Al Jazeera America Launches Documentary Film Unit

NEW YORK – (August 6, 2013) – Al Jazeera America, the new American news channel that will launch Aug. 20, today announced that Kathy Davidov has joined the channel as Al Jazeera America’s senior executive producer and Cynthia Kane as the senior producer for its new in-house documentary film unit.

“Kathy, Cynthia and the documentary team will be building on Al Jazeera’s unwavering commitment to create groundbreaking, award-winning programming told from the human side of the story,” said Shannon High-Bassalik, senior vice president, documentaries and programs for Al Jazeera America. “From Peabody and Polk Awards to Foreign Press Association and Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Awards, Al Jazeera documentaries have been highly regarded by the most prestigious journalism organizations in the world. That rich tradition will continue at Al Jazeera America under Kathy and Cynthia’s leadership.”

Davidov, who will lead the Al Jazeera America documentary team, will oversee and executive produce original documentary programming from development through production. She will also commission and acquire documentaries and series and be responsible for developing cross-platform programming for the documentaries that will explore topics such as immigration, education, poverty, healthcare and the justice system. 

Prior to joining Al Jazeera America, Davidov was the executive vice president of production for National Geographic Television, where she provided creative guidance for all content. This includes award-winning investigative specials for the long-running Explorer series and many of the highest rated series on the National Geographic Channel including Brain Game and Border Wars. Davidov also served as an executive producer at TLC where she helmed shows such as Trading Spaces. She has also produced for Discovery, CNN, NBC, America’s Most Wanted, and USA Today on TV.

“I’m delighted to be joining this talented team of journalists and filmmakers at Al Jazeera America” Davidov said. “Together, we will tell the important stories that are too often overlooked and give those who rarely have a voice the opportunity to be heard.” 

Kane will work closely with Davidov on all commissions, co-productions and acquisitions, sourcing one-off documentaries and documentary series.

Kane comes to Al Jazeera America from ITVS where she managed more than 150 international and domestic projects. Prior to ITVS, Kane worked in programming and acquisitions at Sundance Channel where she focused on documentaries and was the co-creator of “Doc Day.”

“It’s fantastic to be a part of Al Jazeera America’s documentary unit,” said Kane. “I have been a huge fan of the Al Jazeera and am looking forward to working with established and emerging domestic and international filmmakers. We hope to provide a new platform for original points of view and seldom-heard voices and bring compelling, innovative stories and insights to American viewers.”

See more press releases from Al Jazeera America here.

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