June 30, 2004
Howard Stern coming to Houston airwaves
Well, well - I may have a new morning radio alternative.
NEW YORK -- Howard Stern announced today that his syndicated morning show would appear in nine new markets, including four where his show was axed by the nation's largest radio chain for alleged indecency.
Stern said his program would air on stations in Houston; San Diego; Tampa, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Fresno, Calif., all owned by Infinity Broadcasting.
In Houston, Business Radio KIKK-AM (650) will air the Stern show beginning July 19. Clear Channel Communications suspended Stern in February and dropped the country's best-known shock jock from its stations in Rochester, Orlando, San Diego, Pittsburgh and two other markets after complaints by federal regulators.
Clear Channel, in dumping Stern, said it feared any continued association with the DJ and his raunchy show might led to losing their station licenses.
Joel Hollander, president and chief operating officer of Infinity, expressed his support for Stern.
"Howard has dominated the radio landscape for more than 20 years," Hollander said. Stern's listeners are "one of the most loyal audiences in radio who will no doubt embrace his return."
For years, Chron columnist Ken Hoffman would get asked by readers why Howard Stern was not on the Houston dials. His answer was always that KLOL's Stevens and Pruett filled that niche, and no other station was interested in competing for it. If nothing else, this is at least a recognition that the mouthbreathers who currently drool out KLOL's morning show are no Stevens and Pruett.
I haven't listened to Howard Stern on the radio since 1984, when I drove my grandmother's 1969 Nova, which at the time only had AM radio, to a crappy summer job in Staten Island's south shore. WNBC-AM 660 had Imus in the morning, Stern in the afternoon, and Soupy Sales in between. I may or may not tune in regularly to Stern now - frankly, it'll depend on how long their between-commercial programming breaks are, plus how sick I am of the music rotations on KKRW and KHPT - but I'll set a button to AM 650, and I'll check it out on the 19th.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 30, 2004 to Music
"I haven't listened to Howard Stern on the radio since 1984, when I drove my grandmother's 1969 Nova, which at the time only had AM radio, to a crappy summer job in Staten Island's south shore. WNBC-AM 660 had Imus in the morning, Stern in the afternoon, and Soupy Sales in between. "
To think I remember that rotation like it was yesterday. Oh well, I'm old. :-)
I may be in the minority here, but between Imus and Stern, gimme Imus.
It probably indicates how old I'm getting that I'd prefer the cranky guy who routinely interviews Tim Russert, Maureen Dowd and Christopher Dodd over the guy with Lesbian Dial-a-Date.
Imus before 1992 was similar to Stern, only a lot funnier. He didn't take on his current personality until Bill Clinton was on the show right before the New York primary, however, Senator Al D'Amato was a regular for 2-3 years before that.
I grew up in the 70s listening to Imus (damn, I'm old) and would rather listen to him any day before I'd listen to Howard Stern.
"Clear Channel, in dumping Stern, said it feared any continued association with the DJ and his raunchy show might led to losing their station licenses."
I've never cared for Stern myself, but Clear Channel is full of sh*t. We all know Michael Powell would never have pulled the licenses of any of Shrub's buddies in the radio business, and we all know that neither Clear Channel nor Powell had voiced any concern with Stern's "indecency" until he endorsed Kerry for President.
In Shrub's Amerika, that's the most indecent thing of all.
Alas my childhood in rural Louisiana did not include Imus or Stern or anything remotely like them. I had to get by on farm reports, fishing reports and the odd radio cooking show. I'm serious.
My only exposure to Imus was during my Virginia years (1998-2001). I had an hour of driving each way to work, and found Imus much more entertaining than the sports talk options. I missed the coke fiend years, but have been told they were a scream.
Let's put it this way - "God's Other Son" was originally written during the coke fiend years. The main character, the Right Reverend Dr. Billy Saul Hargis, was a mainstay on Imus during the 70s and 80s. One classic parody was for "Jesus Jeans" where you could walk around with real class with His name on your "back pocket". Also, the album, "One Sacred Chicken To Go" is classic, if you can find it. Also, characters such as Geraldo Santana Banana, Moby Worm, and the "Nuke'Em, "sit your speakers and let me vibrate through the airwaves", and (for you early 80s fans) "let me show you my Donkey Kong" phone calls were classic Imus.
Damn, I'm really old. :-)
Ironically, Charles McCord has been his main writer throughout the years. And to think he was a weatherman in Washington (working with Connie Chung) before he met Imus in 1971.
Imus is great, when I lived up north I listened to his show several times. Very funny. One thing that can be said about Stern, however, apart from all of his occasionally hysterical gimmicks is this: Stern is one of the greatest interviewers alive. Any celebrity or public figure who is brave enough to appear on his show will be asked the tough questions. He pulls no punches, he asks exactly what all of us with we could ask, or had the stones to ask if given a chance. Subsequently, any celebrity or public figure who is brave enough to appear on his show deserves respect for their bravery.