WRDL (88.9 FM) is an educational radio station. Licensed to Ashland, Ohio, USA, the station serves the Mid-Ohio area. The station is owned and operated by Ashland University (formerly Ashland College). The station's studios are located in the Center for The Arts building (formerly Arts & Humanities, or A&H). The transmitter and its antenna are located in the top floor of the library.
WRDL began broadcasting from tiny studios in Founder's Hall in 1971. Originally at 88.1 on the dial, the 10-watt station's transmitter was located atop Clayton Hall, the tallest dormitory on the campus. Later the frequency was moved to 89.5 to avoid conflicts with other nearby non-commercial educational stations. In the 1980s the power was increased to 3,000 watts, and the station dial position was moved to 88.9. The transmitter was moved atop the new campus library building.
The station gets its call letters from the initials of Richard Dean Leidy, an adjunct professor that founded the radio/television department, at what was then called Ashland College. He led the department from 1960 to 1988, when he retired.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the station's music hosts included Tripp Rogers, Bob Spence, John Hager, Pete Moore, John (the Bear) Carroll, Doug Kurkul, Mike Parker, Michelle Temple, Tim (Shadow) Morris, Keith Connors, BJ McCurdy, Blair Mintz, Jeff France, and Ed Vogt. A Spanish-language show on Sundays was hosted by Jose Diaz. During this time, the station was called FM89, and later 89-Plus. The Sunday Night Special, which ran once a week for two hours, featured a different recording artist each week. Among the artists highlighted on the Sunday Night Special programs were Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Todd Rundgren, the Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Yes, Heart, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and many other of the era's most popular rock acts. Airing immediately after the Sunday Night Special was an hour-long disco program, hosted by Adolph Santorine. The station also offered a weekly program featuring jazz, hosted by Mark Buchan.
In 1993, student staff adopted the nickname "The Eagle," because it was easier to say than the call letters. The name references the university's mascot, the Eagles.