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.

Supreme Court on FCC v. Prometheus Decision: Spotty Evidence? It's All We Have

April 1, 2021


Today, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Federal Communications Commission may allow one broadcast media group owner to have 2 network TV stations, plus 1-2 additional non-network stations, plus 8 radio stations AND the local newspaper - all in the same town.

In the opinion issued by Justice Kavanaugh, the court said the "FCC considered the record evidence and reasonably concluded that the three ownership rules at issue were no longer necessary to serve the agency’s public interest goals ..."

Prometheus Radio had argued that the FCC was relying on flawed or non-existent data to make that assessment. Kavanaugh wrote that "the FCC acknowledged the gaps in the data sets it relied on, and noted that, despite its repeated requests for additional data, it had received no countervailing evidence."

Cheryl Leanza, co-counsel in the case and the United Church of Christ's media justice policy advisor writes, "The sparse record is the FCC's own fault. Any analysis of this question must rely on the FCC's data and yet the FCC has long permitted broadcast licensees to avoid filing their ownership data with impunity."

This is the very reason Media Action Center performed its own study on the issue: there was no data whatsoever available about the existing impact of these rule changes.  The FCC used to commission its own studies on local broadcasting. In 2002, the FCC issued its own report called "Broadcast Television: Survivor in a Sea of Competition" which showed local TV stations in large markets were making as much as 46% profits. Now the FCC puts out obscure "Notice of Prospective Rulemaking" calls for consumers and largely underfunded non-profit groups to provide their own research to counter that which is provided to the FCC by well heeled industry leaders.

In our Amicus Brief in this case, we proved that in local communities where the FCC has already allowed such rules to take effect, local broadcasters are merely duplicating news content across 2-3 local TV stations, not providing more news as they promised the FCC, but effectively less.

Says Director Sue Wilson, "I am told that the proper place to have presented that information was to the FCC in its rulemaking process, and that the Supreme Court does not engage in fact-finding missions. I regret that obscure rulemaking call escaped my attention, but the fact still remains that the FCC allowing one broadcast group to control virtually all the local information provided to a single local community is a direct threat to our democracy."