Effective immediately, WWOR/Channel 9 is out of the news business. VP/station manager Dianne Doctor announced Secaucus-based WWOR will offer viewers all things Garden State. The 30-minute Chasing New Jersey will feature wide-ranging interviews with everyone from local politicians to area residents, as many important issues facing the state are discussed.
The new program, originating from Trenton, will not include an anchor. Instead Bill Spadea will be the “Ringleader.”
Tuned In has learned that Channel 9 employees were told about the news today with this terse statement from the human resources department.
“We regret to inform you that the news has been cancelled and we’re shutting down.”
Several staffers will be laid off as a result of this programming shift, TVSpy reports. The website says co-anchor Harry Martin has been offered a reporter position at WNYW. From 2009 to 2012, Martin was solo at 6 p.m. on WNYW along with his Channel 9 duties. Brenda Blackmon will produce and anchor specials for WWOR. She has been a mainstay of WWOR since 1990. Sports anchor Russ Salzberg and meteorologist Audrey Puente won’t be affected as much. Salzberg is the regular nightly sportscaster on Channel 5 and Puente is a featured back-up on the station.
“The day that [Senator] Frank Lautenberg died, so did Channel 9 news,” an insider says.
Lautenberg was the biggest champion of news coverage on WWOR since it moved to New Jersey in 1987.
There was a rumor last summer and again earlier this year that Fox management would take the Channel 9 news viewers on another ride—to 9 p.m.
Photo 1: tveyes.com