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Sportsman Channel suspends 'Syndicate' hunting show on heels of federal charges

  • Author: Jerzy Shedlock
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 15, 2015

The Sportsman Channel announced Tuesday it has suspended the hunting show "Syndicate Hunting" from airing following federal charges against two hosts and two production companies with ties to the show.

CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks Jim Liberatore announced the suspension, which is effective immediately.

"Sportsman Channel is aware of the charges leveled yesterday in Alaska against Syndicate Hunting and is conducting an internal investigation of this matter," Liberatore said. "We take this situation very seriously and have acted swiftly to suspend the show, its producers and talent. If true, what has been alleged is clearly unacceptable, unethical and against everything our networks stand for."

According to a press release from the company, the hunting show is independently produced and buys time on the Sportsman Channel to air its content.

Federal prosecutors during a Monday press conference said Clark Dixon, a personality on the show, was instrumental in various hunting violations committed in Noatak National Preserve in Northwest Alaska. He operated an illegal campsite in the preserve and helped clients illegally hunt grizzly bears, moose, caribou and Dall sheep without a guiding license, they said.

All of Dixon's Alaska hunts featured on the show were illegal and edited in order to appear legal, said U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler.

Another host, Lance Walker, eight other people and production companies The Outdoor Syndicate LLC and editing studio Zap Lab Ltd. were also charged as part of the investigation.

Michael Dianda, managing director of Syndicate Hunting, wrote in a blog post on the show's website that Dixon and Walker were fired as soon as the charges came to light.

The men "conducted their activities without the knowledge of Syndicate Hunting and no other representative of Syndicate Hunting were present during their actions," Dianda wrote.

The show's managing team were assured all permits, including film permits, were obtained, Dianda wrote. He added the team takes full responsibility for not confirming those details.

The Sportsman Channel -- which mainly airs hunting, fishing and firearms shows -- was also home to Amazing America with Sarah Palin for two seasons.

Correction: The above article previously referred to the Sportsman Channel show as "The Syndicate." A spokesperson for the show confirmed Tuesday that the show's correct name in "Syndicate Hunting."