June 17, 2020- NEWARK, NJ – NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, announced that it will broadcast its annual Gala Benefit on Wednesday, June 24 at 7pm on NJTV (check local listings). The Gala, which was postponed from earlier this month out of respect for protest-related events, would ordinarily be an in-person affair. It will now go virtual in the wake of COVID-19 and welcome all New Jerseyans to join in its broadcast tribute to New Jersey public television’s long legacy of quality, independent, local journalism, and honor individuals and entities who have contributed to independent media and the state. Those interested in contributing may visit www.njtvonline.org/gala for more information.
“We’re honoring nearly 50 years of public television and its news division in the state, the 10th anniversary of NJ Spotlight, and the first anniversary of the NJTV News/NJ Spotlight alliance at a time when independent journalism has never been more critical,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, operator of NJTV. “The funds raised at this year’s Gala Benefit are critical to assuring that our legacy of providing unique, Jersey-centric news and programming across the state continues.”
The evening, hosted by former NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams, will highlight the people and impactful moments from the NJTV News and NJ Spotlight news desks while also celebrating those that have embraced local news, both in practice and in support. The Gala honorees are NJM Insurance Group (sponsor of NJTV News); Jonathan Alter (columnist, author, and former longtime senior editor at Newsweek); Kent Manahan (former NJN News anchor; host of Governors’ Perspectives); and Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies).
“Hosting a broadcast Gala Benefit means everyone in New Jersey can be a part of the celebration,” said NJTV General Manager John Servidio. “That’s especially fitting because it is support from ‘viewers like you’, as we like to say, that makes public television possible. As an independently-operated television network, NJTV is absolutely reliant on support from corporations, foundations and individuals, and we’re hoping everyone will tune in and contribute to this event.”
NJTV’s Gala Benefit broadcast will also include a panel discussion with NJTV News and NJ Spotlight journalists about covering recent events and musical performances featuring the Juilliard-trained talents of violinist Charles Yang and pianist Peter Dugan.
NJTV News and NJ Spotlight comprise the news division of NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network. Each are trusted, member-supported, award-winning independent news sources working in tandem to provide multi-platform reporting across the Garden State and producing live news specials and hosting roundtable discussions. Tune in to the weeknight NJTV News broadcast at 6pm, 7:30pm and 11pm on NJTV (check local listings), or visit NJTVNews.org and NJSpotlight.com.
Major funding for the 2020 NJTV Gala is provided by NJM Insurance Group, RWJBarnabas Health, PSEG and Bank of America. Additional generous support provided by McCarter & English, LLP, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, ADP, Josh and Judy Weston, Dick and Kayla Pechter, the Caucus Educational Corporation, Governor Thomas H. Kean and Ann and Bernie Flynn.