NOW Angered By Radio Contest (January 4, 2005)

Miami Herald Author/Byline: Vickie Chachere

Clear Channel Communications is being criticized by women’s health advocates over a Christmas contest which granted breast enlargement surgeries to women in four cities.

The “Breast Christmas Ever” contest was aired in Tampa, Jacksonville, St. Louis and Detroit and has drawn the ire of both the National Research Center for Women & Families and the National Organization for Women. NOW has urged its supporters to file complaints against the company and its stations with the Federal Communications Commission.

The controversy comes within months of Clear Channel paying a record $1.75 million fine to resolve indecency complaints against New York-based shock jock Howard Stern, Tampa radio personality “Bubba the Love Sponge” and others. The station formally agreed to “clean up its act,” FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in June.

While neither group is alleging the breast surgery contest violated decency standards, they are complaining the contest promotes potentially dangerous surgery and leaves its winners with no legal remedies should the surgery go awry. Under the rules, winners, who must be at least 18, must sign a waiver protecting the company from all liability claims.

“I try not to be judgmental about whether a large radio station should be giving away free toys to children instead of free breast augmentation,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, a health advocacy organization.

“The issue here is the ethics of providing a so-called prize of a surgical procedure where the women have no protection if something goes wrong.”

Clear Channel said last week it had nothing to do with the contest.

Still, on the network’s Tampa station WFLZ, Breast Christmas Ever rules posted on the station’s website said Clear Channel Broadcasting was conducting the contest.

Copyright (c) 2005 The Miami Herald

Goldberg takes over Stern’s slot (January 4, 2005)

Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Author/Byline: Tom Jicha TV/Radio Writer

WQAM is dropping The Hammer on Howard Stern.

As of Monday, Stern’s show will disappear from the sports station (560-AM), replaced by a new program hosted by Hank Goldberg, who moves from afternoon drive. Unlike most morning drive programs, Goldberg will sign on at 7 a.m. Goldberg, a notorious night owl and club hopper, said there is no way he could be up early enough to be on the air at the normal 6 a.m. starting time. Goldberg, who said he expects a hefty raise to become a slave of the alarm clock, added, “There isn’t enough money to get me to do [a 6 a.m. program].”

Goldberg’s move will necessitate changes throughout the schedule. Jim Mandich is the logical choice to take over for Goldberg from 4 to 7 p.m., but this would necessitate coming up with a replacement for the former Dolphin’s current 2-4 p.m. slot. However, this shift is far less important than afternoon drive. WQAM in all likelihood will run the Sporting News Network overnight show as a lead-in to Goldberg.

WQAM general manager Greg Reed declined to comment on the potential changes. Conversations are taking place, he said, but nothing has been finalized.

Replacing Stern with a program that ends at 10 a.m. also would appease Neil Rogers. The station’s biggest generator of ratings and revenue has been vocal in expressing displeasure about having to start his program whenever Stern feels like ending his. Some days, this is 11 a.m. or later.

This is the second time in less than a year Stern has been without an outlet in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market. He was dropped by WBGG (105.9-FM) in February in anticipation of the Federal Communications Commission crackdown on indecency after the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction contretemps. WPBZ (FM 103.1) restored Stern to the Palm Beach market in July. The following month, WQAM announced it was picking up the syndicated program.

Stern shocked the industry in October, announcing he is abandoning the broadcast band for Sirius satellite radio when his contract expires at the end of 2005. The fact that he will be leaving in less than a year undoubtedly was a factor in WQAM making its move now.

Happy Hank Goldberg

Link to Article
Copyright 2005 Sun-Sentinel Company

David Ross’s Confidential Howard Stern Memo (July 30, 2004)

From: Ross, David
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2004 5:38 PM
To: Miami All Solutions Group
Subject: Beasley to air Stern
Importance: High
(Confidential for CC Miami internal use only- not for air not for broadcast)

Ronna and I thought we should share a bit of news we heard this afternoon. It appears that the Beasley folks (WQAM, are telling advertisers that they will be airing the Howard Stern Show on WQAM starting August 16th. We all know that Stern wanted to be back in South Florida, so this move is no great surprise. First, it is not confirmed, and this could be a “stunt”. We just felt it was a significant enough rumor that we should tell you about the move.

What is interesting is that the complaint that got the most recent attention from the FCC, and drew the last fine for Stern came from Miami! So you can imagine how much venom will be spewing from the special interest groups, and in particular one gentleman, Jack Thompson, an attorney who has filed complaints against both Neil Rogers and Howard Stern in the past. Mr. Thompson was openly very proud of his recent complaint and allegedly claimed to be victorious in removing Stern from the market. We imagine that he will not take this news with great joy. I’m sure the FCC will be hearing from him!

As for us, we take it in stride. We have to focus on our products, and look at how far we have come back without Howard. Great news is that we made a super move with Paul and Ron. This show and Big 105.9 will actually gain from the return of Stern, as many mainstream advertisers just feel that Stern is just not their cup of tea. Paul and Ron are! They are superb sellers of goods and services, and certainly will accommodate advertisers with their “no controversy” dictates. Now QAM will have controversial programming on from 6am till 3pm. Guess sports isn’t the way to go! Our recent research study indicated that we have strong listener acceptance of Pand R on Big.

It will be very interesting to see how Wayne Huizenga and the Miami Dolphins feel about being on the same station as Howard Stern. When we pitched the Dolphins a few years ago…we offered BIG for a simulcast of the games. They were not interested in being on the same station as Howard Stern! Were openly concerned about the image during our negotiations.

Many of you have asked why Infinity has not been fined, and how new companies like Beasley can flaunt the FCC’s Indecency rules. I have no answer at this time. Its out of my hands and control. I can just hope like the rest of you that we are all held to the same standards. After last nights “F” bomb on CNN…one has to continue to wonder if fair play exists….but…

Our job here in the market is to program , promote and move goods and services for our clients. John Hogan took indecency issues seriously, protected our shareholders, and our company took the high road. We now have a Less is More initiative …where we are going to cut down on clutter, and make these stations even more appealing to listener needs. We are going to offer clients multiple time frame units, 30’s 60’s 15’s ….along with premium positions.

While the competition will be adding units….we will be cutting them. The Stern Show runs 18 units per hour…we will be running 10. The market’s “sports station” will be out of sports from 6am-3PM! Guess WIOD is looking pretty good right now….we got Shaq! Dolphins and QAM lost Ricky…. WIOD and the Heat will be a radio winner!

Keep your heads up and focus on our game. Our rock brands ZETA and BIG will continue to be the markets “wall of men”. They are hertiage stations with great morning shows… Nobody in this market knows more about Howard Stern than we do. We worked with him… our BIG 105.9 staff was the best in the country at selling him… We also know the weaknesses. We may lose some live spot business, but think of how much business QAM will lose nationally and from clients with no Stern edicts…so go after them…take their business…

The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings!

If you don't like Clear Channel

From NeilRogers.com