Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

NRA’s TV Operation Lays Off Several Employees

Several staffers at NRATV, the National Rifle Association’s video streaming operation, have been laid off, according to a former staffer.

Longtime NRATV producer and correspondent Cameron Gray tweeted Wednesday that he and “several colleagues” had been terminated this morning. Gray said he had been an employee at the gun group’s video arm for almost 10 years. He had worked as a producer for Cam & Company, a news and talk show hosted by NRATV personality Cam Edwards that covered a wide range of political topics beyond just guns.

Gray and Edwards did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The dismissals come on the back of a string of evidence that suggests the NRA is in poor financial health. According to tax filings, the gun group’s revenue fell by $55 million from 2016 to 2017, leaving the organization with an $18 million deficit. According to a lawsuit filed against insurance broker Lockton Affinity earlier this year, the NRA has not been able to renew umbrella liability coverage essential to running a media operation or putting on public events.

As The Trace reported two weeks ago, NRA executives are cutting budgets. Cost-saving measures include eliminating basic office perks like complementary coffee, as well as plans for larger reductions in media operations and education.

NRATV is the brainchild of Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based PR firm to which the NRA pays tens of millions of dollars annually. In recent years, the video operation became one of the gun group’s most powerful messaging machines, spitting out controversial screeds against the media and the “violent left.” Ackerman McQueen declined a request to comment. The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the exact budget for NRATV is unknown, the gun group’s tax filings show it paid Ackerman $11.7 million for media production and other services. Gray was actually employed by Ackerman, not the NRA. Cam Edwards is also an Ackerman employee.

As Stephen Gutowski, a writer for the conservative news website Free Beacon, noted on Twitter, there is no indication that the layoffs extend further than the group of employees referenced in Gray’s tweet. Gutowski also pointed that NRATV was showing a rerun of Cam & Company, as opposed to a new broadcast.