The state of New Jersey will cease its involvement in public broadcast following an agreement reached with New York's WNET to take over the New Jersey Network's broadcast operations.

Gov. Christie has long said that it is not the state's business to run a broadcast network and it is not the state taxpayers' role to fund one.

WNET will create an entity called New Jersey Public Media and run a new channel called NJTV.

In an announcement today, Christie said the new arrangement will result in stronger overall programming, increased programming of interest to Garden Staters, and continued public affairs programming.

The agreement calls for 20 hours of weekly New Jersey-centric broadcasting to be provided by the Caucus Educational Corp, headed by Steve Adubato Jr., the son of a major political powerbroker in Newark.

The arrangement begins July 1.

NJN's radio licenses also were parceled out to out-of-state broadcasters. WHYY will pay just under $1 million for five licenses in the southern part of the state, while New York Public Radio will pay $1.8 million for licenses in Trenton, Toms River, Sussex and Netcong.

NJN was incorporated in 1968 and went on the air in 1971. Its purpose was to provide New Jersey-specific programming for viewers living between the major New York City and Philadelphia markets. Its TV and radio licenses can be sold only to other public television stations or religious broadcasters.