Howard Stern, the controversial DC-101 disc jockey who was suspended from the station Friday, was fired yesterday, according to attorneys for WWDC-AM/FM. Stern was suspended after criticizing his station management and two other radio stations.
"Howard's contract has been terminated effective immediately," said Jason Shrinsky, attorney for WWDC. "Capitol Broadcasting has paid him through the period up to last Friday and including Monday and Tuesday. He is no longer going to be on WWDC, and pursuant to his contract, he is prohibited for six months from working at another radio station within the Washington area ."
"We feel, frankly, if they attempted to terminate his contract, it would be a blatant breach of contract," said Jeffrey Southmayd, Stern's attorney.
"It's our view that the real reason they've done this is they would like to get new DC-101 deejays 'Grease Man' and 'Adam Smasher' on the air as soon as possible, and hope the audience forgets about Howard, and that's a perfectly rational business judgment," said Lee Levine, Southmayd's partner.
Levine quoted the termination clause in Stern's contract. "It defines cause for termination as any action or inaction by Stern which 'brings the company or the station into substantial disrepute in the Washington ADI [area of dominant influence].' I leave it to you to decide if mentioning the names of two other deejays constitutes substantial disrepute," Levine said.
Stern said he was "shocked" by the termination. "My feeling is, ever since I decided to make this career move to WNBC, I've really tried to fulfill my contractual agreement to DC-101. I've been treated very shabbily.
"I wish the new guys the best of luck," Stern said. "I just hope they're treated better. Listeners and fans have been calling all day to find out how they can help me and I would love to be able to say on the air that I feel the same way about them as they do about me."