I’m going to stop by 56th Street this morning to see Howard Stern’s farewell — and his fans’ farewell — to broadcast. Mark this day: We’ll track back to this as a tipping point for broadcast, though the truth is that that came years ago, when the internet gave us control of media and when the FCC tried to take our control of media away.
At 11, I’ll be on Brian Lehrer’s show on WNYC … and Sirius satellite radio, too. Subject: Whither papers.
While we’re on a hyperoll, I’ll be on Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources on CNN Sunay. Subject: Stern.
: LIVE: It is insane on 56th Street. Thousands upon thousands of fans are jamming the street from west of 6th avenue to east of 5th avenue. Bigger than any megachurch.
I’m sitting in a Starbux on 56th and 7th, watching the show on Yahoo and listening on the radio and telling you about it. I have my Howard poster, which I’ll proudly carry around New York today, and my Howard sticker and my Howard Id card. Laugh if you want, but thousands upon thousands of us are here doing the same thing because we belong.
When a Stern regular walks by, the crowd starts chanting his tagline. There goes Elegant Elliot and the crowd chants, “Riiiiighht.” Inside joke. Hadda be there.
Robin says now on Yahoo: “There is nothing wrong with what we do. We are just having fun.”
Howard takes the stage and says: “I stand before you today erect. I don’t mean like that…. I love you guys, I really do…. Does anybody work anymore? No wonder the Japanese are beating our asses…. How am I going to sum up 20 years with you guys… I’m here today to let you know how much I appreciate you, the audience… My friends, we’ve done it all…. Clear Channel commmunications, the religious right have taken over the airwaves… I am the last of a dying breed…. We will not bow down… You guys are the last of a dying breed? When are we ever going to see an audience like this again?… There will never be another radio show like this. There will never be another audience like this… We are all the last of a dying breed. Together, we are strong. Thank you for being in my corner for all these years…
“When I was 5 years old, I dreamed I would have a club, a crowd, a show [and someone from the audience adds: a naked girl]… Everybody said we couldn’t get away with this we couldn’t get away with that but we got away with it all. Why? Because we are the last of a dying breed.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see the likes of this radio show again… We are a bond, this is a family, we’ve done it all, we are the last of a dying breed….
“When everybody else played by the rules, we didn’t…. And I’m proud of that. And I think this ride is just beginning….
“I’m coming across America. Uncensored. Are we ever gonna bow to the government? No. Are we gonna bow to the religious right? No. Are we gonna bow to the FCC? No…. Because we are the last of a dying breed…. The government clean up your act and we say never…. We beat ‘em at their own game….
“There’s a reason the rain stopped. There’s a reason the sun is shining. Because we’re the last of a dying breed….
“F the FCC. They can’t break us, the can’t break the bonds between us…. The religious right is the American Taliban and we can beat ‘em. All these radio stations that fired me, F ‘em. You fire me? We fire you!… Their radio stations sunk because they stunk….”
Howard thanks his fans, family, and friends as a big, purple double-decker Yahoo bus with Howard plastered on the side backs up into the scene by the Starbucks window. More later….