WCFS-FM (105.9 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Elmwood Park, Illinois, and serving the Chicago metropolitan area. It is owned by Entercom and is known on-air as "WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9." WCFS-FM airs an All-News radio format, simulcasting co-owned AM 780 WBBM.

WCFS-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 4,100 watts.[4] The transmitter is atop the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).[4] The studios and newsroom are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop.[5][6]

WBBM & WCFS "NewsRadio 780 and 105.9FM"
CityElmwood Park, Illinois
Broadcast areaChicago metropolitan area
BrandingFM/HD1: "Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM"
HD2: "Energy"
Frequency105.9 MHz
(also on HD Radio)
First air dateFebruary 1948[1]
FormatFM/HD1: All-News (simulcast of WBBM 780)
HD2: Electronic dance music
ERP4,100 watts (Analog)
163 watts (Digital)
HAAT482 meters (1,581 ft)
Facility ID71283
Transmitter coordinates41°52′44″N 87°38′10″W / 41.879°N 87.636°WCoordinates: 41°52′44″N 87°38′10″W / 41.879°N 87.636°W
Callsign meaningW Chicago's Fresh Station (Former primary branding)
Former callsignsWLEY (1948–1957)[2]
WXFM (1957[2]–1984)[3]
WAGO (1984–1985)[3]
WCKG (1985–2007)[3]
(Entercom License, LLC)
WebcastWBBM 780 and 105.9 Webstream
Energy 105.9 HD2 Webstream



The station originally held the call sign WLEY and broadcast at 107.1 MHz.[7][2] WLEY was founded in February 1948, with commercial broadcasts beginning in April.[1] The "LEY" in its call letters stood for Leyden Township, which contains the city of license of Elmwood Park.[8] WLEY was owned by Zeb Zarnecki.[8] The station broadcast in English and Polish.[9] WLEY broadcast the "Polish Barn Dance," hosted by Zeb Zarnecki, along with other programs for the local Polish community.[9] It is not related to today's 107.9 WLEY-FM in Aurora.

The station's studios and transmitter were located on Harlem Ave, in Elmwood Park.[2] It had an ERP of 320 watts at a height above average terrain (HAAT) of 240 feet.[2] In 1949, its ERP was increased to 1,000 watts and its HAAT was increased to 250 feet.[2] In 1955, the station's ERP was increased to 32,000 watts and its frequency was changed to 105.9 MHz, after the previous occupant of that frequency, WFMT, moved to 98.7 MHz.[2][10] WLEY was taken silent in 1956.[2]


In 1957, the station was sold to Evelyn Chauvin Schoonfield, a school teacher from Detroit, for $22,500, and its call sign was changed to WXFM.[11][2][8] In the early 1960s, the FCC investigated several unauthorized transfers of control, which placed renewal of the station's license in jeopardy.[12] However, the FCC allowed Schoonfield to keep the license, and authorized the sale of the station to WXFM Inc., with controlling interest owned by Robert Victor.[13][14]

In the 1960s and 1970s, WXFM featured a variety of musical programming, including classical, jazz, show tunes, folk music, light classical, and MOR programs.[15][16][17][18][19][20] For a time, it was an affiliate of the QXR Network.[21]

In 1966, the station's transmitter was moved to 333 North Michigan Ave. in Downtown Chicago, and in 1974 its transmitter was moved to the Sears Tower.[2]

In 1970, Triad Radio, a freeform program, began airing on the station.[19] Triad Radio began in 1969, as a three hour weekly program on 105.1 WEAW-FM.[19] The program eventually aired for five hours nightly on WXFM, and continued to air on the station through 1977.[22][23] Triad Radio published a free monthly magazine that was distributed through retail outlets.[22][23]

In 1978, Herb Kent began hosting a show on WXFM.[24][25][26]

In the early 1980s, jazz began to dominate WXFM's schedule.[27][28][29] Personalities on the station at this time included Daddy-O Daylie and Dick Buckley.[28][30] Pervis Spann hosted an overnight blues show.[31]


In 1984, the station was sold to Cox Communications for $9 million.[32][33][34] On April 2, 1984, Cox launched a contemporary hits format on the station, and its call sign was changed to WAGO.[29][35][3] The station was branded "G-106."[35][34]

WAGO featured John Records Landecker in mornings, who had made a name for himself on 890 WLS.[36]

Rock era

On March 4, 1985, the station's format was changed to album oriented rock (AOR) and its call letters were changed to WCKG.[34][3] John Records Landecker continued hosting the morning show on WCKG until 1986, when he returned to 890 WLS.[34][37][38]

By 1987, WCKG had transitioned into a classic rock format.[39][40][41][42] On-air personalities included Stephanie Miller, John Howell, Mitch Michaels, Allan Stagg, Joe Thomas, Debbie Alexander, and Rich Koz.[8][43][44]

WCKG picked up the syndicated Howard Stern Show for mornings in March 1995.[45] Following on-air attacks on rival Chicago shock jock Mancow Muller's family and Muller's boss's family, Stern's show was dropped in October 1995.[46][47] The station blamed issues with "some of Howard's on-air content," and the show moved to AM 1160 WJJD.[47][48]

WCKG was traded to Infinity Broadcasting in 1996.[49][50] At the end of the year, Infinity Broadcasting was purchased by the parent company of CBS.[51]

Hot talk era

105.9 The Package logo
Logo as "The Package"

The station began evolving to a hot talk format in July 1996 with the addition of Steve Dahl in the afternoons and Stern returning to mornings, while classic rock continued to air in the remainder of the schedule.[52][53][54] In 1998, Jonathon Brandmeier began hosting middays on WCKG, and the station further moved into a hot talk format.[55] During this time, the station was branded "105.9 The PaCKaGe".[56]

In 2002, rock music was re-added to the station's schedule in certain hours, and its slogan became "Talk That Rocks."[57] On April 1, 2002, Kevin Matthews joined WCKG as midday host.[58][57] Other personalities and programs during this era include, Patti Haze & Mary Pat LaRue,[55] Pete McMurray,[56] Opie and Anthony,[57] Karen Hand and Dr. Kelly Johnson,[59] Bill O'Reilly,[59] Jim Cramer,[59] Buzz Kilman,[59] Wendy Snyder,[59] Frankie "Hollywood" Rodriguez,[59] Bob Sirott,[59] Marianne Murciano,[59] Little Steven's Underground Garage,[59] and The House of Blues Radio Hour with Elwood Blues.[59][60] The rock music was removed from the station's schedule by early 2005.[61]

On October 25, 2005, the station was rebranded "Free FM."[62][63][64] With Stern's departure from terrestrial radio on December 16, 2005, Infinity announced that effective January 3, 2006, WCKG would become the flagship station of Rover's Morning Glory.[62] Following months of poor ratings, Rover's Morning Glory was dropped on August 1, 2006, and was replaced by the New York-based Opie and Anthony Show.[65]

WCKG was also the flagship station of the NBA's Chicago Bulls from 2006 until 2007.[66][67] With the demise of WCKG's talk format, the Bulls returned to all-sports AM 1000 WMVP.[66]

Steve Dahl's son, Matt Dahl, joined WCKG on March 5, 2007, and Garry Meier joined the station on April 2, hosting late mornings.[68][69] On May 2, 2007, the station's branding was changed from "Free FM" to "Chicago's FM Talk Station."[70] It was later rebranded back to "The Package".[71] By this time, the weekday lineup consisted of Opie & Anthony, Meier, Stan Lawrence & Terry Armour, Steve and Matt Dahl, Glenn Beck, Loveline, and Bill O'Reilly.[71]

October 29, 2007 was the last day of the talk format on WCKG, as hosts and station staff said their goodbyes on-air.[72] Steve Dahl's show continued to air on WCKG, with best-of clips airing for the rest of the day.[72] His show moved to sister station 104.3 WJMK on November 5.[72]

On November 2, CBS Radio gave stories to the media writers at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune that the station would switch to an all-Christmas format that afternoon before the unveiling of its actual new format.[73] However this was a ruse, designed to throw long-time ratings leader 93.9 WLIT-FM off from its plans to start playing all-Christmas music beginning November 8.[74] The trick worked, as WLIT switched to all-Christmas music on November 2nd, while WCKG continued to play the "Best of Dahl" until November 5th.[74] That day, WCKG began stunting by simulcasting several of Chicago's other CBS Radio stations. From 5:30 to 10 a.m., it carried Dahl's first show on WJMK.[75] From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., it simulcast AM 670 WSCR; from 2 to 4 p.m., it simulcast 93.1 WXRT, and from 4 to 5 p.m., it simulcast 780 WBBM.[75]

Fresh 105.9

"Fresh 105.9" logo from 2007 to 2011. Used as an HD2 subchannel from 2011 to 2019.

At 5 p.m., after the CBS Radio News bell for the top of the hour newscast, WCKG became "Fresh 105.9" with an adult contemporary format.[74] The first song played was "Beautiful Day" by U2.[76][75] The station shared its branding with co-owned WWFS in New York City. The station's call sign was changed to WCFS-FM on November 26, 2007.[3]

On February 25, 2008, morning personality Mike LeBaron and midday personality Lisa Greene signed on as the first DJ's on Chicago's "Fresh 105.9."[77] In April 2008, Program Director Mike Peterson named Rick Hall as afternoon host.[78] On October 6, 2009, Roxanne Steele began hosting afternoons on WCFS.[79] Rick Hall moved to mornings on a temporary basis after Mike LeBaron left the station.[79]

In November 2009, Steve Fisher debuted as the new morning host on WCFS.[80] Upon Fisher's arrival, Rick Hall was moved to middays.[81] However, in June 2010, new program director Jim Ryan told reporters that Hall had been released.[81] Evening host Brooke Hunter was moved to middays.[82]

On March 30, 2010, it was announced that Bill Gamble left CBS Radio Chicago, where he was Program Director of WCFS-FM and WUSN.[83]

WBBM simulcast

On the morning of August 1, 2011, WCFS began redirecting listeners to sister stations 96.3 WBBM-FM and 99.5 WUSN.[84][85] It played an hour and a half of "end"-themed songs, concluding with "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men and the first six seconds of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds.[84][85] Then at 8:10 a.m., WCFS replaced the "Fresh" AC format with an FM simulcast of co-owned all-news station 780 WBBM.[86][87] Until that date, WBBM had been carried on WCFS-HD2, effectively making the move merely a swap of the formats for the HD1 and HD2 subchannels.[88]

The format change was seen as a counter to WBBM's new competitor, 101.1 WWWN, which switched to an all-news format on July 31, 2011, one day before WCFS's switch.[87][89] The "Fresh" AC format was moved to WCFS-HD2 on August 1, rebranding as "The New Sound of Fresh 105.9 HD2."[85]

The move left 93.9 WLIT-FM as the only adult contemporary radio station at the time in Chicago. The switch also gave the NFL's Chicago Bears an FM outlet.[90] WIQI's "FM News" format failed in the market and was replaced by a 90's-centric adult hits format on July 17, 2012.[91]

Though WCFS uses WBBM's on-air branding ("NewsRadio 780 and 105.9 FM, WBBM"), its official call sign remains WCFS, call letters only mentioned once per hour. Arbitron's use of the Portable People Meter for Chicago radio ratings does not need call letter verification to give credit for listening to 105.9 FM.[92] WBBM thus identifies both signals in a rushed form of station identification at :56 past the hour as "WBBM-HD Chicago, WCFS-FM-HD1 Elmwood Park-Chicago."

The two stations have simulcast continuously since August 1, 2011, with one exception. During the 2015 baseball season, WBBM carried Chicago Cubs baseball exclusively over the AM 780 frequency during the 2015 season, while WCFS-FM 105.9 continued to carry the all-news format on its own during Cubs broadcasts.[93] Starting with the 2016 season, the Cubs moved to co-owned 670 WSCR.[93] WBBM and WCFS returned to a full-time simulcast at the end of the 2015 season.[93]

On February 2, 2017, CBS Radio announced it would merge with Entercom.[94] The merger was approved on November 9, 2017, and was consummated on the 17th.[95][96]

HD Radio

WCFS-FM broadcasts in the HD Radio format. The HD2 subchannel carries an electronic dance music format, branded "Energy".[97] This format had aired on co-owned 96.3 WBBM-FM as "B96 Dance" from 2006 until February 2019 when it was replaced with "Channel Q".[97][88]

The station's HD2 subchannel debuted in January 2006, and simulcast the all-news format of WBBM AM 780.[88] From 2011 until 2019, the HD2 subchannel had continued to carry an automated version of WCFS's former Hot AC format as "Fresh 105.9", leading to one of the few situations where the station's callsign meaning referred instead to an HD Radio subchannel.[85][97]


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External links

Brian Bram

Brian Bram (born May 9, 1955 in Chicago), raised in Deerfield, Illinois, played a minor role in the underground comix movement with his contributions to American Splendor, the comic book series written and published by Harvey Pekar.

Bram's first paid illustration job was a logo for a local rock band. At 17 he began contributing to Triad, a Chicago-based alternative magazine that published work by Skip Williamson and others. At 18 Bram served briefly as art director for the magazine.

Bram moved to Cleveland in 1975 to major in design and illustration at the Cleveland Institute of Art. According to the Comiclopedia, underground cartoonist Jay Lynch introduced him to Pekar who hired him to illustrate stories in the first issue of American Splendor. Bram contributed to the first two issues of American Splendor, along with artists Gary Dumm, Gregg Budgett, and Robert Crumb. He provided the art for Remembering Be-Ins in American Splendor #1 (1974) and Rollins on Mars, May 4–5, 1970, and Zoology in American Splendor #2 (1977). In 1980 he moved to Rochester, NY to study film and animation at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

In 1983 Bram produced and hosted an all-night movie program on WUHF (Channel 31; then an independent station; now part of the Fox network). In addition to movies, the program was a forum for local bands including Personal Effects, The Degrads, and Cousin Al and the Relatives.

Since 1987 Bram has been living in Boston, Massachusetts and working as a creative director in the interactive industry.

Free FM

For the unrelated Canadian station, see CFRI-FM.

Free FM was a short-lived, mostly-talk-radio format and brand name for eleven FM CBS Radio stations in the United States, and was created because of Howard Stern's departure to Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006. Free FM was given its name to highlight that its stations broadcast free-to-air, instead of requiring a subscription fee like satellite radio services. Launched on October 25, 2005, Free FM was phased out over the course of 2007, with the final station using it, KLSX, dropping the brand in November 2008.

Free FM stations targeted a largely male demographic ranking from 18 to 49, attracting those who normally listen to FM rock and alternative stations, instead of existing AM talk radio listeners. Programs were more ribald than AM talk stations and include more discussion of dating, personal relationships, and pop culture, more comedy, and more discussion of celebrities and entertainment. Some Free FM stations also included music programs. Most Free FM programs were generally of the hot talk format.

One Canadian radio station, CFRI-FM in Grande Prairie, Alberta, used to use the Free FM brand name before flipping to '2DayFM', although its ownership and format are unrelated to the American stations.


G106 may refer to:

China National Highway 106

WCFS-FM, an AC-formatted radio station licensed to Elmwood Park, Illinois


KEZK-FM (102.5 FM) is an adult contemporary formatted radio station licensed to St. Louis, Missouri. The station serves the city of St. Louis as well as its suburbs in Missouri and Illinois. The station is owned by Entercom. The station is also broadcast on HD radio. The station's studios are in downtown St. Louis on Olive Street, while its transmitter is located in Shrewsbury.

KEZK's HD2 subchannel broadcasts The Spirit, a contemporary Christian music format which includes faith-based music from mainstream artists along with artists from the contemporary Christian genre. The Spirit is also available online on the station's website. The Spirit is programmed by longtime on-air personality Stel Pontikes.


KFNY (102.9 FM) is a smooth jazz radio station serving the Tacoma and Olympia, Washington area. Owned and operated by the Ocean Station Trust, the station is licensed to Centralia, Washington, and the transmitter site is in Capitol State Forest near Olympia, while its studios are located in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.


KMNB (102.9 MHz, "The Wolf") is an FM radio station in Minneapolis-St. Paul that carries a country radio format. KMNB is owned by Entercom. Its main transmitter is located on the KMSP Tower in Shoreview, Minnesota, with backup facilities on the nearby Telefarm installation. The station's studios are located in the Entercom Building at 625 Second Avenue South in Downtown Minneapolis.

List of Chicago Bears broadcasters

Currently, WBBM NewsRadio 780 airs the Chicago Bears football games with Jeff Joniak doing the play-by-play, along with color commentator Tom Thayer and sideline reporter Zach Zaidman. Over the years, many Bears play-by-play broadcasters have included Jack Brickhouse and Wayne Larrivee. Their current preseason TV announcers on Fox Chicago are Adam Amin or Kyle Brandt (play-by-play), Jim Miller (color commentary) and Lou Canellis (sideline reporter).

List of Internet radio stations

This is a list of Internet radio stations, including traditional broadcast stations which stream programming over the Internet as well as Internet-only stations.


Radio.com is a free broadcast and Internet radio platform owned by Entercom. Radio.com functions as a music recommender system and is the national umbrella brand for Entercom's radio network aggregating its over 235 local Entercom radio stations across the United States. In addition, the service includes thousands of podcasts. It was originally created by CBS Radio and was acquired by Entercom as part of the company's takeover of CBS Radio. The service's main competitors are rival station group iHeartMedia's iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Radio.com is available online, via mobile devices, and devices such as Chromecast.

Sing (My Chemical Romance song)

"Sing" is My Chemical Romance's fourth track and second single from their fourth and final studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The official single artwork was posted on the band's website on October 2010. "Sing" marks the first time a song of the band has reached adult contemporary stations; it began airplay through Chicago radio station WCFS-FM by March 2011.

The song was the second-best selling rock song of 2011 in the UK, ahead of Paramore's "Monster" and behind Foo Fighters' "Rope".


WBBM may refer to the following broadcast media outlets in the Chicago, Illinois area:

WBBM-TV, a television station (digital channel 12 or virtual channel 2) licensed to Chicago and an owned and operated affiliate of the CBS Television Network

Any of three radio stations formerly owned by CBS Radio and currently owned by Entercom:

WBBM (AM), a radio station (780 AM) licensed to Chicago and broadcasting an all-news format

WBBM-FM, a radio station (96.3 FM) licensed to Chicago and broadcasting a contemporary hit radio format

WCFS-FM, a radio station (105.9 FM) licensed to the Chicago suburb of Elmwood Park, Illinois that simulcasts the all-news format of WBBM (AM).


WBBM-FM (96.3 MHz) is a Top 40 (CHR) radio station in Chicago. It is known on the air as B96 and it is owned by Entercom. The station has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 3,300 watts, broadcasting from a transmitter atop the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). The studios and offices are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop. WBBM-FM's main competition is 103.5 WKSC-FM, owned by iHeartMedia.


WBBM (780 AM) is an all-news radio station located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Owned by Entercom, its studios are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop neighborhood, and its transmitter site is in Itasca. WBBM is a Class A station which broadcasts on a clear-channel AM frequency. Its daytime signal provides at least grade B coverage to large portions of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana, and city-grade coverage as far north as Milwaukee. At night, it is strongest in the Midwest but also covers much of the eastern half of North America.

WBBM is available both in AM and FM with HD Radio. Since August 1, 2011, much of its programming has been simulcast at 105.9 MHz over sister station WCFS-FM.


WCFS may refer to:

WCFS-FM, a radio station (105.9 FM) licensed to Elmwood Park, Illinois, United States

WCFS-LP, a low-power radio station (105.9 FM) licensed to Du Quoin, Illinois, United States


WCKG (1530 AM) is a radio station licensed to Elmhurst, Illinois, United States. The station serves the Chicago area. The station is licensed to Dupage Radio, LLC.


WIAD (94.7 FM) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Bethesda, Maryland. The station is owned by Entercom through licensee Entercom License, LLC, and broadcasts a classic hits format branded as "94.7 The Drive".

WIAD uses HD Radio. The station's programming and format is simulcast on its HD2 subchannel, while the sports programming of sister station WJFK-FM is simulcast on its HD3 subchannel.


WLIT-FM 93.9 FM, (93.9 LITE FM) is a radio station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, featuring a format of Soft AC music. The station is currently owned by iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Communications until September 2014). WLIT has its studios located at the Illinois Center complex on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago, and it broadcasts from a 4 kw transmitter and antenna based atop Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). WLIT broadcasts with the maximum authorized power for a Class B FM station at the specified antenna height.


WUSN (99.5 FM) is a country radio station in Chicago, Illinois. Owned by Entercom and branded as "US✶99", it is based at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop, and transmits from atop the John Hancock Center with an HD Radio signal.


WXRT, also known as XRT and 93-XRT is an adult album alternative (AAA) radio station in Chicago, Illinois. For many years, their slogan has been "Chicago's Finest Rock". "Chicago's Home For Music Lovers" has been used as its slogan since fall 2017.

The station broadcasts from a transmitter atop John Hancock Center and its studios are located at Two Prudential Plaza near Chicago's Millennium Park. WXRT broadcasts in the HD Radio format.

Radio stations in the Chicago Metropolitan Area
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By FM frequency
NOAA Weather Radio
Digital radio
By callsign
Internet stations
Defunct stations
News/talk radio stations in the state of Illinois
News and talk
AM radio stations
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Radio Networks
Digital properties
See also
Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)

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