Al Jazeera America, which went on the air in 2013 -- and is partly funded by the ruling family of Qatar -- announced Wednesday it is shutting down at the end of April, citing the "economic landscape of the media environment."
The network said in a statement that "Al Jazeera America will cease operation by April 30, 2016," explaining that "while Al Jazeera America built a loyal audience across the U.S. and increasingly was recognized as an important new voice in television news, the economic landscape of the media environment has driven its strategic decision to wind down its operations and conclude its service."
Ray Suarez, a Washington, D.C.-based host at the channel, said in an email to Fox News Latino: “We put a good product on the air, with strong content from around the world that you can't see anywhere else. But ... being good isn't enough on its own in 2016.”
Al Anstey, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, reportedly wrote in a memo to staffers. “I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future. The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job.”
Al Jazeera's prime-time ratings recently ranged from 20,000 to 30,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. Upon taking over the network in May 2015, Anstey downplayed the network's ratings woes, saying it would “take time to build viewership.”
The network also said it will be ramping up its digital offerings in the U.S. as it shuts down its news channel.