Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with members of the Security Council via video link at the Novo-Agarov State Residence near Moscow, Russia, March 3, 2022.
Andrei Gorshkov Sputnik Reuters
The American cable news network RT America told its employees that it immediately stopped working and fired almost all staff, according to a note received by CNBC.
RT America is a subsidiary network of English-language RT, the Russian state news channel. It is run by the Russian-backed company T&R Productions, which on Thursday sent a note to more than 100 employees informing them that their work would end on May 3, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“As a result of unforeseen events, T&R Productions ceases production and must therefore dismiss most of its employees working in all locations,” T&R Productions CEO Misha Solodovnikov wrote in a note to employees. “We expect this dismissal to be permanent.”
DirecTV, the largest satellite TV operator in the United States, stopped broadcasting RT America earlier this week, a decision based on Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Roku followed DirecTV by removing the network from the Roku Channel Store.
RT America staffers learned on Wednesday that there would be no live programs, and management ordered them to return to the office at noon on Thursday for more information, according to a person familiar with the matter. A brief meeting was held under the leadership of news director Mikhail Solodovnikov, who told staff that RT America was shutting down immediately, the man said.
The news caught some employees by surprise. They suggested that cuts to the program could occur after the actions of DirecTV and Roku, but did not expect a full-scale shutdown, two of the people said.
CNN first reported the immediate closure of RT America.
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