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WDCB 90.9FM logo.jpg
CityGlen Ellyn, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago metropolitan area
Frequency90.9 FM (MHz)
(also on HD Radio)
First air dateJuly 5, 1977[1]
FormatPublic radio, jazz
ERP5,000 watts
HAAT91.0 meters (298.6 ft)
Facility ID12281
Transmitter coordinates41°50′36.00″N 88°5′0.00″W / 41.8433333°N 88.0833333°W / 41.8433333; -88.0833333
Callsign meaningDuPage Community Broadcasting[2]
AffiliationsPRX, NPR
OwnerCollege 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.[3]


WDCB began broadcasting July 5, 1977 and was originally a part-time station, sharing time on the frequency with WEPS.[1][4][2][5] The station's call sign stood for "DuPage Community Broadcasting".[2] In its early years, the station aired classical, jazz, and folk music, College of DuPage courses, community affairs, and entertainment programming.[4][2][6][7][5] The station began full-time operations in October 1987, after an agreement was reached for WEPS to move to a new frequency.[1][5] Throughout the 1980s, WDCB was also used on the Cablevision of Downers Grove's Local/Public Access Channel.

By the late 1980s, jazz had become the station's primary format.[1][7] Since then, WDCB's format has included a diverse variety of musical genres, including blues, roots rock, bluegrass, Celtic, folk, new-age, big band, and world music, along with old-time radio shows, though jazz makes up a majority of the station's programming.[8][9] COD courses continued to air on the station until 2001.[8] Classical Confab aired Sundays until late 2005.[8][10][11] 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.[9][11] In 2009, Steve Darnall took over as the second host of the show.[12]

As the result of a 2016 agreement with Chicago Public Media, WDCB's programming is now also heard on WRTE 90.7 FM, from a low power 6-watt signal located on Chicago's near-west side.[13] 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.


Since 2000, John Russell Ghrist has hosted the Saturday afternoon big band program Midwest Ballroom.[14][15] Steve Darnall hosts the long running old-time radio program Those Were The Days, which airs Saturday afternoons.[16] 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.[9][17] In 2015, WDCB became the new broadcast home of former XM host Michelle Sammartino's program, Jammin' Jazz: Jazz for the New Generation.[18][19] Local celebrity Wayne Messmer also hosts a vocal jazz show on Sunday nights.[20] In 2017, WDCB added prominent Chicago jazz singer Dee Alexander to its on-air lineup.[21]

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" as well as independent programs including "American Routes," "Night Lights," "Blues From the Red Rooster Lounge," and "The Grateful Dead Radio Hour."[9] WDCB was also home to The Folk Sampler until it ended its run in Summer 2018.[22]


The station manager of WDCB is Dan Bindert.[23] The music director is Paul Abella.[23] Brian O'Keefe is the news director.[23] WDCB is not student-operated, though COD students do work at WDCB's offices as aides.[8]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Wilhelmson, Brenda. "Radio In Du Page", Chicago Tribune. February 25, 1990. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "WDCB on the air", La Grange Suburban Life. November 2, 1977. pt. 2, p. 11. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  3. ^ "WDCB Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  4. ^ a b Broadcasting Yearbook 1980, Broadcasting. 1980. p. C-68. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Bagnato, Andrew. "College Station Clears the Air Over Frequency", Chicago Tribune. September 2, 1986. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  6. ^ Danna, Sammy R. (1981) Educational and Industrial Television. C. S. Tepfer Publishing Company. Vol. 13. p. 86.
  7. ^ a b Spencer, LeAnn. "Tiny WDCB-FM Makes Big Plans to Jazz Up Its Image", Chicago Tribune. August 23, 2000. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d WDCB History", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "WDCB Program Grid", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "WDCB Programs". WDCB. Archived from the original on February 2, 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ a b "WDCB Program Schedule". WDCB. Archived from the original on April 4, 2005. Retrieved February 10, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ Slowik, Ted. "Slowik: Nostalgia Digest celebrates golden age of radio entertainment", Daily Southtown. August 29, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Feder, Robert. "Public radio rivals team up to boost WDCB, Vocalo", RobertFeder.com. May 4, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Midwest Ballroom", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  15. ^ Constable, Burt. "DJ carves niche swinging to beat of different ballroom", Daily Herald. January 23, 2010. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Those Were the Days", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "Tom Marker", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  18. ^ "WDCB to add former XM host's 'Jammin' Jazz' show to weekly lineup!", WDCB. December 16, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  19. ^ "Michelle Sammartino", WDCB. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Wayne Messmer Radio Show", WDCB. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "We're adding a new program 'Sunday Jazz with Dee Alexander'!", WDCB. April 25, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  22. ^ "Folk Sampler Station Guide". The Folk Sampler. Archived from the original on December 9, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  23. ^ a b c "WDCB Staff", WDCB. Retrieved February 10, 2019.

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