MEDIA

Dozens Of Layoffs At Al Jazeera America

Joie Chen, host of the new Al Jazeera America nightly news program America Tonight, appears on television monitors in the net
Joie Chen, host of the new Al Jazeera America nightly news program America Tonight, appears on television monitors in the network's studio space at the Newseum in Washington, DC, August 16, 2013. Al Jazeera America, a cable news network set to launch on August 20, will have 12 bureaus in major cities in the US, three broadcast centers, a headquarters in New York City, and around 900 journalists and staff. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Seven months after it launched, Al Jazeera America is laying off dozens of employees.

The Hollywood Reporter said Friday that the young channel is eliminating its sports unit and cutting back "The Stream," its social media show, from daily broadcasts to once a week. Al Jazeera America president Kate O'Brian said in a memo that those cut included "some staff, freelancers, independent contractors, and other project-oriented individuals who have been with us for several months."

Al Jazeera America launched last August with about 850 staffers. O'Brian described the new cuts as the result of scaling back after a launch that required "considerable resources."

"Now it is time to set our sights on new goals, requiring different levels and areas of investment and resources," she wrote in the memo, according to TV Newser.

The channel has faced some struggles over the past year, including image problems and scrutiny over its ratings. It did, however, get some good news in New York at the beginning of the year when it got a more optimal channel placement on Time Warner Cable.

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