(JNS.org) Al Jazeera America—the cable news operator that along with its parent company, Al Jazeera, is funded by the government of Qatar—has announced that it will be shutting down its operations by the end of April.
In a memo to his staff, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, said that the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board [to shut down] is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace,” the New York Times reported.
The network—which was launched in 2013 after buying former vice president Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million—has struggled to gain viewers, with an average of only 30,000 people tuning in during its primetime shows.
The network has also been beset by internal turmoil, with many top executives leaving. Last year, a former employee of Al Jazeera America launched a $15 million lawsuit against the network for alleged sexist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American policies and remarks by an executive there.
Qatar, a U.S. ally, has been scrutinized by the pro-Israel community over its funding of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.