The Daily Stern: Life without Howard

The Daily Stern: Life without Howard

: WAR OF THE WORLDS: WXRK radio in New York, Howard’s HQ, begins the day this morning with a statement from the general manager saying that because of recent action by the FCC and Congress, Infinity Broadcasting cannot risk its licenses and its shareholders’ equity and so it is regretfully taking the Howard Stern Show off the air.

It is to be replaced by Cross and Lopez, a new team whose mission is “morning fun without filth.” They play Beyonce and promise to recap last night’s American Idol! “We are building a better, cleaner morning program.”

It’s a brilliant statement on what our government nannies would have us here.

Now I’m eager for the joke to end…. the joke on the air this morning, and the joke in Washington….

: For good measure, it seems they took down

: UPDATE: They kept the gag going until 7:22, when Cross & Lopez were interrupted by farts.

Channel 11 news in New York fell for it: Breaking News! Howard Stern off the air!… Oops. April Fool’s.

: MIDMORNING UPDATE: At 10a, the calls from California started coming in, with an 83-year-old woman upset that Howard was off the air.

I also got email from a reader in Boston upset because hosts there were suspended because they violated the station’s new rules and used the word “nipple.” I called the station to confirm my suspicion: This, too, was an April Fool’s joke. But it could happen and that’s the point.

: Yes, it’s April Fool’s Day in New York. But in Washington, every day is Fool’s Day.

Speaking of fools…

: MICHAEL POWELL CHILLS: FCC National Nanny Michael Powell appeared before a closed-door session of the National Association of Broadcasters yesterday, urging them to bring back a broadcasting code of conduct, which was dropped — O, Irony — in 1982 “under Reagan administration pressure, on both antitrust and First Amendment grounds,” says the AP.

So now here is another Republican administration trying to bring it back. That’s because of political pressure on two fronts: First, it’s about politicians — of both parties — trying to curry favor with religious conservatives in an election year. Second, it’s about Michael Powell trying to take the heat off himself regarding media ownership.

Powell’s words send a chill up my American spine. Here are some excerpts and comments (my emphases):

Of particular significance, and concern, is that the debate [over media ownership] re-energized the previously fading debate about the role of government in content