Al Jazeera America to Terminate News Operations in April

Qatari-based news network cites unsustainable business model as reason for shut down.

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A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York, August 20, 2013.
A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York, August 20, 2013.Credit: Reuters

Al Jazeera America, the U.S. cable news channel of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network, will terminate all news operations at the end of April after just over two and a half years on air, the company's chief executive announced Wednesday.

Al Anstey told employees of the news channel, which was launched with a specific focus on U.S. audiences, that operations would be shut down because the network's business model was "not sustainable."

"I know the closure of AJAM (Al Jazeera America) will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future," Anstey wrote in an email to employees.

Al Jazeera, which had been operating in Arabic and in English worldwide, bought cable channel Current TV for a reported 500 million dollars and launched Al Jazeera America in August 2013 aiming to break into the U.S. cable news market.

One of the beneficiaries of the sale of Current TV was former US vice president Al Gore, who co-founded the cable channel.

The channel never really took off; the number of nightly viewers peaked at around 30,000, according to The Wrap, an entertainment news website.

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