NJTV studios leaving Montclair State, moving to Newark

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger
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on June 30, 2014

NJTV is leaving its Montclair State University studios and moving to Newark, network officials said.


MONTCLAIR — New Jersey's public television network is moving out of its studios at Montclair State University and looking for a new home in Newark, station officials said.

NJTV and its weeknight news program have been broadcasting from the public university's campus for three years. The network is looking for new facilities in Newark and plans to relocate by the end of October.

A new studio in the state's largest city will give NJTV room to expand, said Neal Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of WNET, which operates New Jersey's public television network.

"We'd like to thank President Susan Cole, her administration and staff for all of their special efforts to provide 'NJTV News' with its first broadcast home and for being a terrific partner on many other projects over the past three years," Shapiro said. "It's been a fruitful relationship to date and we look forward to more good work with them. Planning for NJTV's future and development, however, now makes it necessary to find facilities where we can grow our staff, expand our news operation and create an environment where we can more directly interact with our viewers."

NJTV and Montclair State formed their partnership in 2011 after the university lost a bid to manage the former New Jersey Network. Gov. Chris Christie awarded the contract to run the state's public television network to a subsidiary of Channel 13/ WNET in New York.

NJTV paid Montclair State $400,000 a year to rent its on-campus studio in a three-year agreement. But the network declined to renew the deal.

"Three years ago, when the future of public television in New Jersey was very much in doubt, Montclair State was pleased to provide the newly-created NJTV with a state-of-the-art production and broadcast home, drawing on the university's facilities, our professional and faculty expertise and our well-trained students," said Susan Cole, president of Montclair State University.

NJTV and Montclair State plan to continue to partner on projects. The university is in the midst of expanding its communications and media school and adding students. A new 65,000-square-foot communications building, which includes new production studios, is scheduled to open in 2016.

NJTV will announce the location of its new studios in Newark in the fall, officials said.

Last year, NJTV partnered with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for a series on American music. "American Songbook at NJPAC" will continue to tape performances at the arts center for a second season.

NJPAC officials declined to comment on whether they have had discussions with NJTV about moving the network's news operation to the arts center. But an NJPAC spokesman said the institution has a good relationship with the public television network.

"We would be delighted to have the station back in Newark, especially since we have worked with them on this series as well as 'One On One with Steve Adubato' at NJPAC," said Josh Balber, a NJPAC spokesman. "We really enjoy working with their team."

The new studio will be among several changes at NJTV. Last month, the network announced veteran broadcaster Mary Alice Williams will be the new anchor of its weeknight news broadcast starting Tuesday. Current anchor Mike Schneider will remain with the network as a senior correspondent.

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