Is Howard Stern still being censored?

A lot of people subscribed to Sirius to hear Howard Stern uncensored, but even on satellite radio, Stern is still subject to Sirius’ in-house content restrictions. So says a front-page report in today’s New York Post, which cites unnamed insiders as saying Sirius is imposing limits on the supposedly unfettered speech of Stern and other jocks. (Satellite competitor XM, home to shock jocks Opie and Anthony, reportedly has similar restrictions.)

But, but… Stern told everyone he was leaving terrestrial radio for satellite so that he could be free of FCC restrictions. The Post report, however, suggests that Sirius and XM have censorship guidelines in place in case Congress makes good on its threat to grant the FCC oversight of private pay broadcasts as well as the public airwaves.

It’s one thing for Stern to censor his own show (pledging to limit uses of the f-word, for example, because nonstop profanity would get tired pretty quickly). It’s another if the restrictions are imposed by the company, especially in fear of legislation that doesn’t exist yet. Still, satellite subscribers may not notice that distinction. After all, it was Stern himself who sold many of them on the promise of unfettered speech; if he knew that that wasn’t really something he could offer, the bait-and-switch will alienate even the hardcore loyalists who paid to follow him into uncharted territory.

Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • DubTee

    Yet more proof that satellite radio subscribers are paying for a shabby product that doesn’t deliver as promised. Stern’s bitching about the FCC and political blatherings were why listeners left his “terrestrial” show in droves. For him, the only good thins is that he’s only left with his built-in, drooling moron audience which is probably too stupid to realize it’s now paying money for the same old crap which, oh by the way, is probably still being censored in a very real way.

  • Adam

    Despite what the article says, XM does not impose any limits to Opie and Anthony (anyone who has ever heard their satellite show can attest to that). They do, however, offer a channel blocking service that subscribers can request to block channels with explict language. From what I understand, Sirius does not offer such an option, which may be a reason for this supposed censorship of Stern.

  • Joseph

    Stern, BTW, bashed that article this morning as WRONG WRONG WRONG!

  • Felipito

    That story is full of hot air. Howard and Robin were laughing their asses off at all the attention that false story is getting. FCC cant regulate a pay service. People are paying to hear him now, he can say whatever he pleases. The show is unbelievable a great showcase for a technology that is in its infancy and Howard is there at the forefront. Satellite Radio Rules!!!!!!

  • Dan Taylor

    Actually, satellite delivers exactly what’s promised… an almost unending supply of commercial-free music (at least on Sirius) and free-form radio that commercial, mainstream can’t and never will deliver. Then again, what do I know, since I’m part of the “drooling moron audience” that has listened to Howard for more than two decades? Guess I should be tuning in to the “political blatherings” of such high-brow thinkers as the Rush Limbaughs and Bill O’Reillys of the world who are so busy trying to sell me their crappy t-shirts and coffee mugs that they wouldn’t know how to deliver honest, entertaining radio if it crawled up their slimy, scaly legs and bit them on the ass.

  • Dan Taylor

    Oh, and to correct another inaccuracy below, Sirius does have a channel locking option but unlike XM does not charge a “premium” to listen to Stern-clones like Opie and Anthony.

  • Russ

    This is a non story, get over the fact that people get the Howard they want. Stop all these jealous rumors and enjoy Howard or turn him off.

  • melvin stoner

    who cares?

  • Adam

    To correct Dan’s inaccuracy below, XM does NOT charge a “premium” to listen to the true pioneers of satellite radio, Opie and Anthony… their channel is included in the standard monthly fee, and has been for nearly a year. Also, from what I understand, Sirius channels can be blocked with certain hardware, but not by the company itself.

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  • Paul

    I love listening to Howard Stern on satellite radio. I wonder when will he appear on Direct TV?

  • locwgrqz tqyasfnh

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