The National Rifle Association has pulled the plug on production at NRATV. Ackerman McQueen created and ran NRATV. And now that Ack-Mack and the NRA have ended their longstanding relationship as of Tuesday, NRA-TV content creation has ended.
The New York Times ran the story today.
The National Rifle Association has shut down production at NRATV.
The N.R.A. on Tuesday also severed all business with its estranged advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRATV, the N.R.A.’s live broadcasting media arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.
While NRATV may continue to air past content, its live broadcasting will end and its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees including Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the N.R.A. It remained unclear whether the N.R.A. might try to hire some of those employees, but there was no indication it was negotiating to do so.
The move comes amid a flurry of lawsuits between the N.R.A. and Ackerman, and increasing acrimony that surfaced after two prominent N.R.A. board members first criticized NRATV in an article in The Times in March. The separation had become inevitable: The two sides said last month that they were ending their three-decade-plus partnership.
“Many members expressed concern about the messaging on NRATV becoming too far removed from our core mission: defending the Second Amendment,” Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, wrote in a message to members that was expected to be sent out by Wednesday. “So, after careful consideration, I am announcing that starting today, we are undergoing a significant change in our communications strategy. We are no longer airing ‘live TV’ programming.”
Reading on into the story, you can almost discern the NYTimes’ glee at the news.
The development is the latest in what has been a tumultuous year for the N.R.A. It has struggled to right its finances; faced investigations in Congress and by Letitia James, the New York attorney general; and witnessed a leadership struggle that pitted Oliver North, the N.R.A.’s former president, against Mr. LaPierre. Last week, The Times reported that the N.R.A. had suspended Christopher W. Cox, its longtime second-in-command, after a legal filing by the N.R.A. implicated him in a failed plot to oust Mr. LaPierre. Mr. Cox has strongly rejected such allegations.
N.R.A. officials had grown leery of the cost of creating so much live content for NRATV, which was started in 2016, and wondered whether it was worth the return on its investment. The site’s web traffic was minuscule, with 49,000 unique visitors in January, according to a report provided by Comscore.
Only 49,000 unique visitors in January? Could that be correct? We’ve had close to that in an hour on busy afternoons here at TTAG.
Both the NY Times story and another at left-leaning The Hill say that past NRA-TV programming will remain available. For a time at least. If you have some favorite episodes of NRA-TV content, you better save them quick like a bunny. Because when bills come due for hosting, all of NRA-TV will probably go black.