Last week Sirius XM Radio shock jock Howard Stern warned his listeners that he might not return to the satellite radio service after his current five-year, $500-million contract is up at the end of the year. But hardly anyone noticed or cared, especially Sirius XM stockholders because their stock was up 74 percent so far this year on a steady uptick in subscribers, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
What a difference five years makes. In 2006 the foul-mouthed Stern, who is the most heavily fined broadcast personality by the FCC ever, vowed to leave the public airwaves because he couldn't be filthy enough to please his listeners, and joined Mel Karmazin's Sirius Satellite Radio, which at the time was locked in a mano-e-mano battle with XM Radio.
Stern's move to Sirius saved the company's bacon and brought an estimated two million new subscribers to the money-losing satellite radio service, making Karmazin's $500-million bet on Stern appear to pay off.
However, tastes and technology changes -- you might say grows up -- and with the introduction of internet radio into cars, more and more young listeners turned from the 56-year-old Stern's stale potty humor to internet radio, which provides virtually an infinite variety of programming.
Thus, Stern has become expendable and almost irrelevant except to a shrinking audience of aging slobs. So, what is such a rich has-been going to do? He should join another irrelevant, trash-talking, rich has-been, Don Imus, on the Fox Business Network.
The 70-year-old Imus airs mornings on the Citadel Network, which includes WABC-AM in New York, and is simulcast on the Fox Business Network (FBN). If Howard Stern were to join FBN, he would be reunited with Imus, and the two could renew their spat with each other, which began at WNBC-AM in New York in 1982, as dramatized amusingly in Stern's movie Private Parts.
Both Imus and Stern belong on FBN because both personalities, like FBN, are conservative (Imus voted for McCain and Stern backed Republican George Pataki for governor of New York) and create entertainment that is intended to rile up anti-authoritarian, anti-government, anti-intellectual know-nothing television addicts.
The Fox Business Network makes no attempt to be a business news outlet (note that its name does not include the word "news"), and by hiring Imus to do its morning program, it reaffirmed that it presents TV vaudeville, not news. FBN is an outlet for right-wing, Republican, Tea Party propaganda, as evidenced by its programming after Imus on Tuesday, September 21, in which its overweight anchor kept repeating the headline and storyline for the morning, "Biggest Tax Hike in American History," and trashing Obama (a constant theme), MSNBC, and Keith Olbermann.
An Imus-Stern trash-talking on-air food fight would fit in perfectly in the FBN public-interest-be-damned, truth-be-damned environment. FBN and Fox News president Roger Ailes, who resembles and thinks like Jabba the Hut, would love such a food-fight -- he could pick up the leftovers.
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