"Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern's show blew right through it."
——John Hogan, Clear Channel CEO

CLEAR CHANNEL STRIKES UP THE STERN BAN

Broadcast Monolith's "Responsible Broadcasting Initiative" Used to Quash Shock Jock
Clear Channel's announced "Responsible Broadcasting Initiaitve" just claimed its first victim as the radio monolith pulled the Infinity-syndicated Howard Stern Show off its stations that were carrying the program.

The move was consistent with its stated intention to make sure "the material aired by its radio stations conforms to the standards and sensibilities of the local communities [we] serve." After assessing the content of yesterday's Howard Stern show, Clear Channel worked with local market managers to take swift and decisive action.

"Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern's show blew right through it," said Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan. "It was vulgar, offensive, and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency. We will not air Howard Stern on Clear Channel stations until we are assured that his show will conform to acceptable standards of responsible broadcasting."

Can't wait to hear what Stern has to say about it tomorrow morning.

Hogan is scheduled to testify tomorrow in Washington in front of the House Telecom subcommittee, which has been convened to discuss the pending Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 along with Paxson CEO Bud Paxson, Pappas Telecasting Chairman Harry Pappas, Fox President of Entertainment Gail Berman, NBC President of Research Alan Wurtzel and ABC President Alex Wallau.

Clear Channel President/COO Mark Mays said: "Clear Channel is serious about helping address the rising tide of indecency on the airwaves. As broadcast licensees, we are fully responsible for what our stations air, and we intend to make sure all our DJs and programmers understand what is and what is not appropriate on Clear Channel radio shows. In other words, buh-bye Bubba."

Mays said the company will institute a zero tolerance policy for indecent content which will include company-wide training and automatic suspensions for anyone that the FCC alleges has violated indecency rules on the air.

"If the FCC accuses us of wrongdoing by issuing a proposed fine, we will take immediate action," Mays said. "We will suspend the DJ in question, and perform a swift investigation. If we or the government ultimately determine the offending broadcast is indecent, the DJ will be terminated without delay."

Ya think satellite radio can pick up the slack for dirty talk on the air?

Added Hogan: "If a DJ is found to be in violation of FCC rules, there will be no appeals and no intermediate steps. If they break the law by broadcasting indecent material, they will not work for Clear Channel."

FCC boss Michael Powell must be beaming.

In addition, the company announced that all of its contracts with on-air performers are being modified to ensure that DJs share financial responsibility if they utter indecent material on the air.

"From now on, every contract that Clear Channel enters into with on-air talent will include this provision," said Hogan. "While that won't relieve Clear Channel from our responsibility as a broadcast licensee, we believe it will have a significant deterrent effect on indecent content."

Reiterating its call for a "Decency Task Force," Clear Channel also has volunteered to fully participate with other representatives of the broadcast, cable and satellite industries to develop an industry-wide response to indecency and violence in the media.

Wonder if that includes the new Mel Gibson flick about Jesus. We heard there’s some real blood and gore in that one.

"In our view, industry-developed guidelines should be as effective as government-imposed regulations without running afoul of the First Amendment protections that we all respect," said Hogan.

And you thought this nonsense died along with Lenny Bruce.

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