Al Jazeera America Cable Channel to Shut Down by April

Al Jazeera Will Beef Up Digital Presence In U.S.

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'America Tonight' on Al Jazeera America.
'America Tonight' on Al Jazeera America. Credit: Al Jazeera America

After just three years, the Al Jazeera America cable network will go dark by the end of April, the company told staffers on Wednesday.

"The decision is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in an increasingly digital world, and because of the current global financial challenges," Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey wrote in a memo to employees.

Al Jazeera America debuted in August 2013 after Qatar's Al Jazeera Media Networks bought Al Gore's struggling Current TV for $500 million. The promise was to deliver unbiased, serious news.

But the channel never achieved any meaningful scale and its three short years included its fair share of problems. From the get-go there were perception issues on both the part of viewers and advertisers, some of whom felt the parent company's reporting was hostile to the U.S. Al Jazeera America struggled to gain carriage and was slapped with lawsuits by female employees who claimed discrimination.

Mr. Anstey promised that this isn't the last of Al Jazeera in the U.S., writing in the memo that the brand plans to expand its digital presence.

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