Howard Stern Gains Nine Infinity Affiliates

Shock-jock to get back on air in five markets.

In a move that he says "proves Viacom's commitment" to him, Howard Stern this morning (June 30) revealed that his talk show will gain nine affiliates, all Infinity stations, starting July 19.

The move will put the shock jock back on the air in five of the six markets in which he was turned off by Clear Channel Communications (CCC) on Feb. 26.

Stern's show will return to Pittsburgh (top-40 WBZZ); San Diego (classic hits KPLN); West Palm Beach, Fla. (modern WPBZ); Rochester, N.Y. (modern WZNE) and Orlando, Fla. (modern WOCL). The show will remain without an affiliate in Louisville, Ky.

In addition, he'll add affiliates in Houston (news KIKK-AM); Austin, Texas (rhythmic top-40 KQBT); Tampa, Fla. (sports WQYK-AM) and Fresno, Calif. (spanish KRNC) for a total of 45 stations, 27 of which are Infinity-owned.

Stern's announcement, which came at a media gathering in New York, comes despite growing talk about what he'll do when his contract expires in December 2005. Stern said he won't rule out a move to satellite radio, mainly because it promises no censorship. He added that he probably won't finish out his contract, and that the new affiliates represent a temporary victory.

Stern also continued to pledge support for John Kerry, noting that his new affiliates position him in a number of swing states and stating his plans to "work like a dog" to get President George W. Bush and his administration out of the White House.

As previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission and CCC earlier this month reached a record settlement of about $1.75 million that covered penalties lodged against CCC stations for syndicating episodes of the Stern show that were deemed indecent.