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Al Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV

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Al Jazeera has closed a deal to buy Al Gore's Current TV.

The Qatar-based news organisation confirmed on Wednesday (January 2) that it will buy the cable network - which was co-founded by former US vice president Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt - for an undisclosed sum.

Al Jazeera studios in Doha, Qatar - general view/library picture

© Rex Features / Sipa Press

Al Jazeera studios in Doha, Qatar


[Al Jazeera studios in Doha, Qatar]

Al Jazeera director general Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said: "US viewers have clearly demonstrated that they like the way Al Jazeera provides compelling, in-depth news to audiences across the world. Our commitment to the voice of the voiceless, bringing stories from under-reported regions across the world and putting the human being at the centre of our news agenda is at the heart of what we do.

"Everyone at Al Jazeera takes great pride in the independence, impartiality, professionalism and courage of our journalism. I look forward to bringing these standards to our new American audiences and working with our new colleagues at Current."

Hyatt said in a memo to Current TV staff obtained by Forbes: "When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current: to give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling."

Hyatt added that both he and Gore were impressed by Al Jazeera's coverage of the Arab Spring and what he described as the network's "journalistic integrity, global reach, award-winning programming and growing influence around the world".

He also said that the pair's admiration for Al Jazeera's "publicly-stated values and core capabilities" was key in deciding to agree to the sale.

Al-jazeera logo
Current TV logo


Hyatt further revealed that Al Jazeera plans to launch a network called Al Jazeera America, bringing international news to domestic audiences. Both he and Gore will sit as advisory board members.

He also explained that as Time Warner Cable had not agreed to the sale, it would drop Current from its menu, a move which is thought to affect around nine million households.

"This is unfortunate, but I am confident that Al Jazeera America will earn significant additional carriage in the months and years ahead", said Hyatt.

Current TV was founded in 2005, and made headlines last year following the dismissal of Keith Olbermann.

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