NRA Breakup With Ackerman McQueen Could Mean the End of NRATV

NRATV ackerman nra

Courtesy NRATV

The increasingly messy (and expensive) divorce action between the National Rifle Association and their soon-to-be-former longtime PR and marketing firm, Ackerman McQueen, is imperiling the operation of NRATV.

The rift between the two operations first became very public when the NRA filed a lawsuit against Ackerman over viewership and billing records for NRATV and other services. The NRA later sued Ackerman again for allegedly orchestrating a failed coup attempt designed to de-throne NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre, as well as disparaging the organization.

Oh, and Ackerman counter-sued the NRA (for $50 million) claiming that the NRA has smeared its reputation.

Finally, surprising no one, Ackerman announced last month that they’re ending their decades-long relationship with the gun rights org. It’s difficult to have an effective working relationship between a marketing firm and a client when each is suing the other and issuing multiple negative public statements about the other party.

As you might expect, the ongoing dispute and litigation are now threatening to put an end to the lavishly-produced (though indeterminately popular) NRATV. As Bloomberg is reporting, Ackerman is demanding that the NRA post a $3 million letter of credit to keep NRATV on the air (or wherever it’s being broadcast).

After Ackerman McQueen countersued, it said it would wind down its work with the group over 90 days. But in the new filing the agency claims it “will suffer immediate irreparable harm” that will require it to fire or put 40% of its staff on leave, unless its request for a letter of credit is granted.

Such a step would effectively end NRATV, which has been produced by Ackerman McQueen and has drawn fire for politically charged rhetoric.

The NRA is skeptical of Ackerman McQueen’s claims because of the agency’s “repeated failure to provide backup for its invoices,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement. The filing suggests the firm “cannot sustain its facilities, operations, or employees without continued support from the NRA. ​The NRA is confident that we will prevail, and we look forward to a complete airing of all the facts relative to Ackerman’s behavior and practices once and for all.”

The NRA makes up a huge portion of Ackerman’s total book of business.

About half of Ackerman McQueen’s 169 employees work on NRA projects or services, and about 25% are “essentially virtual employees of the NRA,” according to a written declaration by the firm’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Winkler.

The question is, like the proverbial tree falling in the woods, if NRATV disappears, would anyone notice? No one seems to have good data as to how many viewers the operation reaches on a regular basis. And outside of Dana Loesch and possibly Cam Edwards, most people probably can’t name another NRATV personality.

Colion Noir is no doubt popular within segments of the gun-owning community, but again, no one seems to know how many viewers his program actually gets.

Can the NRA, or whatever successor marketing operation they choose to hire, produce video programming less expensively? Should the NRA focus its media efforts on gun rights-related content and avoid the purely political content that NRATV has featured (and been criticized for)?

All of these and other questions about the operation are undoubtedly being kicked around the NRA’s Fairfax headquarters as we speak.

 

comments

  1. avatar barnbwt says:

    Wait, wasn’t NRATV the unwanted excuse to inflate AM’s billable expenses? Do we care?

    1. avatar frank speak... says:

      why is wayne still around?….clearly this guy has got to go…reminds me of the failed attempts on hitler until he finally brought it all crashing down around him….

  2. avatar FedUp says:

    Was Ollie North an Ack-Mac employee or a NRA-TV employee?

    Did he actually work for Ack-Mac or was his Ack-Mac employment simply a way to launder his NRA pay?

    1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      North was an Ackerman employee.

  3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Make no mistake about it millions watch NRA TV and both the NRA and Ackerman would lose millions of dollars.

    This reminds me of the Vietnamese proverb of the scorpion and the frog. The Scorpion asked the frog to ride him across the Mekong river. The frog was fearful and said “What if you sting me”? The Scorpion said “That would never happen because then we both would drown”. The frog then agreed and half way across the rive the scorpion stung the frog. The frog said “why did you do that now we both will drown , this makes no sense”. The Scorpion said yes that is true but his is Vietnam or should we say “This is the NRA”.

    1. avatar HP says:

      I’d be willing to bet the actual number of people who watch and will miss NRA TV is in the low thousands and not anywhere near the millions.

    2. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

      I call B.S on the frog story. Here’s what happened. That Frog was sitting there ass deep in a mudhole and a scorpion went running by and the Frog swallowed him whole.. what’s the moral of the story? There ain’t none, it’s just what happened.

    3. avatar barnbwt says:

      Hey look, the transparent liberal troll is ‘defending’ NRATV/AM just as he was LaPierre last week!

      Does this mean you won’t call the NRA a rightwing terror group again, lol?

  4. avatar 2A says:

    Old Texas Proverb, If it smells and tasted like shit,,,,,

    1. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

      It’s probably Texas beef., , , , now you see here guys, this is how you start a “debate”) snkr

  5. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    The few episodes I saw were filled with too much anger and attitude for me. Won’t miss it.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Bingo. It existed solely as outrage outreach for GOP causes; that’s all it was ever meant to be, the gun stuff was ancillary.

      1. avatar Carl B. says:

        Bull.

  6. avatar BusyBeef says:

    Oh no! The tens of people who watch NRA TV will have to settle for Fox News alone.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Muh Breitbart & Alex Jones, scro!

      1. avatar User1 says:

        We will have to watch Ben Shapiro talk about his personal armed private security and how there should be some sort of gun control just not too much. We don’t want to be like those silly libertarians.

        1. avatar Ton E says:

          Ben is only socially libertarian.

      2. avatar BusyBeef says:

        THEY’RE TURNING THE FRICKIN FROGS GHEY!

  7. avatar Gunner2000 says:

    NRA what?? Never seen it, doesn’t sound like I’ve missed much.

  8. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

    Call me a ” They can take your badzooka, I just hunt with landmyines” Fudd , Thinking not NRA TV matters much

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Claymores; mines bruise the meat

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Whut is this NRA TV you speak of?!? Where the eff does it air??? Good riddence Ack…too bad old Wayne isn’t departing😫

    1. avatar User1 says:

      He will depart this world sooner than later. So will many other NRA members. We will be happy to see them move on, but we won’t be happy with what they left behind for us to deal with.

  10. avatar Anymouse says:

    I don’t get it. They’re concerned about the “permanent and irreparable harm” of having to lay off 40% of their employees now vs. laying them off after the 90 days continued support of the NRA contract ends? AM’s version of NRATV is dead, or soon will be. Unless NRA was stupid enough that NRATV and its shows and assets are the intellectual property of AM, the NRA can continue to it with new production staff.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      The staff and personalities are contracted with Ackerman McQueen. All that would be left is a name.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        True, but will AM continue to employ them, or NRA be be able to hire them personalities if they wanted to reboot NRATV. AM might be able to repurpose the staff for other clients, so NRA might need to find new production staff.
        Better for NRA to revamp NRATV entirely. I’d rather see them make a streaming platform without explicitly branding it. It could still be the outlet for NRA vids and promote NRA membership and views, but it could also host and monetize content providers that YouTube is punishing.

  11. avatar CarlosT says:

    AckMac wasn’t exactly smashing it out of the park with content delivery with NRATV. Let’s set aside quality, which ranged from excellent with Noir (fun, stylish, well produced, engaging, thought provoking), to consistently enjoyable with Cam and Company, to run-of-the-mill Fox News clones for pretty much everything else. It was nearly impossible to just physically watch the shows because the website was so clunky.

    If the NRA took the best of their shows and put them on a platform that could actually deliver them, they would have real success. Hopefully they can revive a version of it.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Point of order; Noir was able to do all that before he was even recognized by the NRA. Granted, Puckerberg makes it difficult for such freelancers nowadays, but the NRA has added precious little value to his efforts besides a veil of “legitimacy” and “acceptance” that, yes, the ‘gun community’ doesn’t hate black people. Like I said, precious little value.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        I never said otherwise.

        The point is their shows, good, bad, or indifferent, might as well not have existed because of the crappy delivery infrastructure. Colion’s show was a huge asset to the NRA, or could have been, if it had been possible for anyone to see it.

  12. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Did anyone really expect NRA TV to outlast Ackerman- McQueen anyway? All it ever was preaching to the choir in order to rile up the faithful to dig deeper.

  13. avatar Dwight Hansen says:

    I haven’t had cable in years so I’ve not watched the channel even once.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      You’re right; even the name was as antiquated & out of touch as the NRA vips…(it’s a web video channel, not television)

  14. avatar Cliffg says:

    Why do I keep thinking that much of the NRA is simply a vanity project for top management? I’ll wager that 95% of members have never watched a second of NRAtv. Good lord, the amount of self dealing at the top end makes the average politician look like an amateur. No mean feat, that

    1. avatar Hush says:

      Until April this year I had no idea NRA-TV even existed. Since none of my fellow POG friends never mention NRA-TV I would wager they have not viewed it either. Some meet daily for coffee and the rest meet once weekly at the range.

  15. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    I’m still hoping this debacle will result in a clean sweep of top management at NRA HQ. This happened on their watch and they are responsible even if you don’t believe they are personally corrupt, which I think is more than debatable.

    If this were a regular corporation, the CEO and his cronies would have resigned by now. Sadly, the way the NRA is structured, the shareholders (members) don’t really have a voice other than not paying their dues. That’s the course of action I’ve chosen until such time as we have new leadership. Not another dollar from me until big changes are made. There are other gun rights orgs who can use my money with less waste, especially at the state level.

  16. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Oh well.

  17. avatar User1 says:

    Wayne is Ackerman McQueen and McQueen is the NRA. Now Wayne is trying to get rid of Ackerman by using Ackerman’s own family and Ackerman is trying to get rid of the NRA.

    Sounds confusing.

    Put it this way, the NRA was hijacked by a Democrat operative and his friend’s corporation. Now that the NRA is losing money/power the hijackers are fighting for what is left. The people and the country be damned.

    The NRA is a bunch of national socialist police state lovers. They even give out rewards to the enforcers.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Fleas squabbling over the last drop of blood in the carcass

  18. avatar FuckTheNRA says:

    Lmao, good. NRA is worthless, and NRATV appealed mainly to FOWG’s. Their programming was / is garbage and its just another moneypit for NRA donor dollars.

    Can we please get a real version of the NRA that actually cares about gun rights and not money?

  19. avatar Moltar says:

    Oh yes that failed NRA platform that should have been a streaming service with actual content such as Noir, American Rifleman, any hunting show they could get, and every gun competition they could film. Yeah good riddance to that fucking failure. It could’ve been gunstreamer.com, it could’ve elevated firearms to public consciousness, and it could’ve been a very powerful tool to sway middle of the roaders to our cause. Instead, it was just another way for the top brass to stroke their massive egos and show off who they bought.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Exactly; Full30 but with real resources behind it. It’d probably be a billion dollar corp & host all gun content away from Facetoob censors by now.

      But this is the same NRA that didn’t think to cash in on NRA-branded bump stocks, either.

  20. avatar Narcoossee says:

    NRATV.com ranks 278,298 in global internet traffic over the last 90 days per Alexa: https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nratv.com

    TheTruthAboutGuns.com ranks 36,537 in global internet traffic over the last 90 days per Alexa:
    https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thetruthaboutguns.com

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Burn!

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      You wanna bet how their budgets compare, donations or otherwise? Mr. Zimmerman, would you care to rub some salt in the wound, lol?

  21. avatar Scott says:

    I enjoyed the old Cam and Company NRA News on SIRIUS Patriot Channel while driving, fixing dinner, and performing other household chores. I’m fairly certain I was joined by quite a few long haul truckers and long distance drivers, some of whom it might have converted, but have watched maybe 15 minutes of NRATV since they got fancy and split with SIRIUS. Of course I will not miss it.

    It would be interesting for discussion to see ratings from the beginning to determine if any of their various versions were popular. I imagine SIRIUS can give an absolute number of listeners at any given time, but I doubt the data are publicly available.

  22. avatar Frank Judah says:

    Why do we as Americans text so disrespectfully to each other. As a veteran, this shows a weak country to other countries. Can’t we disagree with one another and be civil?

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Anonymity. People when they are anonymous are usually jerks to each other. Face to face, most people are actually quite cool. Its one of those “Human Nature” things that’s pretty hard to break. You should see Twitter. Its a cesspool.

  23. avatar M1Lou says:

    I’m sure the 5 people that watched NRA TV will be sad. Everyone else is going NRA what? The only person I really watch is Colion Noir. I hope he can continue to make the good quality content he has been. He’s done some great stuff, gun wise or not. Watch his stuff on SF homlessness. Its pretty good.

  24. avatar CCDWGUY says:

    Goodbye to NRATV. Bring back 3 hours of Cam and Company that people actually listened to or watch on NRA.com at that time. Much better and Cam is great.

  25. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

    Good riddance to NRATV and the 3 or 4 egocentric selflebrities on it. NRA is in deep shit and that is bad news for all of us, NRA fans or not.
    If the barrel of apples is going to be saved then ALL the bad ones need to be thrown out. Dana? Please. Colin is intelligent and entertaining, he will resurface and be just fine. The rest of it is brokered programming and agenda driven BS.
    AckMac has been in bed for too long with Wayne & Co., they all need to be gone.
    This will sting for a while but it needs to happen. NYS AG will try to bankrupt NRA now that there is more blood in the water, it’s time to circle the wagons and knock off the bullshit.

    All of this nonsense is taking place on our dime too. Time for that shit to end too. These guys got greedy, got sloppy and got caught…let them pay the bills, not us.

  26. avatar Fudds McKenzie, the Original Party Fudd says:

    That ghoulish Jon Wayne Taylor is probably getting a sick charge out of this. Stay strong NRA faithful.

  27. avatar Thomas M. says:

    The author is actually underselling the problem. Many of the NRA publications are products of AckMac. Almost no one at the NRA HQ works on media, video, or internet programs. When AckMac stops doing the work, it all goes away. This is an indictment of the NRA Leadership for putting so much of the NRA operations in the hands of an outside organization.

    Also AckMac is suing for 100 million dollars not 50

  28. avatar Kyle says:

    I have to ask, would the gun community miss or care if the NRA itself went away entirely? I’m not just being a jerk, I really mean it.

    Honest question. What does the NRA do anymore than couldn’t be done better by anyone else? Perhaps they are as antiquated as the NRATV itself.

  29. avatar MLee says:

    Sounds to me that PR firm Ackerman has been milking the cash cow far too long and the now with the NRA saying enough is enough, Ackerman is crying their eyes out about the nipple drying up. All good things come to an end.

    1. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

      I think it is beyond just AckMac milking NRA, I am convinced there has been decades long collusion (no Russians as far as I know 😁) between them and NRA senior leadership. Wayne has profited personally in countless ways from HIS relationships at AckMac and the unusual, to say the least, construct of many of the agreements and contracts between the two groups is at the very minimum, suspicious.
      NRA members have been misled and lied to for a very long time. Our membership, donations and program dollars have been misappropriated, misused and stolen during that time.
      NRA is hugely important to the 2A movement and what has been revealed to date about the goings on there is damaging far beyond the reputation of the organization.
      If Wayne GAF about NRA, 2A or its Membership he would have already resigned for the good of all of the above.
      The infighting and other corrosive effects of all of this have struck a blow to our cause.
      SAF and other organizations will fill some of the void left by the NRA in the short term but much damage has been done.
      If only symbolically, NRA is extremely important. This mess hurts us all.

      1. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

        I agree with Huntington Guy. If LaPierre cared about the NRA, the 2A and the membership, he would have resigned some time ago. I believe he’s holding on just to see if the storm blows over so he can continue to enrich himself and his friends.

        The way the NRA is constructed, LaPierre can pretty much ignore all our emails and other forms of protest. The only way to get him out is to cut off our funding to the NRA. Once he’s gone, we can help the NRA rebuild and be better than before.

  30. avatar HuntingtonGuy says:

    This site needs a “Like” button.

  31. avatar JJ says:

    This is so messed up. We really need what the NRA does and can do. It’s important to the 2A cause. They’re the 800 lb. gorilla in the room. There’s things they can do that nobody else can. Having said that, the top leadership has got to go, along with Wayne. They have caused this mess. I just hope a strong NRA can come out of this.
    Problem is, Wayne gets his salary for life. Even if he’s fired. Yeah, that’s in his contract. Sucks.

  32. avatar morelia1976 says:

    Not so breaking news, Hickok45 and son announce they’re stopping asking people to join the NRA.

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