When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the most populated region of the United States Oct. 29, claiming at least 90 lives and wreaking havoc on everything in its path, public broadcasting stations along the Eastern Seaboard couldn’t escape the storm’s wrath.
Nearly a year ago, two of the East Coast’s largest metropolitan pubcasting powerhouses took over nine New Jersey pubradio stations, casting uncertainty over the future of public radio news coverage for Garden State listeners. The outlook has begun to brighten as New York Public Radio, operator of WNYC and WQXR, and Philadelphia’s WHYY have brought the New Jersey stations into their operational systems and refined plans to expand and deepen their reporting on New Jersey. For four decades, the New Jersey state government owned and subsidized public radio and TV services delivered through the New Jersey Network. Then last year, New Jersey policymakers decided they wanted out of the broadcasting business. WHYY acquired five stations and NYPR bought four.