Talk:The Media Institute

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The Media Institute was founded in 1979 and "is a nonprofit research foundation specializing in communications policy issues. The Institute exists to foster three goals: freedom of speech, a competitive media and communications industry, and excellence in journalism."[1]

The Media Institute has been described as "a nonprofit First Amendment think tank backed by major media companies, foundations, associations and individuals"[2] The Institute's board of trustees includes executives from many major media companies.

The Media Institute gives gives two annual awards, the Horizon Award and the Freedom of Speech Award. Award winners have included Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, Clear Channel Communications CEO Bob Pittman, president and CEO of the E. W. Scripps Company Kenneth W. Lowe, and Tony Snow, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush. FCC officials often speak at the Media Institute's annual banquet, and then-FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell was given the Freedom of Speech Award in 2011.[3]

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Ties to the Koch brothers


Against campaign finance limits

Together with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, the Media Institute filed an amicus brief in support of the appellants, Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, in the case McCutcheon v. FTC. The Media Institute's brief argued that "An aggregate contribution limit is a significant burden on core political speech in that it prohibits individuals from expressing support for, and associating with, all of their preferred candidates through contributions at the per-candidate contribution limit" and suggested that even when a large sum of total money is contributed, the risk of corruption is "remote" because that money is spread across many candidates.[4] In a decision issued April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court "struck down the aggregate limits on the amount an individual may contribute during a two-year period to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees combined."[5]

Against net neutrality

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in mid-2007, The Media Institute opposed net neutrality measures. "There is no problem - no clear and present danger to the openness of the Internet - that requires regulatory action," the Institute's filing stated. [1]

Against localism requirements

In response to FCC chief Kevin Martin's December 2007 statements that broadcasters establish local advisory boards and local content guidelines, to ensure the licensees are serving their local communities, the Media Institute said it is "deeply concerned."

"Establishing amounts or percentages of particular types of programming that broadcasters need to carry to ensure the renewal of their licenses would coerce stations into selecting and airing content in these government-preferred categories," warned the think tank. "It is disheartening to think that in this age of unprecedented media abundance, the commission is contemplating an unnecessary regulatory regimen that not only hearkens back to the last century, but will most likely be found unconstitutional by the courts." [6]


Key staff

As of June 2014:[7]


As of June 2014:[8]

  • Richard M. Bates, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, The Walt Disney Company
  • Antoinette Cook Bush, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs, News Corp
  • Kathleen Grillo, Senior Vice President--Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon Communications
  • Patrick Maines, President, The Media Institute
  • Jessica A. Marventano, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Clear Channel Communications
  • John S. Orlando, Senior Vice President, Washington, CBS Corporation
  • Robert W. Quinn, Jr., Senior Vice President--Federal Regulatory, AT&T Services, Inc.
  • Michael Regan, Executive Vice President, Government Relations, 21st Century Fox
  • John I. Taylor, Vice President, Government Relations and Communications, LG Electronics USA
  • Steven N. Teplitz, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Time Warner Cable
  • Steve Vest, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, Time Warner
  • Barbara Wall, Vice President & Senior Associate General Counsel, Gannett Co.
  • Richard Wiley, esq., Chairman. Senior Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Kurt Wimmer, Partner, Covington & Burling


As a 501(c)(3) the Media Institute is not required to disclose its donors.

Core financials


  • Total Revenue: $893,101
  • Total Expenses: $805,655
  • Net Assets: $185,527


  • Total Revenue: $831,914
  • Total Expenses: $784,261
  • Net Assets: $98,081


  • Total Revenue: $863,271
  • Total Expenses: $736,304
  • Net Assets: $50,428


According to its 2012 tax filing, almost half of the Institute's spending ($394,529 out of $805,655) went to compensation for employees and officers.



  • Music Maker Relief Foundation: $5,000


Website: [2]

SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. Media Institute, About Us, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2014.
  2. John Eggerton, "Media Institute Appoints Two New Board Members," Broadcast and Cable, December 1, 2011.
  3. Media Institute, Friends & Benefactors Banquet, Awardees, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2014.
  4. The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and The Media Institute, Amici Curae Brief, filed July 18, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2014.
  5. FEC, McCutcheon, et al. v. FEC, case summary, accessed June 5, 2014.
  6. John Eggerton, "Media Institute 'Deeply Concerned' About Martin Proposals: First Amendment Think-Tank Unhappy with FCC Chairman’s Take on Broadcast Localism," Broadcasting & Cable, December 14, 2007.
  7. Media Institute, About Us, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2014.
  8. Media Institute, Board of Trustees, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2014.
  9. Media Institute, 2012 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, April 6, 2013.
  10. Media Institute, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, April 4, 2012.
  11. Media Institute, 2010 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, May 6, 2013.