Jun 27, 2011

Move to block WNET/New Jersey Network deal fails in NJ Senate

The New Jersey Senate was one vote short of blocking WNET's agreement to take over the New Jersey Network, the Star-Ledger reported Monday night (June 27). A similar resolution had overwhelmingly passed the Assembly last week. Public Media NJ, a nonprofit subsidiary of WNET/Thirteen, takes over the NJN TV operations Friday (July 1).

Some lawmakers were not pleased. "New Jersey’s taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of dollars annually to support the continued operation," Sen. Loretta Weinberg said, noting that the state will spend at least $4.7 million a year. "So while we hand this network off to a New York operator, we are not saving that much money."

The newspaper summed up the protracted fight: "The Senate vote followed months of political showmanship, public hearings, and a Legislative report that agreed with [Gov. Chris] Christie’s view that state-run TV is no longer viable for New Jersey."

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