The NRA has been hit hard by a sharp drop in revenue, and now the organization has instituted a round of layoffs at NRATV in an effort to make up for the losses.
As The Hill reported, the media wing of the National Rifle Association has laid off several employees after the gun rights lobbying group saw a $55 million drop in revenue from last year. The television network had been the cornerstone of the organization’s push into the media realm, led by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch in a widely marketed talk show. The NRATV network also showed the gun rights group’s expansion further into right-wing topics and saw it aim to become a competitor to right-leaning outlets Breitbart News and Fox News.
It was not clear exactly how many employees NRATV had to lay off, but network correspondent Cameron Gray took to Twitter to confirm the layoffs and announce that he was among those fired.
“Some personal news: Just shy of my 10-year anniversary, me and several colleagues had their positions terminated this morning,” Gray wrote in a tweet that was later deleted. “So, if you have or know of any jobs available in the DC-area, or any that can be done remotely, please let me know.”
NRATV has been at the center of a number of controversies since its launch in 2016. In September, Loesch was criticized for using an edited image of the Thomas & Friends cartoon to show the cartoon characters wearing KKK hoods.
“The special focus of her ire? A tank character named Nia from Kenya who was introduced as part of the program’s effort to internationalize and diversify its characters,” noted CNN Wire. “Horrible as that may seem to Loesch, she capped her critique by displaying a doctored picture of Thomas and two of his friends in KKK hoods riding on track seen to be burning in the background.”
Just this week, NRATV host Chuck Holton joked about how “the clowns from Media Matters” would react to a mass shooting in their building. As Mediaite reported, he imagined staffers lying “in a fetal position” in a conversation with Loesch, who seemed to enjoy the exchange.
The NRA had been hit with a sharp drop in revenue over the last fiscal year, taking $312 million in revenue in 2017 after a haul of $367 million in 2016, when the NRA played a key role in the presidential election as an early and ardent supporter of Donald Trump.