Ali Velshi Becomes Al Jazeera America’s First Anchor

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Correspondent Ali Velshi attends the Greater Talent Network 30th anniversary party at the United Nations on May 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

One day after Ali Velshi announced his last day at CNN would be Friday, the newly formed Al Jazeera America said it had hired the former chief business correspondent as its first news anchor. Velshi, who was at CNN for twelve years, will host a half-hour business show in prime time. It's a gig he described on his departure from CNN as "a great opportunity to stretch some new muscles and grow something, and it appeals to my entrepreneurial side." Once the news of his move was public, Velshi told the New York Times' Brian Stelter he was drawn to Al Jazeera's "commitment to building a strong news organization," and said, "I think the product will trump any preconceived notions that people may have going into it." But we know why he really took the job: They must have offered him a nicer windbreaker.