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Qatar shut down Al Jazeera America and the staff responded with the best office cake ever

Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Say it with cake.
  • Corinne Purtill
By Corinne Purtill


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

As edible send-offs go, it’s a good one. Staffers at recently-shuttered Al Jazeera America marked the channel’s final days with a mock homepage iced on a cake.

Under the trending topic (“Unemployment”) and headline story (“AJAM staffers freed from Qatar servitude”) were inside jokes about the abrupt closure of the 3-year-old channel’s digital and cable-TV operations. AJAM’s owners announced the decision last month, blaming a business model that was “simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace.”

The cake farewell has a proud tradition. In May, newscast director Mark Herman of Tucson, Arizona’s KOLD-TV tendered his resignation in the form of a letter stamped on a cake (“Nobody can be mad or sad at a cake,” he later explained, accurately, to media blogger Jim Romenesko.)

And in 2013, a border control worker at the UK’s Stansted Airport named Chris Holmes informed colleagues of his impending departure with a note iced on a cake.

Holmes politely explained that he was leaving the job to focus on his family and his small business—a pastry company called Mr. Cake. The move earned him marketing plaudits and worldwide attention for his burgeoning business. Truly sweet revenge.

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