Al Jazeera's Burman to lead U.S. expansion

To launch a Canadian bureau next month in Toronto

TORONTO -- The Al Jazeera English channel is moving managing director Tony Burman from its Doha, Qatar headquarters to secure mainstream acceptance of the 24-hour news channel in the U.S. market.

The 24-hour news channel currently airs in around 100 countries internationally, but has struggled to break into the American market in the shadow of its sister Al Jazeera Arabic channel.

Burman, who joined Al Jazeera in 2008 from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., will become chief strategic advisor for the Americas.

"I am delighted this new position will allow me to focus exclusively on Al Jazeera's unique place in North America. I look forward to creating new alliances and greater distribution in this crucial part of the world to better serve our audiences in North America -- and globally," he said.

In his new role, Burman will launch a Canadian bureau next month in Toronto, and look to broaden Al Jazeera English's American TV market reach beyond a year-old foothold in Washington, D.C.

Part of that strategy is convincing American carriers to look to the Canadian market where major cable operators now have comfort in offering Al Jazeera English to their subscribers.

To do that, Burman will open additional news bureaus in the U.S. and increase coverage of Latin America.