Due to its low ratings, the Al Jazeera America news channel will go off the air on April 30 after about two years of broadcasting.

The news of the closure was announced suddenly this past Wednesday at a companywide meeting. Up to 700 of the channel’s employees could lose their jobs. Executives and employees alike were said to be in tears upon receiving the news. Even the Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian was in tears when giving details on severance packages. In a memo, the CEO Al Anstey of the channel applauded all who had worked on building the network.  He’s quoted saying. “I greatly respect the unrivaled commitment and excellent work of our team, which has created great journalism…We have increasingly set ourselves apart from all the rest, and the achievements of the past two-and-a-half years should be a source of immense pride for everyone”.

Al Jazeera has said that they will give up on the American market as a whole and plans to “expand its existing international digital services” according to the memo from Anstey.

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