: I predicted that Stern would end up going to satellite and he talked about it this morning. He said that if he went onto satellite, they’d sell 12 million receivers immediately; “they wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough.” It would change the entire radio industry, making broadcast stations worth a helluva lot less, he said, and he’s right. Radio had no appointment programming until Stern came; if he goes to satellite, he will bring listeners and excitement and revenue with him. Stern said he was planning to leave radio in two years but now he says he’s thinking about changing the industry and then leaving. “If you don’t think I’m serious, watch me.”

He also said that though he’s not a conspiracy theorist, he notes that he got pulled off Clear Channel after he started talking about defeating George Bush because he fears Bush is swinging the country to the side of the religious right; he noted that Clear Channel is a big Bush contributor; he repeated that Clear Channel pulled him only so they’d have an offering on the altar in a congressional hearing the following day.

I didn’t hear it, but someone told me that Stern also called John Kerry a wuss.

Finally, he warned that Congress (including wusses from both parties) is using all this as an excuse to try to regulate content and speech not just on broadcast but also on cable.

I’ll keep warning you: The Internet is next.

: More on Stern and satellite. AudioRevolution says:

Currently, satellite radio has about 1.3 million total subscribers with a little over 1,000,000 on XM and about 250,000 on competing Sirius. Even a tiny fraction of Stern

  • syn

    Stern’s content is “a little off-color”
    Wow that is an amazing statement to make!
    If you were female you would not be thinking it was “a little off-color”
    Stern has always trashed and degraded females in order to yank his tiny, limp dick.
    No wonder so many American males support Stern, they suffer from the same problem.

  • hudson

    Wow, you said it and Stern said it. I can feel the paradigm shift under my feet. (appologies to Carol King)
    Jeff, If ignorance were bliss you’d be on a three day peyote bender.
    Why am I reading this blog? Must…get…help.

  • paladin

    Hubris, thy name is Howard.

  • So, Howard thinks 2/3 of his 18 million listeners would go out and drop $300 on new equipment … immediately … just to keep hearing him. That’s $5.4 Billion dollars. It takes a Big Head to have those thoughts about yourself. If Howard truly has that much power, and commands that type of financial influence, one has to wonder why he’s still a DJ.
    As for “making broadcast stations worth a helluva lot less,” you can have a nearly infinite number of satellite radio stations. But the public broadcast airwaves are very finite, and those frequencies will always have great value. They aren’t making any more. And you only need a $5 lo-fi transistor radio to hear them, not hundreds of dollars of higher tech gear.
    And I’d also like for people to keep some perspective on this, as far as the “censorship” angle. Jeff, you heard Howard this morning. He hasn’t been silenced. He’s been removed from 6 of the 70-odd stations that carry him. I’d be willing to bet that within 30 days, two or three of those markets will have Howard back on the air … on a competitor.
    As long as Howard can reach millions of people, to tell them to buy satellite radio, to criticize Clear Channel, to claim Bush is swinging this country to the religious right and call Kerry a wuss … one can hardly claim his freedom of speech is being censored.
    You still hear him just fine. And he still gets a big check for talking to you. Ain’t America great?

  • shark

    So now Stern wants to go to Satellite….the same satellite radio that he was ragging on, saying that only losers and has-beens would do? My, how times have changed.
    His whining is getting mighty fricking old. Limbaugh comes to his defense, and he whines that Limbaugh didn’t speak out enough! He whines that nobody is coming to his aid, speaking out. Well, where was he when Opie and Anthony were pulled? When Greasman was fired? When Michael Savage was fired? I believe he was leading the cheering section, that’s where he was.
    Sorry, but Stern’s martyr act is already too damn old.

  • shark

    So, Howard thinks 2/3 of his 18 million listeners would go out and drop $300 on new equipment … immediately … just to keep hearing him. That’s $5.4 Billion dollars.
    LMAO, perspective time: This is a man who has millions of listeners nationwide and his movie was outgrossed by “You Got Served”
    Ooops, Stern is now saying that because he stopped supporting Bush, he got kicked off ClearChannel. Looks like he’s part of the black helicopter brigade now…

  • Timothy lll

    Howard Stern is nothing more that an infantile idiot, whose opinion of himself is exceeded only by my good looks!! Most adults left this puerile and sophomoric humor back in junior high. What a pathetic loser! His impact amounts to another pock mark on the moon! Who cares !!??

  • I think Howard is overestimating just how many people really want to hear him. Right now 18 million people listen to him for free. The start-up costs, and continuing costs to hear him on satellite are, what, 200x the cost to hear him now? That initial cost alone probably eliminates 6 million people from hearing him, whether they want to follow him or not. I also doubt half of those remaining are big enough fans to want to pay that much to hear him.
    However, I’d be willing to bet that Stern moving to satellite will do to satellite what previews did for VHS tapes. It will lower the cost. The equipment will get cheaper, and if providers can obtain more commercial sponsors, they can lower the subscription costs. And Stern will bring those sponsors with him. Even if he BOMBS on satellite, he still brings the people.
    Of course this all assumes that Stern does move. Personally I find this latest round of “Woe is me, I’m so censored and repressed” nothing more than Stern being a whining martyr. Reid is right that competitors in the markets which lost Stern will pick him up, I don’t even think it will take as long as he suggested.
    Finally, isn’t the “they’ll come for the internet next” routine something from the “Bush=Hitler” playbook? The pulling of the plug on a “shock jock” by a competing media organization in less than 10% of the jock’s market just doesn’t get my cockles in an uproar. He hasn’t become an “unperson”, he’s not being forced to sing Bush’s praises, his puppy isn’t being stepped on by black-suited men. Hell, his popularity has gone up since this whole thing. If this is censorship censor me. I want more people to like me.

  • Stern has never been as popular or as important as he is in his own mind (with the possible exception of his mentions here at BuzzMachine). And Stern’s less popular now than ever. His shock has worn off, and his schtick has become stale. I really doubt Stern moving to satelite will be an industry-changing watershed event. But I hope it does happen so that we can all see for ourselves.

  • HH

    Kerry has taken the side of Clear Channel…

  • billg

    Stern’s potential move to satellite illustrates the reality that content, not the technology used to create and publish it, drives the media business. This fact is sometimes lost in all the noise about the particular piece of technology called the internet.
    Personally, I think Stern is a manipulative and self-demeaning bigot who draws an audience by mimicing children who say dirty words in front of their teachers, but that’s just me. Others seem to find him a beacon of truth and liberty. They, however, are wrongly asserting that Stern’s right to speak means he has something worthwhile to say and that other businesses are obligated to distribute his speech.

  • Jay Neuman

    This site has done so much good in the past, brought so much perspective to genuinely large-scale and complex debates. Then, it squanders credibility on a “Bush is out to get Stern and free radio speech” over this ClearChannel incident. And the gnostic tone of “I’ll keep warning you even though you are too blind to see and too juvenile to appreciate my prophet status” because I get it and you don’t just keeps on like a hammer on sheetmetal — rap, rap, rap, rap.
    Please, STOP with the patronizing! Let us come here, read your other posts and not have to sift through the day’s links of people who in some way agree with you.
    I think we all know where you stand by now — one more link from Buzzy in Wyoming isn’t going to cinch the argument for you.
    Spend your time getting Stern to the people who need the daily dose of stripper humor but who are having their signals jammed by the Whitehouse.

  • Ebb Tide

    Howard Stern could never make his salary working for XM, his salary is probably MORE than their entire subscription base. He’s not going anywhere. Money talks. He’s listening and learning, he’ll clean up his act a tiny bit and still take home pillow cases filled with money. It’s not about free speech.

  • Andrew X

    I have pointed out before, and I now repeat, that one can blame Bush and the GOP for an environment in which the forces arrayed against Stern have more influence. I will not condemn or support that reality here.
    But I would say that, to say

  • pepper

    All I ever hear is that Sterns’ listeners are all male in the early 20’s, I am a 36 yo women and I think he’s very funny, and yes my friends think I am crazy. Are there bits that sux..of course, but lets see you spend 5 hours a day live on the air and see if you are funny the whole time. Howard is not the bigot…the caller said the N word and he has also been quite positve about gay marriage and was actually proud of Rosie for getting married. And if you are a fan you will know that Rosie is not Howard’s favorite person.
    The famous line about Howard is that the people who hate him the most are the ones who listen the longest…if he goes to satellite there will probably be one million subscribers just to listen and complain about him

  • Trump

    The issue here is not Stern being muzzled by the government.
    The issue here is WHY this is happening.
    And the fact is, Stern’s own corporate family went too far in the Superbowl halftime show. DELIBERATELY. PREMEDITATEDLY. And that is just wrong. This sort of action absolutely demands a response. Why is that issue not being discussed? Why is Stern being some free speech poster boy here? He’s not the victim.
    Why am I seeing not a word about how broadcasters have to take responsibility? How they haven’t taken responsibility in the past? When do I start hearing about that?>

  • anon

    stern should do an equity deal with serius or xm in return for moving.

  • Jeff,
    You’re dead on right about the Stern free speech issue. This is about power and broadcast, not private property rights. Thanks for keeping it up.

  • shark

    Well, lets see….Stern is still off in 6 markets, and I still have my rights….

  • Mike G

    I’d like to see Stern do it and give satellite radio a boost but realistically if that boost amounted to 3% of his current audience it would be impressive. He’s NOT going to sell 18 million units.
    I don’t know why Stern has to talk himself up this way, that “king of all media” crapola. I’ve often wished that Bob & Ray were still broadcasting, because after hearing them slip the shiv into the pomposities and egos of Arthur Godfrey, Pat Boone, Jack Paar and other figures of their day, I like to imagine them having a shock jock character who’s always pumping himself up called “Howard Sturdley, Extra-Large King of All Mediums.”

  • Andrew X

    Here’s something that just popped up in my ponderings….
    Stern is of course livid at being controlled and all….
    But if he went to satellite, isn’t it just possible that it could have the same reaction as when Dave and Maddie (Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepard) finally got together on ‘Moonlighting’?
    Fans of course get the reference, but for those who don’t, the show ‘Moonlighting’ soared because of the greatly finessed sexual tension between the two leads. When that broke and they finally got together, the show spriraled into oblivion.
    If Stern were on satellite, just going to town, f-words and God knows what all to the wind…. well, wouldn’t this just be normal and even boring by the sixth month? But right now, not that today’s deal is doing him any favors, but the fact is one of the glories of the show is seeing JUST how far he can go with stepping into the abyss. Of course, the abyss moved last week, and Howard’s pissed. But isn’t that abyss a fundamental part of his show, possibly to be sorely missed if removed?
    Fans, waddya think?

  • Evan

    Keep it up, you are doing a great job on this topic! It’s obvious that very few of your readers have ever heard the show.
    Bababooey to Y’All!

  • TC

    “Radio had no appointment programming until Stern came;…”

    C’mon! That is just patently false. People knew what time DJs like Cousin Brucie, Wolfman Jack, and a zillion more came on the air decades before Stern hit the airwaves.

  • Richard Heddleson

    Jean Shepherd

  • Jim Taylor

    While I care little for Howard Stern and wouldn’t be caught listening to his drivel, Clear Channel are the biggest hypocrites around. If there is any company that has done more to lower the standards of broadcast radio in America, I don’t know who it would be. To see them solemnly promising zero-tolerance was enough to make a person sick.

  • kkl

    Good Lord, are you still blogging about this?!? Please stop–you’ve made your point–others have made theirs. Nobody’s mind was changed. Please, please, please, move on.
    I don’t get Stern in my market. I’ve never gotten Stern in my market. Must be Clinton took away my First Amendment rights.

  • John

    The price of satellite radio receivers is now below $100, and figures to drop some more, though they’re still making people pay in the $70 range for the car/home base mounts. So its accessability to the general public will increase whether or not Howard stays with Infinity or shifts over to XM or Sirius.
    As for CC, they’re in it for the money. They are hypocritical for suddenly being shocked at Howard’s caller dropping the N-bomb on last week’s show, but AFAIK, have said nary a peep about Rush Limbaugh’s problems, re Donnovan McNabb and/or OxyContin. But, if you go back to last year, you heard many of the same cries of Clear Channel carrying Bush’s water when many of their stations stopped playing Dixie Chicks songs after Natalie Maines’ remarks. Sounded plausable, except that when irate Bush supporters tried to get refunds for the tickets t hey purchased for the Chicks’ upcoming concerts, the company that resolutely refused to refund a dime of the cash was Ticketmaster, owned by Clear Channel Communications.
    And back in the 1980s, current Infinity subsidiary CBS canned Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder in a heartbeat from The NFL Today when he made a remark about blacks being bred to be geneticly superior athletes. And the remark wasn’t even on CBS, it was to a WRC news crew at an awards banquet in Washington D.C. I don’t remember any hue and cry over the trashing of the First Amendment then because Brent wouldn’t have The Greek to turn to for the weekly match-up board on fall Sunday afternoons anymore. But the network didn’t want the hassle and thought it would cost them cash, so Snyder was gone.
    In the end, all these actions are all about money. Stern’s gone from CC’s stations because they’re worried about fines and other possible FCC sanctions in the post-Janet climate. If the heat comes off, stuff will slide back in — maybe not Stern or Bubba the Love Sponge, but some other shock jocks no one has heard of nationally yet.

  • TC

    Stern has never said anything to violate his local…he’s gutless when itr comes to that,,,

  • TC

    A Challenge: Howard is Stupid Ass No Body Defends Him Anymore,
    Prove Me Wrong.

  • pb

    If anyone’s listened to Stern in the past year or 2, they’ve heard a much mellower guy who has some insight, gets much more out of guests than other interviewers and is pretty funny. The people on this thread seem like a bunch of elitist snobs.

  • Eric

    He was hit harder under a Democrat President, what makes him think when the Dems’ get the power that they wont try and really silence him? Might offended someone and get slammed by the PC Police what will he say then? For the past several yrs nothing has happened to him until that deflated boob flopped out and fired up the moralist on all sides. As far as I know the FCC didn’t even gripe about the incident with the N-Word; The Company acted on it’s own. So, saying that Bush is gunning for him is kinda stupid, don’t you think? And if he was really being “silenced” wouldn’t he be off the air in every market?
    And comparing Bush to the Taliban is like the idiots with the signs equating Bush to Hitler, it’s morally bankrupt.

  • Eric

    But Stern has a point about that Stem Cell stuff.

  • TC

    yep..just re-read…am entirely nutz…

  • KMK

    Amid decency push, satellite radio is poised to grow
    The Wall Street Journal 3-1-04–SatelliteRadio&&news&newsflash-financial
    Your breaking news ahead of WSJ Jeff.

  • KMK

    Boston Globe has a report too.
    Earlier this month Sirius made a deal with the Dish Network and Radio Shack to recruit customers and also signed a seven-year agreement to broadcast NFL games beginning in August. The company already has similar deals with the NBA and the NHL.
    “It’s the second-fastest-growing consumer electronics item, second to the DVD player,” Rodrigues said.
    /cackling owner of satellite stock

  • It was not Republicans who are behind this but the Democrats at the FCC and another couple Dems in Congress. Stern is anti-Bush, that’s fine. Blaming GWB for what he has no hand in is wrong.