Al Jazeera America is looking for someone to run the new U.S. cable news operation, and a number of veteran TV news pros happen to be available. As it turns out, Al Jazeera has reached out to a number of candidates, reports Sharon Waxman at TheWrap.com.
While the position is one of the biggest jobs in media, it carries high risks, she writes.
"The job running the Qatar-based network recently bought from Current TV has high visibility and no doubt a high salary attached,” Waxman writes. “But it also bears the burden of building an audience in mainstream America with the name of a Middle Eastern brand unfamiliar to most U.S. viewers and probably off-putting to some."
Sizing up the field, Waxman notes that one contender is former CNN President Jon Klein, who was fired from CNN in 2010. It’s believed he wants the job, the story notes. Waxman writes, "Would it be cool for a Jewish guy to run an Arab-owned news network?"
Another candidate is Steve Capus, the former NBC News president, who reportedly believes Al Jazeera’s reputation would be hard to overcome with many Americans.
Former CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker is also a possibility.
No offers have been made yet, the piece adds.
According to Waxman, other candidates on "most shortlists" include former ABC News chief David Westin, although she writes that he’s not interested in the role nor is being actively considered, and MSNBC chief Phil Griffin, although he loves his post at the network and wouldn’t leave for Al Jazeera, the story notes.
Former Current TV President David Bohrman is out of the running, the piece adds, citing an insider who did not offer additional details. David Doss, former producer of Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, wasn’t considered "mature" enough, while former CBS News President Andrew Heyward’s interest isn’t known, the story says.
The only woman on the shortlist, Alexandra Wallace, produces NBC’s "Nightly News," but it’s not known what her interest is either, the story notes.