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|City||Columbia, South Carolina|
|Broadcast area||Columbia metropolitan area|
|Branding||News Radio 560 WVOC|
|Slogan||Columbia's News, Talk & Sports|
|First air date||July 10, 1930 (as WIS)|
|Callsign meaning||W Voice Of Columbia|
|Former callsigns||WIS (1930-1986)|
Westwood One Network
Fox News Radio
|Owner||iHeartMedia, Inc. |
(Capstar TX LLC)
|Sister stations||WCOS, WCOS-FM, WLTY, WNOK, WXBT|
WVOC (560 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Columbia, South Carolina, and serving the Columbia metropolitan area. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and airs a talk radio format. Its studios and offices are on Greystone Boulevard; Its transmitter is located off Radio Lane in Columbia.
WVOC operates with 5000 watts around the clock. By day it uses an omnidirectional antenna providing secondary coverage to most of South Carolina and portions of North Carolina and Georgia—as far north as the Charlotte suburbs, as far east as the outer suburbs of Charleston, as far south as the Augusta suburbs, and as far west as the fringes of the Upstate. At night it uses a directional antenna to protect other stations on 560 AM. This concentrates WVOC's signal in the central part of the state.
WVOC starts its weekday mornings with a local news and talk program hosted by Gary Barboza. The rest of the day is made up of nationally syndicated talk shows, most of them from iHeart subsidiary Premiere Networks. Hosts include Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, America Now with Meghan McCain, Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal. Weekends feature shows on money, travel and home repair. Syndicated hosts include Rudy Maxxa, Gary Sullivan, Joe Pags and Bill Cunningham. Most hours begin with world and national news from Fox News Radio and select hours begin with world and national news from Westwood One News.
The station went on the air for the first time on July 10, 1930  as WIS. On January 23, 1930, WIS was the last U.S. broadcast station to be assigned a previously unused call sign with three letters instead of four. The call letters were derived from the South Carolina nickname "Wonderful Iodine State." Before iodized salt, a high level of iodine in the state's soil gave the state's residents "a low incidence of goiters." Soon after signing on, it was bought by Liberty Life Insurance Company of Columbia, becoming one of many early radio stations owned by insurance companies in the South.
On November 14, 1949, a two-story studio on Bull Street was completed to house both the radio station and a planned television station. Construction of WIS-TV was authorized January 29, 1953, and the station signed on the air on November 7, 1953. The two stations operated under a newly formed Liberty subsidiary, the Broadcasting Company of the South. After acquiring several other stations across the country, it changed its name to Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation, with WIS-AM-TV as the flagship stations.
Cosmos pulled out of radio in 1986, and the new owners adopted the call sign WVOC on December 31st. (The TV station kept the WIS-TV call letters; the radio station had to change their callsign due to a since-repealed FCC rule that forbade TV and radio stations in the same market, but with different ownership from sharing the same callsign. WVOC had been the call letters of the student radio station at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York from 1964 to 1976.) The new owners dropped the 56-year affiliation with NBC in favor of Westwood One and CBS Radio News. WVOC had a talk radio format with mostly syndicated shows. By the turn of the century, the bulk of the lineup consisted of offerings from parent Clear Channel's Premiere networks, including Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Matt Drudge, Kim Komando and Coast-to-Coast AM. The station also featured a statewide-syndicated sports talk show in evenings.
In 2001, soon after Clear Channel bought the station, it switched its network affiliation to ABC Radio News after signing a deal for Paul Harvey. In 2005, as part of a corporate-wide change, the station switched to Fox News Radio.
From 1954 until 2002, WIS/WVOC was the flagship for South Carolina Gamecocks football and basketball, and touted itself as the "Home of the Gamecocks." However, on June 27, 2002, Host Communications and the university decided to leave the station in favor of rival Citadel Broadcasting stations. The decision laced Gamecock athletics on Citadel's FM signals, which not only had more power than WVOC, but rival the coverages of other Southeastern Conference schools.
WVOC was the flagship radio station of the May 15, 2007 simulcast of the Fox News Republican Presidential Debate.
On October 26, 2011, WVOC began simulcasting on its sister station WXBT 100.1 FM, which had previously broadcast a hip hop format. However, this was part of a transition to move WVOC's talk format to the FM band. In November, WXBT changed its call sign to WVOC-FM. On January 3, 2012, as part of a three-way format swap, the sports radio programming that was on WCOS at AM 1400 was moved to AM 560, and the call sign was changed to WXBT, which was formerly on 100.1 FM. As part of the swap, WXBT adopted the moniker "SportsRadio 560 the Team."
On November 6, 2014, WXBT switched to a simulcast of WVOC-FM, while its former sports programming moved back to WCOS. WXBT had fired most of its local hosts in October, reportedly because it was unable to make a dent in the ratings against the Midlands' sports-talk FM powerhouse, 107.5 WNKT. The simulcast ended on December 10, when the talk programming moved exclusively to WXBT, which changed its call letters back to WVOC on December 15. 100.1 WXBT also returned to a hip-hop urban contemporary format. In effect, this move reversed the 2011 format swap.