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City Richmond, Virginia
Broadcast area Central Virginia
Branding "XL102"
Slogan "Richmond's Alternative Rock"
Frequency 102.1 MHz (also on HD Radio)
Translator(s) 98.5 W253BI (Richmond, relays HD2)
First air date March 4, 1949[1]
Format Alternative Rock
HD2: Country "Big 98.5"
HD3: Contemporary Christian "The Journey"
ERP 20,000 Watts
HAAT 241 meters (791 ft)
Class B
Facility ID 11961
Transmitter coordinates 37°36′52.0″N 77°30′56.0″W / 37.614444°N 77.515556°W / 37.614444; -77.515556Coordinates: 37°36′52.0″N 77°30′56.0″W / 37.614444°N 77.515556°W / 37.614444; -77.515556
Callsign meaning W (Richmond's) Radio XL-excellence
Affiliations Elliot in the Morning
Premiere Networks
Owner Entercom Communications
(CBS Radio East Inc.)
Sister stations W241AP, W253BI, WBTJ, WRNL, WRVA, WRVQ, WTVR-FM
Webcast WRXL Webstream
WRXL-HD2 Webstream
Website WRXL Online
WRXL-HD2 Online (HD2)

WRXL (102.1 MHz "XL102") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia, and serving Central Virginia. WRXL is owned and operated by Entercom Communications,[2] it airs an alternative rock radio format.

Studios, offices and the transmitter tower are on Basie Road in Richmond,[3][4] the station carries the syndicated Elliot in the Morning show, produced by Premiere Networks and originating at WWDC-FM in Washington, D.C.


Early Years as WRNL-FM[edit]

On March 4, 1949, the station signed on the air as WRNL-FM,[5] it was the sister station to AM 910 WRNL, owned by the Richmond Radio Corporation, a subsidiary of The Richmond News Leader newspaper (hence the WRNL-FM call sign). At first, WRNL-FM simulcast its AM counterpart, carrying the ABC Radio schedule of dramas, comedies, sports and news; in the late 1950s, WRNL-AM-FM moved to a full service format of middle of the road music, news, sports and talk.

In the 1960s, several Richmond FM stations received permission from the Federal Communications Commission for unusually high power.[6] Today, Richmond is in Zone 1, limited to a maximum of 50,000 watts effective radiated power (ERP), but before these rules were put into place, WRNL-FM was permitted to go to 120,000 watts, 103.7 WFMV (now WURV) went to 74,000 watts and, to this day, 94.5 WRVQ (then WRVA-FM) runs at 200,000 watts.

Switch to Rock as WRXL[edit]

In 1971, WRNL-AM-FM were bought by Rust Communications, which owned a number of radio stations around the country. Rust decided to give WRNL-FM its own format, it hired a staff of young DJs, stopped simulcasting AM 910 and switched to progressive rock.[7] To give the station a fresh identity, in 1973, the call sign was changed to WRXL. By 1980, the station's music had moved to a more formatted album rock sound, based on playing the biggest selling rock artists.[8]

In 1993, WRVH (the new name of 910 WRNL) and 102.1 WRXL were sold to Clear Channel Communications, a forerunner of iHeartMedia, Inc., for $9.75 million.[9]

Move to Alternative Rock[edit]

In 2002, the station moved from album rock to alternative rock as "102.1 The X." In 2006, the station changed to a new broadcast tower at 791 feet (241 meters) in height above average terrain. But along with the taller tower, the station dropped its power to 20,000 watts from its previous 120,000 watts. WRXL would still have a larger coverage area than conventional Class B FM stations, but with lower power due to the increased antenna height, on October 1, 2012, WRXL rebranded from "102.1 The X" back to "XL 102", WRXL's branding from 1976 to 2002.[10]

On November 1, 2017, iHeartMedia announced that WRXL, along with all of its co-owned stations in Richmond and Chattanooga, would be turned over to Entercom, coupled with that company's merger with CBS Radio.[11] The sale was completed on December 19, 2017,[12] the deal had iHeartMedia taking over several former CBS and Entercom stations in Boston and other cities in exchange for the Richmond and Chattanooga stations.

HD Radio[edit]

WRXL also broadcasts two HD subchannels:


External links[edit]