Arabic news service to employ 300 staff

LONDON — Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, News Corp.’s second largest shareholder after the Murdochs, has picked Bahrain as the base for his new Arabic news channel, Alarab.

Bahrain’s media regulator, the Information Affairs Authority, said late Tuesday that the satcaster will launch December 2012 with a 300-strong staff, led by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Alarab will be located in the new Media City complex in Bahrain’s capital Manama.

The channel, which will compete with Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, inked a deal with Bloomberg earlier this year to supply biz news.

As well as his News Corp. shareholding, Alwaleed also owns stakes in Apple, Disney, Time Warner and Twitter, as well as running TV and film company Rotana, whose senior execs will also make the move to Bahrain, the IAA said.

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