WIND (AM)

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WIND
WIND 560theanswer logo.jpg
City Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast area Chicago metropolitan area
Branding AM 560 The Answer
Slogan News. Opinion. Insight.
Frequency 560 kHz
First air date 1927
Format News/Talk
Power 5,000 watts
Class B (Regional)
Facility ID 67068
Transmitter coordinates 41°33′54″N 87°25′11″W / 41.56500°N 87.41972°W / 41.56500; -87.41972Coordinates: 41°33′54″N 87°25′11″W / 41.56500°N 87.41972°W / 41.56500; -87.41972
Callsign meaning W - INDiana (originally licensed to Gary, Indiana),
WINDy City
Affiliations Salem Radio Network, Fox News Radio, Premiere Networks
Owner Salem Media Group
(Salem Media of Illinois, LLC)
Sister stations WYLL
Website www.560theanswer.com

WIND "AM 560" is a radio station based in Chicago, Illinois, broadcasting its talk radio format on 560 kHz. Its 5,000 Watt signal is heard throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as parts of Southeast Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana, and transmits from a location near I-294 and Dempster Road in Des Plaines, with studios located in Elk Grove Village. WIND is owned by Salem Media, a company specializing primarily in Christian radio.

Programming[edit]

WIND is similar to many of Salem's other secular talk stations, airing hosts Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher. WIND also carries syndicated conservative talk host Sean Hannity and family finances adviser Dave Ramsey. WIND currently airs two local shows on the weekdays, Chicago's Morning Answer with Amy Jacobsen and Dan Proft (5-9 a.m.) and Joe Walsh (5-7 p.m.).

On weekends, WIND airs shows dealing with money, real estate, aging and gardening. Part of the weekend schedule is Brokered programming. WIND is the flagship station for Carl Amari's nationally syndicated nostalgia & showbiz program "Hollywood 360" which airs Saturday evenings from 8 pm till Midnight. National news headlines from Fox News Radio are aired hourly.

History[edit]

WIND first signed on in 1927. It was started by Ralph Atlass (who also started WBBM), and was originally licensed to Gary, Indiana. It was initially known as WJKS and operated on the 1360 KC frequency, sharing it with WSBT (owned by the South Bend Tribune), and WGES. The station moved to its present 560 kilocycle dial spot in 1929, after Chicago stations WIBO and WPCC who were also operating at the 560 KC frequency, were shut down.[1] WIND's studios were located on the 3rd floor of the South tower of the Wrigley Building.

According to old Chicago Tribune radio schedules (found on the website "JJ's radio logs") in the late 1940s, WIND was the "hit music" station for Chicago, mostly playing contemporary music. It also featured Cubs and Sox baseball and big band programs, including Lawrence Welk.

WIND's programming had been music and personality driven. In the 50's, Howard Miller,[2] a Chicago radio personality, started a longtime run as Chicago's top rated morning DJ.[3] For the next 20 years, Miller claimed the top spot in Chicago morning radio ratings, only to be toppled in the 1970s by WGN's Wally Phillips.

Over the years, other WIND personalities included Bernie Allen, Lee Rogers, Dick Williamson, Perry Marshall, Kassidy, Joel Sebastian (1986),[4] Milo Hamilton, Robert W. Morgan, Doug Dalghren, Chuck Benson and Kurt Russell, Clark Weber, Jerry G. Bishop, Ron Riley,[5] Ron Britain,[6] Steve King, Bill Jurek, and Connie Szerszen.[7] Overnight programing began with "Night Watch" featuring Bruce Lee, who was then followed by several other hosts, including Larry Johnson and Eddie Schwartz (who was also music director for a time).

From the 1940s until the demise of the music format, following the 2:00am newscast, WIND played "The Whiffenpoof Song." The station had a library of over 100 versions of this song.

In 1956, Atlass sold WIND to Westinghouse. Westinghouse expanded the news department, adding such names as Walt Hamilton, Dick Brazie, Dick Elliott and Bernard Shaw (later of CNN). WIND pioneered 5 minute newscasts at the top and bottom of every hour, and a "meteorologist" (for many years, Earl Finckle) doing the weather forecast, hourly.

By the 1960s, though WIND, along with other Westinghouse stations, employed a "gentle top 40" (an early version of what is now called Hot Adult Contemporary).[8] By 1971, WIND evolved into an oldies-heavy adult contemporary format.

The station was managed from 1968 to 1977 by Phil Nolan, who held the titles of Vice President and General Manager. In 1973, WIND won the George Foster Peabody Award for their series "From 18th Street: Destination Peking." [9]

By 1977, WIND played music during the day along with local news until 10:00 p.m., when they would switch to call-in talk programming featuring Dave Baum (called "Contact"). Similar formats were on Westinghouse sister stations like WBZ in Boston, WOWO in Fort Wayne and KDKA in Pittsburgh. During these years, WIND and WGN had similar formats except that the latter played less music. By 1978, WIND switched to a mostly satellite-delivered news/talk format and opted to add local talk shows in the morning. When WIND evolved into talk, their tape cartridges, which held the 2000+ song music library, were sent to WOWO.

In 1981, WIND added all-news blocks between 6:00-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-7:00 p.m. By this time, however, the station's ratings were in decline, as well as having lower than expected advertising revenues.

In September 1985, Westinghouse announced that they would sell WIND to Tichenor Radio for $6.85 million. The radio station then moved to the 625 N. Michigan building.[10][11] This also marked the end of Westinghouse's tenure in the Chicago market, as WIND was their only station. (Westinghouse would later return to the Chicago market by purchasing AM 670 WMAQ from NBC in 1987.)

On December 12, 1985, at 1:03 p.m., on the same day of the closing of the sale to Tichenor, WIND officially signed off the air by playing "The Whiffenpoof Song" and "The Star-Spangled Banner".[12][13][14] About two weeks later, WIND signed back on the air and flipped to a Spanish adult contemporary music station, including Spanish-language news and talk shows. WIND evolved into Spanish news and talk by 1990, but eventually brought back music. In 1998, Tichenor merged with Heftel Broadcasting (which Clear Channel Communications had acquired controlling interest in 1996) to form Hispanic Broadcasting, in which Clear Channel retained a minority stake. Five years later, when Hispanic Broadcasting merged with Univision, Clear Channel relinquished its minority stake in the company, which was renamed Univision Radio.

In 2004, Univision Radio announced that they would swap stations with Salem Communications. Univision Radio wanted to move their music format to an FM station, while Salem wanted a major AM station as an outlet for its syndicated talk radio programming. This resulted in Salem acquiring WIND, while Univision Radio received WPPN. On October 25, 2004, WIND once again became an English-language talk station.

On January 21, 2013, WIND rebranded as AM 560 The Answer, to follow suit with other Salem Communications-owned stations.[15]

Sportscasts[edit]

Effective July 1, 2005, WIND entered into a three-year agreement with the University of Illinois to carry Fighting Illini football and men's basketball games, as well as the coaches shows, through the Illini Sports Radio Network. Those broadcasts continued through the 2013 football season, with the Illini moving back to their longtime Chicago affiliate, WSCR.

WIND was formerly the alternate station of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Northwestern Wildcats in the case of scheduling conflicts at their flagship, WGN. Conflicting games were moved to WGWG-LP, the Tribune Company's new sports talk station, after its start-up in February 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chicago's Notable Time Shares-WJKS". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  2. ^ WMMB, Melbourne, FL-Howard Miller
  3. ^ "Howard Power". Time Magazine. 31 January 1969. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Joel Sebastian, radio disc jockey". Chicago Tribune. 19 January 1986. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Ron Riley's website-ronriley.com
  6. ^ Chicago Radio Spotlight-Ron Britain
  7. ^ At WIND, It's Music, Talk of Today. Billboard. 6 March 1971. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Bill Barrett TV/Radio Column December 8, 1965-"Chicken Rock"
  9. ^ http://www.peabody.uga.edu/winners/winners_1970s.php#1973
  10. ^ A look at the WIND studios circa 2003
  11. ^ WIND transmitter & site, 2003
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UMYcHon4og
  13. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-12-13/news/8503260364_1_radio-station-wgn-talk
  14. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1980s/1985/RR-1985-12-20.pdf
  15. ^ "Format Changes". Your Midwest Media. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 

External links[edit]