Indianapolis is home to some of the best high school radio stations in the country. WRFT-91.5 FM is one of the stations that make the above statement so easy to say. What is now known as “Flash FM” was built quite literally from the ground up. Franklin Central High School, just south of downtown Indianapolis, has been home to 91.5 FM since its inception in 1978. The station was the brain child of the school’s superintendent at the time, along with some dedicated faculty who had prior radio broadcasting experience.
A few years before WRFT hit the airways, the high school had started planning to construct a new building to meet the demands of an ever growing student population. Realizing that this was a great opportunity to bring a new hands-on approach to education in Indianapolis, they decided to include a student run radio station in thier budget. Since this was also a period in time before both cable television and the internet, the radio station would serve a second purpose as a great way to mass communicate with the local public.
While the financial needs were waiting to be met, the faculty started a radio club that began broadcasting fifteen minute segments on a local commercial radio station once a week. After a few years of this, the new school building had been completed and was now the permanent home of WRFT-91.5 FM. At first “Flash FM” was powered by a ten watt signal. During these first few years all of the school’s programming focused on the Franklin school district and its surrounding area. Their focus on community is well represented in the stations call letters, which stand for “We R Franklin Township.” The most distinguishing feature of WRFT in these early years was the 161 foot tall tower affixed the side of the school’s newest interactive classroom.
While the station slowly integrated music into their broadcast rotation, 91.5 FM’s major focus stayed on all aspects of the school. Special reports pertaining to school events and classroom projects always took top billing. As interest grew in the school’s radio station, so did their broadcasting range. In the early 80’s the station increased to a 130 watts of power. While this is not a lot compared to many of the commercial stations in the Indianapolis media market, the station once received a letter from a gentleman all the way in St. Louis thanking them for the enjoyable program he had just heard. They were one of the first high school stations to use a remote feed. They used such technology to report live from school festivals and other events in Indianapolis. They offered one of a kind coverage of sports in Indianapolis, including one-on-one interviews with drivers and crew members of race teams competing in the Indianapolis 500.
Today WRFT-91.5 FM has gone automated which allows them to bring 24 hours worth of programming to their listening public everyday of the year. The radio station itself has had to move twice to accommodate the number of students who want to be involved. These students have been rewarded for their tireless work both on the air and behind the scenes by being named the best high school radio station twice, the last time coming in 2007. Since their very first days of broadcasting “Flash FM” has served their school and community by bringing them the latest in local news and events. It is a this dedication that has set them apart from other stations in the past, and will continue to do so far into the future
WRFT 91.5 FM
6215 S Franklin Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46259
To learn more about “Flash FM” check out their website today.