Mar 21 2015
Judging by its dismal ratings, (BNI averages about 7+ times more visitors per day than al-Jazeera gets), it’s no surprise that the network, formerly owned by Al Gore, is gutting its daily schedule and firing its staff.
What do you get when you combine Al Gore’s low performing lefty MSNBC alternative news channel with an oil state that sponsors terrorism? The answer is a cable news channel that even fewer people watch.
Al-Jazeera America has averaged just 13,000 viewers a day since its Aug. 20 launch — on par with a public access channel. In the 25- to 54-year-old audience sought by advertisers, it drew 5,000 viewers. The ratings are so low, they are considered a “scratch” and aren’t reported by Nielsen.
Struggling Al Jazeera America is cutting jobs and replacing most of its daytime lineup with an overseas news feed in its latest reshuffling.
The cable outfit told staff on Friday it’s canceling both its morning news report and “Consider This with Antonio Mora” at 11 a.m. It’s also scrapping its 4 p.m. news hour and pushing its 6 p.m. coverage an hour later to 7 p.m.
In addition, Ali Velshi, the host of “Real Money with Ali Velshi,” and Joie Chen’s “America Tonight” are looking at less airtime — either shorter shows or fewer days per week.
Al Jazeera America has plugged much of the day with a news feed from its overseas sibling, Al Jazeera English, sources said. Several former employees told The Post they believe that was the plan all along.
“We are always looking at our scheduling calendar in order to offer our audience the most compelling news hours and programs,” said a spokeswoman. “Increasingly we’re finding that viewers are coming to us for in-depth reporting and analysis of domestic and global news events, and our goal is to offer that around the clock.”
Al Jazeera America also laid off six employees just before the holidays in another reorganization under President Kate O’Brian. Earlier this year, it cut several dozen jobs and disbanded its sports news unit.
Despite spending $600 million on its August 2013 launch, Al Jazeera America is struggling with low ratings and a skeptical US audience.
The changes come amid an internal rift at Qatari-owned Al Jazeera over its coverage of the Paris attacks. Leaked emails show a senior editor questioned whether the massacre at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was an assault on free speech.
Al Jazeera English’s Salah-Aldeen Khadr sparked infighting when he wrote to staff, “Was this really an attack on free speech? Who is attacking free speech here exactly?,” according to emails first reported by National Review Online.
Al-Jazeera launches in America: