Al Jazeera America to close, only after three working years
The cable news channel Al Jazeera America is closing up shop in April.
Employees were informed of the decision on Wednesday less than three years since the channel’s debut in August 2013.
“While Al Jazeera America built a loyal audience across the US and increasingly was recognized as an important new voice in television news, the economic landscape of the media environment has driven its strategic decision to wind down its operations and conclude its service,” the company said in a memo to its staff.
The company would however maintain its US digital operations including the increasingly popular AJ+ video platform.
We’re sorry to hear the news about our Al Jazeera America colleagues.
For those concerned, AJ+ is still operating. https://t.co/qrYIuxwqgb
— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 13, 2016
Al Anstey, CEO of the Qatar-based broadcaster, informed staffers of the news during staff meeting.
“I have witnessed and worked alongside some of the most talented people any organization could wish for,” he said. “Since its launch in 2013, the work done by the team at Al Jazeera America has been recognized with nearly every major award an American news organization can receive.”
“I greatly respect the unrivaled 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.”
The channel dedicated itself to investigative reports and global news coverage but failed to maintain a susbstantial viewership in the states. Politico reports that AJAM garnered roughly 28,000 primetime viewers in 2015 and only 19,000 viewers in a day.