In its brief TV life, Al Jazeera America lost more than half a billion dollars. That’s according to a lawsuit filed by the former evp of finance Anand Gupta.
According to the New York Times, Gupta is suing the now-defunct network for not being given a promised promotion. Gupta claims former network chief Ehab Al Shihabi, who was sidelined in May 2015 after being named in another employee lawsuit, promised him a promotion to CFO, but that his successor Al Antsey reneged. Gupta’s suit includes financial details including that the network had an operating loss of $250 million in 2013, and $335 million in 2014.
In the suit, Mr. Gupta asserts that, among other freewheeling spending habits, the network continued to pay more than $11,000 a month for an apartment intended for Mr. Shihabi, which went empty after he was ousted last year. It also asserts that Al Jazeera America is responsible for more than $800 million in the process of winding down, if it pays out its contracts to cable operators in full.
“We strongly disagree with the allegations made in Mr. Gupta’s complaint, which contains many factual inaccuracies,” said Molly Morse, a spokeswoman for Al Jazeera America. “We intend to vigorously defend the company’s position.”
AJAM shut down April 13 after less than three years on the air.