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$1M-Plus Stern Fine Near

The next bomb to drop in Howard Stern's war with the Federal Communications Commission is the $1.5 million fine the agency is expected to propose against the 18 Infinity Broadcasting Corp. stations that have been airing his show. The fine will cover the same broadcast that helped to push former Stern syndicator Clear Channel Communications Inc. into a $1.75 million settlement with the FCC.

A notice of apparent liability from the FCC has been expected since April and could appear any day.

During the show cast member Stuttering John talked about having anal sex with his wife and later Stern led his gang in raunchy talk about oral sex. Anticipating the fine, Stern called FCC Chairman Michael Powell "a crackpot" during a press conference held during Stern's morning show Wednesday.

Flanked by reporters in the studios of his WXRK flagship, Stern declared, "We are going to fight back." Infinity is expected to appeal the fine at the FCC. If the commission doesn't back down, the company is expected to go to court.