middle-of-the-road format, but offered a Top 40 program at night, featuring Rick Shaw. It also carried NBC Radio's "Monitor" program on weekends. To accommodate WCKT, a new addition housing television studios was built on Broadcast Key in North Bay Village, Florida.
On June 16, 1981 WIOD began operating with 10,000 watts day and night to overcome interference caused by a station in Cuba. This special temporary authority, granted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been renewed on a regular basis since then.
WIOD has been a frequent winner in annual Florida Associated Press statewide competitions. WIOD may be best known for its continuous hurricane coverage, particularly Andrew, Katrina and Wilma. Despite the station's class B status, it has strong daytime and nighttime signals.
WIOD is an affiliate of the Fox News Radio network. It also is affiliated with AccuWeather and has a news and weather content sharing relationship with WFOR-TV. WIOD was the radio flagship of the 2006 NBA champions Miami Heat from 1996 until 2008. From 1966 until the late 1990s, it was the radio flagship of the Miami Dolphins, the longest partnership between a Miami sports team and a radio flagship station. It also was the Florida Panthers' original flagship station from 1993 until 2003. Currently, WIOD is the official broadcast emergency station for the Broward County Commission.
Former hosts and traffic reporters
WIOD's former staff includes Larry King, Neil Rogers, Sally Jessy Raphael, Ron Bennington, Mike Reineri, Bill Calder, Alan Burke, Sandy Peyton, Rick and Suds, Hank Goldberg, Randi Rhodes, Big Wilson, Chris Baker, Phil Hendrie, Joey Reynolds, Tom Gauger, Dave Lamont, Tom Leykis, Jack Ellery, Ed Arnold, and anchor Ron Hersey. Reineri hosted the last music show (Adult Contemporary format) on WIOD from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday from 1974 to 1989. Reineri's traffic reporter, Dave Mitchell, hosted the show on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the same time slot. Longtime News Director Lori Shepard left WIOD on August 8, 2013. Other known traffic reporters on WIOD in the 1980s and 1990s and 2003-2007 were Miami radio veterans: Joe Brennan, George Sheldon, Teri Griffin, and Don Anthony(Agony from the WAXY FM DAYS) Joe Brennan is still with I-Heart-Media's Total Traffic Network, George Sheldon has retired from broadcasting on January 31, 2013 after 34 years - Sheldon has retired in the mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville and reports climate change on Facebook and Twitter and as a Skywarn Meteorologist Weather Spotter for the NWS, Weatherspotter.org also a member of the AMS. Don Anthony (aka Don Agony) is retired from radio broadcasting, Teri Griffin (retired from broadcasting and has moved out of South Florida), and Trish Anderson died on March 31, 2012. Since 1989 WIOD has had an All-News or news-talk format.
Jingles best remembered at WIOD have included: "WIOD/Someplace Special," "The sunshine machine is coming your way/WIOD", "Mike Reineri/will get you started and on your way/every morning on WIOD", "Your Hometown Station/WIOD", "Go Dolphins! on WIOD" "The Miami Heat on WIOD/The Game's On Us/WIOD." WIOD primarily used TM Productions jingles during the 1970s, mostly resung from KDKA packages. The station did not have an image song until it had JAM Creative Productions' "First of All" jingle package resung and customized for them in the mid-1980s. Other JAM jingle series that were reworked to accommodate the six-note WIOD logo include "The Spirit of New England," "New Day," "Superstation" and "New York Fan". WFAN New York's jingle melody is actually modeled after WIOD's jingle melody, and, when WIOD had "New York Fan" resung for them, the station ordered a custom package, "Extra Innings", to accompany the "New York Fan" jingles. All JAM Creative Productions jingle series used by WIOD remain available from the company.
In June 2007, the all-Democratic county commission in Broward County was on the verge of rejecting WIOD as the official channel for emergency information because of concerns it is also home to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts. On his radio show Rush Limbaugh said, "They are politicizing the delivery of emergency news, which is non-partisan." After complaints from around the country the commission decided to keep using the radio station.