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One America News ‘At War with AT&T’ After DirecTV Dropped the Network

Lauren Forristal

The One America News Network (OAN) is currently owned by San Diego-based Herring Networks, a family of conservative tech entrepreneurs. On January 14, DirecTV announced that it will drop the One America News network when its contract with owner Herring Network News expires in April. Now, the far-right network urges its viewers to reach out to other pay-TV providers for support such as Spectrum and Dish.

OAN is also carried by Verizon FiOS, which has 3.7 million subscribers as of September 2021, and smaller pay-TV providers like Vidgo and “OAN Plus” can be found on Herring-owned KlowdTV. OAN is still distributed on CenturyLink’s Prism video system and has carriage on Alaska’s General Communications Inc. Also, some of OAN is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and even iHeart radio.

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Herring was shocked about DirecTV’s decision, saying his relationship with AT&T began when he chauffeured their executives in his twenties until his “little news network that I built with my family and a small group of the hardest-working individuals I know found its way into the AT&T channel,” he said.

“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,” he added. “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.”

At the end of his show on January 17, OAN host Dan Ball showed a photo chairman of AT&T, William E. Kennard, asking his viewers to call up AT&T’s customer support line “daily, every hour,” to complain and “raise hell.” He claimed that OAN is “at war with AT&T, and it is time that we all fight and fight like hell with our words and our pocketbooks.”

Dan pleads for “any dirt” on Kennard, “You bring me concrete evidence of whatever it may be — cheating on his taxes, cheating on his wife, saying racial slurs towards white people, folks do that — whatever it may be, find it for me, bring it, and we’ll air it.”

AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV. According to a report, the company has provided “tens of millions” in revenue to support the network. An OAN accountant claims under oath this was 90% of the network’s revenue and without the DirecTV deal, the network’s value “would be zero.”

In 2019, OAN founder and CEO Robert Herring Sr. testified he was offered $250 million for One America News and the inspiration for the 2013 launch came from AT&T executives who wanted a conservative network (besides Fox News) to counteract left-wing networks. “When they said that, I jumped to it and built [such a network],” he said.

AT&T released a statement saying, “AT&T has never had a financial interest in OAN’s success and does not ‘fund’ OAN.” AT&T and DirecTV have been under pressure to drop One America News Network since Reuters reported Herring’s claims in October 2021.

NexTV estimates that without DirecTV, the One America News Network would have less than 5 million U.S. pay-TV subscribers.

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