First Published: 2016-03-27

Al-Jazeera sheds around 500 jobs as part of ‘optimisation initiative’
After management review, ‘around 500 positions worldwide will be impacted, majority of which are in Qatar.’
Middle East Online

New review after end of Al-Jazeera America

DOHA - 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.

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."

One Al-Jazeera manager said that the first job losses could begin within the next week, and that most be in non-editorial positions.

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.

Before today's announcement, the company employed around 4,500 people worldwide.

Al-Jazeera this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The latest job losses come as Qatar, a major gas and oil producer, is grappling with a global slump 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.

 

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant