|City||Glen Ellyn, Illinois|
|Broadcast area||West Suburbs|
|Frequency||90.9 FM (MHz)
(also on HD Radio)
|First air date||July 5, 1977|
|Format||Public radio, jazz|
|HAAT||91.0 meters (298.6 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||DuPage Community Broadcasters|
|Owner||College of DuPage, District 502|
WDCB (90.9 FM) is a public radio station broadcasting a jazz format, serving primarily the Chicago area, and beyond through its streaming audio. The station is licensed to and owned by College of DuPage, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States, and mostly features live and locally hosted programming, along with select music programs from PRX and NPR.
WDCB 90.9 FM was founded as a 5,000-watt station in 1977, and its original format was a mix of classical, College of DuPage courses, and news programming. Then broadcast student Russ Rodriguez came up with the winning entry WDCB standing for "DuPage Community Broadcasting". Jazz programming was introduced in the early 1980s and became the primary format by the end of the decade. Since then, WDCB's format has expanded to include blues, roots rock, bluegrass, Celtic, folk, new-age, Afro-Cuban jazz, big band, and old-time radio shows, though straight-ahead jazz makes up about 80% of its music programming. The COD courses were dropped in 2001, and classical music continued to be heard on the station on weekends until late 2005. In recent years, some of the more eclectic and niche programming has been phased out for a stronger emphasis on the more popular jazz and blues programming.
As the result of a 2016 agreement with Chicago Public Media, WDCB's programming is now also heard throughout much of Chicago on WRTE 90.7 FM, from a low power 6-watt signal located on Chicago's near-west side. While WDCB's primary 90.9 FM signal does reach all of Chicago, the 90.7 FM signal offers better reception for many WDCB listeners on the west side of Chicago, as well as Chicago's near-north and near-south side neighborhoods.
Unlike most college-based stations, WDCB-FM is not student-operated, but rather very much professional in design and output. COD students, however, do work in a variety of roles at WDCB's offices during the week and many staffers are former COD student employees.
In addition to its predominantly live and locally hosted programming, WDCB also airs a number of nationally syndicated music programs, including NPR's "Jazz Night in America" and "Piano Jazz" as well as independent programs including "American Routes," "Night Lights," "Blues From the Red Rooster Lounge," "Folk Sampler" and "The Grateful Dead Radio Hour."
The station manager of WDCB is Dan Bindert. The music director is Paul Abella. The title of programming director is vacant, following the retirement of longtime manager Mary Patricia Larue in 2013. Since then Bindert has served as acting PD. Brian D. O'Keefe is the news director.
WDCB's stable of on-air personalities includes Bruce Oscar, Barry Winograd, Paul Abella, Orbert Davis and Marshall Vente, all of whom are prominent Chicago-based jazz musicians, along with longtime hosts Leslie Keros, Jay Greene, Bes Nievera, Jeanne Franks, Bob Signorelli and recent additions Al Carter-Bey and Robert Thunderbird. The daily lineup of Abella (mornings), Winograd (middays), and Oscar (afternoons) has been intact since 2015; the previous lineup of John Burnett (mornings), Winograd, and Oscar had been intact for 14 years. WDCB's extensive blues lineup includes a 10-hour block of blues every Saturday night, led off each week by popular Chicago blues and rock radio veteran Tom Marker, who began hosting on WDCB in 2015. In 2015, WDCB became the new broadcast home of former XM host Michelle Sammartino's program, "Jammin' Jazz: Jazz for the New Generation." WDCB is also the home of Those Were The Days, the long-running old-time radio program that used to be hosted by Chuck Schaden.On July 4, 2009, Steve Darnall took over as the second host of the show. Local celebrity Wayne Messmer also hosts a vocal jazz show on Sunday nights. In 2017, WDCB added prominent Chicago jazz singer Dee Alexander to its on-air lineup.