DOHA, Qatar, May 17, 2010 (Canada NewsWire Group) -- /CNW/ -- Al Jazeera has announced that Tony Burman will move into the position of Chief Strategic Advisor for The Americas to accelerate expansion in the North American market. This announcement follows the recent successful launch of Al Jazeera English in Canada, a significant breakthrough in North America, which was directed and overseen by Mr. Burman.
In his new role, based in North America and reporting to the Director General of the Al Jazeera Network, Mr. Burman will focus on new projects and strategies in North America to expand the reach, reputation and profile of Al Jazeera as the world's leading international news and current affairs provider.
Next month, the channel will open a Canadian news bureau, making AJE the only international news channel with a bureau in Canada. In addition, AJE will continue to expand its presence in North America by opening additional news bureaus in the U.S., increasing coverage of Latin America and adding new programming to reflect AJE's commitment to cover the world comprehensively with fairness, intelligence and depth.
Mr. Burman has served as Managing Director of Al Jazeera English since May 2008 and will continue in this position in Doha until the end of June when he assumes his new role. He will remain as a member of the Network's Senior Executive Team.
Mr. Burman will bring a considerable level of expertise from his 35 years as an award-winning journalist and respected broadcast executive in North American media. Prior to his role at Al Jazeera English, he was Editor in Chief of CBC News in Canada for nearly eight years and has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and Latin America.
During the past two years, Mr. Burman has guided AJE's growth in North America. Under his management, AJE launched on cable in Washington D.C. last year, the first major market to carry the channel in the United States. The acclaimed channel, with more than 60 international news bureaus, is now available in more than 200 million households in more than 100 countries.
"The United States and Canada remain priority markets for Al Jazeera," said Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera Network. "Tony has brought a tremendous amount of energy and insight into this key region and will continue to do so in this newly established position. Al Jazeera is committed to playing a significant role in the North American media market, both by bringing the channel to North American audiences and by accurately conveying stories from The Americas to the rest of the world."
Commenting on his new position, Tony Burman said: "This is a bold initiative that comes at a challenging time in this 21st century. More than ever, people want to understand the wider world and we are expanding our news and current affairs coverage to achieve that at the same time other organizations are cutting back.