The commitment came in a note to staffers this morning from Interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi and President Kate O’Brian that spoke broadly about their goals for the next year. Since the news channel launched in August, “the critical acclaim, increased distribution and online interest in Al Jazeera America’s unbiased, objective and in-depth coverage of the news has convinced us that we should fast-track our plans to meet the projected increased demand,” they said. The pair added that they will add to the 12 bureaus Al Jazeera America already has in the U.S., though they didn’t provide a number. The execs promised to introduce “a new morning news program, a new weekly sports program, a new weekly culture show and multiple new documentary series” while they committed to “a renewed emphasis on investigative reporting.” That will result in additional jobs for “creative and business staffers to support both [AJA’s] television and digital platforms.”
While they had no news about distribution, they say that talks with cable companies “are continuing” following last week’s deals with Time Warner Cable and Bright House. Meanwhile, the channel will boost its marketing across television, print, radio, digital and social media in new markets. In August, Al Jazeera America sued AT&T for a breach of contract when it refused to carry the channel. The service’s parent company is based in Qatar.