Capital New York’s Alex Weprin interviews Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian…
CAPITAL: Is there any type of programming that you think AJAM could be doing more of? I know you have morning programming now, but last year, you were still trying to figure out the morning show strategy. Is there more you want to do to build out the schedule?
O’BRIAN: There is always more, we have a number of things in development that we are looking at piloting, and we are seeing if they are good. It is all about the quality. If the quality is good and compelling, then we will give it a go ahead and you will see it on the schedule at some point. We are also doubling down on what we have right now. It is a pretty full grid of produced content, whether it is the breaking news hours, or the longer form hours. We want to be sure that they are doing the absolute tippy-top quality that we expect them to do.
CAPITAL: There has been some staff restructuring and layoffs over the first year. The sports department I know was affected. Was that focused in specific areas? Do you feel like the news team is structured in a way that is more efficient?
O’BRIAN: We made some choices based on who we are, and what kind of programming people expect to see on our channel, and that we expect to be providing for people. Looking over the year, we made some decisions based on that. Again, every news organization does the same calculus and makes their own decisions based on those things. I think we are in a good place, but we are always looking at improvement. Always. And we would be remiss, and I would be irresponsible, if I weren’t always looking at how to make things better. We are looking at high performance from every sector, and every time of day, and every show.