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.

About Us

July 2023
This page about the genesis of Media Action Center was written back in 2011. It chronicles the beginning of what has become a notable media movement. 
In those days, we were thinking about parity in free speech; today we are thinking about preserving our very Democracy.  

To be updated soon. In the meantime...
2011 was the year the movie turned into the movement. 

In late March, The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida hosted the 2011 Florida Media Reform Tour with screenings of the award-winning 2009 documentary film Broadcast Blues and discussions with the film's director, Sue Wilson.   Traveling to eleven cities, Sue educated hundreds of people personally,  and hundreds of thousands more with interviews on radio, newspapers, national internet news and blogs. 

Sue reminded folks that We the People own the broadcast airwaves, and that TV and Radio stations must legally serve the public interest in order to remain in business.    She inspired people all over Florida to form local media action groups to hold local TV and radio stations accountable to the needs of their own communities.  

One woman was so inspired, she went back to Wisconsin and organized an eight city Media Reform Tour there, saying that everyone in the country needs to get this message!   Again, Sue educated and motivated, again the message reached hundreds of thousands through media coverage, and again people formed local media action groups.  She gave a name to the budding national organization, "Media Action Center," but this time went a step further, taking a group of citizens into a local "conservative" radio and TV station to inspect their public files.  Walking in, they expected to be arrested, but walking out, they were empowered, finally fully understanding that we really DO own the airwaves, and the broadcasters must report to us. 

Coincidentally, the same day Media Action Center launched, so did Occupy Wall Street.  And in its Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, Occupy Wall Street wrote, "They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media."  As this is a premise of Broadcast Blues,  Sue found willing partners at Occupy LA and Occupy Sacramento.  Occupy LA first joined Media Action Center and Free Press to protest the Fox/Newscorps shareholders meeting in L.A. (for spreading fear and misinformation,) and then joined Media Action Center in a public files inspection of the Clear Channel radio stations in Los Angeles (as part of a protest against incitements to violence on the John and Ken show.) 

Then, last December in Sacramento, in the middle of the night, Clear Channel switched from a soft rock format on its 50,000 watt FM station to airing a simulcast of programming from KFBK, the "conservative" 50,000 watt AM station which launched Rush Limbaugh.  For the community, it meant four giant stations were playing about 350 hours a week of "conservative" political talk radio in the Sacramento community, with not a minute of any alternative political talk. 

It was clearly time to act.  Within eleven days, Media Action Center, the Common Cause supported Sacramento Media Group, and Occupy Sacramento pulled together to conduct a national "Occupy Clear Channel" action.  Every TV station and newspaper in Sacramento covered the protest, so at least a million people heard the message that ALL voices need to be heard on our radio dial.  And it wasn't just a protest;  groups filed into the Clear Channel building all day long, pouring through the public records, learning how much money was being paid for political advertising, by whom, and more. 

And it wasn't just Sacramento.  Media Action Center team members in West Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Jacksonville, Florida, and Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin marched into Clear Channel to conduct public files inspections.  Members of the Media and Democracy Coalition in Washington, DC and of the Media Alliance in San Francisco also joined in the action – all on the same day. 

Clear Channel shuddered.

Within days, a Milwaukee Media Action Center team leader - who had been receiving rude letters from Clear Channel in response for his asking for Progressive talk in his community - received a friendly letter from management that the corporation will offer the community a progressive station, (albeit on obscure HD radio.)  Next, Clear Channel in San Francisco suddenly changed its plan to switch San Francisco's 960 AM progressive format to yet another conservative talk radio station.  
The energy was abounding when the Media Action Center team had a follow-up conference call about this action!  Members were inspired to do even more.  And so, on the final day of 2011, at the last possible legal minute, Media Action Center helped team member Milo Vannucci to file a formal petition to deny the radio license of WJNO AM in West Palm Beach, Florida.  The grounds for denial is that Clear Channel "is giving area Republicans the equivalent of free airtime to promote their agendas and candidacies, while providing far less – or no – free airtime and access to Democratic or other political candidates and agendas. Clear Channel Communications is thus denying the majority of the community its First Amendment rights to exercise free speech over the publicly owned airwaves."   

In February 2012, Media Action Center, Sacramento Media Group and Occupy Sacramento held a formal meeting with Sacramento Clear Channel's management.  We have published a full report on our website.  Little by little, we are making headway with management to improve radio in our community.
It's called impact.  And as all broadcasting is really local, this kind of impact can only come from the ground up, local community by local community.  To aid communities, under the Media Action Center umbrella, we have developed the,, and websites to inform and empower citizens to reclaim our broadcast media. 

Our mission to reform the broadcast media is now clear:  to teach people their rights as owners of our public airwaves, to personally confront broadcast station management with community needs, to hold stations accountable by every legal means available, including boycotts of sponsors and license challenges, to pressure and embarrass the FCC into action and to publicize our efforts to reach and inspire millions with our message that We the People are taking our media back!

In 2012, Media Action Center has a major action planned for the June election which we will use as a model to take into the general election in November.   We cannot tip our hand right now with details, but we can say it involves pressuring the FCC to enforce existing communication laws. 

Then in December, when California radio licenses are up for renewal, we will file a formal petition to deny the license of KDND-FM, the station which recklessly killed mother of three Jennifer Strange in a water drinking stunt. We will ask the community to join in signing the petition, and we will march it to the FCC in Washington, DC. There we will have a press conference to pose the question to the FCC, "If you will not remove a station's license for killing someone, when will you?"

Media Action Center: Know your rights. Be empowered. Put boots on the ground. And publicize.