In spite of some acts of stellar journalism, Al Jazeera America will be shut down by April 30th, the network announced today.
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 decision to go out of business was “driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace,” AJAM CEO Al Anstey was quoted as saying in an AJAM report.
“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 staffers.
AJAM came into being after Al Jazeera Network bought out Current TV. Over the past three years, they've done some really great investigative reports, but could never seem to gain traction.
In my area, it took forever for them to even be added to the cable lineup and when they were, they were dropped down to the low fidelity band near C-SPAN. Contrast that with the extreme right-wing One America Network, which Verizon FIOS placed right next to CNN and MSNBC, just behind Newsmax TV.
You'd think perhaps there's a conspiracy, but maybe it's just simple economics.