First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
 
print this   Print

Howard Stern show expands to 9 new markets

By The Associated Press
07.01.04

NEW YORK — Howard Stern's radio show is expanding to nine new markets, including four where his show was taken off the air over indecency concerns.

Stern's syndicated morning program will air on stations in Houston; San Diego; Tampa, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Fresno, Calif., all owned by Infinity Broadcasting.

In February, Clear Channel Communications — the nation's largest radio chain — dropped the popular shock jock from its stations in Rochester, Orlando, San Diego, Pittsburgh and two other markets after complaints by federal regulators.

In early June, Clear Channel also agreed to a record $1.75 million settlement with the Federal Communications Commission to resolve indecency complaints against Stern and other radio personalities.

Stern made the announcement of his show's expansion at a news conference that aired live on his radio show yesterday morning.

He also railed against the increased scrutiny he has received in recent months from the FCC. Stern and the FCC have battled for years, with Infinity paying $1.7 million in 1995 to settle various violations by Stern.

Stern said the FCC's enforcement "has a chilling effect on all broadcasters."

Federal law bars radio stations and over-the-air television channels from airing references to sexual and excretory functions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when children may be tuning in. The rules do not apply to cable and satellite channels or satellite radio.

Infinity Broadcasting President Joel Hollander expressed support for Stern, saying: "Howard has dominated the radio landscape for more than 20 years."

Stern's listeners are "one of the most loyal audiences in radio who will no doubt embrace his return," Hollander added.

Clear Channel, in dumping Stern, said it feared any continued association with him and his show — which features sexually explicit talk and off-color humor — might lead to their losing their station licenses.

Later yesterday, Infinity Broadcasting sued Clear Channel in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, contending that Clear Channel violated its license agreements when it suspended Stern's program on six stations. It sought at least $10 million in damages.

The chief legal officer of Clear Channel, Andy Levin, said that Stern was "the only one who has broken the law."

"His contract explicitly requires his show comply with all FCC rules and regulations," Levin said. "On several occasions, it clearly did not. Clear Channel Radio had both a legal right and an obligation to stop broadcasting it."

Within a couple weeks, Stern's show, which draws millions of die-hard listeners, will be on 45 stations — 27 owned by Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting unit.


Related

Anti-indecency efforts prompt broadcast changes

Clear Channel drops Howard Stern after FCC fines company $495,000; meanwhile, some critics say media are not standing up for First Amendment. 04.09.04

Clear Channel to pay record $1.75 million to settle indecency claims

Nation's largest radio chain 'has now formally admitted that it violated the law and has made binding commitments to clean up its act,' says FCC chairman. 06.10.04

Howard Stern, Powells spar over FCC regs, free speech
Colin Powell rejects shock jock's charge that son Michael Powell heads agency thanks only to dad. 10.28.04

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.



Last system update: Friday, April 23, 2010 | 14:32:02
 SEARCH  MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
How to contribute
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

Religious liberty in public schools
First Reports
Supreme Court
Columnists
Experts
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Singsā„¢
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links