NBC News Veteran John Seigenthaler Is Latest Al-Jazeera U.S. Hire

NBC News Veteran John Seigenthaler Is
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Cable-news outlet plans August 20 debut

Al-Jazeera America, the fledgling U.S. cable-news outlet backed with big money from its international news-gathering parent, said it had hired former NBC News veteran John Seigenthaler, the latest in a series of big hires as the networks moves toward an August 20 launch.

Seigenthaler will serve as the news anchor during the network’s primetime block, the company said in a news release Thursday.

Seigenthaler served more than 11 years at NBC News, including 9 years as the anchor of the weekend edition of “NBC Nightly News.   He has anchored news programs on CNBC and MSNBC, including programs such as “The News on CNBC.” “Morning LIne,” “Lockup” and “MSNBC Investigates.” 

HIs hire is the latest in a line of veteran news hands to join the network. Ali Velshi,  Soledad O’Brien, Sheila MacVicar and Joie Chen are among the other veteran TV-news journalists who have come aboard.

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  1. Gwenn says:

    I disagree with “Joe Smart” I watch Al-Jazeera every evening. If you want the ‘truth’ of American news, and not some whitewashed mainstream media version then watch Al-Jazeera, even more than BBC, both are excellent sources for what is really happening in regards to news here in the US. Mainstream media here camouflages everything, of course, each channel is in-and-of-itself ‘owned’ by some politician or PAC that tells them what to say, and report.

    • Joe Smart says:

      I’m not clear on exactly what it was I said that you disagree with since you don’t bother to mention that in your post. Actually, your post doesn’t seem to have anything to do with mine at all. I was commenting on the sorry state of CNN, the fact that Al-Jazeera seems to be trying to build a strong US cable channel out of the box and the fact that it might not matter because a lot of people will likely stay away from the channel because of the name. If it’s that last one you are objecting to you are naive beyond belief. In case you can’t remember way back to the end of last years there was a scandal over Al Gore selling his left wing cable channel to the Arab news network with people in congress and the media calling him un-American and a traitor. Numerous cable and satellite companies that refused to carry the international version of Al-Jazeera are threatening to drop the American version. Even if they get full-carriage through the entire country I’m guessing you will be able to count the number of viewers they attract in red states on one hand. That’s not a knock against Al-Jazeera, which has a reputation for being a solid news organization. But the reality is that most Americans are jingoistic and ignorant and have been conditioned to view Arabs in general and Muslims in particular as enemies of our very way of life. Al-Jazeera is going to face a steep uphill climb to reach a large American audience. But I certainly wish them luck.

  2. Joe Smart says:

    It will be pretty embarrassing for CNN if Al-Jazeera America manages to become a better cable news organization right out of the block–but considering how far CNN has fallen since its heyday that seems entirely possible at this point. It’s also possible that no matter how good Al-Jazeera America is or how much money is spent on it a huge number of Americans will stay away just because of the name.

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