WNET to Takeover the Operation of NJN

By Michael Aron

Governor Christie announced the plan for NJN is to turn the operation over to channel 13 in New York.  It will be set up as a New Jersey non-profit with a new name – NJTV.  The Governor said it will provide better PBS programming and more New Jersey-centric programming than the current NJN and that press reports that the news program will be discontinued aren’t true.

NEWS STORY: Assembly Budget Committee Convenes Hearing on Future of NJN
FULL PRESS CONFERENCE: Governor Christie Releases Plans on the Future of NJN
FULL PRESS CONFERENCE: Legislators Hold Press Conference on NJN Takeover

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34 Responses to WNET to Takeover the Operation of NJN

  1. Timothy Frith says:

    What is NJTV?

  2. I hope this change won’t be anything more as a “change” than a “stay-same” basis.
    I hope the logo looks nice.
    And I hope that this “new network” will really be the same NJN.

  3. Jo Ann Cubberley says:

    I am concerned that the focus of NJTV will be on north east NJ – rather than the statewide coverage that we have come to rely upon fron NJN. WNET is a New York entity – that’s the coverage area it’s management knows

  4. VIcki S. says:

    It is sad to lose NJN. I hope that the new owners will not forget that there is plenty of Jersey that continues below the Trenton geography. New York run often means New York news, rather than what we loved about NJN, it really was New Jersey news for all of New Jersey.

    • Carol Birn says:

      First of all, it is not yet a done deal. The state Legislature must sign off on any contract.

      I would like to know why Gov. Christie has chosen the WNET proposal over proposals from New Jersey entities. I contacted Gov. Christie’s office and the only information I could get was that he liked the WNET proposal best and could/would not provide any specifics.

      Until specific reasons to choose the WNET proposal over the other NJ based proposals are given, I am against choosing WNET and hope that the legislature will not approve the Gov. Christie proposal for the dissolution of NJN.

  5. kevin monroe says:

    state legistaue,governor Christie,please kill the wnet takeover plan!!! thank you!!!

  6. Carol Birns says:

    First of all, it is not yet a done deal. The state Legislature must sign off on any contract.

    I would like to know why Gov. Christie has chosen the WNET proposal over proposals from New Jersey entities. I contacted Gov. Christie’s office and the only information I could get was that he liked the WNET proposal best and could/would not provide any specifics. Until specific reasons to choose the WNET proposal over the other NJ based proposals are given I would be strongly against turning over WNJN to WNET and
    I would expect the legislature to disapprove Gov. Christie’s decision regarding the future of WNJN.

  7. Susie Q says:

    Much of NJ doesn’t get WNET. Why not link with WHYY? This is unfair to south Jersey.

    • Frank says:

      They should of sold the WNJS portion of NJN to WHYY then name that NJTV South, and have programming also from WHYY on Channel 23 in South Jersey.

  8. Chris Christie doesn’t care about “Jersey-centric” coverage. This will not be a New Jersey channel anymore. I’m sure everyone benefitting from this deal is a friend of Chris Christie, including Stephen Adubato.

  9. Wilma Frey says:

    I would strongly urge the Legislature to turn down this proposal, and insist on being involved in crafting an alternative that will be better for New Jersey. I was able to view part of the hearing yesterday, and many excellent points were raised by the legislators on the committee. I do not believe this deal is in the best interests of the New Jersey public and that it will severely limit the public’s access to relevant information and on-the-spot news about what is going on in the state, especially in the realm of public affairs. The Christie adminstration talks about transparency – but it does not do it! The legislature should have been brought in all along in the process of making this decision. Removing NJN’s center of out of state is extremely unwise. I believe that WNET President Neal Shapiro mentioned wanting to increase focus on arts and culture. That strikes me as another way of turning the NJN into more entertainment, and removing another vital news-gathering and broadcasting entity that is on the scene to report on the goings-on in Trenton. In reponse to Mr. Shapiro’s statement that the new entity would [send reporters to] cover “important stories,” Assemblyman Greenwald made a telling point when he said: “You don’t know what’s important till you get here!”

  10. Linda says:

    I have some positive comments for you. I love your online
    newscasts/podcasts/Twitter. Your reporters/journalists are top notch. (I was happpy to see SaraLee Kessler again. She was in our cable system here many many years ago when she was at another network. Love her work.) I live in Central NY but because I have a son who now lives in NJ I choose to follow
    your news daily. I am sad about the upcoming changes at your network
    and just wanted to tell you. I always look forward to places and events
    that you highlight… the nice story about turtles at the
    zoo . Earlier in this year you spent a few minutes
    highlighting Newark’s Branch Brook Park’s cherry blossoms…so beautiful. I took
    the time to Google it because of your broadcast and got some great pics
    to look at. I’ve gotten familiar with NJ by watching. I wish all of you well and hope to see you in the future
    somewhere.

  11. Linda Koenig says:

    Keep the New Jersey in NJN! Keep NJN in NEW JERSEY!
    Once again, New Jersey is being sold down the river…no, make that RIVERS as in the Hudson & the Delaware.
    A Philly station is taking over at least part of the radio broadcast operation, while NY’s WNET is going to take over the television portion.
    As New Jersey hall of Famer Yogi Berra would say, “It’s deja vu all over again!” We KNOW what happened w/ NET/13 back in the ’60s!
    I understand Montclair State’s proposal was similar to WNET’s. The have the facilities, NJN already has a presence there & they’re in NJ. So why go across the river? If they need more money, why not go to the DRPA? You know, the ones who built useless, non-operating wind turbines on the wrong side of the NJ state aquarium in Camden? They were supposed to be funding projects that benefited the area in terms of infrastructure & job creation. Well, isn’t Trenton on the Delaware? And isn’t NJN based in Trenton??
    Another thought: Doesn’t NYC own & operate WNYC/Ch.25? If so, couldn’t that be a model?
    I hate the thought of losing NJN, but I’d almost rather see it go dark than to become less than a pale imitation of what it is now. Linda Koenig

  12. nancy says:

    I am an avid NJN radio listener (and contributor). I will miss NJ
    Nightly News, Reporters’ Roundtable, and the other fabulous shows produced locally. I
    will also miss the CBC show, “As it Happens.” I thank you so much for
    airing that show. I hope to hear that the Nightly News team will resurface. It is a great show.

  13. Ron Qunynghamm says:

    I agree with Linda K. on: Keep the New Jersey in NJN! Keep NJN in NEW JERSEY! New York and Philadelphia are not New Jersey, and the focus of most news stories will take on the areas they are based in. Why Montclair States proposal was rejected even though they have the equipment right there is a small mystery to me, but maybe I don’t have all the facts yet. I just know that removing WNJN from state ownership is a mistake and will be a loss for the state, just like the original WNET was.

  14. Mary says:

    I am deeply saddened by the loss of NJN. I am especially disappointed in the Senators that failed to block this WNET takeover. I have enjoyed the Jersey centric coverage over the years along with my late father who watched NJN news every night he could. The professional tone and informative news is what kept me tuning in. For this New Jerseyan, Governer Christie’s legacy will be that he gave away NJN to his friend Steve Adubato Jr. At the very least, it should have been given to Montclair State, so actual New Jersey residents could be involved in the programming. Thanks to Governor Chris Christie, if I want to know what is going on in the statehouse, I’ll have to go there myself every night of the week.

  15. Meag says:

    NJTV is not – and never will be NJN! The day NJN becomes NY/PHILLY based …the day I stop watching/supporting. My husband and I are avid watchers and supporters of NJN. NJN IS NJ…. END OF STORY. And Chris Christie wants to promote business in NJ? Yeah… lets farm out the only respectable news broadcast of our garden state to another state! I’m dumfounded!

  16. Ken Moskowitz says:

    This is a very sad day in New Jersey. I can’t believe this NJN, gone? Unbelieveable!!! I grew up watching the likes of Kent Manahan, Michael Aron, Bill Perry, and Pat Scanlon to name a few. This is just as bad as Mr. Rodgers not being broadcast on PBS if not, worse!!! This is an outrage!!! Money, Money, Money!!! That’s basically all it is, and what it boils down to!!! I’ve lived in NJ all of my life, and what a shame!!! I am a shamed of the senate, I am a shamed of the deal that happened, and most of all, I am deeply ashamed of this so-called great leader of ours called the governor. Pardon my french, but in plain english, what a jackass!!! A better deal could have been reached. I listened to Chris Christie talk here in Fair Lawn, and let me tell you, he is just one very rude, and arrogant person. 15 to 20 min late to the town hall meeting, then again I don’t know if you can call it a town hall meeting. It was more like a courtroom. He had his back turned a numerous amount of times to the audience. Very disgusting!!! No respect for people!!! How did this guy get voted in??? Please!!! I’m so ashamed of this state it’s not even funny anymore. I don’t even know how I’m still living in this state. Unbelieveable!!!!

    And as for this so-called new “NJTV”, where the hell is there website??? No website to tell you what they are about. Real Smart!!!

    I’m sorry for being so angry, but enough is enough!!!

    Ken Moskowitz
    Fair Lawn, NJ

    • d.shatin says:

      The Governor prior to his current office held office only once.when elected as a Freeholder to the Morris County Board of Freeholders where he served for one term.. He was selected by former President GW Bush to serve under Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, as a Prosecutor over the Eastern Region, including NJ. Tight circle with those who raised the most money when Governor GW Bush ran for President in 2000.

      His brash style has in the past served him extremely well as a U.S. Prosecutor. This style might be off putting to people at a town hall meeting type event. Yet many people throughout all walks of life admire his style and ability to ‘get things done.’

      It is unfortunate for New Jerseyans their property taxes will continue to skyrocket until and unless the Governor imposes a freeze on debt issuance applicable to all of NJs Authorities of the State of NJ, including the Economic Development Authority and the Turnpike Commission for instance.

  17. Linda Koenig says:

    If the vote had been 20-20, the motion would have failed…it’s obvious this was done for political advantage….we knnow Mr. Adunato, Jr. is a Democratic power in Essex & a presence on NET13.
    Mr. Adubato, Sr. is heavily involved w/ charter schools & is a power in his own right.
    Who gains? Certainly not the people of NJ. I just know I’m going to find out which of my legisltors voted for this & make a point of not voting for THEM!

    • Janet Moyers Bowmer says:

      I am so saddened at the loss of NJN, a source of pride for all New Jerseyans, but I am incredibly angry at the 4 Democratic NJ Senators ( Cunningham, Ruiz, Stack and Nill) who chose to ignore their constituents and their consciences and play NJ politics as usual. This deal wreaks of backroom politics. No wonder Christie, Adubato & company want NJN reporters gone- they have a lot to answer for and WNET has lost all my respect. Christie should be recalled.

      • Linda Koenig says:

        Gov. Tom Kean said as much…that there were people out there who didn’t want people knowing what was going on…as for a recall, I believe it can’t be done during an office-holder’s 1st or last yr. in office…also, I beluieve you need to collect the signatures of 25% of the voters who voted in the last election. I would imagine this would be a general election. A school board election would be better–lower turn-out! but I don’t think it works this way… and, IU guess you cxould count on the support of the NJEA & other unions!
        **Here’s what we need to watch carefully…how quickly they pull this new “entity”(it reminds me of Spiderman’s black costume, whicih took over his body & did things w/out him knowing)
        together & how smoothly…why? because getting anything done in politics is like trying to turn around a super-liner before it hits an iceberg…government is too ponderpous to react qwuickly, so, if it’s one w/ relative speed, you KNOW it’s been in the works for awhile!!

        If the vote had been 20-20, the motion would have failed…it’s obvious this was done for political advantage….we knnow Mr. Adunato, Jr. is a Democratic power in Essex & a presence on NET13.
        Mr. Adubato, Sr. is heavily involved w/ charter schools & is a power in his own right.
        Who gains? Certainly not the people of NJ. I just know I’m going to find out which of my legisltors voted for this & make a point of not voting for THEM!

  18. Frank Ferris says:

    I’m sadded to see the transfer of the NJN operations (both TV & radio) to entities outside of NJ. Over the years, I’ve come to rely on NJN for fair, balanced news especially when it came to state and local politics. I seriously doubt this backroom deal the governor forced through will be in the best interests of NJ residents. To the NJN staff, thank you for your professionalism and the quality of programming you provided over the last four decades. You have much to be proud of.

  19. Richard says:

    Anybody know what’s happening to the radio stations? Last I read they were giving them to WNYC.

    • Janet Moyers Bowmer says:

      I’m wondering what becomes of the website and it’s great archives? I hope that Montclair gets at least custodial care of that, a record to show that not all NJans are mindless barbarians! Their content must be preserved and, perhaps, added to.

  20. d.shatin says:

    What is accomplished by tmaking WNET the controlling body over what had been NJN? Doesn’t NJN belong to the people of the State of NJ?
    Do the State Treasurer and Governor have the authority uner the NJ Constitution to unilaterally, with no public comment, no public vote or participation, to ‘be the unilateral decider’ and ‘take’ NJN from the people of the state for no logical reason other than either to a. reward cronies; b. stifle dissent….
    The dissolution of NJN was announced as a fait accompli weeks before any legislative action. What is happening to the State of NJ?

  21. Linda koenig says:

    What –who–will be served by having what was a Jersey-centric station based in New York?
    Does anyone, w/ the possible exception of those who supported this measure, believe our state will get the attention it deserves?
    Let’s consider: how many of the New York based news stations MENTIONED, let alone REPORTED, on the demise of NJN?
    And here’s something else to consider: The Jets & the Giants are based & play in New Jersey, yet they’re still called the NEW YORK Jets & the NEW YORK Giants.
    Does anyone seriously believe this new entity will remain Jersey centered?
    ***And one other thing: when they were considering the “cost savings,” did anyone factor in the cost to the state for 99 weeks of Unemployment benefits for 100+ employees?

  22. Nancy Clark says:

    I too am angry and sad. I have been watching NJN news for many years and know it was the only place where you could really WATCH what was going on in Trenton and the rest of the state. Many times something BIG was going on in Trenton and the NY stations never even mentioned it in their broadcasts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see nothing even resembling what we had when WNET takes over. The NJN nightly news ends tomorrow – are we even going to have ANYTHING in its place right away? Or do they just think, “Hey its the 4th of July weekend, those stupid people in NJ aren’t paying attention anyway!” For once we had something to be proud of and they killed it! Maybe they should have done the news ala Jerseyshore, Jerseylicious, or Real Housewives NJ!

  23. Linda Koenig says:

    NJN had become the state’s version of a local, hometown newspaper. For example, tonight they had on a baby snow leopard that was born in the Cape May Zoo. I was there in October & saw the cub’s older siblings. They featured stories that weren’t covered by other news outlets.
    Now, Neil Shapiro is saying that they’re going to have more interviews on their news broadcasts.
    What do we need w/ more interviews? To me, interviews give some information, but they also give opinions. We don’t have cable, in our home, but it seems to me we have a LOT of interviews available to us.
    What we need is stories. NJN gave us a voice & a sense of a statewide identity.

    • teacher333 says:

      More interviews with Gov. Christie, I am sure! And every other Republican Legislator/Rep in NJ!

  24. teacher333 says:

    Well all I can say is it certainly sucks to live in NJ right about now, both as a TV station and a public employee (teacher), when you have a Governor and Legislators/Representatives who have their own agendas and do not care what their constituents want, something which will be handled in the next election, hopefully!

    Although I have lived all of my life in the Garden State (58 years), it has only been within the last 5 years that I have come to appreciate all your station had to offer concerning NJ – something I cannot see a New York-based station continuing.

    The die was cast long ago, and I think the dragging out of all of these hearings was just a ploy by current administration to make it appear as if the right protocol was being followed; but what really matters is what goes on behind the scenes, and whose pockets are filled!

    I wish you all the best of luck, and hopefully the new corporation will be true to their words and keep the same employees in the jobs they have excelled in.

  25. Linda Koenig says:

    Chris Christie may run the state of New Jersey, but the Boss still won’t give him the time of day. I guess it’s true: You CAN’T always get what you WANT!

    NJN had become the state’s version of a local, hometown newspaper. For example, tonight they had on a baby snow leopard that was born in the Cape May Zoo. I was there in October & saw the cub’s older siblings. They featured stories that weren’t covered by other news outlets.
    Now, Neil Shapiro is saying that they’re going to have more interviews on their news broadcasts.
    What do we need w/ more interviews? To me, interviews give some information, but they also give opinions. We don’t have cable, in our home, but it seems to me we have a LOT of interviews available to us.
    What we need is stories. NJN gave us a voice & a sense of a statewide identity.

  26. Linda Koenig says:

    Re: NJ Today Summer Edition vs. NJN Nightly News:

    Worst replacement since Ed Woods picked his wife’s chiropractor to fill in after Bela Lugosi died during the filming of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”!

    Seriously…was anyone in the mood during that first broadcast to watch Steve Adubato, Jr. & Gov. Christie do their little song & dance & try to convince us they have an adversarial relationship?
    Ask yourself: were the Dodgers the same team after they left Brooklyn?

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