Launched only two months ago, Al Jazeera America announced Tuesday that it will be "significantly accelerating both its news and business growth plans."
The expansion includes opening new bureaus in the United States, hiring additional personnel, an additional focus on investigative reporting, and continued consumer marketing support, according to a press release.
Joie Chen, host of the new Al Jazeera America nightly news program America Tonight, sits at the anchor desk in the network's studio space at the Newseum in Washington, DC, August 16, 2013. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
With twelve bureaus already around the country, the network says it plans to open more bureaus (though it doesn't say how many) over the next six to twelve months. It does say, however, that within next 18 months Al Jazeera America will be moving its broadcast and business operations into new state-of-the-art headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
Interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi says the expansion is due to the "very encouraging" first few months on the air.
“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,” he commented.
That's despite the network's ratings recently being described by The New York Times as "almost immeasurably low, with fewer than 25,000 viewers at any time."
The network has yet to tout the expansion on its primary social media feeds, which means there has been only limited buzz about the news on Facebook and Twitter.
Al Jazeera America did, however, tweet a note about the change on its public relations and "behind the scenes" account on Twitter, and it has received one retweet as of this article's publication.
The news comes on the heels of Al Jazeera America being picked up by Time Warner Cable, making the channel available in almost 55 million American homes. Last week, TheBlaze highlighted some of the backlash on the Time Warner Cable Facebook page. It seems that criticism has continued:
Time Warner Cable has said it has no immediate plans to begin carrying TheBlaze TV.
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