A virulent new strain of local TV news emerged in New Jersey last week; it’s called Chasing New Jersey, and it is both awesome and terrible.
It’s like TMZ, but set in New Jersey instead of Hollywood, and, in this production, the character of Harvey Levin is played by failed Congressional candidate and former Chairman of the College Republican National Committee Bill Spadea.
Chasing New Jersey is so awesome (and terrible) that, the day after the show’s first broadcast, Senator Robert Menendez urged the F.C.C. to put the station’s broadcast license under review.
WWOR, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, is no stranger to criticism from elected officials. Back in 2011, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg said the station’s management “failed to live up to their obligations” to New Jerseyans–but that was before Chasing New Jersey premiered (and before Lautenberg passed away earlier this year).
Today, Chasing New Jersey is the only local news program–it replaced WWOR’s 10 p.m. newscast–on New Jersey’s only major commercial TV station.
“THE WORLD IS CHANGING AND SO IS YOUR NEWS,” the show boldly declares in its opening credits. What does the brave new world of local news look like? Here are our five favorite Chasing New Jersey segments so far.
5. “New Jersey Is Running Out of Weed“
4. “The Streets of Trenton Have Been Terrorized by Packs of ATV-Riding Cowboys“
3. “Pet Dogs Are Being Stolen From Homes Across New Jersey to Be Used as Bait, Canine Sacrifices and Deadly Dog Fighting Rings“
2. “Men Actually May Be Allegedly Meeting There, Meeting at the Scenic Overlook, Going Down Into the Woods, and Engaging in Lewd Acts Down There.“
1. Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan Cut His Foot Jumping Into Water
The world is changing and so is your news.
Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart