Articles on Howard Stern's return to Canada on Sirius satellite ratio and Rogers Cable

News release: Rogers Cable Will Censor Howard Stern TV for Abusive Comment
Note that CHUM Ltd. bought Stern's tv show for City TV in 1998 but cancelled it before airing any episodes because, according to CHUM, the show would contravene Canadian broadcasting standards.  This is referenced in the MediaWatch intervention below.

MediaWatch Intervention on Howard Stern (2000)

Resolution from the Colorado House of Representatives re Stern's disgusting and hateful comments on the Columbine High School massacre

Free Radical news release: CBC involvement with Howard Stern should be priority for new Heritage Minister

Free Radical news release: CRTC should yank Sirius Canada's licence if they broadcast Howard Stern

Howard Stern coming to Canadian TV

June 6, 2021
Canadian Press

TORONTO (CP) - The lewd antics of shock broadcaster Howard Stern are coming to Canadian TV.

Rogers Cable, the country's largest cable carrier, announced Tuesday that effective immediately, Howard TV - Stern's digital channel - will be available on the company's Personal TV On Demand service.

"We understand Howard's fans desire to see the King of All Media on their own time and now that it's available On Demand with Personal TV, our customers can watch what they want when they want," said David Purdy, vice president and TV general manager at Rogers.

Personal TV subscribers will have unlimited access to uncensored Stern content totaling more than 30 hours of new programming each month, Rogers said.

The audio version of Stern's program is also available on digital radio.

Arrest made in Howard Stern hate email case

1010 Wins (CBS affiliate)
February 17, 2021

(HACKENSACK, NJ) - A Glen Rock journalist says his criticism of shock jock Howard Stern led to threats from his fans. Chaunce Hayden says he began receiving threatening and hostile e-mails after he publicly criticized Stern. Hayden runs an entertainment magazine called ``Steppin Out.''

For years, he was a regular guest on Stern's show. But they had a falling out after Hayden criticized Stern for encouraging fans to switch over to Sirius Satellite Radio, promising that nothing would be off-limits. Stern later said he had to follow some guidelines on the show.

The Bergen County prosecutor's office has charged one woman with making terrorist threats against Hayden. They're investigating three other people.

 'Canadian government hates us': Stern

February 6, 2021
Toronto Star (CP)

Howard Stern says the Canadian government hates him. The infamous American radio shock jock's Sirius satellite radio show made its Canadian debut Monday morning with a lengthy discussion about the Super Bowl followed by the usual raunchy fare.

But he also informed his viewers that it was the first day for his show to air on Sirius Canada, nearly a month after his U.S. debut.

"That whole Canadian Sirius thing is weird," Stern said. "Like on the one hand they want us because they know that we sell radios, but on the other hand they kinda want to keep us low-key because the Canadian government hates us."

His on-air sidekick Robin Quivers observed that the Canadian carrier didn't want to have to field expected complaints from listeners.

"I mean they gotta embrace it," Stern replied, adding that his Howard 100 news department was looking into the situation.

Stern also put a caller on the air who said he was listening in Canada but via the grey market, meaning an unauthorized receiver picks up the U.S. signal after the customer provides a fake across-the-border address.

The talk show, which airs on the Howard 100 channel, had no shortage of profanity and political incorrectness. There were also commercials despite Sirius being a subscription-based service.

The self-proclaimed King of all Media was dropped by CHOM-FM in Montreal in 1998 and in 2001 by Q-107 in Toronto after thousands of complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council — the industry's voluntary watchdog agency.

Sirius Canada has said it does not expect Stern to run into censorship trouble this time because his satellite show is a pay service and has developed special lockout technology for customers. But a spokesperson for the CRTC has said that any abuse of human rights under the Broadcasting Act would still be investigated if there are complaints.

Sirius Canada is 40 per cent owned by the CBC, 40 per cent by Standard Radio and 20 per cent by Sirius in the U.S.

Stern announced last year that he was jumping from conventional radio to satellite to avoid the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He's also taken potshots in the past at Canadian regulatory bureaucrats he said lacked a sense of humour.

Why you won't hear Sirius pumping Stern in Canada 

February 6, 2021
Globe and Mail
By Grant Robertson, Media Reporter

As Sirius Canada Inc. begins broadcasting controversial shock jock Howard Stern on satellite radio today, the company and its owners are steering clear of a high-profile marketing campaign.

In stark contrast to U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which blocked off New York streets and spent millions on billboards to promote Mr. Stern over the past year, the Canadian debut is being rolled out in low-key fashion.

Though a major ad campaign could occur in the coming days and weeks, little has been done in advance.

As of yesterday, the home page of Sirius Canada's website only made a vague reference to the launch, not mentioning Mr. Stern by his name.

Despite the $500-million (U.S.) price tag New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio is paying to broadcast the show over five years, there are concerns about the reaction in Canada, where the program could draw fire from federal broadcast regulators.

The company's owners, which include CBC and Standard Radio, who both hold a 40-per-cent stake, and New York-based Sirius, which owns the remaining 20 per cent, have had mixed reactions to the decision.

"We have expressed some reservations about the programming," CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald said. "But this is a business decision on the part of Sirius Canada."

Mr. Stern is a radio juggernaut, drawing bigger audiences and advertising dollars than any other on-air personality in the industry.

He also has been accused of bigotry, misogyny and homophobic slurs on air and was slapped with more than $2-million (U.S.) in fines in his past career on conventional radio.

"We came to the conclusion that [Mr. Stern] is a powerful force in the entertainment business and we thought that it was important to add him to our lineup," said Sirius Canada chief executive officer Mark Redmond.

In bringing the show to Canada, the owners now find themselves juggling a highly lucrative asset that also has the potential to be one of their biggest public relations headaches.

Though Mr. Stern's show began on U.S. satellite radio Jan. 9, the Canadian operation held back its launch for nearly a month. Mr. Redmond said the delay was to ensure Sirius Canada had an opt-out service in place where customers who don't want mature content can block out the signals to their receivers.

After announcing the Canadian launch last week, Sirius Canada barely promoted the show on its homepage and has yet to launch its ad campaign. In contrast, Stern's image features prominently in all of the company's U.S. marketing, where satellite radio is not subject to U.S. federal broadcast regulations.

Complaints are already being launched in Canada.

Toronto-based activist Valerie Smith, who opposed Mr. Stern's show when it was on conventional radio in Ontario until 2001, accused Sirius and its owners of endorsing "extremely abusive programming" in a letter to the companies.

Mr. Redmond said the ability for Sirius Canada customers to block channels is a compromise between fans who want access to mature content and those who don't. Sirius took its time on the launch to ensure those measures were in place, he added.

The month-long delay may have cost the company listeners though. Some fans in Canada have been downloading the broadcasts from file-sharing sites that have prompted a lawsuit from Sirius in the United States.

Since Sirius Canada is privately held and doesn't report its subscriber numbers, the impact of adding Mr. Stern on the company is difficult to gauge.

Mr. Redmond wouldn't say how many new subscribers the company expects the new program to draw.

In the United States, Sirius had fewer than 700,000 customers before it announced the $500-million deal with Mr. Stern in late 2004 to cover his salary and production costs over five years.

At the end of 2005, its subscriber base had grown to 3.3 million, with the company attributing much of that to the show.

"It's clear based on those numbers that Howard has contributed greatly to our growth. You just have to look at the before and after picture," said Jim Collins, a vice-president at Sirius in New York.

Taking stock of a shock jock

The launch of Howard Stern's talk show on Sirius Canada Inc.'s satellite radio service today leaves its owners, including CBC and Standard Radio, in a tough spot. The legendary New York shock jock is the most lucrative name in radio, but he's also the biggest lightning rod for controversy.

The upside

There is no bigger name in North American Radio than Stern. While at CBS radio, he amassed an audience of 12 million listeners and attracted $100-million (U.S.) in advertising revenue.

His move to Sirius is estimated to have added more than a million subscribers in a two-year span. Despite paying $500-million for the show over five years, the company figures it will make $50-million from him. Sirius Canada is hoping the Stern name will drive similar growth in Canada.

The downside

Stern set a record for fines with $2-million (U.S) worth of sanctions for offensive conduct on air. In Canada, a barrage of listener complaints in 2001 drove him from conventional FM radio in Toronto. Though satellite radio is not regulated as heavily in the United States, Canadian operators must abide by the same rules as conventional radio, which could land Sirius in hot water, along with CBC and Standard as owners.

The launch

Though Sirius has promoted Stern's show heavily in the United States, the Canadian launch is more subdued, with little advance hype. That picture differs from New York, where Stern held an outdoor press conference that stopped traffic after his deal with Sirius was announced. Sirius has also launched a major billboard campaign in the United States.

Will the CBC and the shock jock get along? 

As part-owner of Sirius Canada, the broadcaster is involved, however indirectly, in airing Howard Stern, writes GUY DIXON

February 4, 2021
Globe and Mail
By Guy Dixon

The CBC and Howard Stern: Could they be any more culturally opposite? Yet the CBC find itself with a potential public-relations conundrum regarding the American shock jock.

As the 40-per-cent owner of the digital satellite-radio service Sirius Canada, the CBC is now involved, however indirectly, in the business of broadcasting Stern in Canada.

Come Monday, the CBC will be sharing its Sirius Canada dial with Howard 100, a channel devoted to Stern's show and related segments.

Because the whole concept of satellite radio is to offer the entire spectrum of radio programming in one product, Sirius Canada already carries mature content, such as an uncensored adult-comedy channel. And its competitor XM Canada, with its equally broad assortment of radio channels, has shock-jock programs such as The Opie and Anthony Show and other mature shows.

However, none attracts the same level of attention as Stern and what many consider his highly offensive, racist and misogynistic brand of humour. When he was still on traditional radio, the last Canadian holdout to air his show, Toronto's Q107, ran an edited version of each broadcast after numerous listener complaints. It eventually cancelled Stern in 2001.

Yet his fans are legion. Nearly 4,900 signed an on-line petition demanding that Sirius Canada air Stern, who has been on Sirius in the United States since Jan. 9. Sirius, which only owns a 20-per-cent stake in Sirius Canada and is a separate company from its Canadian counterpart, boasted back in late 2004 that it would need to attract a million new subscribers in order to cover the cost of Stern's massive $500-million (U.S.) five-year contract. Stern at the time had an estimated 12-million listeners; Sirius wound up with two-million new subscribers in 2005.

In Canada, the privately owned Sirius Canada won't divulge its subscriber numbers, or its estimates of how many subscribers Stern will attract.

Also, unlike in the U.S., where satellite radio is unregulated, Sirius Canada and rival XM Canada still fall within the purview of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and broadcast-standards rules. The CRTC did not forbid Sirius Canada from broadcasting Stern as a condition of its licence, but it still has the power to act on complaints from the public.

So where does this leave the CBC?

"It's no secret that Howard Stern's program is not consistent with the kind of programming that you find on our [the CBC's] airways. But Sirius Canada made a business decision that was right for it, a decision that was based on the market's demand," said CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald.

As Sirius Canada and the CBC have said, all decisions about channels to include on the service are made by Sirius Canada's board of directors, not the CBC.

"We've expressed concerns about some aspects of the content. But Sirius Canada has in place significant safeguards to make sure that the people who are going to hear Howard Stern are the people that want to hear Howard Stern," MacDonald said.

Sirius Canada can only be heard on special Sirius-compatible radios. Subscribers can block certain channels on their radios with the use of a password, explained Sirius Canada president Mark Redmond. Customers also have the option of telling the service itself to block certain channels from their subscriptions.

"This is one channel out of 100 on the service. The CBC is not carrying Howard Stern. Yes, we're a partner in Sirius Canada," said the CBC's MacDonald. "There is a lot of value and benefit for us to be involved in satellite radio."

It was the CBC that first approached Sirius three years or so ago about partnering to establish a Canadian satellite-radio service, said Michel Tremblay, the CBC's vice-president of strategy and business development. Radio giant Standard Radio was brought in as a third partner and owns the other 40 per cent. Without acquiring a stake in the service, the CBC probably wouldn't have been able to get its channels onto satellite radio to the extent that it has, Tremblay argued.

Sirius Canada is competing tooth and nail with XM Canada after both services were launched a few weeks before Christmas. XM doesn't carry the CBC, although the CBC would be willing to talk further to XM about carrying Radio One, for instance, Tremblay said.

Radio One, as carried on Sirius Canada, is slightly different than on ordinary radio. Most of the shows are the same, but they are often in different timeslots, and there's little local programming, since it is a national feed. Sirius Canada also doesn't carry Radio Two because, Tremblay said, the programmers were more interested in "exposing new talent." Some CBC observers, however, have seen this as a snub to Radio Two and to Canadian new-music and classical composers.

Sirius Canada cost its owners $40-million to get off the ground (although Tremblay wouldn't disclose how much of that was paid by the CBC) and is expected to break even within four or five years.

Many undoubtedly wonder what the CBC is doing investing in a private company, regardless of Stern, and how it can even afford to do so? The CBC's share in the investment is said to have come, according to an insider familiar with the details, not from the budget of its regular programming and traditional services, but from the sale of certain "non-core" assets. Also, some of the CBC's stake is effectively paid for through content and technical services the CBC provides Sirius Canada. The CBC has no plan to sell its stake in the company if it starts to make money, but is in it "for the long haul," Tremblay said.

The CBC's partnership with U.S.-based Sirius to develop the Canadian service was in place before the U.S. deal with Stern was signed in 2004, Tremblay said. And although he notes that the CBC has some say in programming, decisions ultimately lie with Sirius Canada. The CBC "does not control the company," he said.

If Stern succeeds in attracting customers, the CBC's stake in Sirius Canada will no doubt be worth more. Still, the question remains: Will listeners think of Sirius Canada more as the CBC's satellite service, or Stern's?

CBC admits to qualms about Stern's return

February 2, 2021
Globe and Mail (CP)

Toronto — The CBC and Howard Stern?

Not exactly a conventional media marriage. And the public broadcaster, part owner of the new satellite radio service that will bring the shock jock back to Canadian airwaves next week, admitted Thursday it has qualms about the move.

"It's no secret that Howard Stern's programming is not consistent with the kind of programming you would find on CBC/Radio Canada's airwaves, but this is a Sirius Canada decision," said CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald.

"Have we expressed concerns? Sure we've expressed some concerns about it."

Stern's satellite radio program, which began in the United States on Jan. 9 will finally come to Sirius Canada on Monday morning.

The subscription-based network is 40 per cent owned by the CBC, 40 per cent by Standard Radio and 20 per cent by Sirius in the United States.

"Sirius Canada is a separate company," noted MacDonald.

"Yes, we're partners and Sirius Canada made the decision that was right for it based on what the market demands."

After initially opting to exclude Stern from its lineup, Sirius Canada was deluged with complaints from Canuck fans of the controversial DJ.

It's been suggested that the CBC held up Stern's arrival, but MacDonald said that was "unfair," noting that network program lineups are reviewed regularly.

He said new technology that allows Sirius Canada subscribers to block out Stern if they so choose was a significant factor in finalizing the deal.

For his part, Stern has called his pending return to Canadian radio "good news."

A posting on his website says he told listeners he'd been thrown off Canadian airwaves in the past for alleged "hate speech."

In fact, the self-proclaimed "King of all Media" was dropped by CHOM-FM in Montreal in 1998 and in 2001 by Q-107 in Toronto after thousands of complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council — the industry's voluntary watchdog agency.

Sirius Canada has said it does not expect Stern to run into censorship trouble this time because his satellite show is a pay service.

In the U.S., satellite radio is not federally regulated while in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the CRTC.

"It's really up to the public to decide whether it wants to submit a complaint, regardless of the fact that it's a service that is purchasable," says CRTC spokeswoman Miriam Gennaro.

She couldn't immediately say, however, whether different standards will apply to satellite radio.

'Shock jock' Stern added to Sirius Canada lineup

February 2, 2021
News staff

Controversial radio host Howard Stern will soon be heard via satellite radio in Canada after Sirius confirmed it was adding him to the lineup.

The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and infamous shock jock hits the Canadian airwaves Monday where he will be heard on his Howard One channel.

This follows his debut on Sirius in the United States on Jan 9.

Mark Redmond, Sirius Canada president and CEO, told The Canadian Press Wednesday that Stern was clearly a powerful force in the entertainment world and that while "he's not to everybody's taste" it was time to get him on board.

A longtime New York radio personality, Stern, 50, attracted millions of listeners across North America each week with his raunchy sense of humour.

Forbes magazine ranked him 27th on its list of the most powerful celebrities in North America in 2005.

However, Stern found himself frequently under fire from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which repeatedly fined him for indecency and obscenity violations.

Stern also has a checkered history on Canadian radio. Rock stations in Toronto and Montreal imported his syndicated show in the 1990s in an effort to boost ratings.

But after a flood of complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commision, Stern was eventually dropped by CHOM-FM in Montreal and Q-107 in Toronto.

One of those complaints came from Fo Niemi, from the Centre for Action on Race Relations. Niemi believes there's no place for Stern's often offensive humour on Canadian airwaves.

"It's a kind of humour that has been condemned because that kind of humour violates human dignity," Niemie told CTV.

The complaints made a different. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council urged stations to get the offensive content off the air, and they did, implementing tape delays and bleeping out anything that crossed the line into offensive.

Redmond dismissed suggestions that Stern will once again run afoul of the CBSC, saying there are now three levels of control.

First, he said, it's a subscription service; second, there are parental controls on the receivers that can be used to block channels; and third, the service can be purchased with or without Sirius Canada's six channels of "mature" content.

Redmond also played down reports that Sirius may have lost thousands of potential subscribers because of the nearly one-month delay in launching stern in Canada.

Many Canadian fans are believed to have already purchased American receivers to access Stern's satellite channel from the U.S.

"At this point we're more concerned with addressing future subscribers," he told CP.

Andre Arthur, a former radio shock jock in his own right, and one of Quebec's new MPs, is thrilled that Stern will be back on the air in Canada.

Having been condemned by the CRTC for his own controversial beliefs, he has sympathy for those who push the boundaries of free speech. He believes what Sirius is doing is good for the industry.

"I hope there will be a confrontation, and I hope the CRTC loses badly," Arthur said.

Sirius Canada is co-owned by the U.S. Sirius Satellite Company, the CBC and Standard Radio. It launched its subscription service in early December.

Shock jock Stern back in Canada 

Move 'to give our subscribers the best, most compelling radio out there': debuts Monday on Sirius

February 2, 2021
Financial Post
By Barbara Shecter

Howard Stern, the radio shock jock who has racked up record fines from U.S. regulators for his raunchy routines, is coming back to Canada, beginning Monday on Sirius Canada satellite radio.

Mr. Stern's satellite radio show debuted in the United States last month, but was not initially added to the 100 channels of the newly launched Canadian subscription service, whose backers include the CBC.

Mark Redmond, chief executive of Sirius Canada, said the service first wanted to ensure it had technology in place to allow subscribers to tune out Mr. Stern's show if they don't want it.

But there are those who want to hear him, he said, pointing to those who have been tuning in to the so-called grey market for U.S. satellite signals, which drew an estimated 100,000 Canadians before the Canadian services launched.

"It was important for us to add him [Mr. Stern] to the lineup to give our subscribers the best, most compelling radio out there," Mr. Redmond said.

Some observers said Sirius Canada may have been reluctant to air Mr. Stern because satellite radio is regulated in Canada, while it isn't in the United States. Others contend the CBC, one of three partners in Sirius Canada, has resisted putting Mr. Stern on the air until now because the public broadcaster was reluctant to be associated with the shock jock.

Mr. Redmond said the decision to bring Mr. Stern's show to Canada was made by the full board of Sirius Canada, which includes two members from the CBC, two from Sirius and two from the third partner, Standard Broadcasting Corp.

"We believe we will get more subscribers because of it," he said.

Sirius Canada is a private company and has not revealed subscriber numbers to date. But, in the United States, Mr. Stern's five-year, US$500-million production contract helped narrow the gap between Sirius and XM, the clear No. 1 satellite radio service there.

Mr. Stern jumped to subscription satellite radio from conventional radio, citing heated battles with regulators over his freedom to discuss anal sex and stage antics involving bodily functions and insults.

Mr. Stern also once referred to French Canadians as "cowards" and "pussies."

Clear Channel Communications Inc. paid a US$1.75-million settlement with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in 2004 after more than 200 indecency complaints were filed against Mr. Stern's nationally syndicated radio show. Clear Channel dropped the show.

Mr. Stern's show, which first aired in Canada in 1997 on radio stations Q107 in Toronto and CHOM-FM in Montreal, as well as Toronto's Citytv, was eventually dropped by 2001.

"He's a proven flop in Canada," said Stephen Tapp, president of Sirius Canada's main rival, XM Canada, and former general manager of CHUM Ltd.'s Citytv. "He hasn't been in this country in years.

A spokesman for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said the commission and other regulators won't interfere with Mr. Stern's broadcasts unless there are complaints.

Mr. Redmond said he hopes joining the industry's self-regulating Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, and taking other steps to block offensive broadcasts, will be enough. Sirius has agreed to prevent Mr. Stern and other "mature" content channels such as a gay and lesbian channel from reaching the receivers of subscribers who don't want them by blocking them at the source.

"I don't really want to speculate on what concerns or complaints we may have in the future, because I don't know," Mr. Redmond said. "We believe the levels of controls we've now put in place are sufficient to alleviate any of the concerns of the CRTC."

In 2004, the CRTC took the rare move of stripping a Quebec radio station of its licence after repeated complaints about abusive language and the outrageous acts of one of its shock jocks.

Howard's back! Sirius-ly 

Stern warning for sensitive Canadians -- U.S. shock jock to invade our airwaves on satellite radio 

February 2, 2021
Toronto Sun
By Jim Slotek

Lock up your strippers and tell the guardians of decency the news -- shock jock Howard Stern is returning to Canada with Robin Quivers, Artie Lange et al.

Following weeks of rumours that Sirius Canada was reconsidering its no-Stern policy, the company announced yesterday it will begin carrying the all-Stern Howard 100 channel starting next Monday -- one of two Stern channels that originate on Sirius in the U.S.

Ironically, Howard is taking a spot earmarked for Cosmo, a women's channel that's due to debut at the end of the month.

"It's good news," Sirius Canada president Mark Redmond said of the acquisition. "I'm happy if we have happy subscribers. I don't care what they listen to."

Sources in the company had said Sirius Canada was avoiding Stern because of concerns of flak from the CRTC. Others speculated the stumbling block was Stern's high price tag (the U.S. service is paying him a staggering $100 million a year).

Redmond denied the cost was a factor, but said there was a delay while Sirius Canada shored up "the necessary controls to allow somebody to block it out if they didn't want to listen to it."

In fact, Sirius subscribers can phone up and have Stern blocked at source.

Redmond said they only took one of the two Stern channels because "we have 100 channels in total, but only 99 up and active." The 100th spot was for the Cosmopolitan magazine channel. Redmond said a current channel could "potentially" be bumped when Cosmo comes on.

What this means for Stern fans is that they'll get his morning radio show, the Wrap-up Show and Howard 100 News, but not Channel 101 Stern spinoff programming like Bubba The Love Sponge and Heidi Cortez Tissue Talk.

In lieu of Stern, thousands of fans have been buying "grey boxes," U.S. Sirius radios, registered with an often-made-up U.S. address and billed to Visa. Industry observers have suggested the company couldn't afford not to have Stern.

The New York-based Stern debuted in Canada on Sept. 2, 1997 on Toronto's Q-107 and Montreal's CHOM-FM, and started things off by blasting the French (calling them "peckerheads" and saying, "the French should bend over for me the way they did for Hitler"). That first broadcast alone inspired more than 1,000 complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Stern lasted on CHOM until August 1998. Q-107 took flak from the regulators and stuck with the experiment through November 2001.

Not everybody was singing Welcome Back Howard yesterday. Stephen Tapp, president of rival satellite radio service XM Canada (which carries Stern's shock jock competitors Opie & Anthony) called Stern "a proven failure in Canada -- pulled off TV and radio not because of censorship but because of performance."

He added, "I wouldn't want to have the future of my company to rest on the shoulders of one guy."

And media watch-dog and anti-violence crusader Valerie Smith said in a recent release vis rumours of Stern's return: "It's unfortunate that there is a market for Stern's misogyny and abusive comments directed at other vulnerable groups. (But) the CRTC imposed licence conditions to prevent him from being carried on the new satellite services ... They need to act quickly to punish Sirius Canada should the company be dumb enough and irresponsible enough to put him on their schedule."

For his part, Redmond said, "we believe that the levels of control and access we've put in place are sufficient to alleviate any of these concerns."

Cursed foiled again for Stern

January 23, 2021
New York Post
By Don Kaplan

Howard Stern may be coming down with a Sirius case of the bleeps.

High-level executives of the satellite broadcaster are developing an internal standards-and-practices document that will set boundaries for Stern and other shock jocks, The Post has learned.

“It’s something that’s being taken very seriously," a Sirius source said.

Stern's new show also is being broadcast on a time-delay, giving him the opportunity to censor the program — which he already has done.

Stern moved to Sirius in part because satellite-radio services such as Sirius and XM — unlike free terrestrial radio — are not policed by the FCC, which spent years waging an indecency war against him.

The battle resulted in big-bucks fines against Stern and his former employers at Viacom.

XM, which is now home to shock jocks Opie and Anthony, confirmed that it has had its own guidelines in place for some time, but declined to provide details.

The standards of the private satellite broadcasters can be far looser than those imposed by the FCC on the public airways.

Sirius' move toward self-censorship comes as pressure continues to mount in Congress to regulate programming on cable and satellite radio and TV.

For years, cable executives have resisted government threats of regulation, claiming that self-policing has been sufficient.

It's a move satellite radio seems to be getting ready to emulate.

But even with Stern safely out of the FCC's reach, his foes, including self-appointed anti-obscenity crusaders like John B. Thompson, argue that other government agencies should take up the cause.

"The DOJ [Department of Justice] now has the chance to make amends for its laxity during Stern's criminal conduct on terrestrial radio for 25 years," the Florida lawyer wrote to Bruce Taylor, who oversees the DOJ's Criminal Division in a Jan. 9 letter obtained by The Post. Meanwhile, Stern himself has asked for some restraint on his show, encouraging his staff not to use profanity too often.

On one occasion last week, Stern even "dumped" out a minor bit of his own broadcast to protect the identity of a staff member's family.

On Stern's old show, the dump switch was controlled by station officials, who frequently bleeped out racy material.

It's not clear whether Stern knew he'd be subject to any limitations when he signed on with Sirius, which is paying him about $100 million a year.

He also was awarded $220 million in stock after the company reported that it had signed up more than 3 million new subscribers, boosting its total to 3.3 million. XM has more than 6 million subscribers.

Sirius officials did not return calls for comment on the proposal.

The imposition of loose standards is not likely to put much of a dent into Stern's free-for-all broadcasts or scare off any of his advertisers, an expert said.

"I believe this is just an attempt to put things in place if and when [the government] turns up the heat on satellite radio, much like it has with cable from time to time," said Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University.

"In the end, it won't mean much to the average listener or advertiser."

Advertisers are paying less for Stern's spots on Sirius than they did for his show on traditional radio — especially since there is no way to verify how many Sirius subscribers are tuning in to his show.

Sources said it may be as little as half of the $20,000 per 30-second spot that had been floated when he signed up.

Howard Stern on Sirius Canada in Spring 2006?

December 5, 2020
Digital Talk Central

Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" may be on top of the game when it comes to US satellite radio, but in Canada, he's been placed on the bench.

When Sirius Canada announced its channel line-up for the Canadian launch, they also had some bad news, well, bad news if you happen to be a Stern fan. Sirius currently has 100 channels available Canada, but Howard Stern will not be beamed into Canada on the Sirius Canada service.

The move to exclude Stern on the Canadian network will likely cause dedicated Canadian Howard Stern fans to purchase US subscriptions and receivers. That's not a "Good Thing" for the Canadian service when the main event with all its hype is blocked. However, Digital Talk Central has an industry scoop.

According to well placed sources in the industry talking with Digital Talk Central on the condition of annonyminity, we can report that Howard Stern is expected to be included on the Sirius Canada service in the spring of 2006.

So, what's the full meal deal?

First of all, we'd like to make it clear that this is just a rumour (advice from our legal team) and this "exclusive" rumour has not been confirmed by Sirius Canada.

Howard Stern makes satellite debut

January 9, 2021
Canadian Press
By Erin Carlson

NEW YORK (CP) - Howard Stern began his new satellite radio show on Monday by putting to rest rumours that he got married to his longtime girlfriend, model Beth Ostrosky - in a comment complete with a U.S. federally banned expletive.

"I am not married. It's a nice feeling that we get along great. We're very happy and I don't want to (blank) it up," said Stern, who is finally free of government decency laws on Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. Stern has promised everything from stripper poles to live sex on his new show.

Sirius Canada launched its service at the beginning of December but is not carrying the Stern program.

"At this time Howard Stern is not part of the official lineup," spokesman Jason Mercier said Monday.

"However, over the coming weeks the company is going to be looking at the lineup and getting some audience feedback."

Stern used only a moderate amount of swearing on Monday and said his show was more about ideas, not the use of the f-word. Cursing, he said, would be part of the natural progression of speech.

"I feel this is a culmination of dreams for me," Stern said in an on-air news conference.

"The only limit is our mind," he said.

At the time his October 2004 deal with Sirius was announced, the company said it could be worth up to $500 million US over five years to headline two Sirius channels.

Stern broadcast his last FM radio show on Dec. 16 as thousands of fans gathered outside his New York City studio.

At the start of the show Monday, Stern dished up some phone sex with Playboy bunny Heidi Cortez, who has her own phone-sex nighttime show lined up on Sirius.

Stern also introduced George Takei as his new on-air personality. Takei, who played Sulu on Star Trek and who last year publicly said he is gay, will serve as announcer. After the first week, he will record segments for the show but will not be in the studio.

"The revolution has begun" in new radio, Takei said Monday.

Even before his first day on the job, the shock jock recruited listeners for the $13-per-month service: The Sirius audience expanded from 600,000 at the time the switch was announced to more than 3.3 million subscribers, Stern said Monday. At the same time, Sirius stock has roughly doubled.

That's hardly a surprise. Stern's wildly popular syndicated show proved a cash cow for Infinity Broadcasting, now the CBS Radio unit of CBS Corp., raking in about $100 million in annual advertising revenues and capturing 12 million listeners with raunchy, boundary-pushing programming.

Stern had frequently tested and sparred with the U.S. regulatory Federal Communications Commission during his 25-year run on the public airwaves, often having his morning show interrupted by censors.

Weeks after Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction," Clear Channel Communications Inc. yanked Stern from six stations amid an FCC crackdown. Stern signed with Sirius five months later.

"I thought Clear Channel and companies like that were going to fight the FCC," Stern, 51, told the Associated Press last month. "I kept hanging around. And they never fought back. ... They are cowards. They bow, and they deserve to be destroyed."

In Toronto, Mercier dismissed reports that suggested the Canadian company was concerned about Stern's steep carriage fees. Another report said there were concerns Stern would violate the guidelines of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, the voluntary industry watchdog, and that the federal regulator, the CRTC, would only make them remove Stern anyway.

Sirius Canada is a corporation owned by the U.S. Sirius satellite company, the CBC and Standard Radio.

As callers phoned in on Monday, the self-proclaimed King of All Media said he's annoyed when fans wish him good luck.

"I've been doing years and years of shows but I get irritated when people wish me luck," he said. "You should have wished me luck 25 years ago."

During the on-air news conference, Stern was asked how he felt about listeners having to pay to hear his new show.

"I believe that people will pay for radio," he said. "It's everything IPod can't be. IPod can't give you content and we can."

Canadian Stern fans go grey

Thousands signing up for U.S. service -
Sirius won't carry shock jock here

January 3, 2021
Toronto Star
By Greg Quill

When New York shock jock Howard Stern disappeared from Canadian commercial radio in September 1997, Canadian radio operators breathed a sigh of relief.

The CRTC ruling that even the heavily edited version of his live morning show breached domestic broadcast standards accomplished in a single move what the Federal Communications Commission could not in 25 years. That despite millions of dollars in fines against Stern's employer, Infinity Broadcasting, and stations that carried his program, and floods of listener complaints for its over-the-top sexual and racial humour, exploitation of guests, and bigoted, often homophobic and misogynistic commentary.

Canadians might fight for their own cultural icons, but no Canadian broadcaster is going to risk losing a licence over an American. It was thought that the outrageously expensive and troublesome radio star had gone away. He would no longer be a seductive, albeit contentious, ratings powerhouse in this country.


Stern's move from American FM airwaves in mid-December, pending a much publicized debut this coming Monday on Sirius Satellite Radio in the U.S., has suddenly hurled him back onto the Canadian horizon, and he's more contentious and seductive than ever.

Earlier this week, Sirius broke the three-million-subscriber mark, a feat the company attributes to recent sign-ups of Stern fans. That's 800,000 new subscribers since Sept. 30, a revenue gain that drove Sirius stock up by 16 cents to $6.85 a share.

What must rankle the operators of Sirius Canada — Toronto's Standard Radio and CBC, who own an 80 per cent share in the Canadian company, partnered with the New York-based SSR — is that a good number of those new subscribers are Canadians. As many as 80,000, by some estimates, are signing on to the U.S. service via "grey market" U.S. billing addresses just to get American receivers that will pick up Stern. At $14.95 per subscriber per month, and between $70 and $300 per receiver, that's got to hurt.

Fearing the wrath of the CRTC as much Stern's astronomical carriage fee, Sirius Canada's owners — who also own terrestrial radio property that comes under much more rigid scrutiny than it's believed satellite radio will have to endure — have decided not to carry Stern's channels on this side of the border.

It's presumed he'll breach codes established by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, by which all radio operators in this country abide.

The irony is that by denying Canadians access to Stern, Sirius Canada is driving domestic subscribers into the American "grey market," an illegal realm that Canadian satellite applicants promised the CRTC would be shut down upon approval of their licences.

"We're not carrying Stern," Standard Radio chief Gary Slaight told the Star. "That's what we decided and I don't think we'll be changing our minds ... for now.

"Our programming will continue to evolve as we receive feedback," he said, referring to an Internet-based lobby group that has bombarded Sirius Canada with a petition to carry Stern allegedly signed by more than 10,000 of his Canadian fans.

Caught in a serious Catch-22 — whether to risk offending the CRTC, which has already deemed Stern not suitable for Canadian consumption, or to risk losing potential millions in subscription revenue — Slaight says he and the CBC are "concerned over the grey market situation."

"If we don't carry Stern, we're handing his Canadian audience over (to the American company's subscriber base). We're aware of that and we'll be dealing with it as things progress.

"As of now, we have not changed our decision not to carry Howard Stern.

"Then again, we have until Jan. 9."

Stern's shift from terrestrial to satellite radio is controversial in itself. Stern, 51, will trade his "free radio" American audience of 12.2 million for a pay-radio audience of just three million: those willing to part with $12.95 (U.S.) a month for Sirius's 120-channel package of music, news, sports, information, world radio, traffic, weather and talk.

The satellite radio operator has given the lanky, long-haired talk radio prodigy $500 million (U.S.) to build not one, but two channels on its platform. Production costs and salaries come out of Stern's mammoth inducement.

Stern's making the move, he says, in the pursuit of that most fundamental of American constitutional rights, free speech, and he's doing it with the backing of both liberal and conservative cultural observers in the U.S.

They have apparently become convinced that the FCC is too powerful, too wilful and something of a renegade in its relentless campaign to silence Stern.

Suddenly the potty-mouthed rude boy of American radio is a cause célèbre, a media darling. The New York Times Sunday magazine last May published an essay defending Stern by National Public Radio star Ira Glass, the very epitome of heightened cultural sensibilities. Stern has been a guest of honour on every American TV talk show of substance in recent weeks and was profiled at length by Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes. His image sneers from magazine stands across the continent. Billboards announcing his flight to pay-radio loom across the Manhattan skyline.

Whether Stern will be — or can be — as provocative, as imaginative or even interesting in the vast satellite radio universe remains to be seen.

Stay tuned.

Sirius challenge: Stern competition 

December 21, 2020
Globe and Mail
By Grant Robertson

Sirius Canada Inc., which launched satellite radio this month, is about to face competition from an unlikely source - its sister company in the United States.

Plans by New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to add controversial talk show host Howard Stern to its lineup on Jan. 9 could put the Canadian company, which is not picking up the program, in a fight for listeners with its part-owner.

Although Canada's new satellite radio industry is expected to diminish much of the grey market that thrived over the past few years, where listeners tap into U.S. signals, Mr. Stern's show threatens to lure Canadian listeners away.

Analysts estimate there are as many as 60,000 grey market listeners in Canada who subscribe to U.S. satellite radio. Converting that audience to Canadian subscriptions is now a key job for Sirius Canada and Canadian Satellite Radio Inc., operator of the XM network.

Both companies were granted licences by Ottawa in the fall and have started operating in the past few weeks.

"The Canadian owners of the XM and the Sirius franchises have an important stake in making sure the Canadian grey market subscribes to Canadian service," said Jeff Leiper, an analyst with Yankee Group in Ottawa, which tracks the sector.

Grey market listeners subscribe to American providers through U.S. addresses and receive more channels than the two Canadian services. Although receiving the signals contravenes Canadian law, the radio sector is nearly impossible to track compared with the satellite TV market. It's a potential audience loss that Canadian companies would like to avoid.

"In the first couple of years, even 20,000 or 30,000 people is still a significant drain on revenue." Mr. Leiper said.

One Sirius Canada customer, who declined to be named, said he is considering switching to the U.S. service to pick up Mr. Stern.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Stern has become a broadcasting juggernaut and one of the largest single draws on radio. Known for his lewd conduct on air, which is laced with toilet humour and sexual references, he has drawn more than $2-million (U.S.) in fines from U.S. regulators since the 1980s.

But the show also raked in $100-million in advertising revenue for CBS radio, that network said. His switch to satellite radio came after Sirius in New York offered him $500-million over five years to produce programming for two channels, as well as increased freedom to say what he wants. Mr. Stern's old program was picked up by FM stations in Montreal and Toronto in the late nineties but eventually was dropped.

Mr. Stern's impact on satellite radio has been significant. When the lucrative contract was signed in 2004, Sirius had just 600,000 subscribers in the United States then but its numbers have grown quickly. Some analysts have suggested that as many as two million fans could follow Mr. Stern to Sirius over the next few years. The company has 2.2 million subscribers now, less than half of XM Satellite Radio.

An Internet rumour this week that Sirius Canada is planning to add Mr. Stern to its lineup this spring was denied by the company Wednesday. A spokesman said Sirius Canada will be reviewing that policy, but there are no immediate plans to pick up the show.

While satellite radio programs aren't regulated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the show could run into problems in Canada, where the CRTC has control over the licences.

Luring grey market subscribers is a big prize for Canada's two providers early on. Mr. Leiper of the Yankee Group estimates the industry will attract 50,000 new subscribers by the end of the first quarter. Only half of the grey market is expected to convert during that period, leaving roughly 30,000 Canadians still receiving the U.S. signal.

Free speech ends

Shock jock says bye to regular radio ... now pay up fans 

December 17, 2020
Associated Press
By Larry McShane

NEW YORK -- The free ride for Howard Stern fans ended yesterday.

Stern, a New York radio fixture for 20 years and host of a syndicated show for 12 million daily listeners, bid farewell to his fans with a final show on terrestrial radio.

On Jan. 9, Stern makes his move to satellite radio -- where his once-free speech will cost U.S. listeners on the Sirius satellite feed $12.95 US a month.

Canada will remain a Stern-free zone. A spokesman for Sirius Canada yesterday said the situation with Stern has not changed: "He is not part of our initial lineup."

Sirius Canada launched Dec. 1.

Gary Slaight of Standard Broadcasting, one of the owners of Sirius Canada, told the Sun last month that it is unlikely Stern's new U.S. Sirius show will ever be picked up here because of anticipated grief from federal broadcast regulators.

Yet rumours persist the provider might do an about-face. The standard "no-comment" from Sirius Canada on that score is "we will continue to review our channel lineup."

Stern opened his AM/FM radio grand finale yesterday with: "Good morning, and welcome to the last show on terrestrial radio," as the sound of taps played in the background.

The show opened with a Stern-centric remake of the classic What A Wonderful World, and John Lennon's Imagine.

As the show went on, several thousand people stood in a steady drizzle along 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues; many waved signs praising Stern and attacking the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees broadcasting in the U.S. Among those onstage there were Stern regulars "Jeff the Drunk" and "Beetlejuice," who led a sing-along.

"I'm a dedicated listener. I wanted to see this happen," said Chris Casavant, who drove up at 4:30 a.m. from Farmington, N.J. Asked why she was there, Donna Casavant made a face and pointed at her husband.

After the show wrapped up at 10 a.m., Stern took a "victory lap" through midtown Manhattan, standing on the top level of a double-decker bus as fans screamed and waved.

"What a day, it's crazy," Stern said as the bus rambled through Times Square while an image of the self-described "King of All Media" appeared on a giant television screen above. "You don't get to do something like this too often."

Addressing his fans before the bus ride, Stern bellowed "Long live the 'Howard Stern Show' audience," before departing like a rock star.

Fans screamed for an encore, but they were left to wait until his "reincarnation" next month.

The crowd on 56th Street was a circus, with a Stern look-alike standing near the stage. Stern's parents appeared to huge cheers, while the station manager at WXRK-FM -- the shock jock's terrestrial home -- was booed loudly.

Stern leaves behind a plethora of imitators spawned in the wake of his radio success, when his show enjoyed an unprecedented ratings run to hit No. 1 in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles.

John B. Thompson, Attorney at Law
1172 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 111
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

December 9, 2020

Mel Karmazin
Chief Executive Officer
Sirius Satellite Radio
1221 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 
Via Fax

Re: Broadcasting Obscene Material on Sirius’ Howard Stern Show

Dear Mr. Karmazin:

You know from your stint at Viacom as Howard Stern’s facilitator of the mental molestation of minors for money that I secured from the FCC multiple fines against his show for the illegal airing of indecent material. These were criminal acts as defined by federal statute 18 USC 1464, punishable by two years in prison. I got Stern off all Clear Channel radio stations by knowing what I was doing. I know what I’m doing now.

Howard and you are about to be reunited again in what appears to be yet another criminal activity, this time at Sirius Satellite Radio on its Channel 100, which will launch the new and worse Howard Stern Show on January 9.

Howard has been running around to various media in the last few days explaining that his satellite show will be far more pornographic than what his zoo keepers at Viacom/Infinity allowed, and I believe him. Howard tells the truth about some things, not about the First Amendment, of course, but when Howard promises porn, I believe him.

The show that Howard is promising, in great graphic detail, looks as though it will not be “indecent,” as that legal term is defined. It looks to all the world that the show will probably, in fact, be obscene, as that is defined under the Supreme Court’s long-standing and accepted definition in Miller v. California.

As you and Howard may or may not know or may not want to admit, obscene material cannot be distributed, by any means whatsoever, whether paid for or not, by subscription satellite service or not, to adults, even to perverts like those who constitute Howard’s hard core fan base. Thankfully, many of them don’t own cars and live in their parents’ basements.

So, here’s a heads-up, Mel, to you, also to the King of All Toilets, and to Sirius and its fingers-crossed shareholders. Yesterday on CNBC’s Final Bell I predicted that some prosecutors somewhere, either local, state, or federal, may prosecute your company and those Sirius individuals responsible for the airing of obscene material on Sirius. I know who they are. The “community standard” that will be applied in any such prosecutions, under Miller v. California, will be the standards of Topeka or Tuscaloosa or Terre Haute or Charlotte or Austin or Baton Rouge. The standards of Viacom/Infinity or of Sirius board directors do not apply. These are communities whose law enforcement personnel and prosecutors will have no political downside in going after obscenity, especially given Howard’s history of wedding racism to misogyny. That doesn’t play well in Alabama or anywhere else outside of your strange universe.

So, Mel, I look forward to seeing whether Howard Stern, ultimately, can broadcast his Sirius show from a county jail.

Finally, the statute of limitations has not run yet on the Justice Department’s power to prosecute Howard Stern criminally and individually for the indecent material he aired while on terrestrial radio in violation of 18 USC 1464. I’m not so sure the terrestrial radio community, whose product Howard has labeled “dead” while lining up on his exit ramp to oblivion, will rally behind Howard if he is prosecuted individually for those past crimes. After all, Howard is now competing with them in an entertainment modality designed to obsolete their product. Money and politics make strange bedfellows. Think Clear Channel wouldn’t like to see Howard Stern in an orange jumpsuit?

Look for House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner’s suggestion that indecent broadcasts result in criminal prosecutions to be acted upon, especially if you and Howard step over the line at Sirius.

Laws, Mel, are good things. If you actually ever read the First Amendment, you found that the people have a “right to petition their government for a redress of grievances.” They petitioned. Laws were passed. The indecency and obscenity laws are already on the books. Good luck trying to repeal them, but you have a First Amendment right to try. You can even try to repeal the obscenity laws, but they’re there, staring you and Howard in the face until they are repealed.

There are those of us out here who are looking to enforce them.

Please govern yourselves accordingly, if you can. Nasty letter to follow, and it will.


Jack Thompson

Satellite radio

Do you really want to pay for it?

December 6, 2020
Globe and Mail

Satellite radio has arrived and is likely to usher in a new area of radio-channel surfing. But what exactly is it?

Sirius and XM Canada, two competing U.S. services newly launched in Canada, offer a plethora of music divided by minute genre distinctions, along with talk-radio, news, sports and comedy channels.

XM Canada carries more than 80 channels and Sirius Canada has around 100. They require a special radio, which start at $70 to $90, and you must subscribe to the services ($12.99 a month for XM, $14.99 a month for Sirius).

The question now is whether Canadians will find this a fascinating new world of digitally transmitted radio or, as with cable and satellite TV, a vast array of nothing.

Both services are relying heavily on exclusive concerts to attract listeners. "I think those are things that both satellite services would use, just to break up the predictability," said Ross Davies, vice-president of programming for XM Canada, noting that XM in the United States recently had Paul McCartney perform in its studio.

Both satellite services have also had to rush various car and portable receivers to market after first getting regulator approval in June -- then watching and waiting for the legal appeal by CHUM and Astral Media to finish (the appeal was rejected in favour of the satellite radio companies in September). The race has meant that not all products are ready yet. For instance, Sirius won't have a hand-held portable radio compatible with its service on sale in Canada until next month.

Despite its name, Satellite radio doesn't carry a selection of the best stations from around the world. True, Sirius does carry CBC Radio One (with a slightly rearranged schedule), a 24-hour version of the CBC's alternative music program Radio 3, BBC Radio One, National Public Radio and others. Both companies carry the BBC World Service, CNN Radio and CNBC Radio.

But the majority of the channels offered on XM and Sirius are commercial-free music channels operated solely for their respective services. They aren't traditional radio stations. So for album-oriented 1970s rock, XM listeners have XM's "deep" classic rock broadcast on channel 40 which plays less-obvious album rock tracks. There's also classic rock on channel 46, progressive rock and jam bands on 51, acoustic rock on 50, seventies rock on 7 and so on, each channel ever-so-subtly catering to its own classic rock niche.

Sirius similarly has its own multitude of rock channels.

Sirius Canada is a privately owned company and so wouldn't divulge yesterday how many Canadian subscribers it has. XM Canada's owners, meanwhile, are in the process of issuing stock and couldn't release that information for financial regulatory reasons.

Canadian content, meanwhile, remains a hotly debated issue during the regulatory hearings. For good reason, the U.S. content is overwhelming, and some independent Canadian artists, who initially saw satellite as a way to get more airplay, now feel Canadian content is being drowned.

Sirius, which is operated through a partnership of the CBC, Standard Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio U.S., is offering 10 Canadian channels dominated by various CBC offerings, but also includes music channels operated by Standard and Astral Media. XM Canada, run by the company Canadian Satellite Radio through a partnership with XM Radio in the U.S., operates eight Canadian channels, including (un)Signed on channel 52, which is produced in Toronto and features Canadian independent acts.

There are no plans yet to offer Howard Stern's new program, which begins next month for American Sirius customers. This wasn't a condition of Canadian regulatory approval, said Mark Redmond, head of Sirius Canada, and his company may consider offering Stern in the future. XM's version of shock-jock radio is The Opie & Anthony Show produced out of New York on channel 202. 

The main selling point is that the services have far more variety and longer play lists than ordinary commercial radio. However, neither service has the Internet's selection of stations from around the world, nor do they have short-wave radio's sense of distant voices in the night.

There's also less of that old feeling of station identification. Instead, satellite radio is all about drilling down to consumers' tastes. If you like traditional and be-bop jazz, Sirius and XM have channels for that. If you feel more like contemporary jazz -- which can sometimes swing into funk -- they have that, too. But what if you want contemporary without the funk? Or what if you want reggae (both have reggae-only channels), but only Bob Marley, roots-era reggae?

No radio service can drill down far enough to every individual's fickle tastes. More stations may just mean more channel-flipping.

Satellite radio a lot of static

November 25, 2020
Toronto Sun
By Jim Slotek

Confusion continues to surround the launch of satellite radio in Canada. Look no further than the Yonge/Dundas Future Shop, which this week had a display trumpeting Howard Stern on Sirius Canada.

A call to Sirius Canada dispelled that newsflash. Out of deference to CRTC concerns, the shockjock remains persona non grata on the service which still has yet to launch.

Sirius Canada says it will be up "by the end of the year." Stern makes his presumably no-holds-barred pay-radio debut on Sirius in the U.S. Jan. 9.

A Sirius Canada spokesperson said the Future Shop display was "an in-house promotion for which we were not consulted. We're following up with Future Shop on that." The manager of the Future Shop outlet did not return calls.

Meanwhile, the competition, XM Canada, launched this week with competing U.S. shockjocks Opie & Anthony. This is the same Opie & Anthony who were kicked off broadcast radio three years ago for broadcasting a contest-stunt wherein a couple had sex in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The station WNEW-FM was fined $375,000 by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

"I would not put Opie & Anthony in the same category as Stern," said XM Canada president Stephen Tapp. "We like to think of these guys as being generally more fun and entertaining as opposed to being mean-spirited." As far as past indiscretions go, he said, "We offer channel blocking capability, we have extreme language advisories. There are regulations in place, and we plan to live by them. We informed the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council that we planned to air Opie & Anthony and the CRTC knows we're carrying them.

"Stern has some pretty bad history in this country, obviously, particularly in Quebec. We believe that Opie & Anthony will be performing in a way that's acceptable to the standards of our communities, given that we are a pay service and we have a higher threshold for that reason. We'll deal with any complaints."

Having said that, Tapp agreed that people who pay to hear Opie & Anthony are unlikely to complain about them.

Though XM is now delivering pay-radio -- 80 channels worth, including eight all-Canadian music services, NHL games, an all-hockey talk radio station and a comedy station programmed by Yuk Yuk's boss Mark Breslin -- only about 4,500 people across the country are now able to hear it. Those would be the early-birds who signed up over the Internet and had their satellite radio devices delivered to them personally.

The general public will be able to tune in next week when XM "plug and play" radios are available from $100 and up in stores like Future Shop, Best Buy, Canadian Tire etc. As well, some 50 lines of GM cars include XM radios in their 2006 models. The service itself costs $12.99 a month.

Similar devices for Sirius Canada are also expected in stores within a week or so, although there's no service to play on them as yet. When it's up and running, Sirius Canada will cost $14.99 a month for 100 channels.

Stern can't beam here on radio 

November 16, 2020
Toronto Sun
By Jim Slotek

Space may be the final frontier for Howard Stern in the U.S., but Canada remains a no-fly zone.

The superstar American shock-jock becomes the king of satellite radio in the U.S. in January, courtesy of a $500-million deal with Sirius Satellite Radio.

But Sirius Canada, which plans to start beaming to your car and home before the end of this year, has no plans to include Stern and his no-holds-barred morning show that includes the likes of Stuttering John, Baba Booey and butt-bongo stunts.

Stern's show might be Sirius' biggest attraction in the U.S. His hardcore fan base is buying the service just to keep on hearing him.

So, Sirius Canada, isn't this like acquiring the Pittsburgh Penguins and deciding you don't need Sidney Crosby?

"Well, what if Sidney Crosby was going to be arrested and put in jail within two weeks?" said Gary Slaight, the CEO of Standard Broadcasting, which co-owns Sirius Canada along with the CBC.

"The CRTC, who we are licensed to, would eventually force us to take Stern down, because we have standards we have to abide by in this country when you own a broadcasting licence."

Conversely, satellite radio providers in the U.S. are not licensed by the American equivalent of the CRTC, the Federal Communications Commission, Slaight said, "so they can do whatever they want.

"When we applied for a licence, the CRTC pushed us about this," he said. "(Stern) was definitely a topic of conversation. We (Standard) are a big broadcaster and have to deal with the CRTC on other issues. And the CBC obviously has a cultural mandate to be concerned with."

The New York-based Stern debuted in Canada on Sept. 2, 1997 on Toronto's Q-107 and Montreal's CHOM-FM, and started things off by blasting the French (calling them "peckerheads" and saying, "the French should bend over for me the way they did for Hitler"). That first broadcast alone inspired more than 1,000 complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Stern lasted on CHOM until August 1998. Q-107 took flak from the regulators and stuck with the experiment through November 2001.

Sirius satellite radio on air by Christmas

November 3, 2020
Toronto Star
By Greg Quill, Entertainment Columnist

Sirius Canada, one of two subscription-based digital satellite radio operations recently licensed by the federal broadcast regulator, will be up and running before Christmas, with 100 channels of music, news, sports, talk and entertainment available for $14.99 a month.

Receivers will be on sale at major appliance, hardware and electronics stores within a month. Two initial receivers will retail for $79 and $99 respectively.

Ten of the Sirius channels will be Canadian, programmed in Canada and compiled by personnel already employed by majority shareholders Standard Radio, CBC and its French-language counterpart, Radio Canada, Sirius Canada president Mark Redmond said yesterday.

The Canadian broadcasters each own 40 per cent of the Canadian franchise and New York-based Sirius Radio, which is responsible for programming 90 of the 100 channels, retains a 20 per cent interest in the Canadian business.

"One of the conditions of the Canadian satellite radio licences is a 9-to-1 ratio between U.S. and Canadian channels, Redmond said.

Sirius Canada ( will carry four English-language and five French-language channels, in addition to one multilingual channel.

All 10 are commercial-free, but only two are dedicated to English-language music.

The Canadian channels are:

CBC Radio One.

CBC Radio 3, the former Internet service specializing in independent English-language music and culture.

Iceberg Radio, Standard Broadcasting's Internet English-language pop music service rejigged for satellite radio and programmed by leading Canadian music programmer/consultant Liz Janik.

Hardcore Sports Radio, Canadian sports news and talk provided by Score Media.

Première Plus, Radio-Canada's French-language magazine service comprising news, current affairs and the arts.

Infoplus, French-language news 24 hours a day, combining programs from Radio-Canada with those from other public broadcasters around the world, including Radio France Internationale.

Bandeapart, a Radio-Canada channel dedicated to emerging Francophone pop, rock, electronica, hip-hop, punk and world music.

Rock Velours, a French-language Canadian soft-rock channel.

Energie2, a French-language channel featuring pop, modern rock and urban music.

RCI Plus, Radio Canada International programming for Canadians in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian and Mandarin.

Sirius Canada will carry 60 music channels in all, covering the entire musical spectrum. The remaining 40 channels will be devoted to sports, public broadcasting and commercial network news, comedy, talk, and lifestyle programming.

Sirius Canada's rival, Canadian Satellite Radio, could not confirm its launch date or programming details yesterday.

One question remains as to the delivery of so-called shock jock radio programming.

The controversial Howard Stern, who has reportedly signed a $500 million (U.S.) five-year contract, is scheduled to jump to Sirius in the New Year, but Redmond said that initially at least he's not part of their programming.

FCC Investigating February Howard Stern broadcast

August 23, 2021

Howard Stern said on his show last Wednesday (8/17) that he had "heard a rumor" the FCC would be dropping another fine on him before he would be able to get out the door to Sirius Satellite Radio.

"They've come up with some sort of fine or something, or some sort of Notice of Apparent Liability, they're after me again," said Stern. "I don't care how many times, as long as they don't come after me personally."

FMQB has learned that the FCC's Enforcement Bureau is indeed investigating an early February broadcast in which allegedly indecent material was aired on The Howard Stern Show. The complaint, submitted by Florida-based decency crusader Jack Thompson, was filed against Beasley Broadcast Group's WRXK/Ft. Myers and Infinity Broadcasting's WXRK/New York.

Specifically, the FCC is looking into material aired on the February 4, 2021 broadcast at approximately 8:55 a.m. in which The Stern Show was in the midst of the Stupid Bowl, a contest that featured women golfing with strap-on dildos on their foreheads, followed by the contestants attempting to sing "Amazing Grace" with a four-inch sausage down their throats.

In his complaint, Thompson wrote: "Porn stars were using dildos in the described fashion, among the sexual banter, and they were then allowing sausages to be stuffed down their throats, in a simulation of fellatio, while trying to sing, despite the gagging, 'Amazing Grace.'"

In a follow-up letter to the FCC, Thompson has asked that the investigation "expand to include each and every radio station that aired any of the particular Stern programs on the dates which are currently under investigation," providing the FCC with a list of all current affiliates of The Howard Stern Show.

Infinity is required to respond within ten business days of the FCC's August 15 letter. Should this complaint result in a Notice of Apparent Liability being issued, it could mean the end for Stern and company until they reappear at Sirius due to the $3.5 million Consent Decree Viacom agreed to on November 23, 2004.

Contained within the Consent Decree was a provision stating: "If a Viacom-owned station receives a Notice of Apparent Liability for a broadcast occurring after the Effective Date which relates to violation of the Indecency Laws, all employees airing and/or materially participating in the decision to air such material will be suspended and an investigation will immediately be undertaken by Viacom."

Shortly after the Decree was signed, FMQB warned this scenario might be how The Stern Show's run on terrestrial radio could end, as the previously mentioned provision essentially means if a NAL were to be issued regarding Stern that involved a Viacom property, it would mean he would be suspended from the airwaves and be sidelined until the investigation was concluded.

The current complaint the FCC is investigating meets those requirements.

Should a Notice of Apparent Liability lead to a Forfeiture Order, all participating offenders in the decision to air the material deemed indecent by the FCC would be "subject to further disciplinary action up to and including termination."

Stern to be beamed in by satellite

Shock jock jumps to Sirius radio

October 7, 2021
National Post
By Paul Brent

Calling it "the most important deal in radio history," Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. inked a five-year, US$500-million deal to spirit shock jock Howard Stern from the public airwaves and make him the star draw of its subscription-based radio system.

Sirius' description of the hiring may be public relations hyperbole, but markets paid attention to the move by the second-biggest satellite radio provider, sending its stock up more than 15% amid analyst predictions that the aggressive firm will soon catch market leader XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. in subscriber totals.

While big news at the New York Sirius headquarters, the hiring of the salty Stern has created some headaches for the Canadian partners of Sirius who have to convince the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission next month of the benefits of allowing the commercial-free music service to operate here legitimately.

"We are not even close to deciding what our strategy will be" on Stern's show, said Gary Slaight, president of Toronto's Standard Broadcasting, one of the corporate partners of the Sirius venture.

The subject of broadcasting Mr. Stern's controversial show in Canada via satellite becomes even more complicated because public broadcaster CBC is the other Canadian backer of Sirius.

Sirius Canada said yesterday that it could block Mr. Stern's show from its offering here if it proves to be a major issue with the Commission. It could also put it in its main offering as Sirius will do in the U.S. or offer the show as a premium service for an extra charge to subscribers.

Sirius is one of three digital radio hopefuls that will present their case to the federal broadcasting regulator in hearings next month. One of the others, U.S. satellite rival XM teamed with Toronto businessman John Bitove, has a similar satellite-delivered service offering minimal Canadian content -- just four dedicated channels apiece.

The other digital radio proposal, a terrestrial-delivered service from CHUM Ltd. and Astral Media Inc., would mirror the CRTC's 35% Canadian content minimum levels for commercial radio.

Less ambitious than the U.S. services that rely on signals beamed from orbiting satellites, the CHUM-Astral service would only be available in major centres and, initially at least, offer about half as many channels with 50 proposed during the early years of operation.

Mr. Stern's show was broadcast on Toronto's Q107 (owned by Corus Entertainment) but was dropped voluntarily. "They pulled him off for political reasons as much as anything else," said Standard's Mr. Slaight. "The ratings were pretty good. It was just a lot of work to deal with the complaints."

Mr. Stern's decision to leave commercial airwaves when his contract expires with Viacom Inc.'s Infinity radio division was caused by increasing U.S. scrutiny of the airwaves in the wake of Janet Jackson's brief breast exposure at the MTV half-time show during this year's Super Bowl.

"I'm tired of the censorship," Mr. Stern said during his broadcast which is heard in 46 U.S. cities.

Because satellite radio is a subscription-based service, it is not subject to decency standards imposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Satellite radio, already boasting millions of subscribers and poised to grow faster as automakers make satellite signal receivers standard equipment, is fast becoming like cable television with such shows as The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, a haven for risky programming.

In August, XM Radio signed on the controversial shock jock duo of Opie & Anthony to broadcast a morning show. The two were yanked off the air by Infinity Broadcasting in 2002 for broadcasting descriptions of their radio listeners having sex in public. Infinity was fined US$357,500 by the Federal Communications Commission for the stunt.

Sirius has 600,000 subscribers and has said it has to have two million before it becomes profitable. XM has 2.1 million subscribers but it, too, is losing money as both are ramping up their offerings in an effort to gain customers. Last year Sirius said it would pay $220-million for the right to broadcast National Football League games.

At this time, it is not clear whether the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will adopt a hands-off policy toward satellite radio service in Canada (as in the U.S.) should it give the service its official blessing.

While satellite radio is not authorized by the CRTC as yet, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Canadian subscribers are receiving XM or Sirius signals through a U.S. address. For people willing to subscribe to "grey market" services, be they satellite radio or U.S. satellite television, it is unlikely the CRTC will ever prove much of a hinderance.

"Today if you still want to get American [satellite television], you can do it," said Kevin Shea, president and chief executive of Sirius Canada. "I didn't see the RCMP arrest a consumer yet.

"There is really no way at the end of the day we can stop people who really would want to get anything."


CHUM Satellite Radio

50 channels. $9.95 a month in major cities only

- - -

Canadian Satellite Radio Inc.

(XM and John Bitove)

101 channels for $12.99 a month

GM, Honda and Toyota vehicles

- - -

Sirius Canada Radio

(CBC, Sirius, Standard Radio)

78 channels for $12.95 a month

DaimlerChrysler, Ford vehicles

- - -

Not widely available for sale in Canada, satellite radio receivers are currently offered for automobile use by major car manufacturers and home units are offered for sale by major retailers such as Best Buy Co.

Stern to go to satellite broadcasts

Globe and Mail
October 7, 2021

Howard Stern, the controversial radio host whose off-colour comments have propelled him to stardom on American radio, signed a $500-million (U.S.), five-year deal with a satellite radio company yesterday that could bring his show back to a Canadian station.

The deal will see Mr. Stern's show jump from Viacom Inc. to Sirius Satellite Radio in January of 2006. The move will give a large boost to a fledgling satellite radio industry, and allow Mr. Stern to circumvent U.S. federal regulators who have frowned upon such segments as Lesbian Dial-A-Date.

"Those religious kooks think they've won," Mr. Stern told Reuters news agency yesterday. "They're wrong. I volunteered to go off into a whole new medium."

He was pulled off the air in six cities by Clear Channel Communications Inc. in February because of indecent content in his show.

Sirius, the second-largest pay-radio service in the United States, will have to boost its base of 600,000 subscribers to more than two million to cover the cost of signing Mr. Stern. The so-called shock jock has 12 million listeners and Sirius is hoping some will migrate with him.

Unlike public airwaves, satellite radio requires special equipment and a monthly subscriber fee. But the breadth of expected channels from across North America, and features such as instantly identifying song titles, is driving growth of the format in the United States. Some car manufacturers are expected to equip new vehicles with the service soon.

In Canada, Sirius Radio has partnered with CBC Radio-Canada and Standard Radio as one of three groups applying for a radio broadcast licence in November from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Standard Radio is Canada's largest privately owned broadcaster, and runs such stations as 97.3 FM EZRock in Toronto and Z95.3 FM in Vancouver.

If successful, the group plans to have 125 channels of satellite radio in Canada by early 2005, at a cost of $12.95 a month, said joint-venture chief executive officer Kevin Shea.

Sirius has full intentions of bringing Mr. Stern to Canada, he said.

"There's probably a portion of audiences that would have an interest in [Mr. Stern's show]," said Mr. Shea, a former executive with Bell Globemedia, Alliance Atlantis and Global Television.

"Two years from now, Howard Stern could have found God and have a completely different program. Who knows?"

After a run in Canada a few years ago, the country's airwaves are free of Mr. Stern's sexually charged, raucous segments. He was dropped by Toronto's Q-107 FM in late 2001, despite high ratings, and was also dropped by CHOM-FM in Montreal in 1998 after complaints from more than 140 callers.