It’s a merging of things named “Al”!
It was announced today that Al Jazeera, the controversial TV network based out of Qatar, has closed a deal with Al Gore to purchase Current TV, a failed TV network aimed at being a “progressive, independent voice in cable news.”
Al Jazeera is planning to shut down Current TV and turn it into Al Jazeera America, a station that will have more than half of its content be U.S. news.
Here what’s you should know about the acquisition and what it means.
1. The Deal Cost Al Jazeera $500 Million
Although the final price has not been officially disclosed, The New York Times reports that Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million.
2. Al Gore Stands To Make $100 Million
Al Gore has a 20 percent stake in Current TV, which means that he will receive a hefty $100 million for his share in the network.
3. Time Warner Cable is Not Happy
Hours after the deal was signed, Time Warner dropped Current TV from its list of offered cable stations.
A Time Warner Cable spokesman said in a statement:
Our agreement with Current will be terminated and we will no longer be carrying the channel.
Pundits have come out against Time Warner, claiming that this move was less about business and more about political motivations.
4. Al Jazeera Plans to Making the Network into “Al Jazeera America”
Al Jazeera plans on shutting down Current TV and turning it into a new station: Al Jazeera America. Al Jazeera has announced that AJ America will have over half of its content be U.S. news.
5. It Will Be Based in New York
Al Jazeera America’s headquarters will be located in NYC but will have five to 10 other news bases around America.
6. Al Jazeera Will Have a Tough Time Gaining Audience
Al Jazeera America will have its fair share of struggles gaining an audience base in America. The Qatar-based network did win several awards for its coverage of the Arab Spring in 2011 but has come under attack for its anti-American programming since the start of the Bush administration. Al Jazeera English has become infamous for showing videotapes of terrorist members and giving camera time to Al Qaeda sympathizers.
7. Joy Behar and Elliot Spitzer Are Now Unemployed
Current TV’s programming is a fairly interesting mix of C-List personalities and liberal pundits. Joy Behar and Elliot Spitzer top the list of Current TV cast members that are out of the job once Al Jazeera America takes over.
8. Al Gore Tried to Push the Sale Through to Save Him $5 Million in Taxes
The Daily Mail reports that Gore pushing the deal through before the fiscal cliff might have saved him around $5 million in taxes. Gore didn’t get the deal done until January 2, which means that his capital gains tax will increase from 15 to 20 percent in 2013.
9. It Will Create around 300 Jobs
Al Jazeera announced that it hopes the creation of Al Jazeera America would create over 300 jobs across America.
10. Current TV was a Failure of Hilarious Proportions
Current TV is available in over 40 million homes but boasts an average nightly viewership of 42,000. To put it in perspective, Current TV and Al Gore have less hits than the Mets.