AL JAZEERA (Qatar), FORBES, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, CNN (USA)
Al Jazeera Media Network has announced that it has acquired Current TV, a U.S. cable channel created seven years ago by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 3, 2013
The Qatar-based network said that with the acquisition it plans to create Al Jazeera America, a New York-based news channel.
“Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us,” Current TV’s co-founder Joel Hyatt is quoted as saying by the business magazine Forbes.
Current TV, CNN recalls, attracted more media attention than ratings in the U.S., particularly in 2009 when two of its reporters were arrested in North Korea and tried for illegal entry into the country -- requiring former U.S. President Bill Clinton to intervene by traveling to Pyongyang to meet with former leader Kim Jong-il.
Details about the deal have not yet been disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reveals that figures mentioned in reports vary from a few hundred million dollars to as much as $500 million.
Long limited in its U.S. reach, Al Jazeera hopes the purchase of Current will allow it to reach millions more American homes. Still, after the deal was announced, Time Warner Cable, which runs Current TV in New York and Los Angeles, has pulled the plug on Current TV.