January 2, 2012
At the last possible legal moment, the Media Action Center filed a petition to deny the broadcast license of Clear Channel Communication's WJNO in West Palm Beach, Florida, home to radio giant Rush Limbaugh.
Just as people get licenses to drive cars, radio stations get licenses from the Federal Communications Commission for the privilege of broadcasting to our local communities. Those licenses come up for renewal only every eight years. The final date Florida community members could oppose the renewal of a station's license was January 1, 2012. December 30, 2011, MAC Team Leader Milo Vannucci, a resident of West Palm Beach, filed a formal petition to deny the renewal of the license of WJNO-AM to Clear Channel Communications.
The crux of the complaint is that by WJNO's airing nine times more "conservative" talk radio than "progressive" in an area predominately populated by Democrats, Clear Channel is effectively silencing the progressive voice in West Palm Beach, thereby denying the majority of the community its First Amendment rights to exercise free speech over the publicly owned airwaves.
The FCC is forced to act immediately on the petition, as the agency must either deny or agree to renew WJNO's broadcast license by February 1, 2012.
Media Action Center members in West Palm Beach participated in the recent "Occupy Clear Channel" day of public files inspections, where people marched into Clear Channel radio stations across the country, exercising their rights as the owners of the radio airwaves to inspect the station's public files.