Tv network

Russian-backed TV network RT America closes, lays off staff

The production company behind RT America, the pro-Putin American version of Russian network RT, ceased production and laid off most of its staff on Thursday.

According to an employee memo obtained by CNN, the general manager of T&R Productions informed staff that “unforeseen business interruption events” were causing the company to immediately halt production.

Misha Solodovnikov, general manager of T&R Production, told employees that this was probably the end of RT America. “Unfortunately, we expect this layoff to be permanent, meaning it will result in the permanent separation of employment for most T&R employees at all locations,” he wrote.

Earlier this week, DirecTV, one of only two providers to operate the network in the United States, announced it was dropping the channel and former “SNL” star Dennis Miller left the morning show that he hosted on the network, “Dennis Miller + One.”

In a 2017 declassified US intelligence report, RT America was referred to as “the Russian state propaganda machine” which operated as a “Kremlin messaging platform for Russian and international audiences”.