NEW YORK: Al Jazeera America has hired former Time Inc. communications executive Dawn Bridges as EVP of corporate communications.
She started in the newly created role on November 11, reporting to Ehab Al-Shihabi, interim CEO of the cable news outlet, which launched in August. The number of staff members Bridges will oversee is still being determined, she said.
Bridges' responsibilities will include working with the marketing department on the company's brand, promoting breaking news stories, building consumer publicity, developing senior executives' relationships with journalists, and improving internal communications. She will also handle corporate issues with plans to use social media in upcoming initiatives.
Previously, she managed her own agency, Dawn Bridges Communications, since February 2011. Bridges also spent six years as SVP of corporate communications at Time Inc., was an associate media studies professor at New York University, and served in senior communications positions at Warner Music Group, EMI Group, and PolyGram (now Universal).
“Since leaving Time Inc., I've missed working inside a news company,” Bridges said. “I have joined Al Jazeera America in particular because high-quality journalism is extremely important for all sorts of reasons, including a functioning democracy and a well-run economy.”
Al Jazeera America's direct competitors include CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel. The network is Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network's second entry into the US TV market, after the launch of beIN Sports last year.
The company is looking to hire other communications staffers by the end of this year, according to Bridges.
Despite a sluggish start in the ratings, the network said last month that it will open more US bureaus, hire additional staff, and create more original programming. It will move all its operations to a new headquarters in Manhattan within the next 18 months.