Due to its location near the bottom of the AM dial, transmitter power, and the surrounding region's flat land, WIND's daytime signal provides at least secondary coverage to much of Illinois and Indiana, as well as southeastern Wisconsin. At night, WIND's coverage into Indiana and Central Illinois is reduced, as its nighttime pattern concentrates its signal in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas.
Most programming on weekends is devoted to specialty talk shows and brokered programming. WIND is the flagship station for Carl Amari's nationally syndicated nostalgia & showbiz program "Hollywood 360" which airs Saturday evenings. National news headlines from Fox News Radio are aired hourly.
The station began broadcasting on August 16, 1927, holding the call sign WJKS, and was originally licensed to Gary, Indiana. It initially operated at 1290 kHz, and shared time with WSBC. Its studio and transmitter were located in the Gay Mill Ballroom, in Gary's Miller Beach neighborhood. The station was owned by the ballroom's owners, Thomas Johnson and Frances Kennedy.
In 1928, its frequency was changed to 1360 kHz, where it shared time with WGES. Ralph Atlass purchased a 50% stake in the station in 1931. In 1932, WJKS's studios were moved to the Gary State Bank Building.
The station moved to its present 560 kHz frequency in 1933, after Chicago stations WIBO and WPCC, which had been operating at 560 kHz, were shut down. The station began full-time operations, and ran 1,000 watts. Its call sign was changed to WIND the same year. In 1934, the station's daytime power was increased to 2,500 watts and in 1935 its daytime power was increased to 5,000 watts. Its nighttime power was increased to 5,000 watts in 1941.
In 1956, the station was sold to Westinghouse Broadcasting for $5.3 million, which at the time was a record amount for a radio station. At the time of the purchase, WIND had no news department, though the station subscribed to wire services. Westinghouse established a news department at the station, and it aired 5 minute newscasts every hour. Earl Finckle was the station's meteorologist for a period.
In 1971, WIND evolved into an oldies-heavy adult contemporary format, playing hits from 1955 to present day. In addition to the music played on the station, WIND aired Contact, a nighttime talk show hosted by Dave Baum. Larry "The Legend" Johnson hosted overnights.Ed Schwartz served as a substitute host for Johnson, before replacing him as overnight host in 1973. Schwartz had previously held several behind-the-scenes positions at WIND. Schwartz continued as overnight host on WIND until 1981, when he moved to 720 WGN.
In 1985, Westinghouse announced that they would sell WIND to Tichenor Radio for $6.85 million. On December 12, 1985, at 1:03 p.m., on the same day of the closing of the sale to Tichenor, WIND officially signed off the air by playing "The Whiffenpoof Song" and "The Star-Spangled Banner". Soon thereafter, WIND signed back on the air, with a Spanish language format. The station aired Mexican mariachi and ranchera music and was branded "La Tremenda". By the late 1990s, the station was airing a Spanish talk/romantica format. In 1997, Tichenor Media merged with Heftel Broadcasting to form the Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, which merged with Univision Communications in 2004. In October 2003, the station's talk programming moved to AM 1200 WRTO, and it began airing a Spanish adult contemporary format.
In July 2005, WIND entered into an agreement with the University of Illinois to carry Fighting Illini football and men's basketball games, as well as the coaches shows, through the Illini Sports Radio Network. Those broadcasts continued through the 2013 football season, with the Illini moving back to their longtime Chicago affiliate, WSCR. WIND was formerly the alternate station of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Northwestern Wildcats in the case of scheduling conflicts at their flagship, WGN.
On January 21, 2013, WIND rebranded as AM 560 The Answer, to follow suit with other Salem Communications-owned stations.