Thursday, April 7, 2011
Russian billionaire to found 'Jewish Al-Jazeera'
Pitching the idea at an annual meeting of Jewish leaders in Washington, Alexander Machkevitch says he wants a network with editorial direction independent of any government or special interest.
Kazakh-Israeli mining mogul Alexander Machkevitch, who is one of the world's richest men, said Wednesday he was planning to set up an international news network to rival Al-Jazeera.
Pitching the idea at an annual meeting of Jewish leaders in Washington, Machkevitch said he and unnamed partners are in the early stages of developing the venture.
He told The Associated Press that he had not yet decided what the for-profit venture would be called or where it would be based. However he ruled out Kazakhstan.
Machkevitch said that he wants a network with editorial direction independent of any government or special interest.
In its most recent list of the world's richest people, Forbes magazine ranks Machkevitch as 297 with an estimated fortune of $3.7 billion.
Mashkevich, a native of Kyrgyzstan who became a billionaire through investments in Kazakhstan during perestroika, admitted that founding such a channel would not be simple, because of its high costs, but said that he plans to officially present it in Israel in a few months.
There is a lot of interest in the news channel, the billionaire said, all that's missing is a name.