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.
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.