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Broadcast area Northfield, MN
Branding KRLX 88.1 FM
Frequency 88.1 (MHz)
First air date 1948
Format College
ERP 100 watts
HAAT 5 meters
Class A
Callsign meaning Ka RLten(X)
Owner Carleton College
Webcast Listen live

KRLX is a student-run, freeform radio format, non-commercial FM college radio station broadcasting from Northfield, Minnesota. Affiliated with Carleton College. The station's call sign was chosen to read "KaRL-ten," since X is the Roman numeral for ten. KRLX broadcasts with 100 watts of power at 88.1 MHz and produces live streaming media, expanding the station's reach to the world. The KRLX studios are located in the basement of the Sayles-Hill Campus Center, Carleton's student union; they feature basic production tools, a record library, and a live FM studio. The basement location is the motivation for the station's motto, "It's better on the bottom." KRLX is licensed for continuous broadcast, but because the station is student-run, the signal is up only when school is in session. Because Carleton does not offer a summer term, the station generally broadcasts September through June, though not during winter and spring breaks.

In the fall of 2005, KRLX introduced podcasting for all of its non-music shows, including all of the station's original news programming and Periscope.

Beginning in 2005, The Princeton Review began ranking KRLX as one of the nation's top college radio stations. In 2009, KRLX was ranked the 12th best station in the country.[1] In 2010, KRLX was ranked 10th best in the country.[2]


Carleton College radio started in 1917 with the Music Department's initiative to bring radio to Northfield, MN. With an antenna mounted atop Willis Hall, this AM station broadcast until 1929 at an unknown frequency. In 1948 several students on the G.I. Bill, most veterans from the Navy, sought to construct and operate a radio station for students on the Carleton College campus. Using money raised from local businesses and out-of-pocket, they paid the college to allow them to construct a small studio dug out next to the foundation of Scoville Memorial Library on the South side. All electronics were handmade out of spare parts and the transmitter was from a scrapped World War II destroyer. The carrier current transmission was carried via telephone wire through the Carleton College tunnel complex and radio station KARL 680 was born.


KRLX's format-free nature makes for very diverse programming, and recently the station has started to program vertically so that similar shows are scheduled consecutively. Radio programs on KRLX run the gamut from bluegrass to independent hip hop to classical, and DJs are restricted only by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines. Despite the station's flexibility, there are several long-running programs that are consistent in format, if not in content. Bandemonium is a weekly show devoted to the works of a single band, tracing artists' history and influences. Periscope is the station's documentary program, and the station also programs evening news and hourly news briefs. Although almost all of KRLX's programming has its genesis at Carleton, the station also broadcasts the syndicated news program Democracy Now!. KRLX's content largely consists of music broadcasting, and the station contributes to the College Media Journal Radio 200 chart.

KRLX's programming can be heard around the world via live stream from their website.

Technical data[edit]

  • Service Designation: Full Service FM Site
  • Channel & Class: 201A, 88.1 MHz
  • FCC Facility Identification: 8867
  • Location:
  • Effective Radiated Power (ERP): 0.1 kW (100 Watt)
  • Antenna Height Above Average Terrain: 5 M HAAT
  • Antenna Height Above Mean Sea Level: 309 M AMSL
  • Antenna Height Above Ground Level: 20 M AGL

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 44°27′40″N 93°09′22″W / 44.461°N 93.156°W / 44.461; -93.156