Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Idea on how Howard Stern & CBS can make More Money:

I saw Stern on Fox News last night and agree with him that the lawsuit filed against him is meritless, done out of spite and to take the attention off the fact that his leaving CBS is costing them millions of dollars due solely to lost ratings.

So here's the idea: Not likely to happen especially after CBS's lawsuit.

Have Howard come back to CBS and stay at Sirius at the same time. Negotiate a contract between Stern, Sirius and CBS. Just like the local affiliates of receive nationally broadcast shows via a Satellite feed, have Stern do his unedited show from 6:30 or 7:00am till 10:00am on Sirius. Then, that day, from 9:00am-12:00pm have the "edited" version of the show air on CBS stations. Hire engineers who can edit all of the stuff that could possibly cause trouble with the FCC within two hours or so of the broadcast (so you'd be hearing a show that is 2 hours old).

Moreover, the terms of Stern's contract with CBS would be 1) CBS has the absolute right/discretion to remove any objectionable content from his show and 2) they agree to hold Stern harmless and indemnify him from any action the FCC should take against Stern personally, should they fine him.

These two terms would answer Sterns two biggest concerns for leaving. One thing that drove Stern off the public airwaves was the fact that his show was being heavily edited by the bosses once the FCC started cracking down. And Stern in turn, cause a big stink with his bosses (even though he understood their concern) when they edited his show. At Sirius, Stern no longer has to worry about his show being edited. If Stern realized that real fans who wanted the unadulterated Stern could subscribe to Sirius (indeed, they already have), then he would have less concern about CBS editing his show. Indeed, Stern would want CBS to heavily edit the show, just to better establish and distinguish between the two separate markets (and to reduce competition between them).

So if you wanted the live unedited Stern, you pay extra. The free Stern is 2 hours delayed and sanitized.

The second reason Stern left broadcast radio was because the FCC showed a willingness to start levying huge fines against not just the companies, but the broadcasters personally, even up to a half million dollars at a time. Though Stern is filthy rich, those half million dollar fines could add up, if he's paying for them himself. The "hold harmless" provision would satisfy that concern of his. And CBS wouldn't have to worry about Stern's harangue if they wanted to relentlessly edit his show to stave off their concerns about fines.

Sound like a good idea?

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