13 January 2016

File Under "Duh"

The surprise is not really that Al Jazeera America is shutting down (my link is the Glenn Greenwald's excellent and extensively linked-out article), but that it ever existed in the first place. The multichannel TV dial has a number of fully distributed news services of one flavor or another:
As well as less-than-fully distributed channels like:
An Internet-distributed news channel:
And lots of regional news networks like:

In short, this isn't a market segment with a lack of programming.

It is also hard to imagine that branding the channel "Al Jazeera America" was what US news consumers wanted. Irrespective of the quality of the programming on the channel (which I thought was good, from the little I saw, if somewhat stilted in a PBS/BBC kind of way), the name "Al Jazeera" was most closely associated with the co-owned Arabic-language Al Jazeera news service made famous as the preferred outlet for Osama bin Laden's videos during the post-9/11 era. As the proud possessor of a marketing degree from arguably the finest school for brand managers, I believe that's too much to overcome.

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