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.

 

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