A 30-year ABC News veteran, Ms. O'Brian has served as the network’s senior vice-president for news for the past six years. As president for Al Jazeera America, she will be based in New York City and “will have full responsibility for defining and implementing the editorial strategy and operations across the network, including news, documentary and all other programming,” a press release stated.
“Kate’s arrival speaks volumes about what we intend to do and how we intend to do it,” said acting director general Mostefa Souag. “Kate has the vision, tenacity and integrity to ensure that Al Jazeera America will quickly become the success we expect it to be.”
Ms. O'Brian said that the chance to lead the network was an incredible opportunity.
“Al Jazeera America will demonstrate that quality journalism is alive and well in the United States,” she said. “Working alongside the talented journalists at ABC News has prepared me to take this step, and I am deeply grateful for 30 years at that outstanding organization. As I bring everything I learned to this new role, I’m looking forward to showing the Al Jazeera viewers that there is a strong demand for the type of in-depth reporting for which Al Jazeera is so well known.”
The network announced that it is officially scheduled to launch Aug. 20.