Broadcast areaCentral Virginia
Frequency102.1 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingAlt 102-1
FormatAlternative rock
AffiliationsElliot in the Morning
Premiere Networks
First air date
March 4, 1949 (1949-03-04)[1]
Former call signs
WRNL-FM (1949–73)
Call sign meaning
Richmond's Radio eXceLlence
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID11961
ERP20,000 watts
HAAT241 meters (791 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
37°36′52.0″N 77°30′56.0″W / 37.614444°N 77.515556°W / 37.614444; -77.515556
  • HD2: 98.5 W253BI (Richmond)
Public license information
WebcastListen live (via Audacy)

WRXL (102.1 FM "Alt 102-1") is a commercial radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia, and serving Central Virginia. WRXL is owned and operated by Audacy, Inc.[2] WRXL 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 former sister station WWDC-FM in Washington, D.C.


Early years as WRNL-FM

On March 4, 1949, the station signed on the air as WRNL-FM.[5] It was the FM sister station to 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). Before these rules were put into place, WRNL-FM was permitted to go to 120,000 watts, WFMV (now WURV) went to 74,000 watts and, to this day, 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 the AM station 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 an album rock direction, based on playing the biggest selling rock artists.[8]

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

Move to alternative rock

Former logo as "XL102"
Former logo as "XL102"

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, while also dropping 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 swapped 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 Seattle in exchange for the Richmond and Chattanooga stations.

On September 13, 2020, WRXL quietly re-branded as "Alt 102-1" as part of a systemic "revamping" of Entercom's alternative rock stations. At this time, most of the local DJs and programming staff were laid off and replaced with out-of-market hosts. [13][14]

HD Radio

WRXL also broadcasts an HD subchannel:


  1. ^ Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1999 (PDF). 1999. p. D-468. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "WRXL Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  3. ^ "Connect with XL102!". xl102richmond.com. 3 December 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  4. ^ "WRXL-FM Radio Station Coverage Map". radio-locator.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1951 page 316" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1970 page B-213" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1972 page B-221" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1980 page C-240" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1996 page B-443" (PDF). americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "XL102 Is Back In Richmond - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Entercom Trades Boston & Seattle Spin-Offs To iHeartMedia For Richmond & Chattanooga - RadioInsight". radioinsight.com. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  13. ^ Entercom Sets Programming Plans for Alternative & Country
  14. ^ Entercom Rebrands Alternative Stations in Buffalo, Kansas City, Las Vegas & Richmond