Al-Jazeera pays $613m for Current TV
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Al-Jazeera has a growing reputation for serious news gathering and its reporters have won some of the biggest awards in journalism. What the Pan-Arab news network doesn't have is a significant presence in the United States (US).
That's about to change now that Al-Jazeera is spending US$500 million (S$613 million) to acquire Current TV, the left-leaning cable news network co-founded by former Vice-President Al Gore.
The deal gives Al-Jazeera access to potentially 50 million new homes. As part of an expansion, the network is promising to hire more journalists and double the number of US news bureaus it has.
Still, some big questions remain for Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar: How will stand it out in a crowded field of cable TV news channels? And how can it overcome an image that was cemented for many Americans when it gave voice to Osama Bin Laden in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks?