Al-Jazeera Buys Current TV | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, April 27, 2015

An Irish documentary film tells the stories of two people on different sides of the Holocaust. A classic musical is on stage at a local theater.
NPR

Drop-In Chefs Help Seniors Stay In Their Own Homes

As people age, cooking can become difficult or even physically impossible. It's one reason people move to assisted living. One company offers a chef to cook healthy, affordable meals at home.
NPR

Congress May Be Forced To Intervene Again On Mammogram Recommendations

Six years ago, a task force caused a firestorm by saying women under 50 may not need routine mammograms. The controversy was so great, that Congress passed legislation overriding the recommendation.
NPR

Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

A study analyzes more than a billion pieces of emoji data across 16 languages and regions to gauge how different nations communicate. Most emojis sent are happy faces and other positive symbols.

Leave a Comment

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