Ash-har Quraishi joins Al Jazeera America

Ash-har Quraishi

Ash-har Quraishi

Ash-har Quraishi, former correspondent for WTTW-Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” has been named Chicago correspondent for the new Al Jazeera America.

Quraishi, 38, joined the public television station part-time in 2010 and doubled as a staff reporter for the short-lived Chicago News Cooperative. He moved up to full-time status with “Chicago Tonight” the following year and also contributed to the “PBS NewsHour.” He previously served as chief investigative reporter for KCTV-TV in Kansas City, Mo., and as Islamabad bureau chief and correspondent for CNN. Quraishi was born in Chicago and graduated from Von Steuben High School and the University of Illinois.

His hiring and that of nine other correspondents was announced Tuesday along with plans to open bureaus in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. “It is critical for Al Jazeera America to have bureaus strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that we can cover the news from wherever it happens,” Marcy McGinnis, senior vice-president, newsgathering, said in a statement.

Backed by the Bedouin oil billionaires of Qatar, the cable news channel will launch Aug. 20 with access to 49 million households previously served by Current TV, which Al Jazeera America acquired earlier this year.

The network last week announced the hiring of former Chicago television news anchor Antonio Mora as host of “Consider This,” a weeknight current affairs talk show. Mora was main news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 from 2002 to 2008.

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