Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera to cut 500 jobs

Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based broadcaster, said Sunday, March 27, 2016 it is slashing about 500 jobs worldwide little more than two months after shutting its U.S. offshoot. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based broadcaster, said Sunday, March 27, 2016 it is slashing about 500 jobs worldwide little more than two months after shutting its U.S. offshoot. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

On its 20th anniversary, Broadcaster Al-Jazeera said on Sunday that it is to shed around 500 jobs, most of them at its Qatar headquarters, as part of a “workforce optimisation initiative”.

Al-Jazeera said that after a management review it was “expected that around 500 positions worldwide will be impacted, the majority of which are in Qatar”.

According to one Al-Jazeera manager, up to 60 percent of the job cuts – 300 positions — could come at the broadcaster’s Doha base. The job losses are expected to be mostly in editorial positions.

Announcing the job losses in a statement, acting director general Mostefa Souag said: “Based on this review, we have embarked on a workforce optimisation initiative that will allow us to evolve our business operation in order to maintain a leading position and continue our recognised commitment to high quality, independent and hard-hitting journalism around the world.

“While our decision is consistent with those being made across the media industry worldwide, it was difficult to make nonetheless.”

He added: “However, we are confident it is the right step to ensure the Network’s long-term competitiveness and reach.”

The announcement from the broadcaster, which is funded by the Qatari government, comes just two months after it said it would also close Al-Jazeera America in April, with the loss of around 700 jobs. It comes as a result to the global slump, which Qatar suffers from as well, in energy prices.

Qatar has forecast a budget deficit of more than $12 billion in 2016, its first in 15 years. The emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani spoke in December of “wasteful spending, overstaffing and a lack of accountability” across Qatar.

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone