Howard Stern Grabs Half a Bill, Goes Satellite

I thought something like this was going to happen. I should have blogged it at the time so I could link to the post and say, “I told you so!”

But I didn’t. Just take my word for it–I told you so.

When Stern got slapped down by the FCC and then by a major radio ownership group for his lewd brand of humor, I thought the other shoe was yet to drop. It smelled like a setup for something bigger; like Stern wasn’t down, he was just being launched to a higher orbit.

Now comes word that Howard is being given $500M by Sirius Satellite Radio to jump-start that industry. The appeal to Howard’s fan base is that he will no longer be subject to regulation by the FCC, so anything goes.

In 1986, I wrote a letter to the editor of Billboard. I opined that Howard Stern was a flash in the pan, because most of us eventually outgrow his brand of 7th-grade locker-room humor. Obviously I was wrong.

No doubt satellite radio will catch on as millions of Stern listeners who ache for the type of sweaty-palmed humor that only the King of All Media can provide rush out to have their lime-green Pintos retrofitted with XM radios.

Proof again that H.L. Mencken was right when he observed, “No one in this world, so far as I know – and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me – has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”

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