Sirius Satellite Radio will launch one of its Howard Stern channels in September, even though the syndicated morning man is contractually forbidden from appearing on-air at Sirius until January 2006.
On his Wednesday (August 24) show, Stern said he, Sirius president of entertainment & sports Scott Greenstein, executive VP of programming Jay Clark and other Sirius honchos have been huddling over content plans for the channel, one of two that Stern will produce for the satcaster. Unknown, at this point, is what non-Stern programming will populate the channels.
Stern also confirmed that his Sirius start date is January 9, allowing for some downtime after he completes his 20-year Infinity tenure in December. Should Infinity spring him before then, Stern said he would start at Sirius the day after news broke of his premature departure.
Meanwhile, Stern claims the Federal Communications Commission is investigating a new indecency complaint against his show filed by a listener. According to the Miami Herald, Coral Gables, Fla., decency crusader Jack Thompson filed a complaint against Beasley classic rock WRXK Ft. Myers Fla., and Stern Infinity flagship WXRK New York. Also named in the complaint is Hank Goldberg, the morning man at Beasley sports WQAM Miami who replaced Stern in January. WRXK dropped the Stern show in April.
An FCC spokesperson told the Herald it has sent letters to the station licensees requesting information on the broadcasts cited, the routine first step in responding to an indecency complaint.
In November 2004, the FCC and Viacom reached a $3.5 million indecency settlement over three Notices of Apparent Liability and two Forfeiture Orders. Like earlier separate consent decrees forged by the FCC with Clear Channel and Emmis, the agreement calls for suspension for any air talent responsible for an indecency Notice Of Apparent Liability.