Russian state-funded RT America is shuttering its U.S. operations, according to a memo to staff sent one week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The memo from T&R Productions, obtained by CNN, said the U.S. branch was ceasing production due to “unforeseen business interruption events” and laying off the majority of its staff, effectively putting an end to Russia’s main mouthpiece in the United States.
“Unfortunately, we anticipate this layoff will be permanent, meaning that this will result in the permanent separation from employment of most T&R employees at all locations,” wrote T&R Productions general manager Misha Solodovnikov.
Amid rising international backlash to Russia’s war on Ukraine, RT America has suffered several financial blows in the past week.
DirecTV, one of two major television providers to carry the network, announced it would be dropping it, according to a report. Roku also said it was removing RT from the Roku Channel Store internationally.
The company has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Holland Cooke, host of The Big Picture on RT America, confirmed the news in a blog post.
“While Sarah and I were toasting each other at the swim-up bar last week, RT colleagues back in Washington began bailing; and under the circumstances I too was feeling complete when I returned to a shorthanded operation. I agreed to do a show this week, and had booked and was scripting on the topic of refugees, a snapshot of desperate Ukraine pilgrims’ plight. But that show won’t air. In an all-hands meeting Thursday (3/3) at noon, management spared remaining RT-ers the dilemma,” Cooke wrote on Talkers.
RT’s headquarters operates out of Moscow and broadcasts in over a hundred countries, according to its social media pages.
Original Article: Russia’s RT America ceases production