Satellite Radio & Shock Jocks: Shock Jocks

The term “Shock Jock” has become well known since the 1980s. These bad boys of the airwaves have happily stomped on and disregarded the FCC regulations to the delight – and at times,Satellite Radio & Shock Jocks: Shock Jocks: Stern – Bad Boy of the Airwaves Articles disgust of their audiences. The rule of thumb in the “Shock Jock” entertainment form is, the more disturbing, shocking, and politically incorrect the show – the better.

Howard Stern, one of the highest paid radio personalities in broadcast history is the one who is responsible for the phrase “Shock Jock” Howard Stern has proclaimed himself “King of the Media” With his great success he pioneered what is known as “Shock Jock” radio programs. It is commonly believed that Howard Stern’s exploitation of women, sex and his discrimination of certain ethnic groups is one of the main ingredients for his success. Howard Stern is the most fined personality in radio and actually encourages the fines and touts these FCC fines as if they were medals of Honor. The Howard Stern radio show was the beginning of a revolution in radio.

The Ingredients of Shock Jock Success

What is it about this type of radio program that brings so much success to these bad boys of the airwaves? The total shock value of their programs is one of the main ingredients to their success. For example, on one of Howard Stern’s radio shows, he convinced a female caller to have phone sex with him on the air. He made deep buzzing noises into his microphone, and had her sit on a speaker with the volume turned up until she reached an on-the-air orgasm. Another notorios example occurred on DC101 Radio in Washington D.C. in which Stern called Air Florida Airlines and asked what the fare was for a one-way ticket from National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge. He was making light of the crash of an Air Florida flight into Washington D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge one day earlier, on January 13, 1982. That June 29, Stern was fired from DC-101 radio after being suspended for criticizing his station management and two other radio stations.

The number of commercials aired during his radio show has greatly increased from the 1980s to the present. Though Howard Stern has brought much critisism to this form of entertainment, he still seems to be able to draw hords of listeners. Despite the provocative content of Stern’s show—or perhaps because of it—many listeners and critics consider Stern to be a talented on-air personality and formidable interviewer.

The FCC and the Broadcast Industry Cracksdown

Howard Stern’s fame has brought out a number of imitation “shock jocks” who try to top Stern in terms of offensiveness and rudeness, but these imitators have found themselves with more troubles to worry about than listener ratings. In 2002 fellow Infinity Broadcasting Corporation jocks Opie and Anthony had their nationally syndicated WNEW-FM “extreme talk” show cancelled after they managed to get a couple to engage in sexual intercourse at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, then airing a running commentary of the act on their show.

Though Stern’s show is generally considered not to be as offensive as Opie and Anthony, on February 25, 2004, Clear Channel Communications “indefinitely suspended” him from six markets because of alleged indecency. The broadcasted show that brough so much retribution, featured Rick Salomon, whose sole claim to fame is the release of video showing him having sex with Paris Hilton.

During this show Stern held a sexually-oriented interview with Soloman, asking him graphic questions about anal sex. This came only a day after Clear Channel fired Bubba the Love Sponge for nearly the same reason.

This is considered to be part of a crackdown triggered by the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy. Because Clear Channel and some of its executives have donated over $200,000 to the Republican Party, Stern claims the company was trying to penalize him for his ruthless criticisms of President George W. Bush. He endorsed John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, and encouraged listeners to vote for him.

On April 8, 2004, Clear Channel Communications announced it would “permanently terminate” its relationship with the shock jock after being fined $500,000 by the FCC. However, on July 19, Stern returned to four of the six markets Clear Channel taken him off of, and added five new ones to his list — this time on Infinity-owned stations. In August, he returned to a fifth market, Miami, on an independent station. His return was greeted with controversy as the Miami Dolphins threatened to terminate their broadcast deal with the station if they did not fire him.

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