New Jersey governor endorses spinoff of NJN

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Two years ago New Jersey Network leaders couldn’t get the state to transfer operation of the network to a nonprofit, as Oregon and Hawaii have done, but last week Gov. Chris Christie (R) got behind the move, according to an NJN news release. The proposed state budget for fiscal 2011 calls for the public TV and radio networks to be moved out of the budget by Jan. 1, so it allots only $2 million — half of this year’s state appropriation. Former NJN Executive Director Elizabeth Christopherson couldn’t win the support of former Gov. Jon Corzine (D) or the legislature before she left the job (Current, May 12, 2008). Interim Executive Director Howard Blumenthal said in the release: “Our goal is to provide anytime / anywhere service, incorporating television, radio, Internet, mobile devices and live events to engage a technologically-savvy, 21st century audience.” Notable: the governor’s chief of staff, Richard Bagger, is a former trustee of the NJN Foundation and retired longtime NJN news anchor Kent Manahan is chair of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority.

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