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It's Clear: Stern Given the Boot

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Indecent! Indecent! Indecent!

That's what the Federal Communications Commission shouted. Eighteen times. At $27,500 a pop.

That proved too much for Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio chain in the U.S., who quickly dropped the "Howard Stern Show" from the six Clear Channel stations that carried it. Company President John Hogan said the government had succeeded in attracting their attention with a proposed $495,000 fine.

Just a few days earlier, the company paid a record $755,000 fine for indecent broadcasts by "Bubba the Love Sponge," -- Bubba the Love Sponge??? -- who was fired.

Radio and television stations are prohibited from broadcasting references to sexual and excretory functions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to FCC rules -- which don't apply to cable, satellite channels, or satellite radio.

For now, Stern's nationally syndicated show remains on other stations around the country, including 35 owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The broadcaster says he believes the action is a conspiracy of the Bush Administration to quell his criticism of the president, a close friend of Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays.

Somewhere in here, there's a joke about static -- but we can't figure out whether that's what the FCC is giving Stern and Clear Channel, or if it's simply what you'll hear when you're trying to find his show on your radio dial.

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