Monday, October 16, 2006

Stern takes another step back toward free radio

Howard Stern has taken another step toward returning to free radio. Ha. Ha. Now don’t take this wrong way. We love Howard Stern. His radio show made our mornings in Los Angeles traffic and culture palatable for fifteen years. His rise to national prominence is covered in the book Tabloid Baby. A Stern story that Tabloid Baby’s author wrote for Hard Copy is featured in Howard’s book, Miss America. But we do resent him for leaving millions of loyal fans high-and-dry when he left radio and took the big money to do a private pay show for Sirius Satellite so he could say swear words and talk about his bowel movements without censorship.

But we know what we’re talking about when we say that Howard will soon return to free radio, and at least start to syndicate portions of his satellite show—because although Howard may have all the money he needs, he has become irrelevant. When he dropped off free radio, he died. No one remembers Babbabooey or Robin or Fred, and no one cares about Artie Lange or Howard’s skinny model girlfriend. Howard Stern is last year. He’s history. He doesn’t exist.

Which is why Howard is looking to find an audience again, why he is letting everyone watch the TV version of his show for a penny, and why, in that spirit, he's letting everyone hear his pay show for free on October 25 and 26-- as the Reuters news service puts it so poetically: ”Ten months after leaving the commercial airwaves for subscription-based Sirius Satellite Radio, shock jock Howard Stern is out to attract a broad new online audience with his first-ever free Internet broadcast.”

The countdown is on. Howard will be back soon.


Dave said...

Wow. You just don't get it. This is called a promotion to try and lure more people to subscribe. It's not a step closer to going back on "free" radio as you suggest. Simple marketing my friend. Like the free samples you get from those old ladies in the supermarket - they give you a taste for free so you'll BUY the whole thing. C'mon..you have to know this.

Oh and also, Howard "LEFT" you? Geez, can't spring for $12 bucks a month? I bet you spend more on coffee, cigs and drink in a month and Howard's show is worth so much more than those other vices. Ironically Howard had to LEAVE "free" radio to ultimately be truely free. The show is better than ever, back to its late 80s/early 90s vibe and you refuse to spring for it? You really really don't know what you're missing. You're missing A LOT.

Charlie said...

Yeah. Super insightful as usual, TB.

Howard Stern (or more accurately, SIRIUS) has done the shocking, desperate, shameful act of...

Copying a "free preview" sales tactic that HBO/SHOWTIME/CINEMAX/STARZ and pretty much every other pay-tv channel has used for 20+ years... and has applied it to radio.

Boy, that's scrambling alright. A pay radio industry who's model is based on pay tv copying pay tv's promotional model.

Way to read the desperation, Carnack.

Anonymous said...

I never really gave a rat's ass about him -- he was very funny at times, stupid and ridiculous at others -- until the FCC went after him. I applauded his speaking out and taking his show to cable. And, yes, he did it at the expense of losing an audience with some everyday folks and semi-fans who were not going with him. Who cares.

If you're such a fan of HS why can't you get this? You're actually making me feel sympathetic toward him - ugh.

Anonymous said...

Burt, get over your east coast bias. Howard Stern is full of shit and our mornings have been made more palatable by his absence on the free airwaves. The infusion of east coast culture here in the west is a detriment, not a bonus.