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Al Jazeera America is to close its cable TV and digital operations by April 30th of this year. According to AJAM CEO Al Anstey, the decision by the AJAM board was driven by the fact that its business model was “simply not sustainable” in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace.
“I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” Anstey wrote in an email to staff stressing that the decision was no reflection on their work. “Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled. We have increasingly set ourselves apart from all the rest. And you are the most talented team any organisation could wish for,” he declared.
The announcement of AJAM’s closure coincides with a decision by its global parent company to commit to a significant expansion of its worldwide digital operations into the US market.
“As audiences increasingly turn to multiple platforms, including mobile devices, for news and information, this expansion will allow US and non-US consumers alike to access the network’s journalism and content wherever and whenever they want,” the Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement. “By expanding its digital content and distribution services to now include the U.S., the network will be better positioned to innovate and compete in an overwhelmingly digital world to serve today’s 24-hour digitally focused audience.”
AJAM was formed following the acquisition of political news channel Current T V in January 2013 by Al Jazeera Media Network. Al Jazeera America replaced former US Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV on August 20th 2013 at 3:00 pm Eastern/2:00 pm Central.