Howard Stern fans got an unexpected surprise this morning. At first, it might have been difficult to pinpoint the new voice (the incoherent babbling didn’t make it easy) but the new host mentions his own name every 10 seconds. Instead of Howard and Robin waking us up this morning, we all got a jagged dose of “Diamond” David Lee Roth and a Russian Stripper named Irene.
It was official, Howard was off the air… or was he? Was the new Infinity Broadcasting “morning man” former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth? Last week Infinity Broadcasting wasn’t commenting on rumors that David Lee Roth would be replacing Stern on the air. Were the rumors were true? Stern wasn’t supposed to start at Sirius satellite radio until January 2006. Were Stern’s 20 million daily listeners stuck with Diamond Dave and Irene until then?
Luckily it was all just an hour-long joke. At least for now, Howard is still on the air. David Lee Roth may end up being the new Infinity Broadcasting morning man in New York, but for now, Howard Stern is still on old FM radio.
On April 1st, 2003 (April Fools Day), Howard did a similar experiment on his fans. Two sterilized hosts with a show called “Fun Without the Filth” replaced Howard and endured angry phone calls from listeners until Howard broke into the fake show and ended the joke.
Even though both times the plug was pulled on Howard were jokes, it’s a wake up call for many who aren’t prepared for his move to Sirius satellite radio in January.
An abrupt end to the Howard Stern Show may not sit well with Stern fans across the country. Howard plans to do a farewell tour to all the major cities that currently airs his show. There’s no question that a farewell tour will help Stern hype his move to Sirius satellite radio and hurt Infinity in their attempts to hold on to his massive audience.
Roth is among the many entertainers that Infinity has auditioned to replace Stern. Infinity execs have repeatedly made it clear that they are not looking for a singular personality to succeed Stern. Infinity is going to try out different hosts in different cities. David Lee Roth is rumored to be taking over in New York while Adam Corolla from The Man Show will take on Los Angeles. If Infinity plans on finding a successful replacement for Howard Stern, they will need all the help they can get.