In the part of the newsroom called “the morgue,” there are folders of desiccated paper clippings, rolls of microfilm and a cabinet full of index-card-sized plastic sheets of microfiche.
There’s a whole world in those cards and sheets, lifetimes of people compressed into two dimensions, countless stories of dire events rendered forgotten by time, and bulging envelopes of busy newsmakers who aren’t busy anymore.
For 100 years, The Palm Beach Post has been telling the stories of people outside the newsroom. And the morgue is a repository of that century of effort.
But it doesn’t tell the whole story.
For when you’re in the storytelling business that long, it becomes time to tell the story about yourself, a story about the storytellers.
So that’s what I’ve been up to: Finding a way to give you, the reader, a backstage tour through The Palm Beach Post’s first century.
I’m going to say right up front: this is a highly subjective effort. And not a comprehensive one, either. Think of it as the CliffsNotes version of Post history, a peek into a very large, and largely unexplored, room.
IN THE BEGINNING:
MUSINGS AND A ‘MISTRESS’
In its early issues, The Palm Beach Post looked and read in a way that modern readers might find funny, odd and somewhat unrecognizable.
The initial readers of the paper, those who plunked down $4.50 for a yearly subscription, got some local news — mostly about road construction — but no in-depth analysis or editorial pages.
Instead, they got a daily dose of a serialized soap opera called “A Tale of Red Roses,” and no more than Twitter-length bulletins of backyard-fence-type updates listed under “Items of Interest from Palm Beach,” “Delray Doings” and “Busy Boynton Briefs.”
The Post published names of children on the “sick list” and who was coming and going in places such as The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach.
“Fredrick Sturgess and party will arrive this morning from New York for another season at Palm Beach,” one such notice in 1916 read.
In those days, you could learn more about the community from reading the newspaper’s classified ads.
“Wanted: A colored girl, 17 or 18 years old, to do housework. Must be neat.”
Stories that would garner significant news coverage today rated just a passing mention.
I found myself wishing there was more to read about the proposed law to ban women from being called “flappers” because it was against “the dignity of the state.” And why exactly did lawmakers want to mandate that wooden Indians be placed in front of all cigar stores?
One of the early signs of personality in The Post came during the mid-’20s, when writer Amy Lyman Phillips created an alter ego, “The Mistress Samuel Pepys,” and wrote a rambling column about life in Palm Beach in the form of “The Diary of Mistress Samuel Pepys,” whose telephone tip line number was 234-W.
Apparently, Palm Beach’s problem with stray cats started some 90 years ago. And the Mistress Samuel Pepys offered a solution.
“Electric cages which dispose of them quickly and painlessly are to be had for about $350 … and eventually a cage might be bought and kept in some central spot where people might take their cats before leaving town and see that they are properly disposed of,” she wrote.
WHEN THE NEWS WAS A CIRCUS,
AND THE CIRCUS WAS THE NEWS
As the area grew, so did the newspaper’s role in the community, although sometimes it chose to flex its muscle in odd ways.
Take 1938, for example. The afternoon paper, The Palm Beach Times, whose motto back then was “today’s news today,” went to extraordinary lengths to get the traveling Famous Robbins Circus to parade its animals through the streets of downtown West Palm Beach.
At first, the city balked at the parade, saying that the circus had not purchased a permit.
That prompted a full-scale assault by the newspaper, which had a screaming “There Ain’t Gonna Be No Circus Parade?” headline on the front page, and carried on its indignant tone about the lack of a circus parade in half of its 10 pages.
On Page 2, a photo of a typewriting monkey name Jocko appeared. The caption purported to be the monkey typing about his dismay at not being allowed to entertain West Palm Beach’s children during a circus parade.
Page 3, the “Society Page,” featured a photo of a woman screaming under the heading, “There Ain’t Gonna Be No Parade!” Two pages later, a photo of a crying child was shown, with the identical lament.
The newspaper even enlisted Adolf Hitler, who at the time had his Gestapo rounding up “Marxists, traitors and other state enemies” in Czechoslovakia.
In the newspaper, a photo of Hitler gesticulating during an impassioned speech appeared under the heading, “There Ain’t Gonna Be No Circus Parade!”
The newspaper’s crusade seemed to work. On the day the paper appeared, the city of West Palm Beach abandoned its permit requirement.
The next day, The Palm Beach Times celebrated — again on the front page. “Circus Parade? — Yeah, man” the headline read.
But then the traveling circus scratched the parade, saying that to get its elephants on a circuitous route that started and ended at Belvedere Road and went as far north as Clematis Street would make the circus miss its matinee show.
The newspaper was indignant, this time running a front-page, above-the-fold editorial to denounce the circus.
“Ordinarily a circus parade is hardly important enough for a front-page editorial. This is one,” the editorial began.
The editorial demanded that the traveling circus cancel its Daytona Beach show on the following day in order to hold a parade in West Palm Beach.
The circus didn’t oblige, leading to another front-page screed the following day.
“We Wuz Robbed,” was the headline.
“If the elephant herd had gone stampeding through the city, stark mad, killing our citizens and destroying our city, we couldn’t have had much more complaint,” it said.
Circus parades aside, the newspaper wasn’t exactly into the sort of in-depth investigations that would mark its more recent years.
A PARADE OF CHARACTERS …
AND A COLUMNIST WHO RAN FOR CONGRESS
For the middle part of the century, The Palm Beach Post was owned by John Holliday Perry Jr., a Palm Beach Gardens businessman who was more famous for building submarines than newspapers.
The Harvard Business School graduate was a pilot with an interest in developing renewable energy. Like his father, he collected newspapers as investment properties.
“They had no concept of journalism,” said Bill McGoun, who began his four decades at the Post in 1957 working as a “go-fer.”
“We didn’t print a business section, because it was considered free advertising,” he said. “And when somebody was killed at the Western Union building, we had the name wiped off the building in the photo. If you wanted your business’s name in the paper, you had to pay for it.”
The newspaper in those days was in a storefront office at 328 Datura St. in downtown West Palm Beach. The copy desk was full of hard-drinking World War I vets, McGoun remembers.
The roof of the building was used by the weather service as an observation station. But it was also the spot where staffers would go to relax and sometimes drink.
This explains, McGoun remembers, how West Palm Beach recorded more than 2 inches of rainfall during a drought.
“Somebody had relieved himself in the rain gauge,” McGoun said.
A young Bob Balfe Jr., not even a teen yet, would walk from St. Ann’s school to that Datura Street office to fill the paste pots, sharpen pencils and learn to develop film.
His father, Bob Balfe Sr., a sports editor at the morning or afternoon papers for a total of 40 years, started at The Post in 1934. There’s still an annual race at the Palm Beach Kennel Club named after him.
“I literally learned to read reading The Palm Beach Post,” the younger Balfe said.
And he got to carry his back-weary father’s heavy typewriter for games at the Orange Bowl and fly on Perry’s private plane with his father for football games in Tallahassee and Gainesville.
“My dad was all about The Post,” Balfe said, “but he always told me don’t get into the newspaper business. Get into a job where you can make some money.”
But the boy didn’t listen. A year after his father retired from the newspaper, the younger Balfe took a data processing job at The Post.
He retired 33 years later in 2008 as the vice president of operations at the newspaper.
While the Balfes left a big footprint, others came and went practically unnoticed.
Like Frederick Exley. A brilliant, hard-drinking and mentally unstable wanderer, Exley bounced his way to Singer Island in the mid-1960s. He married the much-younger switchboard operator at the Buccaneer, and found work on the copy desk of The Palm Beach Post.
She helped him type the manuscript of his yet-to-be published fictional memoir entitled “A Fan’s Notes.”
The marriage and his job at The Post didn’t last very long, but “A Fan’s Notes,” after years of rejection, was widely regarded as a significant contribution to modern literature. Exley received the William Faulkner Award for best first novel and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Literary critic Jonathan Yardley called the novel “one of the few monuments of postwar American fiction.”
Exley, like The Post, was a kind of diamond in the rough, at least according to Cox Enterprises, which bought the newspaper in 1969.
Perry, the engineer, had invested in state-of-the-art IBM equipment, making the newspaper a pioneer in computerization. And the newspaper’s offset printing presses made photo reproduction the envy of competitors.
“Mr. Perry invested heavily in machines, but not much in people,” said Gregory Favre, who at that time was the managing editor of the Dayton Daily News, one of Cox’s other newspapers. “The idea was to make the paper a hell of a lot better. The paper didn’t cover the community or have a voice.”
After the purchase, Cox installed Favre as The Post’s editor, and he moved much of the existing staff to the afternoon Times edition, while building The Post’s newsroom from scratch.
Favre hired away a bunch of young reporters from other South Florida newspapers, especially the Miami Herald.
“It was sort of like a Camelot experience, where you could build a whole new staff,” Favre said. “The average age of the staff was 26, and we did some terrific journalism.”
Favre was a hands-on editor who wrote three columns a week and reveled in stepping on toes that hadn’t been stepped on in a while.
“One of the myths I would discard now is that we worship at the feet of the great god of circulation,” he wrote in one of his early columns.
The Post’s eight-part series “Migration to Misery” — about the deplorable treatment of migrant farm workers in the area — won staff photographer Dallas Kinney the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.
The paper wrote unsparingly about Palm Beach County Sheriff William Heidtman, who referred to Favre as “a pink cloud over Palm Beach County.”
And Palm Beach County Superintendent of Schools Lloyd Early sued the newspaper, demanding $6 million for printing a series of stories that he claimed had ruined his reputation.
Early got a nearly $1 million verdict from a Broward jury, but a state appeals court overturned that decision, concluding: “There is no evidence… that a single one of the articles was a false statement or fact made with actual malice.”
Favre’s tenure lasted three years, ending unexpectedly when James Cox Jr. directed all of the newspapers in the chain to endorse Richard Nixon over George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.
Favre protested to no avail, and ended up writing the endorsement himself.
“To ask anybody else to do it would have been a struggle,” he remembers. “So I wrote it. I wrote a piece of fiction.”
And then he resigned without publicly disclosing the reason. Favre went on to a long career in journalism, leading papers that won three more Pulitzer Prizes.
This year, at 85, Favre became the founding editor of CALmatters, a nonprofit group that acts as a watchdog of California government.
One of Favre’s new hires at The Post was Barbara Somerville, a quirky feature writer who embodied the women’s liberation movement in both her style of dress and worldview.
Favre turned her loose on what used to be known as the women’s pages. And Somerville wrote about sex, relationships, and in one often-requested story, how women can improve their pelvic floors through Kegel exercises.
“Barbara was on the cutting edge,” recalled Fran Hathaway, whose long career at The Post began in the mid-’70s as a feature writer with Somerville. “I was doing stories about battered women back then.”
Randy Schultz started at The Post as a sportswriter in 1976, beginning a 38-year career that would include being the newspaper’s managing editor and editorial page editor.
In his early days at The Post, Schultz sat across from Somerville, fighting off waves of smoke spewing from her More cigarettes.
“Whatever Barbara was feeling, Barbara wrote,” Schultz said. “It was like sitting across from a combination of Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil.”
Also in the newsroom those days was a brash young reporter named Pete Dexter. Dexter had no formal journalism education, but the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale had hired him when he decided he was tired of selling cars in South Florida.
Favre saw something magical in Dexter’s writing and brought him to The Post, allowing him to write a column.
A decade later, Dexter would win the National Book Award for his novel, “Paris Trout,” and go on to a literary career that would include six more novels and five movie screenplays.
But he was just a quirky young columnist in his Palm Beach Post days, auditioning his literary muscles on mini-profiles of celebrities passing through town.
So when President Richard Nixon was campaigning for re-election in 1972 by appearing on the Pahokee High School football field with Lorne Greene, who played Ben Cartwright in the popular TV Western, “Bonanza,” Dexter was more intrigued with the actor than the president.
“Somehow, even to the children of the city, he didn’t look quite right,” Dexter wrote about the man who played the ‘Bonanza’ father. “In the first place he was the wrong color.
“You just don’t think of Ben Cartwright as being yellow, in fact pale yellow. Ben hadn’t been out in the sun since Hoss gave up the ballet.
“In the second place, Cartwright was dressed funny. Leather pants, suede cowboy shoes, leather cowboy vest, leather cowboy shirt,” Dexter continued. “He rides around the Ponderosa like that, man, and the boys in the bunk house won’t go near him except in twos and threes.”
Dexter was a character, even leaving journalism for a time to fix cars at a West Palm Beach auto shop along with another Post reporter, Dan Geringer, who went on to a long journalism career in Philadelphia.
“Pete used to say that he was the second-best writer at the garage,” Favre said.
Newspapers in those days were noisy, caustic places. The air was thick with cigarette smoke. Teletype machines clacked incessantly, spitting out spools of news, while the sound of electric typewriters crescendoed as deadlines neared.
Conversations were often public knowledge in a room without cubicles, and hours of work were frequently followed by hours of drinking in the bar across the street.
The El Cid bar, the second oldest bar in West Palm Beach, had the fortune of being directly across Dixie Highway from The Post.
The Post’s history is nearly impossible to tell without mentioning the El Cid.
“I got hired over a pool table at the El Cid at 5 a.m.,” remembered Dan Shorter, who in 1977, was a young intern from rural Virginia who came to The Post on a journalism scholarship and stayed for 30 years, which included a stint as the newspaper’s business editor.
“When I first started there, you pulled a long shift at work, then pulled a long shift at the El Cid,” Shorter said.
Shorter met his future wife, Jacquie, at the El Cid, one night.
“She was sitting on a bar stool next to her father, who was a part-time photographer at the paper,” Shorter said. “He told her to have nothing to do with me, because he worked with me.”
Jacquie Shorter became the customer service manager at the newspaper, and, like her husband, worked at the paper for 30 years.
The guy who offered Shorter a job over that El Cid pool table was Sam Pepper, who, like Shorter, came to the newspaper barely out of college, and rose in the ranks over the years.
Pepper would eventually become a publisher of a weekly newspaper in Yuma, Ariz. But in the mid-1970s, he was the news editor at The Post under executive editor Ray Mariotti, who replaced Favre.
“We were all dog players back then,” Pepper said.
The Palm Beach Kennel Club, like the El Cid, was a local attraction of note, especially for Mariotti, who was an avid handicapper of racing greyhounds.
“There were about seven of us,” Pepper said. “We had a syndicate. You put in money. Ray had a photographic memory.”
The Post newsroom players became regulars at the track, Pepper said.
“We had the same table. We knew all the cashiers, and on Saturday, we’d go to the matinee, have dinner at Manero’s and then come back for the evening races.”
Tom Kelly, who followed Mariotti as the executive editor at the newspaper, remembers Mariotti taking him on an outing to a greyhound track in Miami.
“I’d give Ray $100, sit and watch the races, and at the end of the day he’d give me back $300,” Kelly said. “He was very successful at it.”
Mariotti collected money from people in the newsroom, offering them shares in his greyhound winnings, Kelly remembered. It was so successful that rumors had spread that Palm Beach County Sheriff Heidtman, no friend of the paper, had learned about it.
“There was great mourning in the newsroom when Ray announced he was shutting it down because of the Heidtman rumors,” Kelly said.
It was during these free-wheeling times that The Post’s biggest, and most tragic, character arrived on the scene.
Steve Mitchell was a caustically funny columnist who grew up in a North Carolina mill town, served in the U.S. Navy, and then hitchhiked to Florida with the idea of becoming a fisherman. When that didn’t work out, he gave newspaper writing a try.
“He was a cross between Mike Royko and Mark Twain,” said columnist Ron Wiggins, who was seven years younger than Mitchell, and sat next to him in the newsroom.
“Mitchell and Wiggins were the Butch and Sundance in the newsroom,” Schultz said.
Mitchell, who had an on-again, off-again drinking problem, kept liquor in his desk, while Wiggins was prone to making runs for chocolate cookies from a shop down the block.
They’d frequently launch off on an adventure, Mitchell dragging Wiggins along, each of them doing dueling columns, with Mitchell in the role of the rascally bad influence on the younger, naïve Wiggins.
“We would go fishing on Lake Okeechobee, and Steve would get the paper to pay for supplies, which to him was cigarettes and alcohol,” Wiggins remembers.
In a column in 1975 entitled “Teaching a young columnist ropes of a bottle,” Mitchell wrote about introducing Wiggins to the bourbon in Mitchell’s desk and then hauling the tipsy Wiggins to a local Navy recruiting center to see if they could both enlist.
Mitchell’s antics earned him a loyal audience. And in 1976, when America was electing the Georgia-born Jimmy Carter for president, Mitchell teamed up with the newspaper’s cartoonist, Sam Rawls, and published the humor book “How to Speak Southern.” The book, in the form of a glossary of words and their definitions, reportedly sold more than a million copies and is still selling.
Hard: To secure employment.
“Ah didn’t get that job. They hard somebody else.”
But it wasn’t all laughs with Mitchell, who sometimes lapsed into severe bouts of depression, made worse by his drinking.
The newspaper footed the bill to send him to rehab on a couple of occasions, Kelly said. After each time, Mitchell would come back renewed and full of energy, but it would not last long.
“He was manic-depressive,” Wiggins said. “And he treated his depression with alcohol.”
On one of his extended sober spells, Mitchell announced that he would run for U.S. Congress.
Mitchell was politically conservative, and he had no use for the incumbent Democratic Congressman Dan Mica, who was up for reelection in 1982. So Mitchell announced in his column that he wanted to replace Mica.
“It was tongue and cheek,” Wiggins said. “But as people started egging him on, he got excited about it.”
Mitchell also started using his column to raise money for his campaign, telling readers that he needed $3,033 for his filing fee.
“I prefer dealing with round numbers — $20, $50, $100 or whatever,” Mitchell wrote in his column. “I will make this promise to those who contribute and get me on the ballot. This is going to be the most fun you ever had with your clothes on.”
Readers put him on the ballot, contributing enough money to the Mitchell for Congress Committee to make him an official candidate for the Republican primary.
This crossed a line journalistically. His editors said that he had to choose between running for office and writing a column. Mitchell chose to run, taking a leave of absence from the paper.
At first, his campaign was a lark. He listed “sex” as his hobby on campaign forms, and beat Reid Moore, a Palm Beach lawyer serving in the state legislature, by a 3-to-2 margin in the Republican primary.
But the fun and games didn’t last. Mica was an entrenched incumbent with powerful endorsements, and plenty of campaign money to spend.
The pressure of a serious campaign was too much for Mitchell. A month before the election, Mitchell went into a deep depression, holding a weepy press conference to say he couldn’t go on.
“I have failed everyone who believed in my candidacy,” he told reporters. “Now, I just want to be left alone.”
And then he went back to rehab, abandoning the campaign right through Election Day. Mica cruised to victory, getting 72 percent of the vote.
After the election, Mitchell, fresh out of rehab, met with editors at the newspaper.
“We said, ‘Steve, this is where you belong,’” Kelly said. “He was going to start on Monday.”
But on the day before that, three weeks after the election, Mitchell sat in his West Palm Beach living room with the 12-gauge shotgun he bought that week.
Surrounded by stacks of fan mail he had received from readers, he put the barrel of the shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
I’ve found that there are two sure-fire ways to know whether Palm Beach County residents have been here a long time:
They refer to The Post by its old Sunday edition name, “The Post-Times,” and they ask me about Steve Mitchell.
THE POST’S CONNECTION
TO TABLOID’S ‘ED ANGER’
Other newsroom personalities developed more stealthily. Take Raphael “Rafe” Klinger, for example.
When Klinger was a reporter for The Post in the late 1970s, he covered a variety of beats, some of them from the newspaper’s satellite office in Delray Beach.
“I wrote a lot of traffic fatalities,” he said.
After a few years at The Post, he decided to scrap real news for a chance to make a lot more money working for The Weekly World News, a wacky new supermarket tabloid started by the National Enquirer, which was headquartered in Lantana.
“I went from making $13,000 a year to $30,000 a year,” Klinger said.
He pitched the idea of becoming a columnist for the tabloid by writing a column called “My America” under the name of “Ed Anger.”
Ed Anger would be a politically conservative commentator who was always “pig-biting mad” about something in modern culture.
“I was writing Ed Anger from the point of view of an American traditionalist,” Klinger said. “I thought I was writing humor. Except that today, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and Hannity are saying the same thing, and people think it’s true.”
Klinger’s creation became one of the most popular features of the Weekly World News, which continued to publish the Ed Anger column long after Klinger moved on.
THE NEWSPAPER VERSION
OF ‘THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD’
The most recent quarter-century of The Post’s history is one marked by great technological changes.
The computer age brought an end to composing rooms, where stories were pasted on pages that hung on easels. The Internet eliminated the clickety-clack of teletype machines. And the federal Clean Air Act made newsrooms smoke free.
“Once the computers came in, it was more like an insurance company,” Hathaway said.
Newspaper journalism, for better or worse, has evolved over time. And I’m a tainted source when it comes to telling the story of The Palm Beach Post in the years I’ve written for the newspaper.
When I decided to leave the Miami Herald to take a reporting job at the Post in 1989, Janet Chusmir, the executive editor of the Herald, called me into her office.
“Why are you going to The Palm Beach Post?” she asked me. “There’s nobody good there.”
She was wrong. In fact, when I started at The Post, there was Ronnie Greene, Carol Marbin, and Peter Whoriskey — three Post reporters who would go on to become star reporters at the Herald.
The Palm Beach Post had a relatively new leadership team in those days, two men who Cox dispatched from Atlanta in the mid-1980s to help The Post battle the Herald and Sun-Sentinel in an intensifying circulation war.
Publisher Tom Giuffrida was a soft-spoken guy who memorized the photo identification pictures of all the employees, so he could greet them by first name when he saw them in the halls.
“He was very unpretentious,” Shorter remembers. “He took a little office back behind the bathroom. He didn’t have to do that.”
And his editor was Eddie Sears, a brash, old-school managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who didn’t like focus groups, TV news synergy experiments, or having his reporters getting beat on a local news story.
“The one memo I remember from Eddie was him saying that he wanted all the reporters here to love Palm Beach County and to let your writing reflect that,” said Eliot Kleinberg, who has been a news reporter at the Post since 1987.
Pete Ebel, who today is the homicide unit commander at the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, was a metro desk editor at The Post when Giuffrida and Sears took over.
“The lengths they were willing to go to cover a story was new,” Ebel said. “Before they came, it was, ‘Well, we can send a reporter to cover the story as long as he pays for his own hotel room,’ and suddenly, it was ‘Let’s send two reporters.’”
Giuffrida and Sears were a well-matched pair. Giuffrida would make everybody feel wanted, and Sears would motivate in a George Patton vein, writing memos to editors with lines such as: “I could shoot a cannon across this newsroom and not hit a real journalist.”
The Post, I quickly discovered, was full of good people, something that other defectors from the Miami Herald would eventually learn.
There was a gifted group of photo editors and photographers, including Allen Eyestone, one of America’s best sports photographers. There were dogged reporters like Christine Stapleton, elegant writers like Ron Hayes, and walking Florida history encyclopedias like Eliot Kleinberg. There were future newsroom executives like Tom O’Hara, John Bartosek, Nick Moschella and Tim Burke. And there was Scott Eyman, a books editor who would eventually become a best-selling biographer of Hollywood legends.
There was no shortage of characters either, starting with the inspired lunacy of cartoonist Pat Crowley, and his then-wife, presentation editor Jan Tuckwood, an ageless force of nature who has had an invisible hand in so much of what The Post produces — all of it despite a world-class messy desk.
(I’d say more, but she’s going to edit this piece.)
The Post, under Giuffrida and Sears, was a mid-size paper that acted as if it were a national paper. It was the newspaper version of the Little Engine That Could.
“I’ve always said that The Post was the best 150,000-circulation paper in the country,” O’Hara said.
I remember covering the New York City mayor’s race in 1989, and introducing myself to the eventual winner, David Dinkins, at one of his campaign events in Staten Island.
“And who do you write for?” he asked me.
“The Palm Beach Post,” I said.
“The Palm Beach Post?” Dinkins said incredulously, then looked at one his assistants. “The Palm Beach Post is here!”
In 2004, Editor & Publisher named Sears its Editor of the Year, noting that he turned The Post into a “journalistic powerhouse” by “combining aggressive newsroom recruiting with an insistence on old-fashioned newspaper values.”
Sears retired the following year. Giuffrida retired three years later.
At some future time, other writers pondering the recent history of The Palm Beach Post will look back on the past several years to write the story of the paper as it transitions deeper into this digital age.
They’ll note the dramatic shrinking of the staff made necessary by a new generation of readers shifting toward digital products and away from the more lucrative print edition. And these writers will probably find it ironic that the overall readership of The Post’s news product continues to grow, even as its once tried-and-true business model gets rewritten.
That’s a story yet to be told. But when it is, those writers will discover plenty of worthy journalism still coming from The Palm Beach Post, and no shortage of interesting characters who continue to come and go, all while leaving their individual marks on one of this area’s most enduring institutions.
If history is a guide, The Post will keep reinventing itself, as it adapts to reflect the changing world around it.
In October, the El Cid bar closed its doors, ending its 72-year run. In the final months, the bar opened its door on Fridays only to accommodate Post employees across the street.
But now the bar is dark, with a real estate sign on the wall, and the owner talking about plans for a rebirth, possibly as an antique store.
The Post, meanwhile, forged in the days of hot type and delivery boys, presses on in a world of Twitter and Craigslist.
To echo the words of David Dinkins, The Palm Beach Post is here.