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Old Jan 4, 2013, 07:54 PM   #1
citizenzen
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Current TV Sold to Al Jazeera

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Al Gore’s Current TV sold for $500 million to Al Jazeera

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Current TV, the network co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, was sold for about $500 million to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based cable-news channel, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The proceeds represent an eightfold increase from the $60 million Gore and his partners paid for its predecessor in 2004, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the terms are private. Gore, chairman, and Joel Hyatt, a co-founder and chief executive officer, announced the sale yesterday in a statement, without providing financial terms.

Al Jazeera will replace existing shows with its own this year, according to a statement from the buyer. The move expands its U.S. footprint beyond the pay-TV providers that carry the programming. Current TV, a news and opinion channel, reaches almost 60 million U.S. homes. Al Jazeera’s English network was started in 2006 and reached 250 million households in 130 countries, according to its website.

“Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling,” Gore and Hyatt said in the statement. “Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...418_story.html
Other than listening to Stephanie Miller on the radio, I don't watch Current TV (I don't believe it's even offered by my cable provider).

Are there any thoughts out there regarding this purchase?

I personally just see it as a byproduct of Middle East money finding opportunities to invest in America.

I don't see it in as a bad thing ... so long as Stephanie finds another carrier for her very funny program.

But I am a naive liberal, so I might be overlooking the evil that has descended upon this country.

But really ... how much more evil could they be than Al Gore anyway?

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Old Jan 4, 2013, 08:17 PM   #2
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Would be ironic if it was oil money that paid for Current.

I don't care personally. I never saw Current (like most everyone else in the country) and I don't know what the stigma Al Jazeera will have.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 08:45 PM   #3
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Al-Jazeera was great during the Arab Spring when all of the American cable news networks were busy covering much more important news like Justin Beiber and the Kardashians and whatever other celebrities were in the news around the time of the Egyptian and Libyan uprisings. If CurrentTV becomes Al-Jazeera, I'll watch.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Omg! Al-Jazeera is a terrorist news network and we shouldn't be watching it!!!!



....says Fox News and anyone else who's never watched it.

I personally love Al-Jazeera. I watched it all the time when I was in the middle east for four years.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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Gotta love the irony of Mr. Global Warming selling out to oil money, Qatar backed news organization.

A bit disturbed to read how Gore tried to get the sale done prior to 12/31 to beat tax hikes. You know, the tax hikes he says we need.

Lastly, it's about time we have another foreign owned news organization in the US. Makes FOX (largest shareholders are an Aussie and a Saudi)less unique.

What the **** is Current TV?
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Have to agree with all of rdowns statements for once.

Secondly, I don't really care if they have a tv station in the US, its not as if we don't have biased reporting already and tons of christian leaning channels
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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It must be a good thing for US viewers to be exposed to a less parochial news agenda.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 10:41 AM   #8
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They will name the American channel "Jaz" and explore ways to deliver some content that Americans will find palatable (build a following). On the upside, with a bunch of Americans on staff, the Arabs might gain a better feel for what American life is really like as some content will make it to the peninsula Ė which could be a good thing.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sydde View Post
the Arabs might gain a better feel for what American life is really like
...and vice versa.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I personally just see it as a byproduct of Middle East money finding opportunities to invest in America.
Welcome to the 21st century global economy.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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I for one can only see benefits coming from this, the free press depends on as many different sources as possible.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 11:07 AM   #12
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This is good news (pun intended). I really hope Comcast picks this up. I watch Al Jazeera when I am traveling internationally on business, and I find it the coverage of global events is higher quality and less biased than the big US-based news organizations (CNN, MSNBC, FOX).
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
Gotta love the irony of Mr. Global Warming selling out to oil money, Qatar backed news organization.

A bit disturbed to read how Gore tried to get the sale done prior to 12/31 to beat tax hikes. You know, the tax hikes he says we need.
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
Have to agree with all of rdowns statements for once.
I'd like to look at this aspect of the issue.

Why are you expecting Al Gore to base business decisions on his political or moral beliefs? Aren't those decisions best made amorally, based on what is best business-wise? Are you holding Al Gore to a standard that you don't hold other businessmen? Can you point to other examples where you've disagreed with business decisions based on the political or moral beliefs of the principles involved?

I may be mistaken, but I suspect that you're holding Al Gore to a standard that you otherwise don't require or expect from others in business. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I'd like to look at this aspect of the issue.

Why are you expecting Al Gore to base business decisions on his political or moral beliefs? Aren't those decisions best made amorally, based on what is best business-wise? Are you holding Al Gore to a standard that you don't hold other businessmen? Can you point to other examples where you've disagreed with business decisions based on the political or moral beliefs of the principles involved?

I may be mistaken, but I suspect that you're holding Al Gore to a standard that you otherwise don't require or expect from others in business. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Al Gore is the one who has blamed big oil for the worlds problems, so why would he sell out to big oil in the end. He could have sold Current to anyone. I personally don't care what he does with his money, it's just hypocritical of him.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:25 PM   #15
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Current has been a bit hot/cold for me. ATT U-Verse does have this channel.

Currently their lineup (looking at the channel guide right now) reads something like:

Vanguard
Vanguard
Marijuana Wars
The Final 24
The Final 24
Capitalism: A Love Story


Wash/rinse/repeat for the weekend.

Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show will be on Monday, but I haven't seen much on the channel as I tend to skip over any of the 24-hour news cycle/talking heads channels.

There is more on the channel, but I haven't seen much of it. It will be interesting when Jaz/Al-Jazeera comes on; definitely interesting enough to watch.

BL.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
Al Gore is the one who has blamed big oil for the worlds problems, so why would he sell out to big oil in the end. He could have sold Current to anyone. I personally don't care what he does with his money, it's just hypocritical of him.
While it may be hypocritical for Gore to sell to "big oil" I don't think he could have sold it to anyone.
I am glad to see AJ trying to become more mainstream in the U.S.

I like them but it's going to be more fodder for the right wing and tea party to bash liberals with.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Peace View Post
While it may be hypocritical for Gore to sell to "big oil" I don't think he could have sold it to anyone.
I am glad to see AJ trying to become more mainstream in the U.S.

I like them but it's going to be more fodder for the right wing and tea party to bash liberals with.
Bold for emphasis.

This is a good point; to the point where they will try their hardest to link liberals with terrorists, a la OWS.

I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to go on a itch hunt to expose any dealings between liberals and terrorists.

BL.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 12:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
Al Gore is the one who has blamed big oil for the worlds problems, so why would he sell out to big oil in the end.
Are you talking about Climate Change?

Is he blaming big oil for that? Or is he trying to raise awareness of a human-caused phenomenon of which petroleum plays a part? I see the two as being quite different.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
He could have sold Current to anyone.
Anyone interested in buying it.

Perhaps there was no one else interested. Or those others were outbid. If they were outbid, why is it hypocritical to sell your business to the highest bidder? Isn't that what any businessman would do?
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
He could have sold Current to anyone.
Who else was willing to buy this channel that, based on this thread, apparently almost no one has heard of?

Quote:
I personally don't care what he does with his money
Evidence in this thread to the contrary.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Kurwenal View Post
Who else was willing to buy this channel that, based on this thread, apparently almost no one has heard of?



Evidence in this thread to the contrary.
Actually Becks Blaze network offered a larger sum then AJ and was turned down by Al Gore because the beliefs of the network didn't align with his own.

But taking oil money is okay....

Oh and he was also rushing to get the deal done before Jan 1 to avoid the tax implications.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:01 PM   #21
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As far as Gore selling out to big oil the same thing could be said had he sold it to some company in the US since the US produces oil.

From wikipedia :

The original Al Jazeera channel was started in 1 November 1996 by an emiri decree with a loan of 500 million Qatari riyals (US$137 million) from the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa.[33][34] By its funding through loans or grants rather than direct government subsidies, the channel claims to maintain independent editorial policy.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rooskibar03 View Post
Actually Becks Blaze network offered a larger sum then AJ and was turned down by Al Gore because the beliefs of the network didn't align with his own.
Do you have a reputable cite that Beck "offered a larger sum"? The WSJ article, which from what I have seen is the only basis for the Beck story, states that the "negotiations" never got beyond Beck's network saying "hey if you ever want to sell we'd be interested" and Current responding "uh, no thanks, we don't want to do business with you." And that happened more than a year ago.

Quote:

But taking oil money is okay....
What's wrong with doing business with a company that is owned by the royal family of Qatar? You think Gore never uses oil? You think he doesn't own a car? I've read Gore's book and I do not recall him ever saying, there or anywhere else, "we should stop using oil and you should never do business with any government that gets most or a lot of its tax revenue from the oil business."

I've never watched this so-called network, but the double standards being thrown around in this thread are remarkable.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
I'd like to look at this aspect of the issue.

Why are you expecting Al Gore to base business decisions on his political or moral beliefs? Aren't those decisions best made amorally, based on what is best business-wise? Are you holding Al Gore to a standard that you don't hold other businessmen? Can you point to other examples where you've disagreed with business decisions based on the political or moral beliefs of the principles involved?

I may be mistaken, but I suspect that you're holding Al Gore to a standard that you otherwise don't require or expect from others in business. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I'm not holding Al Gore to any standard I wouldn't hold anyone else to. If you preach global warming and the evils of fossil fuels for years and then sell those very "evil" people your cable station, you're a ****ing hypocrite. I would have had more respect for him had he sold to Glenn Beck.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurwenal View Post
Who else was willing to buy this channel that, based on this thread, apparently almost no one has heard of?



Evidence in this thread to the contrary.

Just because no one here has heard of Current, it doesn't make it any less valuable. It is available in something like 60 million homes. If you wanted to launch a cable channel, would you rather do it from scratch or buy one that is already in 60 million homes?

Glenn Beck and his merry bunch of loons wanted to buy it.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:47 PM   #24
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I'm not holding Al Gore to any standard I wouldn't hold anyone else to. If you preach global warming and the evils of fossil fuels for years and then sell those very "evil" people your cable station, you're a ****ing hypocrite. I would have had more respect for him had he sold to Glenn Beck.
Now you're just being hyperbolic.

As pointed out earlier, Al Gore uses fossil fuels just like anybody else and I've never heard him refer to them or the companies who produce them as "evil".

Increasing awareness that Climate Change is a real phenomenon doesn't require Gore to completely eschew fossil fuels any more than warnings against alcoholism must only come from people who never drink.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooskibar03 View Post
Oh and he was also rushing to get the deal done before Jan 1 to avoid the tax implications.
Why would you think Gore—unlike any other businessman—shouldn't think about the tax implications of his business decisions?

Please explain.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 02:53 PM   #25
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Just because no one here has heard of Current, it doesn't make it any less valuable. It is available in something like 60 million homes. If you wanted to launch a cable channel, would you rather do it from scratch or buy one that is already in 60 million homes?

Glenn Beck and his merry bunch of loons wanted to buy it.
You missed my point, which is about the lack of proof that someone other than AJ was willing to write Gore a check of this size. Your response goes to value.
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