Qatar Foundation’s Arabic and English radio stations have officially closed up shop after seven years on the air.
Presenters bid emotional farewells to fans on Twitter yesterday, thanking them for their support.
— Laura Finnerty (@LKFinnerty) October 31, 2016
Speaking to Doha News, presenter Laura Finnerty said:
“There’s been a ton of support and well wishing from listeners, and they were the ones that made it worth waking up at 4am every day.
Qatar’s audience is wonderfully unique as was QFR’s output. For me personally, I’ve had the most fantastic 5 years here, working with amazing people.”
QF had first announced plans to shutter the stations in June.
At the time, Mohammed Al Beshri, QF media center manager, denied that the decision was due to cost-cutting.
Rather, he told Doha News that the organization was refocusing its media operations to put more emphasis on social media.
The two stations had 19 staff, and at least some of them will be leaving Qatar. However, others have found different jobs within QF itself.
QF Radio was initially launched to educate residents about goings-on at the foundation.
Since 2009, both stations underwent several program revamps, including one that took it off air for nearly a year in 2013.
At that time, around a dozen people were fired to make way for more QF-oriented content, and listeners heard mostly classical music until the stations relaunched in October 2014.
The closures comes as a blow to many local radio listeners, who often complain about a lack of options in Qatar.