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Press Release

February 2, 2010


PTC Says Families Lose if Clear Channel’s Rumored Bid for Howard Stern Comes True


LOS ANGELES (February 2, 2010) – The Parents Television Council® issued a statement in response to news reports that Clear Channel is considering hiring radio shock jock Howard Stern away from Sirius XM.


“Hopefully the rumors of Clear Channel bringing Howard Stern back to the public airwaves are nothing more than just that: rumors.  If Mr. Stern returns to terrestrial radio, then the truth will be exposed:  The argument isn’t about free speech, it’s about money,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“For two decades Stern has been the poster boy for broadcast decency enforcement.  His shift to satellite radio offered comfort to parents, families, and citizens who are concerned by the rising tide of indecency on the public airwaves; yet it offered those who wanted Stern’s explicit material a means to consume it.  If Clear Channel is actually considering the return of Stern’s program to the airwaves on which they receive a license to broadcast, it is a very troubling sign.


“A few short years ago, Clear Channel executives publicly promised to abide by both the spirit and the letter of the broadcast decency law.  To bring Stern back to their radio network would suggest one of three things:  Either they have dependable reason to believe that Mr. Stern’s material will not be indecent; they will ensure that indecent material will be bleeped or edited out; or they have decided to renege on their promise to the American public.


“This situation raises another important issue.  It is unlikely that Clear Channel would even flirt with the idea of Howard Stern if the FCC were enforcing the broadcast decency law.  With the FCC refusing to adjudicate the backlog of 1.6 million indecency complaints, broadcasters who want to air indecent material when children are in the audience seem free to act without consequence.  And the blame for that sits squarely at the FCC.


“When Sirius and XM announced their intention to merge into one company, they wisely promised to allow subscribers the option of not paying for explicit material by offering unbundled programming.  Stern’s material is a perfect example of why that model is such a good idea.  And if Stern intends to continue to produce indecent content, then the solution is simple:  Leave him where he belongs – on subscription satellite radio.”


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





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