Sale closes on Palm Beach’s WXEL-FM

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Florida’s WXEL-FM, the public radio station that broadcast on 90.7 FM in Palm Beach, has been converted into full-time music outlet WPBI, owned and operated by American Public Media’s Classical South Florida.

The FCC approved the $3.85 million license transfer agreement last week, overruling objections from local groups who sought to prevent longtime owner Barry University from splitting the NPR news/classical music station from its public TV sibling. Sale opponents, including the WXEL Community Advisory Board, lobbied unsuccessfully to retain local control of both stations.

“This is an exciting day for public radio listeners across South Florida,” said Doug Evans, Classical South Florida president, in a news release announcing that the sale had closed. “We’re excited about the opportunity to serve the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast with high-quality public radio programming, and to strengthen the reach and quality of public radio throughout South Florida.

Under the sales contract, Classical South Florida has a one-year lease on the Boynton Beach studio facilities that housed both WXEL stations; the WXEL radio staff of seven full-time and four-part-time employees now work for new owner, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The future of WXEL-TV, which Barry University has been trying to sell since 2004, is unclear.

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