Al Jazeera America is shutting down television operations — RT USA

Cable news network Al Jazeera America planning to terminate its operations in the United States effective April 30, 2016. This marks the end of a long decline of viewers and readers for the network.

“I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” Al Jazeera America’s chief executive Al Anstey said in a memo. “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.”

The network has had viewership problems the network’s launch, with only 20,000 to 40,000 people watching during prime time, according to CNN Money.

AJAM began just in 2013, a few months after Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network purchased Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million. The channel was billed as a more restrained, clearheaded alternative to mainstream cable news, but it was mired in issues from the start, including a lawsuit from Al Gore and very low ratings.

"Viewers will see a news channel unlike the others, as our programming proves Al Jazeera America will air fact-based, unbiased and in-depth news," AJAM’s former CEO Ehab Al Shihabi said around the time of the launch.

Al Shihabi himself was the defendant in a discrimination lawsuit that claimed that he favored the network’s Arabic and male employees.

"(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," Anstey said.

The channel’s end has been linked by some to the sharply dropping price of oil, which sunk below $30 a barrel on Tuesday. The government of Qatar – AJAM’s ultimate owner – gets much of its income from the Gulf state’s massive oil production.