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, August 21

A jazz band performs at a local venue and a play explores the difficulties of surviving the American high school experience.

NPR

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

A coffee entrepreneur claims his brew is different — and better — than the trendy civet poop coffee. And it starts with the idea that elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell To Take Stand Again Today In Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will take the stand Thursday for the second day, as defense attorneys seek to emphasize how the Republican's relationship with Jonnie Williams did not involve extending special treatment.

NPR

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Leave a Comment

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