Montclair State president: NJTV ‘arranged marriage’ going well

TRENTON – A once-sore subject emerged at this afternoon’s roundtable discussion between the Assembly Budget Committee and a panel of higher-education officials.

The topic? NJTV and Montclair State University.

Last year, when the state was exiting the public TV business and turning those functions over to the entity that would become NJTV, some lawmakers questioned why the Christie administration was not turning to Montclair State instead, considering that the university already had in place studio infrastructure and personnel to handle the work.

The irony increased when NJTV announced it would set up its news division and studio at Montclair State.

Budget panel member Albert Coutinho, (D-29), Newark, questioned Montclair State President Susan Cole today about how their relationship is going.

“It’s going incredibly well,’’ Cole told the lawmakers.  She said they are developing a strong collaboration with NJTV.

She said there is a synergy between the two. “We’re doing good work and getting better at it every day.’’

The focus, she said, “is on increasing New Jersey-centric content across all media platforms.’’

In the early days after the end of NJN and the beginning of NJTV, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, (D-3), Paulsboro, was particularly critical of NJTV’s lack of New Jersey-based programming. And other lawmakers championed Montclair State over NJTV as well.

But Cole today said it is going well.

“Sometimes,’’ she said, “you fall in love with the person with whom a marriage has been arranged.’’

Montclair State president: NJTV ‘arranged marriage’ going well