Al Jazeera America’s Interim CEO Insists New Network Name Not A Liability

By | Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 2:39pm PDT

Launching Al Jazeera America is “frankly less challenging than people might think” network president Kate O’Brian insisted this afternoon.  “The American viewer is looking for a particular set of things they just cannot find in the market place…unbiased news of quality and depth,” the well-respected ABC News veteran told reporters on a phone conference call walking up to Tuesday afternoon’s launch. “We really see that we are going to be fulfilling a need that the American viewer has,” she insisted. The network has opened a dozen domestic bureaus, hired hundreds of staffers, and, begun sending nearly daily announcements of program plans and hires of well-known talent, in the exec suites and on-air, including former CNN star Soledad O’Brien, former CBS News regulars Joie Chen and Sheila MacVicar, and former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler, who will anchor the new network’s evening newscast. O’Brian said they’ve tried hard to staff the network’s 12 domestic bureaus with journalists from the area, as part of an effort to give “voice to the voiceless” by reporting stories not traditionally covered by national media from regions not traditionally spotlighted. “To do that best way is to hire someone who knows these stories. It’s very important for us to have some home grown coverage of different parts of the United States.”

Asked if the network would have covered the protests in Egypt this week, had it launched, O’Brian reiterated the network’s marching orders are not to cover U.S. only but “to cover news that is important to America,” adding, “The Middle East is extremely important to people in the U.S.” Read More »

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Joie Chen Moves To Al Jazeera America To Host Nightly News Magazine Show

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 6:34am PDT

NEW YORK – (July 24, 2013) – Al Jazeera America, the new American news channel that will launch on August 20, today announced that Emmy Award-winning journalist Joie Chen will host America Tonight, the channel’s daily primetime news and current affairs magazine program.

“Joie is a strong journalist with a natural, warm presence on screen and we’re excited to see her at the heart of our primetime schedule,” said Paul Eedle, Al Jazeera America’s deputy launch manager in charge of programs. “Joie will be a leading member of a wonderful array of anchor and reporter talent at Al Jazeera America reflecting the full diversity of this country today.”

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