Time Warner bounces Current after Al-Jazeera purchase

12:39 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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LANSING, Mich. (USA Today) -- Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced she is leaving Current TV and her public affairs program The War Room following the purchase of the cable network by Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant that the government of Qatar finances.

"We were told today that Al-Jazeera is the buyer for Current TV," Granholm said in a posting on her Facebook page late Wednesday.

The deal for sale of the cable network founded by former Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat, and other partners was announced Wednesday. The liberal-leaning network has struggled with low ratings.

Al-Jazeera plans to gradually transform Current TV into a network called Al-Jazeera America by adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus beyond the five it has now and hiring more journalists. Now about 4.7 million homes in a few large metropolitan areas, including New York and Washington, can watch Al-Jazeera English.

Granholm, a Democrat who was Michigan's governor from 2003 through 2010, began hosting her show in January 2012. She also is a law professor at the University of California-Berkeley.

The War Room recently moved to a 6 p.m. EST time slot from later in the evening.

Granholm has been considered one of the network's leading personalities. Others are former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer and Cenk Uygur, a former political commentator on MSNBC who hosts the show called "The Young Turks." Current signed Keith Olbermann in 2011, but his tenure lasted less than a year.

Previous to Al-Jazeera's purchase, Current TV was in 60 million homes. Comcast Corp., which owned less than a 10% stake in Current TV, and DirecTV carry the network. Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable-TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV because of the deal.

(USA Today)

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