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Al Jazeera America details programming lineup

August 14, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Joie Chen and John Seigenthaler will anchor shows for Al Jazeera America.
Joie Chen and John Seigenthaler will anchor shows for Al Jazeera America. (Al Jazeera America )

Al Jazeera Media Network detailed programming plans for the American news channel it is launching next week, which includes several high-profile evening news magazines.

Set to debut Tuesday, Al Jazeera America will be available in about 50 million homes. It was able to secure that distribution after acquiring Current TV, the news and documentary channel that was co-founded by Al Gore.

Time Warner Cable, the largest pay-TV distributor in Los Angeles and New York, does not have an agreement to carry Al Jazeera America.

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Among the familiar faces who have signed on with Al Jazeera are John Seigenthaler, a former anchor at NBC News; Joie Chen, best known from her stint at CBS News; and ex-CNN financial correspondent Ali Velshi.

Seigenthaler will anchor "Nightly News," an 8 p.m. recap of the day's top stories. That will be followed by Chen's "America Tonight," which will feature more long-form programming with stories that could run for 12 minutes.

In a recent interview, Chen said her show will look at "stories and themes we are not seeing elsewhere." She has no plans to go tabloid either.

"Our mandate is specifically to stay away from the sensational," she said, adding that Al Jazeera's stylebook even says, "Do not sensationalize in your writing."

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Other shows include "Real Money With Ali Velshi," in which the former CNN financial correspondent will cover the economic news of the day.

Documentary programs include "Fault Lines," which will air on Sundays and promises to look at stories that are "often off the radar of mainstream news" and put a "face to those who have fallen through the cracks."

Al Jazeera America is headquartered in New York, which is also where much of its programming will originate. "America Tonight," which is considered its flagship show, will be done out of Washington, D.C., from a studio in the Newseum, a museum devoted to journalism. The network has also opened up 10 other bureaus, including in Los Angeles and San Francisco.


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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.


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