With the announcement that Kate O’Brian of ABC News will take over as president of the fledgling cable network, Al Jazeera America has bagged another high-profile name in American journalism.
O’Brian moves from senior vice president of news-gathering operations at ABC to helm Al Jazeera America, just ahead of the network’s 2013 debut in the former slot held by Al Gore’s Current TV Network.
“Al Jazeera America will demonstrate that quality journalism is alive and well in the United States,” O’Brian said in a statement about her new position.
Joining ABC’s O’Brian in leadership roles at Al Jazeera will be two CNN and one CBS operative.
David Doss, formerly a senior executive producer for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, and Shannon High-Bassalik, another CNN producer, have been tapped as senior vice president for news programming and senior vice president of documentaries and programs, respectively.
Also, former CBS News exec Marcy McGinness, who most recently has been teaching, will be joining the start-up network as its senior vice-president for newsgathering.
In the same announcement of the new hires, Al Jazeera also announced that executive director for international operations, Ehab Al Shihabi, has also been promoted to interim chief executive officer of Al Jazeera America.
Recently, the new network’s parent company, Al Jazeera News, saw a spate of resignations of employees upset over the pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias that the Qatar-based network has shown in its coverage of the recent developments in Egypt.
In May, the nascent network announced that it wanted to hire “800 American journalists“; it since has hired several high-profile Americans such as one-time NBC correspondent Michael Viqueira, former CNN business reporter Ali Velshi, and former CNN host Soledad O’Brien.