Sep 3, 2010

Governor formally proposes severing NJN from state control

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put forth legislation today (Sept. 3) to end the state’s 40 years of financial support for the New Jersey Network by year’s end, reports the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark. Under the plan, the state treasurer would take inventory of the network’s assets and determine how to sell or transfer them. This would be done by Nov. 1. It would also allow the treasurer to negotiate directly with an existing public broadcasting outlet and to accept proposals for the sale or transfer. Dudley Burdge, spokesman for the Communications Workers of America, the union representing most of NJN’s staff, told the paper that the plan "will be extremely destructive to the network and especially to its news and public affairs programs." Janice Selinger, new NJN acting executive director following Howard Blumenthal's departure this week (Aug. 31), said the network will cooperate with the treasurer and lawmakers "in their fact-finding efforts." For background on the NJN spinoff, see Current, July 6, 2010.

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