Mohamed ElBaradei

Al Jazeera America opens strong onscreen Tuesday

Al Jazeera America opens strong onscreen Tuesday

The heart of Al Jazeera America’s prime-time lineup is an attractive one if you are looking for news, context and a fresh visual perspective on U.S. and world events.

At least that’s the way it looked premiere night Tuesday as the Qatar-based channel unveiled a solidly-reported and skillfully packaged hour of news at 8 p.m. followed by “America Tonight,” its flagship broadcast of in-depth, magazine-style pieces.

And yet, even as this promising addition to the American TV news landscape arrived, AT&T announced Tuesday that it would not carry the channel on its U-verse pay-TV service with an estimated 5 million viewers.

Al Jazeera responded late Tuesday by suing...