Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nowhere Man: Howard Stern falls off power list

Remember Howard Stern? A couple of years ago, he was the most powerful man in radio, a vital part of pop culture, and an influential voice in politics and the news. Then he sold out, took bags of money to perform on a private paid system, and left his morning slots to the likes of David Lee Roth and the execrable Adam Carolla. Instantly, Howard no longer mattered. For that reason, he will ultimately return to “free” radio in one form or another.

And the latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine will certainly hasten the process. Howard has been dropped from the magazine’s annual list of the world’s most powerful people.


HOWARD STERN (last year: 55) The shock jock earned $302 million lst year, more than Oprah and J.K. Rowling combined, but while Sirius hs been a financial boon, its smaller, subscription audience has diminished Stern’s visibility and impact: the radio trade publication Talkers Magazine demoted him from No. 1 to No. 12 on its list of important gabbers.

Meanwhile, Dimitri Dimitrov, a key figure on the book Tabloid Baby, is named to the list as one of one of the world’s most powerful maitre d’s.

And by the way, did anyone notice that Phil Hendrie is back on the radio? While Howard was the most important figure on radio, Hendrie was the most brilliant and distorted, running a call-in talk show in which he played most of the guests, and relied on idiots in the audience to believe the guests were real and phone to argue their outrageous views. But like all stars in the radio business, Hendrie longed for “legitimate” success, and after snagging a role on a crummy NBC sitcom, announced in April of last year that he was quitting radio to pursue an acting career.

A month later, the crummy sitcom was canceled, and apparently by the summer of 2007, he needed a regular paycheck again. We hit the wrong channel on our cable TV last week and heard his voice on one the radio channels. A little research showed he’s signed with the Talk Radio network, which also runs people like the hilarious Michael Savage and that conservative lady Laura Ingraham, who has a voice that’s so grating and annoying that we change the station by reflex.

We didn’t know about Hendrie’s show because it's not airing on LA radio (pinheads!). We do hear he’s fancied himself a political voice andas a result does less radio theatre, but it’s refreshing to see that he didn’t sell his soul to the subscription bosses like Howard did.


Anonymous said...

T Baby, Phil starts tonight at a small-signal station in LA. (Maybe add some tinfoil to that antennae and hope for the best!)

KLAA-AM 830: 10pm-1am. Word has it they're planning on moving to new offices inside Anaheim Stadium.

Anonymous said...

"subscription bosses"? As if ridiculous "obscenity" rules, FCC-fines, free radio bosses, commercial advertisers, and uninteresting boring radio (exception Phil Hendrie) were better; I'd rather pay one boss, rather than deal with 50 so-called 'free' ones.