Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Al Jazeera America to shut down by April 30

Anybody surprised?
(USA Today) Al Jazeera America, the American cable news outlet owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, plans to shut down less than three years after its much-ballyhooed launch, unable to overcome low ratings, operational problems and a lack of advertisers.

The cable news network will be phased out by April 30, according to a memo that was emailed to staffers Wednesday. "As many as 700 staff members" could lose their jobs, CNN reported, citing unnamed sources. Al Jazeera couldn't be immediately reached to verify the number of people affected by the move. [...]

Management problems and labor issues also plagued its New York headquarters and other bureaus. In May, Al Jazeera fired AJAM CEO Ehab Al Shihabi soon after The New York Times published a story that chronicled "a deep dysfunction" in management and "the culture of fear" engendered by his leadership. AJAM also was hit with a lawsuit from a former employee alleging sexism and anti-Semitism.