Onetime listener Shaun Thompson moves up to afternoon host at WIND

Shaun Thompson

Twelve years after he began calling in to talk radio shows as a listener, Melrose Park native Shaun Thompson has been named afternoon drive host at WIND 560-AM, the Salem Media Group news/talk station.

Thompson, who’s been a weekend and fill-in host at AM 560 The Answer since 2016, premieres today from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, replacing Steve Cortes, who held the job since January 2020.

Steve Cortes

From July through November of last year Thompson filled in for Cortes, who took a hiatus to work on the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. Now Cortes is leaving to pursue a new national television project, according to the station.

“It’s rare in radio to have a transition as smooth as this one,” Jeff Reisman, regional vice president and general manager of AM 560 The Answer, said in a statement.

“Shaun Thompson has developed such a deep bond with our listeners because he was one of them before becoming a talk show host. He knows this city and this audience and what they care about. His passion and personality make him a unique talent. We’re excited to have him join the lineup as a full-time host.”

Thompson, who attended Columbia College, worked as a trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange. He became a licensed real estate broker in 1992 and opened a real estate investment group in 2009. Since 2016 he also has owned the Elmhurst Cigar House in Elmhurst.

“Twelve years ago, I made my first phone call to a talk radio station as a listener,” Thompson recalled. “Five years ago, I had the opportunity to host my first show on AM 560. During that time, I’ve come to appreciate this format and the listeners who spend time with us every day.

"I look forward to providing my perspective each afternoon and engaging with the audience. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I’m also thankful for Steve Cortes and his friendship. He’s made it so easy for me to slide into this role as he’s prepared to leave. I look forward to having him on the show as a regular guest.”

Of Cortes, Reisman added: “Steve’s insight and exclusive access made him an indispensable resource for our listeners during the 2020 campaign. We were glad that he’s willing to graciously pass the baton to Shaun as he leaves to begin a new chapter in his career.”

Friday’s comment of the day: Shamus Toomey: Thank you so much! And thanks to everyone who weighed in on the Best Of Chicago poll. We are very honored that Chicago has embraced Block Club.