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April 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Al Jazeera America has its first anchor. It announced on Thursday that it has signed CNN’s Ali Velshi to come aboard to host a business show in primetime, initially on a weekly basis and later on a daily (Monday through Friday). Velshi will be leaving CNN as its chief business correspondent today (Friday). In a statement, he said, “It’s a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to taking advantage of the extraordinary U.S. news-gathering capabilities the channel is building and working with such a diverse and talented group of colleagues to tell compelling stories that matter to Americans.” Al Jazeera America has purchased Al Gore’s Current cable network and is expected to begin daily operations this summer. Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of the Qatar-based company’s international operations, said that it plans to hire additional reporters who, like Velshi, are “fiercely objective, substantively strong, and absolutely committed to the truth.” Asked by the New York Times whether he was concerned about aligning himself with the Al Jazeera brand name, Velshi replied, “I think the product will trump any preconceived notions that people may have going into it.”