DirecTV plans to remove One America News Network, the right-wing channel known for its pro-Donald Trump coverage and commentary.
The satellite provider, one of the biggest outlets, also plans to cut another channel, AWE, from OANN’s parent company, Herring Networks.
“We have advised Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not expect to enter into a new contract upon the expiration of our current agreement,” a DirecTV spokesperson confirmed Friday.
According to Bloomberg, which first broke the news, DirecTV’s contract with Herring Networks expires in early April. DirecTV will continue to air its programming under its existing agreement. DirecTV began offering OAN in April 2017.
Trump cited the channel as one of his favorites — an interview with him aired this week — and he singled it out in the aftermath of the presidential election. OAN, which advanced its baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged, is facing defamation lawsuits from two voting systems companies, Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.
A representative for Herring Networks did not immediately return a request for comment.
In October, Reuters published an investigative report on how AT&T, which created DirecTV last year but retains a 70% stake in the company, fed OAN, and how the right-wing channel pulled the essential part of its revenues from telecommunications platforms. Reuters reported that Robert Herring Sr. testified in a deposition that AT&T executives urged him to launch the channel in 2013. DirecTV said OAN was just a channel it carried through the political spectrum.
OAN has been the target of public interest groups who have called on distributors to stop carrying the channel, citing its spreading of conspiracy theories and misinformation about Covid-19. In November, YouTube suspended OAN for a week for posting a video that trumpeted a fake Covid cure.
Angelo Carusone, president of progressive watchdog group Media Matters, said in a statement that DirecTV has “functionally supported OAN for years. Without DirecTV, OAN would certainly not exist in its current form, and perhaps not at all. He called on other distributors, including Verizon FiOS, to drop the channel.
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