Howard Stern: The King of Satellite Radio?

Howard Stern’s much anticipated move to satellite radio is just around the corner.

Will Stern’s move be the shot in the arm that satellite radio needs? With or without Stern, it’s becoming increasingly clear the nascent satellite radio fad is not a fad. Some have even speculated “free” radio will become what AM radio became to my generation.

Regardless, Stern’s departure will no doubt dramatically impact Viacom, Clear Channel, and the radio stations he is leaving. Our local DC Stern affiliate, WJFK, is already promoting its new slogan: “Free FM.”

Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of all Media,” claims his show must move to preserve his artistic integrity, because he has been hampered by the FCC. He believes the “wild west” environment of satellite radio will allow him to give his fans a “better” show.

He has masterfully appeared to take the “high road” concerning his much publicized dispute with the FCC. In essence, Stern has taken a page out of the Larry Flint handbook, and, in the words of Wired Magazine, “Stern is turning locker-room humor into a constitutional cause.”

Whether or not you approve of his content, you can’t deny his chutzpah. Upon announcing the move, he was quoted as saying, “It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was five years old.” That’s the part of Stern that you have to admire. He is a kid who defied the odds to become wildly successful. He takes gambles, and (with the exception of predicting he would deliver the 2004 election to John Kerry), usually comes out on top.

If only we could direct that energy toward curing world hunger.