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NAN) released what it said are portions of a letter from well-known attorney Johnnie Cochran challenging claims from the satellite TV provider that the organization canceled meetings with CEO Charlie Ergen.

In a letter to Rev. Horace Sheffield, president of the Michigan chapter of NAN and the one spearheading protests aimed at EchoStar, Cochran said, "I have attempted on several occasions to arrange a meeting with Charlie Ergen, The Word Network and representatives from the National Action Network (NAN), but to date have been unsuccessful."

He said a meeting was scheduled for Jan. 30 in Washington, D.C., but EchoStar canceled the get-together the prior evening. "Contrary to published reports, there have been no other attempts from EchoStar to meet with NAN and The Word Network," the letter, as reported by NAN, said.

NAN has been targeting EchoStar and its proposed $26 billion merger with DirecTV. The organization, founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, wants the company to carry The Word Network, which offers African-American religious programming.

EchoStar has said its executives have met with Word Network representatives several times. Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar, recently offered to meet with Sharpton and Word Network associates on two occasions in Washington, D.C., the company said, but Ergen's efforts were rebuffed.

Sheffield said NAN will mount a campaign to encourage Vivendi Universal, which has a stake in EchoStar, and RadioShack, which will begin selling EchoStar products in April, to re-evaluate their relationships with the company.

From SkyReport (Used with permission)
 
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