Chicago’s commerical “progressive talk” station WCPT is becoming a foster home of sorts for popular radio programs that have lost their homes on the non-commercial end of the dial. The daily independent news hour Democracy Now began airing on WCPT January 2. The program joins Smiley and West, which was exiled from Chicago Public Radio at the end of September and joined WCPT’s schedule in November.
Democracy Now had been airing on Northeastern Illinois University’s WZRD-FM, but has been absent from the Chicago airwaves since the summer, when the university administration suspended all air staff and put the station on automation. The program is seen on cable on Chicago Access Network Television.
Tuning in to the Democracy Now broadcast on WCPT Thursday night I don’t hear any advertisements during the program’s brief station breaks. Democracy Now is distributed by the Pacifica Network and airs primarily on non-commercial community radio stations. So I guess being commercial-free on WCPT is a requirement to air the program. The program has been carried on commercial stations at times during its sixteen-year run, and currently airs on commercial WDEV in Waterbury, Vermont.