Al Jazeera | News

Al Jazeera Buys Current TV, Will Rebrand to 'Al Jazeera America': VIDEO


Al Jazeera has bought Current TV, the progressive struggling cable and internet news station started by Al Gore, which it plans to rebrand to Al Jazeera America, adding staff and new U.S. bureaus, the network reports:

Terms were undisclosed, but analysts told the Reuters news agency the deal could be worth an estimated $500m. The new channel will be headquartered in New York City.

In addition to the existing Al Jazeera news bureaus in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Al Jazeera will open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States. It will also double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees.

The deal brings Al Jazeera into closer competition with American news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox. The award-winning channel is seen in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries, but has had limited access to US markets.

"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," Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera, said in a statement. "By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America."

Watch Al Jazeera's report on the acquisition, AFTER THE JUMP....

GoreFormer VP Al Gore made bank on the deal, the NYT reports:

Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But the deal was not signed until Wednesday.

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  1. I've heard that it's a a good network, but nothing with the name Al Jazeera is going to thrive in the United States. Too many people are anti-Islamic.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 3, 2013 7:36:45 AM

  2. Why did Gore sell to the Islamists, a not very gay-friendly bunch of people? Hasn't he made enough money from the global warming scam?

    Posted by: steven lucas | Jan 3, 2013 7:44:05 AM

  3. Al Jazeera is not run by "Islamists." It's a great news site. International news and science programs are great. It often has as many as 5 different opinions on the same topic. There are editorials by Americans, Israelis and Palestinians on the same matter. A major shareholder pushed his weight around after the Arab Spring so it has become a little less hard edged. Still I have learned that the Arab world has as much conflict inside as it does facing outward. If you want to understand what is really happening in the World's areas of conflict, Al Jazeera is absolutely necessary.

    Posted by: Markt | Jan 3, 2013 8:13:57 AM

  4. A tragedy Al Gore did nothing but buy an international news channel that was very important and popular - turn that off and introduce an unsuccessful channel - then make $100 Million selling it to an non-US interest.

    I do not believe there is not an audience for sane youthful truthful news --- once he hired Elliott Spitzer and lost Keith Olberman it was obvious he was lost and not up to the challenge of producing quality content.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Jan 3, 2013 8:47:33 AM

  5. I had a shred of respect left for Mr. Gore - most lost on after his divorce due to cheating with massage hookers - and being sued by legitimate massage services he treated like hookers. None left now.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Jan 3, 2013 8:49:10 AM

  6. I think this is great. I'm not sure that it will be successful, but if it is it will show Americans that greater Middle Eastern culture is just another culture like so many others, and will actually take power away from radical Islamists who gain power by our irrational fear of everything Middle Eastern.

    Posted by: BenR | Jan 3, 2013 8:58:08 AM

  7. I watch Al Jazeera America nearly every day - it is available on TimeWarner Cable in NYC. If you are interested in global news, it is a fantastic resource. Our "news" networks like CNN have devolved into nothing but screaming heads promoting their own interests and projects. BBC World News is only shown here in an hour-long digest show, so to have a truly international news channel will be great. Al Jazeera is great, so check it out online or on TV before spewing small-minded, prejudiced laments.
    Did anybody actually watch Current? I tried a few times . . .

    Posted by: Adam | Jan 3, 2013 9:20:09 AM

  8. I've watched it and it's a good news channel; it gives actual news with great on the scene reporting unlike the garbage of Fox.
    It's a pity that Americans cannot also watch France 24, or BBC World.......even China and Russia have their own Broadcasting Channels........
    But these do not seem readily available here.
    I don't expect Al Jazeera to be popular,in a country where legislation on trans vaginal probes is a serious issue, or where a dope can run for public office and talk about "womens' secretions" or where adults seriously talk about guards with guns in schools or where a mosque cannot be built in downtown New York, or where a candidate dismisses 47 % of the electorate as self regarding victims and still gets 49 % of the vote.
    Obama was absolutely right about the clinging to guns and god, that hardly seems a fertile ground for listening to Al Jazeera reporting.
    you think Paul Ryan will watch Al Jazeera ? He's still against contraception !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 3, 2013 9:28:10 AM

  9. @ ADAM :

    I totally agree.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 3, 2013 9:40:49 AM

  10. Just change the name to Al Gorzeera and let it go.

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Jan 3, 2013 9:48:47 AM

  11. Just don't mess with The Stephanie Miller Show!!!!

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jan 3, 2013 11:12:09 AM

  12. "I watch Al Jazeera America nearly every day - it is available on TimeWarner Cable in NYC."

    You watch Al Jazeera English, not Al Jazeera America, because AJA hasn't started yet.

    But how odd that Time Warner Cable will carry Al Jazeera English, but not Al Jazeera America.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Jan 3, 2013 11:27:15 AM

  13. Point proven, look at all the negative comments from people who don't even know Al Jazeera. Isn't that exactly what bigoted people do to us? Al Jazeera is actually great. People all over the world watch your CNN and still live, you Americans should open up more.

    Posted by: darkorient | Jan 3, 2013 11:41:04 AM

  14. What's funny is pushing the deal before January 1st to avoid paying a higher tax rate. Shouldn't he pay his fair share? Haha

    Posted by: Rome | Jan 3, 2013 11:49:48 AM

  15. Ugh. Now that Time-Warner won't carry them, how am I going to get my daily Joy Behar fix??

    Posted by: jj | Jan 3, 2013 12:19:56 PM

  16. Jack Twist : I see the new year didn't make you any less self-hating.

    Posted by: Yupp | Jan 3, 2013 12:47:13 PM

  17. I don't understand objections to Al Jazeera. Is this one of those "I hate it because it has a foreign-sounding name" things?

    Is Trump, along with a few million racists, gonna demand to see Al Jazeera's birth certificate?


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 3, 2013 12:53:48 PM

  18. Has anyone on this internet blog heard of the internet? C'mon guys, we can watch/read appropriate other news outlets on the internet and shouldn't have to watch TV versions of them.

    @JackFknTwist: small correction - Romney ended up with 47% of the popular vote (to the nearest whole percent). I think it's called Karma.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Jan 3, 2013 3:18:18 PM

  19. Yupp: I see the new year didn't make you any less of a baiting troll.

    Posted by: MateoM | Jan 3, 2013 3:45:42 PM

  20. I'm conflicted. I love the Stephanie Miller Show, and the news cycle needed a progressive voice. However Current was not gaining traction outside the SM Show. Al Jazeera is a good news source based out of Qatar, an U.S, ally. They deliver award winning coverage and don't get caught up in pundit news. Fox will pander to its bigoted audience though and we need to not let ourselves get caught up in that, unless their are just trolls on our site that will continue to ramble on. We should welcome good informative news, to compete against FOX, CNN, and MSNBC. However it'll be interesting to see how they transition. the SM Show is one of the highest rated shows and the audience will probably leave if they replace the content in the morning hours when it's on putting the channel into a predicament it found it's self in a couple years ago.

    Posted by: Redebbm | Jan 3, 2013 7:11:23 PM

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