Too bad, Al Jazeera America is Shutting Down, 3 years after its debut

Posted on January 13, 2016

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The cable news outlet wrapped 2015 with a mere 7,000 average primetime viewers in the news demographic of adults 25-54.

by Rick JT, additional editing by Adam MS

Al Jazeera’s big bet on becoming a player in U.S. cable news is coming to an end.

The Qatar-backed cable news outlet is being shut down in April, Al Jazeera’s chief executive Al Anstey said in a memo to staff that was published by The New York Times.

The final nail in the coffin comes less than a month after a rare instance of a story putting AJAM in the headlines. The network aired a documentary that claimed that Denver Broncos quarterback and NFL icon Peyton Manning (and a number of professional athletes) used performance-enhancing drugs. Manning denied the claims, and the story has yet to gather any of the steam that that level of accusations may have on another network.Al Jazeera AmericaAJAM’s end comes less than a year after it faced a huge crisis in 2015, when CEO Ehab Al Shihabi left amid accusations of sexism and anti-Semitism — not to mention the network’s crippled ratings. That narrative did not change after his departure. AJAM wrapped 2015 with a mere 7,000 average primetime viewers in the news demographic of adults 25-54, essentially a scratch.

There were high hopes for the network when it took over the place in the dial formally occupied by Al Gore’s millennial-targeted Current TV. The stateside presence of the Doha-based news outlet has built a strong reputation in other markets and aggressively courted big names in U.S. broadcast. That includes ABC News vet Kate O’Brian, who served as the president of Al Jazeera America throughout its brief run.

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Posted in: BUSINESS, NEWS