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NEW YORK – (October 29, 2013) – Al Jazeera America, the American news channel that launched in late August, announced today that it will be significantly accelerating both its news and business growth plans.
The accelerated plan, which was announced in an email from Interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi and President Kate O’Brian to all Al Jazeera America staff, includes opening new bureaus in the United States and hiring additional personnel. The plan also includes an enhanced schedule, an additional focus on investigative reporting, expanded distribution in the U.S., and continued consumer marketing support.
Al Shihabi said that the growth plan was being accelerated because the channel has been so well received. “The results from our first two months have been very encouraging,” he said. “The critical acclaim, increased distribution and online interest in Al Jazeera America’s unbiased, objective and in-depth coverage of the news has convinced us that we should fast-track our plans to meet the projected increased demand.”
Al Shihabi said that the new growth plan was possible because of the spirit of the leadership group. "I have been very impressed by how quickly the editorial and business teams, which have only been in place for a few months, have come together," he said. "The next phase in Al Jazeera America's development will be even more impressive and successful because of it."
O’Brian said that the growth plan will enhance the channel’s reporting and make its coverage even more relevant to Al Jazeera America’s audience. “More people and more bureaus plus our new programming will help us keep the promise we made to our viewers about always providing the highest possible quality journalism,” she said. “Not only will you continue to see unbiased reporting about the stories that really matter, you’ll see more of it from more places around the U.S. It’s impossible not to be excited about what the immediate future holds for our viewers,” she added.
Al Jazeera America’s accelerated growth plan includes six major components.
1. New Bureaus
With 12 news bureaus around the country, Al Jazeera America already has one of the largest footprints of any newsgathering organization in the U.S. Under the accelerated growth plan, it will add additional bureaus over the next 6 to 12 months. Al Jazeera America’s commitment to reporting stories that typically are not covered elsewhere will be enhanced as the new bureaus are opened and additional staff is deployed.
2. Significant Programming Development
Al Jazeera America will be enhancing its schedule with a new morning news program, a new weekly sports program, a new weekly culture show and multiple new documentary series. There will also be a renewed emphasis on investigative reporting.
3. New Headquarters In New York City
Within the next 18 months, Al Jazeera America will move its broadcast and business operations in New York City into a new state-of-the-art headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
4. Hiring Additional Staff
The accelerated growth plan includes hiring additional reporting, web, creative and business staffers to support both its television and digital platforms. The jobs will be located across the United States, including the new bureau cities.
Al Jazeera America, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last week announced a new carriage agreement that will significantly increase the number of U.S. homes that can receive the channel, especially in the key New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets. Discussions with other distributors are continuing.
6. Marketing and Advertising
Al Jazeera America’s marketing efforts began as the channel launched on August 20. New campaigns will support Al Jazeera America’s brand and programming priorities and will grow to reflect expanded channel distribution with increased presence in markets that have access to Al Jazeera America for the first time. Integrated campaigns will include television, print, radio, digital and social media.
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ABOUT AL JAZEERA AMERICA
Al Jazeera America is the new U.S. news channel that provides both domestic and international news for American audiences. It is headquartered in New York City with bureaus in 12 cities across the United States.
Visit Al Jazeera America online at www.aljazeera.com. You can also like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/aljazeeraamerica, follow us on Twitter @AJAM (www.twitter.com/ajam) and join the conversation using #AlJazeeraAmerica.