Bob Wheelock Named Senior EP at Al Jazeera America
Bob Wheelock, the seasoned network news producer who spent nearly 30 years at ABC News, has been named senior executive producer at Al Jazeera America, the channel set to launch later this summer in place of Current. Wheelock has been with Al Jazeera since February 2012, when he joined the organization as ep of newsgathering for Al Jazeera English. He has been involved in the channels' launch, including selecting the on-air and producing teams. His official transition to Al Jazeera America gives the network a public face – and one steeped in the hard news tradition - as it continues to search for a president.
“Bob Wheelock has been an invaluable member of the Al Jazeera English news team and a critical member of the Al Jazeera America launch team,” Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the senior executive developing the new channel, said in a statement. “We know from Bob’s work at AJ English that he is absolutely committed to fact-based, in-depth journalism and that’s exactly what Al Jazeera America will be providing every day to its viewers.”
Al Jazeera America executives have announced a flurry of on-air and producer hires including former CNN anchor Ali Velshi (who will anchor a 30-minute business news program) magazine program, former newspaper reporter Ed Pound (who will lead the channel’s 16-person investigative unit) and former NBC News correspondent Michael Viqueira (who has been named White House correspondent).
On Monday, executives announced that the Al Jazeera America schedule will be anchored by a nightly newscast - America Tonight - produced by former CNN ep Kim Bondy. The hour-long broadcast will air at 9 p.m. and feature in-depth reports longer than the requisite three minutes often found on the 6:30 p.m. broadcast news programs.