03/20/2013 02:36 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2013

Al Jazeera America Searches For Its Star As Thousands Apply For Positions

There seems to be tons of interest in working at Al Jazeera America, the network that will launch in the U.S. over the summer.

When Al Jazeera bought Current TV earlier this year, the Doha-based network said it would essentially replace the progressive news channel with the soon-to-be New York-based Al Jazeera America.

The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that more than 18,000 individuals applied for only 170 open positions. But as interest in the new network seems to be high, executives are searching for its star.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Al Jazeera English's Bob Wheelock said, "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.'"

The tune sounds familiar. When Al Gore and Joel Hyatt hired Keith Olbermann in 2011, the founders tried to build its primetime lineup around the network's new and biggest host. Olbermann was fired less than a year later.

It's unclear which broadcast star would be interested in making the jump to the brand new Al Jazeera America. Christiane Amanpour, known for her international and domestic coverage, seems steadily situated in a dual contract with CNN and ABC. Former "Today" co-host Ann Curry could be an interesting choice based on her preference for and talent in reporting hard international news. Last but certainly not least, there's always Olbermann.

(h/t Daily Beast)



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