Schwarzenegger's Stern appearance postponed
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to fulfill a pre-gubernatorial campaign promise to appear on Howard Stern's rambunctious radio show Thursday morning but the appearance was delayed only hours before his scheduled appearance.
Schwarzenegger has not run a traditional campaign, announcing his candidacy on NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
Aides announced Wednesday that Schwarzenegger was tentatively scheduled to conduct a five- to 10-minute interview with Stern, who broadcasts from New York, from his Brentwood home at 5:30 a.m. PDT. Later, the aides said it would be impossible for Schwarzenegger to appear on the show and that the show asked the candidate to postpone his appearance.
Sean Walsh, the Schwarzenegger campaign's communication director, said the Federal Communications Commission's requirement of equal time for all candidates on broadcast stations would have required Stern to invite all 135 candidates to guest on his show.
Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said the Howard Stern show planned to apply for a waiver to the FCC rule in order to allow an appearance before the October 7 recall election.
The equal opportunity provision of the Communications Act requires broadcast radio and television stations to treat legally qualified political candidates equally when it comes to selling or giving away air time.
Walsh said earlier that Schwarzenegger plans to appear on the syndicated Oprah Winfrey talk show but the specifics have not been finalized. It is unclear how the Communications Act will affect that appearance because Winfrey's show is distributed nationally to local broadcast television networks.
Stations that give time to candidates on regularly scheduled newscasts, news interview shows or documentaries are exempt.
Some stations have cancelled shows, including Schwarzenegger movies and re-runs of candidate Gary Coleman's sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," because of the act.
Similar restrictions were placed on Ronald Reagan films during his political campaigns.
The morning drive-time interview would have followed a day after Schwarzenegger convened an economic summit in Los Angeles to answer policy questions from reporters.
When Stern interviewed Schwarzenegger several weeks ago while the actor was promoting his newest movie, "Terminator 3," Schwarzenegger said he would return to the show if he decided to run for governor.
Stern is one of a few media figures to whom Schwarzenegger has agreed to an interview and would have been the most recent event in an unconventional campaign.
The day after he announced his candidacy on NBC, Schwarzenegger appeared on the morning talk-shows of all three broadcast networks. He later granted an interview to Pat O'Brien on the entertainment news show "Access Hollywood," which is syndicated to broadcast networks.
Some of his opponents, including Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Republican Bill Simon, have appeared on more traditional shows such as NBC's "Meet the Press." The Sunday talk shows are typically forums for political debate.
Walsh acknowledged they have faced criticism for declining interview requests from more policy-oriented news shows. But Walsh said Schwarzenegger's "unconventional" campaign is designed to reach voters who have become disenchanted with the political process.
"That program covers a great deal of the citizenry that does not typically vote in elections," Walsh said of the Stern show. "You're hopefully attracting people who have never voted or voted once in the past 10 years. You're increasing the democratic participation, and it brings more people to Arnold."