Al-Jazeera America operations in upheaval

Michelle Clancy
| 30 April 2015

The Al Jazeera America (AJA) cable news channel is in the middle of a significant operational upheaval.

In what Variety sources called "a picture of desperation" at the New York headquarters, AJA CEO Ehab Al Shihabi is cutting senior staff and looking to rethink the channel's programming.

The resignation of two senior executives and a minimisation of the role of AJA president Kate O'Brian, the ABC News vet who launched AJA in 2013, speak to the shake-up, sources said.

Communications exec VP Dawn Bridges and human resources exec VP Diana Lee have resigned, and more executive departures are expected. Sources also said that David Doss, SVP of current affairs, and Marcy McGinnis, SVP of outreach, have been pushed to the side.

The company is under pressure from HQ in Doha, Qatar, to freshen up its value proposition. As a result, some of its programmes and news blocks are now simply a re-purposed feed from Al Jazeera English, rather than bespoke AJA content.