Al Jazeera America closing on April 30
Al Jazeera America, a US-based cable and satellite news channel owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network, announced that it will end its operations by April 30, 2016.
The outlet opened less than three years ago at a high-profile launch, after the parent company invested $500 million, which included buying Al Gore’s Current TV. But despite the high-profile launch, the channel’s ratings never really picked up.
Al Jazeera America’s CEO, Al Anstey, cited the economic challenges of the American media market and the company’s intentions to focus on its digital platforms as reasons behind the decision to close.
“I have witnessed and worked alongside some of the most talented people any organisation could wish for. Since its launch in 2013, the work done by the team at Al Jazeera America has been recognised with nearly every major award an American news organisation can receive,” Anstey said in a statement, recognising the work of his team.
“I greatly respect the unrivalled commitment and excellent work of our team, which has created great journalism. We have increasingly set ourselves apart from all the rest and the achievements of the past two-and-a-half years should be a source of immense pride for everyone,” he added.
The parent network, Doha-based Al Jazeera, was launched in 1996. Today, it has more than 70 bureaus around the world. Its outlets include: Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Turk, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Centre and AJ+.
Al Jazeera America’s closure comes as several regional corporations – from banks to oil and gas companies – are going in for job cuts, most of which have been seemingly prompted by further drops in oil prices, which fell below $30 a barrel this week.