Dateline: October 16, 1997

Stern Warning For Seattle!

Sternless in Seattle? Seattle audiences can't hear radio's most ribald personality, Howard Stern, but that may not last much longer.

That's the speculation following the planned $1.3 billion acquisition by Westinghouse/CBS of American Radio Systems, which owns six stations in the Puget Sound area.

Stern is syndicated across the country but has remained noticeably absent from the Seattle market. Now the buzz is that Stern will air during the morning-drive slot on KZOK-FM, one of six properties Westinghouse will gain if the deal closes as planned in the second quarter of 1998.

Westinghouse/CBS, which owns New York-based Infinity Broadcasting that distributes the syndicated Howard Stern Show, could mandate that Seattle air Stern.

"It's not an impossibility," said Becky Brenner, programming director for American Radio in Seattle. "But I'd be surprised if it happens, especially if it happens in less than a year."

She said "it wouldn't make sense" to bump KZOK's Robin and Maynard show, which usually ranks in the top four during the morning-drive slot.

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