Al Jazeera America plans an ambitious expansion that will include more bureaus and staff, more hours of coverage, wider distribution and a greater emphasis on investigative reporting, the network said Tuesday.
The news outlet, which launched Aug. 20, is expanding because it has been well-received since its August debut, said Interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Network president Kate O'Brian said the expansion will “help us keep the promise we made to our viewers about always providing the highest possible quality journalism.
The six components of the growth plan include:
>>Twelve new bureaus in the next six months to a year
>>A new morning news program, weekly sports program, weekly culture show, and documentary series, as well as more investigative reporting
>>A new New York City headquarters
>>More hiring for reporting, web, creative and business staff
>>Better distribution under a new carriage agreement with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, especially in the New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets
>>More marketing and advertising
Only about 45 million homes carry Al Jazeera America — less than half the number that carry Fox News, MSNBC and CNN — but the new Time Warner deal will add the network to 10 million more.