Al Jazeera Buys Current TV
Posted on January 6, 2013Qatar-based Al Jazeera has acquired Current TV, which was founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Al Jazeera will reportedly pay about $500 million for Current TV. Al Gore will reportedly make about $70 million from the sale. Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on Current TV following news of the deal.
Al Jazeera has announced plans to close Current TV and broadcast a channel called Al Jazeera America. The new channel will be headquartered in New York City. Al Jazeera already has news bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. It plans to open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States and double its U.S.-based staff to more than 300 employees.
Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a statement, "For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal. 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. We look forward to working together with our new cable and satellite partners to serve our new audiences across the U.S. I am both exceptionally pleased and very proud that we could take this very important step."
Howard Kurtz talks about the media deal and why Current TV failed to compete with the major networks with former Al Jazeera English anchor Dave Marash. Take a look: