the fcc vs howard stern

Adam gave us an overview of the FCC’s attempts to regulate “indecency” on the airwaves. He provided us this link to Radio In Persecution and treated us to Eric Idle’s FCC song (replete with the f-word).
The question of “terrestrial vs satellite radio” has been with us all semester. Is the only way to guarantee freedom of speech being able to pay for it? Stern was fined $495,000 in April, 2005, apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back and precipitated his move to Sirius satellite radio.
Some say Stern is the major catalyst for the FCC’s crackdown of late, while others argue it was really Opie and Anthony. Long a haven for Playboy and others interested in broadcast sex, according to the NY Times even the Catholic Church is getting into satellite radio: Sirius to Begin a Catholic Channel
Whatever the content, one must wonder at the task of analyzing the category of material prohibited from free public consumption by the Federal Communications Commission: obscene (not protected by First Amendment), indecent, patently offensive, and profane (sexual or excretory deemed not quite obscene and therefore allowed but not between 6 am and 10 pm).

2 thoughts on “the fcc vs howard stern”

  1. I know this is random and not so much relevant to the course, but I just activated the XM satellite radio that came prewired in the car I bought a few months ago.. I was browsing through the channels and low and behold, XM (Sirius’ competitor) already has 3 Christian music channels, a Christian talk channel, and even an “African American” talk channel.. Talk about audience fragmentation…

  2. Yes, Kayti, and it IS related to course! Not only audience fragmentation, but niche marketing, and also a move toward (?) possible monopolization? If Sirius can capture dynamic markets in all genres, what happens to their competitors? I wonder about vertical integration also. Who is Sirius’ parent company? To which conglomeration do they belong? Whom else do they own?

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