Fox on board at new Saudi news channel
By Julian Clover
Published: July 7, 2010 11.48 Europe/London
A new Arabic-language news network is to launch in Saudi Arabia, backed by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and in partnership with News Corp’s Fox News.
In a statement the prince said the 24-hour channel would be an “addition and alternative” for Arab viewers putting the operation in competition with Saudi-controlled Al Arabiya and Qatar-based Al Jazeera networks. No date has been given as to when the channel will commence broadcasting.
News Corp is already a shareholder in Prince Alwaleed’s Rotana Group, having taken a 9% stake in February. However, the news channel will be independent of Rotanta.
At its head will be journalist Jamal Khashoggi, closely linked to parts of the Saudi royal family, but who was forced out of his post as editor of the daily Al-Watan after publishing an editorial that angered religious conservatives.