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!

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