DENVER - Outdoor Channel is taking pains to distance itself from a claim by Senate Republicans that the network is pulling all production from Colorado over gun control bills being signed Wednesday.
The loss of production revenue has been widely cited by gun rights supporters as another unintended consequence of anti-gun legislation passed by Democrats in the legislature and due to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Senate Republicans headlined a March 8 release on their website, "OUTDOOR CHANNEL TO END PRODUCTION IN COLORADO." Republicans claimed the network "will be moving all production of Colorado." The source of the claim was an email from Outdoor Channel executive producer Michael Bane to Sen. Steve King (R-Grand Junction).
In a statement to 9NEWS Tuesday, an Outdoor Channel spokesperson stressed that Bane doesn't speak for the network's expansive programming lineup.
"Michael Bane is an independent (emphasis theirs) executive producer and host of four popular programs on the network," the statement read, in part. "However, his views and the direction in which he takes his productions do not necessarily reflect those of Outdoor Channel."
Outdoor Channel recently accepted an offer to be purchased by Denver-based Kroenke Sports and Entertainment LLC, which owns and operates the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.
Outdoor Channel said Bane's shows do not represent all of its production in Colorado. Bane's email estimated the economic impact of his decision to relocate his 2013 production at "a little less than a million dollars."
Bane wrote his attorneys believe the gun control bills "are so poorly drafted and so designed to trap otherwise legal citizens into a crime... that it is simply too dangerous for us to film here."
Bane went on to detail an additional loss of revenue from hunters and sportsmen that he believes will result from Colorado's pending gun control measures.
Bane was not immediately available for comment on Outdoor Channel's Tuesday statement.
Read his email to Senate Republicans here.
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