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January 4th, 2013
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Al Gore's big payday, Al-Jazeera pays $500 million for Current TV

In the television deal of the week, Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network, bought Current TV. The struggling left-leaning network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore was acquired for a reported $500 million.

The foreign investment will help Al Jazeera reach about 50 million American television sets.

Al-Jazeera plans to re-brand into a network called Al-Jazeera America in the next 90 days. Other transformations include adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus and hiring more journalists. And over half the content will consist of U.S. news and its headquarters will be located in New York, according to spokesman Stan Collender.

Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, discussed the critical reception of the future channel and what the deal means for American media, with Brian Lehrer on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show.

"They've been struggling to get carriage in the U.S. for years now. I think in this situation they decided they had to buy their way in. That they weren't going to get carriage on their own, that they weren't going to win the arguments with distributors just on their own. They had to buy a channel that already existed and then place themselves there," explained Stelter on Friday.

OutFront tonight: NYT Brian Stelter weighs in on Al-Jazeera buying Current TV.


Filed under: Business • International • News
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