WAXY (790 AM, "The Ticket") is a radio station licensed in South Miami, Florida broadcasting on 790 kHz with a sports talk format. The station is owned by Entercom. Its studios are located near Sun Life Stadium in northern Dade County and its transmitter is in Everglades National Park.
The callsign was formerly used on FM at 105.9 until Jefferson-Pilot acquired the callsign due to their competing station WMXJ Majic 102.7 having the same format, Oldies. 105.9 FM is now WBGG-FM and owned by Clear Channel with a Classic Rock format.
On August 24, 2012, Lincoln Financial Media announced that it had acquired 104.3 WMSF. Beginning on August 29, 2012, 104.3 FM will begin simulcasting the 790 broadcast. Once the acquisition closes, "The Ticket" broadcast will move to 104.3 FM and 790 AM will break off for new programming.
On December 8, 2014, Entercom announced that it was purchasing Lincoln Financial Group's entire 15-station lineup (including WAXY) in a $106.5 million deal, and would operate the outlets under a LMA deal until the sale was approved by the FCC (which occurred on July 16, 2015). As a result, 104.3 ended the simulcast on August 21, 2015, and sports will remain on 790 for the foreseeable future.
This station was once WFUN, a legendary Top 40 station that competed with WQAM. Originally, the station was located at 800 on the AM dial, and was a daytime-only operation. While on 800, it was licensed to Miami Beach and was the first station in the area to hold the WMBM call letters, now on 1490 kHz. In the early 1960s, the station migrated down to 790, and went full-time as WFUN. The 790 dial position was a moderately directional signal, as there was already a 790 in Havana, Cuba, and another in central Florida (Leesburg-Eustis). Despite coverage limitations, especially to the southwest (in the Florida Keys, toward Havana), WFUN competed vigorously with WQAM throughout the 1960s, and even won some of the ratings sweeps. During the early 1970s, pop music showed up first on FM at WMYQ, and then on Y-100, and the field of top 40 stations (including WQAM and even WINZ for a brief time) became crowded; ultimately many listeners moved to FM for music, and on January 7, 1976, WFUN abandoned its top 40 format for an Adult Standards/MOR format. WFUN was used by one of its disc jockeys to create the Boss Radio broadcasting sound of Swinging Radio England from the coast of southern England during 1966. For a short time in 1965 Morton 'Doc' Downey was a DJ on this Miami station.
WFUN was the home of several DJs who became famous on both sides of the Atlantic in 1966. They included Ron O'Quinn and Larry Dean. The format of WFUN in Miami was used in part by Ron O'Quinn as the foundation for the hybrid mix of sounds that were heard over the 50,000 watts offshore pirate radio station Swinging Radio England between May and November 1966. Morning man Bruce Bartley later moved to Atlanta at WSB as the voice of the news and later Program Director of WCNN 680.
Also in 1976, the station became WNWS with a news/talk format. Popular talk show host Tom Leykis was heard in the early 1980s. It changed back to music and became WMRZ-AM ("790 Memories") on November 28, 1990, running "AM Only", a Satellite-based Adult Standards format from the Unistar radio network (now America's Best Music from Dial Global).
WMRZ switched to a schedule of brokered programming in late 1993, and became WAXY on October 12, 1994 after the original WAXY on FM abandoned those call letters airing an eclectic mix of shows from investments, sports, radio theater, religion as well as a mixed bag of music shows including hip hop, Cajun/zydeco, oldies and gospel.
Since 2004, WAXY has been an all-sports station. At one point, the station was branded as "ESPN Radio 790", but then stopped carrying ESPN Radio programs in favor of Fox Sports Radio, then carried the Sporting News Radio shows of Todd Wright and David Stein, and is now affiliated with ESPN Radio again, since WQAM took the Sporting News Radio affiliation.
The weekday lineup is mainly local, with host Jonathan Zaslow and former NFL lineman Brett Romberg with South Florida sports personality Amber Wilson (Zaslow, Roms and Amber, mornings from 5:30-9am), with guest hosts such as ESPN columnist Israel Gutierrez, Miami Herald sportswriter Dan LeBatard with the nationally-syndicated and flagship home for The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (middays from 9am-1pm + 3-4pm), The Eric Reed Show (not to be confused with current Miami Heat TV announcer Eric Reid), former NFL Running back Leroy Hoard and radio personality Brian "The Beast" London (1-3pm), Miami Herald's Heat columnist Ethan Skolnick (afternoons from 4-7pm) and Josh Friedman host the evening show (7-10pm). Craig Mish And Brian London are permanent fixtures on the weekends.
The station was the flagship station for the Miami Marlins after they were not renewed by WQAM at the request of the Miami Dolphins, back in 2007. On November 6, 2013, sports station rivals at WINZ announced that they were the new flagship station for the Miami Marlins, ending a 5-year relationship with The Ticket. WMCU 1080 currently is serving in this role for FIU Golden Panthers football and basketball conflicts with the Marlins.
WAXY also airs most of the national play-by-play schedule of ESPN Radio.
Interference from Cuba and Temporary Power Increase
WAXY has been operating under special temporary authority from the FCC since December 1981, The temporary authority allows an increased power level of 25,000 watts both day and night. This "temporary" increase was granted by the FCC to offset interference to WAXY from a Cuban radio station.