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A Tribute to a Regional Media Icon

Readers: This month, we start our 10th year of Post Time with a salute to a great lady that left us 20 years ago this week.

The Miami News, South Florida’s oldest newspaper and a sister publication to the Palm Beach Post, was founded in May 1896 as the Miami Metropolis.  The News grew with the city and went head-to-head for decades with the
morning Miami Herald.

It won five Pulitzer Prizes, including one in 1939 for exposing City Hall corruption, one in 1963 for breaking the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis and two for cartoonist Don Wright, later of The Palm Beach Post.
Another News legacy: the Freedom Tower.

Ohio Gov. James Cox bought the Metropolis and renamed it the Miami Daily News. He built Miami’s first skyscraper in 1925.

The 17-story News tower — inspired by the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain, — was visible to ships 6 miles at sea.
The News moved in 1957 to a site on the Miami River, and later to the bayfront Miami Herald building.
From 1962 to 1974, its former tower was a processing center for 650,000 Cubans fleeing Castro.

Starting in the 1960s, the News fell victim to a trend away from afternoon newspapers. Circulation dropped from 112,000 in 1966 to below 48,000.

Cox Newspapers, parent of the News and this newspaper, said it was losing nearly $30,000 a day.

Cox sought a buyer without luck, and the News closed Dec. 31, 1988.

Many staffers left the business or the region, but some moved 68 miles north, to the benefit of The Palm Beach Post.

The last to leave that day in 1989: Howard Kleinberg. Two decades later, he’s still busy writing books and fixing the sloppy writing of his son!

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg January 1, 2009 at 11:29 am.

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