Ed Pound Hired to Run Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit

ā€œIā€™m anxious to get started,ā€ says the veteran journalist.

By: Harry Jaffe

Al Jazeera America has hired veteran investigative journalist Ed Pound to run its investigative unit.

“It’s a great job, a great news organization,” Pound told The Washingtonian. “I think it’s gong to be a lot of fun.”

Pound is a great get for the startup cable network. Among investigative reporters in Washington, Pound is legendary. He’s worked as an investigative reporter for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and US News & World Report. He left National Journal in May 2009 for a job as director of communications with Recovery.gov, a website run by the federal government that tracks funds distributed through the Recovery Act.

Pound, 69, said he heard about the job of senior executive producer and approached Al Jazeera. “I knew it was a really great news organization,” he said. “I liked them. They liked me.”

Al Jazeera America is owned by Al Jazeera International, a network controlled by Qatar and run out of its capital, Doha. Al Jazeera purchased Current TV and is remaking the channel. It plans to beef up coverage of the Americas and have a strong presence in DC, based out of the headquarters it’s building downtown on New Hampshire Avenue.

It’s no secret that Al Jazeera America is on a hiring spree. But the new network, scheduled to launch later this summer, has been quiet about whom it’s hiring.

Last week it confirmed it had landed Ali Velshi as its first on-air anchor. Velshi had been with CNN for a dozen years as the cable news network’s chief business correspondent. Velshi will host a business show for the startup cable network.

Pound’s hiring has not been officially announced, and Al Jazeera would make no comment.

Said Pound, “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could make a difference. We’re going to have an impact. I’m anxious to get started.”

His start date is late April. The new network hopes to launch in late June.