Saudi multi-billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced Monday that his Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) is partnering with News Corporation to launch a new Arabic-language all-news television channel. No launch date has been set.
In a statement, Alwaleed said “the new news channel is going to become an addition and an alternative for viewers.” As such, it would compete with Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.
News Corporation is already an investor in KHC’s Rotana, a media company with TV, radio, film and music assets. News Corp. invested $70 million in the company in February for a 9% stake. Conversely, KHC owns a 7% stake in News Corp. Alwaleed has long been a major investor in numerous publicly traded companies.
Demonstrating the independence of the planned all-news channel, Alwaleed announced that Jamal Khashoggi had been hired to head it. The veteran Saudi journalist is well respected, but has had run-ins over the years with political and religious authorizes for his news coverage.