Wayne Besen, a prominent gay rights activist who hosts a weekend talk show on WCPT AM 820 and WCPT FM 92.5, is moving up to Monday-through-Friday afternoon host on the Newsweb Radio progressive talk station.
As the station’s first live and local weekday program, “The Wayne Besen Show” will replace the syndicated “Jeff Santos Show” and air from 2 to 5 p.m., starting July 20.
“Wayne will be at the center of the conversation on issues of importance and interest to all Chicagoans,” Charley Gross, president of Newsweb Radio, said in a statement. “At the same time, Wayne will speak directly to Chicago's LGBT community as part of WCPT's Pride Radio Project, which also includes ‘Out Chicago,’ openly-gay morning host Stephanie Miller, and ‘The Hal Sparks Show.’ ”
Since April 2014 Besen has hosted “I’ve Got Issues” from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays on WCPT. It follows Dick Kay’s “Back on the Beat,” which airs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Besen is the founding executive director of Truth Wins Out, a Chicago-based nonprofit group dedicated to fighting antigay prejudice. He is the author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth and Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics and Culture. He also worked as a reporter for WABI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Bangor, Maine.
Next week Besen will fill in locally for vacationing morning host Stephanie Miller from 8 to 11 a.m. on WCPT.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, WCPT tied for 35th place with a 0.7 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 150,200.
Newsweb Radio is owned by Fred Eychaner, the Chicago media magnate and prominent contributor to liberal candidates and causes.