NRATV appears to have signed off for good. According to a New York Times report, the NRA has shut down operations at the controversial internet video network amid a bitter legal battle with Ackerman McQueen, the ad firm responsible for the programming. The powerful gun rights group is also said to have cut all business ties with Ackerman, which blasted the NRA in a statement indicating the ad firm is sinking its teeth in for a major legal fight.
“Ackerman McQueen is not surprised that the NRA is unwilling to honor its agreement to end our contract and our long-standing relationship in an orderly and amicable manner, as Ackerman McQueen proposed because we believed it was in the best interest of the members of the NRA,” the firm said in a statement. “When given the opportunity to do the right thing, the NRA once again has taken action that we believe is intended to harm our company even at the expense of the NRA itself. For Ackerman McQueen, it is time to move on to a new chapter without the chaos that has enveloped the NRA. Ackerman McQueen will continue to fight against the NRA’s repeated violations of its agreement with our company with every legal remedy available to us, but we will always be proud of the work that we completed during our 38-year relationship on behalf of the individual citizens that are the NRA.”
Spokespersons for the NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The channel aired new programming as recently as June 25, but the two entities have been publicly brawling for months. In April, the NRA sued the ad firm, demanding information about its billing practices. The gun group also insinuated that Oliver North, then its president, was engaged in troubling and secretive financial behavior with Ackerman McQueen. The gun group later sued the firm for tens of millions of dollars. Ackerman McQueen has pushed back, counter-suing the NRA and also demanding a massive sum. And the firm announced last month that it had become impossible to uphold its end of the contract.
Caught in the middle were the employees of NRATV, who have wondered for weeks about their job security. Those employees now have their answer–and not what they’d wanted. NRATV personalities like Dana Loesch will no longer be featured in live broadcasts, with the network left only with the option of airing past broadcasts.
Meanwhile, the NRA faces significant financial challenges and hefty legal bills. North has claimed the firm’s outside lawyer, Bill Brewer, has been charging the group an average of nearly $100,000 per day. North also claimed the legal bills posed an existential threat to the gun rights group. The NRA, meanwhile, has defended Brewer’s work. And after a power struggle with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, North was deposed as the group’s president.