NEW YORK (AP) _ Top-ranked shock jock Howard Stern said Wednesday he has signed a five-year, multimillion dollar deal with Sirius satellite radio that will free him from federal indecency scrutiny and allow him to ``bring my fans my show my way.''
Stern will leave Infinity Broadcasting Corp. in January 2006 for Sirius, a national distributor of commercial-free music and sport programming, a deal that will allow him to reach every market in the country.
Stern's show, which has come under fire from federal regulators for its sexually explicit remarks and off-color humor, corners the radio market among males 18-49 years of age and ranks No. 1 in many of the 46 major markets where his show is broadcast.
Like cable television, satellite radio is not subject to federal indecency scrutiny because it is available only to paid subscribers.
``It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was five years old,'' Stern said in a statement. ``Sirius _ the future of radio _ will take this dream to a whole new level as I bring my fans my show my way. It will be the best radio they will ever hear.''
Stern had been dropped from six markets, including San Diego and Pittsburgh, earlier this year and his distributor Clear Channel was fined by the Federal Communications Commission following complaints about his raunchy humor.
The flap also set off dueling lawsuits between Infinity and Clear Channel.
A call to Infinity for comment was not immediately returned.
Sirius CEO Joseph P. Clayton called the deal ``the most exciting and transformational event in the history of radio.''
``He is an entertainment force of unprecedented recognition and popularity in the broadcast world, who is capable of changing the face of satellite radio and generating huge numbers of subscribers for Sirius.''
Sirius reaches more than 10 million DISH Network satellite TV and Sirius Satellite Radio subscribers nationwide, providing listeners with over 120 channels of commercial-free music, sports, information and entertainment.
Infinity, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., has about 185 stations in 40 U.S. markets, according to Hoovers.com.