NEW YORK – Clear Channel Communications Inc sued the distributor of Howard Stern's (search) radio show for more than $3 million Wednesday, claiming Stern broke their contract by violating federal indecency regulations.
The lawsuit came in response to a $10 million suit filed last month by Stern and distributor Infinity Broadcasting Corp. (search) after Clear Channel dropped the shock jock from six markets.
Clear Channel dropped Stern from the markets, including San Diego and Pittsburgh, after complaints from federal regulators. Stern's law often features sexually explicit remarks and off-color humor.
Clear Channel said in its countersuit that its contract with Infinity and Stern required the show to comply with federal law and Federal Communications Commission (search) decency requirements.
Andy Levin, chief legal officer for Clear Channel, said the show was pulled because Stern and Infinity would not assure it that the show would "conform to the law" in the future.
"We simply weren't willing to put the future of our radio station licenses in the hands of Mr. Stern or Infinity," Levin said in a statement. "Fortunately, our contract doesn't require us to do that.
Also named as a defendant in the Clear Channel countersuit was One Twelve Inc., a company owned by Stern.
San Antonio-based Clear Channel has agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with the FCC to resolve indecency complaints against the popular Stern and other radio personalities.
Last month, Stern announced his show would go on the air in nine new markets owned by Infinity, including four where Clear Channel stations dropped it.