Al Jazeera Communications Chief Leaves Failed Network, Proves Point

Turns out he didn't need that bridge anyway.

A little more than three years ago, when Al Jazeera America first began, it was billed as the place to see real news in a sea of networks covering superficial, celebrity-driven stories.

While eyeballs and aspirations were big, the network failed to garner 40,000 viewers in month-over-month ratings.

If you’ve never been in the news, let us assure you, this is not the way to stay gainfully employed. In fact, more than 700 people will lose their jobs by April 30 (Feb. 26, if they work for the online site). Oddly enough, the news was shared via Twitter by AJAM’s communications chief, Osama Saeed:

Communications man… to the very end. However, he’s not done.

Saeed, who joined the Al Jazeera network in 2011, has decided that he will leave instead of being shown the door. He tried to be a good captain while the ship was going down, but even the Titanic had survivors.

“After a big publicity push, a year or so ago Al Jazeera seemed poised to overtake CNN and the BBC in terms of audience in key global markets,” Saeed told the Holmes Report. “It still can with the right approach and investment, so I hope the network wakes up to this potential.”

Well, he was a company man, so we’ll let that pass. The PR note of issue was this:

Describing Al Jazeera as  “a shadow of what it was” under former leader Wadah Khanfar, Saeed noted that the media network remains the “Arab world’s most progressive institution.”

There are many theories why Al Jazeera America will be signing off.

Some believe there was no hope for a milked-down version of CNN because of what network news has become. A trend with the network is that on other newscasts, there is free speech where people can bash God all they want. However, on Al Jazeera, negative comments about Muhammad get edited out because Bill of Rights don’t work in the UAE.

From poor executives to even worse distribution and marketing, AJAM never had a chance. And, as we can read from Saeed’s best wishes, the AJAM was just hoping for some good luck.

CLARIFICATION:

Osama Saeed was not employed by Al Jazeera America, rather by Al Jazeera Media Network, its parent network. As does Saeed’s comments pertain to Al Jazeera Media Network.