Al Jazeera America, the offshoot of the Qatar-based broadcasting company, is going to be phased out as of April 30, the New York Times reports.
The cable channel premiered in 2013 with hopes of covering US news as it does other parts of the world, but its TV ratings have consistently disappointed since then, with primetime ratings barely reaching 30,000 viewers.
Al Jazeera America chief executive Al Anstey said, in a memo, that the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board 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.”
Al Jazeera America started after the company bought Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million, but in addition to ratings problems, it saw a number of top executives leave last year amid complaints of a culture of fear.
Anstey added, however, that when the channel does shut down at the end of April, Al Jazeera proper will expand its digital presence in the US, hoping to “bring new global content into America.”
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