We lose NJN in an increasingly fishy-looking deal

While we were running a frontpage post entitled, Cheer Up. Things Could Be Worse, things got worse.

Last week, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution blocking the handover of NJN to WNET. Tonight, the Senate resolution, sponsored by Loretta Weinberg, failed by one vote. NJN is dead. The new network run by NYC’s WNET, called NJTV, goes up Friday.

Chris Christie and North Jersey political boss “Big Steve” Adubato tag-teamed to lean on senators to vote No. Adubato’s family makes out great in this deal payback. Where will WNET get most of its public affairs programs about NJ? From Caucus Educational Corp.. That’s “Big Steve’s” broadcaster son. David Koch, who with bro Charles is the money muscle behind Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party, is on WNET’s board. Will political coverage remain fair?

Cunningham, Ruiz, Stack, Gill … WTF?

Nobody who watched last Thursday’s intense Senate Budget questioning of Christie dealmaker Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff could come away without questioning if there was something fishy in Christie’s deal. Why did the Christie administration reject what looked like a viable alternative that would have kept control in Jersey? Montclair State. University President Susan Cole testified their plan would do better for less. Compelling enough, that there should have been more time devoted to finding out if that was true.

And just to put the cherry on top, your tax dollars will be subsidizing the deal, to a tune of $4 million. This is not the best we could do.  

Comments (11)

  1. Senator Loretta Weinberg

    Tax dollars will be subsidizing to the tune of $5million.  More to write about, but not tonight!

  2. DSWright

    is Audubato Sr’s no surprise there. Stack has been desperately sucking on Christie’s nuts like a drowning man on an oxygen tank.

    Gill and Cunningham are the real question marks. What do they stand to gain by playing ball?

    The truth will be known.

  3. polakio92

    As a 19 year old from NJ, even I am saddened by the loss of NJN as we know it. This was a great television station and it provided great programming, especially if someone does not have cable or satellite TV. I can’t believe people would let such a jewel of New Jersey to just terminate like that. It may have been a little old fashioned, but the news coverage was excellent and MUCH more informative than any of the Philadelphia TV stations I watch. Now I won’t know what’s going on in New Jersey, and people wonder why young kids and others aren’t interested in politics or public affairs anymore… I am disgusted.

  4. Couch Potato Politics

    Should be constitutionally obligated to maintain a broadcast facility and staff to be a conduit of exposure for the states interests, legislative business and current events and affairs (News) in an era of ever polarized editorialist “News” outlets.

    No state should shirk its responsibility to create an open door to exposing to the public the states condition from it’s back-allys to it’s government halls (not that there is much of a difference anymore).

  5. The Wizard

    are running the State, and the Governor is their patsy in the State House along with some Democratic members who forgot where they emanated.

    Look for a Republican clean sweep in the next election. Given the choice between a real Republican and a fake Democrat, the voter almost always goes with the real Republican.

    Norcross and Adubato made a deal with the Devil, and they have to dance with him. Follow the money.

  6. Carl Bergmanson

    NJN was the only traditional media outlet left for unbiased coverage of NJ politics. This is a tremendous victory for the machines that are sucking our state dry and the bosses who run them.

    Those of you who are surprised that machine-Dems voted for it need to open your eyes to the truth:

    There is nothing democratic about a machine.

  7. robosz

    What everyone forgets is that WNET is bound, by FCC rules, to do NJ programming anyway, because they took NJ’s only commercial license in Newark over 50 years ago.  They had 50 years of diminishing commitment; they get CEC to do multiple talk shows, and took NJN News for free.  The WNET Operating budget from 2009 was over 140 million dollars.  Their proposed operating budget for the new NJTV is approx 8 – 10 million (they left it vague), 5 million of which will come straight from NJ grant money (CPB) and transmitter rental revenue (taxpayer-built, and rental clients like 101.5 Radio).  Someone should have asked Neal Shapiro how low can WNET’s commitment to NJ go … now NJ is paying WNET to do what they were supposed to be doing for 50 years!

  8. ken bank

    I think the likelihood of David Koch, who is one of fifty trustees, influencing programming at NJTV is not very high.  He recently gave Lincoln Center $100 million, but that doesn’t mean Steve Lonegan will be headlining “Pagliacci”.

    Besides, Koch is a hard core libertarian which means on social issues and foreign wars he’s as progressive as any Democrat, including marriage equality.


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