NJTV News and NJ Spotlight Join Forces As WNET Acquires NJ Spotlight to Increase and Amplify Local Journalism in the State of New Jersey

Press Contacts:

Deb Falk, Communications Director, NJTV, 973.233.8862, falkd@njtvonline.org

John Mooney, Founding Editor, NJ Spotlight, 973.464.7392, jmooney@njspotlight.com

More information available at https://www.njtvonline.org/nj-spotlight-and-njtv-news-join-forces/

NJ Spotlight will partner with NJTV News to create NJ-centric, multi-platform content and one of the largest and most comprehensive public affairs organizations in the state

March 5, 2019 – NEWARK, NJ – Furthering its commitment to New Jersey public affairs coverage, WNET has acquired NJ Spotlight, the award-winning online news site known for its in-depth reporting and analysis of state policy and politics, from the Community Foundation of New Jersey.  WNET is the national flagship PBS affiliate and operator of NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network.

NJTV’s news division, NJTV News, and NJ Spotlight are each trusted, member-supported, award-winning independent news sources in New Jersey, and are now joining forces to bring a new, multi-platform approach to local, in-depth journalism in the state. NJ Spotlight will retain its brand and its news site, www.njspotlight.com, and will operate in tandem with NJTV News both online and on-air. This new venture will keep New Jerseyans up to date on current news, public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. At a time of shrinking state and local news coverage nationwide, the combination will create one of the largest and most comprehensive news and public affairs organizations in the state.

“This acquisition is an important step into the digital future for public broadcasting and provides New Jersey with a comprehensive, multi-platform local news source,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.  “The resulting collaboration between two award-winning and respected news teams sets a strong precedent for the future of regional news coverage.”

“These two successful and respected news entities are joining forces to create a far greater whole, a natural fit that brings together NJTV News’ breadth and NJ Spotlight’s depth,” said John Servidio, NJTV’s General Manager and WNET’s Vice-President of Subsidiary Stations, who will also serve as General Manager for the Spotlight team.  “The result: furthering both entities’ public service missions.

“This move strengthens both NJ Spotlight and NJTV News, but the biggest winners are the residents of New Jersey,” said John Mooney, Founding Editor of NJ Spotlight.  “They will benefit from the increased focus and resources covering issues important to them, like education, healthcare and the environment. We’d like to especially thank the Community Foundation of New Jersey, NJ Spotlight’s home for the last nine years, and its President Hans Dekker, for all their support and encouragement to make this next step possible.”

“I’m excited by the possibilities for the product that will come from combining the state’s top broadcast journalists with the state’s top digital journalists,” said NJTV News Executive Producer Phil Alongi, who also serves as NJTV’s Director of Program Development. “This adds vigor to our local coverage and we can’t wait to get to work.”

NJTV’s Emmy-Award-winning weeknight newscast, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams, one of only eight daily public television newscasts in the nation, has already worked closely with NJ Spotlight on several projects, including the 2018 Congressional debates.


About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public television network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history experience. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person. Through multi-platform initiatives such as Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America and Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, WNET showcases the human stories around these issues and promising solutions. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport. 

About NJ Spotlight

NJ Spotlight is an award-winning editorial website that delivers news and analysis about politics and public policy in New Jersey.  NJ Spotlight was founded to fill the vacuum created when the business model for conventional journalism collapsed. Its goal: Deliver impartial, in-depth coverage of the New Jersey State House, as well as the budget, education, energy, and environment — along with other statewide topics.  Among its many awards and accolades, NJ Spotlight has been named the best independent online publication by the New Jersey Society for Professional Journalists. The Online News Association singled NJ Spotlight out for general excellence in online journalism. NJ Spotlight has also earned an Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for an online news organization. And the League of Women Voters of New Jersey presented NJ Spotlight with the “Making Democracy Work” award for “outstanding work and dedication serving the community.”  NJ Spotlight delivers insight and information on issues critical to New Jersey. NJ Spotlight is nonpartisan, independent, policy-centered, and community-minded.