Al Jazeera America Adds Regional Correspondents for 12 Bureaus

By Chris Ariens 

Al Jazeera America continues to staff up adding correspondents to report from 12 U.S. news bureaus.

Al Jazeera America will have correspondents in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

“It is critical for Al Jazeera America to have bureaus strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that we can cover the news from wherever it happens,” said Marcy McGinnis, Al Jazeera America’s senior vice-president of newsgathering. McGinnis says the correspondents will be tasked with reporting on “a wide range of local, state and regional stories within the context of what it means for the rest of the country.”

TVSpy reported yesterday that Allen Schauffler (above, second from left), the weekend anchor at NBC affiliate KING in Seattle for the last 20 years, will head up the Northwest bureau. The network is still looking for correspondents in New York and San Francisco. But here’s who else is joining:

  • Los Angeles: Jennifer London (above, far left), former national correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, will be Al Jazeera America’s Los Angeles correspondent. In addition to her work at NBC, London was a correspondent at KCET in Los Angeles and also worked for HDNet.
  • Chicago: Ash-har Quraishi will be Al Jazeera America’s Chicago correspondent. Before joining Al Jazeera America, Quraishi was a correspondent for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS station, where he reported for the nightly news program “Chicago Tonight” and contributed to the “PBS NewsHour.” Quraishi also served as the chief investigative reporter for the CBS affiliate KCTV in Kansas City, Mo., and as CNN’s Islamabad bureau chief and correspondent following the September 11 attacks.
  • Washington D.C.: Libby Casey (above, far left) will be Al Jazeera America’s correspondent in Washington, D.C. Casey most recently was a host and producer for C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” the channel’s three-hour morning political and public affairs show. Before that she was the Washington correspondent for the Alaska Public Radio Network.
  • Dallas: Former YNN Austin evening and weekend news anchor Heidi Zhou Castro will be based out of the new Al Jazeera bureau in Dallas. She has reported in Texas since 2007 for YNN and also worked as a Spanish-language reporter in Galapagos, Ecuador.
  • Denver: Paul Beban, a former producer for Al Jazeera English, will be the correspondent in Denver. Beban is an Emmy-award winning journalist who also won Peabody and duPont Awards as a member of the ABC News 9/11 coverage team. He spent several years at ABC News as a correspondent, producer and writer.
  • Detroit: Bisi Onile-Ere will be AL Jazeera’s correspondent in Detroit. Onile-Ere previously reported for WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate. She also was an anchor and reporter at WJRT, the ABC affiliate in Flint, Michigan.
  • Miami: Natasha Ghoneim (above, second from right) will be Al Jazeera America’s correspondent in its new Miami bureau. Ghoneim previously worked as a general assignment reporter covering local and national breaking news for stations across the country including KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, WDIV-TV in Detroit and KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas.
  • Nashville: Jonathan Martin will join Al Jazeera America as the correspondent in its new Nashville bureau. Martin previously worked as a reporter and anchor for WSMV-TV in Nashville. He also spent several years as a radio and television reporter in Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia.
  • New Orleans: Robert Ray will serve as correspondent for the New Orleans bureau. Ray joins from the Associated Press where he was a multimedia journalist. Ray also was a producer and videographer for Fox Business and Fox News Channel and an executive producer, videographer, editor and writer for “Inside Chicago” at WTTW in Chicago.

On Friday, the network also announced it had hired Antonio Mora, a former host of “Good Morning America,” who spent the last several years as an anchor at CBS stations in Chicago and Miami. Mora will anchor a primetime show on AJAM.