One America News, responsible for the some of basest pro-Donald Trump bile available anywhere, reportedly has a plan to once again help its voice crawl its way into the hearts and minds of folks all across the country. Though it’s promoting new streaming deals, the outlet once beloved by Trump has bigger plans to leak its message through all those dishes and antennae left over from the days before digital streaming.
Bloomberg reported Monday that the gallbladder of cable news is operating on so-called “subchannels” that air in close to 30 markets free to consumers. The cable channels owners plan to be in 100 of these markets by the end of 2022. These aren’t small and isolated markets either. They include cities like Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and Jacksonville, to name a few.
Nielsen reported back in April that 18.6 million homes that are outfitted with antennas are used to get content over the air in the fourth quarter of 2021. That’s 15% of the U.S., and companies like OAN are seeing the potential for reaching households through these so-called “subchannels,” also called “diginets.” These operate underneath regular broadcast signals, effectively splitting what was once one channel into several.
You may have already heard of some of these diginets. Fox Weather launched as a subchannel under the broader brand of Fox-owned stations. in February this year. Variety reported back in April that the number of Diginets active in the U.S. was a record high of 54. Market research firm Park Associates wrote in February that TV antenna usage is up from 2015, and that 23 million households use antennas to watch over the air content.
Those cheering the end to OAN’s brand of bigotry and misinformation celebrated much too early, as Bloomberg cited several broadcast stations in cities like Las Vegas and Pittsburgh who carried OAN. One, the owner of the Vegas sation KPVM, said he shares advertising inventory 50/50 with OAN while his signal goes out to 875,000 households in the area. Another subchannel owned by Pittsburgh company Videohouse goes out to somewhere around 160,000 homes.
Gizmodo reached out to OAN for comment but did not immediately hear back. A representative of OAN’s parent company Herring Networks could not be reached for comment. Charles Herring, the president of One America News, told Bloomberg their free over-the-air network is called OAN Plus and is supported by ads. Charles Herring is the son of Robert Herring, who owns the network and got his start in circuit board manufacturing cited for illicit pollution practices.
Earlier this year, DirecTV announced it was dropping One America News from its roster at the end of the company’s contract. Of course, the network would have done so sooner if it wasn’t for an ancient settlement agreement. Fans of OAN, including multiple conservative state attorney generals like Texas’ Ken Paxton, warned of “consequences for DirecTV if they dropped the channel. So far, none of their threats have materialized.
In July, Verizon Fios finally dumped OAN from its lineup after it ran out the contract with the Herring Network. Verizon told Gizmodo that OAN failed to agree to terms of the contract, but despite its claims of business-as-usual, the wireless carrier company had received verbal attacks and charges it was unfairly targeting OAN. Verizon was the last major carrier to carry the ailing channel on its back.
This growing market supported by aging antenna systems is supplementary to OAN’s push for its streaming service. The company recently announced it was working with Zito Media to launch in 22 states ahead of the midterms. In this newest blitz for recognition, the network also said it was using the content platform VIDAA and broadcasting company Amagi to reach global audiences.
The company is looking for new ways to spread its own uber-Trumpy brand of commentary. On Monday, the company announced it was allowed the “television premiere” debut of stumbling idiot filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s massive election misinformation missive 2000 Mules. Media watchdog group Media Matters for America recently wrote OAN is platforming election deniers in multiple states in the run up to the 2022 midterms.