AM 1530 WKDC Elmhurst signed on the air October 10, 1974. WKDC’s call letters were originally chosen to represent the counties of primary coverage being Will, Kane, DuPage and Cook. WKDC ran 250 watts, during daytime hours only, and aired a middle of the road (MOR) format.
The station was founded by Frank and Lois Blotter, operating as DuPage Broadcasting Company. The studios were built for stereo (Cetec Sparta stereo audio equipment) although it was not until 1976 when the FCC authorized the station to test AM stereo. WKDC’s daytime and night-time findings on AM stereo were presented at the 1977 NAB Convention in Washington, DC.
In 1981, the station was sold to Robert Snyder’s Snyder Broadcasting for $1 million, and it began airing show tunes. Snyder Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy on December 29, 1982, and WKDC was taken off the air in October 1983. The radio station remained off-air for over a year until it was repurchased by Frank and Lois Blotter. When WKDC returned to the air, it began airing beautiful music and adult standards. By the early 1990s, WKDC was airing ethnic programming and big band music with studios above Plass’s Glass in Elmhurst.
In 1994, AM 1530 was sold to Joseph J. Gentile for $700,000. Gentile subsequently changed the station call letters to WJJG, his initials. The Godfather of Sports Talk Radio, Chet Coppock, once nicknamed Joe Gentile “The Baron of Barrington,” after the town he owned a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership for many years.
Gentile hosted a radio program when he felt like it, while WJJG’s format was a combination of brokered talk and adult standards. This was convenient because Gentile moved WJJG’s studios to an apartment inside a complex he owned on St. Charles Road in Berkeley, known as “Villa Gentile”. The Baron had his own apartment just a few units down from AM 1530. The station featured brokered programming, including a show hosted by John H. Cox, syndicated talk shows, and The Sounds of Sinatra, and Forgotten 45s with Mike Baker.
On September 19, 2012, General Manager Matt Dubiel changed the call letters of WJJG to WCKG, for a $50 filing fee with the FCC.
In 2013, Joseph J. Gentile Inc. sold AM 1530 WCKG to DuPage Radio, LLC.
WCKG broadcasts from sunrise to sunset on AM 1530, and 24/7 on 102.3 FM. You can listen online 24/7 here or via the free WCKG iOS App in iTunes, free WCKG Android App or pick WCKG inside the free iHeartRadio App!
Here is the current coverage map for AM 1530 WCKG in Chicago.