Will Sirius make Stern Superfluous?

The Wall Street Journal ran a fascinating editorial the other day questioning Howard Stern’s longevity as a counter-culture icon now that he is free to say and do whatever he pleases on Sirius radio.

Unshackled from the constant harassment of the FCC, Stern can now assault listeners with as many Lesbian lovers, little people and other "unique" characters as he pleases with absolutely no retribution from on high.Stern

And, that’s exactly what threatens Stern and, potentially, could turn him into yesterday’s one-trick pony. You see, a lot of the fun in listening to Stern, so I’m told (note: I’m an Imus fan), was to hear him rail against government authorities and plead his First Amendments rights.

Will Stern be able to re-invent himself on Sirius or will he continue to revert to the same-old, same-old without the "David vs. Goliath" subplot of freedom of speech vs. filth to fuel interest?.

The best brands find ways to reinvent themselves when confronted with seismic marketplace changes. Apple and IBM are two great examples. It remains to be seen whether the shock jock can follow suit and come up with a new shtick that will keep consumers of commercial-free (and censorship-free) radio coming back for more.

Hat tip to Dandy Stevenson for her thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Will Sirius make Stern Superfluous?

  1. While I agree that Sterns show has become over the top the past year or so with the lesbian stripper stunts, what I always tuned into Howard for was his take on the news and his unique and insightful interviews with celebrities. Howard is GREAT at that, and I think that’s his best stuff. I wonder though if his bookers will be able to get the same “A” list celebrities now that he’s off the terrestrial airwaves. If not, I agree his fan base will errode.

  2. I am a huge Howard Stern fan and I think that this will not affect him. Back in the day, he hardly ever mentioned the FCC. I believe some of the most boring parts of his show was when he was being repetitive in his complaining about the FCC. Stern, although sleezy, happens to be extrememly witty and charismatic. It his personality and dedication to holding nothing back that made him the legend that he is. Long Live The King of All Media!

  3. I don’t know what people see in Howard Stern’s show to begin with, as I don’t listen to it, and the only exposure I get is watching an occasional snippet on the E! network. But I have a feeling that if he continues to peddle the same racy programming that I’ve seen, he will probably be supplanted someday by amateurs podcasting their sexcapades for free on the Web.