Stern Laments For Mel
June 1, 2004

Over the past few weeks, Howard Stern has joked that he would follow Mel Karmazin out the door if he ever left Viacom.  After Karmazin's sudden resignation this morning, the ball is now in his court.

Stern signed on this morning saying today's show would be an infamous one, knowing that the news of Karmazin's departure had yet to fully break into the mainstream press and having been informed by a phone call from newly named Viacom Co-President/Co-COO  Les Moonves. Not letting out the news to begin the show, Stern began by talking about how he started his radio career "against all odds" and with parents that treated his dream to be "this crazy nut" on the radio by saying, "Why not you? Someone's got to be on the radio." He talked a bit about his love/hate relationship with radio and the daily aggravation of trying to get his vision for The Howard Stern Show on the air.

Stern then drifted to his embattled days at NBC. "When NBC fired me, I thought that my career was over. I really thought it was. I was in a panic," he admitted. It was at this point that listeners first got an idea where Stern was going with his career recap, when he bluntly stated: "If NBC was a concentration camp, then Mel was my Schindler." Stern recalled their first meeting, where Karmazin pitched him on coming to WXRK (K-Rock)/New York, before recounting his career under Mel's watch. "When I think back on it all, I couldn't have done it without Mel," he said. "Because when I was fired from NBC, Mel was the guy who rescued me. I am forever grateful. I praise Mel all the time on the air and I will continue to praise him until I die, because the guy is the consummate broadcaster."

It was at that point that Stern let loose with the news from the phone call he received from Moonves the previous night, calling it a "definite nail in my coffin. With Mel gone, I am seeing the darkness at the end of the tunnel. I don't know what this means to the show, but it can't be good. He's the guy who had my back."

For over 18 years, Stern and Robin Quivers have worked for Karmazin. He gave them life after the NBC debacle. He syndicated their show. He gave them the freedom to push the boundaries of radio content, and defended them when the FCC came knocking.  But now, they face the prospect of business life without him. "It must be time [to go]," said Quivers, pondering their radio future and adding that Karmazin's departure has "a direct relationship" to The Howard Stern's Show survival. "All the other players could change and it wouldn't make a difference, but Mel makes a difference," she said. "The face of radio has changed completely."

The lament for Mel continued throughout the morning at various points, with plenty of speculation on the Stern show's future. While satellite radio is the popular pick for Stern's next stop, he alluded to other options available to him.  "XM, Sirius, there's all kind of companies out there," said Stern, intimating that a larger foray into television might not be out of the question. 


Breaking News
UMG Revenue Hits $5.57 Billion in 2016
BMI Withdraws Interim Fee Petition to RMLC
Talia Schlanger Named World Café Host
The Kane Show & Ocean Park Standoff Share "Good News"
Tim "Minnesota Fattz" Snell Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia-Augusta
February 23, 2017
iHeartMedia Revenue Up in Q4, Full-Year 2016
Study: Actual Ratings Panelists - We Want Personalities And Fun!
iHeartMedia Tampa Names Pete Norden SVP/Sales
The Syndicate Promotes from Within to Strengthen Marketing, Radio & Finance Departments
2017 NAB Crystal Radio Awards Finalists Announced
February 22, 2017
Entercom Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results
Study: “Local” Is Not Radio's Best Defense Against Pureplays
Ashley Z Takes On Nights At Q100/Atlanta Nights
Benztown Releases Third Annual Benztown 50 List of Top Voiceover Professionals in Radio
February 21, 2017
Study: Just Over Half Of At Work Listening Goes To Radio
iHeartMedia Names Blaine Jackson PD At WLUB/Augusta
CMG Atlanta Radio Names Jaleigh Long Director of Sales
In Brief - February 21, 2017
February 20, 2017
Study: Radio Dominates In Connected Cars
February 17, 2017
Study: Women to Radio: I Love You, But….
iHeartMedia Fort Myers Adds New Nighttime On-Air Hosts Lulu & Lala On Y100.1
Entercom Los Angeles Extends KSWD's "Uncle Joe'Benson
February 16, 2017
Study: Who Do Women Love Most – Radio or Pandora?
Prince Streaming Activity Explodes
Music News
Beyoncé Drops Out of Coachella Lineup
Quick Hits: John Mayer, Lorde, Eminem, Gucci Mane, Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey
Bruno Mars to Receive 2017 iHeartRadio Innovator Award
David Bowie Honored at Brit Awards
Katy Perry Talks New Album Rollout
Quick Hits: Ed Sheeran, Future, Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Chris Brown, Young The Giant
Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack Debuts Atop Billboard 200
James Brown's Drummer Clyde Stubblefield Dies
Quick Hits: Katy Perry, Ottawa Bluesfest Lineup
Quick Hits: The Roots Picnic, Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney, Lana Del Rey
Republic Records, ZXL Music & The Grimmie Family To Release New Christine Grimmie Music
Linkin Park Announce New Album, Release Single "Heavy"
Migos Joins With Motown & Capitol Records
Quick Hits: Beyonce, Adele, Metallica, Michael Jackson, OneRepublic
Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Noah Cyrus, Bruno Mars Set To Perform At The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Question Of
The Week

FMQB Member Login

Not a member yet?
Sign up Now!
Sign Up for Breaking News!
Enter FMQB E-Tracking!