New Jersey Public Radio
|Broadcast area||Northern New Jersey|
|Branding||New Jersey Public Radio|
|Frequency||see table below|
|First air date||July 1, 2011|
|Format||Public radio (news/talk, jazz)|
|Class||A (all stations)|
|Callsign meaning||all stations:
4th letter: see table below
Public Radio International
American Public Media
|Owner||New York Public Radio|
|Sister stations||WNYC, WNYC-FM, WQXR-FM|
New Jersey Public Radio is an NPR member network serving portions of northern New Jersey. It is owned by New York Public Radio (NYPR), which also owns WNYC-AM-FM and WQXR-FM in New York City. The network comprises the four northernmost radio stations of the former New Jersey Network (NJN). It mainly covers the few areas of northern New Jersey that don't get a good signal from the WNYC stations. The network went on the air on July 1, 2011, after NJN ended operations the day before.
The seeds which led to the formation of New Jersey Public Radio were planted in 2008, when NJN officials asked the New Jersey Legislature for permission to explore the possibility of spinning-off into an non-profit entity, independent from state funding. However, on June 6, 2011, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who vowed to end state-funded public broadcasting upon taking office in 2010, announced the sale of the radio network. The northern part of the network was sold to New York Public Radio, which used the stations to start a new New Jersey-focused public radio station. A formal agreement was signed on June 29. NYPR assumed control of the stations under a management agreement on July 1; the Federal Communications Commission approved the sale later in 2011.
Originally, New Jersey Public Radio's programming was largely identical to the programming that had been offered by NJN; consisting primarily of national programming from NPR, Public Radio International, and American Public Media, as well as a simulcast of WBGO's jazz programming in the overnight hours.
On January 12, 2012; NJPR rolled out a new schedule. Among the highlights were a local host for Morning Edition and increased New Jersey-centric news and information content in partnership with the New Jersey News Service, headquartered at Montclair State University.
Due to the crowded state of the noncommercial end of the FM dial in the northeastern United States, the four New Jersey Public Radio stations all operate at relatively low power. None has an ERP greater than 4,000 watts.
All four NJPR stations were knocked off the air on October 29 after taking a heavy hit from Hurricane Sandy. While WNJY, WNJP and WNJT returned to the air by November 3, it took until December 14 to get WNJO back on the air because its transmitter is located near Seaside Park on the Barnegat Peninsula, which was inaccessible from mainland New Jersey for some time after the storm. New York Public Radio engineering director Jim Stagnitto initially feared that the WNJO transmitter was knocked into Barnegat Bay, but found it intact when his team was able to access the site.
- Flanagan, Jenna (June 30, 2011). "New York Public Radio Acquires Four NJN Radio Stations". WNYC. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- Behrens, Steve. With its state aid shrinking, NJN asks for independence. Current, 2008-05-12.
- NJN Press release (via WMGM-TV): "GOV. CHRISTIE SELECTS WNET FOR NJN TAKEOVER", June 6, 2011.
- New Jersey Public Radio Announces New Programming Schedule To Launch Thursday, January 12. New York Public Radio, 2012-01-04.
- "Stagnitto: A View From New York". 2 November 2012. Radio World. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Fybush, Scott (29 October-2 November 2012). "NERW 10/29/2012: Sandy Takes Aim at NERW-land (with Friday update)". Northeast Radio Watch. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Lapin, Andrew. WNJO transmitter back on-air nearly six weeks after Sandy. Current, 2012-12-11.