Thursday, February 26, 2004

Howard Stern Hosed

Howard Stern’s radio show has been suspended by Clear Channel, according to the Miami Herald.

On the eve of a House hearing on broadcast indecency, the nation’s largest radio station chain suspended shock jock Howard Stern’s show, saying it did not meet the company’s newly revised programming standards.

Stern’s suspension Wednesday by Clear Channel Radio was the second time in two days that the company has acted against a disc jockey.

The company on Tuesday fired the DJ known as “Bubba the Love Sponge,” whose show drew a record fine of $755,000 from the Federal Communications Commission. The program aired in four Florida cities and included graphic discussions about sex and drugs “designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners,” the FCC said.

Clear Channel’s announcement did not say how many of its 1,200 stations carried the Stern show, which is distributed by Viacom’s Infinity Broadcasting and derives most of national audience from being carried by Infinity-owned stations. The Washington Post said the Stern show had been carried on six Clear Channel stations.

Under pressure from federal regulators and lawmakers, broadcasters are revisiting their indecency standards, delaying live broadcasts so they can delete offensive material and telling parents how to block specific programs.

Their actions previewed a House subcommittee hearing Thursday on indecency, the second this month. Scheduled to appear were executives from ABC, Fox, NBC, Pax and Clear Channel Communications. [Emphasis added.]

For a second there, I thought they were talking about Rush Limbaugh.

Just which amendments to the Constitution does the Bush intend to preserve, protect, and defend – other than the ones they hack together to reduce gays and lesbians to second-class citizens?