|Broadcast area||Central Virginia|
|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|
|Format||Alternative Rock |
HD2: Country "Big 98.5"
HD3: Contemporary Christian "The Journey"
|HAAT||241 meters (791 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||W (Richmond's) Radio XL-excellence|
|Former callsigns||WRNL-FM (1949–1973)|
|Affiliations||Elliot in the Morning|
|Owner||Entercom Communications |
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||W241AP, W253BI, WBTJ, WRNL, WRVA, WRVQ, WTVR-FM|
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. It airs an Alternative Rock radio format.
Studios, offices and the transmitter tower are on Basie Road in Richmond. 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
On March 4, 1949, the station signed on the air as WRNL-FM. 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. 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
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. 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.
Move to alternative rock
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.
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. The sale was completed on December 19, 2017. 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.
WRXL also broadcasts two HD subchannels:
- WRXL-HD2 carries a country music format, called "Big 98.5 Country," which feeds the co-owned translator station W253BI at 98.5 FM. The station premiered July 27, 2015.
- WRXL-HD3 retransmits "The Journey," a non-commercial Contemporary Christian music format supplied by 88.3 WRVL, in Lynchburg.
- Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-468. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
- "WRXL Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
- "Connect with XL102!". xl102richmond.com. 3 December 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "WRXL-FM Radio Station Coverage Map". radio-locator.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1951 page 316" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1970 page B-213" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1972 page B-221" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Broadcasting Yearbook 1980 page C-240" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1996 page B-443" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "XL102 Is Back In Richmond - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Entercom Trades Boston & Seattle Spin-Offs To iHeartMedia For Richmond & Chattanooga - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- http://hdradio.com/station_guides/widget.php?id=56 HD Radio Guide for Richmond, Virginia
- XL 102 Online
- Query the FCC's FM station database for WRXL
- Radio-Locator information on WRXL
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for WRXL
- Query the FCC's FM station database for W253BI
- Radio-Locator information on W253BI
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