AJ, I never understood what Sirius execs could have possibly been thinking (smoking, drinking???) to offer Howard Stern $500MM. I know enough about business to know that if you pay someone $500MM, that person would have to generate a LOT of revenue just to pay their basic expenses. Looks like Howard has not delivered his listeners.
Stern had a small but loyal audience because he was always pushing the FCC’s buttons and dancing ever so closely to the FCC’s perception of obscenity. That was the little secret between Stern and his listeners. He knew that they knew that he was so close to the edge, and audiences wanted to see if he would step over it. It was like every time Howard went on the air, he was winking at his audience and telling them subliminally, “Let’s see how far we can go today without getting caught.”
Now that Stern’s on satellite, that danger has been removed. So there’s no more cheap thrill. Besides, you have to pay to listen to satellite radio, and who wants to pay for something you can hear for free at a construction site?
Wonder what the cancellation clause in his contract looks like?
In a broader sense, it strikes me that Sirius execs may have been enamored with the “big city naughty boy” culture and completely overlooked the overwhelmingly larger population of listeners who have a visceral distaste for Stern’s style of radio. Yes, there is an audience for shock jocks. But there is a much larger audience for more mainstream radio.
Stern, Bah! He’s now on XM, but I won’t be listening.