Prominent Jewish Leaders to AT&T DirecTV: Bring Newsmax Back

Prominent Jewish Leaders to AT&T DirecTV: Bring Newsmax Back

The satellite provider took Newsmax off its lineup in late January.

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
February 11, 2023

Almost two dozen of the nation’s most prominent Jewish leaders have written a letter to AT&T and DirecTV demanding to know why the Newsmax channel was deplatformed.

Earlier the week a broad coalition of 23 Jewish leaders -- including former Senators Joe Lieberman and Norm Coleman, former ADL chief Abe Foxman, power broker Malcolm Hoenlein, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Newsweek Opinion editor Josh Hammer and others -- wrote to the CEOs of DirecTV and parent companies AT&T and financial firm TPG expressing their dismay on Newsmax’s cancellation.

On January 24, the country’s leading satellite provided removed the popular Newsmax network from their channel line-up.

“As leaders in our community we represent millions of Jewish Americans,” the letter states, adding “NEWSMAX has been a crucial way for us to reach our fellow Americans to share our perspectives on anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, the State of Israel, and other matters important to our community.”

The leaders suggested that removing Newsmax could have a detrimental impact on AT&T and DirecTV as  the companies “will lose significant support from the Jewish community.”

The signers described Newsmax as  "an invaluable voice” covering issues important to American Jews, including the “dangerous rise of anti-Semitism in America.”

The letter concludes by asking DirecTV to “reconsider your decision to remove NEWSMAX,” and to share the company's plans relating to the channel.

According to The Hill, after Newsmax’s contract expired with DirecTV, the provider said the network “was unwilling to agree to carrier fees proposed by the conservative channel.”

But Newsmax claims that DirecTV said it was not eligible for any fees and that there was never a negotiation over the pricing of fees.

DirecTV continues to retain 22 liberal-leaning news channels, most have lower Nielsen ratings than Newsmax and all get paid license fees, according to Newsmax.

“We are deeply disappointed and troubled that the nation’s 4th highest-rated cable news network, and a stalwart ally of Israel, covering the issues of concern to American Jews, was removed by AT&T,” said Bryan Leib, a community leader who previously headed Iranian-Americans for Liberty. Leib is the spokesman for the group of signatories.

DirecTV has stated that it is interested in bringing Newsmax back on air, but a spokesman for the network told the Floridian the provider has yet to show any such indication in their proposals.

Last April, DirecTV de-platformed the conservative news network One America News, making Newsmax’s departure the second conservative channel removed in a year.

Days after the network was kicked off DirecTV’s platforms, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) stated, "I really think this is something that the Congress needs to look at and I think they need to ensure that there's not intellectual discrimination going on when it comes to what people are able to view."

The Governor went on to mention that "there should be no ideological litmus test when you have these big companies giving out the decision to make or break a news network or any type of network."

The letter signatories included other well-known Jewish leaders including Rabbi Arthur Schneier of New York, ZOA president Mort Klein, Republican Jewish Coalition head Matt Brooks, former White House Mid-East envoy Jason Greenblatt and other community figures.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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