Al Jazeera America has filled one of the top two roles at the channel, as it adds ABC News veteran Kate O’Brian as its president. In her new role O’Brian will be responsible for leading AJAM’s newsgathering and programming. Even without a president, the channel has been staffing up and slating programs, so O’Brian will be joining a channel in progress.
AJAM is also on the market for a CEO, who will lead the channel’s business affairs. For the moment, the channel’s interim leader Ehab El-Shihabi will serve as CEO of AJAM. O’Brian will report to Al-Shihabi, and will eventually report to whomever gets the role full-time.
O’Brian’s hire was first reported by Brian Stelter in the NY Times.
AJAM also named CNN veteran David Doss senior VP for news programming, CBS News veteran Marcy McGinnis senior VP of newsgathering, and MSNBC veteran Shannon High-Bassalik as senior VP of documentaries and programs.
“While we will miss Kate’s insights, judgment and humor, we know that she is stepping into an important role and we wish her very best with this new challenge,” ABC News Ben Sherwood wrote in an email to ABC News staff today.
As TVNewser reported earlier this month, the channel will launch on August 20.
Sherwood’s note, and AJAM’s announcement, below.