WCCQ Rebrands To Chicago’s ‘Free Country,’ Adds Second Signal


Alpha Media Chicago has announced the rebranding of its heritage Country station, WCCQ, to Free Country 98.3 to mark the Memorial Day weekend. The change goes live at 2p Central. The station will now also broadcast on a second signal at 102.3 across the Chicagoland area.

Alpha Media Executive Vice President of Content Phil Becker commented, “Radio’s greatest benefit is often overlooked – it’s completely free. Free to listen, free to win, and free to subscribe. While streaming services and tech companies are charging for music and content, Free Country at 98.3 and 102.3 is dedicated to providing Country music and fan experiences to Chicagoans at no cost.”

Alpha Media has had previous success with a Country simulcast in the same market. In April 2022, the Alpha launched Bay Country on 94.5 and 92.1 in San Francisco.

Along with the change, Drew Walker is moving across the street from Audacy Chicago’s US99 (WUSN) after serving on-air there since 2004. Walker will serve as Assistant Content Director and Music Director for the station.

Walker commented, “I am elated to be part of Free Country 98.3 and 102.3. What an incredible opportunity to bring the best Country music to even more fans across all of Chicagoland. The team at Alpha Media is truly special, let’s go!”

Chicago Regional Vice President Brian Foster said, “I am in awe of the energy, creativity, and ingenuity our team has shown over the past few weeks. Buckle up, we are about to go on a very exciting ride. Feel ‘free’ to give us a listen!”


  1. WCCQ was local! Bobby Bones sucks and the station lost the homegrown feel. Bossman is greatly missed. Although, I’ve loved Drew Walker since 2004, Unfortunately, 98.3 is not my morning station any longer.

  2. Count me in on those leaving. It’s appeal was that it was LOCAL!
    If I want canned content I’ll just stick to the streaming services. Hate to see them go, been a listener for decades. Used to listen to it in the car with my dad.

  3. I liked the small town country station . Not happy with the new lineup. If I wanted to listen to Bobby Bones , I would have turned on another station. Taking 98.3 off my radio going forward.

  4. Don’t like the new station. Been a wccq listener for years, not listening anymore. To much blabbing and not enough country music.

  5. Already took it off of the car radio, I’m deeply saddened. I have been a loyal WCCQ listener for over 50 years, end of an awesome era.


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