Tags: aljazeera | shut | down | april

Al Jazeera to Shut US Operations by April End

Image: Al Jazeera to Shut US Operations by April End

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 02:26 PM

Qatar-based Arab-language broadcaster Al Jazeera is pulling the plug on its two-year-old American cable operation.

Al Jazeera America's shutdown was first tweeted out by Politico reporter Hadas Gold.


According to Politico's New York outlet, Capital New York, shocked staffers at the American operation, which first broadcast in August 2013, got the news Wednesday afternoon.

Bosses told the stunned staffers the channel's business model was "no longer sustainable," and would end by April 30, Capital New York reports.

Content delivered from the United States, however, will become part of its new global online plans, Capital New York reports.

From the start, Al Jazeera America focused on in-depth reports, but the channel never built up viewership; it only reached about 60 million U.S. homes compared with the roughly 100 million households that have cable TV, Capital New York reports.

The U.S. operation began with $500 million when it acquired Current TV, the news channel co-founded by Al Gore in 2005, and maintained a big newsroom in Manhattan, hiring talent from CNN and ABC – including former ABC News executive Kate O'Brian, who was named president of Al Jazeera America, Capital New York notes.

Internal turmoil – including a series of discrimination lawsuits – led to the ouster of Al Jazeera America's founding CEO, Capital New York reports.

The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald reports staffers from the start complained that network bosses were paralyzed by fear, believing they had to avoid all hints of bias and opinion "in order to steer clear of what these executives regarded as the lethal stench of the Al Jazeera brand for American audiences."

"This turned much of the network into a diluted, extra-fearful version of CNN, which itself has suffered from remarkably low ratings for years."

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Qatar-based Arab-language broadcaster Al Jazeera is pulling the plug on its two-year-old American cable operation.
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Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016 02:26 PM
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