Stern-Sirius Media Blitz

Monday, October 17, 2005

Controversy On Eve Of Stern-Sirius Media Blitz
Oct. 17, 2005
By Paul Heine

The Howard Stern-Sirius Satellite Radio media blitz is about to begin. On his syndicated radio show Monday (Oct. 17), Stern said he’s girding for 6 weeks of press and media appearances, including Late Night With David Letterman.

Stern also complained about the CBS television network rejecting a Sirius spot that mentioned him along with other Sirius programming, such as Martha Stewart and the NFL. Stern alleged that CBS (owned by Infinity parent Viacom) said the mere mention of his name in a TV spot constitutes an obscenity.

Not true, according to a CBS spokesperson. Dana McClintock tells Billboard Radio Monitor that CBS accepted one spot from Sirius and that its standards and practices department withheld approval on two others. The reasons? One included the promotion of offensive language; the other was overly disparaging of terrestrial radio.

McClintock said the network applied the same rules to Sirius that it does to all advertisers. For example, it would red flag a Burger King spot if it were overly disparaging of McDonalds, he said. Withholding approval is a normal course of business, he added, that involves the network asking the advertiser for certain revisions to comply with its policies.

“A Sirius spot that mentions Howard’s name is not objectionable,� McClintock said.

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