|Broadcast area||Arlington Heights/Chicago, Illinois|
|Branding||Daytime: Chicago's Progressive Talk
Nighttime: Dance Factory FM
|Frequency||92.7 FM (MHz)|
|Format||Daytime: Progressive Talk
Nighttime: Dance Hits
|Callsign meaning||Chicago's Progressive Talk|
|Website||Chicago's Progressive Talk website
Dance Factory FM's website
WCPT-FM 92.7 FM is a radio station licensed to Arlington Heights, Illinois, and serving the Chicago area. WCPT-FM is part of a trimulcast with WCPT (AM), WCPQ and WCPY. During the daytime, the trimulcast simulcasts WCPT programming from 5 AM – 9 PM, and operates a Dance Hits format at night known as Dance Factory FM.
The 92.7 FM frequency has a long history of various formats. After signing on the air in the late 1950s as WNWC ("North West Communities"), by 1968 it became the pioneer rock-music outlet in the Chicago area, including top 40 hits, as WEXI ("Stereo Excitement"). But as the format spread to other area stations, WEXI adopted an easy-listening and talk format by 1970 ("Spreading Clean Air over Chicagoland") that same year. WEXI station personalities included Ray Smithers, Lou Rugani, Stan Adams, Pat Cassidy, Jon Morgan, Bud Jeffries, and Jonathan Kingsley (the latter hosting "Love in the Afternoon", a first-name-only call-in show about romantic fantasies and experiences). By the early 1970s the call letters became WWMM and later WTCO, with a country-and western format.
On January 24, 1983, the station made national headlines when the call letters were changed to the provocative WSEX with an adult contemporary format called "Love Songs & More". Later that decade, the station, still WSEX, carried a "Top 10" format only playing songs from the '80s that had made Top 10 according to Billboard Magazine. One DJ was "Doctor-X". He had started his career in the early 1980s on WMTH 88.5 with "The Doctor-X All Request Radio Show", continuing when the station changed frequency to 90.5 FM, then Doctor-X started the low power station WDRX 91.9 FM and eventually went on to commercial radio under another name on WSEX 92.7 FM where he continued when the station became WCBR-FM.
WCBR as "Chicago Bear"
The station became "Chicago's Bear", with the WCBR-FM call letters on January 9, 1989. As the 1990s progressed, the station's programming consisted of a mixture of brokered and AAA programming. One of the most known brokered programs was "Cyber Radio" which featured dance music on the weekends.
Big City Radio, and trimulcast
In early 1998, Big City Radio Group took over WCBR and WBRO in Kankakee (also on 92.7). Many of the brokered programs that were on the station were moved to then-automated adult contemporary WJKL in Elgin. When Big City took control of the two stations, the station stunted with a simulcast of their Los Angeles sister station "Y 107", which had a modern rock format.
"92.7 Kiss FM"
On November 14, 1998, at Noon, WCBR and WBRO launched their new official format, CHR as "92.7 KISS FM". with the first song being "Kiss" by Prince. This would be Chicago's first true CHR station in many years and proved to be quite successful, even with the two stations' weak signals. In early 1999, the calls were changed to WKIE and WKIF. In summer 1999 Big City purchased a third station, WDEK 92.5 in Dekalb, Illinois, which had a locally programmed CHR format at the time and began simulcasting it with WKIE and WKIF as a trimulcast. Not long after, the moniker was adjusted to "92 KISS FM".
"Energy 92.7 & 5"
On January 12, 2001, Clear Channel flipped its full-signal WUBT from rhythmic oldies to CHR as WKSC-FM "Kiss 103.5". At that time, they issued a cease and desist order to Big City Radio insisting they stop using the "Kiss FM" moniker. "92 KISS-FM" continued until January 26, 2001. 92 KISS-FM signed off with Pearl Jam's Last Kiss and then the three signals became "Energy 92.7&5", a format consisting entirely of dance music, launched with DJ Jean's The Launch. The airstaff and voiceover talent Sean Caldwell remained intact. The new format was designed by 92 KISS-FM's program director, Chris Shebel, who has stated that the Dance Hits format is something he had dreamed of doing for a long time.
Energy gained lots of attention via the internet and gained a relatively devoted following in the Chicago area and worldwide via its webcast, even producing two consecutive CD-song collections, "Energy92.7&5 Dance Hits Volume(s) 1 & 2" . Considering their niche format and signal limitations, Energy was competitive in the ratings and in revenues. Energy's program director, Chris Shebel, consulted the launch of the Energy format in Phoenix, Arizona on KNRJ as Energy 92.7 & 101.1.
In late 2002, Big City Radio, declared bankruptcy and began liquidating its properties. WKIE, WKIF and WDEK were sold to Spanish Broadcasting System and WXXY/WYXX (which had a Mexican music format) to the Hispanic Broadcasting Company. On January 5, 2003, at Midnight, Energy became "Onda 92". Energy's program director Chris Shebel and former Energy DJ Joe Vlazny-Smith (a.k.a. Joey V) went on to launch the same format in San Francisco on KBTB, which is now known as KREV 92.7 Rev FM.
Onda 92 was never successful in the ratings, and SBS had their own financial problems, so in June 2004, the company sold WKIE, WKIF and WDEK to Newsweb Corporation. At midnight on November 22, 2004, Onda signed off, and WDEK and WKIE began simulcasting with its new adult hits sister station WRZA, aka "Nine FM". WKIF was switched to a full-time simulcast of CNN Headline News.
Sky Daniels was the original program director for Nine FM. When he left in 2005, he was replaced by Matt DuBiel. Nine FM's format tightened a bit over time, to attract more casual listeners, eliminating many of the more obscure songs on the station's playlist.
On May 19, 2006, Chris Chudzik of TKC Entertainment began leasing air time on Saturday nights for a dance music show called Dance Factory FM, from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM hosted By Kyle Kelly (a former DJ from Energy 92.7&5). Dance Factory FM expanded to Friday nights 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM starting on August 12, 2006, hosted by Luis 2Live Lopez (also a former DJ from Energy 92.7&5).
"Dance Factory FM"/"Chicago's Progressive Talk"
A year later, on May 14, 2007 Nine FM and Chudzik expanded Dance Factory to seven nights a week from 9:00 PM to 4:30 AM. The weekend shows carry a DJ mix style format, while the weekday shows carry a Dance Hits music format with live mixes several times nightly.
Newsweb Corporation dropped the Nine FM programming on all three signals Monday, October 20, 2008, and replaced it with a simulcast of sister station WCPT from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. Dance Factory still continues to air overnight, and gained an extra half hour (4:30 AM – 5 AM) in the morning. The last song on Nine FM was intended to be "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" by Del Amitri, but ended up being "Crush" by Jennifer Paige, likely an homage to the "WKIE" call letters' 10 year run with "Crush" being one of the first hit songs on the station.  On October 27, 2008, the station changed its callsign from WKIE to WCPT-FM, to go with the format.
- "Call Sign History (WCPT-FM)". Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- "WCPT/Chicago Gets FM Simulcasts", Radio Ink, October 17, 2008.
- "End Of Nine Fm Chicago", Youtube
- Dance Factory
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WCPT
- Radio-Locator information on WCPT
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WCPT