By Olivier Darcy | CNN
RT America will cease productions and lay off most of its staff, according to a memo from T&R Productions, the production company behind the Russian state-funded network, which CNN obtained.
Misha Solodovnikov, the general manager of T&R Productions, told staff in the memo that it will “cease production” at all of its locations “following unforeseen business interruption events.”
“Unfortunately, we expect this layoff to be permanent, which means it will result in the permanent separation of employment for most T&R employees at all sites,” Solodovnikov wrote.
T&R Productions operated offices in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
The news would mean the effective end of RT America. The network, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main spokespersons in the United States, was fall earlier this week by DirecTV, dealing him a major financial blow. The satellite operator was one of two major television providers in the United States carrying the network.
Roku, a company that sells hardware that allows users to stream content over the internet, also said it has also banned RT America from its platform.
RT, which operates multiple networks around the world, has seen its reach drastically shrink in recent days as tech companies and TV providers decided to cut ties with it following Russia’s unprovoked war on Russia. ‘Ukraine.
Several employees of RT’s various networks have also publicly resigned from the outlet.
RT America employees who worked from the Washington, DC office were told on Wednesday that an all-staff meeting would be held on Thursday afternoon, according to an email obtained by CNN.
When the hosts, correspondents, producers and others gathered in RT America’s living room, Solodovnikov broke the news in person, a person who attended the meeting told CNN.
“The meeting lasted about two minutes,” the attendee said, explaining that Solodovnikov told the gathered staff that RT America would shut down production and the staff would receive two months of severance pay.
The attendee, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, told CNN the mood was grim.
“A lot of people were shocked,” the person said. “A lot of people were crying”
Solodovnikov did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for RT America did not respond to multiple requests for comment.