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Al Jazeera America continues to ramp up, adding four new anchors

Al Jazeera America continues to ramp up, adding four new anchors
Former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien is among the new hires at Al Jazeera America. (Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

Continuing to ramp up for its late summer launch, Al Jazeera America announced the hire of four news anchors.

The New York City-based cable news network will be available in some 50 million households starting in late August. Its parent company, Al Jazeera Media Network, purchased Current TV in January for $500 million.

The new network expects to have a staff of 800 at launch and will have a dozen bureaus including Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Nashville and New Orleans.

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The new hires are: Jonathan Betz, Richelle Carey, Morgan Fogarty and Del Walters. While a reporter for WWL-TV Channel 4 in New Orleans, Betz spearheaded the station's coverage of Hurricane Katrina, winning a Peabody Award for the team.

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Carey hails from Atlanta and worked for seven years as a reporter and anchor for CNN. Fogarty was a lead anchor at WCCB News in Charlotte, N.C.; and Walters has won more than 20 Emmys during nearly 20 years serving as an anchor and investigative reporter for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

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Media watchers speculate that Al Jazeera America's biggest hurdle in the United States will be overcoming a perception held by some that the government of Qatar-funded news organization is anti-American.

Al Jazeera America has made a number of major hires of late. They include signing former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien as a special correspondent, and signing investigative journalist and former ABC reporter Lisa Fletcher to host the news show "The Stream."

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