RT closes US studio
March 4, 2022
By Chris Forrester
RT America, the US version of Russian-backed news channel RT, is to close its US studios and lay off most of its staff. Its bureaus in New York, Washington, Miami and Los Angeles are affected.
Misha Solodovnikov, the general manager of T&R Productions, the company that produces RT America, told staff in an email that “unforeseen business interruption events” had forced the decision. He added that the layoffs would be permanent.
Both DirecTV and Roku had dumped the channel earlier this week.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has also urged broadcasters not to air Russian-sponsored content.
Satellite operator SES says it welcomes the European Union’s (EU) sanctions against RT and Sputnik broadcasts that it was carrying. It has ceased carriage of the transmissions.
“We have engaged with our partners and customers who are carrying these channels and we will now jointly proceed to suspend the broadcasting of these channels promptly,” said a SES statement on March 2nd.
The EU, in its statement, said: “The EU adopted sanctions against the Kremlin’s disinformation and information manipulation assets. State-owned outlets Russia Today and Sputnik are suspended across the EU, as of today.”
Over the past 24-hours RT has also been taken down from South Africa’s DStv following an intervention by regulator ICASA.
In the UK, a British MP, Tom Tugendhat, has written that: “Time and again, the English-language service has done its best to confuse and undermine Britons at times when clarity was so important. It’s not an information network. It’s a weapon against us. Russia Today TV channel is nothing but poison, smears and anti-British propaganda.”