The National Rifle Association decided Tuesday to shut down production at NRA-TV, thus ending the increasingly contentious business relationship with its long-time advertising firm Ackerman-McQueen, the New York Times first reported.
The N.R.A. will no longer conduct business with Ackerman McQueen, which had been in charge of operating the gun rights group’s live-broadcasting arm, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times.
NRA-TV may choose to continue to air previous content but will reportedly no longer conduct live broadcasts. It also has severed ties with its on-air talent, who were employees of Ackerman McQueen. It is unclear whether the N.R.A. will look to hire some of the on-air personalities in the future.
“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.”
In its own message to the Times, Ackerman McQueen said it is “not surprised that the N.R.A. is unwilling to honor its agreement to end our contract and our long-standing relationship in an orderly and amicable manner.”
Ackerman McQueen accused NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre of charging the ad agency $240K in travel expenses to Italy, Hungary, the Bahamas and other destinations in a letter written to the NRA’s board earlier this year. The NRA then retaliated by suing Ackerman McQueen for failing to share billing records with the NRA and for not disclosing the nature of the contract between the ad agency and the then-NRA president Oliver North, The Hill reported.