Stern Says Clear Channel Not Paying Him During Suspension
March 15, 2004
Howard Stern claims to have received a letter from Clear Channel informing him that the company will not pay him while he is under suspension on six of its stations. Stern says his contracts with WBGG/Miami, WXDX/Pittsburgh, KIOZ/San Diego, WTKS/Orlando, WTFX/Louisville and WNVE/Rochester have varying amounts of time remaining on them.
"Unfortunately I'll have to go to court over this, but they will have to pay," Stern said on his show this morning. "I have an ironclad contract with them that says, 'No matter what, you owe me my money.'"
Stern says he's been through this before with Evergreen Media. (The company hired Stern for WLUP-AM/Chicago in the early '90s, then quickly dropped him.) "If they're going to ruin my reputation, if they're going to hire me, then pull me off the air and make me unmarketable, at least I get paid for my troubles," Stern said, calling for a listener boycott of Clear Channel stations and advertisers. "Since they ruined my career, I get paid."
Directing more bile at the company, Stern called Clear Channel "scumbags," "asswipes," and "smarmy." The increasingly political personality repeated earlier claims that Clear Channel is in bed with President Bush. However, CC EVP Law & Government Affairs Andy Levin calls charges that the company dropped Stern because of his public criticism of the Bush administration "nonsense." "It's amazing to me that people are so quick to buy into conspiracy theories," Levin told Radio World. "The truth is we pulled Stern because the broadcast in question was sexually explicit, completely over the line, and had no place on the air."
Echoing that position, CC Radio CEO John Hogan told The New York Times that Stern is "a very good PR person for himself," and that Clear Channel "is unequivocally not supporting President Bush -- we have no political agenda."