Inside Stern Sausage Co.

So I got in the car tonight and turned on my Sirius and what to my wondering ears should I hear but Howard and his crew doing a live and public test of their new studio. Damn, it was good to hear them again. And once again — warning: Howard praise coming — it’s wonderful that he lets his listeners into the sausage factory, to hear how radio is extruded.

Interesting to note that toward the end of the hour test, Howard lectured Richard and Sal about overuse of F- and C- words. He said it’s OK if it’s vital to the joke or if someone slips in a fit of passion in the studio. But he’s not going to use them just because he can. See: Howard does have standards. Of course, he does.

To their surprise, listeners started calling in. Howard said he didn’t think anyone would be listening. But here were two people on the phone. Artie said it felt good to already have twice the audience of Imus.

  • Bill Henry

    Yes, Jeff it WAS great to hear Howard! I just signed up for Sirius late this afternoon and caught Howard and company as you did. I have to relocate my antenna on the house because this evening I’m just getting a flashing “acquiring signal” on the radio. Tomorrow I’ll have to install the car antenna and get ready for Monday, the big day! Even tho this is subscription satellite radio, it’s still actually on the airways (MUCH higher frequency) so I wonder if the wingnuts will try to come after Howard after he does a few goofs on the pope, Robertson, and company. I’m sure some Republican from the bible belt will be introducing legislation to control sat radio one of these days. After all, what might happen if some 10 year old hears Howard utter the word “penis” and “pope” in the same sentence?

  • im glad you caught that, and it was fun to hear them identify the bugs in the new system and hear Howard learn how to work the board and complain about the metalic sounds in each mic.

    talk about transparency.

    between the things that he’s doing on the air before next week and Howard 100 News, i gotta say, bro really is changing radio… again.

    hopefully he will figure out a way to help those of us with Directv to gain access to InDemand.

  • joe


  • jake thompson

    >>> between the things that he’s doing on the
    >>> air before next week and Howard 100 News,
    >>> i gotta say, bro really is changing radio… again.

    ramoooone…. bring me somebody that isn’t brainwashed by coward stern.

  • stern sucks

    Sterns act was wore out 10 years ago, The only ones who still enjoy that tripe are small penis bozo wanna be’s.
    Glad he’s on the bird….
    bye bye babaloo

  • Hoo hoo, Stern invented standards. Tell ’em, Fred!

  • The SpinMD

    Changing radio again? How? He’s still doing a show. And, despite his powerhouse brand, he’s nowhere close to being a satellite pioneer.

    I give him credit for allowing the transparency that Jeff heard last night. That’s actually pretty cool if he keeps it up.

    As for Tony’s wish for Stern on DirecTV, well, you’ll have to wallow in your choice of celebrities and their choice of satellite alignment. The XM crowd (including Opie and Anthony) seems to have done a much more masterful job of aligning its brand/business with auto manufacturers, device makers and content extenders like DirecTV.

    I wish Stern and his crew luck, but please stop with the “he’s changing radio” schtick. Stick to facts.

  • He sure is making a bundle of cash, and that’s enviable by anyone’s standards.

  • Caught the last 20 minutes of it last night and man what a treat! I was actually a bit shocked when Captain Janks called in with a phone call he did where he said “Fuck you” to Cindy Adams (I think that’s who it was) and there was no bleep. It just struck me as a little more vicious than Janks usually is.

  • Nothing sadder than O&A fans jealous because Stern’s move to satellite has received more press attention than those two guys ever got over their entire career…

  • John

    Anyone have a recommendation on the best “home” Sirius receiver to get? I don’t commute much but portability to the car would be nice.

  • John:
    It’s the same either way: The radio is a module that you can pop into (a) a boombox, (b) a home device that picks up the signal and send it, in turn, to your existing home stereo, and (c) a car dock. I have the sportster and it’s good. I had a different radio before that was bad but it’s no longer sold. The latest thing from Sirius is the tivo-like device that lets you record x hours of programming and then listen offline/off satellite.

  • I’ve got the Sportster as well, and love it. The home stereo docking cradle takes up barely any room and the unit itself easily slips into a jacket pocket for schlepping between car and my apartment.

  • John

    Got it, thanks. John

  • I just wonder if this audition that so many people just “accidentally” caught was in reality some downlow buzz marketing.

  • “Nothing sadder than O&A fans jealous because Stern’s move to satellite has received more press attention than those two guys ever got over their entire career…”

    I think I liked the Boy Scout uniform the best.

  • The SpinMD

    Sorry Rich, but I’m not going to drive this into a comment war over the merits of O&A vs Howard. Howard has fans…O&A have fans. Both sides have passion that not many other hosts can match (how many celebrities can hold an audience for 4+ hours every day? DLR is a prime example of how incredibly difficult it is). Differences aside, the combined millions of O&A and Stern fans are on the same side when it comes to traditional radio: it is long past the point of saving.

  • SpinMD-“traditional radio: it is long past the point of saving.” On that we can agree.

  • Yeah, all good-natured horseplay aside, Stern’s move to Sirius is good for satellite radio in general. Let’s hope it’s just the boost he needs, so he can go back to doing good radio. I say, good luck, bro!

  • Artie said it felt good to already have twice the audience of Imus.

    Don Imus still has listeners?

  • ERock

    Not only does Imus still have listeners, he has more listeners than Stern will on Sirius.

  • Rob

    why after all the time to sit and think about what to do for an opener would stern pick a bit that is 8 months old? and might i add already been played?

  • Perry Winkle

    Stern’s move important? You can’t be Sirius?


    To observe the deluge of television and newspaper coverage in recent weeks, one would think that shock DJ Howard Stern’s move to satellite radio is a big deal. It isn’t. If subscription-based satellite radio ever takes a profitable place alongside free over-the-air radio, it will be because of factors much more important than Stern.

    Stern has made a career with his anti-establishment persona, taking on the Federal Communications Commission, media management and corporate America. But his marketing blitz ahead of his Jan. 9 debut on Sirius satellite radio has been establishment all the way. His $500 million contract with Sirius over the next five years can do that to a guy.

    Stern has been all over television talk shows recently and the subject of countless newspaper reports. He’s even been on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and FNC’s “O’Reilly Factor.” He rang the Nasdaq opening bell in early January. How’s that for establishment? Stern’s loyal listeners, meanwhile, will have to pay $12.95 per month, plus the cost of a receiver, to follow the talented, but edgy, Stern to his new Sirius home.

    Sirius is hoping Stern can jump-start the struggling satellite radio operation that has lost money each year. Sirius trails satellite competitor, XM, which also has failed to make a profit in its five years. Sirius has now topped the 3 million mark for subscribers, still about half of XM’s subscriptions. Even if all 3 million Sirius subscribers listen to Stern, he still reaches only about a fourth of the estimated audience he held with his free radio offering over traditional broadcast outlets.

    Sirius is taking a big risk by making Stern the face of its venture. This is like the Barnes & Noble bookstore promoting that it has Playboy in the magazine rack. One advertisement during the holidays featured a wife getting her grateful husband a Sirius subscription so he could hear Stern. Oh right, most wives want their husbands to hear jokes about strippers and bodily functions.

    Sirius offers many fine music, sports and information channels that are more likely to draw listeners than Stern. There’s also the prospect of Stern backlash, as satellite radio buyers who might not appreciate Stern’s cultural stances look to XM instead. Not that XM is so clean.

    Estimates are that Sirius added about a million subscribers in the last quarter, about the same as XM. Sirius surely will proclaim this increase is thanks to Stern, but surely NFL and NBA exclusives at Sirius have lured many of the adult males that Stern was supposed to attract. Stern himself would have to attract and keep about 650,000 subscribers just to pay for his own contract.

    A bigger factor than Stern in the satellite radio wars is likely the deals being cut with automobile manufacturers. In this arena, XM is clearly winning.

    Stern says his move to satellite radio is not just to avoid FCC indecency rules, which currently aren’t applied to satellite programming. In a recent report, Stern said, “It’s about ideas. This is a free-speech issue.” Of course, hearing the speech won’t be free anymore. And, absent a particular word or two, Stern’s ideas, like interviewing crack-addicted hookers and having a drunk undergo live psychoanalysis, would have easily escaped FCC sanction over regular radio.