Qatari-owned Al Jazeera America to close as oil price hits lowest levels since 2003

Chris Papadopoullos
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The company set up shop in New York three years ago (Source: Getty)

Multinational media conglomerate Al Jazeera will be shutting down its US operation Al Jazeera America (AJAM), the company has said today.

"While Al Jazeera America built a loyal audience across the US and increasingly was recognised as an important new voice in television news, the economic landscape of the media environment has driven its strategic decision to wind down its operations and conclude its service," the company said.

In a memo to staff, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive Al Anstey, said 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 US media marketplace".

“I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” he continued. “The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job. Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled.”

Al Jazeera America, which is headquartered in New York, was founded only three years ago. Its parent company Al Jazeera Media Network, which is owned by the government of Qatar, has 82 bureaus around the world, second only to the BBC.

The closing of the office by the Qatari company comes as the price of oil dips to its lowest since 2003.

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