Al Gore's Current TV may be cursed, but he sure isn't
Three years ago, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Academy Award winner, former vice president, and almost president Al Gore (D) sold his failing cable network, Current TV, to Qatar's Al Jazeera network for $500 million, grossing $70 million. His partners also did well.
The station must be cursed; it announced that it is closing down at the end of April.
According to the CEO, the decision was "driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace." ...
Only 20,000 to 40,000 people watch the channel during prime time, according to CNN Money. ...
"AJAM has been losing staggering sums of money from the start. That has become increasingly untenable as the network's owner and funder, the government of Qatar, is now economically struggling due to low oil prices, The Intercept said in its report, covering the news.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the Qatari government risks posting a budget deficit in 2016 amid low oil prices.
But Al Jazeera isn't going away totally; it simultaneously reported an expansion of its online content.
"As audiences increasingly turn to multiple platforms, including mobile devices, for news and information, this expansion will allow U.S. and non-U.S. consumers alike to access the Network's journalism and content wherever and whenever they want," it read. "By expanding its digital content and distribution services to now include the U.S., the Network will be better positioned to innovate and compete in an overwhelmingly digital world to serve today's 24-hour digitally focused audience."
Old media, new media – one notorious aspect of its content and business practices is sure to remain.
During three years of working in the US, Al Jazeera America, headquartered and run from studios on the first floor of the Manhattan Center in New York City, has also faced some lawsuits, including from former employees alleging sexism and anti-Semitism.
Hmm, maybe that's one reason most people avoided the station.