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Published: Wednesday, 5/10/2006

Howard Stern says no to terrestrial radio return


NEW YORK Forget the various rumors and rumblings. Howard Stern made it clear this morning: He s staying put on satellite radio.

I m very flattered terrestrial radio can t let go of me, Stern said on his morning radio show. But I would throw up if I had to go back. I m never going back.

The self-proclaimed King of All Media said three companies had made overtures through his agent, but there was no interest from his end. He did not name the companies.

Stern is just five months into a five-year, $500 million satellite radio contract. I ve never been happier, he said. We re flying high and doing great.

He told the New York Post in a story published Tuesday that he had been offered a major deal to return to regular radio.

The Post identified one of the prospective bidders as Citadel Broadcasting, whose chief executive, Farid Suleman, worked with Stern for several years at Infinity Broadcasting until his departure for Citadel in March 2002.

Calls to Citadel for comment were not immediately returned.

Stern made his comments during an on-air interview today with The Associated Press. He insisted on speaking with the AP about the reports that he might consider a simulcasting deal where he split time between Sirius Satellite Radio and a traditional outlet.

Stern competitors Greg Opie Hughes and Anthony Cumia recently made such an agreement with CBS Radio. Stern worked for CBS before making his move to satellite in January.

Stern said that Opie and Anthony s return to traditional radio signified their failure on satellite, and he reiterated his intent to continue his program exclusively on satellite.

The story is I wouldn t do it (terrestrial radio) for any reason, Stern said. Not for money. I left because I couldn t stand the censorship. I couldn t stand the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC and Stern were locked in a long, pitched battle that led to staggering fines for the content of the shock jock s show.

Stern said he wanted to reiterate his commitment to satellite because of the growing number of reports that he could go back to terrestrial radio.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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