On the eve of Sept. 11, the date that helped put Arabic news network Al Jazeera on the global map, it looks like the controversial broadcaster could be coming to Southern California airwaves, albeit radio ones.

The Washington Post reported this week that liberal Berkeley-based Pacifica Radio, which runs KPFK (90.7 FM) in Los Angeles, is in talks to air Al Jazeera's English audio feed on its five stations. The deal would make the nonprofit Pacifica the largest broadcaster in the United States to air the Qatar-based news source.

Al Jazeera drew worldwide attention following the Sept. 11 attacks when it aired the anti-American video comminiques of Osama bin Ladin.

Al Jazeera tried to make a splash in the American market four years ago but so far has only been picked up in the Washington, D.C. area, Burlington, Vermont and Toledo, Ohio. A deal with Pacifica would also put its audio feed in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. Houston and Berkeley.

LA Weekly