It’s official: WPBT and WXEL are now South Florida PBS

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With FCC approval finalized, public TV stations WPBT in Miami and WXEL in Boynton Beach, Fla., are now South Florida PBS.

Each station will retain its call letters. The two have been in talks on the deal for more than a year. WPBT President Dolores Sukhdeo is c.e.o. of the new entity, and Bernard Henneberg, WXEL g.m., becomes chief financial officer.

Co-chairs of the South Florida PBS Board are James Patterson, vice chair of WXEL’s Board of Trustees, and Laurie Silvers, board chair of WPBT. No layoffs will take place, according to spokespersons at both stations.

The merger agreement, approved and signed by both boards in July, was publicly announced Thursday, after an FCC waiting period for comment.

The stations will keep separate programming schedules but plan to reduce duplication. Management is also looking at spearheading a consortium of educational institutions in the region and increasing local educational reporting and new arts and culture programs, according to the announcement.

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