Al Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV network
Al Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV - CNN.com
The Arab television network Al Jazeera said Wednesday it has acquired Current TV, the U.S. network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The buy will give the network -- headquartered in Doha, Qatar -- greater access to the U.S. market.
"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," Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a news release. "We look forward to working together with our new cable and satellite partners to serve our new audiences across the U.S."
The new channel, which will provide domestic and international news for a U.S. audience, will be based in New York, with plans to open up new bureaus across the United States and double the network's staff there to more than 300 employees, the network said.
Current TV, co-founded by Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt in 2005, attracted more media attention than ratings in the U.S. with the hiring
-- and subsequent firing
-- of former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and also the 2009 detention in North Korea of two Current TV journalists. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested
and tried in North Korea for illegal entry into the country but were pardoned after former U.S. President Bill Clinton intervened, traveling to North Korea to meet with former leader Kim Jong Il.