The right-wing One America News network might not exist without the encouragement and funding of AT&T.
The conspiracy-mongering cable network continues to spread lies about Donald Trump's election loss and the Jan. 6 insurrection, and a Reuters review of court records shows the crucial role AT&T executives played in OAN's launch in 2013.
"They told us they wanted a conservative network," OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr. testified during a 2019 deposition obtained by Reuters. "They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one."
The telecommunications giant has poured tens of millions of dollars into OAN, which received 90 percent of its revenue from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including DirecTV, testified an OAN accountant last year.
Herring testified that he was offered $250 for his network in 2019, but the accountant testified that OAN's value "would be zero" without the DirecTV deal.
"If Herring Networks, for instance, was to lose or not be renewed on DirecTV, the company would go out of business tomorrow," OAN lawyer Patrick Nellies testified as part of a labor lawsuit filed by a former employee.