Stern complaints spur delay in Infinity deal

It seems federal regulators have had quite enough of radio personality Howard Stern: They’re heading straight for where it hurts most — the pocketbook of his employer, Infinity Broadcasting.

Infinity wants to buy a couple of radio stations for $ 170 million — and if it can’t do the deal right away, the price could go up by millions a month.

It’s no small matter, then, that Federal Communications Commission member James Quello and two of his fellow commissioners have decided to apply the brakes to the deal. Before any sale, the commissioners want to see new complaints against Stern’s sex-drenched radio show addressed first.

“I talked to my colleagues over the last few weeks; as long as we have these complaints pending against Mr. Stern, we’re going to hold off” on approving the transfer of broadcast licenses, Quello said Thursday.

Stern “violates our indecency standards; and I’ve got letters here from all over the country complaining about him,” Quello said.

Two formal complaints have been filed and “we are deferring action until they’re resolved; there will be no attempt to rush it,” Quello added.

Quello said it probably will take considerably more than a month or two to look into the complaints. “It’s indefinite,” he emphasized.

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