NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams launches July 1; Current anchor/managing editor Mike Schneider takes on special reporting for NJTV News and hosting duties

 June 12, 2014 — MONTCLAIR, NJ — NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, announced that veteran broadcaster Mary Alice Williams will assume the helm of its weeknight news program, NJTV News starting July 1st.  Current anchor and managing editor, Mike Schneider, will remain a vital part of the network’s journalism team as a Senior Correspondent while playing a key role in other public affairs programming for both NJTV and Thirteen, including Metrofocus.

Mary Alice Williams
Photo by Michael Stahl Portraits

“The broadcast has grown exponentially during Mike’s tenure. He has further established his legacy as a trusted source of vital news and as being one of the best interviewers in the business. He leaves the desk to another network veteran who is widely respected by both the audience and her colleagues. Mary Alice is a consummate professional who has blazed trails in this business,” said NJTV News Executive Producer Phil Alongi. “The fact that NJTV News has been able to attract such high-level network talent speaks to how much Mary Alice and Mike believe in the mission of public television.”

“The increase in NJTV’s news coverage and live specials necessitates having more than one experienced journalist in charge of these projects,” said NJTV General Manager John Servidio.  “We’re so fortunate to now have the talent of Mary Alice Williams at the news desk each weeknight and Mike Schneider’s expertise in the field and for special event coverage.  It’s a win-win for us and for our viewers.”

Schneider joined NJTV News in September 2011, shortly after the network launched, when the newscast was named NJ Today.  He has since served as the newscast’s anchor and managing editor, while hosting specials like Superstorm Sandy: A Live Town Hall and The State of NJ’s Health: Growing Healthy Kids.  Schneider’s new role will enable him to host more network specials and puts him in the field doing investigative work for NJTV News.

Williams, a veteran of CNN and NBC’s news teams who has hosted dozens of other cable and public television projects, is no stranger to NJTV News, as she has occasionally filled in for Schneider over the last year.

“I’m looking forward to this exciting chapter in my career,” Williams said.  “I’ve found working in public television, as I often have, always rewarding, and much more is to come.  NJTV News is fueled by a smart, tech savvy, enthusiastic team of journalists and I look forward to helping the news program grow.”

“I could not pass the torch to a better colleague,” said Schneider. “As I take on new responsibilities, accelerate work on new programming I have been developing and get back into the field reporting that I love, I know the newscast I helped cultivate is in good hands with Mary Alice at the desk.”

For more about Mary Alice Williams’ career, see her biography posted here.  For more about Mike Schneider, visit the NJTV News website.

NJTV News airs weeknights at 6pm, 7:30pm and 11pm on NJTV (check local listings).

Major funding for NJTV News provided by New Jersey Manufacturers, PSE&G, Barnabas Health, New Jersey Education Association, Verizon, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, New Jersey Association of REALTORS, Wells Fargo and The Star-Ledger.



Mary Alice Williams Biography

Mary Alice Williams is a highly acclaimed broadcast journalist with a wealth of experience in the field.  Her investigative work on such topics as foreign policy, ethics, technology and health have made her a respected authority and recognized voice for public information.  As one of the primary architects behind the design of CNN, the first worldwide television network, Williams oversaw the construction of CNN’s New York Bureau at the World Trade Center prior to the launch of Cable News network (CNN) in 1980 and served as the channel’s principal anchor and Vice President in charge of the New York Bureau until 1989.  She contributed to CNN’s award winning program lineup and played a major role in the network’s development and globalization.  She was a critical member of CNN’s political anchor team and oversaw the planning and operation of the network’s second largest bureau with responsibility for seven hours of original programming per day.  In 1982, Williams was appointed Vice President, becoming one of the highest ranking female executives in American television.

Williams was an anchor on the NBC News team that won a national Emmy Award for its coverage of the fall of communism. During her tenure with NBC from 1989 – 1993, she also anchored Sunday Today, NBC News Special Reports, Yesterday Today & Tomorrow and NBC’s extended coverage of Desert Storm: War in the Gulf.  Williams was a frequent anchor and correspondent for NBC Nightly News, Sunrise and The Today Show. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, she wrote and hosted a 3-hour PBS special Reaching Out to Heal.  She also hosted a companion program to Bill Moyers’ On Our Own Terms, about death and dying, which aired in Fall 2000 on PBS.  As host of Hallmark’s weekly True North program on personal ethics, Williams earned the 2001 Gracie Allen Award and the 2001 Donald McGannon Ethics in Media Award.  Her 90-minute PBS special on alcoholism and addiction, Within Reach, along with her work as a PBS contributing correspondent and anchor on Religion & Ethics Newsweekly have established Williams as a recognized commentator and reporter on broad issues of ethics. One of the highest rated documentaries ever broadcast on Lifetime Television, Picture What Women Do, about women, work and the American family was written and hosted by Williams, winning the 1995 Exceptional Merit Media Award given by the National Women’s Political Caucus.

A published author, Williams adapted her weekly interview program for the Hallmark Channel about strategies for overcoming life’s toughest challenges into a book, Quiet Triumphs, published by Harper Collins.

Williams has received fourteen honorary doctorates for her outstanding contributions to journalism and television.  Born in Minneapolis, she chose to raise her family in New Jersey, where she still resides.

About NJTV

NJTV, New Jersey’s public television station, brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to New Jersey and its tri-state neighbors. NJTV presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, American Masters, Charlie Rose, and BBC World News America and a range of documentaries and children’s programs.  NJTV offers an array of local news and cultural offerings on air and online including Reporters Roundtable with Michael Aron, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, American Songbook at NJPAC and The Art Project with Maddie Orton. The network’s flagship news broadcast, NJTV News, features stories from across the Garden State.   NJTV complements its growing news staff by partnering with state-wide media and higher education institutions. NJTV is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the NJTV website where users can stream PBS content for free and local educators can find free, classroom-ready, digital resources.


Mary Alice Williams Photo by Michael Stahl Portraits