Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Al Jazeera America premieres today

In January, I asked "Will Al Jazeera America hire Keith Olbermann?"  The answer is no.  Keith will be going to ESPN, where he will be joined by Nate Silver.  That means two of my favorite political voices will be concentrating on sports, although they can now show up on ABC News as special guests commenting on politics.  That's disappointing, but it could be worse.

Just the same, I'm not disappointed as Al Jazeera America has hired some top talent.  Watch Meet the Al Jazeera America Team, for some of them.

Al Jazeera America's team is dedicated to delivering news that moves you. Four employees share why they chose to follow their passions and join Al Jazeera America.
Those are some of the less famous names.  The Denver Post lists some more well-known ones.
They hired Ali Velshi away from CNN to anchor a prime-time business show, hired Mike Viqueira from NBC News to be Al Jazeera America's White House correspondent. John Seigenthaler was lured from NBC, David Shuster from MSNBC and Joie Chen and Soledad O'Brien from CNN. Overseeing the news operation is former ABC News executive Kate O'Brian.

The channel's centerpiece daily primetime news hour, "America Tonight," (7 p.m. MT), hosted by Joie Chen, will feature correspondents Sheila MacVicar (mostly recently with CBS News), Adam May, Lori Jane Gilha, Christof Putzel and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien.

Ed Pound, formerly an investigative reporter for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and US News & World Report, will lead a 16-person investigative news unit. Andrea Stone (of The Huffington Post/USA Today) and Tony Karon (time.com/foxnews.com) will serve as senior online executive producers.
That's an impressive roster of top talent.

AJA also has ambitions about covering the U.S. completely, and not just from New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Al Jazeera America will be a specifically American channel, programmed by and for Americans, with newscasts originating in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The initial bureaus are Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The network says as much in Building Al Jazeera America from the Ground Up.

Al Jazeera America is headquartered in New York City and has 12 bureaus around the country. Watch how countless builders and technicians worked around the clock to build the new American news channel.
A Detroit bureau? Yes.
Al Jazeera America, the new American news channel that will launch on Aug. 20, today announced that Bisi Onile-Ere is joining the channel as the first correspondent in its new Detroit bureau.
“Bisi has lived in Michigan the past 10 years and is committed to covering the news and its impact on the people who live in Detroit and the rest of the Midwest,” said Marcy McGinnis, Al Jazeera America’s senior vice-president, newsgathering. “That is the kind of dedication and experience that Al Jazeera America values and wants its correspondents to bring to its viewers.”

Before joining Al Jazeera America, Onile-Ere reported for WDIV-TV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate. She also was an anchor and reporter at WJRT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Flint, Mich. She began her career at KDLH in Duluth, Minn. as a morning anchor, reporter and producer, and at WCCO in Minneapolis, Minn.

Onile-Ere has won two Emmy Awards and an Associated Press Award.

“Local reporting is my passion and I take pride in being able to share the stories of the people in Detroit and make them relevant to Americans across the country,” said Onile-Ere. “Al Jazeera America is committed to telling the in-depth stories of everyday people from around the block and around the globe. Detroit has seen so much transformation in the last decade. I am excited to bring my experience and knowledge of it as I report on the business, political and social news happening here and in the larger Midwest region."
So it doesn't have Keith.  So what?  I really have nothing to complain about.

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