Media Action Center is a group of of concerned residents throughout the U.S. led by former Emmy-winning broadcaster turned media reformer Sue Wilson. We have successfully influenced policy at the Federal Communications Commission and at local TV and Radio stations throughout the country for more than a decade to ensure We the People are truly served by the publicly owned airwaves. (See the archive of our work under "older posts.") We successfully forced Entercom to give up its $13.5 million license to KDND for killing a woman in a radio water drinking stunt. We have a long-running action to label Alex Jones' radio show as the fiction it is, which has taken Jones' program off dozens of radio stations nationwide. We educated the Supreme Court in FCC v Prometheus Radio on critical information to #SaveLocalNews.

Please see MAC's 2018 Comment to the FCC (below) to learn why these actions are crucial to Democracy. Find full journalistic coverage of the Supreme Court case and our Amicus brief, Sinclair Broadcasting's shell game, Alex Jones, the Strange v Entercom trial and other public interest media issues at For background on how we arrived in this era of disinformation and what to do about it, see Wilson's 2009 documentary Broadcast Blues.

MAC Comment to FCC re Incentivizing Local Journalism

 We salute the Federal Communications Commission for incentivizing local broadcast production. While newspapers are shuttering across the nation, radio is fighting to keep the AM dial alive while local TV is losing audience. How do we serve the increasing need for reliable local information while at the same time support broadcast models for viability? 

 First, let’s agree that locally produced news is paramount to the health and safety of our communities. If a train derails and spills anhydrous ammonia which is a health threat to us all, where can we turn if we do not have local reporters ferreting out the critical information we need in time of such an emergency? Somebody needs to spearhead that response, and broadcasters are not only the best equipped, but also the ones licensed to serve in such a situation. 

 All broadcasters subject to these proposed rules already own antennas and transmitters (the most expensive aspect of broadcasting) and employ sound engineers. So let’s set those costs aside and talk about the cost of building production studios.

 In earlier years, a Television studio was extremely expensive due to the high cost of equipment. One studio camera cost around $150,000; three are generally used for a live studio production. Today, a broadcast quality camera can be purchased for under $5,000. An entire professional TV studio can be equipped for way less than the cost of one old camera. In fact, even iPhones can serve to shoot, edit, create graphics and edit sound, and transmit live. There is no longer any need for the million dollar live trucks we TV producers cherished in days past.

 Radio studios are extremely cost effective to build.  The Project Censored Radio Show, syndicated in 50 radio markets nationwide, operates with just a $2,000 studio system. Jim Guidi, licensee of KVGC built out a state of the art studio of the University of the Pacific for $10,000.  

 The real cost of producing local news and programming is the cost of the professionals who make a show happen.  

... continued at link

 Find full comment here for download:

Media Action Center Cited by FCC in Decision to Limit Licenseship in a Single TV Market

 December 26, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission has made its final rulings in its Quadrennial Regulatory Review.  To the dismay of the broadcast industry, the FCC has ruled that a broadcaster cannot automatically expect to license two Top-Four (Network affiliate) stations in the same TV market without getting FCC approval in advance.

Says the FCC, "... a broadcaster cannot acquire two stations ranked in the top four in audience share in a market—known as the Top-Four Prohibition—unless, at the request of an applicant, the Commission finds that such an acquisition serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity on a case-by-case basis."

Media Action Center provided both the FCC and the Supreme Court with photographic evidence that in TV markets where Station groups license two Network affiliates in the same town, those licensees are merely putting the same news content on both Network stations, rather than providing "more and better local news" as they had promised.

Many other Media Reform groups, lawyers, and academics contributed to this success. We are grateful that our combined efforts brought this matter to a successful conclusion for We the People. 

Comments of Sue Wilson and Media Action Center - 2022 Quadrennial Review of Media Ownership Rules


Over the past few years, Sue Wilson through the Media Action Center has received anecdotal complaints from TV viewers in small to mid-sized Television markets nationwide. Viewers say when they turn the channel from a local news program on one station to a local news program on a different station, they see exactly the same news duplicated on both channels. 

This appears to happen when one company has licenses for more than one TV station in the same market, and also when one company has Shared Service Agreements and Joint Sales Agreements with two to three TV stations within the same market. It commonly occurs with Top Four Duopoly stations. In some of those markets, it appears that only one newsroom is servicing entire communities.

Media Democracy advocates have been warning for decades that a single corporation could dominate all local news and information in Anytown, USA. It appears that dystopian threat to democracy is now becoming a reality. It is vital to our very democracy that we develop sufficient data to determine exactly what is occurring – now while we can still stem the tide.

Please read the entire comment - with solutions - below.

FCC: Enforce the Hoax Rule on Alex Jones - Radio Stations: Take Him Off the Air!

Was the Sandy Hook School shooting faked by advocates of gun control? Were the people we saw crying over slain children actually actors? Were the kids themselves actors?

Of course not. But Alex Jones has said this so many times on his broadcast radio program that some listeners who believed this hoax began attacking the grieving parents, in some cases forcing them to move miles away from their homes (and childrens' grave sites.)

Let's work together to put an end to this so-called "News" which is destroying our democracy!

The Federal Communications Commission has a rule against broadcast stations airing hoaxes unless they tell listeners in advance the show is fiction.  But they will only act if persons living in Jones' listening areas send a complaint letter (not an email) to the FCC.
Find out if you live in an area where Jones broadcasts by looking at the list at . Find a station in your general area, then click on "Coverage area" to see if you are inside the circle. 

If you are in range of a station broadcasting Jones' hoax filled program,  
FIRST, DOWNLOAD THIS LETTER TO SEND TO RADIO STATION MANAGEMENT.  Personal contact makes a difference. After sending the letter, seek to make an appointment to meet personally with station management to talk about Jones' hoaxes and the station's responsibility to your community. (You will find station information on the Jones' stations list . You will need to look up the name of station management.)

NEXT, DOWNLOAD THIS LETTER TO COMPLAIN TO THE FCC. It details specifically what Jones has said on the radio regarding the Sandy Hook shooting hoax and other dangerous hoaxes, and outlines the FCC rules against such hoaxes. Just print it out and fill in the necessary information. You will need to include your local station's call letters and Community of License, found in the list of Jones' stations.

Please send the letter via US Mail to the FCC (its mailing address is on the letter.) 
It is a lot to ask people to send snail mail letters, but while big corporations get to email their information to the FCC, the agency requires We the People to mail a letter with a stamp. 
Not kidding. This is the only way we can get media justice. Send a copy of this complaint to your station management so they know you have made a complaint. 
Also please email to let us know you have sent a letter so we can monitor what happens, and potentially file license challenges if the FCC and stations refuse to act. Any questions? Just ask.

Since this action began, local radio stations have simply taken Jones off the air in many communities. Your local voice matters!

Again, here is the letter to send to your local radio station:
Here is the letter to the FCC:

Questions? Email us at and we'll try to help.

Thank you for being a part of restoring facts and truth to these United States of America.

Comments of Sue Wilson, Media Action Center to the 2018 Quadrennial Review

 October 4, 2021

Thursday, September 30, Sue Wilson and Media Action Center filed a Comment in the 2018 FCC Quadrennial Review (yes, you read that date correctly.) The FCC will use comments from this review to establish future rules for TV and radio broadcasters.

You will find the entire document here.

What follows is my opening statement, Final Summary, and a list of recommendations for the FCC to consider.  


Comments of Sue Wilson, Media Action Center

The events of January 6, 2021 were entirely foreseeable and, and for those of us watching media policy, predictable. In the arena of public opinion, current Federal Communications Commission rules to govern broadcast radio licensees have been rewarding far-right authoritarian ideologies for a generation, and in practice, preventing any real debate over the air to counter politically motivated lies and disinformation. This problem is compounded by too few radio licensees in any one market, restricting local competition. Looking forward, new FCC rules could well allow one politically motivated TV station group to control all the local news content in TV and radio stations and newspapers in single towns all over the country. With our national debate now pivoting to preventing disinformation, we all realize that FCC media rules really do matter to the very foundation of our country. The FCC has an opportunity now to consider the true impact its rules have on the competition of ideas and information, and rise to this occasion to protect not only industry profits, but also Democracy principles. This paper seeks to provide relevant history, data, and a road map to a better tomorrow.    


VII.  Recommendations:

1.       Restore the opportunity to respond to both personal and political attacks on our publicly owned airwaves. If a radio or TV broadcaster attacks someone personally, that person must have the right to respond, to defend himself or herself on the same program where they have been attacked.  If a radio or TV show spends hours promoting one political viewpoint, a competitor of opposing views should have the right to respond in that same time slot. This common sense rule change ensures fair competition not only between business competitors but also in the debate so crucial to Democracy.

2.       Using proceeds from the $48 million Sinclair fine, reinstate a 21st Century version of the “FCC Office of Plans and Policy's Working Paper Series.”  As we have learned, the Federal Communications Commission abandoned its former practice of supporting data driven studies. The agency now relies on underfunded non-profit organizations and independent journalists to counter studies funded by the well-heeled broadcast industry. This creates an anti-competitive advantage for industry. Industry has the further benefit of obtaining actual data from the FCC for its reports – because the industry is providing its own data – which is largely unavailable to the public. Is the data industry is providing to the Commission even correct?  Armchair studies suggest it is not, but well-funded studies will provide the facts so crucial to preserving our Democracy in these tenuous times.                                       

3.       Get a current snapshot of Local TV industry operations   Study individual TV markets to determine how many station groups are currently operating within a single community. Determine how many Network stations within that market each group currently controls, how many non-network stations each group controls. Determine whether station groups are operating within the guidelines established by law or whether they are creating shell operations to hide the control of more than their allotted share of licenses to broadcast in every community.

 4.    Ensure competition for Local News   Determine on a market by market basis whether station groups are providing different local news stories on each of their TV stations in a single community, or whether they are merely duplicating local news stories on their multiple TV stations. Collaborate with willing local level groups to monitor the airwaves in their own communities across the USA. Using this data, develop guidelines so every community has competition in the realm of news and information.

 5.     Rewrite Radio licensee ownership caps   Limit the total numbers of radio licenses to a single radio group to four in a single market, thereby creating opportunities for more station groups to compete. Balance the scale of station Size so each station can have at least one high wattage station.                                                         

6.      Expand the number of five FCC Commissioners to seven to include two Public Interest Commissioners.   These public interest Commissioners will provide the Commission needed insight from real communities outside the Beltway to better serve the public in the Commission’s decision-making process.



Final Summary:

As the Commission considers “competition,” please consider the real-life impact of the broadcast industry cornering the market on ideas and rhetoric. The unintended consequence of current FCC rules has over a generation grown from hot topics to fanning flames into a real life insurrection, now recognized as an attempted coup.

So do the FCC’s “media ownership rules remain ‘necessary in the public interest as the result of competition’?”

Absolutely. We need the FCC to make rules, as they are crucial to the public interest and to industry. But the FCC’s current rules provide no competition for the give and take of ideas and information necessary to our Democracy and the future of our nation.

The need for true competition should not be framed as a Republican v Democrat issue. Given the immense power the radio and TV airwaves had, have and will continue to have in the future, the decisions must be framed as a crucial Democracy issue. 

Good Commissioners, you are the only ones who can right these wrongs and repair America.

We the People are counting on you.