One America News’ owner and founder Robert Herring Sr. is asking viewers of the right-wing channel to call their cable companies to protect its unknown future. Earlier this month, satellite company DirecTV dropped the channel.
“I’m sure by now a lot of you have heard the news that AT&T and DirecTV have decided to take us off their service,” Herring said in a segment that is airing on OAN. “It was a major surprise to me when I read it in the news last Friday night, as I’m sure it was to you.”
He took aim at AT&T, which is majority owner of DirecTV and which, according to reports from last fall, played a major role in the formation of the channel almost 10 years ago. He pointed out he has worked for AT&T in a number of capacities, including “as a chauffeur, driving their executives around town,” then put the blame for the dropping on a change in AT&T’s leadership.
“In the past, we have worked with a man named John Stankey at AT&T, and we always appreciate the great working relationship we had with him, but just recently, the new head of the board of AT&T, by the name of William Kennard, let us know that he and the rest of the board simply do not want to carry us anymore,” Herring went on.
From there, he made his appeal to viewers, urging them to “reach out to the cable provider in your area, whether it’s Spectrum, Dish, or any of the other great providers, and let them know you would like for them to carry One America News.”
DirecTV plans to drop far-right cable network One America News Network later this year, dealing a crippling blow to the otherwise low-rated network.
According to Bloomberg, which first reported the news, OAN’s contract with DirecTV expires in April. “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement.
In May 2020, some DirecTV customers complained online — and liberal commenters cheered — because of a mistaken belief that the provider had dropped OAN at the time. As TheWrap reported at the time, however, subscribers who sounded the alarm posted pictures that suggested they simply needed to upgrade their DirecTV packages: “To add this channel now, simply text, click or call.”
Herring explained to TheWrap at that time that DirecTV apparently had ended a limited-time offer to provide free previews of channels such as his own.
“Due to COVID-19, with many Americans sheltering and home, the cable companies, including DirecTV, have provided FREE extended PREVIEWS of a number of channels, including OAN,” Herring said via email, praising the provider that would ultimate deal his network a hefty blow less than two years later. “DirecTV was offering a number of channels for free to customers that generally don’t receive the programming. Kudos to DirecTV for providing free programming to its customers. ”