WIZE is an AM radio station in Springfield, Ohio operating on 1340 kHz. WIZE is owned by Clear Channel Communications and carries a sports talk radio format via a near 24-hour simulcast of WONE 980-AM, as a result, the station uses the on-air nickname "980 Homer." It carries programming from Fox Sports Radio, as well as the Jim Rome Show. Almost all of WIZE/WONE's locally-based daytime lineup is now simulcast from Cincinnati sister station WCKY 1530-AM; in fact, the "Homer" nickname and imaging is the same as WCKY's.
In the mid 1960's, WIZE adopted a Top 40 format, and it soon became the most popular station in town. Under the leadership of Station Manager Steve Joos, listenership (and advertising revenues) grew to the point that WIZE was the most profitable station in the Great Trails chain. The station was moved from its downtown location on West High Street to a location on Miracle Mile. In order to comply with zoning regulations, the building had to be set back from the road and had to look like a residence. As a result, WIZE's studios had a country setting while remaining in the city. (It was not unusual to leave the building and watch deer strolling across the grounds.) Among the list of past employees include Jim Baldridge(later of WHIO-TV), Duke Rollins, the late John Hall (John Stalder), Johnny Walker (later of WKEF-TV), Lee Brenner (Lee Aufdenkampe), John King (F. John Damewood), Steve Rugh, Dale Grimm, Bill Hart, Dave Bailie, Darrell Mitchell and Pat Barry (who achieved more recognition as a TV weatherman in Cincinnati). The station was owned by Air Trails Broadcasting (which eventually became Great Trails Broadcasting) and due to its' success, was the most profitable station in the group. WING in Dayton, WCOL in Columbus and WGTZ, Eaton (formerly WJAI) were also owned by Great Trails.
WIZE's news and sports coverage was second to none, with news and sports director Gerry Allen (Gerry Pavelka) and notable news reporters Karen Anderson and Darryl Bauer.
In 1982, Joos left WIZE to accept a position in Columbus. He was replaced as General Manager by Joe Taylor who instituted numerous changes in the station. He brought in two new staff members (Sandy Alexander and Dennis Carter) and changed the format to a unique middle-of-the-road type format. This was at a time when FM radio was becoming more popular and AM stations were having problems attracting listeners and advertising revenues. In order to "look good" with the corporation, Taylor instituted an all-out sales push, selling commercials for as little as a dollar. As a result, the station was oversold, often running as much as 40 minutes of commercial material each hour.
Taylor only lasted a few years as General Manager, being relieved of duty amid sex scandals. He was replaced by George Wymer (son of WING, Dayton, radio legend Jack Wymer) with the intention of purchasing the station from Great Trails. He was unable to make the purchase and left the station. The next General Manager was Jerry Staggs, who eventually did purchase the station. Under Staggs' watch, WIZE associated with the former WBLY, the predecessor of WULM as part of a local marketing agreement with owner RAY (Ronald A. Yontz) Broadcasting. By this time, both stations operated in the same building. Staggs sold the station in 1990 to WONE's then-owner, DKM Broadcasting, which dropped all local programming for a simulcast of WONE, effectively ending any and all relationship with Springfield.
After a stint as a country music station, WONE/WIZE changed to Adult Standards on November 29, 1994. It adopted its present sports talk format (as "Sports ONE") on December 8, 2003, competing with Radio One-owned WING. This eventually became a near-total simulcast of then "1360 Homer" in Cincinnati, which continues even as the "Homer" format itself moved from WSAI to WCKY 1530-AM on July 2006.
The station now, for all intents and purposes, is a Dayton station with its only tie to its city of license being its tower on Miracle Mile Road.