Remove Howard Stern from the Radio Hall of Fame

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In 2007, Howard Stern launched a year-long campaign on his new Sirius Satellite Radio show urging Congress to approve a merger between competing satellite companies Sirius and XM. The passionate Stern insisted that a merger was in the best interest of the industry and its millions of subscribers, and that there was nothing in it personally for him.

A subsequent $330 million dollar lawsuit brought by Stern in 2011 against the successfully merged SiriusXM — filed just three months after inking a new five-year-contract with the company — reveals that Stern had hoped all along to count XM's subscribers toward his Sirius contract's steep bonus targets, which he couldn't have otherwise hit.

Stern's third-of-a-billion-dollar lawsuit against his employers was thrown out of court with prejudice in 2012. Soon afterward, he began the process of stripping his morning show and his two satellite channels of staffers and of new, original content — all in the name of "efficiency." He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame that summer.

After losing an attempt to revive his lawsuit in early 2013, Stern replaced the creator and Senior Vice President of his two SiriusXM channels, radio industry veteran Tim Sabean, with an inexperienced young life coach and efficiency expert named Marci Turk. With Turk as his new Chief Operating Officer, Stern terminated more than a dozen original programs — nearly all of his channels' original content — and replaced them with reruns of old clips from his morning show, some of which are scrubbed by Stern's team for political correctness.

The growing complaints from Stern's listeners, who all invested in satellite hardware and monthly fees to follow him to pay radio, and were promised channels stocked with new, original programming in return, are either ignored or attacked by Stern, who urges SiriusXM's paying subscribers to cancel their subscriptions if they're unsatisfied with his channels' anemic new offerings.

In the four years since appointing an efficiency expert to run his organization, Stern has relied on pre-recorded content generated by his new, young staff of unidentified contributors to fill a substantial portion of his morning radio show, which airs live just 112 times a year. A typical three-day week sees content that debuted on Monday's live morning show rerun on both Tuesday's and Wednesday's live shows. Stern further pads his live talk shows with replays of time-worn bits, multiple full-length songs, "anniversary" celebrations — which is another way of saying reruns — and live ad reads. The little fresh content that Stern himself offers is generally a retold story, a Wikipedia-heavy interview with a celebrity whose work he's unfamiliar with, or a disinterested but nonetheless lengthy conversation with a regular caller from his small stable of unpaid, largely mentally impaired contributors. These offerings are all punctuated with imitation laughter and heavy doses of dead air.

It’s time for the National Radio Hall of Fame to send a message that clearly states its position on ethics and integrity. It must let the country know that it doesn’t endorse an inductee who discredits his industry, disgraces his craft and routinely cheats his paying subscribers.

It’s time to remove Howard Stern from the National Radio Hall of Fame.

 



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