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lol, howard stern may get bleeped

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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   ralph_barr



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Posted January 22 2006 - 11:55 PM



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January 23, 2006 -- Howard Stern may be coming down with a Sirius case of the bleeps.
High-level executives of the satellite broadcaster are developing an internal standards-and-practices document that will set boundaries for Stern and other shock jocks, The Post has learned.

“It’s something that’s being taken very seriously," a Sirius source said.

Stern's new show also is being broadcast on a time-delay, giving him the opportunity to censor the program — which he already has done.

Stern moved to Sirius in part because satellite-radio services such as Sirius and XM — unlike free terrestrial radio — are not policed by the FCC, which spent years waging an indecency war against him.

The battle resulted in big-bucks fines against Stern and his former employers at Viacom.

XM, which is now home to shock jocks Opie and Anthony, confirmed that it has had its own guidelines in place for some time, but declined to provide details.

The standards of the private satellite broadcasters can be far looser than those imposed by the FCC on the public airways.

Sirius' move toward self-censorship comes as pressure continues to mount in Congress to regulate programming on cable and satellite radio and TV.

For years, cable executives have resisted government threats of regulation, claiming that self-policing has been sufficient.

It's a move satellite radio seems to be getting ready to emulate.

But even with Stern safely out of the FCC's reach, his foes, including self-appointed anti-obscenity crusaders like John B. Thompson, argue that other government agencies should take up the cause.

"The DOJ [Department of Justice] now has the chance to make amends for its laxity during Stern's criminal conduct on terrestrial radio for 25 years," the Florida lawyer wrote to Bruce Taylor, who oversees the DOJ's Criminal Division in a Jan. 9 letter obtained by The Post. Meanwhile, Stern himself has asked for some restraint on his show, encouraging his staff not to use profanity too often.

On one occasion last week, Stern even "dumped" out a minor bit of his own broadcast to protect the identity of a staff member's family.

On Stern's old show, the dump switch was controlled by station officials, who frequently bleeped out racy material.

It's not clear whether Stern knew he'd be subject to any limitations when he signed on with Sirius, which is paying him about $100 million a year.

He also was awarded $220 million in stock after the company reported that it had signed up more than 3 million new subscribers, boosting its total to 3.3 million. XM has more than 6 million subscribers.

Sirius officials did not return calls for comment on the proposal.

The imposition of loose standards is not likely to put much of a dent into Stern's free-for-all broadcasts or scare off any of his advertisers, an expert said.

"I believe this is just an attempt to put things in place if and when [the government] turns up the heat on satellite radio, much like it has with cable from time to time," said Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University.

"In the end, it won't mean much to the average listener or advertiser."

Advertisers are paying less for Stern's spots on Sirius than they did for his show on traditional radio — especially since there is no way to verify how many Sirius subscribers are tuning in to his show.

Sources said it may be as little as half of the $20,000 per 30-second spot that had been floated when he signed up.


#2 of 33 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 23 2006 - 12:40 AM

This is what I had heard last week, and I'll start with Howard Stern as it relates to him specifically.... Supposedly, Sprint and Sirius just partnered up to offer satellite radio over the phones. Apparently, Sprint didn't like the explicit content of Howard Stern's show and had Sirius censor the channel (among others). Knowing Howard Stern, this has got to be a major setback for him since he has always dreamed of moving to totally unregulated radio. As far as Opie and Anthony are concerned... At the time XM raised their subsription rates, they took away O&A's PREMIUM standing and made their show available to all subscribers. I remember O&A were talking about having to calm their show down because XM was concerned about listeners wandering into the channel and being exposed to their highly explicit content. I can tell you this.... I listen to O&A regularly, and the show hasn't become any more toned-down than it was from day one -- or at least, I don't notice it. The show still remains outrageously explicit including the airing of frank sex talk and (occasionaly) acts. I am personally angry that there is so much concern being given to censoring satellite radio and I am surprised that the companies are actually beginning to regulate content even before they are forced to -- which may be never. Satellite radio is a PAID service, just as cable and satellite television is. And, just like the other mediums, there are safeguards put in place to block programming that may be deemed too mature. I absolutely feel our government spends far too much time attempting to tell us what we can and cannot watch. The responsibility lies in the home and upon parents who should use the tools made available to them to block specific shows from their children.


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#3 of 33 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted January 23 2006 - 01:01 AM

ugh. Isn't John B. Thompson the idiot who commissioned a video game about a father, distressed over his son's death at the hands of gamers, taking bloody revenge upon the videogame publishing industry and then proceeded to renege on this commission

#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Chris


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Posted January 23 2006 - 02:34 AM

$20,000 per spot is what Stern received on OTA for a 30 second. On SIRI, he's getting $9,500-$11,500 dependant on the time. That meks it the highest (by more then double) advertising cost anywhere on either service XM or SIRIUS, and I have no problem with SIRI taking in the slightly over $250,000-$300,000 per show in marketing value that is estimated.
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#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Ernie Estrella

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Posted January 23 2006 - 02:39 AM

I've listened to Stern every single day and he has not been bleeped at all. I have no knowledge of the Sprint issue, but please, let's not spin this speculation into fact.
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#6 of 33 OFFLINE   WillG



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Posted January 23 2006 - 04:37 AM

When was Bubba on XM? I remember Bubba being fired from Clear Channel. I never heard that he was booted from XM. Maybe XM was just broadcasting his Clear Channel show and when he was fired, there was nothing for XM to broadcast from him.
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#7 of 33 OFFLINE   TheLongshot



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Posted January 23 2006 - 05:35 AM

It sounds like XM was rebroadcasting his show to a national audience. In any case, XM didn't have anything to do with him getting the boot. Jason

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted January 23 2006 - 06:31 AM

XM (channel 152?) aired some Clearchannel shows including Bubba at the time and now shows like Lex and Terry. Not sure about Sirius but XM offers channels labeled as XL due their explicit content. People can choose to block them by calling XM. This allows O&A to get keep the show as explicit as they like.

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 23 2006 - 11:01 AM

O&A spent an hour this morning attacking Stern after the radio legend made some false claims about XM Radio and their talent last Friday. Pretty funny stuff. In any event, O&A said that their show has not been toned down in any way since they lost their PREMIUM status, nor will the show ever tame itself.


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#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Brent T

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Posted January 23 2006 - 11:52 AM

I believe what they must be talking about was the LACK of talent on XM (in Sterns opinion). Which of course is subjective.

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted January 23 2006 - 01:56 PM

Can't they just agree that Jack Thompson is an idiot?

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted January 24 2006 - 05:16 AM

The name of this game is "divide and conquer". It seems to me that fans of Opie/Anthony and fans of Stern have a common interest in not being played by the likes of these. Just a reminder that in this media conglomerated world, a paper like the NY Post is owned by a guy named Rupert Murdoch who also has an interest in a little thing called Fox News that often features pro-censorship activists like and including John Thompson who testifies before and encourages letter-writing campaigns to the FCC for the primary purpose of controlling speech. And what's the latest cause-de-jour for the regulated media and censorship proponents? Authorizing the FCC to regulate in areas beyond their traditional mandate that presently limits them to the broadcast spectrum; to wit, the censoring of cable television, the internet, and satellite radio. Some of you may recall a farcical little congressional "Forum on Indecency" chaired by the - ahem - esteemed Republican senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens. Recently he spoke with the National Association of Broadcasters, leaving no doubt where he stands on this issue:
Just saying... let's not be coopted by these fools and find ourselves rooting for/against Opie & Anthony or Howard Stern, because ultimately we'll be the losers. Fans of both shows and both satellite radio services will hopefully recognize that they have a shared interest here, and a real enemy there. As for this story? I doubt its veracity quite frankly. Understand that all speech already has its limits, including those ascribed by libel/slander laws and obscenity restrictions (as opposed to "indecency"), and I feel safe in presuming that both XM and Sirius have in-house attorneys and standards that keep their broadcasts on the legal side of these lines. But it's very easy to trump those sorts of things up into a controversy like "SIRIUS censors Stern!", and when it comes to the NY Post and Rupert Murdoch... let's just say that extra care must be taken to read between the lines.
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Doug^Ch


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Posted January 24 2006 - 07:39 AM

As and XM subscriber for over a year, I finally decided to listen to Opie and Anthony (I almost always listen to the music stations) to see what it was all about. I have to say that they are more intelligent that I had bargained for, but the show is not for me. At times they can be very funny, but quite frankly, and I'm no prude, it is simply too vulgar for my taste. I'm going to exercise my purogitive and simply not listen to them anymore. I'm more than happy with my music. If Don Imus ever comes to Satellite, I will gladly follow him to whichever service lands him. I believe that to a degree ultimately the marketplace will censor Stern and O&A. After all there aren't many desirable advertisers with deep pockets that are going to want to associate their product with a show that has a woman shoving a phone up her @#!!*%**, while talking on the radio.

#14 of 33 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted January 24 2006 - 08:02 AM

Yes, but perhaps there are vulgar advertisers who are in search of vulgar customers. The demographics of vulgarity are huge.

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 24 2006 - 08:36 AM

I have listened to Stern all 5 hours a day for the 2+ weeks he has been on. I broke down and got the S50 and I get to listen to live for 2 hours in the morning and recorded on the s50 for 3 hours after work. While I do not have XM, I have been paying attention to reports of O&A mentioning him on an almost daily basis. In the 55+ hours I have been listening to Stern, he has mentioned O&A exactly 1 time. In this instance, he said he felt bad for them when they tried to send a few stragglers to interrupt his transition over to sat radio. He said they were few in number and seemed to be carrying signs that were produced by XM. He reiterated that it should be a competition between terrestrial and satellite, not XM and Sirius and called their attempts to "infiltrate" his show "lame". The whole conversation lasted about 2 minutes. Given the amount of time O&A seem to be spending on Howard and Howard's pretty much ignoring them back, "lame" is a fit description, IMHO. Also, Howard denies everything about this story and said it was basically made up out of whole cloth. THe fact that the only "expert" Fox news found to say it is true was Chaunce Hayden, a semi-psychotic ex-Wack Pack member who has been banned from the show for over a year, I tend to believe Howard.

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Doug^Ch


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Posted January 25 2006 - 01:40 AM

I am definitely not a Stern fan. As a matter of fact I pretty much can't stand him. Putting all that aside, all the legitimate reviews I've seen so far are saying that he is doing a great job so far. See Entertainment Weekly for one of them; I think they gave him an A- and David Lee Roth a D.

#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Doug^Ch


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Posted January 25 2006 - 03:14 AM

Jeremy, I have to agree with you and your point "that the demographics of vulgarity are huge." After all porn is what made the Internet possible. If O&A are looking for that type of advertiser, they should have no trouble in obtaining them.

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Monty B

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Posted January 25 2006 - 05:53 AM

As usual the media takes a story totally without merit and runs with it. At this point the only person with the ability to censor the show is Howard. He has a dump button in the event that someone is slandered, libeled, etc. Other than that everything else (as long as it is legal)is fair game.

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Chris_T


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Posted January 25 2006 - 07:21 AM

Excellent read Rich.Posted Image I agree with you 100%.


#20 of 33 OFFLINE   TonyD


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Posted January 25 2006 - 03:37 PM

i've been listening to him since he came on sirius, what did he say. i cant remeber anything that may be false claims about xm. ron did you hear what howard said or is this just going on what o and a say howrd said.

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