Monday, December 21, 2009

Howard Seriously is moving to Howard Stern Seriously Forever!

Hey, everyone. I haven't been updating the blog for a long time, so my friend Mackay Bell is taking it over and moving it into this own blog sphere. Since it takes too much time to figure out how to transfer the name, he's renamed it "Howard Stern Seriously." ( He's a smart guy and I'm sure you'll love his commentary even more than mine.

I'm only going to keep this archive up for a little while. So check out the old links and considered opinion while you can.

Here's the link to the new blog:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Howard Stern on the iPhone

Sorry I've been MIA for so long, but I've been busy with a new project and I never thought the Sirius XM merger would take so long. But it looks like it's finally happening.

But I do have to pat myself on the back for making a prediction (the first person on the planet to publicly do so) that has finally come true. In fact, I think I'm about the only one who suggested it until it finally happened.

Howard's broadcast is now on the iPhone!


Now, there are some limitations. You need a jail broken iPhone. But as I always said, the technology was always in place, and the software was a no brainer.

Trust me, there will be a legitimate app that works with all iPhones in the new future. Available from Apple's iApp store. And it's going to be great.

But as I've said before, Mel has been holding back on the whole iPhone, iPod, Howard Stern business even if he knows it's a natural. That's because his argument for the merger is the iPhone was a competitor, not another way for Sirius and Howard to take over the world.

Just wait until the merger is done. We will not only have Howard live on the iPhone, but Howard will finally make old shows for sale on iTunes. Which will be great for those of us who want to time share Howard, and put additional well deserved millions in Howard's pocket.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Freeing the Slaves

Howard really can never get a break in the press. What starts out as a nice piece in Variety about his incredible impact in single handedly reshaping the satellite radio market, ends with a slam.


It points out that Sirius subscriptions have grown to almost 8 million, mostly because of Howard. But supposedly, Howard isn't noticed as much as he used to be because he is only on Sirius. Supposedly, his listenership has "dramatically decreased." What the fuck? That's total bullshit.

Now, there have never been any really good numbers on what Howard's original radio audience was, because it was constantly changing as new stations added him, and some stations pulled him, and it fluctuated from day to day. But eight million is just about the top of the number of regular listeners he at at the height of his traditional broadcasting career. By the end, because so many stations were pulling him because of FCC pressure, he had only 6.5 million regular listeners. His audience was shrinking on traditional radio because of too many commercials and censorship restrictions. (Yet, somehow, magically the press started saying his audience had been 12 million after he left. I can't find anything to back up that number. Perhaps it was the number of samples he might have over a week or a month, but I can't find anything to back up the number.)

He took an audience of 300,000 for Sirius and grew it to 8 million in a couple years, larger than his broadcast audience when he left. And his audience is still growing by over 30% a year. Moreover, before Howard could only be heard in some select cities. Sirius is broadcast across the nation and to the world on the internet. And since Howard can be heard twenty four hours, what listeners he does have can hear him for longer periods of time each day.

(Moreover, he's widely pirated over the internet, so you can probably toss in a couple million listeners who are stealing his shows. And while I can't get any sales figures, he has millions of potential viewers on Howard TV.)

If the Sirius XM merger goes through, his audience will instantly jump to 17 million, unquestionably much larger than he ever had. So why would Howard be worrying about his influence? He's got more influence than ever.

Speaking of which we're into 2008 and still no sign that the Sirius/XM merger is going to go through. Mel had promised it would be completed by the end of 2007. Here's an article with the latest take on the situation.


If the merger finally doesn't go through, who will be to blame? Howard?

Here's a spoof piece that blames him by saying that congressmen are trying to punish him:


While it's meant as a joke, there might be a little something to that. There are a lot of conservative politicians that can't stand the idea that Howard has freed himself of FCC oversight. There are some nutty media activists that have been put out of jobs monitoring Howard's latest use of the word penis and trying to get him fined or off the air.

The more serious issue is that there are still a lot of people who don't want a free flow of uncensored material in the world. Its a cabal of giant corporate interests who want information controlled so they can be the only ones that make money from it, to corrupt politicians who want it controlled to keep themselves in power and religious leaders who want it controlled so everyone thinks the way they want them to think.

Subscription cable blew away a lot of censorship restrictions, and the Internet wiped out the rest. Satellite radio gave you uncensored audio for your car and freed Howard of the FCC.

The stakes in all this are higher than Howard just being able to say penis a lot. I don't think it's far fetched to say that a lot of trouble Howard got into with the FCC in his last few years was aggravated by his criticism of the Bush administration. In fact, even his criticism of the FCC was exposing the too cozy relationship between big media and the government.

Today Howard talked about liking what Ron Paul had to say during the Presidential debates.


While Howard didn't really endorse him, he certainly sung his praises. Howard getting behind a politician like that, who is hated by the corporate establishment, could actually make a real difference.

There certainly are some people who would prefer not to see Howard's audience go from 8 million to 17 million thanks to a merger. So maybe it is Howard's fault after all. But as I've said before, it really doesn't matter if the merger goes through or not. Sirius subscriptions are still growing quickly. They will overtake XM in the long run. Before that happens, I'd be willing to bet Sirius and XM would make a side deal to merge programming, while keeping the hardwire sides of the business separate.

But the best way for Howard to really expand his audience is through the internet. Right now, there are too many self imposed restrictions on Sirius over the internet. I believe Howard is too smart not to be aware that he needed to get on people's iPods and iPhones eventually. I think that the merger talks have been holding up that. If the merger goes through he can still do it, and if it falls apart he can still do it.

Listening to the first part of the History of Howard Stern documentary that has been airing on Howard 100 it's really kind of amazing what this guy went through. How hard he kept fighting against every obstacle. Most people would have given up. Howard Stern will go down in history as one of the real heros of the last century fighting against censorship and the corporations and government gatekeepers who used it to try to control the populous. Truly, Howard is kind of a Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves. The slaves in this case being the American people who were told by the government what they were allowed to think and say.

So regardless of what happens with the merger, I know that Howard will keep on fighting, and his voice will be heard by more people than ever for long after his radio show ends.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

History of Howard Stern

So I have an old Sirius S50 with a car mount which works fine and my girlfriend has a Stiletto (one) but neither of us do a lot of time shifting because it's a little difficult to program them and you get into issues with pulling them out of your car and putting them into the home unit to record, etc. etc.

Sirius still doesn't time shift well. And frankly, their hardware and software doesn't come close to the iPod which I use every day to time shift NPR and half a dozen news and tech shows.

However, I finally started time shifting again because the "The History of Howard Stern" programs. I know a lot of fans have been bitching because Howard's off for a couple weeks over the holidays, but I think this alternative programming is more than worth it. They are amazingly well produced and give great insight into the origin of one of the greatest minds (seriously) of our time.

All of which gets me back to the issue of why this stuff isn't available for downloading on iTunes. Surely there is no logic to the idea that allowing fans to purchase and keep these serious documentaries covering Howard's history would somehow cannibalize the regular broadcast or in any way hurt Sirius subscriptions. In fact, how could they not but help Sirius sales by bringing some people curious about Howard into the family.

I hope, and pray, that Sirius (and Howard) are simply being cautious while waiting for the merger to close before pursuing a serious expansion of Howard's reach into the internet. Once that deal is closed, the fans, and history, deserve to have this programming easily available for any hardware.

Sirius (even after the merger) will never be a great hardware manufacturer. Not on the level of Apple or Sony. They are broadcasters first, and should focus on broadcasting. Their efforts and manufacturing hardware was necessary to create a new broadcasting medium. But the sooner they allow subscribers to use any type of hardware they like, the quicker they will expand their audience.

And God bless the 19 year old Howard Stern (as discussed in the History) that didn't fuck the 16 year old girls when he was a camp leader in charge of them. He is a better person for it, and I'm sure the girls are too. It's rare that a young girl learns that there are some men that won't do anything for pussy. But it's better to learn that at 16 when you're still cute, rather than 30 when you think you are fading.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Howard's Christmas Card

We all know Howard Stern is a funny guy. At least when he's on the air. But anyone who has met him in person can tell you he is just as funny and interesting when he's not performing.

A great example is the Christmas (oops, I mean Holiday) card he and Beth O. sent out to lucky friends. It's hilarious and in typical Howard Stern fashion he pokes fun at himself. Sending up Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie it pictures him walking with a very pregnant Beth and several adopted kids of many colors. The look on his face is truly priceless.

Inside, the card reads: "Happy Holidays! May all your wishes come true. Love, Howard, Beth, Maddox, Zahara and Shiloh."

Below is a scan of the picture. Click to get the full effect.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sirius on iPhone

So the iPhone has been out for over eight months. (I'm loving mine!) But still no sign of any software fix (or paid upgrade) to allow iPhones to stream Sirius either over the internet or the ATT connection. Technically, there is no reason it can't be easily done. With Apple predicted to announce that 5 million iPhones have already been sold next month, why wouldn't Sirius be working on this?

My guess is that they are, but they are waiting for the merger to be completed first. It was hard enough convincing the FCC that satellite radio had tons of competition from traditional radio and the internet without revealing that their programming not only can be in every car built, but also on every new cell phone.

But of course, this could be an even larger market than installed autos. Trust me, before his contract is out, you'll be able to hear Howard over your phone.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Merger Discussion

Quick post to highlight a blog that clearly sees the bigger picture.

Public Knowledge on Merger