Over Lunch, At the Bar and Over the Cubicle Wall

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48 Hours of Howard Stern.
That’s the premise behind his soon-to-be-launched Sirius Satellite Radio deal. On two separate channels there will be 24 hours a day of programming that fits in with Stern’s sensibility. This we know because of the all-out media blitz going on to promote the shock jock’s upcoming move to the FCC-free zone.

Photo: AP
Howard Stern
The King of All Media appears on this week’s cover of New York Magazine (www.newyorkmagazine.com), gets a major story in this week's Newsweek, and gave a tour of his new studio digs on CBS’ “60 Minutes”; Yahoo reportedly plans to have live coverage of his ceremonial walk from terrestrial to satellite radio after his final show Dec. 16. He’s also said to have taped interviews with “Today’s” Katie Couric and will show up in a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

On “60 Minutes” last night, Ed Bradley seemed at turns baffled and dismayed by Stern’s lack of remorse for wishing aloud on the air in 1992 that former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Al Sikes prostate cancer spread to his kidneys, or his idea that a grown man would want to spend time with “Jeff the Vomit Guy” or “Wendy the Retard” (www.cbsnews.com). Bradley also seems to have had channeled Barbara Walters during the interview, since Stern said on his show that Bradley nearly made him cry, that he “welled up” but didn’t actually cry. That may have been even too much for fans who probably are more comfortable with the details of Stern’s sex life than they are with his childhood trauma.

On Dec. 16, Stern goes back under the auspices of his favorite boss of all time, Mel Karmazin, who is betting the future of Sirius on Stern’s fans paying to hear him. Just because Karmazin has saved him from the FCC, don’t expect him to be nice to the big guy. Stern’s shtick depends a lot on his rage against whoever is bossing him around at the time. Given the on-air ribbing Stern has given Infinity execs as he prepares to leave, it’s understandable that Sirius executives are feeling nervous that Stern will soon be in the building. Even Karmazin is fair game, Stern tells New York. This time, his contract doesn’t prohibit him from mentioning Karmazin on the air. “He’s fair game,” Stern crows.

All we can say to Mel is, be careful what you wish for.

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