Ray Suarez on Al Jazeera America Gig, PBS Departure: ‘It Was Getting Tough to Hang In’

Ray Suarez on Al Jazeera America Gig, PBS Departure: 'It Was Getting Tough to Hang In'

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“If you weren't one of the anchors, you weren't getting the prominent interviews … I had to go” Suarez tells TheWrap

When Ray Suarez opens his first episode of “Inside Story” for Al Jazeera America on Nov. 11, it'll be the culmination of his long journalism career, he told TheWrap.

“Everything I've done for the last 20 years has been leading up to this,” Suarez said.

It'll also be a chance for Suarez to do the kind of work he wasn't able to do at “PBS NewsHour,” which he left in October after 14 years. Suarez said he wasn't happy with the lack of opportunities on the show.

Also read: Former PBS Journalist Ray Suarez Joins Al Jazeera America

“‘NewsHour’ is a one-show operation and it holds its high cards very tightly in its fist,” Suarez said. “If you weren't one of the anchors, you weren't getting the prominent interviews and you weren't getting the top story. And to be locked out of that after 14 years was not a good situation for me, so I had to go.”

(“NewsHour” told TheWrap that Suarez was given plenty to do on the show, saying “he was assigned to lead the ‘NewsHour”s global health coverage, he made significant contributions to CPB's American Graduate Project and his decision to leave came just as we were re-launching the program in a new format that would feature him as the Chief National Correspondent, reflecting his important and frequent contributions to the program.”)

Also read: TCA: Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff Named Co-Anchors of PBS ‘Newshour’

There's also the matter of Al Jazeera America's significantly larger budget and vast resources, something Suarez noted “NewsHour” couldn't compete with.

“Frankly, it's not living hand to mouth as the ‘NewsHour’ was and is,” Suarez said.

“Everyone at the ‘NewsHour’ has the highest regard for Ray,” a spokeswoman for the show told TheWrap. “We are sad to see him go and wish him the best of luck in his new ventures.”

Suarez told TheWrap that, as host of “Inside Story,” he'll get to delve into news topics, giving attention to stories that may have been undercovered otherwise and taking a closer look at the overarching story of the week.

Also read: Al Jazeera America Exposes Corruption Investigation of California State Legislator

He'll also get the chance to appear on the network in other capacities, he said, reporting on topics such as Washington, D.C., the widening wealth gap in between classes both in America and worldwide, and urban areas. Suarez said he's especially excited to take advantage of Al Jazeera's resources both in America and abroad.

“It's got bureaus all over the world, it's got reporters and bureaus all over the United States,” Suarez said. “It's just a better fit for me. It was getting pretty tough to hang in at the ‘NewsHour.'”

  • jack hawley

    suarez now where he belongs on a network that will lie without shame and truly hates America. He is demonstrating his true colors by leaving PBS and crying like a baby and running them down because they did not recognize the genius that is ray suarez. Good riddance !

    • Hussein

      Holly molly, did you even watched the channel Mr. Paranoid? it's news as it should be reported and so much knowledge to gain

  • louisrt

    jack Hawley don't know why you are so critical and sound so bitter. Ray Suarez has a distinguished record second to none as a top journalist leaving PBS with a proud history of accomplishments that is a credit to PBS during his long employment there.It
    sounds like you have an axe to grind. Shame on you. Who are you? It really doesn't matter.It appears you are the one really showing your true colors.

  • JoJo

    I will miss Ray on PBS. I always enjoyed his presentations and interviews. He has the highest integrity and will be successful where ever his profession takes him.

  • Jonathan Cintron

    Ray is a most pedant and arrogant wanna be something, he has been fired indirectly.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    I'm glad Ray found a new home with Al Jazeera America and I wish him well there. As for the NewsHour, I've been watching it since it started (Watergate) and I have to say, this last move was and remains a disaster. They picked the wrong anchors, they continue to make bad production decisions and the show is a shadow of what it used to be. What a shame. Ray got out just in time because the show is going down.

    • Ronny61

      I noticed about 5 to 6 months ago the NewsHour was descending into mediocrity. I kept wondering where Ray was; now I have found out. I mostly thought he did a great job. Along with Margaret W., the Newshour had two of the finest TV interviewers period. What a loss. As for the NewsHour's descent, their choice of anchors apparently has a lot to do with it. I used to come home from work and religiously watch the NewsHour but not anymore; I don't miss it if I can't watch it. It has become a tool for a political point-of-view. There are many, many viewers who like to hear unvarnished news…the way it used to be. Sometimes I have to get up and walk away from the NewsHour because it is embarrassing. I do not ever remember doing that until recently.

  • harmony23fem

    Ray, I thought that your interview today about the situation with student loans and the economy was balanced. I did not care that you chose to minimize everything the woman n your panel was saying. Checking back with the male guests to ‘correct’ her statements and observations. First time I realized you are a male chauvanist.