|City of license||Willow Springs, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||Chicago, Illinois|
|Branding||AM 820 WCPT
Chicago's Progressive Talk
|Slogan||"Our Kind of Talk for Our Kind of Town"
"We Are Chicago's Progressive Talk AM/FM"
|First air date||1941|
|Power||5,000 watts (day)
1,500 watts (night)
|Callsign meaning||We're Chicago's Progressive Talk AM/FM|
|Sister stations||WCPT-FM, WCPQ, WCPY|
WCPT (820 AM) is a progressive talk radio station licensed to Willow Springs, Illinois, and serving the Chicago area. The station carries programming from Dial Global. WCPT is owned by Newsweb Corporation. Studios are located in Chicago's Northwest Side.
On October 20, 2008, WCPT began simulcasting its programming from 5A.M.-9P.M. on the three co-owned FM stations formerly known as Nine FM. The FM frequencies continue to carry the separately programmed "Dance Factory" music format after 9P.M.
In April 2010, the FCC finally allowed the station to begin transmitting 24 hours a day, albeit at reduced power after sunset in order not to interfere with WBAP in Texas. WCPT's post-sunset programming is mirrored directly over their internet stream.
The station was originally licensed in 1941 as WAIT and was owned by Gene Dyer. From 1947 to 1959 the station shared time on Sundays with WCBD in Zion, Illinois. As WAIT the station played a Beautiful Music format throughout the 1950s, '60s and 70s. In 1978, WAIT briefly switched to an all talk format, before returning to the beautiful music format it had long aired. In 1982 the station began 24-hour-a-day operations and in the mid '80s started airing a Big Band format. In April 1986, the station began airing a Soft AC format as "Cozy" WCZE, airing Transtar Radio Networks' soft Adult Contemporary "Format 41". In 1988, the station became a simulcast of WXEZ-FM 100.3, as WXEZ (AM), airing Easy listening music.
In 1990, the station's transmitter site in Elmhurst, Illinois was sold and the station was taken off the air. In early 1992 the station returned to the air from a new site, though without nighttime operations, as WSCR The Score, an all-sports station. In 1997 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. In mid 1999, WYPA was purchased by Catholic Family Radio and began airing a Catholic oriented talk format.
In early 2001, WYPA was purchased by Newsweb. The station changed its call letters to WCSN, and it again aired an all sports format, as an affiliate of Sporting News Radio. 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. Relevant Radio continued to air on the station until November 25, 2007 when the format moved to AM 950 WNTD.
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.
As of October 17, 2007, WCPT did not appear among Arbitron's top 30 Chicago stations and was beaten out by other competing high-profile Chicago talk radio stations, WGN, WLS, WIND, and WCKG. WCPT ratings have gone from 0.4 share in Fall 2007 to a 0.8 share in Winter 2008 to a 0.2 share for March 2009, according to Arbitron. It was the 46th most popular commercial station in Chicago. In November 2009 it had a 0.3 share and had climbed to be tied for the 42nd most popular commercial station in Chicago.
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- "Chicago's Notable Time Shares-WGES". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
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- Am 820 May Help Catholic Station Reach Out Kirk, Jim. Chicago Tribune. April 06, 1999. Accessed December 28, 2013
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- 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.
- WCPT doubles the power
- Call Sign History fcc.gov. Accessed December 29, 2013
- "Fred Eychaner". Mother Jones. March 5, 2001.
- Chicago Sun-Times report of Arbitron ratings, October 17, 2007
- "Arbitron PPM Ratings Data". Arbitron.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WCPT
- Radio-Locator Information on WCPT
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WCPT
- Why AM Radio Stations Must Reduce Power, Change Operations, or Cease Operations at Night
- Approximate Sunrise/Sunset times for WCPT's transmitter location