By Jessica Toonkel (Reuters) - Al Jazeera America, the cable television news outlet controlled by Qatar's royal family, is shutting down less than three years after its high-profile launch, the network said on Wednesday. The U.S. cable network will cease operations by April 30, the network said, citing economic challenges in the American media market. As of last summer, the network had about 800 employees, according to one former employee who asked to remain anonymous. The company declined to comment on how many employees would lose their jobs. Al Jazeera, which is owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network, had been trying for years to break into the U.S. cable market when it bought Current TV, a U.S.-based television network owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt, for $500 million in 2013. The network hired some well-known television journalists, including Soledad O'Brien and Ali Velshi from CNN, and generally has been given high marks from journalism experts for its coverage. Yet, with its Arabic name and Qatari pedigree, the network continued to struggle to find a place in the U.S. media landscape. "Al Jazeera America entered a crowded marketplace with a brand that had a lot of baggage," said Merrill Brown, director of the School of Communications and Media at Montclair State University. "I don't know that they could have done anything programatically to overcome those challenges." While Qatar has been hit hard by declining oil prices, a spokeswoman for Al Jazeera America said the move to shut down the network was unrelated to oil. "The Al Jazeera America Board made this decision based on the fact that the Al Jazeera America business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace," the spokeswoman wrote in an email. The company said it will expand its existing international digital services in the United States, as consumers ditch traditional media and move to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for news. Al Jazeera did not get the instant access to U.S. homes it was hoping for when it bought Current TV. Time Warner Cable Inc and AT&T Inc argued that they had contracted with Current TV, not Al Jazeera, and therefore were not obligated to carry the network. DirecTV, which AT&T acquired last year, sued Al Jazeera America over its carriage agreement and ended up settling in the fall. Time Warner also ended up carrying the network after initial pushback. Other major cable providers, including Charter Communications Inc , Cablevision Systems Corp and Cox Communications Inc, do not carry the network. Al Jazeera America also struggled with morale problems and high turnover as well as a wrongful termination lawsuit from a former employee, Matthew Luke, accusing news editor Osman Mahmud as being anti-Semitic and sexist. In May, the network announced it was replacing Chief Executive Officer Ehab Al Shihabi with Al Anstey, who was previously managing director of Al Jazeera English. Ultimately, Al Jazeera America reached some 60 million American households, according to Nielsen data. But only 28,000 viewers watched the network daily in prime-time last year. (Additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Eric Effron, Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker)
- WSB Cox articles
He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms plus 60 years.
A former tech developer bought a rusty 1955 cruise ship on Craigslist and estimates he's spent $1 million restoring it. Check it out.
The 293-foot cruise ship had three decks, 85 cabins with en-suite bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a lot of issues when Chris Willson bought it.
Cubs shortstop Andrelton Simmons filled in at pitcher during a lopsided loss to the Reds, and he served up a leisurely lob to the Reds' Kyle Farmer.
- The Hollywood Reporter
Jurors in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will not consider whether Adam Waldman, Depp’s former attorney who was kicked off of the case, had free speech protections when he made allegedly defamatory statements against Heard. In a key ruling on jury instructions, the judge overseeing the case sided with Heard’s lawyers […]
A one minute and forty second sequence in which a shirtless Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and Rick Rossovich face off to Kenny Loggins’ “Playing With The Boys.”
- Fox News
Beto O’Rourke’s attempt to derail Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference has sparked the ire of multiple Uvalde residents still reeling from Tuesday's mass shooting.
- The Wrap
"There is a victim of domestic abuse in this courtroom, and it is not Ms. Heard," Camille Vasquez said
- Ukrayinska Pravda
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO - FRIDAY, 27 MAY 2022, 23:20 During the 24 hours of 27 May, the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed three Russian air targets and a company-tactical group of the Russian army. Source: Yurii Ihnat, Spokesman of Air Force Command Details: According to the results of the day, the following were hit: Su-35 jet Ka-52 helicopter Orlan-10 UAV a company-tactical group.
Kevin Costner On Ray Liotta’s Batting Practice As Shoeless Joe In ‘Field Of Dreams’: “God Gave Us That Stunt”
It wasn’t in the script. Kevin Costner went on social media to pay tribute to his Field of Dreams co-star Ray Liotta, who died today at 67. The Oscar winner, who tried out for his Cal State Fullerton team and went on to star in several baseball-themed movies, recalled the scene when his Ray Kinsella pitches […]
A mother who was handcuffed outside the Texas school shooting later ran into the school and pulled her two children to safety: report
"The police were doing nothing," a mother of students at the Texas school where the shooting took place told WSJ. "They were just standing outside the fence."
- NBC Sports BayArea
On Thursday night, the Curry family had plenty to celebrate as the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals.
"Sit down, Chuck," TNT colleague Kenny Smith told Barkley when the feud appeared to take a serious turn.
Authorities say security video shows the back door of Texas school was propped open by a teacher just before the gunman attacked the school
Police believe the propped-open door was used by the gunman to enter Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.
- The Daily Beast
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, PoolFar-right favorite Kandiss Taylor received just 3.4 percent of the vote in Georgia’s GOP primary for governor on Tuesday, less than one-twentieth of current Gov. Brian Kemp’s 73.7 percent of the vote. But that isn’t stopping Taylor from refusing to concede and claiming the election was “rigged.”Taylor, a Trump loyalist who campaigned with the slogan “Jesus Guns Babies” and promised to “stand up to the Luciferian Cabal,” simply believes it’s impossible that she lost t
A shocker. Ray Liotta, the terrific actor whose career breakout came in the 1990 Martin Scorsese crime classic Goodfellas after co-starring in Field of Dreams, has died. He was 67. Deadline hears that Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters. We will have more details […]
- NBC Sports BayArea
While it appeared Jason Kidd was taking a shot at the Warriors' zone defense, on Thursday, he said it was directed at his team.
- Food & Wine
Since being caught on camera living in the moment, Michelob Ultra has offered Mark Radetic "a copious amount of beer."
- Kansas City Star
The former Chiefs running back made pointed remarks about KC’s offensive coordinator, but Andy Reid offered up a defense.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham had to be separated before Fridays series opener at Great American Ball Park.
The controversial body horror film received a six-minute standing ovation.