Not the Most Sirius Threat

November 30, 2005
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Howard mentioned that before he signed his deal, all radio stations, including Infinity, used to take money from SIRIUS, and its competitor, to run their satellite radio ads.

However, Howard noted that no stations will sell spots to SIRIUS now, which he credited to the theory radio insiders have that he will single-handedly destroy regular radio.

Howard went on to say that no matter how successful he is on satellite, he will not affect FM radio. Because of this, Howard suggested that radio execs should instead be concentrating on other forms of entertainment that are doing more damage to their business. Howard explained that the Internet, iPods and television, all of which are allowed to advertise on Infinity and other stations, are bigger threats than he is, yet stations don’t seem to realize it.

Joining Forces to Fight Howard

Howard then commented that the attention he’s getting has reached such incredible heights that Clear Channel and Viacom have teamed up and spent $40-50 million on ads that proclaim people shouldn’t have to pay for radio. Howard admitted he agrees with that statement, but because of all the censorship imposed by the FCC, people have no choice if they want quality programming.

Howard also reported that he watched an indecency hearing on C-SPAN yesterday where the senior vice president of government affairs at Clear Channel insisted to the Senate that if the FCC has the power to regulate regular radio, the agency should be able to regulate television and satellite radio as well. Howard noted that the request for such regulation meant that Clear Channel execs are now starting to realize just how much trouble they’re in, and that the only way they’ll be able to compete with satellite radio is by trying to censor it.

Your Money’s No Good Here

Gary reported that he finds it hard to believe Infinity won’t take spots from SIRIUS, especially because the company currently airs “genital enlargement,” strip club and Internet poker ads. In fact, Gary mentioned that the only other potential sponsor he’s heard Infinity turn down besides SIRIUS was a brothel in the Dominican Republic (where prostitution is legal) and that was only after it was advised to do so by a team of lawyers.

Howard agreed with Gary’s statement, and brought up that SIRIUS tried to buy – at a premium – all the advertising on his final show, but that Infinity rejected the offer. This led Robin to point out that after this week, there will only be 10 shows remaining, which she couldn’t believe. Howard then ended the discussion by breaking into a rendition of, “A Place for Us.”