When Al Jazeera America launched, many thought (not FTVLive mind you) that it was going to be the holy grail of journalism.
The network made a big push into American living rooms with a seemingly unlimited budget, high-profile journalism hires and a mandate to play the news straight.
All of that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
The NY Post says that a host of staffers are upset that the cable news outfit with is funded by the government of Qatar. AJA is laying off staffers and watering down its US editorial voice while programming from sibling Al Jazeera English occupies more air time.
In addition, insiders said CEO Ehab Al Shihabi has become a more forceful presence at the network, reshuffling senior news positions and laying off seven staffers last week. The recent moves on top of an earlier round of belt-tightening have led to rising newsroom tensions.
“People are considering legal counsel,” said one insider, adding that “good people came here and were lied to.”
Sources tell FTVLive that NY Post story is just the tip of the iceberg.
Word is that Al Jazeera America CEO Ehab Al-Shihabi was just "summoned" to Doha headquarters amidst rumors he will be fired.
Many in the Newsroom are hoping for his dismissal, with one VP openly wishing for the CEO's death. Expectation/hope his top deputy, President Kate O'Brian will also get the axe.
She is being named in two lawsuits filed by employees she fired, soon after they complained about hostile work environment.
FTVLive is hearing of lies and broken promises throughout the U-S channel.... The lawsuit complaints will be explicit and explosive, as Doha execs considering Shihabi and O'Brian's fate have been warned.
Ironically, the Americans working in Qatar for AJ English are happy and respected. But AJ America channel is a disaster.