All eyes are going to be on Al Jazeera America late next month, as the influential, acclaimed and controversial Qatar-based news organization launches its first American news channel on what was formerly Current TV. That is, if people have access to it -- Time Warner Cable dropped the network shortly after the acquisition was announced in January due to Current's low ratings and not having consented to the sale, but it will still be available in at least 40 million households.
Today, Al Jazeera America announced its first four news anchors: Jonathan Betz, Richelle Carey, Morgan Fogarty and Del Walters, who will present live news throughout the day from the network's studio in New York. Their bios, courtesy of Al Jazeera:
Before joining Al Jazeera America, Jonathan Betz spent four years at WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas, Texas, as a field reporter and fill-in anchor. Prior to that, Betz was a reporter for WWL-TV Channel 4 in New Orleans, LA, where he led the station’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, for which he and the WWL-TV news team won Alfred I. duPont and George Foster Peabody Awards. Betz was the only television reporter in the country to deliver live reports from inside the city’s devastated Lower Ninth Ward on the day of the hurricane.
Richelle Carey is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who, based in Atlanta, GA, spent the last seven years as an anchor and correspondent for CNN. Carey was also a weekday anchor for CNN’s HLN. Prior to CNN, Carey was a weekday morning anchor for KMOV-TV in St. Louis, MO. and for KVVU-TV in Las Vegas, NV.
Morgan Fogarty was been an integral part of the Emmy-award winning WCCB News @ Ten in Charlotte, NC for nearly a decade and served as the broadcast's main anchor for the past three years. Prior to that, she co-anchored the popular nightly news talk show, WCCB News Edge. Morgan has won numerous journalism awards throughout her career including several from the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Associated Press. Before working at WCCB, Morgan anchored and produced the 12 and 5 PM news broadcasts at WHAG NBC25 in Hagerstown, MD.
Veteran news anchor Del Walters spent more than two decades as an anchor and senior investigative reporter for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. where he was awarded more than 20 Emmy Awards, including one for “Best Anchor.” Walters left WJLA in 2004 to be the managing editor of investigative operations at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Md. In 2006, Walters started his own production company 3PE Productions, producing the critically acclaimed film “Apocalypse Africa, Made in America.” In addition, Walters has taught at Bowie State University and was a news anchor for D.C.’s top radio news station WTOP Radio-CBS. He was recently awarded the Edward Murrow Award for his hour-long feature on Haiti.
Al Jazeera America will be headquartered in New York with additional bureaus in 12 cities across the U.S. and is positioned to be in competition with CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Al Jazeera has gained considerable attention for the quality and approach of its international news coverage in the years since its launch in 1996. The news organization was the focus of Jehane Noujaim's award-winning 2004 documentary "Control Room."