NPR : News

Filed Under:

Al-Jazeera Buys Current TV

Al-Jazeera announced Wednesday that it was acquiring Current TV, the network launched by former Vice President Al Gore.

"By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the U.S., as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America," Al-Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a statement.

The new channel, Al-Jazeera America, will be based in New York. The Qatar-based Arabic-language network already operates an English-language arm, Al-Jazeera English. The New York Times reported that roughly 60 percent of the new network's programming will be produced in the U.S.; the rest will come from Al-Jazeera English.

The acquisition gives Al-Jazeera, which is financed by the Qatari government, access to an American TV audience. According to The Times, Current is available in about 60 million of the 100 million homes with cable or satellite service.

Here's The Times' Media Decoder blog's take on the acquisition:

"To date, the country's cable and satellite distributors have been reluctant to carry Al Jazeera English. It is available in just a handful of cities, including New York and Washington. To change that, Al Jazeera has lobbied distributors, called for a letter-writing campaign by supporters and promoted its widely praised coverage of the Arab Spring.

"Acquiring Current TV, and thus its distribution deals across the country, solves this dilemma for Al Jazeera, at least partially."

In its statement, Al-Jazeera said that it will open new bureaus across the U.S. It already operates bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. The expansion, the network said, will double Al-Jazeera's U.S.-based staff to more than 300 employees.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.