As reported on Wednesday by CNN Money, Al Jazeera America will shut down on April 30. CEO Al Anstey wrote in a memo to the staff, “[O]ur business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.” Back in September, the Guardian reported that Qatari-owned parent company Al Jazeera expected to cut hundreds of jobs across its worldwide properties due in part to falling oil prices. At the time, Al Jazeera America—which has long suffered low ratings and a series of discrimination lawsuits against former CEO Ehab Al Shihabi—was expected to be saved from the chopping block.
Quoted by Politico, the former managing editor of Al Jazeera English, Tony Burman, said that the decision to significantly cut down the company’s presence in the Untied States was a mistake: “Al Jazeera’s coverage of the world is strong, and something Americans would want, because it comes from a global perspective, not a made-in-New York perspective. It was a miscalculation that they could outdo the American news industry in covering the U.S.”
Staffers took to Twitter to share some gallows humor: