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Howard Stern Show

Revision as of 19:54, 26 May 2007 by (Talk)

Howard Allan Stern (born January 12, 1954) is an United States|American radio programming|radio and Television|TV personality, humorist and author. Stern currently hosts The Howard Stern Show four days a week on satellite radio.

The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" (the title was a joking reference to Michael Jackson's self-appelation "The King of Pop") has been dubbed a shock jock for his highly controversy|controversial use of scatology|scatological, sexual, and racial humor, and exploitation of his guests. However, Stern and many of his fans hate the term “Shock Jock.” Stern said himself, “The show is never about shocking people. We are about having fun.” Some of his commentaries are perceived by many to include bigoted, misanthrope|misanthropic and misogyny|misogynistic remarks about various religious and ethnic groups, women, and men - though one of his trademarks is that he makes fun of everyone equally, even himself. He is both the highest-paid radio personality in the United States and the most fined personality in radio broadcast history—facts that he seems to take pride in. In 2002, industry publication Talkers magazine named Stern the second-greatest radio talk show host of all time. [1]

He is most well known for his national radio show, which for many years was radio syndication|syndicated on FM broadcasting|FM radio stations (and a few AM broadcasting|AM stations) throughout the United States, until his last broadcast via terrestrial radio on December 16, 2005. After a brief hiatus, he began broadcasting via the Sirius Satellite Radio|Sirius subscription-based satellite radio service on January 9, 2006.

His national television shows include The Howard Stern Show on WWOR-TV, which ran in the early 1990s; Howard Stern, which ran from 1994-2005 on E!; and The Howard Stern Radio Show, which ran from 1998-2001 in syndication. The Howard Stern Show was a weekly skit-driven show that was produced in the Secaucus, NJ studios of WWOR-TV and shown in selected markets. The other shows were produced from video footage of his live radio broadcast.

Since November 18, 2005, Howard Stern on Demand has been available on television through the iN DEMAND video on demand service that various cable TV systems offer. Currently, this includes uncensored versions of shows which previously aired on E!; video from his Sirius show will be available starting in April 2006. OnDemand also includes movies (Ex. Supertwink), skits, bits, wack packer videos, behind the scenes videos, and anything else related to the show.



Howard Stern was born into a Jewish family in Roosevelt, New York|Roosevelt, Long Island, New York. His father Ben worked at a radio station and Howard developed an interest in broadcasting as a child when he would accompany his father to work.

Stern often joked that his parents "abused" him as a child, and the strong possibility of frequent verbal abuse was confirmed when Stern played old family recordings during a 1990 broadcast. Many pieces of those old recordings have become soundbites, with such paternal gems as "I told you not to be stupid, you moron" and "Shut up! Sit down!" being screamed at a young (under ten years old) Howard.

These old recordings were later used in a parody commercial for the "Ben Stern School of Broadcasting" which specialized in graduating self-loathing and emotionally disturbed workaholic media leaders.

He said that his mother ran her house with "the intensity of Adolf Hitler|Hitler" and that his father often called him a moron. However, he has also stated that this was just part of his gimmick and that his parents were warm, loving and supportive.

Stern attended Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School|Roosevelt Junior High School, where he was one of the few white students in a predominantly African American school, until 1969. Stern's family then moved and he attended South Side High School, where he graduated in 1972 [2]. In 1976 he received his Bachelor's degree in communications from Boston University, where he had worked as a volunteer at the college radio station.

After graduation, he worked as a disc jockey for an obscure station in Briarcliff Manor, New York, WXPK|WRNW-FM, playing disco music. He discovered a talent for Lenny Bruce-type comedy, and developed a wide-ranging confrontational style. In 1978, Stern landed his first morning show job in Hartford, CT at WCCC-FM and WCCC-AM where he was hired by station owner Sy Dresner. The radio station had a progressive rock (radio format)|progressive rock format that lent itself nicely to developing Howard's "free-form" personality. Dresner, in fact, pushed Stern to use the telephone as a tool to create on-air material. Also, it was at the Hartford radio station where Howard also met his future show writer and producer, Fred Norris, who was working as an overnight DJ. It seemed evident that Stern was on his way to stardom as he gathered public attention for a number of on-air antics while in Hartford, CT. He earned news headlines after calling Japanese officials on the air in an attempt to get ex-Beatle Paul McCartney out of jail and had Connecticut motorists protesting gas prices with a headlight campaign. After Dresner held off on giving Stern a $25 raise, Stern decided to head off to a Detroit rock station for more money. (Years later in 1995, WCCC Radio Program Director Ron Dresner, Sy's son, brought Howard's show back to southern New England via syndication on WCCC Radio). In Detroit, Howard migrated to FM radio station in Detroit (WDTW|WWWW known as W4), unfortunately W4 made promises such as a new studio to Howard that they couldn't keep. Soon after Howard's arrival, W4 switched its format from rock (music)|rock to country music. Howard would head to Washington, D.C. (putting in a year at DC101 and making it the #1 station in town in the process), and returned to New York City|New York in 1982 to work at NBC's flagship AM radio station WNBC (AM)|WNBC. Also working at NBC was David Letterman, who became a fan of Stern's radio show. Stern's guest appearance on Late Night with David Letterman on June 19, 1984, launched Stern into the national spotlight and gave his radio show unprecedented exposure. Stern would appear on Letterman's show many times thereafter.

Stern and his crew were fired from NBC in 1985, ostensibly in response to a particularly outrageous sketch comedy|sketch -- "Bestiality Dial-A-Date" -- although relations between station management and Stern were strained from the beginning. He quickly returned to the FM band by joining local rival station WXRK, premiering on November 18, 1985 and returning permanently to morning drive in February 1986. Stern's show was syndicated nationwide starting in 1986 by Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio). The program made great sport of feuding with other cities' top-rated DJs, but soon enough, Stern's broadcast was #1 in such important markets as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|Philadelphia and Los Angeles, California|Los Angeles, among several others. His Arbitron numbers remain strongest in the country's #1 radio market, New York City|New York, where his morning ratings more than triple his station's average numbers the rest of the day.

Although both his parents are Jewish, Stern has long joked on his show to be "a half-Jew". His Hebrew language|Hebrew name is Tzvi; his paternal grandparents, Froim and Anna (Gallar) Stern, and maternal grandparents, Sol and Esther (Reich) Schiffman, were Jews from Austria-Hungary who emigrated to America at about the same time.

On June 4, 1978, Stern married his college sweetheart, Alison Berns, at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts|Brookline, Massachusetts; they have three daughters: Emily Beth (b. 1983), Debra Jennifer (b. 1986) and Ashley Jade (b. 1993). A hallmark of Stern's humor was that he often expressed how temptation|tempted he was by the striptease|strippers, porn stars, and lipstick lesbian|lesbians who appeared on his show, but always insisted that he had to be faithful to his wife. In October of 1999, Stern announced that Alison was divorce|divorcing him, due to the fact that he was a workaholic. The couple's divorce proceeding resulted in a settlement, and Alison remarried in 2001 to David Simon, CEO of the Simon Property Group.

Since early 2000 Stern has been dating model Beth Ostrosky, who is 19 years younger than he is. Ostrosky has appeared in the men's magazine FHM several times, and in early June of 2005, the editor-at-large of the magazine, Jake Bronstein, was fired after he commented that Ostrosky is only famous because she dates Stern. It has been alleged that Stern pressured FHM to fire him. Stern has vehemently denied these rumors, citing Bronstein's comments about FHM airbrushing many of its photographs as the true reason behind Bronstein's termination.

On December 28, 2005, Howard 100 News reported on a rumor that Stern had married Ostrosky since his December 16, 2005 terrestrial radio finale. However, on January 9, his first day on satellite radio, Stern revealed he was not married, but only after temporarily fooling his broadcast crew, including lifelong co-host Robin Quivers, into thinking he and Ostrosky had tied the knot during a Mexico vacation.

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The Move to Satellite Radio

On October 6, 2004, Stern announced on his show that he signed a five-year, $500 million deal with the satellite radio service Sirius Satellite Radio|Sirius. The deal, which took effect on January 1, 2006, enabled Stern to broadcast his show without the content restrictions imposed by the FCC. Stern's move to satellite radio has been compared with Milton Berle's move to television in 1948 - both Stern and Berle are/were the leading radio personalities of their times (Related: Milton Berle was an occasional guest on the Howard Stern Show).

In addition, the Sirius deal gave Stern two channels of his own, "Howard 100" and "Howard 101." Both of these channels launched in October 2005. Although Stern himself was not able to broadcast on Sirius until his Infinity contract expired, he had been producing content to fill the otherwise dead air. Shows have included a live, 24-hour broadcast of Wack Pack member "Wendy the Retard," another 24-hour broadcast of "The Wack Pack|High Pitch Erik" which featured the weighing of his excrement, and auditions of other Wack Packers for their own permanent shows. A legitimate news team of award-winning journalists was put together to launch "Howard 100 News," a nightly broadcast of "all things Howard." Stern also announced fellow shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge would have his own nightly talk show starting in January on one of his stations. Howard himself is only heard four days a week, Monday through Thursday, live.

This move has been met with much controversy, as Stern talked about his move to Sirius on his show, even telling listeners how to purchase Sirius equipment and subscriptions. To promote this latest venture, Stern held a rally in New York City|New York where he gave out coupons for free or discounted Sirius equipment. His impending move to Sirius resulted in some radio stations censoring him every time he mentioned the words "Sirius" or "satellite radio". In one incident, Farid Suleman of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation|Citadel Broadcasting went so far as to have billed Stern $200,000 for the plugs he'd given Sirius on his show. Stern's response was, "Keep sending me bills. Like I'm going to pay 'em," which he publicly stated on his show. Stern and his colleagues, and even callers, began to "censor" themselves by saying "eh-ehhh-eh" instead of "Sirius" or "satellite radio."

On April 6, 2005, Stern pleaded on-air for Infinity Broadcasting to let him out of his contract, citing the reason of possible prosecution, per U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr.'s recommendation. quoted Stern as saying about his current employer, "They're holding me to the contract and I'm afraid to break the contract, because I don't want to ever do anything illegal or wrong. I'm very, very clear on that. I'm a pretty honest guy. I try to live by the laws, but it seems like I'm being set up." [3] It must also be added that within Stern's contract with Viacom/Infinity, if he were to have been fired or his show cancelled, his employer would have had to pay out a twenty million dollar fee as a result of this early termination to him and his production company.

On June 22, 2005, it was announced that production of the Howard Stern television show on E! would be ending. The last new episode was taped on July 1 and aired on July 8. E! continued to rerun the show until December 31, 2005.

On October 25, 2005, Infinity Broadcasting (now CBS Radio) announced Stern's replacements on every station it owned that broadcasted Stern. These replacements include:

It was announced on November 7, 2005, that Infinity Broadcasting suspended Stern from going live on air on November 8 2005, because Stern was promoting his move to Sirius radio too much.

It was revealed in the December 12, 2005 issue of New York Magazine that XM Satellite Radio was prepared to offer Howard a $30 million dollar per-year contract in 2004. XM executives were slow to close the deal, giving Sirius the chance it needed.

When asked why he picked Sirius Satellite Radio|Sirius over the competitor, XM, Howard replied that he "always liked the underdog. Every radio station I ever went to was a toilet bowl." He has also stated that during very preliminary negotiations with XM, he found the management to be slow and unresponsive while Sirius was "nimble". Stern's budget with Sirius Satellite Radio|Sirius, including all operating costs, is $500 million for the 5 year contract.

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Cast and crew of the Howard Stern show

Regulars on the Howard Stern show

Former cast and crew

Former Regulars and Celebrity Guests

Frequent Show Games and Bits

(Discontinued games and bits are noted as historical. Winning a game usually gives a cash prize, losing usually involves nudity or humiliation.)

Common Show Sayings and Soundbites

(Only current Soundbites and Sayings listed. Many of the soundbites have been discontinued as Stern was not allowed to bring them over to Howard 100 at Sirius Satellite Radio)


External links

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