First on TVNewser: CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is joining Al Jazeera America as an anchor of a new primetime business show, TVNewser has learned.
After more than 12 years at the cable channel, Velshi’s last day with CNN is Friday. He joined CNNfn in 2001, and moved to CNN/U.S. in 2004. Velshi has served as an anchor and correspondent for the channel ever since, most recently as chief business correspondent and the anchor of “Your Money Now” and “World Business Today” on CNN International.
When he announced his departure, Velshi told TVNewser that he was leaving on great terms with CNN and wanted “to stretch some new muscles and grow something, and it appeals to my entrepreneurial side.” Al Jazeera is pouring millions of dollars into its new Al Jazeera America cable channel, essentially taking the bare bones structure and channel placement of Current TV and creating something new. Velshi is going to be a big part of that plan.
>Update: Velshi will develop and host a half-hour “magazine-style” show that will launch as a weekly program, with plans to expand to five days a week by the end of the year.
“We are thrilled to secure Ali’s extraordinary talents and services,” executive director of Al Jazeera international operations Ehab Al Shihabi said in a statement. “Al Jazeera America will be bringing respected, independent reporting to its viewers and that’s exactly the type of coverage Ali Velshi is known for.”
The official announcement is after the jump.