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New NJN Operators Grilled By New Jersey Assembly About Network Plans

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) - The New Jersey Network, also known as NJN, goes dark at the end of the month. It will be replaced by a new entity owned by the state but run by broadcasters out of New York, if the legislature approves a deal hammered out this week by the Christie Administration with WNET.

An assembly committee yesterday grilled the soon-to-be operators about their plans going forward.

The new venture will be called NJTV, and it’s programming will be — in the words of WNET president Neil Shapiro “Jersey-centric”. The Monday-thru-Friday newscast, while remaining part of the lineup, will be different.

“We will have a couple of reporters working for this new entity, and yes they’ll be doing stories and yes they’ll be covering things. But I would suggest that the future going forward is that, to leverage the media assets in this state, you don’t have to have just reporters to do it.”

Translation: fewer stories, more long interviews, and the use of robotic cameras in places like the state capitol. Also, look for partnerships with other media outlets, particularly newspapers and college mass media departments.

The news show will be in full operation by fall and New Jersey documentaries looking at all corners of the state are in the development stage.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio