Reporting Ian Bush
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – The Garden State is getting out of the broadcasting business. Governor Chris Christie announced on Monday a deal that would end the New Jersey Network by transferring operations to a TV station in New York.
NJN now will be called NJTV, and run by WNET, the largest PBS station in the country.
More than 100 NJN workers will lose their jobs, but the governor says New Jersey residents will be better-served by the change, since the new channel will not be subsidized by the taxpayer and will be independent from state government.
NJTV will have a nightly New Jersey newscast and live broadcasts of big political goings-on, as well as 20 hours a week of state-centered programming.
The transfer needs approval from the legislature before taking effect next month, and some Democrats have expressed reservations.
The state would keep ownership of the TV license under the five-year deal. The radio licenses owned by NJN are being sold. Five in South Jersey are going to WHYY in Philadelphia for around $1 million.
Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio