An LA Times story says Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed King of All Media, has lost his crown. The shock jock’s syndicated morning radio show once drew a national audience of 12 million, but since jumping to satellite radio three years ago, his listeners have dwindled to a fraction of that. “Where once Stern routinely commanded a parade of Hollywood’s hottest stars — George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts — today publicists are left to tout studio appearances by the likes of Chevy Chase, Joan Rivers or Hulk Hogan.”
Stern, who rarely gives interviews, and his representatives declined to comment for the article that noted the estimated actual size of Stern’s daily satellite audience to be between 1 million and 2 million.
“With a reduced audience, Stern’s show is no longer a prime stop on the major film promotion circuit,” said the story. “And the A-list guests who used to submit to Stern’s biting personal questions in order to hype their projects have become scarce. Lately, his guests have been mostly fading stars, cable TV personalities and loyal friends. His summer guest list included Brad Garrett of the struggling Fox comedy " ‘Til Death," Joan Rivers, Hulk Hogan, Piers Morgan ("America’s Got Talent") and Ernest Borgnine. And only two stars of summer movies — Seth Rogen of "Pineapple Express" and Verne Troyer of "The Love Guru" — dropped by his New York City studios.”
"He’s not in the news anymore, and controversies that made the news definitely helped his visibility," Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers, told The Times. "Sometimes people equate news buzz with success."
Since Stern’s departure from terrestrial radio, rumors have periodically circulated that the shock jock will return to his terrestrial radio roots. Stern has dismissed the talk, but his current contract expires in 2010. What then? What if he returned to FM?
"Stations would be lining up to get him," said Harrison. "He grabbed the brass ring and is now on sabbatical from a lot of stuff that had nothing to do with his life. But if he ever wanted to return, there’d be nothing but open arms."
RBR/TVBR observation: Could it just be that he’s become stale? Could it just be that his free-reign of expletives and vulgar language has just left people bored? Sometimes the appeal in radio is saying things that adults know the meaning of that both passes FCC muster and kids don’t understand. Stern’s "sicko radio" just isn’t entertaining anymore. He was more fun and entertaining when he had to watch what he said!