TV Answer Man, I don’t want DIRECTV to cancel the OAN channel which has the best news by far. But I know it’s coming. Do you know what the last day is, when DIRECTV will actually take the channel away? It will make me sad. — Marie, Statesville, North Carolina. 

Marie, DIRECTV announced in January that it would drop the conservative One America News (OAN) when its current carriage agreement with the news channel expires. (DIRECTV Stream and U-verse will also cut the channel from their lineups.)

“We informed Herring Networks (OAN’s owner) that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DIRECTV said in a statement.

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OAN, which has been a favorite channel of former President Trump, has been a political thorn in DIRECTV’s side since Reuters reported last October that AT&T encouraged Robert Herring, the owner of Herring Networks, to start the news channel several years ago. (AT&T was then the sole owner of DIRECTV. The communications giant has since sold a 30 percent minority stake to private equity firm, TPG.)

The Reuters story triggered a wave of criticism towards AT&T from liberals who say the communications giant is responsible for creating a news channel that Democrats (and even some Republicans) allege engages in purposeful disinformation on topics such as vaccine effectiveness, the 2020 presidential election and the Covid-19 pandemic. OAN denies the charge, saying that it’s simply offering viewpoints that differ from those held by their opponents.

While DIRECTV has not said politics is behind its decision to remove OAN, it seems clear that it’s at least a factor. AT&T, like any large corporation, needs support in Washington and the nation’s capital is now ruled by the Democratic Party which is not fans of OAN.

So when will DIRECTV drop OAN, you ask?

The satcaster says both OAN and the Herring-owned A Wealth of Entertainment will be removed after April 4.

Of course, Herring and OAN are suing AT&T and DIRECTV over the removal, but it’s unlikely that the legal action will change the April 4 deadline.

Marie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann