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WNET Selected by NJ Governor Christie to Provide Programming to NJN

By Michelle Michalos
Monday, June 6th, 2011
  • comments (22)

Gov. Christie, WNET President Neil Shapiro, and host Steve Adubato (Photo: Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Earlier today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his recommendation that WNET be selected to provide programming and services to New Jersey Network (NJN). Upon approval by the legislature, WNET will provide programming and services under a five-year agreement.

Among the programs that the network, which will be re-named NJTV, will air include:

  • A newly launched summertime edition of a news program in July—NJ Today—at the same frequency (4 broadcasts per day) and same airtimes as NJN currently runs.  In the fall a new version of NJ Today will premiere, with a focus on in-depth interviews, similar to the PBS NewsHour.
  • Popular PBS programs and never before seen shows like Charlie Rose.
  • An expanded daily uninterrupted children’s block of programs (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The New Jersey legislature is given 15 days from today to vote on Governor Christie’s recommendation. If approved, WNET will begin providing programming and services to NJN effective July 1.

  • Richard Wilson

    There goes the news and programing for those of us living South of Trenton. This is a dark day for public broadcasting in New Jersey. Another blow to the State from Governor Christie.

  • Harold Winard

    New York broadcast interests stole Channel 13 from New Jersey 50 years ago…in 1961. Now they want to steal more stations from New Jersey…stations built with taxpayer money. Don’t let them. Write your state legislators and tell them to vote NO on this destructive plan.

  • Ray Ladet

    Why is things going the way it is going-Here it is!We let it happen,as each day goes by Our Cities as well as the State is slowly going.I can recall when Gov.Christie came to my Church and said these words.”If I become the Gov.”there will be changes.Well there is one thing that he has Forgotton! He is not in Charge.People of New Jersey,STAND-UP and lets get on the People that we put in Trenton,on our behalf to look after us. Christie has to be STOP.

  • DJNL

    Who wants 10-hours of children’s programming EVERY weekday?? Not me…I want programs of interest to literate, educated ADULTS. This Christie boondoggle is another reason he MUST be stopped-before we have no state left…except for the rich fat-cat buddies of his.

  • Paul Covert

    way to much politics involved in the approved change.

  • Phyllis Spiegel

    I love Channel 13 but I also love New Jersey Network and am sad about our state losing its own media.

  • wallace ogonowski

    Here we go again the people of NJ getting the shaft. It seems first the seniors get hurt now the middle class.Christie is changing things in his favor. NOT THE PEOPLE

  • C. V. Gruner

    Unfortunately, NJ and the US Gov’t. have no leadership from either party. To paraphrase President Lincoln, we now have government of the party and special interests, by the party and special interests and for the party and special interests and to H___ with the people. This is not what I donned an American uniform for so many years ago. It is time to change from a republic to a true democracy, where the people rule themselves.

  • Valerie Haynes

    I’ve supported Channel Thirteen for many years, and I have also supported NJN. I am opposed to this takeover of NJN. The coverage provided by NJN is unique in the state – it is the only place to find coverage of New Jersey politics and coverage of local and state events. We don’t need another outlet for Masterpiece or Charlie Rose – great as they are, I already have several stations sending these shows into my home, and with a DVR, I never have to miss anything I want to see. But there is no other show like NJ News, or Reporters Roundtable or On the Record. Steve Adubato is fine, but he doesn’t produce the shows I care about. I live in central New Jersey – I share the concern of the South Jersey commenter who says there will be no more coverage of South Jersey. I’ll be surprised if we hear about anything happening south of Newark under this plan, and we definitely won’t see any video of anything happening anywhere in the State. What’s the point of TV without video?

  • joan delgiorno

    I live in Bayside, Queens and watch both channel 13 and 50 via my antenna. I was very disappointed when I could no longer get channel 21. I love all of the PBS stations and enjoyed their great variety of programs. I am really opposed to the take over of Channel 50. I too do not want more children’s programs. I am retired and enjoy being able to watch something interesting during the day. I have supported 13 and 21 for many years, so please don’t limit the programming I have enjoyed all these years. If you take over 50 I probably won’t be able to receive it either. You keep saying that I can see programs I’ve missed on channel 21 but have you knocked out my ability to receive a signal. Does this mean that I will someday be forced to get cable TV and add an additional expense to my monthly budget to watch the programs I have been supporting all these years. Thanks but no thanks.

  • frank accurso

    No surprises. Christie said he’d do this (cut NJN) and he did. His bigger brothers in the Washington tried to cut PBS and Public Radio funding entirely. No surprises. So, the next time you go into the voters booth and vote republican because ‘taxes aren’t american’ ask yourself, “what’s next?”
    Public Transport? Public Library? Public Schools? Ask Paul Ryan: the answer? medicare. Go ahead -> vote it! Just do NOT be surprised.

  • RSzuter

    I’m a little confused by Mr. Shapiro’s eagerness to help Gov. Christie successfully de-fund a PBS station. While Mr. Shapiro has publicly explained that WNET is coming to the rescue for public television in New Jersey, this tansfer of operation deal will allow Governor Christie to make good on his promise that not one one penny of taxpayer money will go to public broadcasting.
    While much has been made of the fact that NJN was state-operated, (so a new operator was needed, they say), it must also be noted that the Governor has made it clear that the line item in the NJ Budget to support public broadcasting has been zeroed out. For good. That means that Gov. Christie is a strong advocate of defunding public broadcasting.
    With this new model, the Governor will be allowed to boldly proclaim that New Jersey “has public television” and has this service with zero support from the the taxpayer. The political argument will follow: New Jersey is a traditionally blue state with lots of wealthy educated people, and so if NJ can zero out its contribution to public broadcasting, why not others? This simple fact of the deal will be broadcast far and wide across the country by those who see red when they think of PBS, CPB, NPR and any cultural public institutions that receive public funding. Mr. Shapiro, please reconsider the optics of this deal, as it hands a victory to those who would love to zero out public funding in every state and on the federal level as well.

  • Evelyn Lamberg

    I have been a supporter and member of public television since dues were $15. I am opposed to the acquisition of NJN by Thirteen and particularly its plan for the NJN News (per Neal Shapiro). I like NJN as in its half hour it gives the news, starting with Trenton. Even though I read the Star-Ledger every day (and the NY Times),I get most of my info from the NJN telecasts. Now Mr. Shapiro says he’s going to extend it to an hour and model it after PBS news hour with commentators, etc. So, the news will not expand, it will take longer and we’ll be exposed to the blovations of the chattering classes. BUMMER. And, an excellent and experienced and unbiased news team will be out of work and replaced by what–who??

  • robin letz

    This is a sad day for NJ. WNET Thirteen began in Newark, but has tried very hard to forget that.
    Nowhere else can you see docunmetaries about the Raritan river and the Pinelands, Monmouth Battle Field and so many other NJ centric topics.
    Once this is gone we will never get it back.
    Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
    This is a challenge to all of us who value NJ Public Broadcasting to ensure Mr. Christie is a one term governor.

  • Sarah Harnick

    For lack of one vote last night, NJN was given away to an entity that does not produce news programs other than interview shows.
    Mr. Shapiro, you and the station have a lot to prove to dedicated NJN members. For starters, what’s happening to the NJN Foundation money? Will the new entity provide live coverage of legislative meetings? When will this website announce the formal transfer? I could go on, but I don’t think WNET has really thought about any details yet.

  • kathleen voigt


  • kathleen voigt


  • Rob Benjamin

    The death of democracy begins with the death of open information about the relationship between government and powerful economic interests. Chris Christie and his allies not only understand this principle but have done everything they can to make it work.

    Regardless of your true motives, WNET and especially Steve Adubato are beginning this deal with a very high level of public distrust to overcome. Whether or not you meet your new ownership responsibilities with more integrity than we have seen in the past will determine how much support – and funding – you get from New Jerseyans.

  • Joanne Schultz

    NO ON SHOULD EVER GIVE ANOTHER PENNY TO WNET. The first “news” broadcast was just what I expected. They read the front page headlines to us for 4 minutes, “Colleges in NJ amont the most expensive ” blahhblahh. We can read! And then a LOVE FEST so called interview with the gov that gave away NJN to them with his friend Steve who received the best present ever. Then another love fest with the GM of NET. All friendly questions and accepting incorrect answers. STEVE you know NJ couldn’t sell its FCC license to NET and yet did you call the boss out on that? No. BULL SHIT. We should have just let it go black. These people benefited from a dirty deal and will NEVER ask the gov any hard real questions. Real coverage for our state is over. I will support WHYY from now on!

  • Kathleen Jerome

    Where’s the New Jersey news? Gone. The new format is just one more opinion show that tells us nothing. I have given to WNET every year my whole adult life, but I think that is about to stop. They can’t even spend the money to send afew reporters out because I guess they figure New Jersey is not important enough. They have lost me.

  • Louis Paul Toscano

    The Governor is a turncoat, forgetting the debt he owes to NJN and repaying it by making NJN a clone of WNET. If not for shows like Due Process, no one would have known about him in order to follow him before he became a candidate. NJN served a unique audience, the New Jersey citizens. WNET primarily serves New York. Merging the two networks puts us at a loss. I am concerned about our citizens who used NJN as the original source of distance learning. Our response should hit our leaders where it hurts the most, their livelihood and their wallets.

  • V. Micklasavage

    I have watched NJN for many years. Sorry to see it changed to something that I will no longer watch. I used to enjoy the programming. I liked to hear about NJ. I don’t care about NY news
    Thanks for nothing!