Capital New York reports that Al Jazeera America is shutting down operations after only two and a half years.
Al Jazeera America employees were told that the channel's business model was "no longer sustainable" and that it will shut down by April 30. The media company has plans to pursue a "new global online strategy" with content delivered from the U.S. later this year.
The Qatar-based Arab-language broadcaster Al Jazeera had created the channel to bring its brand to an American audience, but it failed to build up a substantial viewership. It was available only in about 60 million American homes, compared with about 100 million households that have cable TV. As Capital New York notes, its ratings were paltry compared to the big three cable news channels.
Al Jazeera bought its way into the U.S. market for a reported $500 million in January 2013 when it acquired Current TV, the news channel co-founded by Al Gore in 2005.