Last week, it looked like it was going to go the other way. But last night, in the end, NJ’s Senate voted to hand over the state’s public broadcasting network, NJN, to Channel 13 WNET in New York. The plan, negotiated by Governor Chris Christie, is a coup for Montclair’s Steve Adubato Jr., whose local company, Caucus Educational Corp., will produce content for the new entity, NJTV, which begins operations Friday.
A clear loser was Montclair State University, which had submitted its own bid to take over NJN operations. President Susan Cole traveled to Trenton last week to plead for MSU’s plan. “The University proposed a dynamic and entrepreneurial public media model that would be neither burdened by an existing high-cost public media operation nor at risk of having New Jersey-based resources siphoned off to benefit out-of-state entities,” she said.
Montclair’s Michael Aron, a longtime NJN correspondent, covered the vote that would end his long public television career live. (You can see it, upside down, here.) He signed off, “Thanks, New Jersey.”
This is how the Twittersphere reacted.
Adam Bauser, a freelance communicator and segment producer for the TV series Classroom Close-up, NJ, put it this way on Twitter:
Dear broadcasting gods, ur attempt to balance cosmic scales by smiting #jerseyGuys is appreciated but doesnt make up for armageddon at #NJN