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Thread: Fox on board at new Saudi news channel

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    Fox on board at new Saudi news channel

    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.

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    Re: Fox on board at new Saudi news channel

    Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed to launch TV news channel
    July 7th, 2010 - 10:13 UTC
    by Andy Sennitt.

    The Kingdom Holding group, owned by Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, ranked by Forbes as the world’s 19th richest figure, said yesterday that it will launch a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel. The channel will highlight development in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world and aims to promote moderation on the political, economic and social aspects, Prince Alwaleed said in a statement.

    “The Arab satellite broadcasting sector is no longer void as it has been a decade ago. So, the new channel has to be an addition and an alternative for viewers,” he said, referring to possible future competition with dominating pan-Arab channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.

    The statement did not say when the channel would be on air or what would be its name. Yet, it said it would be independent of the tycoon’s Rotana entertainment network. Prince Alwaleed also announced that veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will run the channel. Mr Khashoggi was previously editor-in-chief of Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan newspaper before resigning in May over the publishing of an opinion column questioning Salafism, a form of Islam in the oil-rich kingdom. He also served as a media advisor to Saudi diplomat Prince Turki al-Faisal when the latter served as the kingdom’s ambassador in both London and Washington, the statement noted.

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