May 29, 2011

Management of New Jersey TV Network going to WNET/Thirteen in deal this week

New Jersey officials are finalizing a deal to allow WNET/Thirteen in New York City to run the New Jersey Network's television operation, the Star-Ledger is reporting today (May 29). State treasury officials are expected to announce the agreement this week. Sources tell the paper that WNET will incorporate a new nonprofit in New Jersey to manage the operation, and will work with several programmers, including Caucus Educational Corp., the nonprofit New Jersey production company run by Steve Adubato Jr., to provide local content. WNET will pay nothing to the state for the right to run the station. The state network also is auctioning off rights to purchase and/or run the radio operation. NJN recently was valued at $51.2 million for its four TV and nine radio stations. NJN asked for its independence three years ago (Current, May 12, 2008) and more recently Gov. Chris Christie decided the state can't afford the network anymore (Current, July 6, 2010).

Massachusetts town one of many forming nonprofits to run cable access channels

Franklin, Mass., is creating a nonprofit to run the town's public access channels, reports the local Milford Daily News today (May 29). The town's Cable Advisory Board hopes to increase public involvement, separate the channel from government entanglements and move it to a larger studio. Comcast stopped running the studio as part of the most recent license agreement the town signed last year. The town has since hired two part-time workers. In the past 10 years, Comcast has stopped running many cable access stations it inherited when it purchased AT&T Broadband, leaving towns to figure out how to keep providing those services, the paper notes.