WASHINGTON: Al Jazeera America said yesterday that it would expand its programming, adding staff and a new morning news show as it seeks to boost viewership in the US market.
The news channel, which launched in August, said it would be opening new bureaus in the United States — adding to 12 opened this year — and hiring additional personnel.
The plan also includes “an enhanced schedule, an additional focus on investigative reporting, expanded distribution in the US, and continued consumer marketing support,” said a statement from the channel.
“The results from our first two months have been very encouraging,” said interim chief executive Ehab Al Shihabi in a statement. “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.”
The statement said the news channel would open an unspecified number of additional bureaus over the next six to 12 months. New hires will include reporting, Web, creative and business staffers across the United States.
Al Jazeera America will add a new morning news programme, a weekly sports programme, a weekly culture show and multiple new documentary series.
Within the next 18 months, the statement said Al Jazeera America will move its broadcast and business operations in New York into “a new state-of-the-art headquarters in midtown Manhattan”.
The statement also said new marketing and advertising campaigns will be launched to “support Al Jazeera America’s brand and programming priorities” and “to reflect expanded channel distribution with increased presence.”