Alarab Television channel goes on air

Alarab Television channel goes on air
Updated 02 February 2015

Alarab Television channel goes on air

Alarab Television channel goes on air

Alarab, a new pan-Arab television channel, took to the airwaves on Sunday from its headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.
The channel, owned by Kingdom Holding Co. Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is headed by the Madinah-born, US-educated Saudi journalist, columnist and editor Jamal Khashoggi.
As general manager of the new channel, this is Khashoggi’s first foray into television news industry. He was formerly the editor in chief of Al-Watan and deputy editor in chief of Arab News. He wrote extensively for Al-Hayat newspaper in the past. He brings immense experience and expertise to his new job.
The new channel will compete in a very crowded Arabic television news market. There is Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, BBC Arabic, France 24 and RT Arabic.
Talking to Arab News, Khashoggi said the new channel is primarily aimed at all Arabs, especially those in Saudi Arabia and the neighboring Gulf countries.
Explaining the highlights, Khashoggi said the 9 p.m. prime news bulletin every weekday will be exclusively devoted to Saudi news affairs.
“At 10 p.m., a talk show will be broadcast from our studios in Riyadh every week day,” he said. “We expect this to become the high point of our broadcasting.”
The 11 p.m. slot, he said, is for a show to be anchored by famous Iraqi anchor Laila Al-Shaikhli. The program is called Al-Mashhad.
During daytime, the channel will focus on business stories and will include topnotch programs from Bloomberg TV.
“All our content is aimed at Arabs from Morocco on one end of the Arab world to Saudi Arabia on the other, and everyone in between,” said Khashoggi.
He said the new channel will present an objective and unbiased view of events. “We are not going to take sides,” he said. “We will provide accurate and objective information.”
According to him, there was a real need for an independent and impartial channel. “We are proud that our programs will go beyond the ‘normal’ to provide viewers with the stories that matter to them,” he added.
The channel’s heavy investment in infrastructure is visible in its state-of-the-art studios. The channel’s website is professional and elegant.
“Alarab website is sleek and pretty impressive,” said one journalist in Jeddah. “It is very much like that of the CNN.”