Al Jazeera America, which is less than a month away from its scheduled Aug. 20 launch, has hired an ABC News veteran as its president, TVNewser.com reports. Kate O’Brian will fill one of the two top roles at the fledgling network.
O’Brian will oversee the network’s news gathering and programming. She has been with ABC News for three decades, serving as senior VP of news for the network, in charge of breaking news, since 2007.
The new network also announced the hiring of three other veterans of TV news, the Associated Press reports.
"Three other Americans who have extensive experience in television news, but aren’t working there currently, will join Al Jazeera as senior vice presidents," the AP reports. "David Doss, a producer for news shows at ABC and NBC News who had most recently been producing broadcasts for Anderson Cooper at CNN, will be in charge of news programming."
The AP report adds: "Marcy McGinnis, currently teaching journalism at Stony Brook University, will be responsible for news gathering, similar to a job she held at CBS News a decade ago. Shannon High-Bassalik has run local news operations, worked at MSNBC and most recently produced CNN’s morning news show before it was remodeled. She will be in charge of documentaries and programs."
Mostefa Souag, acting director general of the Al Jazeera Media Network, said of O’Brian: "She is a highly experienced and award-winning journalist who fully understands what Americans want to see and hear when they watch the news. Kate has the vision, tenacity and integrity to ensure that Al Jazeera America will quickly become the success we expect it to be."
The network is also looking for a CEO who will lead the business side, with Ehab El-Shihabi currently serving as its interim CEO. O’Brian will report to El-Shihabi for now, until a new CEO is appointed, TVNewser notes.