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Al Jazeera buys US station, improves reach

03 January 2013, 14:31

Los Angeles - Qatari news channel Al Jazeera said late on Wednesday it has bought Current TV, a US cable station founded by Al Gore, in a move that will boost its exposure in the United States.

The Qatar-based network said that Current TV would be rebranded as as Al Jazeera America, and provide domestic and international news to a US audience.

It did not reveal financial terms of the deal.

The new channel will be based in New York City, and will double Al Jazeera's staff in the US to 300, many in new bureaus across the country.

"For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal," said Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera, in a statement.

"By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America."

Gore established Current TV seven years ago in an attempt to create a hybrid TV-internet news media company aimed at young audiences.

It is currently available to some 60 million US homes, more than 10 times the 4.9 million cable customers currently reachable by Al Jazeera.



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