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City of license Lexington, Kentucky
Broadcast area Lexington-Fayette
Branding WRFL 88.1
Slogan "The only alternative left"
Frequency 88.1 (MHz)
First air date March 7, 1988
Format College
ERP 7900 watts
HAAT 87 meters
Class C3
Callsign meaning W Radio Free Lexington
Owner University of Kentucky
Website http://wrfl.fm

WRFL is a 7900-watt college radio station that broadcasts 24 hours from the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky at 88.1 MHz on the FM radio band. WRFL has been on constantly (with rare interruptions due to power loss or other technical failures) since 1988[1] without any automation.

WRFL is run by an all-volunteer staff of University of Kentucky students (some board shifts worked by Lexington residents) and features an open-ended scope of formats. Music is strictly "alternative", defined as material that would not be heard through other outlets, as mandated by the station's license and ethos.

Broadcasting began in 1988 using a 250-watt tower. In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the station for an upgrade to 7,900 watts,[2] which increased its terrestrial broadcast considerably (former propagation, current propagation). To finance the cost of a new tower and transmitter, the station ran a fund raising campaign titled, "Build the Tower, Boost the Power".[1] In May 2010, the old 250-watt tower was dismantled and the new 7900-watt tower was installed in its place.

The station has ties to the noise music community as several of its current and former DJs are members of bands such as Hair Police and Wolf Eyes. The station is thanked in the liner notes of recent Apples in Stereo albums, and has ties to the Elephant Six Collective.

WRFL also features student-produced and syndicated progressive news programs, student-produced sports programs, and highlights local and unheard artists. WRFL also has a commitment to public affairs and the community. The Gavin Report listed WRFL in the top 2% of college radio stations in the nation.

WRFL is known as "Radio Free Lexington" and provides a high-quality online stream. One motto of WRFL is "revolutions don't happen between commercial breaks". Another motto of the station is "All the way to the left", referring to the position of its frequency on an analog radio dial as well as a liberal tie-in.

WRFL has many tongue-in-cheek slogans, many of which allude to its broadcast frequency on the leftmost portion of the dial. Examples include:

  • Revolutions don't happen between commercial breaks
  • All the way to the left
  • The only alternative left

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "WRFL to Host Downtown Music Festival". UK News. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "FCC Application Details". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°02′20″N 84°30′14″W / 38.039°N 84.504°W / 38.039; -84.504