Layoffs at Al Jazeera America

al_jazeera_news_room_h_2013

The cable news network is disbanding its sports unit and scaling back its social media program, “The Stream.”

Al Jazeera America, which launched last August with nearly 850 employees and 12 news bureaus in the United States, has laid off dozens of employees as part of restructuring. The channel is disbanding its sports unit and scaling back its social-media-driven show The Stream from a daily show to a once-a-week program.

“The majority of people affected were freelancers and many of the staff either came from the sports group or from The Stream,”Dawn Bridges, executive vp corporate communications, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

In a note to employees on Friday, the cable news channel’s president, Kate O’Brian, stated that staff reductions were part of a process of restructuring after initial hires were made for the launch.

“In the seven months since launch we have built a channel that it took other networks years to do,” O’Brian wrote. “As you all know, that required extensive effort, planning and resources. We always understood that we would need considerable resources to meet our goals.”

“This will have an immediate impact on some staff, freelancers, independent contractors, and other project-oriented individuals who have been with us for several months,” O’Brian noted.

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SOURCE: Erik Hayden 
The Hollywood Reporter

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