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First on TVNewser: CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is joining Al Jazeera America as an anchor of a new primetime business show, TVNewser has learned.
After more than 12 years at the cable channel, Velshi’s last day with CNN is Friday. He joined CNNfn in 2001, and moved to CNN/U.S. in 2004. Velshi has served as an anchor and correspondent for the channel ever since, most recently as chief business correspondent and the anchor of “Your Money Now” and “World Business Today” on CNN International.
When he announced his departure, Velshi told TVNewser that he was leaving on great terms with CNN and wanted “to stretch some new muscles and grow something, and it appeals to my entrepreneurial side.” Al Jazeera is pouring millions of dollars into its new Al Jazeera America cable channel, essentially taking the bare bones structure and channel placement of Current TV and creating something new. Velshi is going to be a big part of that plan.
>Update: Velshi will develop and host a half-hour “magazine-style” show that will launch as a weekly program, with plans to expand to five days a week by the end of the year.
“We are thrilled to secure Ali’s extraordinary talents and services,” executive director of Al Jazeera international operations Ehab Al Shihabi said in a statement. “Al Jazeera America will be bringing respected, independent reporting to its viewers and that’s exactly the type of coverage Ali Velshi is known for.”
The official announcement is after the jump.
ALI VELSHI JOINS AL JAZEERA AMERICA
New Half-Hour Series Will Focus On The Economy’s
Impact On Everyday Americans
NEW YORK – (April 4, 2013) – Al Jazeera America, the new US-based news channel set to launch later this year, today announced that Ali Velshi, CNN’s former chief business correspondent and anchor of “Your Money” and CNN International’s “World Business Today,” has joined Al Jazeera America to develop and host a daily primetime business program.
Based in New York, the as yet-to-be named 30-minute magazine-style program will initially launch in a weekly format but is expected to move to a five-days-a-week schedule by year’s end. The program will cover a variety of topics including employment, personal finance, healthcare and education and will feature a mix of field reports, studio guests and interactive discussions designed to highlight how economic developments in the U.S. and around the globe affect the daily lives of Americans. The program will draw upon the extensive global resources of the Al Jazeera Media Network and will employ specialists and other correspondents who will lend their expertise.
In making the announcement, Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera international operations, said, “We are thrilled to secure Ali’s extraordinary talents and services. Al Jazeera America will be bringing respected, independent reporting to its viewers and that’s exactly the type of coverage Ali Velshi is known for.”
Velshi built his reputation covering breaking news events, politics, as well as global and national issues such as global financial crisis, the collapse of U.S. financial system and the debt ceiling debate.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Al Jazeera America, an organization that puts quality, fact-based journalism first,” said Velshi. “It’s a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to taking advantage of the extraordinary U.S. news-gathering capabilities the channel is building and working with such a diverse and talented group of colleagues to tell compelling stories that matter to Americans.”
Al Shihabi said that Velshi is exactly the kind of journalist that viewers will be able to find on Al Jazeera America. “As is the case with Ali, all Al Jazeera America reporters will be fiercely objective, substantively strong, and absolutely committed to the truth,” he said.
Al Jazeera America, which will launch in 2013, is the new U.S. news channel that will provide both domestic and international news for American audiences. It will be headquartered in New York City with additional bureaus in key locations across the United States.