The new state-wide broadcasting company in New Jersey began the day after NJN went off the air. NJTV, produced by New York-based broadcaster WNET, has so far aired two news broadcasts.
WNET is labeling its daily news broadcast the “summer edition,” implying the traditional slow news cycle of the dog days. Friday evening’s inaugural broadcast of “NJ Today” featured no breaking news. Anchor Rafael Pi Roman lead with reactions to news that happened the day before.
“On Thursday, just hours before the budget deadline, the governor held a press conference to share his decision. He was wielding the red pen,” he said in the broadcast.
The Monday newscast included a reporter interviewing people about whether gas prices are changing their vacation plans.
Many of the online comments to the news broadcasts lamented the loss of the old NJN news staff—including anchor Jim Hooker and political reporter Michael Aron.
The dean of the Rutgers School of Communication, Jorge Schement, is concerned that New Jersey’s two major news outlets are pumped in from out of state.
“We can’t have a strong democracy in New Jersey unless we know what’s happening,” said Schement. “Our hope is that both WHYY and NET will expand their coverage of New Jersey and do so aggressively.”
WHYY is now broadcasting on five South Jersey radio transmitters the station bought from the state when it broke up NJN. Schement says the new NJTV news program is an exploratory project that hasn’t yet found its legs.