Sharpton continues EchoStar protests

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It seems that everywhere EchoStar Communications Corp. CEO Charlie Ergen goes
these days, protesters follow, including his own home.

On Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C., about 30 protesters marched in front
of the posh Willard Hotel where Ergen, his staff and Hughes Electronics Corp.
executives were staying and holding an early morning press conference.

It's unclear how the protesters -- who want EchoStar to include gospel
channel Word Network on its programming slate -- determined Ergen's location,
but they've also shown up at Ergen's home outside Denver in recent weeks.

The protesters are part of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network,
and Sharpton's sermons are occasionally carried on Word.

Ergen said EchoStar has no more space to carry new public-interest channels,
but Word is already carried by DirecTV Inc. and will continue to be carried
should the merger of EchoStar and DirecTV parent Hughes be approved.

'Why would they be against a merger that solves the problem?' Ergen
asked.

Word is owned by Kevin Adell and his father, Frank Adell, who also co-own Fox
affiliate WADL(TV) in Detroit.

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