18,000 Apply for Jobs at Al Jazeera

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Al Jazeera is having no problem finding job applicants, but they are having problems finding a star

The network says it’s received 18,000 resumes for 170 open positions.

By the time Al Jazeera America, as the new cable network will be called, launches this Summer, it will have 600 to 700 staffers on the editorial and technical side.

But they are still looking for someone the viewers already knows.

“It would be very helpful for us to have a couple of names that have been recognized and people say, ‘Oh, they have gone over to them. I should give it a look,’” said Bob Wheelock, executive producer for the Americas for Al Jazeera English to the Daily Beast. “Americans like to know who is on at what time. We need to find people who are known, but we want them to be known for their journalism, not for their celebrity, not for their past failure, not for their messy divorce.”

Whether Al Jazeera will be able to attract top-level talent, the kind that will draw in American viewers and lead other broadcasters to follow suit, remains very much up in the air. Part of the problem is the lingering suspicion that the network has an anti-American bias.

In 2006, it launched an English-language version of the network with a splash and announced the hiring of formerNightline correspondent Dave Marash in what was considered a coup for the nascent organization. Two years later Marash quit, citing a lack of editorial independence.

And there is the matter of whether anyone with a long résumé wants to work for a network that, although it will be in 45 million homes one day, has, at the moment, exactly zero viewers.

Yeah... if you wanted to work for a cable station in a lot of homes with no viewers, why not just go to CNN.  Ouch!

H/T The Daily Beast