From Variety:

Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian has told staffers that the fledgling cabler is on its way to being “the envy of the industry” as it heads into 2014 with ambitious plans.

O’Brian can be forgiven for a little hyperbole in her year-end memo to the troops. But in truth, she’s not that far off the mark. …

It’s a good thing that the parent company is giving AJA a pass on profitability because ratings to date have been unimpressive, showing auds for most primetime shows on the low end of the five-figure range. Yet distribution is inching ahead, notably with the Time Warner Cable deal that kicked in this month, taking AJA to more than 48 million subscribers.

Against this backdrop, it’s no wonder O’Brian’s year-end message is upbeat. She has the luxury of focusing her staff on the quality of the work, not the number of viewers — at least for now.