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Educational Broadcasting Corporation, Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast to Acquire WXEL-TV and WXEL-FM from Barry University.

NEW YORK -- Licensee Of Public Broadcasters Thirteen/WNET And WLIW21 New York Joins With Local Media Foundation To Enhance WXEL's Value To South Florida

Educational Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), licensee of public television stations Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21 New York, has agreed to acquire all rights to WXEL-TV and WXEL-FM from Barry University in West Palm Beach, Florida. EBC will work closely together with Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast, Inc. (CBF) on ensuring WXEL continues to serve the West Palm Beach community by enriching its programming and educational outreach. The announcement was made today by the trustees of Barry University, which has owned and managed the stations since 1997.

WXEL-TV, a public television station broadcasting on channel 42 and digital channel 27, and WXEL-FM, a public radio station transmitting on 90.7 FM, serve Broward, Palm Beach and Treasure Coast audiences.

"Educational Broadcasting Corporation is honored to have been chosen by Barry University to acquire WXEL television and radio," said Steven Rattner, chairman of EBC's Board of Trustees. "While EBC and WXEL are separated by geography, they are closely linked through a shared community of viewers and a common mission to inform, educate and inspire. We look forward to harnessing those synergies as we work in active association with Community Broadcast Foundation to expand the local public media services WXEL viewers, listeners and members expect and value, as well as to introduce exciting new educational and programming initiatives of which the entire South Florida community can be proud."

"Our process was lengthy, thoughtful and methodical and the quality that EBC's leadership will bring to WXEL factored heavily in our decision," said Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, O.P., Ph.D. "We were clearly impressed with EBC and their plan to work with the Community Broadcast Foundation. With the Foundation's support and the financial backing and management skill of EBC, we envision a very bright future for WXEL, its staff and supporters. In choosing Educational Broadcasting Corporation and the Community Broadcast Foundation, we are confident that we have chosen stewards who will enhance the ability of WXEL to serve the people of this vibrant region with public television and radio programming of the highest quality.

"Given EBC's national reputation, expansive resources, commitment to quality and profound understanding of how to unite public broadcasters, we believe this arrangement augurs an exciting and prosperous future for WXEL. We are also especially grateful to the management and staff of WXEL for sharing their professional expertise and experience so effectively."

"We are extremely enthusiastic that Barry University has chosen Educational Broadcasting Corporation," said Richard Zaretsky, president of the Community Broadcast Foundation. "We are pleased that EBC chose to work with the CBF, giving what we believe will be the communities' best future for public broadcasting. We look forward to working closely with EBC, the WXEL staff, and other community partners to raise public broadcasting in South Florida to a higher level."

WXEL-TV, broadcasting on channel 42 and digital channel 27, is licensed to the West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce area. It signed on as the area's public television station in 1982. WXEL-TV, a PBS member station, airs programs serving the educational, cultural and entertainment needs of the community, including acclaimed local programming such as South Florida Today, Profiles of Success, and South Florida Teen. WXEL-FM, broadcasting on 90.7 FM, is a National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, providing a wide variety of public radio programming for the South Florida listening audience.

The agreement between EBC and Barry for the transfer of WXEL's license is subject to approvals by the boards of EBC and Barry University, as well as by the State of Florida, and City of Boynton Beach. In addition, the FCC must approve the transaction after a period of public comment. It is estimated that the acquisition will take three to nine months to finalize.

About Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Educational Broadcasting Corporation, headquartered in New York City, is the parent company of public broadcasters Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21 New York. Thirteen is America's most-watched public television station and WLIW21 has the fourth-largest public television audience in the nation. Both stations are major producers of programming for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) seen on public television stations across the country. In addition to its well-known analog channels, EBC is the provider of a number of digital public television services, including Thirteen HD, Thirteen World, Kids Thirteen, WLIW Create, Thirteen On Demand, and Thirteen/PBS Kids On Demand. EBC also creates, manages and distributes a wide range of educational outreach and online programs, projects and services that extend the power and relevance of public television programming at the local, national and international levels.

About Barry University

Barry University is the personal, purposeful university that affordably combines hands-on career preparation, a broad arts and sciences curriculum, Adrian Dominican compassion, and Floridian warmth while celebrating diversity of ages, cultures, faiths, and perspectives. It is Florida's fourth-largest private institution of higher education, and provides bachelor's, master's, law, and seven doctoral degree programs to more than 9,000 students at its main campus in Miami Shores and sites throughout the state.

About Community Broadcast Foundation

The Community Broadcast Foundation of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast, Inc. is an organization of more than 40 volunteers from the communities covered by WXEL, dedicated to the mission of public television in South Florida.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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