Buzz started late this week that Howard Stern was in negotiations to take over Piers Morgan's seat on 'America's Got Talent.' And this appears to be moving full steam ahead. The Wall Street Journal reports that a deal is being discussed where Mr. Stern would earn about $15 million a year to join Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne at the judges' table. There is even talk that NBC would move production of the show to New York to accommodate the self-proclaimed King of All Media.
'America's Got Talent' often brings in 14 million viewers a week, and I can assume that many of these devotees don't land in the standard Stern demographic. When they hear Stern may be coming to the show, they might recoil in horror with visions of a sex-crazed shock jock soiling their family-friendly show.
But as a devoted listener of Stern's for over 18 years, it's time to speak up. The hiring of Stern to replace Morgan could be a game-changing move. There is no one on the planet more qualified to join -- and stand out from -- the endless bench of talent TV judges and his hire would make a smash show even bigger.
Howard Stern = Music: Many Stern detractors claim he has no place on a talent show because he has no connection to music. They ask why anyone would listen to a shock jock's opinion on matters he knows nothing about. What they forget is that Howard Stern and music are synonymous.
Remember that before Stern ever appeared as Fartman on our own VMA Awards, he spent years forging a career through the back channels of rock and roll radio when radio actually meant something. Howard was a true tastemaker, slaving away on rock stations such as WRNW in New York, WCCC in Connecticut and WWWW in Detroit in the days when DJs were true influencers, making artists surge on the charts before there was any such thing as iTunes or YouTube.
Stern created his own style, breaking away from the strict formats of radio that demanded traffic and weather and news had to be delivered at certain moments. And while his searing social commentary and his chatter with guests and his own staff became the backbone of his show in the '80s through today, Stern never lost that intimate connection with music.
It still fuels the Stern show. Anyone listening daily knows that the show kicks off with replays of musical performances or that everything from current rock to recent pop tunes are played as bumpers going in and out of commercials. A sizable chunk of Stern's best guests over the years have included musical artists from every genre, from Paul McCartney to Stevie Wonder to Katy Perry to Jay-Z to Coldplay's Chris Martin just this week. Read More...