NJN staff and friends’ group offered separate alternatives to state

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NJN’s nonprofit fundaising arm and the NJN staff proposed separate alternatives among the five bidders and one alternate plan for managing the TV network being divested by the state, Michael Symon of the Gannett New Jersey newspapers blogged last week.

  • NJN Foundation (formally, the Foundation for New Jersey Public Broadcasting) proposed a lower-cost approach that it described as “C-SPAN New Jersey.”
  • NJN staffers, under the name New Jersey Public Media Corp., proposed an alternative plan, which wasn’t eligible as a bid. It proposed that the state maintain aid for a transition period and establish the network as a more independent state authority.

Three other groups bid to operate the TV stations, Symon reported:

  • Montclair State University, Jersey’s second-largest state university, with two HD studios and a media training curriculum. Montclair was the only bidder besides WNET that was interviewed by state advisors.
  • Public Broadcasting Co. of New Jersey, which said it would pay the state $300,000 a year, mostly for studio rent, and claimed millions in sponsor and donor commitments.
  • An affiliate of Philadelphia’s WYBE (MindTV), Independence Public Media of New Jersey, would shift to a much higher volume, lower cost style of production, with New Jersey shows dominating the schedule. WYBE exec Howard Blumenthal advocated the approach during his year as acting executive director of NJN.
  • WNET’s offshoot, Public Media NJ, got the job.

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