Russia-backed RT America to cease production, internal memo says

The Russia Today logo is seen on a computer screen.
The Russia Today logo is seen on a computer screen on Nov. 10, 2017.
(Jaap Arriens / Sipa USA via Associated Press)

The U.S. arm of Russian state-backed media outlet RT will be effectively shutting down, CNN reported Thursday, citing an internal memo from the production company behind RT America.

The general manager of Washington, D.C.-based production company T&R Productions, Misha Solodovnikov, wrote in a note to employees that it would be ceasing production because of “unforeseen business interruption events,” CNN said. He said most employees will be permanently laid off.

Attempts to get comment from Solodovnikov and RT were unsuccessful.

RT America has been steadily sidelined in the U.S. DirecTV pulled the channel Tuesday, ahead of a contract that was going to expire later this year. Dish, which also carried the network, did not reply to questions. Other major cable companies had removed it several years ago.

RT America’s YouTube channel, where it has 1.2 million subscribers, remains live. However, as of Friday, the most recent video was posted Tuesday.


In 2017, the Justice Department required RT’s U.S. operations to register as a foreign agent, which angered Russian leaders. U.S. intelligence agencies have said that RT acted as propaganda for the Kremlin. Doing so did not restrict the channel’s content but meant it had to disclose its funding and label its content.