Al Jazeera America has landed another member of the American media as Soledad O’Brien joins the foreign-owned cable network that is set to debut later this year. O’Brien formerly worked at CNN but was let go by the network last March after consistently low ratings.
Politico reported that Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the senior executive, praised the hire, saying, “O’Brien’s career producing and reporting on the human side of many of the most important stories of the past decade will fit in perfectly with what Al Jazeera America will be covering every day.”
“Her dedication to that type of journalism is what makes it so exciting to announce that she and her production company are joining the Al Jazeera America team,” Al Shihabi said.
“I look forward to beginning a relationship with Al Jazeera America, which has made a commitment to producing quality programming and pursuing underreported stories,” O’Brien said in a press release.
O’Brien will join Al Jazeera as a “special correspondent” and will create occasional hour-long documentaries for the foreign network.
Early this year, Al Jazeera America announced that it was looking to hire as many as 800 American journalists and media personnel. At that time, they hired Al Velshi, a former CNN business correspondent, as well as former NBC reporter Michael Viqueira.
Former Al Jazeera anchor Dave Marash, who came to the network from Britain, quit Al Jazeera because he realized that it was not a free and open news source but was controlled by the Qatari government all the way down the line.