WNYC, WHYY To Split New Jersey State-Owned Radio Stations
June 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM (PT)
NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO will acquire four radio stations in Northern NEW JERSEY from NEW JERSEY NETWORK, while noncommercial WHYY/PHILADELPHIA will acquire five stations in Southern NEW JERSEY, according to NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO noncommercial News-Talk WNYC-A-F/NEW YORK.
WNYC wil take control of WNJY/NETCONG, WNJP/SUSSEX, WNJT-F/TRENTON, and WNJO/TOMS RIVER, while WHYY will take WNJS-F/BERLIN, WNJB-F/BRIDGETON, WNJN-F/ATLANTIC CITY, WNJM/MANAHAWKIN, and WNJZ/CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE.
The annoucement MONDAY came as the state of NEW JERSEY, which has been looking under Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE to spin off its broadcasting operations in the midst of its budget crisis, formally announced the previously reported handing-off of its TV programming operations to PBS affiliate WNET (TV)/NEWARK-NEW YORK and its programming partners. WNET will rebrand the state's four TV stations as "NJTV"; the state will retain the licenses while WNET operates the stations. The deals are subject to approval by the state legislature and the NEW JERSEY PUBLIC BROADCASTING AUTHORITY.
Deals Draw Lautenberg's Scrutiny
Earlier, the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER reported that the TV deal has come under the scrutiny of Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D-NJ), a political opponent of Gov. CHRISTIE, who criticized the proposal to transfer operation to third parties and said that he may call for an FCC investigation into the deals. The move could throw a wrench into CHRISTIE's plan to take the broadcast operations off the books by JULY 1st.