Clear Channel, Stern Drop Lawsuits

NEW YORK Clear Channel and Howard Stern said they have agreed to drop their respective lawsuits against each other. The suits stemmed from Clear Channel’s move a year ago to pull Stern off its radio stations in Miami, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Fla., Rochester, N.Y., and Louisville, Ky., over indecency issues.

“Today, Clear Channel stations are entertaining listeners without being indecent, and we intend to keep it that way,” said Andrew Levin, executive vp and chief legal officer for Clear Channel.

Clear Channel pulled The Howard Stern Show a year ago, claiming that the program didn’t conform to acceptable standards of responsible broadcasting. Stern fired back in June citing breach of contract and sued the San Antonio radio giant for $10 million. Clear Channel then counter-sued for $3 million.

Even though Clear Channel took a tough stance regarding Stern, the company expressed concern over the recent regulatory climate that singles out broadcasters while ignoring other media that compete with them. “Congress and the FCC should be troubled that the current law unquittingly creates a safe haven for indecent programming on other media platforms, including satellite radio. Unfortunately, these outlets are fast becoming the wild west for sexually explicit programming,” said Levin.

Stern is set to leave traditional radio for Sirius Satellite Radio on Jan. 1, 2006.