NJN starts planning departure from state oversight

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The New Jersey Network is beginning its transition to an independent nonprofit. Republican Gov. Chris Christie called for the pubcasters to sever from the state by Jan. 1, 2011, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The move ends a four-decade relationship. The governor’s office cited budgetary concerns. “In these tough economic times, there are things that can be done by the private sector [that] should be done by the private sector,” Sean Conner, a Christie spokesperson, told the paper. Howard Blumenthal, interim NJN executive director, told the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee yesterday that stations would continue to provide not only broadcast programming but also multiplatform content, adding, “we’ll do more, we’ll just do it with less.” Democratic Sen. Barbara Buono told the panel: “It would be a shame if NJN didn’t continue. A lot of people have come to rely on it. We stand ready — I’m sure I speak for every member on this committee — to move forward and would like to be an integral part of the process.”

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