The waiting game is over! Al Jazeera has made an announcement on who will take charge of the American network. Kate O’Brian of ABC News will lead Al Jazeera America while veterans from CNN and MSNBC fill other management roles. The news is surprising as O”Brian was never bracketed with the likes of Jon Klein, David Westin or Mark Whitaker. Reports of David Shuster joining the network also surfaced yesterday. He’s probably being Al Jazeerized at this very moment.
What is still a matter of concern is the programming on the channel….or lack of. Thus far, all we seem to hear about is Ali Velshi’s new business show, documentaries by Soledad O’Brien, and America Tonight. Doesn’t AJAM have 24 hours of air-time to fill? Do the business folks not want to sell ads in advance? If I worked for a media company and was interested in buying air-time on the network, I would be at a loss as I do not know where to spend my funds. Media reports suggest the network will have the lowest time allocated for commercial breaks. Is this due to the fact that ad-breaks have not been sold? Or will viewers be subjected to endless promos produced by the network itself? Hmmm, I wonder.
The only words I can offer to senior management who work there is this: get your sh*t together, hire a reputable HR firm so you can sort of your talent and trivial HR issues and stop thinking you can throw money at every problem that comes your way. Otherwise, you’ll all find yourself on a plane back to Doha with your tails between your legs. Let me know if you plan on ordering the limo just in case this happens.