Longtime anchor Mike Schneider has joined public broadcaster NJTV, operated by WNET. He has been named the anchor and managing editor of NJ Today, which begins this evening.
Schneider, a three-time Emmy winner, calls this the right opportunity for his career.
“In a way, things are just coming full circle,” Schneider tells FishbowlNY.
The accomplished broadcast journalist has had a long association with WNET president Neal Shapiro. In the mid 1990s, he filed reports for Dateline, while Shapiro was the show’s executive producer, before being installed as president of NBC News.
Schneider says his professional relationship with Shapiro dates back even farther, to their days at ABC in the late 1980s.
“I just have such respect for him over the years,” Schneider says. “…It was a convergence of his needs and my desires.”
For the veteran newsman, there was more here than teaming with an old friend.
“The idea of putting together a broadcast like this, and trying to cover issues that pertain to the entire state, I don’t think anybody in the country is really doing anything quite like this,” Schneider admits. “It’s a tremendous challenge.”
NJTV, which debuted on July 1, is the successor to New Jersey Network.
Initially, NJ Today will use the brand new, state of the art WNET studios at Lincoln Center. Schneider says a permanent home –in the Garden State—will be unveiled in the short term.
NJ Today airs live at 6 p.m. on NJTV’s network of four stations (Camden, New Brunswick, Montclair, and Trenton) and on WNET. The program repeats two more times in the evening on NJTV. However, if warranted, Schneider says, material will be updated for future airings.
“It’s nice to be at a place where this kind of work is valued,” Schneider says. “We don’t always get the opportunity to be on a team that helps to built the foundation for an operation that will endure.”
Schneider, 58, last regular TV gig was at Bloomberg—leaving on February 3, 2009, as part of company-wide layoffs. During his six years, he did business news anchoring and hosted an interview show Night Talk. He’ll incorporate skills from the latter at NJ Today.
“I was hopeful that the right opportunity would come at the right place,” Schneider says. “A number of opportunities came from places that I didn’t want to be. This is home… I had no intention of leaving.”
Photo Credit-WNET/Joseph Sinnott