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
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.