Frequency 820AM (kHz)
City Willow Springs, Illinois
Market Chicago
Branding Chicago's Progressive Talk
Owner Newsweb Corporation
Power 5,000 watts (daytime only)
Slogan Our Kind of Talk for Our Kind of Town
Format launch May 5, 2005
Format dropped
Sister stations
Webcast link

WCPT (820 AM) is a daytime-only AM progressive talk radio station licensed to Willow Springs, Illinois, and serving the Chicago area. WCPT is owned by Newsweb Corporation.

WCPT doubled its signal power when it moved from 850 AM to 820 AM. While on 850 AM, WCPT signed off from sunset to sunrise to protect the signal of KOA in Denver. With the move to 820 AM, they sign off at sunset to protect WBAP in Dallas, which shares the same frequency.

Progressive talk programmingEdit

The station carries a full-time progressive talk format, and carries programming from Air America Radio, Nova M Radio and Jones Radio Networks.


For many years this station played adult standards as WAIT. In the late 1990s, this station, on 820 AM, was WCSN, an all-sports station and affiliate of Sporting News Radio.

In February of 2005, a column by Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times sparked speculation that a progressive talk format could end up on a station in Chicago. The article said that the station was rumored to change formats by March 31, the one year anniversary of Air America's original launch in Chicago on their original affiliate, WNTD. Air America's affiliation with WNTD was interrupted after only a few weeks, due to conflicts with the station's owner.

Many thought that WRLL 1690-AM would switch to the format, as its owner, Clear Channel Communications, had rolled progressive talk on quite a few of their struggling radio stations across the country. However, WRLL decided to continue with their oldies format, and on May 5, 2005, AM 850 launched progressive talk with the new call letters WCPT. The WAIT call letters were moved to 820 AM.

In November of 2005, the FCC denied an application by Newsweb to move the station to Addison, Illinois.

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

Newsweb's owner, Fred Eychaner, is a significant donor to Democratic Party causes, and many see WCPT's format as a natural fit for one of his stations.


  • The station hosted its first event on December 9th, 2005 when Al Franken did a live broadcast of The Al Franken Show from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Al's guests were Senator Barack Obama, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Amnesty International Midwest director Dori Dinsmore, writer Studs Terkel, and a 13-year-old "Wait, Wait, Don't Lie To Me" contestant named Mike.
  • The station's second event was when Jerry Springer did a live broadcast of Springer on the Radio in front of a live audience from the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2006. Topics included immigration, the Iraq war, abortion, and topics from the audience.
  • Franken returned for another live broadcast from the Steppenwolf Theatre on Monday, May 8, 2006. His guests were Senator Dick Durbin, executive director of the Death Penalty Education Project Edwin Colfax, Congressional candidates John Laesch (IL-14) and Dan Seals (IL-10), universal healthcare advocates Dr. Quentin Young and Ajitha Reddy, and Cass Sunstein.
  • Ed Schultz was featured at a "meet and greet" at the Green Dolphin Restaurant on August 8, 2006. He returned for another "meet and greet" at Joey's Brickhouse on May 3, 2007 and is scheduled to return for another on December 6, 2007.


SP04 SU04 FA04 WI05 SP05 SU05 FA05 WI06 SP06 SU06 FA06 WI07 SP07 SU07 FA07 WI08 SP08
X X X X 0.4 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.9 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.3 0.8 0.4 0.8* 0.9

* Station moved from 850AM to 820AM

Source: Arbitron

External linksEdit

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