Howard Stern says he has a big announcement coming tomorrow (6/30) morning. The message is big enough that he has set a press conference for 8:30 am to reveal what he has on his mind. Could it be that The King of All Media is going to announce his return to one or more of the markets where he was dumped by Clear Channel?
That's the hot rumor, though no one in the Stern camp is talking. One insider did tell FMQB "it's obvious to me that the folks who are best at signing on Stern stations are busy this week." Another report says that Stern may get back on the air in five of the six markets he lost.
Meanwhile, FMQB is starting to connect the dots - let's look at the markets:
In southeast Florida, where Clear Channel dropped Stern from WBGG/Miami, it looks as if Howard will be returning via Infinity's WPBZ/West Palm Beach. If a posting on the station's Web site is true, FMQB can confirm that the Modern Rock outlet will be carrying the Stern Show. Mark Summers of The Buzz's morning show made the following post today: "We regret to inform you that the show that you have known, loved, and grown up with for the past 9 years was relieved of it's duties today. That's right we (Mark, Genny & Dahmer) were told today that as of Wednesday, June 30th 2004 we will no longer be allowed to broadcast our show. The only reason given at the time was that Howard Stern would be replacing us."
Adding fuel to the fire in Pittsburgh, where Modern Rock WXDX was victimized by the Stern dump, Infinity CHR WBZZ has been informing listeners to tune in tomorrow morning at 8:30 am for a major announcement.
**NEW** FMQB can now confirm that Infinity Modern Rocker WOCL/Orlando has a major announcement at 8:30 am, making it a quality target for Stern's return to Orlando where he used to be carried by WTKS.
Moving on to San Diego, where Active Rocker KIOZ used to be Stern's home, Infinity Classic Hits KPLN is leading the rumor mill. FMQB previously reported that "casual conversations" have taken place at "The Planet" for Stern's addition to the station's programming line-up. An inside source did say that adding Stern is not imminent, but that was two weeks ago on June 14.
On the surface, making Infinity Modern Rocker WZNE/Rochester a Stern affiliate sounds like a natural way to replace Stern's former outlet WNVE/Rochester. But how would Stern on "The Zone" impact morning man Brother Wease on Infinity sister WCMF?
As for finding a home to replace the loss of WTFX/Louisville, Infinity doesn't own any stations in the market, but Stern agent Don Buchwald could cut a deal with a non-Infinity owned station.
FMQB is still investigating what looks to be the return of Stern, so check back as we update this breaking story throughout the evening and tomorrow morning to see the finally tally in the Return of the King of All Media.