Sacramento Media Group (SMG)




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May 2012 Update:  Sacramento Media Group Releases report on lobbying meeting with Clear Channel Sacramento & read our A Statement and Suggestions Concerning Clear Channel, Talk Radio And the Public Interest Obligation in Broadcasting to the Community of Sacramento


SMG has focused on encouraging local television stations to provide more local elections coverage of the actual issues voters face at the ballot box. SMG has worked hard to push local stations to focus programming on issue information and information about the different candidates' positions, especially before elections. In this effort we have met with television station managers in the Sacramento/Central Valley media market, the nation's 19th largest.

In 2004, SMG issued a report detailing how local stations made over $12 million from campaign advertising, but did not enhance our democracy by producing programming on local campaign issues. We are currently working on our report of the media coverage of the 2006 election and will soon release it. Other Reports listed below.


Click here for a PowerPoint Presentation on SMG and critical issues in media reform.


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  • Oppose media concentration of ownership by fewer and fewer corporations.
  • Encourage higher standards in locally produced news and public affairs programming.

  • Preserve funding for community media, public education and government access to airwaves.

  • Monitor corporate media and regulatory bodies to ensure broadcasters meet public interest obligations.

  • Increase awareness of public rights-of-way to public airwaves and the world wide web.

  • Advocate for political balance in media coverage and talk radio.



December 11, 2007: SMG released its report on local television news coverage of the November 2006 general election. Among the key findings, the report finds that only Sacramento Channel 3 News met a minimum of 5 minutes per night of election related coverage leading up to voting day. Additionally, from September 2006 - Election Day in November, the five local broadcasters earned about $32 million in revenues from election related advertising. Click here to read the report.  Click here to read about it in the Sacramento Bee.

June 22, 2007: Success! Members of SMG led a community coalition of 30 nonprofits to lobby the Sacramento City Council to address bridging the digital divide through the letting of a contract to provide WiFi coverage to Sacramento. At our urging, the Sacramento City Council successfully negotiated a contract providing free WiFi at a significant speed, 24 hours a day seven days a week to our community. We are working with the local community foundation and chambers of commerce to provide equipment and training so underserved families can use the Internet for educational, cultural and employment services. Click here to read the Sacramento Bee's article about it and click here to read about it in the San Francisco Chronicle.



Local television news should be an important source of information—but how well are they serving the public in providing useful analysis that will help voters sort through the choices of candidates and propositions? The Sacramento Media Group in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Nalder of CSUSacramento monitored local election coverage on stations to answer this question. The results from Sacramento’s 2004 and 2006 media monitoring projects were widely publicized in print media. As part of our efforts to provide feedback, our Community Advisory Panel members met with local station managers and news directors to urge stations to meet community needs for locally produced election issue coverage. We have worked to build public influence on commercial television broadcasters to attend to community interest needs and improve what they provide in public affairs programming and public interest activities.


Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2010 General Election 

Sacramento Television Coverage of the February 2008 Primary Election


Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2006 General Election

This report is a follow-up to the 2004 TV coverage report.  In 2006, the Sacramento Media Group found poor local TV election coverage, yet the stations earned over $32 million from campaign advertising (triple the amount made in 2004).

Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2004 General Election

Executive Summary of the Report

2004 Sacramento Media Group report detailing how local stations made over $12 million from campaign advertising, but did not enhance our democracy by producing programming on local campaign issues.