Friday, January 15, 2016

Al Jazeera America to fold

Al Jazeera America, the American cable news outlet owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, plans to shut down less than three years after its launch, a victim of 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.

The NewsGuild of New York, the union that began representing 46 digital journalists at Al Jazeera America last year, says it was told by the company that it has 291 employees.

Al Jazeera Media Network, which is funded by the government of Qatar, launched the U.S.-based network in August 2013 after buying Current TV, the cable news channel co-founded by Al Gore, for about $500 million earlier in the year.

The irony, for me, is that a cable news channel funded by an Arab nation showed less bias than Fox News Channel, which never met a story it couldn't slant so far to the right that it makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look upright.

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