US

Former CNN anchor joins Al-Jazeera America, plans to host new show

Nicole Lafond Contributor

CNN’s former chief business correspondent recently joined the American branch of Al-Jazeera, with plans to develop and host a daily business program.

Ali Velshi, former host of CNN’s “Your Money” and “World Business Today,” will be the host of the New York-based, not yet named, magazine-style broadcast program on Al-Jazeera America, when the channel launches this summer.

The program will kick off as a weekly series, but producers plan to eventually shift it to a daily show. The series will last a half-hour and focus on the impact the economy has had on everyday Americans, according to a statement by Al-Jazeera America.

Topics to be covered include employment, personal finance, health care and education.

“The program will draw upon the extensive global resources of the Al-Jazeera Media Network and will employ specialists and other correspondents who will lend their expertise” in order to “highlight” how national and global economic developments affect Americans, according to the network’s statement.

The executive director of Al-Jazeera international operations, Ehab Al Shihabi, expressed optimism over the network’s choice to hire Velshi. Al-Jazeera America will report respectfully and independently, according to Shihabi, making Velshi a perfect fit, he said.

“As is the case with Ali, all Al-Jazeera America reporters will be fiercely objective, substantively strong and absolutely committed to the truth,” Shihabi said.

The former CNN business correspondent and anchor is “thrilled” to join “an organization that puts quality, fact-based journalism first.”

He called Al-Jazeera America an organization with “extraordinary U.S. news-gathering capabilities” and plans to “tell compelling stories that matter to Americans.”

Al-Jazeera America plans to launch in the summer of 2013, according to Ashok Sinha, vice president of corporate communications at Current TV/Al Jazeera America.

The channel was formally called Current TV, an American media outlet owned by former vice president Al Gore, and sold to Al-Jazeera America in January for $500 million.

Gore received much criticism over the sale, as Al-Jazeera is greatly funded by Qatar, which receives the majority of its wealth from fossil fuels, according to oilprice.com, a source for oil and energy needs.

After the sale of the American media outlet to a foreign-based network in January, Rep. Representative Tim Murphy sent a letter to the FCC asking the commission to produce evidence of their review procedures and rules regarding foreign ownership of American news networks.

The FCC has since failed to produce evidence of their procedures and rules, but Murphy does not plan to let his request be pushed under the rug.

“With the pending departure of Genachowski as FCC Chair, Murphy is hopeful this issue will be raised with Genachowski’s potential successor, particularly if that nominee must go through the Senate confirmation process,” Murphy’s press secretary, Amy Larkin, told The Daily Caller.

Chairman Murphy will continue his inquiry and will be asking the new FCC chair to address whether the purchase of an American cable network by a media firm owned by a foreign government will be examined, Larkin said.

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