Al Jazeera America Expanding With More Bureaus, Staff, Hours

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Two months into debut, network plans more news

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.

Also read: Review: Al Jazeera Is Radically Out of Touch With America … but in a Good Way

“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.

Also read: Time Warner Cable Strikes Deal to Distribute Al Jazeera America

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.

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