Al Jazeera buys U.S. cable TV channel

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera announced Thursday it has acquired U.S. cable TV channel Current Television to expand the service of its U.S. branch to American audience.

The acquisition of the low-rating channel founded by former U.S. vice president Al Gore and business Joel Hyatt seven years ago will allow Al Jazeera to fulfill its goals, according to a statement from Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera wants to expand news gathering, reporting and distribution in the U.S. It also wants to closely compete with American news channels CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

Al Jazeera American currently airs domestic and international news to 4.7 million households in the U.S. Current TV, which claims serving 60 million U.S. households, is expected to boost Al Jazeera America’s audience base to 40 million households. Worldwide, Al Jazeera is watched in 260 million homes.

Al Jazeera will also open additional news bureaus in the U.S. and double its staff in the country to 300. Currently, it has news bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

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