Al Jazeera America is Dead…

The Al Jazeera America experiment is over

Breaking: Al Jazeera America, the U.S. arm of the Qatar-based news network, is shutting down. The plan is to wind down the network, with a final on air date of April 30.

Al Jazeera America launched in August, 2013 after the global parent company acquired Current TV in January, 2013. Al Jazeera paid $500 million for the network, which included former VP Al Gore as an owner. Soon after the acquisition Time Warner Cable pulled Current TV from its lineup, an indication of the trouble AJAM would have getting carriage across the country.

The mood is, understandably, somber this afternoon as employees await a full staff meeting with human resources. One source tells TVNewser the company is offering generous severance packages.

4 Responses to “Al Jazeera America is Dead…”

  1. I never got to watch AJA but from what I did see of the network, online and on other networks, what it was attempting to do; go back to the days of a 1990,s style CNN; was always bound to fail. The days of cable news channels reporting news have mostly ended.

    Despite that belief, I think the main reason for the networks demise has more to do with low oil prices than any failure of AJA’s management and employees to produce good quality programming.

    It will be interesting to see if any AJA employees end up back on other cable news nets and who buys the network.

  2. Yeah this is another death blow for real news television versus biased coverage and channels for news that operate using and entertainment business model.It’s unfortunate and only the viewers can change it and they don’t seem interested enough to do so.

  3. They made mistakes from the get-go and set themselves up for failure.

    The first mistake they made was the name. There are many people in the US who wouldn’t watch it on the basis of the Islamic-sounding name. And there are plenty of people who would actually complain about having such a channel at all.

    The other mistake they made was alienating the few people who watched Al Jazeera English before AJAM launched. They geoblocked AJE from the US, but they didn’t stream AJAM like other cable news channels. So they lost the people who knew about them while setting themselves up with a name other people reject.

    Their Current TV acquisition was a botched mess as well. They killed everything Current, instead of doing a gradual transition to try to keep those viewers and gain new eyeballs. The total change made it easy for cable companies to drop them. The largest and most lucrative market is arguably the NYC Metro area. There, the two big cable companies are Time Warner and Cablevision. Neither carried the channel. Same story in other large markets.

    No markets: no ad revenue. No streaming: no cable-cutters. No social media presence: no millennials.

    They couldn’t have done worse by keeping Current TV and augmenting it with AJE content. Ironically, AJE has shows that would have fit right in with Current: The Stream, Techknow, Earthrise, The Cure, etc.

    I hope the geo walls come down after AJAM goes dark.

  4. Real journalism from AJAM revealed the Flint water crisis one year ago. What a loss for America. AJAM did real journalism and not have a bunch of know-nothing pundits yelling at each other over every topic including those completely out of their depth.
    http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/al-jazeera-america-returns-to-flint-one-year-after-revealing-water-crisis/282723

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