Howard Stern cashed in and made headlines with his recent switch from FM radio to subscriber-based satellite radio. Now that the envelope-pushing broadcaster isn’t limited by FCC content regulations, he can be more controversial than ever. We asked four local broadcasters about teens tuning in.
Rona Renner, host of Childhood Matters, a talk show that airs on 98.1 KISS FM, Sundays, 9–10 a.m.
“There’s so much off-color content available to our kids; it’s not just Howard Stern. The best thing a parent can do is find out what their kids are listening to, and listen with them. If my teenager really liked listening to Stern, I’d want to know why my teenager found him interesting. I’d also want to be able to communicate why I find him distasteful.
Although I may not like what he has to say about women’s bodies, [Stern’s] decision to leave the mainstream airwaves for satellite has opened a whole new possibility for diverse voices on the radio. Teens might find it interesting to realize that the standards for content they hear on the radio are controlled by a very few.”
Brian Copeland, contributing writer for Parenting magazine and talk-show host on KGO 810 AM, Sundays, 9–10 a.m.
“High school kids are going to listen to what high school kids listen to. When I was in school, we loved Dennis Erectus on KOME because we couldn’t believe the stuff he did. He had a sketch involving Nancy Reagan having group sex with various celebrities. This was FM [radio] in 1981!”
Melissa McConnell Wilson, KVHS 90.5 FM general manager and faculty advisor for Clayton Valley High School radio classes
“I think the fact that he moved to a place that’s subscription based and he’s less accessible to small children is a good thing. It’s a constant battle to try and teach students about indecency and offensive material. The main theme I teach is that it requires no intelligence to just blurt something out because it’s shocking. It’s more fun and more creative to use a clever double entendre. This also requires more participation on the listener’s part.
”Rosalie Howarth, host of KFOG 104.5 FM’s Acoustic Sunrise and Acoustic Sunset, Sundays, 7 a.m.–noon and 6–8 p.m.“We all lose when we reward the lewdest and cruelest aspects of our character. Parents alone can’t govern the moral development of their kids when the entire culture is united against them. As Stern moves to satellite, the same problem facing TV will arise on the audio airwaves: Can cable channels escape decency standards enforced for broadcast stations simply because they are subscription services?”