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Communication

Radio and Television
In 1981 the radio license for WHRS 90.7 FM was transferred from the Palm Beach County School Board to South Florida Public Telecommunications, Inc., which also held the license for WWPF-42 TV. The following year, WHRS TV aired, starting with the broadcast of Sesame Street. WHRS officially changed its call letters to WXEL in 1985 and merged with Barry University in 1997.

The West Palm Beach market's first independent television station, WFLX-29, was started in 1982 by Malrite Communications. WFLX was one of the first FOX affiliates when the network was founded in 1986. Again in the forefront of new trends, in 2002 WFLX was the first station in the West Palm Beach market to broadcast in high definition (HD).

In January 1989, due to signal strength, CBS switched their West Palm Beach affiliate from WTVX-34 to WPEC-12. ABC took on WPBF-25, and WTVX became an independent station, as it had started out.

Lowell ‘Bud’ Paxson, co-founder of the Home Shopping Network, launched PAX TV in 1998 from West Palm Beach to carry family-friendly programming. Paxson resigned in 2005, when the network became i: Independent Television, now Ion Television.

North County residents formed the not-for-profit, Jupiter Community Radio, Inc., to provide “Hometown Radio.” Beginning in 2004, WJTW 100.3 FM served listeners in Jupiter, Tequesta, Juno Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens.
 

Newspapers
Like the Jupiter Courier had done for northern Palm Beach County, in 1980 the Town-Crier began publishing weekly newspapers for the western communities: the Wellington Town-Crier, the Royal Palm Beach Town-Crier, and The Acreage/Loxahatchee Town-Crier. The total circulation of over 25,000 makes the Town-Crier one of the largest independent newspaper publishers in south Florida. Two other independent papers stopped publication in 1986, the Delray Beach News Journal and Boynton Beach News Journal.

Cox Enterprises, Inc., owner of the dailies The Palm Beach Post and The Evening Times, merged the two papers in 1987 into The Palm Beach Post with morning and evening editions, now only a morning edition. Cox formed Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc. to publish the Post, as well as the Palm Beach Daily News and the Florida Pennysaver.

In the late 1990s, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, primarily a Broward County publication, expanded its coverage into Palm Beach County and established a Delray Beach office, beginning a rivalry with The Palm Beach Post. In 2001, the Sun-Sentinel became the only south Florida paper with an office in Havana, Cuba, and began publishing a Spanish weekly, El Sentinel, in 2002. Cox followed with the weekly La Palma two years later but was discontinued in 2010.

Print newspapers lost subscribers as more readers went online for information, lost a major source of advertising income when real estate market fell in 2007, and more of both in the national economic recession that followed. Palm Beach Newspapers (PBN) was one of the last Florida newspaper publishers to reduce their staff significantly. In 2008 PBN was able to cut 300 of its 1,350 employees mostly on a voluntary basis by offering buyout packages to all who had worked there more than five years. Later that year, PBN was able to lay off hundreds more of its workers by contracting with the Sun-Sentinel to print and distribute the Post, the Daily News, and La Palma. Although the Sun-Sentinel was able to add staff for the extra workload, it closed its Delray Beach office. The Miami Herald, owned by The McClatchy Company, joined The Palm Beach Post and the Sun-Sentinel in an agreement to share non-competitive content, so that all might survive.
 

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