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Now Come Challenging Waters for Howard Stern

The next three weeks are crucial. After Howard Stern disappears off broadcast, keeping his image in motion is critical. A slowdown will effect the numbers of subscribers picked up by Sirius in its $500 million gamble. Added subscribers are what Sirius needs, because the next financial report released by the company will include the cost of Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. That's never happened before.

That $100 million spent for Howard Stern in 2006 will finally show up as a charge against the company, directly across from a column showing how much money is coming in. Critics and pro-Stern forces will finally see who's correct.

J.P. Morgan analysts don't think the momentum will be sustained (see that news through the link below), and I'm wondering if the X-rated strokes that Stern paints his image with are going to do more harm than good to Sirius. Does he risk turning his part of the Sirius dial into the redlight district? Though there is money in this form of entertainment, it's not where Wall Street wants to walk.

January 1 Howard Stern will be out of the spotlight that a networked morning show brings; nobody will stumble across him as they turn the dial. Rephrased, the publicity now needs to come from Howard, alone. Mainstream media - with the exception of celebrity magazines - won't continue giving him exposure because he's out after the same advertising dollars. His name will become unspeakable on the broadcast radio dial, destined to become the eighth dirty word.

As for the programs scheduled on the Sirius Howard Channels (like the one I heard mentioned on "60 Minutes" that'll be a female-hosted phone-sex program at bedtime), you can argue they give intelligent discussion. But are marketers going to be interested in reaching a million pre-occupied men with this program? Imagine a "...hold that thought. First, this message from Gillette"?

Stern will always have the faithful listening. I just don't think he's going to be as big a draw as the publicity machines have painted.

Related Article:
CBS MarketWatch
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Posted: 11:47 12/19/2005

From: Bruce Lee

You are wrong. Anyone who has ever listened to his show for more than 15 minutes knows the show is not just about strippers, hookers nor retards. Stern stayed on the air for 20 years not because he is x-rated, but because he is funny, intelligent and timeless.

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