Al Jazeera America to shut down

U.S. cable net Al Jazeera America is to shut down by April 30, but its global parent company says it aims to ramp up "a new digital drive in the U.S. market."
January 13, 2016

U.S. cable net Al Jazeera America (AJAM) is to shut down in April, the company has officially confirmed.

Employees at the New York-headquartered outlet – formed by the Qatar-based news agency in August 2013 – were informed of the decision in a staff meeting this afternoon.

Top execs reportedly informed staff that the channel will officially close on April 30. In an internal memo first reported by The New York Times, CEO Al Anstey wrote that the decision is driven by a business model that is increasingly unsustainable in a digital world.

The exec added, however, that the network plans to expand its global digital services later this year bringing new global content to the U.S.

The channel has 12 bureaus in cities across the U.S. and employs around 900 journalists and staff.

Members of AJAM’s documentary outfit were most recently on hand at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), where Cynthia Kane was among the commissioners commenting on doc projects at the Central Pitch roundtable.

The cable channel in November acquired the documentary Motley’s Law at DOC NYC, which it slated to air in February. Other recent documentaries on AJAM include Hard Earned, Saving Mes Aynak and Guantanamo’s Child.


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About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.