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Adventures in Clear Channel Babysitting (Updated)

Clear Channel has once again proven that they want to be a dictator to our ears.
Clear Channel Radio has suspended the broadcast of Viacom's Howard Stern show, consistent with its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative announced earlier today. 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 John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio.
Protecting their listeners? If they were listening to the Stern show, they weren't expecting anything less than vulgar. He's been doing this how many years? And Clear Channel is just now getting around to editing/censoring him? Janet and Justin have no idea what they have brought upon the entertainment industry. I expect Jeff to have something to say about this. Update/Clarification: Editing and censoring were the wrong words to use. But that's besides the point. I'm not really all that strung out over Stern's predicament; I just think it's kind of funny that he's been doing this kind of thing for years and Clear Channel just now - in the wake of Janet's boobie exposure - decides he should be taken off the air. It's a knee-jerk reaction on CC's part - Stern surely is a ratings boon for most of their stations and a money maker - and in the long run it's only going to get more people listening to Stern on the stations on which he is still airing. I'm not much of a Stern fan (I certainly used to be, back in the early days), I prefer to listen to Curtis and Kuby or music on my ride to work. I just believe that this means absolutely nothing to Stern and company except more fodder for his show, less listeners for Clear Channel and another reason to get satellite radio.


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» Censorship Alert from JimSpot
Michele said that "editing and censoring were the wrong words to use." I disagree very strongly. Clear Channel pulled the... [Read More]


Cheap Channel also made a to-do about sacking Bubba the Love Sponge this month.

Of course, their major goal is to fend off the possibility that the FCC might decide that 1200 stations might just be too goddamn many for a single owner.

I was just gonna mention Bubba. They just want to protect us Michele from such vulgar things and obscenities ya know. ;) There was a guy , some guy on the street here that they talked to and he said it was about time that Bubba was taken off the air because he was just crass. They asked him how long he was a listener of Bubbas. He said since the beginning.
If he's so crass and obscene, why not change the station? Why was he a loyal listener for all those years if he was offended?

"I expect Jeff to have something to say about this."

Oh, he has.

so this is the post deleted from TCp before I had a chance to read it. For a second I thought one of the contributors went renegade

"If he's so crass and obscene, why not change the station? Why was he a loyal listener for all those years if he was offended?"

There is a point where fun is fun but it might cross the line - some people just roll with it and don't care, for others it's finally is the straw that breaks the camels back.

Clear station is making a choice on what it wants to broadcast - if you don't like that, why not change the channel?

It's a two ways street. If your going to be on it, don't be a hypocrite and stand in oncoming traffic.

If you feel you have a better idea of what should be broadcast, then go buy yourself an FCC license and getyourself a radio station and you can say whatever you want. And when people complain and have your butt hauled up for big fines, you can just pay those, and continue to say your piece. And you can keep paying those fines because you know better than the FCC what people want to hear. You knoe every time you get fined its free pubilicty - until no one cares anymore - then you win cause the fines will stop since it had no effect as no one cares anymore.

So go ahead, support Freedom and Free Speech - just open up the check book and sign on the dotted line and you can talk all you want.

I'm in the dark. I can't find any references to what the actual "offensive content" was. Clue me in, somebody, please?

The way I look at it, at least they regulating their own content rather than having the government do it.

Kelley, I saw in one of the comments over at Jarvis's blog that the incident involves the n-word.

If only those Clear Channel corporate boys had a conscience about the crappy music they spew out over their 1000+ stations.

When once company owns most of the stations, how exactly are we supposed to change the channel? Oh yeah, there's that talk radio station at the end of the dial that's not part of the CC empire. Yippee...

Just to be clear: editing and censoring are two completely different things. Howard Stern has not been censored. He can say all the offensive and stupid things he wants, and no one will arrest him. That would be censorship. But some people have apparently decided that they don't want to pay him to do that anymore, nor do they wish to pay for 20,000 kilowatts of power per day (just a guess) to broadcast his tripe, probably because they figured out that it has become, over time, too crude and stupid for their demographic. Poor, poor Howard. Now he's just like me. Shooting his mouth off for free. Oh, the humanity.

People expect his show to offer up such goodies. It's NOT expected during the Superbowl. Clear Channel has the right to do whatever they want, but it's still stupid to pull his show when it's obviously a $ maker and popular. And besides, it's all about what a caller said not the host.

This is not a new idea.

Every shock jock-- every shock jock-- every 3 or 4 years gets suspended or something as part of a ratings ploy.

They come back a few days/weeks later and get a ratings bounce.

The shock jock acts all ticked off. and the media giant uses all their other channels to 'promote' the show.

"Clear station is making a choice on what it wants to broadcast - if you don't like that, why not change the channel? "

Kind of hard when they own almost every radio station in this part of the country. I'm not a Stern fan in the least bit, but I am sick and tired of being told my what I can and can't hear. My only choices are to listen, turn it off or listen to Bill O'reily. Why stop at vulgarity? Politcal speech, religious beliefs offend people every day....why not censure that? I do not care if your son or daughter might hear something objectionable. Its not my job or the governments job to instill the virtues of right and wrong in to your kids.
My son is being and will always be brought up to respect others and to know where things cross the line. The penalties for breaches will be swift.
Problem is that I may get into trouble for rasing my son this way. Kids and parents are not held accountable for anything. Its allways someone else's falt.


I like your post better than mine. Well said.

Censorship ... bad.

Freeing up the only good rock station in San Diego for my morning commute? Good.

I've never found Stern funny. I don't find him offensive ... take a lot to offend me. He just isn't funny to me. I was irritated as Hell when rock 105.3 put him on in the mornings, as I listened to them on the way to work.


Republicans at their best. Yes YOU TOO can have this happen to YOUR FAMILY.


What the hell does this have to do with Republicans? In fact, the Religious Right (contrary to liberals' belief, they do not make up the majority of Republicans), which probably applauded Clear Channel's decision, wants the Government OUT of the family (e.g. educated their child about sex, evolution etc.). It's liberals that seem to want control over the family (e.g. Vermont's social visits to families with new babies)

I really don't get how this is a Republican issue. Last I checked, Clear Channel wasn't owned by the White House.

JFH - You're right. The religious right doesn't want kids educated about sex or evolution. They want kids educated about abstinence and "intelligent design".

Liberals are not saints in this regard, of course, but the right is just as eager to interefere in families as the left, just in different directions.

That said, this still isn't a Republican plot.

The content that got Howard dropped by CC involved racial slurs, including "the N word". That's not exactly well-known as a Republican issue.

Two points.

1. I don't remember any "liberal" backlash when Rush Limbaugh was fired from ESPN.

2. In regards to "censorship," I have two words: "Speech Codes." There are many universities (usually controlled by those with leftist leanings) that do not allow the use of certain words or phrases because they offend someone else.

"Conservatives" want to "censor" things that offend against morals. "Liberals" want to "censor" against things that against feelings of certain groups or people.

I also want to say that the best defense against offensive speech is free speech. The the other person talk and show the world what an idiot he or she is.