Stern Sizzles Over Settlement!
As expected, Howard was pissed off over the announcement of a settlement between Infinity and the FCC. Claiming he had no knowledge of the settlement before it happened, Howard lashed out at the FCC and then sided with his bosses decision to "voluntary contribute" $1.7 Million to the US Treasury.
"This was the biggest case of extortion in the history of the United States Government. Never has the Government extorted $1.7 million... It is the biggest shake-down in history... so people (the FCC) could save face. ...This company I work for is very brave. They put up a struggle like you wouldn't believe.... I was sad about it. I'll be honest with you. I was shocked...", Howard explained during his show Monday morning. He went on to explain that the FCC was making it difficult for Infinity to conduct business necessary to keep it a viable, profitable company. The $1.7 million is chump change to a company like Infinity which is the largest "radio only" company in the industry and estimated to be worth $3 billion. The settlement has put Infinity back in good graces with the FCC and normalized the relationship between the two entities. This should clear the way for Infinity to buy several more radio stations and make back the "extortion" that the FCC so willfully extracted.
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