Lebanon PM Hariri shuts down family-owned Future TV over funding shortages

Lebanon PM Hariri shuts down family-owned Future TV over funding shortages
1 min read
18 September, 2019
Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced on Wednesday that Future TV will be temporarily suspended, after its workers went on strike over unpaid wages.
Hariri described the move as suspension of work until Future TV network is re-launched [AFP]

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Wednesday he will temporarily close a TV network owned by his family, following a years-long financial struggle.

Hariri described the move as a suspension of work until the Future TV network could be re-launched after a financial restructuring, he said in a statement.

The channel's temporarily closure, Hariri said, was due to "the same financial reasons that shuttered Al-Mustaqbal newspaper".

Employees at the station had been staging strikes for months over unpaid wages.

Like the newspaper, Future TV is set to relaunch in the upcoming months, Hariri said, after all the employees' dues are settled.

The new Future TV will focus on news and shows that can be done "with the available capabilities and reflect the Lebanese national, economic, social and developmental interests".

The station was launched in 1993 by Hariri's father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated by a massive truck bomb in 2005.

Earlier this year, Hariri ceased the print edition of Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, also owned by his family, turning it into a digital newspaper.

Several Lebanese newspapers have stopped printing in recent years as they struggle to compete with digital media.

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