Al Jazeera America HQ Flooded Shortly After Studio Tour

By Alex Weprin 

Al Jazeera America’s New York City headquarters was temporarily evacuated and staffers were blocked from entering this afternoon due to flooding in the building. The incident comes just four days before AJAM is scheduled to launch across the country.

The flooding also began less than an hour after a throng of reporters toured the space to check out AJAM’s New York City newsroom and studio. You can read our report from that tour here.

“We are working to repair a water line that burst on one of the upper floors,” said Ann Peterson, President and GM of the New Yorker Hotel, in a statement to TVNewser. “This caused water damage to our guest rooms, our public space, our tenants and our neighbors.  The pipe has been shut down and repairs are underway.”

While the offices are in The New Yorker, the services and facilities are provided by the Manhattan Center.

All in all, it is another growing pain for the channel, albeit a useful one to have before launch, rather than after it. Another issue AJAM is looking to resolve: Current TV did not have wide HD distribution, so while AJAM will launch in HD, its HD carriage is expected to be limited. Future carriage deals will likely change that.