Clear Channel, Stern Dispute Resolved

Radio giant Clear Channel Communications Inc. and Howard Stern have agreed to withdraw lawsuits against each other related to Stern’s ouster from the radio giant’s airwaves because of indecency concerns.

Clear Channel, which pulled Stern off the air in February 2004, issued a statement saying the lawsuits and claims for money damages have been dropped by both sides.

“We are pleased to resolve this contractual dispute with Howard Stern without further legal expense and delay,” Clear Channel chief legal officer Andrew Levin said in a news release Wednesday.

Stern’s agent, Don Buchwald, did not return messages The Associated Press left Thursday with his New York office.

In July, Clear Channel agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with the Federal Communications Commission to resolve indecency complaints against the popular Stern and other radio personalities.

The FCC defines obscene material as describing sexual conduct “in a patently offensive way” and lacking “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” Indecent material is not as offensive but still contains references to sex or excretions.

The FCC has stepped up enforcement of the indecency statute, perhaps most notably with a $550,000 fine against CBS for Janet Jackson‘s “wardrobe malfunction” during last year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

In trading Thursday morning, Clear Channel shares fell 11 cents to $33.79 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Associated Press