Allen Schauffler, a 21-year on air veteran of KING 5, had joined the new Seattle bureau of Al Jazeera that launched Aug. 20 with 24-hour news programming.
Schauffler was a popular weekend news anchor, host of KING’s Inside Politics and the go-to guy for Olympics coverage.
Seattle is one of 12 new U.S. bureaus of the Qatar-based network. The other cities are Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami, San Francisco, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York City.
The Seattle Times’ Erik Lacitis reported that Schauffler said he know’s he’ll have his work cut out for him, especially when he’s out there in wheat country for a story and introduces himself with a business card with the Arabic name and logo. Schauffler said, “It’s going to be interesting. We’re not running from the name.”
Al Jazeera America’s SVP/Newsgathering, Marcy McGinnis, said: It’s critical that [we] have bureaus strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that we can cover the news from wherever it happens.
Schauffler said the pending sale of Belo to Gannett News affected his decision to leave KING. “There’s no doubt there will be some changes. After 21 years, I’m ready for something new. For one thing, Al Jazeera has about half the commercial breaks in an hour than our commercial TV. And I expect to be able to do longer news stories,” he said.
Al Jazeera is a satellite television news channel that broadcasts in both English and Arabic. Al Jazeera English is available free-to-air through satellite and cable around the world. It’s channel 107 on Comcast, 358 on DirecTV and 215 on DISH.
The station gained worldwide attention following the outbreak of war in Afghanistan when it was the only channel to cover the war live. In the 2000s, the network was praised for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world.