MONTCLAIR – NJTV public television network will set up its news division offices and studio at Montclair State University.
The network’s newscast, NJ Today, will be broadcast from Montclair University’s DuMont Television Center by the end of this year, university and network officials said on Wednesday.
“Upon NJTV’s launch in July, we immediately set out to find a great New Jersey-based production home base for the network,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET/Chairman of Public Media New Jersey. “We sought a facility that had the technical capabilities to handle a daily news broadcast while being a place rich in creative resources. Knowing that public television will be integrated into an academic environment like Montclair State University simply feels right.”
The university originally submitted a bid to buy the long running New Jersey Network, which NJTV succeeded. The bid was unsuccessful.
“(WNET has) stronger fundraising capabilities, and the ability to operate 24/7, 365 right out of the gate,” state Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said at a June legislative hearing on the sale of NJN. “Montclair has no experience.”
Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole said the arrangement will help keep the network New Jersey-centric and provide invaluable experience to its students.
“The university is pleased to provide a New Jersey-based home for NJTV’s news operation, helping to ensure that New Jersey continues to have an independent broadcast voice,” she said. “This relationship provides tremendous value to our academic programs in broadcasting, media and communications, providing students with hands-on learning within a professional setting. The partnership with NJTV is intended to build a substantial and mutually beneficial long-term collaboration that will enhance New Jersey’s media landscape.”
NJTV General Manager John Servidio echoed Cole’s sentiments.
“A major part of public television’s mission is education and community outreach. What better way to prepare the next generation of broadcasters and producers than with a hands-on role in NJ Today’s production? It’s a symbiotic relationship from which both the students and our program will grow.”
NJTV is recruiting student interns to work on various aspects of NJ Today’s production next semester, from lighting and camera operation to make-up and stage management. The university recently completed a major technology upgrade in its DuMont Television Center, enabling the newscast team and students to work with advanced production equipment.
NJ Today’s set was designed by Ronald Baldwin, who has also done similar work for CNN, CNBC, PBS and the Food Network, among others.