City Willow Springs, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago, Illinois
Branding WCPT 820
Chicago's Progressive Talk
Slogan "Our Kind of Talk for Our Kind of Town"
"We Are Chicago's Progressive Talk AM/FM"
"Where/Because Facts Matter"
Frequency 820 kHz
First air date 1927
Format Progressive Talk
Power 5,800 watts (day)
3,200 watts (auxiliary day)
1,500 watts (night)
Class B
Facility ID 16849
Transmitter coordinates 41°58′53″N 87°46′20″W / 41.98139°N 87.77222°W / 41.98139; -87.77222
(day and auxiliary day)
41°32′30″N 88°2′3″W / 41.54167°N 88.03417°W / 41.54167; -88.03417 (night)
Callsign meaning We're Chicago's Progressive Talk AM/FM
Former callsigns WCBD (1927-1941)
WAIT (1941-1986)
WCZE (1986-1988)
WXEZ (1988-1990)
WSCR (1992-1997)
WYPA (1997-2001)
WCSN (2001-2005)
WAIT (2005-2007)
Former frequencies 870 kHz (1927-1928)
1080 kHz (1928-1941)
1110 kHz (1941)
Affiliations Westwood One
AP Radio News
Owner Newsweb Corporation
(WYPA, Inc.)
Sister stations WCPY, WCPQ, WCPT-FM
Website wcpt820.com

WCPT (820 AM) is a Progressive Talk radio station licensed to Willow Springs, Illinois, and serving the Chicago area. WCPT is owned by Newsweb Corporation. Newsweb's owner, Fred Eychaner, is a significant donor to Democratic Party causes.[1] Studios are located in Chicago's Northwest Side.

WCPT airs syndicated talk programs including those hosted by Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller and Alan Colmes. WCPT's programs are simulcast on its sister station, 92.5 WCPT-FM in the daytime and early evening. WCPT-FM airs the separately programmed Dance Factory music format after 9 P.M., while 820 WCPT continues its Progressive Talk format at night.


The station was originally licensed in 1927 as WCBD, and broadcast at 870 kHz, sharing time with WLS.[2] In 1928, the station moved to 1080 kHz, where it shared time with WMBI.[2] The station briefly moved to 1110 kHz in 1941, as a result of North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, before moving to 820 kHz later that year.[2] In late 1941, the station's callsign was changed to WAIT.[2] The station broadcast with 5,000 watts during daytime hours only.[2] From 1947 to 1959 the station shared time on Sundays with WCBD in Zion, Illinois.[2][3] In the 1950s, the station published a chart of the top 20 popular songs in Chicago.[4]

As WAIT, the station aired a Beautiful Music format throughout the 1960s and '70s.[5][6] In 1978, WAIT briefly switched to an all talk format, before returning to the beautiful music format it had long aired.[6] In 1980, the station applied for a construction permit to add nighttime operations at 1,000 watts.[2] The station was granted a license for 24-hour operations in 1984,[7] and the station began broadcasting with 5,000 watts during the day and 1,000 watts at night.[8] In the mid '80s, the station aired a Big Band format.[9] In April 1986, the station began airing a Soft AC format as "Cozy" WCZE, airing Transtar Radio Networks' soft adult contemporary "Format 41".[9] In 1988, the station became a simulcast of WXEZ-FM 100.3, as WXEZ (AM), airing Easy listening music.[10]

In 1990, the station's transmitter site in Elmhurst, Illinois was sold and the station was taken off the air. On January 2, 1992, the station returned to the air from a new site,[11] though without nighttime operations, as WSCR "The Score", becoming the first all-sports station in Chicago.[12][13][14] In 1997, after the "Score" programming moved to 1160 AM, the station changed its call letters to WYPA, airing "Personal Achievement Radio". On June 5, 1998, the station adopted a Spanish language format as an affiliate of Radio Unica.[15] In mid-1999, WYPA was purchased by Catholic Family Radio and began airing a Catholic oriented talk format.[16][17][18]

In early 2001, WYPA was purchased by Newsweb.[19] The station changed its call letters to WCSN, and it again aired an all sports format, as an affiliate of Sporting News Radio.[20] In April 2003, Starboard Broadcasting began leasing two hours of airtime a day to air the Relevant Radio Catholic network, and in December 2003, began leasing programming for the entire day.[21] Relevant Radio continued to air on the station until November 25, 2007, when the format moved to WNTD.

On May 3, 2005, the station's call letters changed to WAIT when AM 850 WAIT launched progressive talk with the new call letters WCPT.[13]

On November 26, 2007, WCPT moved its frequency from 850 AM to 820 AM, doubling its power and providing coverage to all of Chicago.[22] The WCPT call letters moved along with the format to 820 AM,[13] and the WAIT call letters returned to 850 AM.[23]

On June 18, 2010, the FCC granted the station a license to again transmit 24 hours a day, albeit at reduced power after sunset in order not to interfere with clear channel WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas, the dominant radio station on AM 820.[24] While WCPT operates at 5,000 watts by day, it must reduce power to 1,500 watts at sundown, limiting its coverage in some of the suburbs of Chicago.


  1. "Fred Eychaner". Mother Jones. March 5, 2001.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 History Cards for WCPT, fcc.gov. Accessed November 3, 2015
  3. "Broadcasting", Volume 56, Broadcasting Publications, (1959) p. 79
  4. "Chicago's Top Twenty", WAIT Platter Pulse, December 24, 1956
  5. "Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third Series", Volume 20, Part 6, Number 1; Maps and Atlases, January - June 1966; Copyright Office - The Library of Congress, Washington DC: 1967. pp. 56-57. Accessed November 3, 2015
  6. 1 2 "Stations, everywhere: a listeners' guide to the AM and FM bands", Chicago Tribune Magazine. March 4, 1979. p. 34. Accessed December 29, 2013
  7. Application Search Details, fcc.gov. Accessed November 3, 2015
  8. "American Radio", Volume 10, Issue 2, J. Duncan, (1985) p. 93
  9. 1 2 Boss, Kit; "Radio`s Satellite Networks Beam With Success", Chicago Tribune. July 17, 1986. Accessed December 29, 2013
  10. WXEZ FM 100.3 Radio Chicago. Winter 1990. Accessed January 6, 2014
  11. Application Search Details fcc.gov. Accessed December 29, 2013
  12. "Street Talk", Radio & Records, January 3, 1992. p. 20. Accessed February 4, 2016.
  13. 1 2 3 Call Sign History fcc.gov. Accessed December 29, 2013
  14. https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4088376.html
  15. Jurado, Nickie. Radio Unica is "On the Air" in Chicago on WYPA 820 AM June 15, 1998. Accessed September 8, 2012
  16. Am 820 May Help Catholic Station Reach Out Kirk, Jim. Chicago Tribune. April 06, 1999. Accessed December 28, 2013
  17. Catholic Radio CEO Keeps The Faith About Family Programming Kirk, Jim. Chicago Tribune. June 27, 1999. Accessed December 28, 2013
  18. Investor May Rescue Catholic Radio Kirk, Jim. Chicago Tribune. May 18, 2000. Accessed December 28, 2013
  19. Application Search Details fcc.gov. Accessed January 8, 2014
  20. Chicago Media Headlines - February DJHeadlines.com February 5, 2001. Accessed December 28, 2013
  21. Starboard Network™ will significantly expand its Chicagoland presence by taking two major steps at the end of this month and the beginning of December. CatholicCitizens.org. November 18, 2003. Accessed December 29, 2013.
  22. WCPT doubles the power
  23. Call Sign History fcc.gov. Accessed December 29, 2013
  24. Federal Communications Commission AM Broadcast License, FCC.gov, June 18, 2010. Accessed November 29, 2015
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/9/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.